Professionalism Under Attack

Companies now encourage employees to bring their “full selves” to work. This trend undermines the concept of professionalism—a concept referring to behavioral norms for the workplace, which include keeping certain parts of life secret when at work. The more people embrace this trend, the more professional ethics and their benefits (e.g., politeness, privacy, productivity) erode. This erosion exposes differences of opinion on matters unrelated to the company’s mission, creating tension and sometimes outright conflict at work. This trend, if enduring, could produce major economic repercussions that damage the West—to the benefit of its worst geopolitical adversaries.

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