corporate culture

A group of men look at paperwork.

The massive changes to the American workplace caused by the COVID-19 pandemic invited many to reconsider their professional lives. This reevaluation has led people to push for improved work-life balance, and many now are looking for work to provide a greater sense of meaning and purpose.

When the world returned to work after COVID, many believed they deserved to be treated better by their employers. This resulted in many taking a break from the workforce or changing professions altogether. It also helped usher in a more comfortable culture for calling out companies that don’t treat their employees respectfully.

Recently, a group of thousands came together on Reddit to expose the common mistruths that people often hear at the workplace. It all started when a Redditor named PretenstoKnow asked: "What's the most common lie employers tell their employees?" And over 2,600 people responded.

People shared great examples of office developments that may signal a company being sold or future layoffs. They also exposed how employers may manipulate employees to work more hours or do a job that isn’t theirs by dangling a promotion in front of them. While some took the thread as the opportunity to complain about American corporate culture, the post was an excellent way for people to educate each other about common workplace pitfalls they may not know about.

Here are 13 of the most common lies that employers tell their employees.

1. Working 2 jobs

"If you just do this extra work until the other position is filled, you will be rewarded later." — MightyAtom13

"Any form of delayed comp should be treated as a lie." — Mirbatdon

2. There's nothing to see here

"You may have heard some rumors that [insert bad thing here] is happening, but I'm here today to tell you that this isn't the case." — UnfinishedThings

"Nothing is ever true until the company officially denies it." — Big-Problem7372

3. Don't talk money

"You aren't allowed to discuss your pay/salary." — Meestrdg

"Any company that tells you not to discuss pay, you should immediately start discussing pay with as many people as you can find. Hell, put your job title (or something similar) on a post-it note with your pay in the employee bathroom that the managers never use." — BlackMoons

4. The loyalty lie

"That you owe them loyalty. You don’t. You are a number in SAP that costs money. Once you are replaceable or your skill set is no longer required, you’re done. No matter your situation in life." — JustAnotherS**tposter.

"I’ve seen enough layoffs to know that they would cut me without a second thought if it benefited them. I feel obligated to perform my job in good faith, but I’m taking my vacation days, I’m taking my sick days if I need them, and if I come across a clearly better job offer, I’m taking that too." — Provocotive_Bear

5. You're not family

"Honestly, if an employer invokes families or sports teams analogies, you had better avoid them." — A CaffeinatedWandress

"Yes! We are like family until we say you can’t take a day off to see your biological family." — 77 Tassells

6. Work-life balance

"On rare occasions, this can be true. It most likely isn't coming from owners or execs though. It's usually middle managers who actually give a sh** and fight their nonsense constantly." — The_Bitter_Bear

"My last boss tried to emphasize this and then come review time I was criticized for not putting in 'extra' time to help the team (was told not to work past 5 pm and family came first)." — Zoap3256

7. Flexible hours

"This one is so true. When most job postings say “flexible hours,” it usually means that they need you to be flexible to work nights and weekends even if you need them off." — 1991195

8. Healthcare changes

"We’re changing healthcare providers in order to benefit you, our valued employees <cough>." — Kismet237

​9. Your raise is right around the corner

"The next job/promotion will pay you more. We are planning to expand." — vArrowhead

“The future is bright. We can’t give you that raise now but Just hang in there and your hard work will pay off.” — Friend-of-thee-court

10. Anonymous feedback

"Your anonymous employee feedback surveys are 100% not anonymous." — SarenTenet914

"When I first started taking employee feedback surveys, it would lead off with questions if you were male or female, what department you worked in, how long you've been in the department, and how long you've been in the company to 'validate' you as being an employee and to serve up the right set of questions. I realized how very easy it was to track people back based on how those questions were answered." — wetwater

11. Unlimted vacation days

"Unlimited vacation days really means minimal vacation days." — IlIIlIIIlIl

"We went unlimited. I track my use on a spreadsheet that is in line with legacy policy before the change. So, if questioned, I can produce documentation I, in fact, have not abused it. That hasn’t come up. But just in case." — Sharpedoweek

12. Not selling the company

"Once you hear the rumors, there is a 100% chance it is going to happen." — Andos4

13. We're using the latest tech

"In software jobs, the most common lie is 'We are using the latest tech' or 'We are upgrading to the latest tech right now!'" — Propostor

"My job is to manage the tech, cloud, and software strategy, and this is pretty much never true. Aside from random startups playing with massive startup capital from angel investors, no established company works with the latest technology, because it carries too much risk and too many unknowns. No actual technical manager will claim otherwise. Only non-technical people like executives, sales, marketing, and HR make ridiculous claims like that." — Maitreg