Through their in-depth American Working Conditions Survey (AWCS) of 3,066 U.S. workers, Rand Corp., Harvard Medical School, and the University of California, Los Angeles found that “the American workplace is very physically and emotionally taxing,” CBS reports.
Before you say “I could’ve told you that,” let’s see how bad it really is:
- 1 in 5: the number who say they face “a hostile or threatening environment at work, which can include sexual harassment and bullying.”
- 1 in 2: the number who say they face “unpleasant and potentially hazardous” conditions.
- 3 in 4: the number who say they “spend at least a fourth of their time on the job in ‘intense or repetitive physical’ labor.”
- 4 in 5: the number who say they’re required to be present at work rather than telecommute.
- 2 in 5: the number who say “their jobs offer good prospects for advancement. And the older they get, the less optimistic they become.”
- 1 in 2: the number who say they “work on their own time to meet the demands of their job.”
- 1 in 3: the number who say they have “no control over their schedules.”
The lesser the education, the tougher the work conditions, meaning those with college degrees can more often take breaks when they want to and lift heavy loads much less often.
College educated workers aren’t off the hook, though. A high percentage of workers, especially women, find it difficult to take time off to deal with personal matters. So while roughly half of workers adjust their personal schedules for employers, employers less often return the same favor.
Toxic working conditions might be keeping Americans out of work. “The percentage of Americans who are working or looking for work — 62.9 percent in July — has not returned to prerecession levels and is well below its 2000 peak of 67.3 percent,” says CBS.
Luckily there’s some good news. “Workers enjoy considerable autonomy: more than 80 percent say they get to solve problems and try out their own ideas. Moreover, 58 percent say their bosses are supportive, and 56 percent say they have good friends at work,” says CBS.
The point is that working conditions matter. Employers: take note.
Boston will walk and roll out bullying on Saturday, June 3. And we’ll show our solidarity against workplace bullying by wearing these black shirts, which you can buy before the event.
It’s Boston’s first Anti-Bullying Walk & Roll-A-Thon, and supporters of ending bullying in all forms will hit the streets to say enough is enough. Funds raised will go toward:
- 2Fruits Productions Youth Mentoring Program, designed for “at risk” youth to develop skills. Donations will fund laptops, production supplies (cameras, mics, tapes, and lighting), educational textbooks, music and art education programs, physical education sessions, facilitators, and more.
- XMEN Scholarship Fund, which provides college scholarships to high school seniors every year.
- BlackberryRadio.com, our sole sponsor and an advocate for women’s rights. Funds will help the station run.
You can volunteer your time and/or money. Total family involvement builds awareness, and we ask each participant to raise $92.85, with a total goal of $13,000. The three children who reach more than their target goal will receive prizes.
When you think of power, you might think of competition, masculinity, success, aggressiveness, or capitalism.
Now think about compassion. You might think of nurturing, cooperation, femininity, and empathy.
When you’re working as a team and looking to empower all team members, which words would you rather associate yourself with? If you’ve been on a team in which know-it-alls value their own voices over others’ – and no one speaks up about it – you’ve been on a team that values power over cooperation. So long as the group doesn’t stop the abuse of power, the group values masculinity over femininity just like our culture in general.
So workplace bullying – aggression rooted in the idea that we must break the backs of co-workers to get ahead – stems from our cultural emphasis on masculinity. If we want to be happier, we as a society, and as individuals working in teams, have to also value femininity. We have to more often trade in promoting those who are aggressive and competitive and who dictate for promoting those who show cooperation, collaboration, and compassion and who raise questions. As a result, we’ll trade in loneliness and isolation for connectedness, community, and well-being. We’ll live in a culture whose members values human needs over profit instead of the other way around.
As women gain stronger voices in the workplace, we as a culture demand more cooperative workplaces. But why are we so afraid to get there? Why are we as a society so afraid to trade in the hypermasculine – competitive, aggressive, and powerful – for a more feminine – cooperative, compassionate, and nurturing – culture?