• LinkedIn
  • YouTube
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google+

Study: Work takes emotional, physical toll

Get PDF file

by on
in Centerpiece,HR Management,Human Resources

Tolls of workThe American workplace is physically and emotionally taxing, with workers frequently facing unstable work schedules, unpleasant and potentially hazardous working conditions, and an often hostile social environment, according to a new study that probes working conditions in the United States.

Interviewed by investigators at the nonprofit, nonpartisan RAND Corp., Harvard Medical School and UCLA, more than one in four American workers say they have too little time to do their jobs. In addition, workers say the intensity of work frequently spills over into their personal lives, with about one-half of people reporting that they perform some work in their free time in order to meet workplace demands.

Researchers say that while eight in 10 American workers report having steady and predictable work throughout the year, only 54% report working the same number of hours on a day-to-day basis. One in three workers say they have no control over their schedules. Despite much public attention focused on the growth of telecommuting, 78% of workers report they must be present at their workplace during regular business hours.

Nearly three-fourths of American workers report either intense or repetitive physical exertion on the job at least a quarter of the time. While workers without a college education report greater physical demands, many college-educated and older workers are affected as well.

Strikingly, more than half of Americans report exposure to unpleasant and potentially hazardous working conditions. Nearly one in five workers—a “disturbingly high” fraction—say they face a hostile or threatening social environment at work. Younger and prime-aged women are the workers most likely to experience unwanted sexual attention, while younger men are more likely to experience verbal abuse.

The American Working Conditions Survey polled 3,066 adults. Read the full report at www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RR2014.html.

Leave a Comment