Monday, August 5, 2019

How Fabulous Is Your Career?

This is old news, but still: worldwide, only 13% of employees are committed to their jobs:

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Only 13% of employees worldwide are engaged at work, according to Gallup's new 142-country study on the State of the Global Workplace. In other words, about one in eight workers -- roughly 180 million employees in the countries studied -- are psychologically committed to their jobs and likely to be making positive contributions to their organizations.

Not surprisingly, the highest amount of people who are attached to their jobs live in the USA and Canada, where the indoctrination about your job being the most important thing in your life is the heaviest. Still, about 70% of the citizens of these countries are disengaged, while 18% actually think that their jobs s**k:

 At the regional level, Northern America (that is, the U.S. and Canada) have the highest proportion of engaged workers, at 29%, followed by Australia and New Zealand, at 24%.

Western Europeans, on the other hand are more of an opinion that working for a living is a necessary evil:

Not all economically developed regions fare as favorably; across 19 Western European countries, 14% of employees are engaged, while a significantly higher 20% are actively disengaged. 

Note that the amount of people who hate their jobs (are actively disengaged) is about the same. You find even more of them outside of the cushy Western environment. Now, I really wonder why???

However, the highest proportions of actively disengaged workers are found in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and sub-Saharan Africa regions, at 35% and 33%, respectively.

The conclusion they reached was: train your serfs employees to be 100% committed to making you richer, how dare they think of something else at work!

Regardless of region or industry, businesses seeking to adapt to rapidly changing global economic conditions must learn how to maintain high-productivity workplaces and grow their customer bases in widely varying social, cultural, and economic environments.

Here is the full text.

All joking aside, since the dawn of history, people dreamed of finding ways how not to work too hard. When you read old books, like those of J. Austen, you were called "independent" when you earned or inherited enough money to save you from the daily grind. In the times of the Vikings, men of the community were judged on how well they could maintain their wives, whether they had to go into the fields or could stay home and be "a lady".

The glorification of the world of work, especially for women, started after the WWII in the USA and quickly spread to other countries. It brought the decrease in real wages, high housing prices and the erosion of the workers' rights. Work can be meaningful at a certain level (searching for a cure for cancer) or when you are self-employed but the majority of jobs aren't glamorous at all. Most men after a certain age wish to quit or at least, to work shorter hours, yet they are raising retirement ages all over the world.

Will they start campaigning for bringing back child labour, like in Victorian days? Who knows. But if you as a housewife, endure attacks for your choices, keep in mind that those people probably don't have a moral high ground but are simply envious.


  1. Western Europeans, on the other hand are more of an opinion that working for a living is a necessary evil

    The irony here is that the Western European thinking on the matter of work is more in line with the Bible (Genesis 3:19) than the American tendency to view one's paid work as an identifying status marker.

  2. It would be interesting to research the difference in attitudes. I do think it started somewhere in the 1950s and probably was connected to feminism, but also may be, to the cold war and capitalism vs communism division?

    I looked at the stats from my own country,9% love their jobs, 11% hate them and 80% don't really care that much, which is probably the healthiest way to look at it. Not sure why it is really a problem? Should we be really encouraging people to get "psychologically committed" to their jobs in the days of the disposable workforce?

  3. I do think it started somewhere in the 1950s and probably was connected to feminism, but also may be, to the cold war and capitalism vs communism division?

    Over here the first wave feminists started the madness (late 19th through the early 20th centuries). Victoria Woodhull, Elizabeth Stanton, et. al. These gals were pushing hard the feminist agenda and the need for female independence and the right to vote.

    The Great Depression brought the whole thing to a screeching halt, or at least a pause, then Betty Friedan and Co. picked up where they left off after WWII.

    I agree with you that the European perspective (and to a lesser degree the Middle Eastern/African view) is much healthier. Very few people are doing the kind of work that benefits humanity in a real, lasting, important way. People are basically being gaslighted for the sake of profits.

    Seeing work as a way to provide your basic needs and help others in need is far more sane than scrambling for some sense of meaning from something you get paid to do. I don't think it's a problem to wear your job lightly so long as you can marry that attitude to the responsibility to do the job well.

    Meaning should come from the relationships we build and the people we incest in, whether through family, church, or volunteering in our communities. These are the things that reverberate in various ways after we are gone. Not how rich we made whatever company we work for. To the extent that people are so invested in their work (and that's a big deal over here in the States), it speaks to how bereft are so many lives of real meaning.

  4. Yes, I fully agree with you about meaning. I also think that it's different wen you are self-employed and/or doing something you really like, like PewDiePie for instance:) From this point of view, a housewife is lucky because she is a) self-employed, b) working for her own family, c) her job is so multifaceted and not easily reduced to something mechanical and repetitive, like operating a machine at a factory or something similar. When you think of it, narrow specialisation so typical for the modern work force is probably another reason of dissatisfaction?