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The Shocking Numbers that Reveal Just How Burnt Out American Workers Are

June 29, 2015 in Blogs

By Matt Saccaro, Salon

Productivity has exploded in the American workforce in recent years, but at a terrible cost.

The American worker is overworked, underpaid, and suffering from severe burnout.

This sentiment isn’t populist rhetoric, there are numbers to back it up. A new studyfrom Staples Advantage and WorkPlaceTrends — an HR-focused research firm — polled over 2,500 workers and reached troubling results. According to the data, 53 percent of American workers report feeling burned out at work.

With current working conditions, it’s easy to see why. A 2012 study concluded smartphones and tablets enable employers to further colonize a worker’s time to the tune of two extra hours a day since they can be reached at all hours. In 2014, Gallup estimated the typical American workweek was 47 hours, not 40; the American worker was toiling for almost a full extra day. Of the workers this recent study polled, more than half worked a day longer than eight hours.

“This isn’t the workplace of 10 years ago,” Dan Schawbel, founder of WorkPlaceTrends, co-author of the study, and author of the New York Times bestselling book Promote Yourself, told Salon. “There’s a lot of pressure. And it’s competitive in the sense that anyone in the world could take your job for less money, so you have to work harder.”

And work harder Americans have. Some work so hard it kills them, like a Bank of America intern who passed away after working 72 hours straight. Because of this occupational devotion (or occupational desperation), productivity has exploded by over 400 percent since 1950.Yet wages haven’t budged — at least not for most Americans. The richest 1 percent, however, have seen their average income surge by over 240 percent.

Yet, bizarrely, the study reports a vast majority of workers at 86 percent still claim to feel happy and motivated.

“My thought is that workers have accepted the new reality of the workplace,” Schawbel said. “A lot of them are just happy to have a job in general…Many workers are just trying to keep their job, and then excel at their job, …read more


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