Survey: U.S. workplace very physically, emotionally taxing

Aug. 14 (UPI) — The workplace in the United States is physically and emotionally demanding — with schedule conflicts, excessive overtime and work performed off the clock, a new two-year survey indicates.

The American Working Conditions Survey, compiled by the RAND Corporation, University of California, Los Angeles and Harvard Medical School, started two years ago and details work life in the United States.

The report, “Working Conditions in the United States: A Report on the 2015 American Working Conditions Survey,” notes that while nearly 80 percent of Americans with jobs have steady and predictable work, only 54 percent work the same hours on a day-to-day basis.

Nearly three-fourths of workers report either intense or repetitive physical exertion on the job. More than half say they are exposed to unpleasant or potentially hazardous working conditions, and nearly one in five say they are exposed to a hostile or threatening social environment.

Younger female workers say they are the targets of unwanted sexual advances, while younger men say they have experienced verbal abuse.

The majority of respondents said they often work at high speeds or under tight deadlines, and one in four believes he or she has too little time to do the assigned task.

Sixty-two percent call the tasks of their jobs monotonous, and 82 percent say “solving unforeseen problems” are a part of their jobs. Fifty-eight percent describe their boss as supportive, and only 38 percent say the job offers good prospects for advancement.

Even while telecommuting is growing in the United States, 78 percent said they are required to be physically present at the work site during regular business hours.

The survey found that workers tend to adjust their personal schedules around work hours, but about one-third said their jobs interfered with family and social commitments — notably women and workers without a college degree.

More than 3,000 adults participated in the survey, RAND said.


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