Why Most Americans Hate Their Jobs

Olivia Clifford |

Red StaplerAre you sitting at your desk, bored and uninterested in the work that is in front of you? Is the motivation to apply yourself and get your work done lacking? If so, you are a part of the 70 percent majority of Americans who, according to a new survey by Gallup, are disengaged and unhappy with their jobs.  

After having surveyed over 150,000 employees in various different job sectors over the course of the 2012-year, Gallup has made the inconvenient truth about workplace productivity abundantly clear. Most Americans just don’t like their jobs. This is a 2-percent increase in disengagement since the last survey done by Gallup in 2009.

Regardless of the perks and changes that have been made within offices to actively get their employees to be more engaged and passionate about the work, most American’s simply still hate what they are doing. The report demonstrated that while 30 percent of Americans were actively engaged in their jobs and deeply involved or enthusiastic about the work that they are doing, an astonishing 52 percent were complacent, detached and lacked overall motivation. That doesn’t even take into account the 18 percent who were actively disconnected when it came to their jobs and productivity level. 

Having so many American employees who are unhappy about what they are doing has a serious impact on the overall productivity of the nation's economy. Annually, there is an expected loss of $450 billion to $550 billion due to lost productivity alone. This is due to the fact that the overall success, productivity and profitability of a company can be directly linked to employee engagement. This then makes this issue an economic problem as well as a moral issue for not only individual companies but the country as a whole. 

It was found that similarly to the 2009 Gallup report, managers and executives were the most consistently engaged in their jobs. They were engaged around 36 percent of the time, followed next by professional workers and clerical or office workers. This engagement can be attributed to the motivation that many managers and executives have to drive a sense of purpose into their companies by setting an example. People holding those positions also have a better sense of control over their jobs during the times of economic downturn, which makes them have a better sense of stability. The jobs that have demonstrated the least engagement and the most active disengagement in the United States was transportation workers, followed by manufacturing or production workers.  

There were many factors that were discussed and analyzed as contributing factors to the unhappiness of American workers. In response to the publication of the survey, it was found that the generation gap between the established workers and the millennial’s may have an active role in the unrest. 

Most Generation Y American’s are not satisfied with the quick paced, long hours; go-go-go mentality that the older generations have lived by for years. The Internet has revolutionized how millenial’s do business and function in the work place. Millenial’s were more likely on average to work more hours when they were working from home then when they came into the office. Their productivity levels increased as their opportunity to telecommute and build more flexible work hours expanded. With increased flexibility and adaptations to how the younger generations conduct their work you may begin to see a change in the motivation of American workers.  

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[Source via Gallup]

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