Thursday, March 29, 2007

Miserable Work Force

Further on the reasons for thinking that it is worth trying to improve the work situation rather than acquiescing in unhappiness, we gather from the BBC that, completely unsurprisingly, being miserable at work can make you physically ill as well as contributing to emotional burnout, anxiety and depression. We also hear, perhaps slightly more surprisingly, from the BBC TV news (can't find on-line link) that over 70% of workers report feeling unhappy at work.

What is very surprising is that we let this situation persist. Could this be because the majority of the work force (being schooled in the belief that things must always be thus) cannot imagine solving this problem?

It must be worth believing that something can be done, surely?


Rachel Reed said...

Oh goodness.....

My work history has some intersting points to add to this each point is a different employer:

1) The workplace where me and the other staff were put down and told we were useless by the managers so that we wouldn't leave.

2) The workplace where my manager's best mate also worked and guess who got all the interesting work???

3) The workplace where the big boss had a "sacking chair" and called the programmers "anoracks".

4) As a teenager; the supermarket with orange logo, where the red tape made government departments look lax.

5) The workplace that had endless meeting after meeting yet years later nothing was done.

I work for myself now. Much better!

Pete said...

From the department of sad but true...

I've heard this can also apply to personal relationships; and yes, to a great extent I blame school for this attitude too.

Any time I hear "Well, we've all got to put up with things we don't like", I cringe. That's the sound of someone who is killing their soul a little more every day.

One of the worst ones was when a Head master said that to a parent who was worried that their child was miserable at school... why should his personal problems mean it's okay to make children miserable?

Allie said...

Maybe that's called capiltalism ;-)

Carlotta said...

Lol, Allie..were you listening in our conversation only a few days ago!

I was making a last ditch defence of capitalism, or rather the free market, as the best possible hope for solving man's problems. As usual, I am on my own with this one amongst HE friends, but this hasn't stopped me yet!

I was trying to point out that we are not all hapless victims of the urge to consume; that there is no need to conflate the free market with materialism or consumerism; that actually we do anyway have material needs which can be solved by buying stuff, and that the free market is responsive to the consumer, so the consumer does have power if they choose to exercise it properly...and let's all get out there and campaign for less packaging on foods, for competition in the energy markets, for clean, for renewable energy, for more organic and cleaner goods generally, and that we could seek to solve the problem of competitive work environment with more efficient work methods, by getting people to buy products from companies with good working relations eg: not buying clothes from Indian sweatshops, (though I also put in an argument against the Fair Trade business since this is creating product mountains and screwing it for other producers who are not in on the deal), getting rid of farming subsidies, taking that anti-sleep drug (Ok,so the wine had kicked in at this point...)but I do think there could be ways of marrying the free market with satisfactory working conditions, as imaginative people such as Ricardo Semler have shown. (He has hammocks in the offices where people can go and take their laptops...perfect!)

33, 452 said...

I don't want to go into a big discussion on Capitalism - it has its up sides and its downsides. I'm no economic genius, and I certainly have nothing better to suggest, so, on the whole, I fence sit on this one.

But I just had to comment on this bit:

"getting rid of farming subsidies"

Are you serious? Or was that one of the "the wine had kicked in at that point" suggestions?

Without subsidies there would be no farming; farmers can barely scrape a living as it is!

I live in a crofting community (damn, bang goes the anonymity; anyone who didn't know who I was *before* will do now! LOL)and about 90% of people in my village are farmers. Without subsidies, they would not be able to farm.

They would give up their land and it would fall into disuse. They would leave the area.

Are you suggesting that we import all crops and meat? I presume so, as there would be no one producing it here if we ceased paying subsidies!

Unless you're suggesting that we start paying a fair price for our food? I think the economic implications of that would be staggering - do you have *any* idea how much prices would have to go up in order to make farming without subsidies economically viable?? I guess not!

Sorry, got carried away there! :)

Tech said...

Even with subsidies many farmers are having to give up. We live in the Dales and are surrounded by dairy farms that are selling off their herds on an almost weekly basis. Many, many farmers just cannot afford to continue; they are being screwed out of existence by red tape and the supermarket mafia. No idea what the solution is, but *capitalism* (there certainly isn't much, if anything of a *free market* about it!) seems to have done nothing but screw pretty much every aspect of this country into the ground. In my (not so humble) opinion of course ;-)