631 One-Fifth of Americans Find Workplace Hostile or Threatening

Speech Materals

The American workplace is grueling, stressful and surprisingly hostile.

So concludes an in-depth study of 3,066 U.S. workers by the Rand Corp., Harvard Medical School and the University of California, Los Angeles.

In many cases, less-educated workers endure tougher working conditions. For example, fewer than half of men without college degrees can take a break whenever they want to, compared to more than 76% of men with college degrees. Likewise, nearly 68% of men without degrees spend at least a fourth of their time moving heavy loads.

Author Nicole Maestas wonders whether toxic working conditions are keeping Americans out of the labor force. The unemployment rate is at a 16-year low, and many employers complain they can’t fill jobs.

“There’s a message for employers here,” Maestas says. “Working conditions really do matter.”

I – Word Understanding
Grueling – extremely tiring and demanding
Hostile – unfriendly / unkind
Toxic working conditions – unpleasant, sometimes harmful working conditions

II – Have Your Say
1. How is your current working condition? What are some of your concerns?
2. This study has findings that include:
– 1 in 5 workers face harassment and bullying
– Nearly 55% say they face “unpleasant and potentially hazardous” conditions
– Nearly three quarters say they spend at least a fourth of their time on the job in “intense or repetitive physical” labor.
– Telecommuting is rare
– Only 38% say their jobs offer good prospects for advancement. And the older they get, the less optimistic they become.
– About half say they work on their own time to meet the demands of their job.

631 One-Fifth of Americans Find Workplace Hostile or Threatening

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