New study reveals how much work sucks

The American workplace can be intense, unpleasant and even hostile.
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A new study of employment conditions paints a rather unsavory picture of the American workplace.

For many Americans, work sucks, according to the study by Rand Health, Harvard and the University of California, which interviewed more than 3,000 American workers about their jobs.

The results indicate that many workers find their jobs intense and physically exhausting, while operating under tight deadlines with not enough time in the day to complete their tasks.

Worryingly, more than a half of Americans admit to being exposed to "unpleasant and potentially hazardous working conditions," while one in five say they're exposed to a "hostile or threatening" social environment at work.

It's not all bad, though. Some 80 percent of workers say that problem-solving and generating their own ideas are part of their jobs, while 58 percent say their boss is supportive, and 56 percent have good friends at work.

Nonetheless, the downsides to work serve to show that "working conditions do matter" for prospective employees, lead author Nicole Maestas said, at a time when, as MPR reports, employers are struggling to fill jobs.

"Wow — (work) is pretty taxing place for many people," Maestas said. "I was surprised by how pressured and hectic the workplace is."

Millennials take their work home with them

Only 54 percent of Americans say they work the same numbers of hours on a day-to-day basis, and this could be down to the fact that so many Americans find the working day not long enough to finish their required tasks.

Two-thirds of those surveyed in the study said they "frequently work at high speeds or under tight deadlines," and a quarter say they have too little time to do their job.

For college-educated workers, this means taking work home with them, while for non-college-educated workers this leads to greater variation and unpredictability in working hours.

A closer look at the figures show that it's mainly the millennial generation who find themselves bringing work home with them, with 58.2 percent of under 35s saying they worked in their free time in the past month – higher than any other age group.

Just over 10 percent of under 35s said they work in their free time "nearly every day," while 23.2 percent say they do it once or twice a week, and a further 24.8 percent saying once or twice a month.

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