Americans have some of the worst job benefits of any first world country.
Long over-time, low pay, and no paid maternity leave are just a few examples. Many other developed countries have parental leave, except the United States. There is no fixed maximum limit of work-hours.
Many Americans work over 40 hours per week. Paid vacation time is dismal. Additionally, companies are not required to pay for sick days by federal law, unlike many other developed countries. Americans are apprehensive taking sick days, and holidays. There is often a reluctance to take care of oneself since pay is so low.
Executives hardly interact with their workers, and workers have little say in job conditions, salary negotiation, and even the products or services. Inequality in opportunities such as raises, promotions, and biased hiring practices are exacerbated since demand is higher.
Unreasonable demands of workers widen the gap between the worker and their products. Why should they give their best work when their basic needs are neglected?
Forcing people to work long hours with limited flexibility, is soul-sucking and counter-intuitive. Sweden experimented with 6 hour work days and had tremendous success.
Even for highly qualified applicants, it’s challenging to receive a call-back. Many entry-level jobs now require at least year of experience. Money is not even worth as much now.
Income has not been adjusted for inflation, so one bedroom apartments can easily be too expensive on minimum wage pay. Hundreds of unemployed individuals have mental health problems or have experienced tragedy and yet these people are ostracized because work symbolizes purpose and worth in America.
Unemployment is a sign of a defective character in American culture. It labels someone as a person who lacks ethics and is content to contribute nothing to society. This assumption ignores people’s innate desire to engage in a community, socialize regularly, and contribute to a better future.
It’s no wonder workers are only productive for a measly 3 hours of each 8 hour day and spend most of it texting, smoking, eating, and surfing social media sites.
People are plagued by exhaustion. Lack of focus and motivation are obvious repercussions of companies’ and individuals overlooking basic human needs by solely focusing on production. The concept of Universal Basic Income, once the theme of sci-fi novels, is now common dinner table conversation.
Disadvantages were accrued by attempting to minimize costs and exploit workers for gain. Hyper-focus on productivity reduces people to their work, their stories to dollar signs.
Limitless, the popular action movie directed by Neil Burger, examined the idea of a futuristic society that makes a drug which expands a person’s access to the entire brain.
Eddie, the main character, can remember old passive memories to establish connections and opportunities. His analytical skills improve drastically and he quickly becomes famous for his success on Wall Street. This film makes it easy to fantasize everything you’d do if you were smarter or more productive.
The movie captured a growing trend in America, whereby many people are turning to drugs to meet growing personal and business demands. Coffee, energy drinks and prescription stimulants are frequently used to improve alertness and productivity. Nootropic “smart drugs,” once exclusive to scientists and branches of the military, have now become mainstream and has folks young and old search for a real-life “limitless pill” akin to the wonder-drug from the movie.
Although this Limitless drug is fascinating and makes for good entertainment, it’s unrealistic.
First, the human brain doesn’t retain information it doesn’t process. Meaning, if you don’t see it the first time, it’s not retained. Focus and needs shift which is why our memory capacity is so limited.
Secondly, even if it was possible to access all the information you’ve ever learned, most of the data is flawed. Take a moment to remember every time you’ve been told blatantly false information or when someone has given you horrible advice. Memories can also change with time. Overall, this movie reminded me why we have to be careful when depending on drugs to get through the day.
Workers should never feel the need to abuse drugs to handle work. Sources of substantial stress must be cut out or diminished to prevent burnout. Flexibility, as a means to promote balance, should be a major focus for companies and individuals that value long-term stability.
We need to strike a balance between productivity and happiness, work-life and family-life. Balance is critical to being well-rounded. Employees that have thriving personal lives, focus better at their work and think more creatively.
They’re more likely to have meaningful, fun days with co-workers that increase the likelihood of them staying with the company.
Future Trends and Balance as a Means to Success
Technological advancements continue to surprise and energize markets and might be the key to improving job satisfaction.
In the past, automation has only resulted in the creation of new sectors to fill job gaps. Inequality surges since employment opportunities are lowered.
But it could mean the inclusion of more workers in fields that provide stimulating challenges and give them happiness, and the elimination of mind-numbing tasks and ridiculous hours.
In the future, it’s necessary for workers to demand balance. Technology must be used to enhance people’s lives rather than complicate them. The federal government has to fight advance working conditions, and we should continue prioritizing our values.