You’ll never believe it!
According to a Washington Post-Ipsos poll of 1,148 workers ages 18 to 64, about 8 in 10 workers are satisfied with their jobs.
That leaves 2 out of 10 who see things clearly. If you don’t know the other disgruntled malcontent in your office, better seek them out. You have a lot in common.
In other results, the number crunchers report that 6 out of 10 workers say their work is stressful. This is a hopeful sign for management. All that is required to put their workers into a state of panic is a further increase in irrational initiatives, unreachable deadlines and random firings. It may not be easy to drive the entire workforce to the edge, but it’s definitely worth the effort.
What other useful intel can we glean from the poll? Let’s drill down — shall we? There must be a few pockets of workplace decay you can use to your advantage.
No. 1: Roughly 4 in 10 workers say their jobs can be done from home
Unfortunately, the number of managers who agree was not polled, but I think we know the answer — 0 out of 10. Exactly.
The desire for managers to keep their direct reports close at hand is well documented, which explains the alarming number of demented souls haunting your workplace. “Cutting out commutes is the biggest driver for remote work,” the poll reveals, which makes no sense. Who doesn’t enjoy wasting precious hours of their life every morning riding on a crowded bus or sitting on a congested freeway, just for the privilege of doing it all over again at the end of the day?
The poll also reports that a “slim majority” of workers say they can focus better at home, which suggests these people need stronger glasses or bigger television sets. Anyone who can focus on quarterly sales results while Bravo is showing a “Vanderpump Rules” marathon is beyond me. (Speaking personally, I’ll never forgive Tom. You?)
No. 2: When asked to rank the most important factors in a job, 45% put pay in the top spot.
From this result, I believe we can safely conclude that the remaining 55% are irredeemably bonkers.
Having a good boss is a distant second with “14 percent of workers ranking it as the most important.” In other words, 14 percent of workers are doomed to be deeply and permanently disappointed.
The poll also shows that 65% of committed work-at-homers would happily troop back to an office if offered a job that paid more. This single statistic proves what we’ve long suspected: You can be bought.
The only question is: What will it take to buy you? As high-tech firms have discovered, bottomless kombucha stations no longer cut it, which is why I recommend improving employee satisfaction with on-site entertainment. Sweatpants Tuesdays and Karaoke Wednesdays are OK, but how much more entertaining to simply release feral weasels in the HR department, inviting the staff to watch as the human resources professionals leap onto their desks to avoid the fuzzy ankle-biters. Another crowd-pleaser — gladiator games in IT.
No. 3: Gen Z and young millennials (ages 27 to 34) most value promotion and advancement
As could be expected, older workers value health insurance, retirement benefits and easy access to bathrooms.
(While some may attribute these results purely to youthful inexperience, it’s worth considering that the brains of younger workers may not be fully developed. This is especially true when factoring in gender differences, my research showing that while a woman’s brain is fully formed at 13, a man’s brain does not fully mature until 57, if at all.)
No. 4: 61% of workers do more than expected.
Thirty-three percent don’t go beyond what they are paid to do and 4% do just enough to hang on. That leaves 2% who don’t do anything at all.
We have a name for these people. They’re called managers.
No. 4: 55% of workers say they have “close friendships” at work.
The 45% remaining believe their co-workers are shape-shifting reptilian aliens. They are probably incorrect, but why take chances?
No. 5: By more than 2-to-1, workers prefer a job where they are actively moving over one at a desk.
This explains the mandatory square-dancing lessons many companies have initiated. If required to attend such a class, don’t bother asking anyone from marketing to join you.
Everyone knows shape-shifting reptilian aliens can’t dance.
Bob Goldman was an advertising executive at a Fortune 500 company. He offers a virtual shoulder to cry on at [email protected]. To find out more about Bob Goldman and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.
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