the work anxiety that drives the four-day week and telecommuting

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The coronavirus pandemic has changed many things. One of the most important is, without a doubt, the labor market. For two years we have seen concepts such as the four-day working day, which was already tried to be implemented in similar terms, resurrected with force in France at the end of the 20th centuryand give a huge boost to others that before March 2020 timidly loomed on the horizon of tomorrow, such as teleworking.

Professionals want improvements in their jobs that increase their well-being, both from above (teleworking, reduced working hours without salary reduction, flexible hours, intensive working hours) and from below (end precariousness in sectors such as hospitality or construction, as we reported in Xataka). And the explanation for this new vindictive thrust is very simple: we can’t take it anymore.

Historical stress levels. Workers around the world are on edge. According to Ehe report State of the Global Workplace from the market research consultancy Gallup, in 2021 a record number of work stress was reached around the world. Globally, 44% of professionals surveyed said they felt high levels of stress on a daily basis. In other words, almost half of the planet’s workforce is highly stressed.

If we look at the regional results, Europe slightly improves that percentage, although the figures are far from good. 39% of those surveyed in the Old Continent say they suffer high levels of stress on a daily basis. The report does not provide more detailed data by country, so it has not been possible to extract information from Spain.

worried and sad. In addition to stress, the report also delves into other aspects related to mental health and work. Thus, 37% of Europeans say that they feel concerned on a daily basis about their job, compared to 40% globally, and only 14% say they feel really committed to their work, compared to 21% global average.

On a more personal level, 19% of European workers surveyed say they feel angry every day because of their job, compared to 21% globally, and 21% confess that they feel sad every day because of their work , for the 23% world average.

In fact, in one of the questions the survey asked the professionals to imagine a ladder with 10 steps in which the last step represented the best possible life for them and the first the worst, and the resulting average of all those consulted was of 4.7. A suspense in the life satisfaction of Europeans that, however, is much higher than the global 3.3.

Burnout syndrome. These data are in line with other similar labor reports, such as the one presented Adecco in December 2021 in which he pointed out that 40% of Spanish and global workers had suffered burnout, (that is, chronic stress due to work) during the last year.

Some figures that several mental health professionals consulted by Xataka confirmed, which is why they asked the Government of Spain, together with the unions, that this syndrome, also known as ‘burnt worker’, be considered an occupational disease and include it in the Table of occupational diseases of the Social Security. The World Health Organization (WHO), in fact, already includes it in its International Classification of Diseases.

If I don't telecommute, I'm leaving the company: the lack of flexibility is leading many Spaniards to resign

the covid. The Gallup report also points out that the Old Continent has been, along with Asia, the territory that has seen its well-being most affected by the coronavirus pandemic. In both regions, well-being levels fell 5 points in 2021 compared to the previous year. “Workers in these regions not only feel that their current life was worse than before, but also that their hope for the future is fading,” the study says.

Discomfort drives the fight. The coronavirus pandemic has therefore caused a lot of discomfort, and for very different reasons, in a very important part of the world population, which has led, in turn, to many people rethinking some aspects of their lives, and work is one of the main ones.

Why do I have to spend two hours on the subway if I can work perfectly from home? Why do I have to lose two hours at noon on a split day? Why do I have to put work before family? And so, dozens of questions that have led to the many struggles currently open in the labor market, from telecommuting to a four-day work week, passing through flexible hours, intensive working hours or the rejection of jobs with precarious conditions, as well as as well as trends such as the Great Renunciation or the ghosting labor.

Image | Nubelson Fernandes

The coronavirus pandemic has changed many things. One of the most important is, without a doubt, the labor market. For…

The coronavirus pandemic has changed many things. One of the most important is, without a doubt, the labor market. For…

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