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A ‘Disturbingly High’ Number of Americans Think Their Workplace Is Hostile

Aug 14, 2017

A survey of American workers finds many feel stressed, face hazardous conditions, and even hostile environments at their place of employment.

The RAND Corporation, alongside Harvard Medical School and the University of California, Los Angeles surveyed over 3,000 American workers about conditions on the job. The study was conducted in 2015 and aims to eventually draw comparisons between American and European workers, the Associated Press reports.

According to the results of the 2015 American Working Conditions Survey, over half, 55% of U.S. workers say they work in "unpleasant and potentially hazardous" conditions, according to the survey's findings. About 75% say at least a quarter of their time at work is spent carrying out "intense or repetitive" physical labor, and around 20% say they face work under hostile conditions, which include sexual harassment reported by many young women and reports of bullying by younger men. Those without college education face some of the toughest conditions, according to the survey.

Americans also report having trouble taking off work to meet personal obligations and most, 78%, say they must be physically present on the job every day.

“There’s a message for employers here,” lead author Nicole Maestas told the Associated Press. “Working conditions really do matter.”

The results weren't all bad, though. The vast majority of Americans feel autonomous—80% get to try out their own ideas at work. Over half say they have supportive bosses and good friends in the workplace.

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