U.S. Workers Whine About Work-Life Balance

Did you know that Americans rank 4th on an international scale of worldwide workplace whiners?  Yup we sure do according to an FDS International survey!  This research involved 13,832 workers from 18 years of age on up in 23 countries across the world.  Workers were found to whine about several different things including pay and weekly working hours.  I don’t buy into it.  In my opinion it’s an antiquated way of looking at things.  Work-life balance is so much more than income, working hours, etc.  People I speak with aren’t whining they are genuinely concerned, there’s a difference!  I don’t think that a survey that labels people as whiners is accomplishing anything.

According to an FDS International survey released last Monday, Americans rank 4th on an international scale of worldwide workplace whiners.

The findings appear in the report What Workers Want: A Worldwide Study of Attitudes to Work and Work-Life Balance. The research involved 13,832 workers aged 18 and older in 23 countries across the world.

The Work Whining findings are based on a number of factors, including percentage of workers unhappy with pay, actual income relative to cost of living, percentage of workers who feel work impinges on private life, and average weekly working hours.

The following table consists of what FDS calls the 10 “Most Demanding” workers (those with the highest overall whiniest rank):

Now, this is all fine and good. It makes for catchy headlines, provocative discussions and finger-pointing.

I don’t buy into the premise. To me, it’s an antiquated way of looking at things. First, work-life balance is so much more than income, working hours, and impingement on private life. Second, framing the discussion in these terms is a way corporations attempt to establish the “work-life” or “work-family” discussion that’s most favorable to them.

The fact of the matter is that work and life don’t have to be mutually exclusive, and the work-life discussion needn’t be adversarial. Corporations that realize this are the ones that attract and retain good people, and grow and prosper as a result.

People that I speak with aren’t whining – they’re genuinely concerned.
They aren’t grumbling about their pay and the cost of living – they’ve
come to realize that time is the new currency and the clock is ticking
because they don’t have enough of it.

I don’t witness people complaining, and I don’t see them waiting for someone else (their employers) to fix things. I see them taking responsibility for themselves and searching for ways to meet their goals – to live the lives that they desire.

Surveys labeling people as “whiners” don’t accomplish anything, and they certainly don’t do justice to what we’re all experiencing – dramatic changes in the workplace, family roles being redefined, and a world that operates at the speed at technology.

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