Workers are Satisfied

May 24th, 2023

This week in Ryan’s Weekly Wave: Companies allow employees to work remotely again, black unemployment reaches record lows, and many workers actually like their jobs.

Despite news cycles dominated by negativity, one positive data point may be a bit surprising. Many workers are actually satisfied with their jobs.

Read more about this in the Deep Dive Section below. 

In the News

New Normal ‘Reignited:’ Recently more companies had been asking their employees to return to the physical office but suddenly that trend appears to be reversing. (Wall Street Journal)

  • The rate of companies that require employees to be in the office has declined to 42% from 49% in the past 3 months.

More 4 Day Work Week Legislation: Lawmakers in Pennsylvania have introduced tax-credit incentives for employers who provide a 4 day work week. (WGAL)

In the Office: A survey examined preferences for type of work arrangement. The results show that more people want to work in-person than hybrid or remote. (iHire)

  • 36.3% of all respondents preferred in person work compared to 32.3% for remote and 31.5% hybrid.
  • 18-30 year olds preferred in-person work by a wider margin with 43.6% choosing in-person, compared to 29.6% for remote and 25.4% hybrid.

There has been increasing scrutiny on the negative impacts that remote work has had on young workers who have yet to establish themselves in their careers.

*It should be noted that a majority of all age groups still prefer flexible work (either remote or hybrid) over in-person.

Other News

Black Unemployment: Recently, record lows have been recorded. (Reuters)

High Times: As marijuana legalization spreads, more workers than ever are testing positive on their pre-employment drug screenings. (Yahoo Finance)


The Case for Obligation – Brad Stulberg – (NY Times)

  • How fulfilling can life truly be if it is lived merely for oneself? 

A Deeper Dive – Worker Satisfaction

Despite all the hype about disgruntled workers and the recent complaining about Covid-19, worker satisfaction is actually on an upswing. (Conference Board

In fact, it is now at a record high.

Worker satisfaction

In the 2023 data, 62% of employees indicated overall satisfaction with their jobs (CNN Business). This increase of 2.1% from the prior year continues a recent upward trend. 

What is Going Well?

According to Conference Board researchers, workers are leveraging a tight labor market to increase their pay. Additionally, better benefits, improved working conditions, and more flexible work arrangements also may contribute to this rise in satisfaction.

Of the 26 factors included in the survey, hybrid workers were most satisfied. Interestingly, this group was even more satisfied than fully remote workers, which may give credibility to those who claim that being around other people has a positive impact on our well-being.

Impacts on Women

The survey continues to show that women do experience less job satisfaction than men. Researchers speculate that this is largely because women tend to be the primary caregivers for young children. As a result, they may be more bothered by the skimpy paid time off and parental leave policies that exist within many US companies.

It will be interesting to see if this trend continues.

What I’m Reading

The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload – Daniel J. Levitin

This book examines the way our brains organize information.It exposes our natural shortcomings and provides insights on how to take advantage of its strengths. Of particular interest to me is how we tend to overwhelm our brains by switching focus from one cognitively demanding task to another. When we succumb to this habit of caving to temptation, it raises our stress and undermines the chance of maintaining a meaningful focus.

The so-called “attention economy” is exacerbating this issue. Here are some tips on how to resist the many forces who compete for our attention.

Quote of the Week

“Man misses the only satisfaction that can give him real happiness — the experience of the activity of the present moment — and chases after a phantom that leaves him disappointed as soon as he believes he has caught it — the illusory happiness called success.” 

– Erich Fromm 

Articles of the Week

If you have questions, your baby may have answers. Yes, your baby. Or any baby. (Ovia Health)

Can you hold two contradictory ideas in your head at once and manage the tension? (Margo Aaron – That Seems Important Blog)

Before ‘Getting Your Side Hustle On,’ or whatever they call it, consider these factors. (Women who Money)

From Deep Dive Careers: Is an Obsession with Sexy Jobs Holding YOU Back?

  • The allure of a sexy job can be blinding. 

Other Fun Stuff

The Social Security Administration released its list of the most popular boy and girl baby names for 2022. (SSA)

As a reminder, sometimes humans are supposed to feel negative emotions. Remember this before engaging in Toxic Positivity. (Twitter Thread)

Dad Joke of the Week

Dada says: 

“My boss always used to laugh at my jokes in the office but stopped laughing now that we’re on video calls. She says my jokes aren’t remotely funny.”

*This post may contain affiliate links. These help financially support the Deep Dive Careers platform.

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