Work Intensification

“People at increased risk of burnout due to more demanding workdays, TUC says”
The Guardian, 23 July 2023

Are we reaching the end game for the version of work on offer in today’s last stage capitalism? The machine is running so hard that the cogs are breaking faster than they can be replaced. The damage to people and society is reaching an intolerable level.

‘Increasing work loads, hours and stress’ is one of the six Forces of Crapification, that have been combining to degrade the work experience over the past four decades. According to research by the UK’s TUC, people are facing more intense working days than ever, with less time for their private lives and an increased risk of burnout.

This intensification of work is due to ‘a “perfect storm” that includes the use of technology and surveillance to enforce unsustainable productivity targets, and staff shortages caused by low pay and excessive workloads. This is worsened by a decline in collective bargaining and a lack of enforcement of working time regulations’, says the report.

Getting a regular job used to be a goal for many, the foundation to building a full and rewarding life. Now, it is more like a sentence to hard labour in a prison camp. Gruelling, exhausting, all consuming and delivering a poor quality of life.

Over half reported that work had become more intense and demanding, and three out of five said they felt exhausted at the end of the working day.

In other news, the 4 Day Week trial was a resounding success.

How can some companies be reducing hours whilst others are ramping them, and the pressure, up?

The UK has a productivity gap to it’s competitors (e.g. France, Germany) of around 10% but, more alarmingly, between the top companies and the rest. Those top companies are globally competitive, so the rest are even more than 10% behind.

Their response seems to be to drive their employees harder and harder but it’s not working. No matter how hard they squeeze, there’s no more juice in the lemon.

Clearly, there ARE solutions that do not involve driving staff into the ground. They are known and they are not even that hard to implement.

Why aren’t organisations doing it?

Is it that the leaders of these organisations are incapable, or are they just callous?

Work can, and should, be a positive part of our lives, something that adds to our enjoyment and appreciation of life. It can be a playground.

It seems it is, for many, a prison and the regime is getting worse by the day.

So what can YOU do? The answer is to set firm boundaries and stand by them. Easy to say but hard to do when you’re constantly being brow-beaten into giving more. However, it IS the way to resolve this.

It’s time to push back, for your health and your sanity.

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