Toxic office: 1 in 5 employees hate their work environment, 1 in 3 don’t trust HR department

BERKELEY, Calif. — What’s fueling America’s “Great Resignation”? A new poll suggests that many workers simply aren’t happy where they’re currently working. Moreover, nearly as many employees say their current workplace is toxic and they can’t trust the people they work for.

In the survey, commissioned by ARRIS Composites, 74 percent of respondents report being happy with their jobs. Of those, women are slightly unhappier than men with their current roles (27%) when compared to the 24 percent of men who are displeased with their job.

Overall, more than one in four Americans say they’re currently on the search for a new job. This recent rise in people leaving jobs, dubbed “The Great Resignation,” is still in full throttle. In fact, if they haven’t started yet, 40 percent say they are planning to start exploring other options in 2023.

While another job may have more attractive benefits, one reason people are considering leaving is how their current job makes them feel. Thirty percent of participants say they don’t feel valued where they are currently employed. Again, this number is slightly higher among women (33%) compared to 25 percent of men who feel similarly.

The pandemic was something of a wakeup call for many when it comes to their job happiness. That’s why it isn’t surprising that 12 percent of Americans claim to have left their job in the last year.

job happiness

What do people look for in a workplace?

It’s up to employers to create an appealing workplace for those looking to change pace. Sixty-nine percent of the people surveyed reveal they have worked in a toxic workplace, while one in five are currently working in one. It makes sense then why 73 percent say they would perform better at a company that prioritizes company culture.

Moving forward, the most important thing 62 percent of respondents want is more competitive salaries in 2023. Similarly, 29 percent hope for more upward mobility and promotion opportunities and 28 percent favor paid time off and vacation benefits. Health insurance and benefits like 401K plans are also high on the list of valued company perks.

With the skyrocketing popularity of remote work over the past few years, 47 percent of American workers say they’ll only be open to jobs with work-from-home options. Two in three respondents (69%) have set a stricter emphasis on work/life balance compared to two years ago.

Working remotely is not only appealing to employees, but it can also be a strategic change for companies. A new study suggests that remote work doesn’t lower productivity and may even foster greater companywide resilience.

Another trend seen in the survey was distrust between employees and their higher-ups. In fact, 34 percent of participants say they don’t trust their HR representative, and one in three don’t feel comfortable going to their manager with workplace issues.

Survey methodology:

In October 2022, a survey was conducted with 1,002 full-time workers from across the U.S. The average age was 38-years-old with 49% identifying as male, 49% as female, and 2% as non-binary or transgender.

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About the Author

Sophia Naughton

Meet StudyFinds’ Associate Editor, Sophia Naughton. Sophia graduated Magna Cum Laude from Towson University with a Bachelor of Science in Mass Communication directly focused in journalism and advertising. She is also a freelance writer for Baltimore Magazine. Outside of writing, her best buddy is her spotted Pit Bull, Terrance.

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  1. Many workplaces are owned by investment groups that just want to make money. They often want their employees to abandon best practices, just pay lip service to client relationships and are ready to just fire everyone because they are not making enough money when in fact the employees are bringing in more than ever before. People that don’t really know your job want you to do boneheaded things and when that doesn’t work, you see another employee being escorted out.
    It’s awful.

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