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These are 5 of the most surprising workplace statistics

3 Dec 2018

There has been a lot of research conducted on the world of work. These figures, however, particularly caught our attention.

The working world is frequently in the crosshairs of researchers because it’s relevant to pretty much all the population. The majority of people in the world will, at some point in their lives, enter the world of work.

Due to this, there are a lot of statistics about working life floating around, yet these five workplace statistics in particular stood out as some of the most surprising findings we have seen.

Women and Johns

The New York Times’ expanded and updated Glass Ceiling Index this year revealed that men named John, despite only representing 3.3pc of the male population, fare much better in the realms of business, politics, law, tech, academia, film and media than women do.

There are, for example, more Fortune 500 chief executives than there are female ones. If your name is John, you are also more likely to be a Republican senator or Democratic governor.

As well as John, names such as David, James, Peter and Robert also dominated top positions spread across a swathe of industries, something which The New York Times points out also indicates the “whiteness of many institutions of American politics, culture and education”.

The racial pay gap in the NHS

Black NHS doctors are paid on average almost £10,000 per year less than their white counterparts, according to a salary study on the UK health service released this year.

The NHS Digital report, according to The Week, examined the pay of 750,000 NHS staff ranging from consultants to midwives to porters, and observed a racial pay gap at all levels. Ethnic minorities make up close to 20pc of the 1.2m people currently employed by the health service.

Speaking to The Guardian, chair of the British Medical Association, Dr Chaand Nagpaul, decried the findings, saying that it “cannot be right” that such a gap exists between the remuneration of doctors. “Irrespective of their background, they hold positions to deliver the same care to patients.”

Nagpaul also noted that black and minority ethnic doctors are more likely to be referred to the General Medical Council, are more likely to have their cases investigated and are more likely to face harsh sanctions following an investigation.

Employees never go outside

According to a survey released by interior landscaping company Ambius, 35pc of US office workers spend less than 15 minutes outside each day.

The company petitioned 1,000 officers regarding their outdoor habits and found that most spent an alarmingly limited amount of time outdoors. Excluding time spent commuting, 35pc only spend 15 minutes a day outside and an additional 13pc spend a maximum of 30 minutes. Only 26pc claimed to spend more than an hour outside a day.

Kenneth Freeman, head of innovation at Ambius, commented: “It is worrying how little time people are spending outside during the working day. Whether this is on purpose or not, we should all make a conscious effort to ensure we are finding the time in our day to reconnect with nature in some way – even a 10-minute walk outside at lunchtime can be restorative.”

The cost of disengaged workers

Employee disengagement is a problem that can make or break an organisation. If employees are engaged, enterprises can expect to make more revenue, have lower staff turnover and generally run better.

In turn, when employees are disengaged – which 70pc are, according to Gallup – they can drive up costs. In total, it is estimated that disengaged workers cost the US economy between $450 and $550bn per annum.

45pc of employees have gained weight at their current job

More than two in five employees in the US believe that they have gained weight in their current job, according to findings released by CareerBuilder. One-quarter say they have gained more than 10lbs (4.5kg) at their current job while 10pc believe they have gained more than 20lbs (9kg).

For many, the blame lies with the sedentary lifestyle that is often a large part of office working life. After work, many employees report feeling too tired to exercise. Workers also cite stress eating (38pc), eating out regularly (24pc) and the temptation of the office sweets jar (16pc) as culprits.

Eva Short
By Eva Short

Eva Short was a journalist at Silicon Republic, specialising in the areas of tech, data privacy, business, cybersecurity, AI, automation and future of work, among others.

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