Workers Biggest Workplace Fears

A young man that has an intense headache.

By Chloe Gawrych

The workplace is a venue to accomplish goals and earn money, but for some workers it can also be a source of stress. Many Americans experience some kind of workplace fear, from the mundane to the life-impacting. But which of these fears affects the most US workers? Business.org conducted a study, in partnership with Lux Insights, to get to the bottom of this very question. A sample group of 5,000 people, 100 from each state, were surveyed for this report.

There are some pretty serious things to be afraid of in the workplace, from losing your job to sexual harassment. However, it seems like those concerns take a backseat for many American workers, with immediate compensation (or lack thereof) weighing heavily in their minds. According to the survey’s results, most Americans’ greatest workplace fear is not getting paid enough for their efforts. In fact, 64% of survey respondents indicated that being underpaid was their number one fear at work. Younger workers gave this concern more weight than older workers, with 52% of workers aged 18-34 indicating that being underpaid was something they were concerned about, while only 22% of older respondents called it out as a fear.

With compensation concerns taking the top spot, another scary workplace fear slid into second place. The second-highest-ranking concern among survey respondents was job loss. Of those surveyed, 22% indicated that losing their job was their biggest workplace fear. This is a big one — getting paid too little for work is one thing, but completely losing that work is another issue completely. Perhaps the low unemployment rate in the US right now contributes to some sense of security among US workers, making this percentage lower than it might otherwise be. Still, more than one-fifth of workers recognize job security as their number one fear at work.

While many workers are afraid of not being paid enough, others are worried about working too much. Being overworked came in at number three on the list of biggest workplace fears, with 14% of workers identifying it as their top concern. Working too much is known to have damaging effects on health and productivity, which may be part of the reason why so many workers are afraid of it.

For more insights, read the full report here: https://www.business.org/hr/culture/biggest-workplace-fears/

Chloe Gawrych is a business expert at Business.org. Over the past 10 years, she’s worked with many small businesses, from game stores to law firms. She wants to help business owners spend less time agonizing over their businesses so they can spend more time running them.

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