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Are Job Demands Different Than What They Were In The Past?

30 November 2021
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Workforce IssuesRelated CausesPotential Solutions
Schedule conflictsIncreased use of technology, expectations to be 'always on'Setting clear boundaries for work hours, using scheduling tools
Lack of work/life balanceLong work hours, blurred line between work and home due to remote workingPromoting self-care activities, encouraging breaks, offering flexible working options
Unrealistic deadlinesHigh demand, tight schedules, inadequate planningProper project planning, open communication with employees about workload
Constant learning and re-skilling needsEvolving nature of jobs, shifting skill requirementsProviding continuous learning opportunities, supporting career development
Increased anxiety and depressionHigh stress jobs, overuse of technology, lack of downtimePromoting mental health support, allowing time for relaxation
InsomniaOveruse of technology, stress from workPromoting healthy sleep habits, work/life balance
Constant need to adapt to new technologyEvolution of technology in the workplaceConsistent training and development, providing necessary resources
Increasing job changesChanging economic landscape, shifting career interestsSupporting employees during transitions, offering upskilling opportunities
Never-ending work due to remote workingLack of clear workspace/home space boundaries, always-on cultureDefining work hours, promoting healthy boundaries
Inability to disconnect from work during off hoursTechnology permeation, pressure to be connectedEncouraging time disconnected from work e-mail and messages, respect for personal time

A recent study found that the most common work-related stressors in today’s workforce are schedule conflicts, lack of work/life balance, and unrealistic deadlines. These all have a cumulative effect on worker health.  The number one cause for this is technology.

A survey by Deloitte revealed that over half of respondents find themselves checking email outside of working hours at least once per day with nearly 25% admitting to doing so five or more times per day! As well as being distracting, the problem is compounded because it means people are picking up their devices when they should be relaxing which increases their likelihood of developing symptoms such as insomnia, anxiety and depression. This is not what you want from your employees who are supposed to be rested and

In this blog post, we are going to discuss the changes that have occurred in today’s workplace. Since the workforce is constantly evolving, it’s important to stay up-to-date on what these changes entail so you can be sure you are prepared for them! 

The idea of a job being “a job for life” is no longer an option. Not only will people change jobs more often than they used to, but also their careers will evolve over time with different responsibilities and skill sets needed at various stages in one's career. This means that adapting to new skillsets may become necessary during your lifetime if you want to continue working at all! We'll explore some of these new demands below.

In the past, people went to school for a set amount of time and then found jobs. Today, we are required to go back to school in order to keep up with an ever-changing job market. Do you think this is true? 

  • Why do you believe that today's demands on workers are different than those in the past? 

  • What impact has this had on employees? 

  • How can companies help their employees meet these new challenges? 

  • How can individuals prepare themselves to meet the demands of today’s workplace? 

The steady stream of new technology that we face is making us work harder than ever. This makes it even more important for employees to maintain a healthy work/life balance and be able to sleep well and effectively manage their stress levels!  Here are some tips for making this achievable:

Schedule Time for Yourself 

It's important to schedule in time that is just for you. This includes downtime when you are not working, doing household chores or spending time with family or friends. If possible, try to set aside the same day and time each week. Make it a priority!  Remember you are not being anti-social by doing this. No one likes to hear about how unhappy someone is at work or how they dread having to go back.

Go for a Walk/Do Some Exercise

When you feel stress, your body releases the hormone cortisol which makes it difficult for you to focus and can increase feelings of depression and anxiety. Exercise can help to reduce these levels and get rid of that excess cortisol. It also releases endorphins which give you that natural high that will make you feel much better about yourself!  Exercise is not only good for your physical health; it is also the best way to de-stress after a long day at work, making it easier for you to sleep.

Keep a Journal

When you are having trouble sleeping at night, try writing in a journal before bedtime. This is one of the easiest ways to destress since it allows you to get whatever is on your mind out without worrying about what people think of you or how they will judge you. Writing gives us the opportunity to see things from a different perspective which can make it easier for us to make decisions and cope with problems.

Take Your Phone Out of Sight

It's always tempting to pick up your phone when you aren't busy, but try to resist the urge. This will keep you from getting distracted by any updates or other messages that pop up, keeping you focused on the task at hand. It will also free up your brain so you can relax instead of trying to multi-task!  If it's something that needs immediate attention, take notes but leave the phone aside for now. You don't want to develop bad habits!

Picture Your Goals

When you are having trouble sleeping, visualize what it is you want from your future. Think about your goals and the steps that you will need to take in order to achieve them. Thinking about what you want is a great way of showing yourself that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and giving yourself a greater sense of motivation!

It's become more common for people going into the workforce to have a degree. In years past, you could come into an entry-level position and gradually work your way up to management if you were willing to work hard. Now, there are those who start out as managers right from the get-go because they have a special skill set that is needed immediately. Regardless of whether or not you have a degree, you should be as prepared as possible for the 

work and making sure that you know what to expect from the work that will be expected of you. 

What is one piece of advice that would help people going into today's job market?  

Nowadays it is so much easier to stay connected with work from the time you clock out until the time you clock back in. In many cases people take their laptop home and continue working or start preparing for their next day as soon as they walk through the door after a hard days' work. Being efficient is great, but it's important to step away from your work and take some time for yourself. It doesn't have to be a full day or even an hour, but it's important to make time for yourself!

How is this different from what employers might expect in the past? 

As people are becoming more technologically advanced, the expectations placed on the employees change as well. There used to not be much emphasis on social media and having all of the latest gadgets, but many employers now expect everyone in the workplace to have access to these things. This means that people who don't have smartphones or laptops can be at a disadvantage. It might not show up in their résumé, but it will be an important factor when decisions are being made about promotion and raises.

How does this affect a person's work-life balance? 

Because of the rising expectations from companies, employees are being forced to work harder than ever before. There have even been cases of people who have taken their own lives because they feel as though they aren't able to meet all of the demands that are placed on them. It's important for people to have a good work-life balance in order to avoid burnout, so this becomes more and more of an issue all the time.

What are some of the common misconceptions about jobs in today's workplace?

There is a widespread misconception that people can work their way up to the top if they are talented and willing to put in the hours. While this was true in some cases years ago, it's much more common these days for managers to come out of school with only an undergrad degree and be placed right into management positions. There is also the misconception that everyone is an expert at social media, which isn't true since not everyone has the time to devote themselves to learning.  

How can employers help with this? 

Employers should find ways of hooking their employees up with a mentor. The mentor could be a current employee who works in a position they are trying to get to. It will not only help their company to stay at the top by retaining employees and giving them brighter prospects, but it can also help the individuals who are trying to advance in the workforce.

What is something that employers or job seekers would do well to know about each other? 

Employers should understand that while some jobs require you to be on social media during working hours, others shouldn't have any expectations placed upon them at all. And for those who do have to use their computers outside of work hours, there should be a clear delineation between personal and company time.

An employee's main responsibility is their employer's success…so if they're taking work home with them, they need to know how much time they be

Why do people have difficulty finding work they enjoy doing?

People generally stick with what they know, and most people don't enjoy job hunting. It's the kind of thing that you've got to work up to if you want any hope of finding something enjoyable. But it really only takes a small amount of effort and good networking skills and you can find a position that is right for you. It might take time, but it will all be worth it once you get there – and who knows – maybe you'll even make some great contacts in the process!

What is one piece of advice that would help people going into today's job market?  

One piece of advice I would give to those looking for jobs in today's market is to not limit themselves by gender stereotypes. There are plenty of females who would make great welders and plenty of men who would be happy to sell hair products. However, because we're so used to seeing one gender or another doing certain jobs, people sometimes think that they don't have what it takes to do the job well. While this is definitely not true in every situation, it's something you should keep in mind if you find yourself looking for work.

Schedule conflicts, Increased use of technology, expectations to be 'always on', Setting clear boundaries for work hours, using scheduling tools, Lack of work/life balance, Long work hours, blurred line between work and home due to remote working, Promoting self-care activities, encouraging breaks, offering flexible working options, Unrealistic deadlines, High demand, tight schedules, inadequate planning, Proper project planning, open communication with employees about workload, Constant learning and re-skilling needs, Evolving nature of jobs, shifting skill requirements, Providing continuous learning opportunities, supporting career development, Increased anxiety and depression, High stress jobs, overuse of technology, lack of downtime, Promoting mental health support, allowing time for relaxation, Insomnia, Overuse of technology, stress from work, Promoting healthy sleep habits, work/life balance, Constant need to adapt to new technology, Evolution of technology in the workplace, Consistent training and development, providing necessary resources, Increasing job changes, Changing economic landscape, shifting career interests, Supporting employees during transitions, offering upskilling opportunities, Never-ending work due to remote working, Lack of clear workspace/home space boundaries, always-on culture, Defining work hours, promoting healthy boundaries, Inability to disconnect from work during off hours, Technology permeation, pressure to be connected, Encouraging time disconnected from work e-mail and messages, respect for personal time
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Meryem Winstead

I graduated from the Family and Consumption Sciences Department at Hacettepe University. I hold certificates in blogging and personnel management. I have a Master's degree in English and have lived in the US for three years.

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