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Women More Engaged Than Men at Work


A recent poll found that more workers have “checked out” of their jobs mentally, but that women tend to be more engaged at work than men. Part of that might have to do with the fact that women are more likely to take advantage of flex time, which contributes to a person’s sense of independence and satisfaction.

According to Gallup Poll’s State of the American Workplace 2011-12 report, 70 percent of the American workforce aren’t interested in their job and don’t care about doing it well. 

“Since the financial meltdown of 2008 and the recession that followed, the American workforce has struggled to adapt to an uncertain economic climate,” says the Gallup Business Journal. “Sluggish growth, persistently high unemployment, and sharp spending cuts by businesses and consumers alike have taken a toll.”

A third of full-time workers are “actively engaged,” in other words, a model employee. Fifty-two percent say they’re “not engaged,” or emotionally distant, in zombie mode for the duration of their shift. Eighteen percent are “actively disengaged,” which means 20 million people in the U.S. hate going to work so much that they purposely sabotage their jobs and hurt productivity.

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But get this: Women, despite the pay gap and promotion bias, say they’re more committed to work than men. The Atlantic wrote this week about the distinction, chalking it up to women’s tendency to utilize flex time more than the guys (Gallup didn’t rationalize the disparity). Thirty-three percent of women reported feeling actively engaged at work compared to 28 percent of men.

“Workplace flexibility reduces work-family stress, which frees people emotionally to engage more at work and to commit their personal best to the work group, products, and organization,” The Atlantic notes. “Commitment begets productivity and bottom line results–something every boss and business wants.”

If those poll results are going to change, maybe more employers should offer scheduling flexibility that caters to people with families. And maybe men should start taking advantage of the perk as much as women. Especially since more men are taking on caregiving roles at home.

Tell Us What You Think

Are you engaged at your job? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.

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(Photo credit: Victor1558 / Flickr)

Jennifer Wadsworth
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