The U.S. is known for its commitment to big businesses and the jobs that those companies create for the citizens of the country. The conditions of those jobs aren’t always that friendly to the workers, though. As more job opportunities have opened up with freelancing and remote work, traditional jobs have become less attractive to some folks.
What exactly do we mean when we discuss work conditions? There’s obviously salary and benefits such as medical and vacation days. Then there’s the matter of creating a work environment that supports all workers no matter what their gender, race, or sexual orientation is.
We’ll discuss all the things that businesses can do to better support their workers in 2022. We’ll also answer some questions about how businesses handle workers getting hurt on the job.
Does workers comp cover pain and suffering? How can businesses do more to make sure their employees are happy and healthy? And in turn, will put the employees first benefit the business overall?
Treating Workers Like Human Beings
Many people spend over 40 hours a week at their jobs. Say they work at that job for 40 years. Doing some quick calculations means these people would be spending nine-and-a-half years of their life inside the office.
It is simply inhumane for companies to ignore the needs of their employees on an emotional, mental, and physical level when the employees are pouring this much of their lives into the enterprise. How can higher-ups give more attention to people’s needs at their jobs?
It starts with realizing that work is not the most important thing in someone’s life. It, unfortunately, becomes the only thing most of us think about daily because so many jobs require 40 or more hours weekly.
Rent, food, and other necessities are expensive and continue to rise with inflation. Workers must accumulate enough money to survive under these harsh conditions.
This obsession with doing your job makes the quality of an employee’s work dip and shortens the quality of spare time with their friends. This is unfortunate because everyone needs to prioritize themselves and their families no matter what job they do. This creates mental and emotional distress that can be fixed if bosses let their workers put themselves first.
Priorities need to be set accordingly. Vacation days must be a lot higher than they are at most companies. If someone wants a day off to go on a romantic date with someone, why should work interfere with finding love?
What about people juggling their kids’ school schedules with their jobs? If a mom needs to come into work an hour later than everyone else so they can get their kid to school on time, let them do it, no questions asked. It’s amazing that these things need to even be said. Family and social well-being are vital to overall health.
Some bosses are too stubborn about workers’ hours. They might be able to see that the productivity benefits of healthy workers will help the bottom line of the enterprise. Thinking about the employee first will benefit every party involved, from the CEO to the families of the workers back at home.
Compensation After Injury
A lot of jobs that require hard labor present a lot of risks to the company. Let’s say someone is a young driver for a pizza chain and they get into an accident on the job. Workers’ compensation will cover the money lost from the worker missing time on the job, along with medical expenses for the injured person.
It won’t cover the emotional and mental toll of such an occurrence. Workers’ compensation laws are limited in how they protect workers’ health beyond physical injury. Pain and suffering is a broad term, and most of the time the term cuts off mental and emotional health from the discussion.
Workers sometimes feel they are being used as part of a machine. Businesses should take the initiative to show people they care about the things that happen to their employees at work. They can still prevent lawsuits, but they should make sure they put more programs in place to help people recover from trauma.
Let them know they can take as much time off from work as they need. Don’t put a hard limit on the recovery, but instead personalize it to the individual. This will show workers that they are respected and their employers trust them to come back when they have completely healed and recovered.
They will trust that their job values them as a person and they will be excited to come back and contribute to that work culture again.
The same thing applies to medical insurance. So many companies find ways to prevent their workers from receiving medical insurance benefits. They make a worker a part-time employee instead of full-time. They might exclude eye and dental benefits from the insurance package.
It is important for jobs to give insurance like USAA medical insurance to their workers not only for their personal well-being but also for their company’s benefit. Healthy workers will produce better results and profits. It’s ironic how most of the ways companies can improve their treatment of workers will also help the bottom line in the long run.
Make Work Feel Like a Team
Going to work shouldn’t feel like misery. If everything falls into place like we’ve described above, where workers’ lives are valued and appreciated beyond what they do between 9 and 5, a business should feel like a championship athletics team.
Everyone is working toward one goal. People are helping each other succeed. They are serving the community through products and services. They are aiding customers in their needs. The working environment becomes one big, healthy ecosystem.
This should be the moral intention of all businesses. If it ever happens, American business can be as great as it tries to appear. All parts of the business working together will allow the corporate world to expand and fulfill its purpose of providing everyone with a well-rounded career that isn’t at the expense of personal happiness.
Shawn Laib writes and researches for the legal site, FreeAdvice.com. He wants to help people understand how they can ask to receive better treatment at their jobs.