Work in America Is Greedy. But It Doesn’t Have to Be.

Long, inflexible hours are the norm. But in a tight job market, more companies are offering flexibility on the when and where of work.

Comments: 80

  1. Generally, businesses don't deserve our commitment. Yes, there are entities that combine business with nobler aims, e.g., environmental concerns, healthcare, human welfare, etc., but my sense is that people are fooled into the notion of work as being redemptive and uplifting. It isn't. Across the developed world, more work is associated with less human welfare outcomes and a tendency toward higher inequality. Although Americans might get a little smarter and realize that the US has a huge deficit in social welfare for our cultural tendency toward work, enforced and enshrined in laws and policies that benefit corporations, it is not likely to change significantly.

  2. @James Igoe All well said. We only have to look at our lack of paid maternity leave beyond six weeks, compared to other countries that give their employees a year. I left the corporate world in my early 30s and never looked back. Started my own biz and although I work more hours for myself than I did for others, it's a pleasure to do so on my own terms. To take off when I choose without asking permission.

  3. Over the years - yes I am a somewhat jaded older worker - the idea of being a good highly productive employee has really turned. I am still highly productive, creating quality software products for people, or leading people to positive outcomes, but I am much more aware that companies don't matter. Few corporations have a mission that is worth devoting one's energies to. They are just business entities that don't deserve our commitment. I am much more likely to ask, how good is that employer, and how good is that employer for me. After 25 years in the financial sector, I took a role with a major cancer center, and part of the reason behind that was its high rating as an employer. Compared to finance, which is harmful to our collective welfare, my new employer devotes resources to human development and provides a better quality of life, besides having a mission one does not feel ashamed about. Sadly, the US will never be a country concerned about human welfare - at least in the near future - where life matters more than work.

  4. @James Igoe That is exactly why I left the corporate field and joined the non-profit one. I figured if I’m going to put all this time in, I may as well do it for something I believe in. Best decision I ever made. I made less money, but I was a happy camper.

  5. @James Igoe Give them time, a new CEO and greedy Boards. When I left the financial sector 10 years ago, I thought I'd left the sweatshop. I moved to a non-profit hospital. Three years in, new CEO who was determined to cut costs. Hundreds laid off and few new hires, the rest of us just took on the extra work. Extra time off, gone. Sick days converted to PTO. Quality of life = 0.

  6. @James Igoe In the corporate world my goal is to do as little as possible for as much pay as possible, while my employer has the exact opposite goal. The visions and missions are not inspiring.

  7. Flexibility sounds good in principle, but for many, it will only mean time devoted to work and irregular scheduling. For myself, I enjoy being able to work remotely a couple of days a week and limited management flexibility on my hours, but for many Slack-like apps on their phones, remote dial-ins and links, and remote work itself will mean more work and more work off-hours. It can reduce stress in one form, e.g., the conflict between one's personal life demands while increasing it overall or off hours. Yes, if managed correctly, it does not have to encroach on one's life and can enhance it, but in many ways, it will only be a way to extract more work from people.

  8. There was plenty to do at work and lots of money to be made. I saw men work themselves almost to death. Some of us followed the credo “Pigs get fat, Hogs get slaughtered”. It worked for me.

  9. I’m a physician. I have a commitment to my patients but no loyalty to my employer. Why? Salaried physicians now work inflexible schedules set by their MBA masters and their sycophant overpaid physician administrators. Once a doctor, now a line worker in one of the greed professions not mentioned by the author, modern American medicine. It’s now all about the customers and the brand. Gag me with a tongue depressor.

  10. @Cold Liberal Completely agree. It's just going to get worse as there is more consolidation in healthcare and private equity groups buy physician practices.

  11. @Cold Liberal Great post. Not to mention that these MBA masters are often people of weak intellects, majoring in non-engineering or non-hard sciences/mathematics in undergrad. They get an undergrad degree in History etc., spend a year or two in a Hospital Administrative Fellowship, then spend a couple years pretending they know something as a junior administrator, then get an MBA at a second tier program, and then spend the rest of working lives bossing around physicians as if they are chattel. This is the reality of modern American medicine. Solution: No easy solutions here for physicians. Concierge medicine is a possibility. Physicians need to unionize (and get back their bargaining power at the table of power), and I have no idea why they have not. Perhaps there are legal reasons, but if nurses and other medical personnel can unionize, why can't physicians in hospital systems?

  12. I hope you read my comment and share it at your next professional meeting. You all need to change Federal CMS (DHS Medicare) rules that give higher fees to corporatized “hospitals,” which are in reality conglomerate office practices. I think the AMA has a position on this. (My allied health association does.) Private practices of the old S-Corp doctor-owned style are financially disadvantaged in reimbursement. There’s an element of outcomes-based review in Medicare that adds to the disadvantage. Since records-related measures are implemented across a whole corporation, a corporation has a financial advantage instantly because corporate processes count towards the quality review scores. We expect without changing this rule, individual practitioners of allied health will go out of business within a couple of years.

  13. Level of happiness....just look at the number of people on anti-depressants, drinking more and have trouble sleeping. I have never heard a eulogy about how hard an individual worked. If an employer can get rid of you they will. There is always a new technology or someone willing to work for less. Never have your orbituary title state: _________ worked as a __________ for 38 years. If that is the best summary of your life then you made a big mistake.

  14. I like how treating people decently, providing flexibility and decent pay, is suddenly touted as a management innovation.

  15. If you have to work together as a teams he adding a skill, that contribution time slot has to take precedence. Many production jobs, including back office jobs, have key periods throughout the day when everyone on the team absolutely has to be at work doing their piece of repetitive tasks down by everyone. If you have a large team of people below supervisor level, with varying experience and assessed maturity levels, HR policies can restrict variations. At one level, giving flexibility, beyond standard days off, to someone in a clerical role that has proven to be responsible for 10 years makes excellent business sense. Refusing to do the same for someone that has worked 18 months and has done a barely adequate job leaves the firm open to complaints and possible legal action. The usual response is one rule must fit all. The communication tools mentioned are standard with most large firms. The biggest problem with e-mail vs. instant messaging is that people expect instant responses from instant messaging. E-mail is asynchronous, allowing reader time to evaluate and set priorities. The pattern usually is an e-mail followed a few minutes later by an IM asking for the same response. I have had people IM me during a meeting when we both are at the same meeting , conducted remotely and I was the presenter, speaking. If you want to reduce stress and increase flexibility, ban IMs.

  16. @Michael Blazin I agree about banning IMs. I don't want to be interrupted. Any thoughtful response from me is going to require... time for thought. Email is the perfect tool. I've also never checked email after hours in 4 different corporate jobs. Never received any complaints.

  17. I survived 40 years of Silicon Valley by understanding that I was bought and paid for by the company and that I could be thrown aside at any moment. Thank God I loved the work, but I ignored any praise, took the money, and internalized the rest of my reward system. I would like to hope that as my child heads out into the working world that things have changed. I really do hope.

  18. Unending loyalty? Where is this exactly? That sort of thing died out 30 years ago. Everyone knows they're on the block the moment the company and its execs face losing dime on in profits and bonuses. Maybe in Silicon Valley where stock options are a vested interest in working like a slave, everywhere else this just isn't a thing anymore. And your example in hospitality? That's how that's ALWAYS worked. As someone who worked in the industry for 30 years exceedingly rare was ever the time that I couldn't book a day off. And even then there was generally always someone willing to trade of pick up an extra shift outright. The only thing people are doing these days is always looking for another job that's better.

  19. Great point about how inflexibility disproportionately impacts those who are expected to rear children the most.

  20. Speaking from the perspective of a retired person, working for a corporation generally sucks. You have to deal with people telling you what to do, when to do it, even how to do it in many cases. You have to make an appearance daily, sit in an open plan office where you can't even burp or pass gas w/o someone snickering, deal with the incessant politics and the latest management/business/personnel crisis. Oh and don't forget the daily commute that drains your soul, especially of you live in a crowded major coastal metropolitan area, like the SF Bay Area, for example. In truth, what passes for work is mostly repetitious drudgery where you try to look busy and productive so you don't get fired or laid off. Work is generally a place holder while waiting for retirement to happen. Imagine if you knew that after being born, you would go through 18 years of parenting and basic schooling, followed by 4 years or so of college and then 40+ years of mostly unrelenting drudgery as a preliminary to finally being able to relax in retirement, assuming you saved adequately to do so. Would you choose to be born in those circumstances? I would not!

  21. That’s an extremely limited group. Can a single Walmart store even function if it were composed of 150 individual entrepreneurs?

  22. @From Where I Sit Actually, that's the model we're moving towards. All employees are 1099 contractors, no retirement or healthcare benefits, who "run their own businesses" toiling at the Big Box Warehouse retailer/distribution center/xyz.

  23. @Joseph I'm lucky and from that bygone era (now 70). Worked 45 years. Self-employed the last seven years before retirement. It was a delight - highest earnings, set my hours and days. Clients within a ten minute drive, or worked exclusively at home. Chose the work that most interested me and was greatly appreciated by clients. Anything close to "drudgery" in the early years was valued for what it taught me about work, people or myself. No need for a "transition" to retirement.

  24. As a full-time working mother of two young boys, with a job at which I could be highly successful from home 80 percent of the time, I will be elated to find the moment common sense catches up to organizational structure. Of course parents would be happier removing some of the stress toll of parenting in abstentia via text message and covert phone calls to child care providers and neighbors filling in for us. Productivity will increase infinitely with only a bit of flexibility. As my co-worker once said, "When I am a benevolent dictator..."

  25. Work in American is greedy?! Corporations in America are greedy.

  26. "Work" in America isn't greedy. It's the monsters who run the companies and business that are greedy.

  27. @Van Owen - It's the coupon-clipping, passive-income, non-productive, stockholding Predatory "Capitalists" who lean on those "monster" managers for max profits THIS quarter, not NEXT quarter, without concern for the bigger picture of the long-term societal and environmental health of citizens, who are the greedy ones, doncha' think?

  28. @Van Owen - the people whom are successful and remain at large organisations are largely the people that are willing to sacrifice any and all personal values, ethics, etc and substitute in their place the 'values' (greed), mis-ethics, etc of the organisation they work for. It becomes a self-reinforcing loop, those with normative values are forced out or sidelined. What remains are those, acting as an appendage of the organisation, that are willing to treat their fellow man in most unkind and inhuman ways on behalf of the organisation. Whether for-profit, government or charity/nonprofit - spread across several industries - I have seen time and again co-workers and industry colleagues act and treat people in ways they would never have done, if not part of said large organisation. In some ways it seems to be a problem of scale. The larger the scale, seemingly the more inhuman - and things are only scaling up. For my generation (gen X), it was at one time a genuine question of how the atrocities of the mid 20th century occurred, how seemingly good people were complicit. Sadly, that is no longer a genuine question for people from my generation - or more tragically - any of the following generations. I don't know where it stops - I continue to speak out ever more forcefully and vocally. Am all ears of what else one can do - and please none of the quite un-helpful vote for this or that (and I do vote) - but the political system is now part of the problem.

  29. About 100 years ago, as the result of the industrial revolution and labor unrest, we got the 40-hour work week. In the 1990s, we had an information revolution that forever changed how we work and significantly increased our efficiency and productivity. But there was no reduction in work hours for this later revolution. I'm not interested in flex time if my boss also has the flexibility to ask for more of my time. I don't want to work 4 10-hour days. We need a 30-hour work week. And those people should be stretching their pre-run cold muscles so hard.

  30. @DC yes, the 40 hour work week standard needs to go. Part of my job is just being available, so I'm stuck at 40 hours even though most weeks it could easily be 30.

  31. Flexibility to work all the time from home, until the next downturn. Then you will be let go.

  32. I am a very conservative man when it comes to social and political issues. On the other hand, I absolutely loathe american corporate culture. I've always felt like I was looked down upon because I was never willing to sacrifice extra time or energy for my employers outside working hours. I do not understand people (outside of those where it is necessary law enforcement, medicine, military) who willingly sacrifice themselves for their employers. Greedy mega-corporations thrive on encouraging employee burnout. All anyone needs to do is read the NYT article on working at Amazon.

  33. There are still employers who do good things and treat people decently. They are usually the small businesses that this country was built on--ones where the owners work beside their employees, or at least near them. what we have now are big corporations with lots of investors, who know nothing about what they are investing in, other than the dividends they pay. The relationship between owner, producer, product, and consumer has never been more fragmented or misaligned.

  34. @Cantaloupe this is spot on

  35. I've been reading stories like this for decades. And yet I have never, ever worked for an employer that offered this kind of flexibility. Personally, I think it's a pipe dream. Certainly for low-level office workers like myself ...

  36. @Martha Goff The reporting staff of the NYT is an elite subclass. They report on what they experience.

  37. @Martha Goff I hear you; it is rare but does exist. I know because I am a low-level administrator, and have worked from home for the past 4 years, on a flex schedule limited only by availability of Federal databases. I work for a government subcontractor. It isn't paradise by a long shot ... training online leaves a lot to be desired, and mandatory overtime for crunch time exists, but it exists, and works very well.

  38. It's cheaper than pay raises.

  39. Whether or not you will be offered flexible options depends greatly on how likely your employer thinks you are to go elsewhere. Sure, Silicon Valley tech wizzes will get flexible options -- their skills are in demand and many other employers will snap them up. If they are afraid you'll leave, they'll make concessions. If not, they won't. Most of us in middle ranks in cube farms, whose skills are not hotly in demand or who are over 50, will be told 'You don't like the deal here? There's the door.' Why offer anything extra to someone who isn't going anywhere if you don't?

  40. @Nikki Actually, not so much. The big tech behemoths bus their workers in every day, mandatory. Workism is rampant. If you are in a startup, it's because you want to be a millionaire (you won't) so it's 24/7.

  41. I'm 60 gave up the corporate life about 16 years ago...the stock options, the 401K, the relentless travel, the idiotic hours, etc. I still work (light construction) and live somewhat modestly...a 10-year-old car and no cooking trips to Tuscany...but I haven't regretted it for one second. Honestly, some days I truly miss the money, but articles like this confirm that I made the right decision.

  42. @Mike Schmidt Amen, brother.

  43. Some of the pay in trucking has gone up a little and some of the freedom a company driver has ,but not much. Mostly because there's a shortage of drivers,for many good reasons.A few companies will pay $ 1,000. to 1200 hundred if you work 5.5 days ,though often you will work the legal 14 hr. cycle with up to 11 hr. /day driving.So it sounds good up front except you will definitely earn it when you do the math on hrs.In addition truck driving big rigs can be extremely dangerous and the fatigue levels immense.

  44. In my close to 30 years in the manufacturing industry. I seen American companies move to Cheap China where the companies exploit the unsophisticated workers paying them rice and perhaps $1.00 an hour with no unions, and no oversight like osha, fda, etc. Years ago American companies would receive their retirement benefits directly from the companies it worked well until greedy companies decided to invest their retirement benefits in Wallstreet, Hedge fund Companies charging egregious fees with lax oversight. Very few American jobs in manufacturing left any more a vast amount of employment is serving hotels,hot foods, jobs that pay nothing any more. our country has been sold out by weak government policy and greedy American companies where CEO rather make billions than share with working slaves in their companies.... USA

  45. @George "Greed is good"... for a few. Welcome to the new era of pristine capitalist practices: no unions, low pay, long hours and no hope: Dante's Inferno.

  46. You're allowed to telecommute so that you work 24/7. You can take as much time off as you want so that people around you have work life balance while you take up the slack. You can go on vacation as long as they can call you up and spend a few hours resolving the issues. Sure you get X weeks vacation but you'll need to schedule them months in advance (except for that mandatory week they are closed where you still work but we really needed you to get it done) and we might need you to cancel at the last moment.

  47. I came of age in 1980s Germany. There was an understanding that management realized that their employees needed to have some understanding that the rent was payable; they could take their families out to dinner on Sunday; and that the annual vacation train ticket to the Black Forest was in sight in the family budget. Employees, for their part, understood that management was concerned for their (employees') well-being, without which their (management) business could not survive. The American anti-labor attitude, reducing employees to the level of a screwdriver, is anathema to me. Isn't getting along better than this "race to the bottom"?

  48. @Padonna We had that here too. It was destroyed by globalization, rightwing turn and robber baron capitalism starting in the 70s.

  49. We need a movement to clock and measure all work-related time. What we measure, we can affect and be paid for. If you’re on call anywhere, simply put, it’s work. Change in work cannot be cultural and be sustained in tougher times without also being political. I’m going back decades for this next reference - the system of medical internships and residencies. We had measurable improvements from legal changes in work hours - measurable medical outcomes and diversity of employment. When NY and other states started forcing limits on medical internship hours (initially because of medical mistakes after day(s)-long shifts), older physicians who had once been sleep-deprived interns fought hard against change, and they complained when they lost. Medical care is plainly better when your intern has gotten some sleep in the prior 24 hours. Unsurprisingly, afterwards, more women entered and completed a training system that had few footholds and denigrating attitudes before.

  50. My father was right. He resisted getting a cell phone for years. “Why would I want to be that available?” All the tools that allow us to work from home also turn home into an office extension. Work now routinely interrupts leisure hours, family dinners, holidays, vacations, even committing time. We cannot get away from the office by leaving because we are leashed to our laptops and cell phones.

  51. @NMM, I think you have a point. The graph in the report shows the opposite of her overall claim. except for "telecommuting on an ad-hoc basis."

  52. Working from home you can also keep the tv on, or drink beer, or just pretend to be working. It's great for lazy workers, which let's be honest, is most people.

  53. @Sally. Clearly you’ve never tried working from home. Your goals and assignments are still due but now you can manage you own productivity. Get the kids off to school, get in 6 solid hours. No one dropping into your office to chat at will. The last 2 hours of work are most productive after dinner. Plus the break gives one time to consider problem solving strategies. Didn’t waste almost an hour in the car commuting. Didn’t spend a 60 min lunch hour listening to colleagues complaints ( so draining). You have no idea how the typical office set-up actually destroys productivity

  54. The job I just left had me spending the equivalent of a 40 hour week in the car each month driving to a remote location only accessible by car. Not how I want to waste my life approaching 62 with bad genes suggesting a decade left in reasonable health. I grew up thinking success was spending less time working, not more.

  55. @Sally This is a little different, but I was a free-lance translator for decades, and for most of that time I worked at home in a home office. I NEVER had the TV or radio on while working - too much interference with concentration. I did not pretend to work, as my clients paid me for what I delivered, not the number of hours I worked. As far as the beer -- I did not drink beer, but sometimes when working in the evening I did have a little wine. It did not affect the quality or quantity of my work. Note to anyone with a home office, whether for an employer or clients - Do not slop around in pajamas or sweatshirts when working. Wear clothes that you would wear to the office (within reason - neckties or pantyhose are probably not necessary - if anyone still wears those ).

  56. "as long as the work gets done" is the key part and in a world where everyone wants everything done yesterday and everyone's priority is super high, that can be hell, no matter the amount of flexibility. I would rather work a mostly predictable schedule with a modest workload, than have flexibility with insane deadlines.

  57. Text messages for work? Sure, I'd do it at work on a work-provided cell phone and cell plan. No way am I answering my personal cell phone for work related things, and no way I'm working 24/7.

  58. The invention of the electric light bulb created a longer work day as did the commercial use of air conditioning. Cell phones are but a modern extension of this. You wouldn’t think of leaving work at dusk or being sent home early when the temperature rises above 90 so why shouldn’t modern technology provide greater connectivity? The attitude you expressed is simply an updated of the old Teamster mentality that they wouldn’t so much as answer a boss’ question until they were “on the clock.” Both demonstrate a lack of appreciation for one’s employment.

  59. Just because you can doesn't mean you should. Innovation isn't intended to make people's lives more difficult but companies tend to ignore that fact. Let's not act like the majority of companies have their employees best interest in mind. They provide an environment where they know people will put up with. Of course there are always exceptions, however, if companies were required to decide between a minor revenue loss for major morale increase (that doesn't recoup the revenue loss) or a major revenue increase for a major morale loss (that doesn't result in major backlash) I'm sure you know which the majority would pick. China is a great example of this - if you're not willing to work most of your waking hours then don't even bother applying to certain companies. It's an extremely toxic mindset which unfortunately I can see becoming the norm far before I can see companies caring about their employees. So please, spare us from the "both demonstrate a lack of appreciation for work" mindset until companies start recognizing their employees as humans rather than cogs that need a few hours a day to cool down or they'll have to spend money to replace the broken part. Everytime above obviously doesn't apply to all companies. There are definitely exceptional business leaders out there who truly care about their employees but it's by no means the norm.

  60. @Waldo Labor is only equal to capital in the deepest minds of communists. If capitalism is a vehement rejection of all other systems, then the idea of labor-capital equivalencies must be rejected. The left is free to start their own businesses to prove their thesis that paternalistic companies can be successful. The fact is that such endeavors will quickly fail, crushed by the strength of the for profit capitalist models they would be competing with.

  61. Work in America wouldn't be so greedy if employers hired the number of people they needed instead of the number they want to pay. There is a difference.

  62. I’m all for flexible work arrangements but having been in the past and am currently in such an arrangement I would add the following caveats: 1. There still is no substitute for a certain amount of face to face conversation and communication. It builds relationships. 2. Beware the flexible arrangement when there is a central “core” workplace that most people on the team show up to everyday. You can risk being placed on an island or left out of key decision making events. You may have to force your way into the workflow.

  63. Baby boomer here. Find it funny how my generation always rants about the lazy millennials when we worked 9-5 most of our work lives. The notion of my boss calling me at home 24/7 seems absurd. Obviously cell phones etc are a big contributor to this, but also the recession which put the last nail in labor’s coffin. Can’t imagine what it would be like to try to piece together a livelihood like the young people do today.

  64. @dave d Finally, a boomer with perspective. My generation has to cobble together a living from contractor type jobs, often more than one, with no benefits or healthcare, and on top of that we get to hear about how lazy and entitled we are.

  65. Interesting survey, but one factor not addressed is importance of flexibility vs. phase of life. My experience was greater flexibility needed in early working life, less flexibility and longer work hours through mid-life, and shorter work hours were needed in the approach to retirement. Unfortunately the company I worked for did not see this, and I was fortunate in being able to choose an early retirement. But I would have been quite satisfied to continue worked at reduced hours.

  66. I left a contract to hire position recently because the IT department in which my position was located insisted that no telecommuting was allowed despite the office being located nowhere near transit--and even though they had developers who lived in another country who obviously weren't on site. After manufacturing various doctor's and mechanic's appointments to justify ad hoc work from home, I took another job near transit and allowing telecommuting. That organization has lost many skilled folks with their pointless inflexibility.

  67. At my federal agency, many of the flexible work options are being taken away. Telework, alternate work schedules. Agency leadership is moving towards requiring employees to be at the office for four days a week, we hear (and managers cannot telework at all). It’s a total u-turn from the last two administrations. Ironically, in my office, which consists of researchers, more people started teleworking when we moved from a building with individual offices into a cubicle-based setting that would allegedly encourage more collaboration.

  68. @elsiss Because in the open office one can't do any focused work, only fake it.

  69. I had a boss who would often come by my office at 6pm and think nothing of asking me to do work requiring me to stay in the office until 2am or 3am in the morning. This boss would often say that bankers are like firemen. They get paid to be on standby.

  70. The vast majority of work today occurs in non-union settings has allowed employees to be exploited for excessive work hours beyond 8-hours daily or 40 hours a week and for employers failing to offer sensible adjustable work schedules and some telawork at home. Most U.S. employers offer only two weeks vacation time and little or no sick leave. In the EU, most companies offer at least 6 weeks of vacation and ample sick leave. I worked at an agency with a strong employees union (AFGE) that negotiated flexible work schedules and enforced compensation for overtime work. Morale was high and so was productivity, and the agency remains the one of the best in the U.S. Government. The union led the way for better employee treatment and then came higher productivity and respect for employees. American employers get away with abusing their employees because they do not face strong unions. As Miller concludes in her article, these temporary gains some companies offer today may disappear in the next recession. American workers deserve at least six weeks of paid vacation, six weeks of paid sick leave, compensation for any type of work (including emails or at-home work) including overtime beyond 8 hours, flexible work scheduling . This will only happen when unions expand beyond their pathetic 10% coverage rate today.

  71. @john Except unions are basically dead my friend. As happened when I was a union rep the company said take the pay cut or we ship the job to Mexico. We didn't they did. In a world of globalized labor Unions in the developed world are about as functional as a screen door on a submarine, Unions no longer have any leverage both parties have abandoned them and corporations? Well corporations are all about the bottom line, If whats left of unions demand what you suggest the job increase in the 3rd world will be noteworthy.

  72. @Stephan This is why tariffs resonates so strongly. In a world where companies can send jobs overseas, they can threaten workers with wage cuts or to move their jobs overseas. We simply cannot compete with developing world labor. We need to stand up for the middle class. The other issue is that the rich and upper middle class benefit from our decline, while our politicians appear to do whatever the corporations want. It's an appalling situation and a total imbalance of bargaining power.

  73. It's the real reason why America's birth rates are DECLINING.

  74. I worked for a multi-national CPG company who encouraged remote work and flexible hours. This allowed them to create global roles, so you ended up working at home from 6:30 in the morning to 7:00 at night to collaborate with teams all over the world. Then, they reduced the amount of office space available and made everything completely open seating. So, when you showed up at the office, there might not be anywhere to sit. What really worked for the company was that global teams facilitated training people in low cost countries to do our jobs, and then the jobs moved off shore. The flexibility was actually the early steps to a different end. Once the work can be done remotely, it in theory can be done any where, so you can outsource or off shore it. I now look at some of these remote arrangements with cynicism.

  75. Here are some thoughts that apparently never occurred to the author. 1) If your job can be telecommuted form home it surely can be telecommuted from India or Pakistan. Guess which one is a better deal for the company. I have come into way to many jobs and asked wheres so and so? Answer: They shipped his job to India and laid him off. 2) For those calling for 30 hour weeks and Unionization ? I gotta ask what's a better deal for the company? Paying somebody in the developed world 40 hours pay for 30 hours of work or paying people in the 3rd 30 hours of your pay for 80 - 100 hours of work? In an era of global competition by labor? Standards are headed down not up. For all the hopes? of the progressives. It's more likely we will wind up with the asian model of 70+ hour weeks for 40 hours pay then 30 hour weeks for 40 hours pay. After all which one is a better deal for the share holders?

  76. Articles like this one reveal a lack of understanding of how our economy works. The capitalist system is based on the exploitation of labor. The capitalist pays the worker less in wages than the value the worker produces. This "surplus value" is the source of all capitalist profits. . . . The workers always seek shorter hours, more pay and better working conditions. The capitalist for his part is compelled to demand longer hours, less pay and more intense work. If he does not, his competitors will, and force him out of business. . . . There is no such thing as humane capitalism. If the tight labor market forces a few hi tech companies to make few concessions, they will withdraw them at the first economic downturn . . . The only way to end wage slavery is to replace it with a Socialist system. This is what young American workers are realizing today.

  77. Workers = slaves. Or Indentured servants. Long hours w no security for retirement or family support. No reliable future in a company. This article is a slice of goodness not found without union representation. Young workers 28 to 50 have no quality time when a boss can text you on your one day off. In my employment starting at age 16 as a nurses aide I was always able ;till retiring from hospital administration ; to stress in job interviews that “my family responsibilities come first and my job does not have priority over them. I could do that because by age 22 I was married and we made sure if one of us were unemployed we could still survive. At 67 and retired without a pension because I balanced employment with raising a family and all that entails ;I rely on my husbands 6 figure pension and my own social security of $900 per month. If my hubby or I were not primary bread winners while one of us managed our busy lives ,then our wealth would have been greater. Most of our family and friends are retired as millionaires. We are not. We did not start saving till our late 4o’s. We have real estate assets and some safe investments and two adult kids we continue to help as needed. Does this sound familiar to my age group? Our kids are suffering in a gig economy. They are exhausted by our American work ethic gone awry . Thank Congress and our colossal mismanagement of taxes. Trump is a chancre on middle class values and our needs to survive. This isn’t a positive !

  78. @[email protected] Well if most of your friends are millionaires, maybe you guys did something wrong. Your friends share the same dysfunctional govt I suppose.

  79. @Atm oht yes, always blame the workers. didn't she say that they always had jobs? but they also had a family. it's hard to live your life if every spare thought and penny goes into saving for a disaster. my brother and sister both passed away in their 40s... all the years of hard work and saving wouldn't have made their lives better. maybe their friends had no children, maybe they had better paying jobs ... jobs that used to have pensions and stock options and profit sharing. my current company made more money last year than in the previous 10 years combined. was that shared with their workers? yup! the top 2% as per usual. i worked just as long and just as hard. workers at the bottom of the pyramid need something too. they could have contributed to my 401K, or given us a couple of bonds or shares in the company, but no. we are the forgotten work force.

  80. After reading this article and comments, my suggestion is as follows: 1) pick an industry that sells high ticket items, such as commercial real estate. 2) get an entry position with an industry leader. 3) study and learn as much as possible in your early years with the company. 4) smart work coupled with sales ability and knowledge will reward you financially 5) sales managers are intimidated by big producers so they will give up trying to push your buttons. 6) the result, a successful career.