Gallup, an American research and analytics company, recently released their survey, State of the Global Workplace. The annual report “represents the collective voice of the global employee.” It offers findings borne from interviewing workers from all over the world and serves as an insight for employers on how to ensure their employee’s wellbeing. However, it does give some hard facts about the state of the world’s workforce. Particularly, it shows how Filipinos are the most stressed workers, dealing with the changes brought about by the pandemic.
Filipinos are the most stressed workers in Southeast Asia
Although the overall findings for Southeast Asia seem good enough (it’s the region with the second-lowest percentage of daily stress), the Philippines still tops quite a number of categories. When it comes to daily stress, the Philippines ranked first in Southeast Asia with 50% of interviewees saying they’re stressed. Thailand and Cambodia rank second and third with 41% and 38% respectively.
On the daily anger survey, the Philippines ranked third with 24% and ranked second for the daily sadness category with 32%. Another part of the survey asked people whether they were planning on relocating in the next 12 months. The Philippines ranked third with 22% of the interviewees saying they’re most likely to move.
With these numbers in mind, what are the factors that could’ve contributed to Filipino workers’ stress? Here are a few answers:
According to Federation of Free Workers vice president Julius Cainglet, contractual jobs cause the most stress for Filipino workers.
“End-of-contracts” (or “endo”) is a short-term employment program that gives an employee only five months on the job. Companies terminate their contract before the sixth month to prevent them from becoming regular employees. Under the Philippines’ Labor Code, after working in the company for six months, workers are entitled to regular benefits such as 13th-month pay and leaves. It’s the constant worrying about where to find a new job every five months adds so much stress to most Filipino workers.
After nearly 18 hours on the road, 54-year-old jeepney driver Artemio Singko said he will barely bring home P300.
— ABS-CBN News (@ABSCBNNews) June 20, 2022
In the United States, an employee’s minimum wage per hour is $7.25 or roughly Php 400. In the Philippines, it’s P570 (non-agriculture sector) and P533 (agriculture sector) per day. With a continuous hike in gas prices and inflation at an all-time high, Filipinos face a lot of problems.
Heavy traffic and poor public transportation
The poor state of our cities’ public transportation mixed with heavy traffic is nothing short of hellish for Filipino workers. Surprise, spending hours in line won’t actually do wonders for someone’s health especially if it caps off a tiring day.
Even though it seems like everything has shifted back to normal, the COVID-19 pandemic is still a real thing looming over our heads. Public transportation is back to pre-pandemic levels and that means squeezing into a train car full of people. You can’t exactly follow social distancing protocols. There are those who will still test positive and every time you step out, you’re still at risk. This, on top of work-related concerns, definitely adds another layer of stress for the average Filipino.
Employers are called to value their employees
“81,396 hours. That’s how much of life most of us spend working,” says Jon Clifton, CEO of Gallup. “The only thing we spend more time doing is sleeping. If we spend so much of life at work, how is life at work going?”
The survey served a dual purpose: Give employers an overview of the importance of engaging and retaining their employees and help employees identify the places where their work is valued.
“Employee wellbeing is the new workplace imperative,” the report found. So even if there’s stress and a decline in motivation, a company that finds ways to add well-being measurements for their employees makes it possible for everyone to still be engaged and love their jobs.