Only 6% of Chinese employees said they are"engaged" in their jobs, according to a global Gallup survey released this month. China'snumbers equal the numbers out of war-weary Iraq.
Workers across all income levels andindustries were surveyed by Gallup in China, defined by Gallup to mean they were"psychologically committed to their jobs and likely to be making positivecontributions to their organisations".
Out of 94 countries polled, only six countries scored lower rates of job engagement than China, including Tunisia, Israeland Syria.Unsurprisingly, 0% of Syrians admitted to being engaged at work.
In a related survey, China ranked near the bottom in a poll measuring job satisfactionamong 22 Asian countries. Only 49% of Chinese respondents said they werehappy in their jobs.
Part of the problem, I suspect, is that very few in China have the luxury of pursuing acareer that truly interests them.
Even university graduates often feel theyhave no choice but to opt for positions with the government or state-runenterprises, since those jobs are thought to be stableand recession-proof.
That makes those who are happy at work in Chinaa rare find indeed.
The BBC's ongoing My Day series tracked a typical day in a selection ofpeople across Asia who are immersed in rewarding jobs, including some from China- a maternity nurse and a jackof all trades designer.
The latest instalment in the series tracksthe work of a Chinesegenealogist. Huihan Lie runs the company My China Roots in Beijing, which tracesfamily histories and tries to put them in the context of the time.
"With every project, you find thingsyou weren't expecting to find and the client wasn't expecting to find," hesays. "Really, every person has their own little quirks and personalstories."
We'll continue to add to this series overthe next few months. If you have any suggestions of interesting careers youthink we should track, please add your comments below.
What were the numbers for the west? I don't think we do any better in jobsatisfaction.
Being miserable at work is universal.
As much as stability, if they have the luxury of choice, people pursue jobsthat come with money and "respect": the kind of job that enables themto own a black Audi and a flat in the city. Job satisfaction is a fairlyforeign idea, and among my Chinese friends, it is rare that parents ever toldthem "Follow your heart" or "Do what you love". Generally,it is "Make as much money as you can"
It seems the Chinese have discovered the universal truth of working within"the system". You are a cog in a machine. You can be replaced andnobody else will ever notice. You have little prospect of ever reaching the topof the pyramid unless you were born into the right family. Work is a means tosurvive were the best that most can expect is to live a bit better than theirparents did.
It seems the BBC is looking for the slightest negative 'story' on China..
Why is that do you think?
Think of the thousands of poor Americans flipping burgers..
Let's have some ballance please.
As a Chinese undergraduate, I see many of my schoolmates and friends opt astable job their parents interested in. Parents lead them into that field, tellthem how meaningful and important a stable job is. Parents show their willsafter we past the college entrance examination. Of course, in college time,most of us didn't try hard enough toward the dream we used to have.
As an university instructor in ChinaI'd add that one reason people in China hate their jobs is that theygo into fields that their parents have chosen for them. Probably 10% of myinternational trade students want to go into that field. Most want to beteachers, doctors, engineers or any number of other vocations.
First you get Comfortable, then you start bleating for more. Repetition ofFactory work giving rise to disgruntled is a definite sign of Industrialprogress. Chinese are not any diff from rest of us afterall.
From personal experience in ChinaI would add that the pressures, on all levels of employees, are enormous.Perform or there is a queue of people waiting for your job.
Clearly the jury is out on this one.
We need more research to find out if humans enjoy being trapped in crowded,noisy spaces doing dull, repetitive tasks
In my view, most of Chinese work more, but gain less, As a chinese doctor, Ialways work day and night, without any rest. The leader always said they cangave you the vacation, but firstly, we need to finish all the work. I think,only a small number of workers can finish their work. because our work was toomuch. so ,with the heavy pressure, we go to work every day. without rest ,weare tired.
@5 I see you've read the Daily Mail cover to cover but if you actually camehere I think you'd be surprised at how few are actually involved in that kindof work.
On a serious note however this article is pretty accurate. My fiancee works forone of the state owned enterprises mentioned above and never stops complainingabout them. Neither do her friends or family