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Impacts of Work on Quality of Life

One of the struggles workers face is burnout. Kayla states that WHO included burnout as a diagnosis associated with work (Blado, 2019). The driving force towards a stable income and better quality of life has forced many to take longer working hours, take multiple jobs and extra days to meet life demands. In the process, workers burn out, their mental health deteriorates, and the life they work so hard to enjoy ends up disappointing them. The suggested solution is to join unions and, as a union, fight together to ensure a safe and healthy workplace. In the case of nonprofit workers, they are overworked and are underpaid. However, since life demands a decent living, many workers are alienated from labour activity. Therefore, every worker strives to satisfy their needs, and they have no option of quitting. Kayla clearly states that the best defence is joining colleagues to build and enjoy better workplaces (Blado, 2019).

With globalization, society today needs constant service. Therefore, many organizations offer round-the-clock services resulting in shifts in work schedules. As a result, workers are engaged in a shift, some days working day and other night or constant day or night shifts. In such a setup, workers cannot plan for their week, and the future is compromised (Shulevitz, 2019). With night shifts, sleep is deprived, and those with families don’t get much sleep during the day after the night shift due to family needs. Such shift reduces sleep, hence reduced quality of life and consequently an unhappy life. In this regard, workers face alienation from themselves and others. With unpredictable work schedules, workers have no adequate time to spend with family and friends. Besides, people have self-conflict, struggling to have a life outside work but still need to work to afford the life. Therefore, work continues to take a toll o the quality of life of many.

Inequalities At Work

In the contemporary era, humankind is focused on reaping the most benefits and evading all blame in the event of misfortunes. With civilization and hence globalization, the world has been interconnected more, and businesses are striving to reach the global market. Therefore, labour has been in demand, but the returns workers get are do not reflect. Furthermore, employment has been based on race, ethnicities, and shared beliefs. In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, workers have been struck by low wages and unpaid wages. Besides, working conditions have worsened following a lack of optimal safety for workers. Such injustices and inequalities have been in existence, but the pandemic has done more damage. According to Karen, workers have become soldiers in war, going through harsh conditions and struggling to win the organization’s economic stability at the cost of their liberties (Messing, 2020).

Karen explicitly states the poor working conditions and inequalities faced in the work sector in Canada. It is shown that most of the cleaners in social amenities such as hospitals, most of them are women. Women have been associated with care and hence such less paying and disregarded jobs, unlike men who get high-paying respectable jobs (Messing, 2020). Besides, the working conditions have put cleaners at risk of infections during this pandemic. Cleaners have direct contact with waste and contaminated surfaces to disinfect, but they are not fully equipped with protective gear. Besides, they are rushed as many patients are admitted daily, thereby overworking them with the same wages. Cleaners have been overworked and disregarded concerning protection from risky conditions and unruly guests, especially hotels. Over the years, inequality has been throughout society, with women getting fewer opportunities, organizations overworking workers with little pay, and poor working conditions causing trauma and creating work zombies.

Little attention is paid to workers in the front line in the service industry. For instance, Karen states that cashiers during this Covid-19 pandemic have been overwhelmed by their work (Messing, 2020). Cashiers encounter all characters, from disrespectful clients, foreigners with language barrier, to infected customers through to stressed people from life hardships emoting their anger and stress to such service providers. Again, elementary teachers handle crying kids, sanitary care, and stress from kids with learning difficulties (Messing, 2020). Teacher unions and parents of such kids don’t fully comprehend the pressure such teachers endure making through a day with minimal issues. These workers are paid for the working hours, but it takes more hours to plan for lessons and all-time thinking of their jobs. It is overwhelming, yet such teachers get the lowest pay. Like the teachers, cashiers endure the frustrations of customers, but in the end, their bosses get the most returns. Furthermore, some cashiers like North American grocery stand all day. In the Covid-19 period, the poor and extreme working conditions have worsened, thereby draining many workers causing stress.

In the strike of the Covid-19 pandemic, organizations laid-off workers to cut costs. Like in many parts of the world, organizations laid off most subordinate workers and cut their salaries while the management continued to enjoy stable salaries. Such injustices have taken a toll on many workers in poverty. Nevertheless, the retained workers have not been safe. It has been a sacrifice of life for income. Life has become expendable, and injustices and inequalities at workplaces have constantly proved that during the Covid-19 pandemic. The mental health of many has deteriorated with the pressure at work and the risks of infections. Karen states that counsellors, through underequipped, understaffed have to attend to all women irrespective of the number and needs (Messing, 2020). Such situations show how women have been undervalued in the employment industry. Society has accorded men respectable jobs while women struggle with jobs that demand care. Nevertheless, irrespective of gender, many workers undergo poor working conditions, and employers expect optimal productivity. The injustices and inequalities are yet to be fully controlled, and many will have to survive rather than live.

Precarious Work

In the 21st century, there is massive labour, and many organizations have embraced informal employment, making it easy to lay off and employ suitable labourers towards optimal profits. Such employments are characterized by low wages, poor working conditions, inequalities, and other workplace injustices. According to Chun and Agarwala, most people of color and immigrants in Canada, the US, and the UK have fewer benefits, insecure jobs, and low pay (Chun & Agarwala, 2016). Walker and Regis-Wilkins also observe that in New Zealand, workers have had poor working conditions (Walker & Regis-Wilkins, 2021). However, measures have been taken to promote labour rights and improve the working conditions towards equality and secure well-paying jobs.

Furthermore, union labour laws have been eroded over the years, with the government overlooking enforcement of such laws. Besides, the unions have had little power to fight for their labour rights and restrictions-imposed filtering workers who can join unions. Therefore, the more effective response is sectoral bargaining. This concept has been introduced in New Zealand, and it entails various models which encompass the specific policies for different countries that ensure the welfare of workers.

Sectoral bargaining is characterized by economic equality, elevated wages, and collective bargaining. In this phenomenon, unions negotiate with specific employers on behalf of workers in a certain setup. For instance, a union can approach a chain store and negotiate on behalf of store workers in a remote place. Sectoral bargaining ensures the agreed standards and amendments affect every store worker within the region. Therefore, this bargaining is more inclusive, ensuring that workers undergo the same working conditions through the stores, promoting economic equality. Several countries in Europe have adopted sectoral bargaining such as France, where restaurant workers have enjoyed benefits. Also, in Australia, through the “Modern Awards”, they have set standards for wages and working conditions. Canada is on track to fully integrate sectoral bargaining since it is such bargaining carters for unionized and non-unionized workers.

Global Labor Arbitrage

With globalization and the massive population today, there has been surplus-labour, and organizations have exploited such surplus. The massive population has raised the demand for commodities, and to maximize supply by organizations, the concept of global labour arbitrage has taken precedence. This concept entails an economic phenomenon in which enterprises seek cheap labour or labourers seek enterprises that pay higher, thereby weakening international trade policies. The phenomenon is associated with two main processes, foreign outsourcing and immigration.

Foreign outsourcing has been in effect both up and down the value chain, from low-value entities such as call centres to high-value enterprises such as accounting and medical centres. Over the years, organizations have set up branches and offices in localities with lower taxes and cheap labour, then exporting back to other markets. Chris highlights that many U.S.-based enterprises have relocated overseas in search of cheap labour, and hence products have been globalized (Brooks, 2017). Today there is excess supply, and hence there is less leverage on pricing. Therefore, such cases have propelled global labour arbitrage. In countries such as India, Bangladesh, and China, where there is massive labour, such people have been subject to low wages.

Immigration is increasing as globalization connects the world. Researchers observe that most immigrants provide relatively cheap labour. Besides, their salaries are significantly higher than what they get in their mother countries. Chris highlights that immigrants have stolen American jobs and their companies (Brooks, 2017). Immigrants increase the labour supply in developed nations resulting in decreased wages. Most immigrants looking for work in foreign nations are skilled and highly educated. Therefore, they are guaranteed jobs, thus making elite workers earn lower wages. In the long run, enterprises get cheap labour either from foreigners or nationalities, and this is global labour arbitrage. The solution is the formation of a union has helped curb the global labour arbitrage effects.


Blado, K. (2019). The Answer to Burnout at Work Isn’t “Self-Care”–It’s Unionizing’. In These Times.

Brooks, C. (2017). The Slippery Slope of “Buy American” Campaigns. Retrieved from

Chun, J. J., & Agarwala, R. (2016). Global labour politics in informal and precarious jobs. Handbook of the Sociology of Work and Employment. London: SAGE Publications, 634-650.

Messing, K. (2020). If It’s a War against COVID-19, Who Are the Soldiers on the Front Lines? [Ebook].

Shulevitz, J. (2019). Why You Never See Your Friends Anymore. Retrieved 8 December 2021, from

Walker, L., & Regis-Wilkins, S. (2021). What Is Sectoral Bargaining and How Can It Help Canada’s Working Class?. Retrieved from,of%20our%20most%20vulnerable%20workers.


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