At the peak of the pandemic, millions of Americans were left unemployed. Now that businesses are opening up again, Americans refuse to go back to work. Although it's not for the reasons one might assume.
Low livable wages, abusive treatment received from both the work environment and customers are the biggest factor towards people refusing to work.
The isolation that had stemmed from the pandemic may have sparked an unwavering sense of depression and anxiety over the future of our employment. But it also gives people time to focus on their hobbies and exploring what internally makes them happy. Tik Tok added to this realization when people started posting about making a small business out of their hobbies and some of those businesses becoming successful throughout the pandemic.
Being able to make a sizable living by profiting and practicing your hobbies is a great feeling. Pre-pandemic America was a constant cycle of hustling and networking for all of the working class. Most of us barely had any time to ourselves let alone practice what made us happy outside of work. There is a sense of comfort knowing that you are in control of your life when it comes to producing finances that stem from your passions.
I believe that humans were not meant to “work to live”, but rather “live to work”. People feel happy to come to work when their job fulfills them in a meaningful way. They want to feel respected and appreciated for the time they put into work, let alone the pay has to match their efforts to be able to continue to live a life that they envisioned for themselves. When people are in a position to live their best life, they become happier and bring that positivity to their jobs. With all this in mind in theory people would bring their best selves to work because they see their job as admirable and necessary to keep in their lives.
“Working to live” supplies companies and businesses with employees who are just seeking a paycheck. They could care less about their job because it doesn't meet the bare minimum of their needs and wants, let alone their financial needs. These employees don’t try hard enough to be good at their jobs because their employers neglect and exploit them for their labor.
People refuse to come back to work unless the country changes the whole system in which we have structured our work culture and environment. People want livable wages, benefits, a reasonable vacation period, and the ability to advance their job position in their current job.