Research: Employees Equally as Happy at Non-Desk & Desk Jobs
Black Enterprise Magazine July/August 2018 Issue

There’s always that common debate among professionals about the types of work environments and how one may be more ideal than the other. Depending on the industry, positive and negative insights on various types of spaces—such as desk jobs vs. non-desk—can differ.

Recent CareerBuilder research tackled the topic, exploring the pros and cons of the two. Check out key findings:

EQUAL HAPPINESS: Workers in desk jobs and non-desk jobs were equally likely to report being happy in their current roles (76 percent). However, workers in desk jobs were more likely to report complaints about their work environment. Many workers in desk jobs said their positions enable them to stay in the loop and build closer relationships with company leaders and peers while workers in non-desk jobs said their positions give them greater variety and flexibility in their work day. Thirty-eight percent of workers in non-desk jobs said they had no complaints about their work environment compared to 14 percent of workers in desk jobs.

WEIGHT FACTOR: Workers in desk jobs were more likely to report being overweight. Fifty-eight percent of workers in desk jobs categorize themselves as overweight compared to 51 percent of workers in non-desk jobs. Forty-six percent of workers in desk jobs have gained weight in their current position compared to 30 percent of workers in non-desk jobs.

SIMILAR STRESS: Workers in desk jobs were 30 percent likely to experience high stress levels at work, and those with non-desk jobs were close behind them at 29 percent. However, those with non-desk jobs had a somewhat higher tendency toward burnout. Sixty-one percent of workers in non-desk jobs said they have felt burned out at work, compared with 57 percent of their counterparts who spend their workday at a desk.

MORE DESKS, MORE MONEY: People who work in desk jobs reported earning higher salaries and felt more content with their paychecks. Those working in desk jobs were twice as likely to earn six figures annually, while those working in non-desk jobs were twice as likely to earn less than $35,000. Half of workers in desk jobs earn $50,000 or more compared to one-third of workers in non-desk jobs. Seventy-one percent of workers in desk jobs said that they currently earn or are close to earning their desired salary compared to 61 percent of workers in non-desk jobs.

  • 40 PERCENT: Workers in non-desk jobs who earn less than $35,000 yearly
  • 50 PERCENT: Workers in desk jobs who earn $50,000 or more (and 13 percent for those who earn $100,000 or more)

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Janell Hazelwood

Janell Hazelwood is associate managing editor at Black Enterprise, managing content across core areas of Money, Career, Small Business and Technology. She is also a featured blogger with My Two Cents, providing insights on branding, millennial career development, employment trends and leadership. She was previously a content producer and copy editor for Black Enterprise magazine, working across several editorial sections. The Hampton University graduate got her start in the newspaper industry, having worked for companies including The New York Times and Scripps Howard News Service. Her works and insights have appeared on The Huffington Post, MadameNoire, E!Online, Brazen Careerist, CBS News, and Arise TV.


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