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Hate Your Desk Job? You've Got Good Reason

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Employees have a number of reasons for hating working behind a desk each day. / Credit: Desk job image via Shutterstock

There are a number of negatives keeping employees who work behind a desk all day from being completely content.

Not getting outside much, gaining too much weight and having to be in front of a computer hour upon hour are some of the drawbacks of having a desk job, according to a new study from CareerBuilder.

More than half the employees who are deskbound said in the survey that not getting enough physical activity, staring at a computer screen for most of the day and being stuck inside are the biggest disadvantages of having a desk job. Additionally, 24 percent said they don't like working at a desk because there isn't enough variety in their work, while 23 percent said the biggest downside is that there are too many distractions, including numerous disruptions from co-workers.

Desk jobs also aren't good for the waistline. Nearly half of employees surveyed have gained weight in their current position compared to 30 percent of workers in non-desk jobs. Overall, 58 percent of workers in desk jobs categorize themselves as overweight compared to 51 percent of their peers in non-desk jobs.

Working behind a desk isn't all bad, though. Employees who work in desk jobs reported earning higher salaries and felt more content with their paychecks. The research found thatthose 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. In addition, more than 70 percent of workers in desk jobs said they currently earn, or are close to earning, their desired salary compared to just 61 percent of workers in non-desk jobs.

Among the other advantages employees see in working behind a desk include having access to technology, such as the Internet, having a job that isn't physically demanding, the opportunity to communicate with company leaders and peers more easily, and the ability to stay in the loop on new company developments.

Those who aren't stuck inside an office don't love everything about their job, either. The study discovered that workers in non-desk jobs cite being exhausted from working on their feet all day, being more prone to injury or illness, and not getting recognized as much for their efforts as the largest shortcomings of their work environments.

Among the other disadvantages that come with having a non-desk job: not being informed about new company developments, having less chance for upward mobility, and having fewer face-to-face interactions with company leaders and peers.

Workers in non-desk jobs also had a somewhat higher tendency toward burnout. More than 60 percent of the workers surveyed in non-desk jobs said they have felt burned out at work, compared to 57 percent of workers in desk jobs.

There are a variety of reasons, however, that employees enjoy jobs that don't force them to be inside an office each day. Being able to stay physically active, not being in front of a computer all day, having more flexibility, and not having to deal with office politics are some of the perks non-desk job workers experience, according to the research.

Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at CareerBuilder, said everyone has a different definition of the ideal work experience. She said for some, it's being in the thick of the action in the office, while for others it's the flexibility of not working behind a desk

"There are advantages and disadvantages to both scenarios," Haefner said. "With any job, it's important to find a work environment that is suited to your work style and interests and where you can thrive."

The study was based on surveys of 2,095 employees who typically work behind a desk and 1,102 people who don't normally work behind a desk.

Originally published on Business News Daily

Chad Brooks

Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based writer who has nearly 15 years' experience in the media business. A graduate of Indiana University, he spent nearly a decade as a staff reporter for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago, covering a wide array of topics including, local and state government, crime, the legal system and education. Following his years at the newspaper Chad worked in public relations, helping promote small businesses throughout the U.S. Follow him on Twitter.