Chinese white-collar workers suffer from workplace discrimination, sex, health problems: survey
Published: Jan 17, 2021 10:47 PM

Young staff work overtime at night in the office. Photo: VCG

Some 60 percent of Chinese white-collar workers said in a survey that they have been treated unfairly at workplace while almost 40 percent said their labor rights have been violated.

The survey, conducted by the job-hunting platform Zhilian Zhaopin, shows the feeling of job satisfaction of Chinese white-collar workers has declined for two consecutive years.

Only 41 percent of white-collar workers received a pay rise in 2020, down from almost 60 percent the year before. 

Just over 34 percent of white-collar workers said their salaries remained stagnant, while the rate of those who said their earnings declined doubled from 11.2 percent to 24.9 percent.

Meanwhile, 37.8 percent of white-collar workers said their labor rights had been violated in 2020, with 25 percent saying they suffered from discrimination.

The survey used a popular Chinese euphemism for a poor work environment or a bad boss. The acronym "PUA" is derived from the English words "pick-up artist" and connotes someone or boss who is manipulative, controlling or harassing. 

Just over 18 percent of white-collar workers said they were subject to PUA in the workplace. 

PUA usually occurs between a superior and subordinate and includes "criticizing you for your own good," making it difficult for a worker to realized they're being manipulated. 

Many white-collar workers said they got no satisfaction from their sex lives and more than 22 percent said they were celibate throughout 2020. Even among those who had sexual intercourse, half said they had it less than once every two weeks. 

Chinese white-collar workers also complained about various health issues last year. Insomnia was the most common problem, with 39 percent saying they always stay up late. Neck and back pain and fatigue were common in more than a third of the respondents. 

The survey found that insomnia, fatigue, hair loss, weight gain or weight loss was occurring at an earlier age among white-color workers.

The survey also found that the COVID-19 epidemic gave white-collar workers more time off and encouraged them to more actively save money.

"Poverty" and "anxiety" were the key words that Chinese white-collar workers used to describe 2020. Facing the new year, nearly 40 percent showed a positive attitude toward their careers, but only 13.7 percent were confident while 25.7 percent were "relatively optimistic." 

Almost 30 percent of white-collar workers said they will seek self-improvement in 2021. Many of them said their new year resolutions are very pragmatic, with 22.9 percent hoping to "pursue new opportunities and strive to enter enterprises at the top of the market." 

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