Unemployment is the most quoted labour metric in the world. In a nutshell it relates to quantity of jobs unavailable for people. It is important given that employment in general allows to meet basic needs for shelter, food or health. Therefore, it is understandable that we tend to focus on keeping the unemployment rates as low as possible. However, pure concentration on metrics like this one, makes us vulnerable to miss something fundamental: the quality of jobs people have. And it is hugely overlooked European and global problem of today’s workforce.As there is no standardized name for it, we propose to call it “misemployment”. It means having a job, which fails to meet the true needs of a human being. For example, a man employed by the fashion outlet to hand out flyers to pedestrians in order to entice them to purchase cut-priced suites is clearly “employed” in the technical sense. He is marked as being off the unemployment registers. He is receiving a wage in return for helping to solve some small puzzle of interest to his employers: that not enough people might otherwise leave the main street to enter the air-conditioned shop filled with men’s suits. The man is indeed employed, but quite frankly he is dramatically misemployed. His labour is generating capital, but it is making no contribution to common good, individual needs and passions. Misemployment occurs in such kind of jobs where people struggle to meet other needs than financial remuneration.
Misemployment is a devastating global problem of 1.5 billion people around the world, including 167 million workforce in European Union. As Gallup World Pool study shows, for 85% of employees work is the source of stress and frustration rather than fulfilment [ SOURCE ].They are not engaged, sleepwalking through their workday. They are putting time — but no energy and no passion — into what they do. Thus, the value people can bring through their work, is wasted on a massive scale!As European Union is among the world’s most economically developed regions, we might expect its results — like those from the U.S. — to be among the most positive. Shockingly, vast majority of employees in European Union (89%) feel misemployed, which places EU below the global average and three-times below the United States.
This problem finds its confirmation in Quality Of Employment indicators framed by United Nations Economic Commission for Europe [ SOURCE ]. Among the others, over 53% of employed people isn’t able to influence decisions that affect their work [ SOURCE ], 29% has bad relations with colleagues at work [ SOURCE ]and 42% has bad relationship with direct supervisor [ SOURCE ]. In the end, only 25% of workers declare to be satisfied with their jobs [ SOURCE ].
The reason why this problem escalated to such extend hides in years of false conviction that work is only about the money. Yet, scientific research confirms that work means a lot more than financial rewards [ SOURCE ].As work absorbs one-third of humans’ existence, it has significant influence on our well-being, feeling of happiness and overall life satisfaction. Studies prove that people hope their work will fill their lives with a sense of purpose or meaning [ SOURCE ]. Yet, current state of workplace is massively under-delivering on those basic human needs as only 7% of people indicate that their work meets all core needs [ SOURCE ].
Our project, Akven, is dedicated to fight misemployment within the society. We believe that everyone deserves to be motivated and fulfilled at work. To see such future of work, workforce needs a redesign from a bottom—up. There are no shortcuts. Instead of sharping tools of the one side – employer – it is better to even up the asymmetry of how both sides match each other – employer and employee. We want to help people in journey from today’s misemployed individuals to fully engage teams of tomorrow.
Akven is a psychologically-powered mobile app, which offers high affinity job matchmaking between individuals and teams due to inclusion of all non-monetary factors responsible for job satisfaction in the long run.