The haves and have nots — a concept not new to society one bit. A concept that aided in modern day elitism and allowed many people to fall amongst dividing lines. In 2022, it’s no secret how tax brackets work and that you’re either among the some of the wealthiest, among the working class, or hanging along the poverty lines. No matter where you fall, one question can still be asked to many; how happy are you with the amount that’s deposited in your bank account?

In an ideal world, we’d all be making enough money to survive on, take care of our loved ones, and even be able to splurge a little. But it’s no secret that we don’t live in an ideal world and even those working long hours can barely make ends meet.

United Way conducted a nationwide survey asking hourly workers about their salaries and how they’ve felt working during the pandemic. A third of workers said their workload increased, while only 27% of people said their salary increased as well. In addition, over half of the respondents said they felt like they were being underpaid. 

Where did this lead Americans? Into a new era dubbed The Great Resignation. Americans began fleeing their jobs over the last year, even without having new ones lined up, all due to being underpaid, being treated unfairly, and other common workplace issues. An importance was even seen on social media about being transparent with wages, as many began learning that they were earning significantly less than their equal counterparts in the office. 

In 2022, working conditions are a little different than they were last year, and much different than even 10 years ago. Aside from society encouraging people to talk about salaries and benefits, workplaces are now encouraged to put mental health at the forefront of their missions. Before, many people felt guilty when calling out or taking time off, whereas now it’s encouraged.

And even beyond working conditions, workplace settings may have changed as we know it. The pandemic shifted most people into remote/hybrid work settings. Now, most people prefer to work from home as it gives them the flexibility to maintain their work/life balance. Many companies even began to see that their productivity levels rose.

So what will working conditions look like next year? In 10 year? We can’t predict that quite yet. But one thing that’s for sure is that it can hopefully only go up from here.