A young woman under stress grabs her face and hair.

Photo courtesy of Andrew Imanaka at Flickr Creative Commons.

According to a new study from Sahlgrenska Academy (University of Gothenburg, Sweden) young workers are convinced that they are the only ones responsible for their work load. While that may sound like a good thing, it’s actually quite a problem.

That’s because these young people are working too hard. They’re taking on all the responsibility when it comes to whether their work gets finished or not. It’s a problem because workers start to blame themselves for circumstances outside of their control. This can lead to self-hate.

The study also revealed that young people entering the workforce don’t think that their boss has any responsibility for helping them get their work done. Little do these young workers know that in a healthy work environment, a boss should offer help when need be.

But unfortunately, not all work environments are healthy. A bad boss combined with a worker who places too much responsibility on his or herself can make for a hostile work environment. Because bosses often blame employees for when things go wrong, this can result in further self-hate and guilt on behalf of the employee.

Historically, workers were more inclined to call bad bosses out by reporting them to HR or working with labor unions to address the issue. But as people are entering the workplace with the expectation that any drop in productivity is entirely on them, they aren’t willing, or able, to speak up when something needs to be addressed.

This can play right into the hands of manipulative management and government, more concerned with controlling workers than helping them. But even on the less dramatic end of the spectrum, in an environment that actually has good management, it can make it harder for people to speak up when there is a problem. Because of this, the problem doesn’t get addressed, gets worse, and can result in even more issues.

So while it’s good to remain accountable for one’s actions, too much of a good thing can be detrimental.