1645d Mundane jobs – motivation for work

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Mundane (Latin mundānus=worldly) jobs are unexciting, boring, monotonous day to day work jeopardising psychosocial health and safety of the workers at the workplace. These routine jobs do require workers to perform with sufficient levels of task identity, task significance, and skill variety to feel their work has meaning and value. Sufficiently high levels of autonomy and Task Feedback inspires the worker to feel responsibility for the work. The combined effect of these psychological states results in desired personal and work outcomes: intrinsic motivation, job satisfaction, performance quality, low absenteeism, and low turnover rate.


Workers involved in many of the hazardous, mundane works (sewage cleaning and maintenance workers, tannery workers, e-waste workers, brick kiln workers, stone crusher workers, landfill site workers, welders, street vendors etc.) with poor health outcomes related to their workplace exposures having high morbidity and mortality were interviewed/reviewed during the base line of their respective occupational health studies. Reasons for them choosing the said occupation, willingness to continuing the same work, or choosing the same work for their kids were looked for.


The collective response of sewage workers is – the work is regarded as menial with no dignity of labour, discriminatory, stigmatising, low paid, with no job security, no secure livelihood or other work options, no promotions, having no personal identification being known as worker only and characteristically lack of fundamental rights of equality, life and liberty. They have no bargaining power for wages, safety and health, to demand, to resist, to protest, with no allowances/benefits, and they hide community, caste and their identity from society at large.


Although people do continue with their mundane jobs with some intrinsic basic motivations, but we need to integrate the psychosocial aspects and behavioural modifications of work addressing the above issues to promote health and safety at workplace.

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