Being bad-tempered and pessimistic helps you to earn more, live longer and enjoy a healthier marriage. It’s almost enough to put a smile on the dourest of faces.
With all the focus on happiness these days, this BBC article may come as a bit of a shock. It turns out the office Eeyore or Chicken Little are likely healthier and more creative than the folks doing their happy dance. They're also likely to earn more money, be better negotiators, be less selfish, and stay married longer.
Citing numerous studies, the article offers reasons for these counterintuitive findings, such as:
- People who suppress their anger and unhappiness have three times the number of heart attacks compared to those who hold it in
- Pessimists don't have very high expectations so they are happily surprised when things go well
- Being slightly down enhances social awareness
- Happiness hormones can reduce our ability to recognize threats
- Pessimists plan for the worst and are therefore more prepared when it happens
Have you hugged the office grump today?
Finally, a CliffsNotes-esque primer on leading technologies for those of us who read a book rather than figuring out the TV remote
Strategic technology trends have the potential to drive significant disruption and deliver significant opportunity. Enterprise architecture and technology innovation leaders must evaluate these top trends to identify opportunities, counter threats and create competitive advantage.
Do you find yourself nodding your head like you get leading-edge technologies when you really don't have a clue? If so, this Gartner report is for you (sign-in required, but no fee). Though intended as a top trends report, it doubles as a CliffsNotes-esque primer for, let's face it, the majority of us who really don't understand.
The report covers near-term business implications for:
- Autonomous Things
- Augmented Analytics
- Digital Twins
- Empowered Edge
- Immersive Experience
- Smart Spaces
- Digital Ethics/Privacy
- Quantum Computing
We all know that people’s wellbeing and performance is affected by various environmental conditions, but we haven’t known to what extent. The Whole Life Performance Plus project (WLP+) explores this in three very different buildings.
The report shares the results of two case studies where more than a year's worth of data was collected through continuous physical monitoring, surveys, and human performance testing.
The human performance results were perhaps the most interesting. Using validated tests (numerical, proofreading, processing speed/attention) as a proxy for performance, the study showed that performance was negatively impacted by high temperatures (particularly over 26C/88F), low humidity (particularly below 40%), and high CO2 concentration (particularly above 1000 ppm).
Interestingly, the link between perceived productivity and the the workplace environment were statistically stronger than the links between measured productivity.
The report concluded that indoor environments need to be examined more granularly if human performance is to be optimized.
"Companies that rank in the top 10% in engaging their employees...posted profit gains of 26% through the last recession, compared with a 14% decline at comparable employers..."
Since the 50's we have known employee engagement flourishes when people feel a sense of purpose, belonging, and autonomy.
I'm always skeptical of which is cause and which is effect in claims like those in this WSJ article, but the connection between employee retention and company culture is hard to question.
At WD-40, where over 90% of employees are engaged (compared to the U.S. average of 34%) and shareholder returns have grown at a compound annual rate of over 20%, the CEO insists "It's because of our people." From the decorations on the wall to the shared vocabulary they use, the company emphasizes "positive lasting memories."
A gamified workplace sets not just goals for workers but precisely how those goals can be achieved. Managers don’t need to follow workers with stopwatches. They can use smartphones or apps. It’s micromanagement with unprecedented granularity. ‘This is Taylorism 2.0,’ according to the media expert Steven Conway of Swinburne University of Technology in Australia.
Gamification is everywhere. It influences where we shop, what we eat, who we friend, and increasingly, how we work. At least once a month some company wants to demonstrate their new employee monitoring technology to me. "It will be great, managers can tell, in real time, whether or not their people are actually working," they tell me with glee. But I'm not very gleeful about it and this article will help you understand why you shouldn't be either.