It’s about how you approach work, not how long you spend there.
Work-a-holics possess over work and even if they don't work long hours, they are still more likely to develop cardiovascular disease or diabetes than non-work-a-holics. By contrast, the research cited in this HBR article suggests that while those who work long hours not because they are possessed, but because they love what they do, are generally not at greater risk for serious health problems. The difference appears to be the ability to let it go and refresh. It the chronic rumination that is most toxic.
We have never been subject to more workplace noise and distraction than we are now, but the challenges are more complex than they first appear
Workplace Insight just produced an excellent round-up of research on the impact of noise on human performance. If you follow the topic, there won't be any big surprises, but it's great to have the data all in one place. Here's some of the research cited in the report:
- The noise problem is getting worse
- 60% of work is individual, not collaborative
- A third of employees say the have to leave the building to focus
- 63% of employees say they don't have access to quiet space
- 40% of executives understand the negative impact of noise on productivity, but only 6% mitigate it
- 75% of the noise problem is subjective
- Only 25% of the noise problem relates to its volume
- Even low levels of noice can reduce cognitive performance by 30%
- Some noise is good for creativity
Smart office uses biosensors and machine learning to optimize individual work environments
Imagine a workspace that adjusts the lighting, sound, and projected images for the kind of work you're doing. MIT, Steelcase, and Phillips are working together to do just that. Using sensors to measure heart rate variability, facial features, and eye focus, this trio is hoping to do. The hope for "mediated atmospheres," as they call them, is to improve human performance, reduce stress, and enhance wellness and well-being. The science behind all this is available here: https://goo.gl/XxnWG9
"The Willis Towers Watson Global Benefits Attitudes Survey (GBAS) survey takes an in-depth look at the role of benefits in defining and differentiating today’s employee value proposition.
The high cost of poor health is just one of the many startling findings in Willis Towers Watson's biennial survey of over 31,000 global employees. In particular, when compared to employees in good health, those in poor health:
- Take twice the number sick days
- Are twice as likely to be disengaged
- Three times more likely to report above-average or high stress
Employees with financial worries fare even worse than those with poor physical health. That's critical because financial well-being has taken a nose-dive in most developed countries.
- In the U.S, short-term financial security dropped 13 percentage points between 2015 and 2017 (from 48% to 38% reporting they feel secure).
- More than half of global employees live from paycheck to paycheck and report they'd be unable to come up with $2k if they suddenly needed it.
In spite of all the attention employers are paying to health and well-being programs, less than a third of U.S., Canada, and EMEA employees feel the initiatives have helped them live healthier lives.
The report suggests employers focus on:
- Financial counseling, tools, and training
- Flexibility and choice among well-being programs
- Increasing employee engagement with programs
"Kate Lister breaks down the impact of the workplace on well-being and the steps to take to create a culture of well-being."
This article offers:
- The financial impact of of poor health and well-being on productivity lost, reduced engagement, and turnover
- The cost of healthcare, absenteeism, and presenteeism for the top chronic diseases
- A persuasive way to use a simple breakeven analysis to get your program funded
- Simple steps to kick-start a workplace well-being initiative.
Eight year study of 28k people "found that having a lot of stress in your life was not linked with premature death. But having a lot of stress in your life and believing it was taking a toll on your health increased risk of dying by 43 percent.
The lesson here is we need to learn how to change how we think about stress and even use it to our advantage.
The next time you're feeling stressed, think about how:
- That pounding heartbeat gathering energy to ready your body for the challenge
- Your heavy breathing is simply oxygenating your brain to help you think more clearly
- Your increased blood pressure is fueling your muscles and strengthening your body
Workplace civility spiraling down and with it goes productivity, trust, and loyalty. Here’s what to do about it.
Research shows that hurtful workplace behavior can depress performance, increase employee turnover, and even mar customer relationships.
A full 62% of employees say they've been treated rudely at work (up 27% since 1998). Three quarters of victims say the incident reduced their commitment to the organization. A quarter admit to taking their frustration out on customers.
The total time people are working – whether paid or otherwise – has not increased in Europe or North America in recent decades.
The amount of pressure we put on ourselves to be constantly productive, actually impedes our productivity.
Our jobs have become prisons from which we don’t want to escape
The last two paragraphs are the real meat of the story:
"I get hung up on as easily. The writing I could do as easily, just about. Building my career, away from our London headquarters, would not be so easy. As I explain this, a circularity threatens to overtake my point: to build my career is to make myself indispensable, demonstrating indispensability means burying myself in the work, and the upshot of successfully demonstrating my indispensability is the need to continue working tirelessly. Not only can I not do all that elsewhere; outside London, the obvious brilliance of a commitment to this course of action is underappreciated. It looks pointless – daft, even.
And I begin to understand the nature of the trouble I’m having communicating to my parents precisely why what I’m doing appeals to me. They are asking about a job. I am thinking about identity, community, purpose – the things that provide meaning and motivation. I am talking about my life."