Your job might be killing you

There are 120,000 excess deaths per year attributed to ten workplace conditions and they cause approximately $190 billion in incremental health care costs. That makes the workplace the fifth leading cause of death in the U.S. — higher than Alzheimer’s, higher than kidney disease.

  1. Being unemployed sometimes as a result of a layoff.
  2. Not having health insurance.
  3. Working shifts and also working longer periods, e.g., ten or twelve-hours shifts.
  4. Working long hours in a week (e.g., more than 40 hours per week).
  5. Job insecurity (resulting from colleagues being laid off or fired).
  6. Facing family-to-work and work-to-family spillover or conflict.
  7. Having relatively low control over one’s job e.g., workload.
  8. Facing high work demands such as pressure to increase productivity and to work quickly.
  9. Being in a work environment that offers low levels of social support (e.g., not having close relationships with co-workers.
  10. Working in a setting in which job- and employment-related decisions seem unfair.

Both articles report the findings published by Jeffrey Pfeffer in Dying for a Paycheck: How Modern Management Harms Employee Health and Company Performance—and What We Can Do About It.

I have not read the book yet, but I definitely will.

Netflix to employees: Take as much vacation as you want

Employees at the online movie retailer often leave for three, four, even five weeks at a time and never clock in or out. Vacation limits and face-time requirements, says Netflix Chief Executive Reed Hastings, are “a relic of the industrial age.”

“The worst thing is for a manager to come in and tell me: `Let’s give Susie a huge raise because she’s always in the office.’ What do I care? I want managers to come to me and say: `Let’s give a really big raise to Sally because she’s getting a lot done’ – not because she’s chained to her desk.” (San Jose Mercury News)

Study: Baroque music helps you focus

In a three year research study, Maya Ruvinshteyn and Leonard Parrino, instructors in math at Essex County College and Rutgers-Newark, found when they played baroque background music in their classes, it made a difference. Here’s how…

* 86 % of students surveyed enjoyed class more with baroque background music whereas 76 % of students without any music found the class enjoyable

* 33 % of students found math challenging whereas 46 % in the class without the baroque music found it challenging.

Earlier research findings show that Baroque music enhances learning of foreign languages and improves performance in some types of tests.

Why Baroque music?

The secret to greater productivity: a nap

“You must sleep sometime between lunch and dinner,” Churchill said, explaining that this includes taking off one’s clothes and climbing into bed.

“Don’t think you will be doing less work because you sleep during the day. That’s a foolish notion held by people who have no imaginations. You will be able to accomplish more. You get two days in one.” (New York Times)

Super Bowl is a sure loss of productivity

from csmonitor.com

Every 10 minutes workers spend discussing the likely outcome of Sunday’s Super Bowl on company time will cost the nation’s employers as much as $162.1 million in lost productivity, the outplacement specialist Challenger, Gray & Christmas estimates. And that doesn’t count gathering around the water cooler on the morning after for postgame analysis.