Saturday, October 22, 2016

Stressful jobs can kill

A new study confirms the less control you feel you have at your job, the more likely you are to drop dead. Studying over 2,363 Wisconsin residents in their 60s over the course of seven years, researchers found “those in high-stress jobs with little control over their workflow die younger or are less healthy than those who have more flexibility and discretion in their jobs and are able to set their own goals as part of their employment.” 

The study also found those with little control over their work timeline on a day-to-day-basis are 15.4 percent more likely to die than those who are given the opportunity to craft their own daytime schedule. People who are able to choose when to take a break or grab a cup of coffee actually live longer than their more regimented peers.

A recommendation of the study is for companies to engage in and encourage "job crafting," a process whereby employees help craft a meaningful and productive job for themselves where they can set goals. This news seems to suggest that a more hands-off approach to managing employees not only helps foster goodwill, but actually provides health benefits—no matter the person’s industry or position. The takeaway—that enterprises are better off insuring their employees have a proper work-life balance—falls in line with current conventional wisdom that companies with pro-employee policies function more efficiently.

In Japan, there is a word for dropping dead from work stress: karoshi. However, let us remember the word for dropping dead from no work and no possibility of work: starvation.

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