On the Evolution of Work Systems in the Digital Economy
Tag Archives: Health
Just in time for Halloween season! Here are some scary figures illustrating some health consequences of spending much of our days seated. We have been hearing about the health hazards of sedentary office work more recently, so none of this may come as a surprise.
Sitting around watching television or engaging in computer-related activities during our free time is, of course, a choice that some of us make. Unless you have a standing desk or treadmill desk however, you’re likely required to spend most of your workday sitting if you are an office worker. It’s common for commuting to add another 1-2 hours to this, leading to the total of 9.3 hours spent sitting down per day as cited below. Telecommuting can make a difference by freeing up time that many of us need in order to fit in physical activity. While considering the option to telecommute, keep in mind that the good health of individual employees is also important for the organizations they work for.
Anxiety and fear experienced after a layoff or during a period of unemployment can lead to a couple of different outcomes when it comes to finding work. Negative emotional states serve a purpose as they compel people to take action in order to alleviate themselves of discomfort. Some are successful in achieving their goal of landing another job. For others however, that very anxiety sabotages efforts to do so.
In contrast, those who are naturally less anxious exhibit stoicism in the face of a layoff or unemployment period. Stoicism can lead to different outcomes as well. One outcome is that, since you don’t feel like anything is terribly wrong, you’re able to go on and enjoy your life during the “down” times. However, at some point, someone close to you will say, “Why aren’t you panicking and stressing out?! What’s wrong with you?!” and then you realize so much time flew by as you didn’t experience a lot of internal pressure to do anything about your circumstances. On the other hand, it is an advantage to come across as someone who is confident when you finally decide to do something about your circumstances. Read more of this post
Imagine what it’s like to be forced to endure the typical office environment when you have misophonia (selective sound sensitivity syndrome). It’s a neurological disorder whose prevalence is unknown and for which there is no known cure. However, it’s regarded as more common than previously thought.
To an extent I know what it’s like as the high-pitched sounds of certain yappy little dog breeds never fail to drive me into a hulk-like rage. However, the sounds of the usual light-hearted social chatter that happens throughout the day in an office setting (pleasant though the subject matter often is) are not just wearying to me as an introvert. At the end of each day, I notice an indescribable internal pain which is relieved only by silence.
I find that long-term use of ear plugs or having to blast sounds one prefers to hear in order to block out other sounds isn’t the way to go for health-related reasons. Those who follow my blog know what I’m about to say. This is yet another reason to grant workers more control over their working environments. If providing isolated offices isn’t a viable alternative due to the price tag associated with space then a remote work arrangement may be the answer.
Read “A typical day with misophonia” to discover how different someone else’s experience of typical work environments can be. This post by Emlyn Altman also provides an excellent description of what it’s like to have misophonia and endure the sounds in the typical workplace.
Disclaimer: Suffering exists in this world in many different forms. On this blog, I will share what it is like to live with misophonia. I have loved ones with cancer. Loved ones with crippling addictions and other sturggles. I am in no way saying that my life is worse than anyone else’s. Life can be a challenge for every creature on this planet, and my story is just one example of that.
Today I went to work. As I walked out my front door, I checked once more that I had at least one pair of earplugs on me. As I got on the subway, I made sure my iPod was blasting music. I sat down to notice a woman facing my direction on the car was chewing gum. I looked down at my lap to avoid seeing her chomp down over and over again. Soon it was my stop…
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To begin with, I’d like to make sure readers know that one of my strongest personal convictions is, “It takes all kinds of people to make the world go round.” I respect morning and night people equally. Really, I don’t care whether someone goes to sleep early and wakes up early or goes to sleep late and wakes up late. That said, for the past week I found this post, Why I Wake Up Early and 3 Reasons You Should Too by CNBC Correspondent Julia Boorsin, along with responses to it very amusing. Surely there is a lot of truth to this as many “morning larks” seem to agree. However, if you are a true “night owl” then this may not square with your experiences. Secondly, I’m well aware that the word “should” can get you in so much trouble with people and want to make it clear at the outset that I don’t think it’s healthy to be functioning in a way that is unsustainable in the long-term. So don’t take this post too seriously!
Without further ado, and out of fairness, here are my words of support for night owls! Why I stay up late and 3 reasons you “should” <rolls eyes> too: Read more of this post
Many of you are already familiar with the living-for-the-weekend mindset and with how fleeting weekends seem to be. As soon as another weekend creeps up, it’ll soon be over and you’ll be dreading Monday all over again. For those who experience an intense level of anxiety and stress on Sunday nights, the following tips and coping strategies may be worth trying:
- 11 Ways to Beat the Monday Blues (Forbes.com)
- How to Beat the Monday Morning Blues (Wikihow.com)
- 8 Ways to Deal with the Monday Blues (Careerealism.com)
To those suggestions, I’d add: Try to keep the situation in perspective. Indeed, there are worse life situations to be in, and there are plenty of people out there who have it much worse. However, the question of whether you should focus on accepting the situation or trying to break free and create a work-life that you have more control over is a personal one. Some questions you can ask yourself to clarify if making a break for freedom is for you: Read more of this post
Boredom at work is one issue that many people I’ve encountered don’t take seriously. Some have even asked me, “How can you be bored when you have so many repetitive tasks to do all day?” The answer is explained very well in a post by Alex Hagan. This post contrasts the roots of boredom with the roots of anxiety at work. The issue of establishing a work environment that would facilitate engagement and the experience of “flow” is also discussed alongside an interesting look at how the typical environment at Las Vegas casinos is designed to keep people immersed in activity there.
- Bored at Work? 5 Ways to Make Your Job More Engaging | CareerBliss (careerbliss.com)
|Does Las Vegas have anything to teach Employers about employee engagement?|
I’ve recently been reading about “flow”, a state of extreme focus and productivity – and the lengths that Las Vegas casinos will go to in encouraging it. This got me thinking about how Flow could be applied to the workplace, and whether Las Vegas has anything to teach employers about it.
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