If you’ve been on vacation, or busy with back to school chores, don’t you worry. We’ve been trolling the internet looking for the top articles covering workplace culture and career advice. In case you missed it (ICYMI) here are the top articles we couldn’t stop talking about this week!
Working overtime could be killing you
Let the overworked workforce rejoice! You now have more proof that you should only be working 40-hours a week!
A few weeks ago we wrote about a Harvard Business School and Stanford University study that found health problems stemming from job stress can lead to fatal conditions that end up killing 120,000 people each year. Last week, a study published in the British medical journal The Lancet confirmed yet again the life-threatening physical and mental strains of working overtime. The new study found that people who work more than 55 hours a week have a 33% higher risk of stroke than those working 35-40 hours a week, and a 13% increased risk of coronary heart disease.
An article published on the Washington Post this week cited additional studies reporting that individuals working over 55 hours a week are at a higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, and women who sit inactive at their desks for over 11 hours a day are more likely to experience earlier deaths. Not to mention, people who put in longer work hours are more likely to develop depression.
This is pretty serious stuff. Long hours and stressful working conditions aren’t just killing productivity, they’re killing people! It’s time to put an end to long days. As organizations we need to think about the well-being of our people before we ask them to stay late or work over the weekend. It’s not even productive! According to the Washington Post, “a Stanford researcher published a study showing that productivity begins to fall off at about 50 hours per week.”
A little gratitude goes a long way
Do you feel like you’re in a thankless job? I think we’ve all experienced that moment; the feeling like you would do just about anything for acknowledgement of a job well done. This week NY Mag wrote an article that sheds some light on our collective desire for a simple “thank you” at work. Janice Kaplan in her new book The Gratitude Diaries surveyed 2,000 Americans about their thoughts on gratitude. Here are some of the results:
- 81% of respondents said that they’d be willing to work harder for an appreciative boss, and
- 70% said they’d feel better about themselves and their efforts if their boss thanked them more regularly.
But, here’s the kicker: only 10% of survey respondents say that they regularly showed their colleagues gratitude.
Saying “thank you” goes a long way, and should be used more throughout the day. For some advice on how to say sincerely say thank you to your colleagues, check out “4 Easy Ways to Say Thanks to Your Employees.”
Finding meaning in a job you hate
“If you read one more article on workplace happiness, you’re going to lose it.” That’s how Lea McLead began her most recent column on The Muse this week. The article, “3 Ways to Create Meaning at a Job You Hate” discusses some realities that many of us face: you’re stuck in a job you don’t like, but you can’t leave because of other things happening in your life, such as trying to pay off that student loan debt. You’ll get that dream job eventually, but for now you have to live with what you have.
If you identify with this dilemma, here are three ways to find more meaning at work:
- Know your why. Reflect on the reason you work.
- Express your human goodness. Capitalize on your character strengths and bring happiness to those around you.
- Connect the dots. Find meaning in your current situation by connecting your past, present and future.
Check out the full article for more examples on how to find more meaning at work.