In case you missed it (#ICYMI). Here’s the skinny on this week’s stories covering workplace culture and behavior.
Work-related stress is fatal.
A recent study from Harvard Business School and Stanford Business School is making serious headlines both on and offline. The study found health problems stemming from job stress can lead to fatal conditions that end up killing 120,000 people each year. That’s more deadly than diabetes and Alzheimer’s, according to The Atlantic. Not to mention, workplace stress contributes up to $190 billion in health care expenses in a single year! A recent Fast Company article highlights the findings of an American Psychological Association study saying, 36% of workers said they typically feel tense or stressed out while at work.
The reasons for stress include:
- Low salary (49%)
- Lack of opportunities for growth and advancement (43%)
- Heavy workload (43%)
- Unrealistic job expectations (40%)
- Long hours (39%)
Companies question open offices.
This might not come to a surprise to those of you who sit in an open, noisy office. The Huffington Post published an article on the not-so-effective impact of open workspaces. Organizations have noticed employees struggling with concentration and motivation because of the increase in interruptions throughout the day. In the article, Jennifer Veitch, an environmental psychologist with the National Research Council of Canada said, “Workspace should be designed as carefully as you would design the cockpit of the Dreamliner. “If you don’t give your employees the right environment, they won’t be able to do what you’re paying them to do.”
Yikes! You might be the reason your employees aren’t changing.
According to research from Harvard Business Review, 97% of employees readily admit they have a “career-limiting habit.” This is defined as “a behavior that will forever hold them back, unless they learn to change it.” Mentors often step in and coach the person, hoping they’ll change the behavior or pattern. However, if often doesn’t stick because of three common, but fixable, mistakes.
- Lecturing rather than interviewing
- Motivating rather than enabling
- Focusing on the actor and ignoring the context.
Creepy: Mood monitors in the workplace.
I’m sorry to report that mood monitors are about to become a real thing. According to Good, Hitachi has developed a line of wearable monitors designed to track and tabulate overall workplace happiness. The article state that the monitors contain a small accelerometer, which is designed to track a person’s movement throughout the day. It sends real-time data up to fifty times a second. Hitachi believes that movement is a key indicator of an individual’s mood. By monitoring movement, Hitachi believes calculate the other using an algorithm. The article states:
“The data collected from a single employee’s monitor is assessed alongside the data collected from their coworkers, and ultimately is used to rate an office’s overall happiness on a scale of 1-100.”
It sounds creepy to me, but the company claims it has seen an increase in workplace productivity.