The era when work ended as people left the office is long gone. Checking and answering messages from work seems unavoidable – and even desirable for some people, as they feel it allows them to outperform competitors, or to spend more time with family without losing track of their jobs. As put by a 2006 academic paper from Ian Towers, a researcher from SRH Hochschule in Berlin, mobile technology “increases expectations: managers and colleagues alike expect staff to be almost always available to do work”.
But being ‘on call’ is not the same as being off work, and the way our body reacts to both situations is very different. A 2016 study found that the cortisol levels (the hormone that regulates the ‘fight or flight’ reaction and plays a role in raising stress levels) of people ‘on call’ rise faster in the mornings than those of people who are not required to be available, even if they don’t end up working that day.
This hormone usually has its peak concentration when we wake up, and it decreases on the rest of the day. But scientists believe everyday stress factors tamper with its cycle in several ways: it rises faster when you expect a stressful day (researchers believe this may be the case here), its levels remain high if you are chronically stressed, and it does not rise if you are going through a ‘burnout syndrome’ – something usually preceded by a chronic stress period.
@johndgardiner, I think work hard and you’ll succeed is in some ways a lie. I think success in life is a combination of circumstances, choices, and dumb luck. The better your circumstances at birth and early life, the better choices you’ll have, which, when combined with luck may payoff.Continue Reading
There’s data on this — there shouldn’t need to be, but there is — that suggests that when people come to work sick, they’re not as productive. Companies have problems with presenteeism — people physically on the job but not really paying attention to what they are doing — with lost workdays from psychological stress and illness, with high health care costs. Seven percent of people in one survey were hospitalized — hospitalized! — because of workplace stress; 50% had missed time at work because of stress. People are quitting their jobs because of stress. The business costs are enormous.
“The Workplace Is Killing People and Nobody Cares”Continue Reading
This is not what I want to read right before starting a new gig that requires travel to Manhattan. I live near Princeton, New Jersey. The commute has been bad over the last few years and will soon worsen. I actually used the challenge of th commute to negotiate a higher rate for my next…Continue Reading