Is the workplace killing us?
A new book; Dying for a Paycheck, HarperBusiness 2018, maps a range of ills in the modern workplace — from the disappearance of good health insurance to the psychological effects of long hours and work-family conflict — and how these are killing people.
The author, Jeffrey Pfeffer, makes the following case:
- Firstly, an enormous percentage (up to 75% by some estimates) of the health care cost burden in the developed world, comes from chronic diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular and circulatory disease.
- Second, many studies show a correlation between diabetes, cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome — and many health-relevant individual behaviors such as overeating and under exercising and drug and alcohol abuse and stress.
- Third, and here’s the clincher, there is a large amount of data that suggests the biggest source of stress is the workplace.
So here it is: the workplace is the source of stress, stress causes chronic disease, and chronic disease is the biggest component of our ongoing and enormous health care costs.
The question has to be asked: has this connection always been there, or has there been an evolution in workplace culture that got us to this point?
In Pfeffer’s opinion, the physiology and etiology of disease have not really changed but there is a strong case to believe that the workplace has generally gotten worse.
Job engagement, according to Gallup, is low. Distrust in management, according to the Edelman trust index, is high. Job satisfaction, according to the Conference Board, is low and has been in continual decline. The gig economy is growing, economic insecurity is growing, and wage growth overall has stagnated.
Essentially, in the authors opinion, the workplace has become shockingly inhumane.
Whilst this seems like hyperbole, many of Futurebuild’s clients are looking for assistance in how a change in workplace environment can improve talent attraction and retention, support wellbeing initiative and increase staff engagement and job satisfaction.
For many this is not a large investment and there are a myriad of options, great and small theat will all make a difference.
Speak to Futurebuild about how a through review of your workplace will identify areas where you could improve the lives of your people today.