Click to see the full infographic on HumanResourcesMBA.net.
In a previous post, I described karoshi, Japanese death by overwork, and promised to expand on the implications for the U.S. and other countries.
In most industrialized, western nations, a correlate to karoshi, though not as extreme, is disease and death of workers that results from excessive stress, especially job strain. The relationship between job stress and disease has been documented in rigorous medical research that has been conducted — especially in Scandinavian countries — over the past 40 years.
Job strain is a particularly insidious form of stress that goes far beyond overflowing inboxes or tight deadlines. It is characterized primarily by Continue reading
As American managers puzzle over how to help employees “thrive” at work, Japan struggles at the other end of the spectrum — how to keep employees from working themselves to death. Karoshi, literally translated as “death from overwork,” is an officially recognized cause-of-death in Japan. In the United States, one of the few countries where employees work more paid hours than Japanese employees, we commonly think of karoshi as someone else’s problem. But is it? Continue reading
Last year, I ran a series of blog posts about stress. I appreciate the opportunity to share with readers the “demand control” model of stress, which is embraced by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, but in the US has fallen on deaf ears. Too often, employers’ only solution to employee stress is to provide simplistic behavioral programs. While these programs have value, they overstate the role of individual control over stress, and they substantially understate — in fact, ignore — the fact that the workplace itself is at the root of most employee stress.
Here’s an infographic — courtesy of the innovative folks at Visual Loop and Infographic World — that depicts Continue reading
We’ve been banging the stress drum lately, drawing attention to the role of the organization in workplace stress. Now comes a study that sheds light on the connection between stress, illness, productivity, gender differences, and the wackiness of the media.
Here’s the deal: This morning’s newspapers in the UK trumpeted a new study, saying the study confirmed the existence of “man flu.” Continue reading
In a post a couple of weeks ago, Stress At Work: Does Your Job Make You Sick?, we prattled on about the demand-control model of stress. Maybe you didn’t have time to read that post and chose, instead, to wait for the movie. Well, your wait is over. The good folks at the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), several years ago, published numerous resources on this topic, including a two-part video that they posted on YouTube, which we’ve posted below. While the production values, office backdrops, and hairstyles in the video are dated, the information is not. In fact, the latest research on workplace stress Continue reading
The December CoHealth TweetChat generated a lively discussion about workplace stress (read a recap here). Some participants –notably, Dr. David Ballard from the American Psychological Association – cited the impact organizational structure and job design have on employee stress. For those interested in learning more about this model, we’ve posted the following excerpt from Bob Merberg’s The Health Seeker’s Handbook (Well Lit Books, 2003). In future posts, we’ll provide additional resources related to this essential concept in employee stress.
The primary reason that worksite wellness programs in the United States have failed to live up to their original promise — building a healthier, more productive workforce and reduced health care costs — is because these programs have focused on individual health behaviors with total disregard for the maladies and health-risks that are intrinsic to the organization itself. CEOs can be sold on the idea that their employees’ behaviors must change, but they refuse to assess the manner in which they treat those employees.
Over the last 30 years, a strong body of scientific evidence has emerged supporting the idea that employee health is driven largely by Continue reading
It may be too late for employee wellness professionals to adjust their plans for holiday-season programs in 2010, but now is an ideal time to rethink the holiday stress programs we typically offer.
Every December, wellness program managers promote programs about managing “holiday stress.” These commonly take the form of lunch-and-learns or communication campaigns. They have the usual catchy titles like Continue reading