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Mental health at the workplace – World Mental Health Day 2017

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World Mental Health Day takes place on 10 October each year. It is a day for global mental health awareness-raising and advocacy. This year, World Mental Health Day focuses on mental health at the workplace – a vital concern considering that the majority of people with mental conditions are of working age and that the productivity losses due to common mental disorders, such as depression and anxiety disorders, are so substantial. A recent WHO-led study estimated that these common mental disorders account for more than 50 million lost years of work and cost the global economy US$ 1 trillion a year in lost productivity. In the WHO European Region alone, the estimated cost exceeds US$ 140 billion per year. A further notable finding is that, compared to other health conditions, depression and anxiety disorders impose a 30% higher toll on the employer and economy (due to longer average periods off work).

Well-being at the workplace influences health and productivity, and a negative work environment may lead to physical and mental health problems, alcohol consumption and substance abuse. The risk of developing work-related depression, stress and burnout can be addressed by tackling some of the risks to mental health at the workplace, such as:

  • inadequate health and safety policies
  • poor communication and management practices
  • limited participation in decision-making or low control over one’s area of work
  • low levels of support for employees
  • inflexible working hours
  • unclear tasks or organizational objectives.

Interventions and good practices that protect and promote mental health in the workplace include informing staff that help is available, involving employees in decision-making and supporting a good work-life balance.

Mental health at work relates to both the effects of the workplace on people’s mental health and the impact of mental health problems on the workplace. Read more about this and about creating a healthy workplace in the information sheet listed below.

Source: World Health Organization
Pic: Metro

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14 science-backed reasons to disconnect over the weekend

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Step away from your work emails! If you’re guilty of putting a few extra hours in at work, whether in the office or on your sofa with your smartphone, this infographic explains exactly why you may be doing more harm than good.

Entrepreneurs are many things: dreamers, creators, opportunity hunters and hard workers. But most notoriously, business owners have a bad habit of working too much. 

If you feel pressured to work on your days off, either to keep up your growth momentum, or to take the slack off your overstretched employees, the terrible irony is that you might actually end up doing more harm than good. A Whitehall study suggests that working long hours can double the odds of a major depressive episode — not much use for your wellbeing, your family, or your business.

Stress-related absenteeism and reduced productivity cost businesses £29 billion a year, according to a PWC study, which is something you may want to think about going into work in for a couple of hours on Saturday morning.

Instead, consider making the most of your break to disconnect from work, recharge your batteries, and find inspiration so you return to work, creative guns blazing.

This infographic from NetCredit explains the science behind taking the weekend off, and how to do it right to get the most out of your break.

Praseeda Nair

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SME Tools to prevent Burnout – Newsletter 1

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SME Tools to prevent Burnout  is an Erasmus + KA2 project financed by the European Commission.
The aim of the project is to prevent burnout at work and raise resilience, to help SMEs staff and managers to forecast burnout, to recognize the warning signs, to take steps to regain balance and to change people’s approach to a balanced life, improving working conditions, and to reduce the cost of burnout and stress.


Click on the image below to start watching the video:

Have a look at the framework developed by the partnership

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Sono questi i lavoratori più a rischio burnout

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Alle prese tra piatti e fornelli quello del cuoco è il mestiere più stressante che esista. Gli chef di cucina, infatti, sperimentano una elevatissima pressione a causa della velocità con cui devono lavorare quotidianamente. La curiosità è emersa da uno studio condotto in Olanda che ha fatto una classifica delle professioni più dure. A seguire si piazzano medici, avvocati e insegnanti che si lamentano dell’eccessivo carico di lavoro che li porta vicini al rischio di sperimentare la sindrome da burnout. All’opposto, e con un pizzico di sorpresa, la ricerca rivela che le guardie giurate presentano il più basso livello di stress sul posto di lavoro, seguiti da tassisti, giardinieri e cassieri dei supermercati.

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Employee Burnout Is a Problem with the Company, Not the Person

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Employee burnout is a common phenomenon, but it is one that companies tend to treat as a talent management or personal issue rather than a broader organizational challenge. That’s a mistake.

The psychological and physical problems of burned-out employees, which cost an estimated $125 billion to $190 billion a year in healthcare spending in the U.S., are just the most obvious impacts. The true cost to business can be far greater, thanks to low productivity across organizations, high turnover, and the loss of the most capable talent. Executives need to own up to their role in creating the workplace stress that leads to burnout—heavy workloads, job insecurity, and frustrating work routines that include too many meetings and far too little time for creative work. Once executives confront the problem at an organizational level, they can use organizational measures to address it.

In our book Time, Talent and Energy, we note that when employees aren’t as productive as they could be, it’s usually the organization, not its employees, that is to blame. The same is true for employee burnout. When we looked inside companies with high burnout rates, we saw three common culprits: excessive collaboration, weak time management disciplines, and a tendency to overload the most capable with too much work. These forces not only rob employees of time to concentrate on completing complex tasks or for idea generation, they also crunch the downtime that is necessary for restoration. Here’s how leaders can address them.

Excessive collaboration

Excessive collaboration is a common ailment in organizations with too many decision makers and too many decision-making nodes. It manifests itself in endless rounds of meetings and conference calls to ensure that every stakeholder is heard and aligned. Many corporate cultures require collaboration far beyond what is needed to get the job done. Together, these structural and cultural factors lead to fragmented calendars and even fragmented hours during the day. Our research found that senior executives now receive 200 or more emails per day. The average frontline supervisor devotes about eight hours each week (a full business day) to sending, reading and answering e-communications—many of which shouldn’t have been sent to or answered by those managers.

Burnout is also driven by the always-on digital workplace, too many priorities, and the expectation that employees can use their digital tools to multitask and power through their workloads. Multitasking turns out to be exhausting and counterproductive as we switch back and forth between tasks. The costs of context switching are well documented: switching to a new task while still in the middle of another increases the time it takes you to finish both tasks by 25%. A Microsoft study found that it takes people an average of 15 minutes to return to an important project after an e-mail interruption.

Companies can begin to address the collaboration overload problem by adjusting organizational structures and routines. One easy step is to look at the number of nodes in the organization. These are intersections in the organizational matrix where a decision maker sits. A proliferation of nodes is a sign of unnecessary organizational complexity, and nodes act as organizational speedbumps, slowing down the action and stealing organizational time and energy.

Companies can also systematically examine how people go about their work. You can, for example, zero-base meeting calendars to determine which meetings are really necessary, how frequently they should be scheduled, how long they last and who really needs to attend. You can also look at how you staff teams. Instead of isolating star players by distributing them across teams, companies can often get better results by putting the high-energy, high-achieving players together on the same squad and having them tackle the highest priority work.

In addition to formal organizational changes, leaders can reduce burnout and raise enterprise productivity through softer interventions. For example, by adopting agile principles, leaders can motivate and energize teams, and give individual team members a way to own the results. With Agile approaches, teams focus on fewer, more critical activities. Initiative backlogs are used to set priorities, and the team reprioritizes the list whenever they add new tasks. This provides a mechanism for sustained focus on the most important priorities and constant pruning of less important ones. Projects are time-boxed and focused so that there is more doing and less energy-draining process.

Executives can also work on culture and coaching. Leaders can help establish new cultural norms around time and make clear that everyone’s time is a precious resource.

Weak time-management disciplines

In most large organizations today, the demand for collaboration has significantly outpaced the development of tools, disciplines and organizational norms to manage it. Most often, employees are left on their own to figure out how to manage their time in ways that will reduce stress and burnout. They have limited ability to fight a corporate culture in which overwork is the norm and even celebrated. And few employees have the power—or temerity—to call off unnecessary meetings.

But company leaders can do something. The first step is to get a handle on the problem. While executives like to measure the benefits of collaboration, few have measured the costs. But there are useful tools to measure how employee time is spent and how that affects burnout and organizational productivity. Ryan Fuller, the cofounder of a workplace analytics start-up acquired by Microsoft, notes that executives often simply do not knowhow much time employees spend on activities that contribute to enterprise productivity, nor do they know how much time is lost or spent on less productive activities. His company’s product is now marketed as Microsoft Workplace Analytics and provides one way to estimate how employee time is spent.

Using data from such tools, you can map the places in your organizations where too much time is spent in meetings, emails, or online collaboration. With this information you can target changes in specific groups and functions to reduce the organizational drag that drains productivity and leads to burnout. Our data suggest that most executives have an opportunity to liberate at least 20% of their employees’ time by bringing greater discipline to time management. Equally important, doing so gives employees back control over their calendars. We find that one of the greatest sources of organizational energy is giving employees a sense of autonomy. It pays to give people back control of their days. It also helps to avoid micromanaging, which is another contributor to stress.

Overloading of the most capable

Employee workloads have increased in many organizations in which hiring has not matched growth; companies overestimate how much can be accomplished with digital productivity tools and rarely check to see if their assumptions are correct. The overload problem is compounded for companies because the best people are the ones whose knowledge is most in demand and who are often the biggest victims of collaboration overload. In one company we studied, the average manager was losing one day a week to email and other electronic communications and two days a week to meetings. The highly talented managers will lose even more time to collaboration as their overwork earns them more responsibility and an even larger workload.

The same workplace analytic tools that can measure how much employee time is lost to unproductive activities can also measure the excess demands on the time of the best managers, enabling their bosses to redesign workflows or take other steps to avoid overload and burnout.

Everyone knows the human toll of burnout. Unchecked organizational norms insidiously create the conditions for burnout—but leaders can change them to make burnout less likely. Giving people back the time to do work that drives the company’s success will pay huge dividends by raising productivity, increasing productive output and reducing burnout. Everybody wins.


Eric Garton is a partner in Bain & Company’s Chicago office and leader of the firm’s Global Organization practice. He is coauthor of Time, Talent, Energy: Overcome Organizational Drag and Unleash Your Team’s Productive Power (HBR Press, March 2017).

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Cold Warriors

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Good morning, oh in case i don’t see you, good afternoon, good evening and goodnight. excuse me, i’d like to ask you a few questions. we’re going for a ride on the information super highway.
Here she comes to wreck the day. here she comes to wreck the day. alrighty then kinda hot in these rhinos. we’re going for a ride on the information super highway.

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The importance of SEO

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Books are useless! I only ever read one book, “To Kill A Mockingbird,” and it gave me absolutely no insight on how to kill mockingbirds! Sure it taught me not to judge a man by the color of his skin…but what good does *that* do me? I’m a Spalding Gray in a Rick Dees world. You don’t win friends with salad. The Internet King? I wonder if he could provide faster nudity.

The importance of SEO
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