Jeff Pfeffer, Professor of Organizational Behavior at Stanford Graduate School of Business, has written a new book, Dying for a Paycheck, which will be released March 20, 2018.
Dying for a Paycheck focuses on ills in the modern workplace, such as long work hours, work-family conflict, and economic insecurity, and how they are toxic to employees – harming engagement, increasing turnover, and destroying individuals’ physical and emotional health. Pfeffer points out, “I want this to be the Silent Spring of workplace health. We are harming both company performance and individual well-being, and this needs to be the clarion call for us to stop. There is too much damage being done.”
In a recent interview with Insights by Stanford Business, Pfeffer noted that a great percentage of the health-care cost burden in the developed world, especially in the United States, comes from chronic diseases, such as diabetes and cardiovascular and circulatory disease. Some estimates are that 75% of the disease burden in the United States is from chronic diseases. Data suggests that the biggest source of stress is the workplace, and stress causes chronic disease. The connection between the stress in the workplace and chronic disease has likely always been there, but the workplace has generally gotten worse over time. Job engagement is low, distrust in management is high, and job satisfaction is low and continues to decline. Fewer people are covered by employer-sponsored health insurance than in the past, and a high percentage of people, even those with insurance, say they forego treatment and medications because of cost issues.
Pfeffer observes that the workplace is “shockingly inhumane” and that there are behaviors with respect to the physical environment that we have decided are impermissible, and now parade their sustainability efforts. At the same time, companies engage in many things that are harming the human beings who work for them, and, Pfeffer argues, we should stop tolerating this. He offers guidance and practical solutions all of us can use to enhance workplace well-being.
For more information on Dying for a Paycheck, visit the publisher’s Web site.
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