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Work email is making us a ‘generation of idiots’. Time to switch off – The Guardian

May 21, 2015

The downsides of email now outweigh the benefits as they promote unmanageable workloads and supplant face-to-face discussions. Moreover, these negative impacts extend beyond the workplace and into workers’ homes. New technology encourages checking and replying to email while not at work, with consequences for individuals’ quality of life.

Employers have a role to play in helping employees manage email and encourage use that doesn’t negative affect work-life balance. Guidelines should discourage email use while not working, avoid unnecessarily including too many people in group emails, and to prefer face-to-face meetings between colleagues in the same building.

Read more at The Guardian.

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Stop Punishing the Family Man – HBR Blog

Men in the United States continue to face discrimination in the workplace for failing to maintain the appearance of the ‘ideal worker’, who is fully committed to work at the exclusion of family life. Even where they are taking pre-arranged or legally sanctioned leave, to care for a sick partner or new child, men face workplace stigma, marginalisation and even face losing their job.

Importantly, such workplace discrimination is ‘policed by men, but also, significantly, by women,’ says Joan Williams, director of the Center for WorkLife Law.

Read more at the HBR Blog.

 

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Study: work-life challenges across generations – EY

May 15, 2015

A global survey, covering nearly 10,000 employees in eight countries has found that:

  • Work-life balance is harder worldwide.
  • People are quitting their jobs because of excessive overtime hours and bosses that don’t allow flexible working.
  • Being able to work flexibly and still be on track for promotion is very important.

The leading causes of work-life conflict are that while wages have remained stagnant, their responsibilities have increased.

Workers in Germany and Japan reported the highest levels of increasing work-life conflict. German parents – alongside those in the UK, India and the US – were also most likely to report difficulties in managing work-life balance versus their non-parent colleagues.

They survey also found that approximately half of managers work more than 40 hours a week, with four in 10 saying that their hours have increased in the past five years.

Read more at EY.

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Charities risk losing staff if they fail to promote wellbeing – The Guardian

May 13, 2015

Staff working for charities may be more susceptible to overwork and ill effects from poor work-life balance.

Those working for charities often feel they need to work harder because failure to do so lets down the beneficiaries of their charities. The passion many employees in this sector feel for their work can lead to the blurring of boundaries between work and personal commitment.

Read more on The Guardian.

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Flexibility ‘a pipe dream’ for low paid workers – FlexibleBoss

May 5, 2015

In 2014 Working Families received almost 3,000 calls to its legal advice helpline. Based on this the charity points out that, while workers have the right to request flexible working, for those in low paid sectors flexible working remains a ‘pipe dream’.

Working Families notes that retail, social care, catering and hospitality sectors rely on ‘casualised’ labour, offering contracts that offer little job security and few guaranteed hours:

By their nature, such insecure jobs, with varying and unpredictable weekly hours… [that] make it very difficult if not impossible for workers to successfully request a change in their hours or working pattern to accommodate a change in their family circumstances, or to resist a problematic change in their hours or working pattern…

They point out that refusal to change working hours, often at short notice, “can easily lead to there being no work at all”. An issue exacerbated by the imposition of employment tribunal fees in 2013.

Read more at FlexibleBoss.

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