Workplace Success – What You Need to Know this Week

Here are three stories people are talking about this week.

1. Your work-life balance probably depends on your boss’s

You’re far more likely to have a good work-life balance if your boss does too, according to new research published in the Harvard Business Review last week. In workplaces with leaders who modeled sustainable work practices, employees were 55% more engaged, 72% higher in health well being, and 77% more satisfied at work. The researchers also found that employees are reluctant to use work-provided perks like fitness facilities if leaders aren’t using them – and that when leaders send emails in the evenings on and weekends, employees will feel compelled to respond to them, no matter how much their bosses tell them they don’t need to.

The reason for all this? The researchers point out that humans look to people with the most power in any situation, in order to spot cues about what is and isn’t acceptable behavior.

2. Jobs are staying vacant longer than ever

In news that will come as no surprise to anyone who’s working overtime to fill holes in their team’s coverage, new numbers show that jobs are now staying open longer than ever before. The average job opening went unfilled for 25.1 days in May, the longest duration since 2001 (as far back as the data goes) – and compared to a low of 15.3 days in July 2009. In some industries, job openings are staying vacant for even longer: In financial services, the average is 40 days, and in firms with at least 5,000 employees, the average position is 68.5 days. The Washington Post suggests the vacancy lengths could be explained by “uncertainty, about both public policy and the state of the economy; unrealistic employer expectations about what the kinds of qualifications workers should have vs. how much these workers deserve to be paid; and the fact that some larger companies may have gutted their H.R. departments during the recession.”

3. What checking email all the time does to your brain

Spending hours every week checking email is impacting our brains, says this unsettling Business Insider article, which is full of facts like:

  • every time you interrupt your focus, it takes 20 minutes to reacquaint yourself with the details of what you were doing
  • you lose up to 10 IQ points when you let yourself be continuously interrupted by calls, emails, and texts
  • if you regularly multitask, you’ll slowly change the structure of your brain to be less able to focus

If you’re ready to be utterly rattled, read the whole piece here.

You May Also Like:
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Alison Green

Alison Green writes the popular Ask a Manager blog where she dispenses advice on career, job search, and management issues. She's also the co-author of Managing to Change the World: The Nonprofit Manager's Guide to Getting Results and former chief of staff of a successful nonprofit organization, where she oversaw day-to-day staff management, hiring, firing, and employee development.

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