Optimum Hours Contract

Work is good for you — but only one day a week, scientists say, Cnbc.com, 19 June 2019, Chloe Taylor

The Ultimate Work/Life Balance

“Working eight hours a week is the “recommended dose” for optimum mental wellbeing, British scientists claim. In a study published Tuesday, researchers from the University of Cambridge and the University of Salford set out to find a working pattern that would be most beneficial to employees’ mental health. It was conducted on the premise that the rise of automation would force companies to “rethink current norms” around working hours. The project examined the link between working hours, mental health and life satisfaction in more than 71,000 working-age people in the U.K. over a nine-year period. Participants were asked about issues including anxiety and sleep problems to gauge the state of their mental health.”

Through the WI lens

In an era when the expectation is growing that AI and automation will soon be able to carry out much of the work done by people there’s increasing interest in how human work patterns will evolve. The research reported on here looked at this through the lens of mental wellbeing, and found that moving from not working to working for up to eight hours a week reduces the risk of mental health problems by an average of 30 per cent. After that, there’s no further gain, and it may well be conjectured that as the hours pile up, mental wellbeing would start to decrease. For most employers there’s little immediate prospect of being able to cut the working week so radically. But the simple lesson is that when it comes to work, less can be more. The productivity gains of automation should be re-invested in people’s lives, and in the meantime, the challenge is to make the longer hours worked by most employees an experience that boosts their wellbeing rather than becoming a source of stress and mental illness.


Pluses (and minuses) Of Positive Thinking

November 10, 2020

What this article goes on to explain is how positive thinking – described here as ‘thriving’ – can counter the effects that come from the negativity outlined above, from reduced memory to diminished performance. Based on studying people in a series of organisations in different industries, one of the authors has found that people who attain this state are more resilient, experience less burnout, and are more confident in their ability to take control of a situation

Working With Nature

November 10, 2020

“Behind the jargon what this is really about is how we address the challenge of biodiversity under threat, move away from fossil materials like plastic and concrete, and use nature in a sustainable way, all of which could be summed up by “living in harmony with nature”.”

Resetting Company Culture

October 12, 2020

“In the new ‘consensual contract’ between employer and worker, what’s required is a commitment from the employer to safeguard the wellbeing of their people, and a commitment in return from employees to take personal responsibility for their performance of their job.”

Countering Loneliness

October 3, 2020

“Could loneliness not only be damaging our mental and physical health but also be making the world a more aggressive, angry place? And if so, what are the implications for a cohesive society and democracy?”

Staking The Moral High Street

August 30, 2020

“On such fragile foundations are built the first steps towards a more ethical kind of business, and who knows what virtuous circles might result?”

Breathe Easy

August 28, 2020

“Scientific evidence recently emerged that, contrary to earlier beliefs, Covid-19 can be spread by tiny droplets that we breathe out when we respire, called aerosols.”

Why Obesity Needs Weighty Solutions

August 6, 2020

“Economic wellbeing is part of the story, but it is also about finding less stressful lifestyles, in which healthy diet figures as a meaningful measure of success.”

Pulling Together Out Of Lockdown

July 8, 2020

“The industry has every asset needed to be a guiding light in the shift toward personal health priority. Will that become a prevention legacy, a ‘phoenix rising’ from the Covid-19 ashes?”

Opening The Right Doors

July 2, 2020

“Looking at the bigger picture, putting the measures in this order represents a lost opportunity that the pandemic could have offered for a cultural pivot pivot towards getting people more focused on their health, a powerful statement of intent.”

Home (working) Truths

June 26, 2020

“Employment is necessary to fulfil our most basic human needs such as food and shelter. Any significant increase in long-term unemployment will spell a retrograde step for human wellbeing like no other.”

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