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Why we should be watching the sun, not the clock

11/01/2019 Linda Geddes 0

Between daylight saving and obligatory early starts, we live at the mercy of ‘official’ time – and many of us feel permanently out of syncBy Linda GeddesThe tourism brochure for the German spa town of Bad Kissingen features a photograph of a young woma…

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Is being a chef bad for your mental health?

26/11/2017 Jay Rayner 0

Brutal pressure at work is causing depression in many chefs. In one survey, more than half said they took painkillers or drink to get through shifts. What is happening behind the kitchen doors?In October last year Andrew Clarke, head chef of the much-a…

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Britain also has a fatal overwork problem | Letters

09/10/2017 Letters 0

Regularly working 49 hours or more a week is associated with a significantly increased risk of stroke, writes David Hardman of the London Hazards CentreYour report on the death from overwork of the Japanese reporter Miwa Sado states that 80 hours of ov…

Crushing morale, killing productivity – why do offices put up with meetings? | Simon Jenkins

14/09/2017 Simon Jenkins 0

There’s no proof that organisations benefit from the endless cycle of these charades, but they can’t stop it. We’re addicted

Just off to a meeting? Stop right now. Turn back. You will be stuck in an overheated room, chained to a table for an absurd length of time and stopped from proper work. Worse, we are now told that just sitting there is a killer. It shortens life. You will die.

According to Public Health England, we are so addicted to meetings that we don’t realise the threat they pose to ourselves and our organisations. Its chief executive, Duncan Selbie, told this week’s annual meeting that sitting in meetings “haemorrhages productivity”. It slows metabolism and affects the body’s capacity to regulate its sugar and thus blood pressure. This leads to obesity, diabetes, cancer … and death. So don’t do it. Don’t go.

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The stress of low-paid work is making our country sick | Dawn Foster

24/08/2017 Dawn Foster 0

In modern Britain’s zero-hours labour market, unemployment is sometimes a healthier option than taking a job

On Tuesday Heather left her desk, locked herself into a toilet cubicle and wept for 30 minutes, covering her mouth with a fistful of toilet paper to avoid being heard by her colleagues. For the last year, the 26-year-old has been having nightmares about her workplace, and has been signed off with depression on and off for the past four months. The Glasgow customer service call centre she works in has a high turnover of staff, who are often signed off with anxiety and depression, and the constant management warnings about being laid off if calls aren’t dealt with in strict timeframes are massively stressful for staff on zero-hours contracts with barely any employment rights.

Heather’s experience isn’t unusual. Researchers from Manchester University this month released research showing poor-quality jobs are actually worse for mental health than unemployment. Adults who transitioned from unemployment into low-paid work had elevated risks for a number of health issues, especially chronic stress.

Related: ‘I use food banks’ – workers on the impact of the pay squeeze

The Conservative manifesto repeated that work is the best route out of poverty: this simply isn’t true

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