Work life

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Tired? Maybe you're actually lonely

More and more people are feeling both tired and lonely at work. In analyzing the General Social Survey of 2016, close to 50% of people say they are often or always exhausted due to work.

What’s more, there is a significant correlation between feeling lonely and work exhaustion: the more exhausted people are, the lonelier they feel.

This loneliness is not a result of social isolation, but rather is due to the emotional exhaustion of workplace burnout. The problem seems to be pervasive across professions and up and down corporate hierarchies.

Loneliness, whether it results from social isolation or exhaustion, has serious consequences for individuals. Research by Sarah Pressman, of the University of California, Irvine, demonstrates that while obesity reduces longevity by 20%, drinking by 30%, and smoking by 50%, loneliness reduces it by a whopping 70%.

Worshipping workaholism

In August, an emotional Elon Musk described how he was working so hard to keep production of the Tesla Model 3 on track that he missed his own birthday. Musk had been working 120-hour weeks, often not leaving the factory for three or four days.

Musk has long been celebrated by the business press for his work ethic. His extraordinary schedule—a long working day broken into five-minute increments, so that every second is accounted for—has been reported, approvingly, for some years now.

Historically, the boss who dedicates his life—every second of it—to corporate success has been an icon of the U.S. boardroom. Could Musk’s tearful disclosure be the moment all that changes?

The gig economy

The gig economy will become mainstream in the office within the next five years and life as an employee will "fundamentally change," a CEO that works with 30% of the Fortune 100 has said.

Catalant runs a matchmaking service that connects companies with professionals on-demand for specific projects. Users sign up through the website or access the service via a number of consulting firms that Catalant works with. Their profile is then put in front of company managers that are hiring for projects and at the end of the work the employee is given a rating.

Benefits of paid time off (PTO)

A growing number of companies are combining vacation and sick time into one bucket called "paid time off", or PTO.  Employees will decide whether they're going to use the days for vacation, when they or a relative are ill, or for family events.

According to a report from World at Work, an association of human resources professionals, 51 per cent of private companies, including small and mid-size businesses, offered PTO last year.

One of the biggest pluses about PTO for small business owners is eliminating the administrative chore of tracking how many sick days versus vacation days their employees have used. That can be particularly helpful in the growing number of states, counties and cities where employers are required to allow staffers to accrue sick time, usually up to 40 hours a year depending on how many hours they work. With PTO, there's no need to track hours worked or accrued.