- Paperback: 256 pages
- Publisher: House of Anansi Press; 1 edition (February 12, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1770892753
- ISBN-13: 978-1770892750
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 11 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #519,682 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Is Work Killing You?: A Doctor's Prescription for Treating Workplace Stress 1st Edition
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About the Author
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Dr. Posen mentions that in his other books he talks about work related stress from the point-of-view of the individual as the needed source of change; conversely, in this book, Posen speaks of the need for corporate restructuring, either through manageable and small-scale changes or even through radical and large-scale implementations of his ideas.
Perhaps the most radical and yet eye-opening of his perspectives is his view that there have been layoffs of corporate staff members that resulted less from necessity and more from sheer corporate greed--most notably through CEO inflated wages.
To illustrate, Dr. Posen writes that "in December 2011, the Conference Board of Canada reported that the pay of board directors of publicly traded companies in Canada jumped 400 percent in the past decade while the value of the companies they were overseeing rose only 33 percent, based on the Toronto Stock Market Index" (p. 281). Essentially, while companies lay off staff-- creating extra burdens, increased stress, and greater workloads for remaining members-- CEO's are earning 400 times the value they earned in the prior decade. Sadly, even when corporations are losing money, CEO's are receiving hefty bonuses for failing performances.
Interestingly, the outcome of this downsizing of staff, according to Dr. Posen, is that staff members are being both stretched beyond their natural stress threshold and deprived of the leisure, sleep and work balance that is required for optimal living.
Another interesting perspective that Dr. Posen introduces is how the work week used to involve 12 hour workdays, and when societal demands reduced the work week by 2 additional hours, the outcome was increased productivity, less absenteeism, and improved performance.
However, the book deals with substantially more material than covered in this review.
For instance, Posen breaks down the book into three central areas contributing to workplace stress: velocity, volume, and abuse. He gives perspective on subtopics such as the downfall of multitasking, the value of timeouts, the problems of meetings, dealing with bad bosses, dealing with office politics, and much more, including one of his most poignant discussions, "Must the Rich be Filthy Rich."
In his conclusion, he provides over 30 pages on how to prevent many of the factors that contribute to workplace stress.
Dr. Posen's book is a compelling, gripping read that took me two days to finish, in spite of the book being over 350 pages long.
It's an insightful advocacy piece that is very timely, considering how social media is propagating awareness of societal inequities, where some of the wealthy are abusing positions of power and many employees are overtaxed due to exorbitant workloads and unhealthy work environments.
[If you liked the political message of this book, then you absolutely must consider reading "The Price of Inequality: How today's divided society endangers our future" by a Nobel Prize winner in Economics, Joseph E. Stiglitz. Upon reading Stiglitz's book, your view on the current political/economic situation will be completely influenced/altered toward a more progressive outlook that considers foremost the overall benefit of society as a whole.]