Work or Death? Why Our Relationship with Work is Broken (Part 2)

Our relationship with work is broken.

While we may not YET classify work as a disease, mounting evidence suggests that work can make us sick and is often deadly.

Last year, Forbes reported the annual healthcare cost for work related stress had risen to $190B. The number swells to $300B when factoring in lost productivity, absenteeism and related employee turnover. That means for every $1 Americans spend on cancer related healthcare expenses, we spend $3.5 on work related illnesses and it doesn’t stop there, more people die of natural causes (namely heart attacks) during one five hour period each week, year after year, decade after decade… can you guess what part of the week it is? You got it!

Monday morning between the hours of 5AM-10AM, the hours leading into the start of a new work week. It is as if we are visited by a Monday Morning Angel asking each of us a simple question…work or death?

The vast majority of the time we wouldn’t even consider the question, until one darn day, we think — I can’t go into THAT PLACE any more! I choose death today!

Our relationship with work is broken, not only because our jobs have become one of our greatest health risks, but also because the fundamental deal between employee and employer has changed.

No longer are fresh-out-of-college-new-hires just 40 short years away from a gold watch and a funded pension. That deal is no longer on the table. In fact, today’s college graduate is likely to have an average of 12 jobs in a given career. The implications for compensation, health benefits, financial planning and retirement – not to mention retirement age – are very real concerns and just one more reason why our relationship with work is broken.  Next week we’ll examine two more reasons as we ask some tough questions about some strange organizational behavior and discuss why you might want to keep a close eye on your boss…

As always, I look forward to hearing what you think at

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