Bob Sullivan, an NBC news contributor, wrote an amazing article on what this new trend is doing to our culture AND our health!
He writes “More people are living a life marked by energy-drink-fueled all-nighters. A toxic combination of digital leashes, the hypnotic effects of technology, economic anxiety, and caffeine is encouraging workers to push far beyond normal limits in the name of hard work.
Take Mita Diran. The 24-year-old advertising copywriter worked for 30 hours straight just before Christmas, bragged that she was “still going strooong” on Twitter, and dropped dead within hours. The young Indonesian was the latest high-profile victim of what some are now calling “binge working.””
According to Bob’s research; 35% of Americans worked weekends in 2011, and in 2012 it was estimated that almost a 3rd of working adults got 6 hours or less, of sleep a night. As you might have guessed, technology seems to be the biggest culprit, with email being the number one reason “binge-working” is a continuing trend.
From 1950 to 1979, surveys show that bosses and colleagues alike, never expected a response, to either a phone call or letter, after 4:30 PM. Today however, research shows that 95% of working Americans don’t turn off their email or phone until well after 10 PM, which doesn’t allow the human brain to rest and recharge as needed.
The American Journal of Epidemiology states it’s case about the negative effects of working long hours:
- Long working hours have been found to be associated with cardiovascular and immunologic reactions, reduced sleep duration, unhealthy lifestyle, and adverse health outcomes, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, subjective health complaints, fatigue, and depression.
- There is increasing evidence to suggest the importance of midlife risk factors for later dementia. Furthermore, the link between cognitive impairment and later life dementia is clearly established.
So how can we stop this trend from continuing? By simply…talking!
Ken Matos, researcher at the Families and Work Institute (a non-profit), states that “fear can drive people to overwork, and fear shuts down open and honest communication, which is necessary to creating an innovative and responsive workplace.”
As healthcare professionals, let’s shift our focus on keeping the lines of communication open, and keeping the expectations of the job to reasonable hours.
Whether you’re bringing a new person on board or just having a conversation with current team members; take a moment to remind them that every email or request does not have to be answered immediately. By setting this standard for them, they are less likely to require it from you, allowing all of us to stop….and breathe!!
So what are you going to do to avoid “binge working”
from happening in your workplace??
Source NBC News Business