Work Environment

Workplace Benefits Continue to Disappear in U.S.

Pensions are one of the basic employment benefits that U.S. workers once took for granted but are now disappearing, U.S. News and World Report reported July 28. While nearly 90 percent of companies offer 401(k) plans to workers, and 74 percent make contributions to such plans, less than one in four firms now provide a […]

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Hire Smokers, Obese, Americans Tell Employers

Americans say it’s OK for employers to charge smokers higher premiums on health insurance, but they draw the line at allowing companies to discriminate against smokers and obese individuals when they are hiring, according to a new Gallup poll. Just 14 percent of those polled say companies should be able to refuse to hire smokers, […]

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Workplace Wellness Programs Should Include Financial Health

Many companies have recovered from the current recession, but workers often have not, so workplace wellness programs need to address this aspect of employee’s lives, too, Credit Union Times reported July 18. A survey of human-resource professionals found that 70 percent say workers are somewhat or strongly affected by personal financial problems, which in 40 […]

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Firefighters Face Big Obesity Problems

Your mental image of a firefighter may be of someone strong and fit, which makes it more shocking to learn that obesity is a bigger killer of firefighters than fires. CNN reported July 18 that a study from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated that 70 percent of firefighters are overweight […]

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Wellness: Incentivize, Don’t Penalize

Americans love workplace wellness programs — as long as they’re not penalized for failing to participate. CNBC reported July 1 that the Kaiser Health Tracking Poll found that 76 percent of Americans favor employer-sponsored wellness programs. But almost equally lopsided (74 percent) is opposition to employers charging workers higher health-insurance premiums for failing to meet […]

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Taking a Stand for Healthier Office Meetings

Standing desks have become more popular in progressive workplaces where the health perils of extended sitting are recognized, and some employers may consider taking things a step further by initiating standing meetings. BusinessWeek reported June 23 that workers were more engaged in meetings and less territorial when chairs were removed from meeting rooms, according to […]

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More Americans Put Blame for Poverty on Society

Is poverty the fault of the poor? American opinion is split on whether it’s the fault of the individual or larger factors, but the trend seems to be moving away from blaming poor people for their poverty, NBC News reported June 20. An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll found that 47 percent of Americans say […]

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Long-Term Unemployment Linked to Chronic Health Problems

Out of work? Don’t compound your economic woes by letting your health suffer, too. New Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index data shows an association between unemployment and obesity: the longer someone is unemployed, the more likely they are to be obese. For example, the obesity rate among people out of work for two weeks or less is […]

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Texting is Biggest Office Time Waster, Employers Say

If you want to be more productive at work, you probably should shut off your cellphone and stay off of Facebook. NBC News reported June 14 that 50 percent of employers cited cell phones and texting as the biggest productivity-killer on the job, followed by gossiping (42 percent) and surfing the Internet (39 percent). Other […]

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Why People Hate Work — And What to Do About It

Companies that want to have happier employees need to do more to satisfy workers’ physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual needs, according to a report from the productivity consultancy The Energy Project. Writing in the New York Times, project leaders Tony Schwartz and Christine Porath highlighted some of the factors that most commonly make people feel […]

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