The always-on, constantly-connected culture of modern American business may be robbing us of more than work-life balance. It may be undermining our health.
Americans now work on average five additional weeks each year than they did in 1979. 35% of us now work on weekends. Mobile technology keeps us connected to the office 24-7.
From NBC technology reporter Bob Sullivan:
“It took about 200 years for Americans to get to a 40-hour work-week, and it took smart phones about five years to completely take that away.”
Studies show that having dedicated spaces assigned to particular activities can help us better compartmentalize tasks and reduce the stress associated with feeling constantly available for work. Downtime is critical, and it’s easier to get it when you resist the temptation to make every place a workspace. It’s one of the main reasons more and more Americans are abandoning the home office for the new range of alternative walk-in workplaces.
This week’ s report from Tom Costello on NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams features some eye-opening statistics about the health risks associated with our increasingly overextended work life: