Book Review: Is Work Killing You?
Is Work Killing You? A Doctor’s Prescription for Treating Workplace Stress
This is a compelling book with two important and meaningful goals: to help people better handle workplace stress, and to help workplaces stop making people sick due to stress. Of course, some jobs are inherently stressful — shift work, pressure-laden deadlines, life-and-death situations. But some jobs seem to have been crafted to include levels of stress that are unhealthy, and maybe detrimental. It doesn’t help people work well when the workplace is psychologically damaging. David Posen expertly and practically tackles many different elements around the “stress”. Some stress can go away just due to an individual shifting his or her mindset around that event, and so he helps us to find our “sweet spot” for optimal performance. Like elite sports, much of this is a mind game. He also takes a whole-person approach and examines healthy eating, sleep and the impact of your personal situation on your professional life. Yet he also takes on difficult organizational topics, such as long hours, the misuse of technology (emails and CrackBerries anyone?) and what he boldly titles “fake work”. I can already see you nodding your head in agreement. If I could, I would ensure that every VP HR in Canada reads Is Work Killing You? and is required to follow at least one change outlined therein. We need healthier workplaces, and Posen’s solutions are often elegant, simple and cost-effective.