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The price we are paying for NOT unplugging from work

publicado por Garrett O'Brien

Though this article was originally intended for an audience in the USA, the relevancy is just as pertinent in any country… especially a fast growing, developing nation… like Brasil!

While reading a local business journal, I nearly fell off my chair. As most of us in the white-collar world as well as some in the blue-collar world can attest, when you go on vacation there is that ‘you are going to get some work done as well’ mentality present. Whether it is self-imposed or not, workers are becoming more, let’s say un-relaxed than ever before. The need to disconnect, recharge and rejuvenate is foreign to many. I like to call the combination DR R. Those who say they only need a few days of here and there to be able to get back into the “full swing of things” I find unconvincing – once you get to know them you almost always find they just have a hard time in seeing DR R (a phobia to doctors I presume).

So what is the cost for this constant on-the-go, need to be working (and not necessarily productive), got to work attitude? Health officials globally know the affects of constantly working does to the body as well to the brain – and I’ll add to the soul. One game I play with workaholics is to bet them they cannot do absolutely nothing for a minimum of 72 hours. No TV, no work, no music – nothing, nah-dah… Better yet, have them go to a resort and just but sit around all day. Granted the average schmoe will be drumming their fingers within the first hour – but that’s my point.. we ARE wired to be doing something. But what is unhealthy is WHAT we are NOT doing to recharge our bodies, our brain, our soul…

OK, that cost for this lifestyle most of us have elected to follow? It’s a mere US$150 billion – that’s not a ‘M‘ but a ‘B‘ – annually is needed by our employers to assist their employees’ address stress-related illnesses as well as the resulting loss of productivity (Mike Redmond, Indiana Business Journal Vol. 28 No 19 [16-22 July 2007]; Tory Johnson, ABC News). According to a past president of the College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, when you factor in health care cost for treating stress-related illnesses (which the ABC News article does not),the figure jumps to a whopping $1 TRILLION!

And just how much is a million vs. a billion vs. a trillion? To give the three of them something we can put our arms around,

  • one person spending a million dollars at $1,000 an hour for 16 hours a day to buy just about anything their heart so desires would take him or her a little more than two months, or 62.5 days exactly
  • to keep the same spending spree going for a billion dollars, it would take TWO people 31,250 days to spend all that money – to put that in years: it would take TWO people 85-1/2 years to spend all that money!
  • And a trillion? Well that would take 2,281 people 75 years to spend all that money… Makes you wonder what THEY would do for a vacation now doesn’t it?

Or to put a trillion in another perspective, if you opened a business 2010 years ago, and operated at a loss of $1 million EVERY DAY, then you have another 727 years to go BEFORE you have gone through one trillion dollars… and our government is more than $200 TRILLION in debt…

So with that in mind – are employers really doing any of their employees any favors by allowing them, or in other cases forcing them (indirectly or directly), to work on their vacation? It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to answer that one… Given the figure the College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine states, seems the best means to a national healthcare is a vacation WITHOUT any work…

Kronos just released this video… it provides an breakdown of other factors and history to our work week…


Other articles of interest are…



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Garrett O'Brien é consultado por implementações SIRH pelas empresas e as empresas (Fortune 100, 500 e 1000) desde 1991. Seus clientes anteriores incluem Lubrizol, ADP, Case New Holland, a Cushman & Wakefield, MAHLE, Honeywell International, Sodexho, e muitos outros localizados em os EUA Garrett é • Editor e escritor de 4 blogs mundiais focada em SIRH e gerenciamento de projetos, que são lidos em 160+ países • Exec VP para EUA CGServices enfocando multi-fornecedor, o sistema de multi-linha para sistemas HRIS • membro do Conselho de Gerson Lehrman Group Conselho, o que ajuda a instituições dos líderes mundiais se reunirem, engajar e gerenciar os especialistas em uma ampla gama de setores e disciplinas. Garrett se concentra em SIRH global Garrett está trabalhando em alguns projetos em Brasil. Um deles é focando as melhorias necessárias na gestão de projetos, especialmente as fases mais iniciais. O outro projeto se concentra no uso de tecnologia dentro do sistema de ensino para melhorar a educação de tecnologia para estudantes e professores. Ambos os projetos serão locais no Brasil, mas será global em perspectiva. Atualmente, o Sr. O'Brien reside em o estado de São Paulo e funciona a partir de Home Office. Não hesite em contactar-lo diretamente no LinkedIn ( ou por e-mail ( twitter: @thehrisworld @hriscareerworld @thw_research @thwrn_news

Garrett O'Brien


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