Having Friends at Work Leads to Longer Life

By Jeanette Mulvey, BusinessNewsDaily Managing Editor  

Having friends at work can not only make the day go by faster. It can also lead to a longer life.

That’s the finding of new research that found that a positive relationship with your co-workers has long-term health benefits.

Sharon Toker, a Tel Aviv University (TAU) researcher, said employees who believe they have the personal support of their peers at work are more likely to live a longer life.

“We spend most of our waking hours at work, and we don’t have much time to meet our friends during the weekdays,” Toker said. “Work should be a place where people can get necessary emotional support.”

The researchers followed the health records of 820 adults who worked an average of 8.8 hours a day through a two-decade period. Those who had reported having low social support at work were 2.4 times more likely to die sometime within those 20 years

The researchers controlled for various psychological, behavioral or physiological risk factors, such as smoking, obesity and depression, and administered a questionnaire to participants, who were drawn from a wide variety of professional fields including finance, health care and manufacturing.

The study found that employees’ perception of emotional support at work was the strongest indicathy or of future health.

During the course of the study, 53 participants died, most of whom had negligible social connections with their co-workers. A lack of emotional support at work led to a 140 percent increased risk of dying in the next twenty years compared to those who reported supportive co-workers, she concluded.

Toker said many workplaces have lost their way in creating environments in which employees can create social relationships.

“Despite open concept offices, many people use email rather than face-to-face communication, and social networking sites that may provide significant social connection are often blocked,” the researchers said.

Toker suggests companies create coffee corners where people can congregate to sit and talk, informal social outings for staff members; an internal virtual social network similar to Facebook or a peer-assistance program where employees can confidentially discuss stresses and personal problems that may affect their position at work. Anything that encourages employees to feel emotionally supported would be helpful, she said.

The study has been published in the journal Health Psychology. TAU colleagues Arie Shirom and Yasmin Alkaly and Orit Jacobson and Ran Balicer from Clalit Healthcare Services.


Rude Behavior at Work Is Contagious … And Bad for Business

By Chad Brooks, Business News Daily Senior Writer  

Being rude to a co-worker can have a significant negative impact on your entire office, new research finds.

Workers who face rude behavior from a boss or peer are more likely to perceive rudeness in future dealings with co-workers, which in turn makes them more likely to be impolite in return, according to a University of Florida study.

“When you experience rudeness, it makes rudeness more noticeable,” Trevor Foulk, the study’s lead author and a doctoral student in management at the University of Florida’s Warrington College of Business Administration, said in a statement. “You’ll see more rudeness even if it’s not there.”

While rude behavior by employees may seem innocuous, it can be extremely damaging to a business, Foulk said.

“Part of the problem is that we are generally tolerant of these behaviors, but they’re actually really harmful,” he said. “Rudeness has an incredibly powerful negative effect on the workplace.”

The researchers also discovered that even employees who simply witness rude behavior at work are more likely to be discourteous to others. In a second experiment, study participants watched a video of a rude workplace exchange and then answered a fictitious customer email that was neutral in tone.

The researchers found that these participants were more likely to be hostile in their responses than those who viewed a polite interaction before responding.

“That tells us that rudeness will flavor the way you interpret ambiguous cues,” Foulk said.

Foulk hopes the study will encourage employers to take rude behavior in the workplace more seriously.

“It isn’t something you can just turn your back on,” Foulk said. “It matters.”

The study, co-authored by University of Florida management professor Amir Erez and doctoral student Andrew Woolum, was recently published in the Journal of Applied Psychology.


5 Tell-Tale Signs of a Great Employee Heading Out the Door

From www.hrinasia.com

As much as recruiting and training the best talent for the right job can prove to be a time consuming affair, so is the process of retaining talent a challenge. If you find a smart worker with exceptional talent on board, then it is important for human resource managers to ensure that motivational factors to retain such great talent are deployed.

This is not just restricted to encouraging awards and performance appraisals, but goes beyond to seek and understand the vision, such employees in an organization foresee to grow with the company.

If you’re too busy to pay valuable attention to human capital requirements, then it might be quite possible for you to be surprised someday with the sneaky happenings behind your back.

Some of the warning tell-tale signs that indicate discontent among great employees looking for a job change or planning to quit are:

  1. Prolonged lapses in quality or efficiency

While occasional slip-ups are understandable, but prolonged lapses in quality and efficiency with sloppy work habits followed by a great employee show signs of discontentment. This means the employee has called it “quits” on his mind.

  1. Using excessive personal or vacation time

This definitely doesn’t mean that great workers never fall sick or go on a personal vacation. However, you need to maintain a strict vigil if a great employee is taking time off from work for personal reasons stating medical grounds or seeking extension on a vacation period.

Excessive leaves show lack or loss of interest towards the job on hand and it may be no sooner then you realize that this great employee has taken up a new job and put down his papers.

See: Think About It, Why Do Employees Quit Their Job

  1. Keeping odd hours at work

Arriving late and leaving early from work citing reasons personal or requesting random days off are signs to be on watch out for by the HR.

Also spending time in isolation attending to calls during work hours sneakily with frequent trips away from desk are indicators that the employee is planning to abandon the ship and go off board soon.

Continued strange behavior is an alarming sign conflicting with work, which means you need to talk to this employee and see issues if any bothering on the personal front (let’s assume) can be sorted out.

  1. Lack of Interest and Reluctance to Commit

Reluctance to commit to long-term projects, with decreased interests in advancing the organization and avoiding social interactions with members and bosses of the company, such behaviors clearly demonstrate that this great employee is about to quit.

  1. Previous Job Tenure can be Predictive Indicators

Sometimes an average tenure in the last few jobs is predictive indicator on when an employee might quit or start looking. They also at times indicate the employees’ attitude towards life and work.

It is important for an HR manager to stay vigilant on why this frequent quitting and hopping is happening with an employee.  It is important to hold a conversation with such employees to identify reasons on why an employee quits often.

To conclude

While it is always in the best interest of an organization to retain best employees, sometimes letting them go is the best answer. The sooner you discover that a great employee is planning to quit, you have time to allow room for discussion on areas of discontentment on job and then can you work towards it.

This is all in hopes of making the workplace a better level playing field for competent professionals to learn and grow with the company.

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