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It’s a great headline – is your job killing you?  

It’s a great headline – is your job killing you?  

The World Health Organization and the International Labor Organization have releaseda first of its kind study which found that 745,000 people died in 2016 due to long working hours, a 29 percent increase on 2000. Working 55 hours a week or more is associated with a 35 percent higher risk of a stroke and a 17 percent higher risk of dying from heart disease. The burden of work-related disease is most prevalent in men with 72 percent of deaths occurring among males. According to the WHO, most of the deaths occurred among people who passed away aged between 60 and 79 who worked 55 hours per week or more while aged between 45 and 74.

56 percent of companies are expecting to shift more of their roles to contingent, project or contract work as a result, according to a new report released today by Randstad Sourceright.   Prior to the pandemic, only 28 percent of contingent workers at companies surveyed worked remotely, but after the outbreak, that number rose to 44 percent in the fourth quarter of 2020.

And here’s where it gets interesting – Oracle surveyed 2,000 Americans this week – and “majority of respondents said the COVID-19 crisis changed their personalities. They said they felt smarter, more empathetic, more conscientious, and more open to new experiences than they did back in the old days of 2019, according to the survey.”   Not a peer reviewed study, it can be considered a decent snapshot.    Nearly 90% of respondents in the survey said they saw a change in at least one of the “OCEAN” personality traits because of COVID-19. These traits, known to psychologists as the “Big Five,” are: openness (creative and novelty-seeking), conscientiousness (detail-oriented and structure-loving), extroversion (social and chatty), agreeableness (empathetic and cooperative), and neuroticism (prone to worry).

Bill Gurley, VC investor, then tweeted this opinion.  “We are going to see a lot of experiments with structure. All remote, hybrid, & the oddly contrarian all in-person. If company declares, I support all forms. I predict indecision will be the one that fails. Figure out where you are going and head there!”

Why do we care?

Bill said a version of my “Ask Why” editorial.    I could not agree more – and it’s why I keep pouring over this data and perspective.  Pick a direction – any direction!  

There’s a change going on in the way people work.    Savvy business owners and managers are going to spend time making intentional choices, and they are the ones who will win.  ANY choice.    Those who let it happen to them will be the laggards who don’t see the real benefits.