25 Mar #009 – Integriosity – The Need – Workers are Breaking
The United States is facing an epidemic of loneliness, isolation, confusion, distrust and dissatisfaction (and this is before the disruptions caused by the Covid-19 crisis). While this is not an attempt to survey the latest studies or statistics (and you may be able to find even more recent figures), the following facts from recent studies are sufficient to paint a bleak picture:
- A survey of more than 20,000 adults by Cigna revealed that “nearly half of Americans report sometimes or always feeling alone or left out.”
- Depression is 10x the level in 1960. In 1960, the mean age for depression was 29, and today it is 15.
- The U.S. has 4.5% of the world’s population and consumes 50% of mood altering drugs and 2/3rds of the world’s illegal drugs (and making them legal is not the solution)
- In the 1950’s, Americans had among the highest life expectancies in the world. Today, Americans under 50–when compared to a peer group of wealthy nations–had: lowest life expectancy; highest infant mortality; highest deaths from alcohol and drugs; highest deaths from injuries and homicide; highest deaths from obesity and diabetes; highest rate of teen pregnancy, STD’s and AIDs.
- Since World War II, subjective well-being is flat and joy has declined even though economic prosperity has increased dramatically.
Cultures of control or cultures that are indifferent to people, both of which are toxic and isolating, are often the culprit behind rising stress, job burnout and loneliness that is all too common today. (Michael Stallard)
Michael Stallard’s book Connection Culture: The Competitive Advantage of Shared Identity, Empathy, and Understanding at Work, as well as his blog at michaelleestallard.com are excellent sources for understanding the link between workplace culture and worker health and performance. BONUS: Mike and his wife, Katie, just wrote an excellent LinkedIn post on the topic of how Covid-19 is exacerbating these problems. Click HERE for the post.
In their book Profit with a Higher Purpose, Peet Van Biljon and James Sprouse do a good job highlighting the significant changes in the demands on workers in America over the least several decades leading to increased hours and greater stress (and the impact of those changes on health, marriages and children), including:
- The 40 hour work having broken down for various reasons they explain.
- U.S. workers taking less vacation than at any time in four decades.
- 37% of Americans sleeping less than 7 hours, mainly due to work and commuting.
It is clear that the blue pill of “business as usual” is not working for much of humanity. Work is where we spend most of our waking hours, and it has moved far from its original design in Genesis as something good. At Integrous, we think that is “dehumanizing”. We believe it is time for “business a better way” in alignment with Biblical values and priorities–it is time for Integriosity.