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Work Naked

Yes, you heard me, work naked.

Work Naked is the title of a book by Cynthia C. Froggatt, who writes about the virtual workplace and the benefits of working from home, including, as you may have guessed already, the ability to roll out of bed and just get to work in your PJs or even naked for that matter.

One of the things that Cynthia talks about in her book is the difference between being at work, and being productive and that there is a difference between being in your cubicle staring at a computer screen, (that dreaded box I speak of), and actually getting anything done.  She also talks about the frequent interruptions from co-workers, commuting, and even getting ready for work in the morning.

Wikipedia has articles on this subject as well, discussing work-life balance.   A concept their articles claim came into prominence in the 70’s.  They also claim that many workers in this country, both blue and white collar, are stressed out and dissatisfied with work due to long hours and even keeping up with ever changing technology.

Between forty-six and fifty-nine percent of workers feel that stress is affecting their interpersonal and sexual relationships. Additionally, men feel that there is a certain stigma associated with saying “I can’t do this”.

Wikipedia goes on to say that stress affects health as well and that when polled people say they find work stressful.

According to a survey conducted by the National Life Insurance Company, four out of ten employees state that their jobs are “very” or “extremely” stressful. Those in high stress jobs are three times more likely than others to suffer from stress-related medical conditions and are twice as likely to quit. The study states that women, in particular, report stress related to the conflict between work and family.

According to Wikipedia and other sources, one of the things that happens in the work place is that when forced to choose between work and family a woman chooses family, and then becomes marginalized at the place she is working.  Although men typically avoid having to make this decision the pressure is on not to make this decision in the first place, it’s all work.

Additionally, there is an estimate that millions of children are home after school with no parental supervision, and according to a study by NIH, by sixth grade children who spend more time in child care are likely to have problem behavior.

A study by Harvard and McGill University report that the United States has the worst policies regarding family oriented workplace policies.

Among the study’s findings:

  • Fathers are granted paid paternity leave or paid parental leave in 65 countries, including 31 offering at least 14 weeks of paid leave. The U.S. guarantees fathers no such paid leaves.
  • At least 107 countries protect working women’s right to breast-feed; the breaks are paid in at least 73 of them. The U.S. does not have federal legislation guaranteeing the right to breast-feed at work.
  • At least 145 countries provide paid sick days, with 127 providing a week or more annually. The U.S. provides unpaid leave through the Family and Medical Leave Act, which does not cover all workers; there is no federal law providing for paid sick days.
  • At least 134 countries have laws setting the maximum length of the work week. The U.S. does not have a maximum work week length or a limit on mandatory overtime per week.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16907584/

Although the U.S. leads in the area of equal opportunity in the workplace, the work/family protection are among the worst out of 173 countries studied.

Aside from paid maternity  or paternity leave, an area that the United States does not watch is the amount of overtime worked.  There are no regulations for a maximum work week length or the amount of overtime that is required by a job.  In contrast Sweden provides 68 weeks of PAID maternity leave, Norway has 58 weeks, and Denmark has 52 weeks.  The understanding here is that by being present for the most important time of your child’s life, will benefit the country by having children who are being raised by their parents reducing costs of health care and children with problem behaviors down the road.

The United States is considered one of the most stressed out, and hardest working group of workers in the world, and besides the pressure to perform or out-perform others in the workplace, an environment of becoming a workaholic is not discouraged.  One simple way in which the pace is encouraged in the workplace is by supplying free sugary beverages and lots of equally sugary coffee.   These supplement the bodies production of natural chemicals and push us through the slumps during the day.  These natural slumps are called ultradian rhythms, and are our bodies way of cycling up and down during the day.  When the body’s rhythms are interrupted it becomes harder to focus through them without the kick of sugar or coffee and we are faced with some simple addictions to help us through the day.

According again to Wikipedia, the German Deutsche Bank encourages balance between work and family, including working part-time, telecommuting and time out for family “circumstances” up to six months.

In Europe, the Working Time Regulation has implemented a maximum of forty-eight hours of work per week. Many countries have opted for fewer hours. France attempted to introduce a thirty-five hour workweek, and Finland experimented with a thirty-hour week in 1996.   -wikipedia

These are just some statistics and information today regarding the imbalance between work and family in the United States, to support my argument that flexible hours, and telecommuting are not just beneficial to a family but to a society as a whole, and are already being implemented in countries that put the U.S. to shame.

The payoff of being attentive to these things though is that if we do something about this now we can curb divorce rates, improve health of our country overall.  We can also affect the mental and emotional health of our children who more often than not are being put into daycare and school for hours that mimic the cubicle work-life of the future.

Finally, we have an opportunity with the technology today to do something about one one of the worst sources of pollution in this country and reducing our use of oil at the same time.

work naked book

*****

Daev Finn is an artist, illustrator, writer, visual effects artist, and video game developer, whose work can best be seen as Aslan in The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, which was nominated for an Academy Award for Visual Effects.

Daev lives in Colorado with his two sons Everest and Asher, and his wife Sheryl Paul, author of The Conscious Bride, and The Conscious Bride’s Wedding Planner.

http://www.daevfinnstudio.com http://www.sherylpaul.wordpress.com

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