Transcript of the Feature ‘Health Matters’ on Radio X from 24 February 2014
I’m Tom Meyers, Stress Coach and welcome to another episode of Health Matters.
This week I like to talk to you about that special time after work. That time that is supposed to be free time, time to rest, relax, recuperate your mind and body and escape from work.
A combination of events has made that that this free-time has become a luxury – not often seen by many employees – while it is supposed to be the norm. It started with employers handed out laptops, tablet and smart phones as a so to speak bonus but the other side of the coin was that employees could be called upon 24/7 and so be more productive…
…and then there was the recession with many redundancies leading to less employees to the same amount of work and employees feeling the sword of Damocles above there heads as maybe they were or are the next on the chopping block… creating anxiety induced compulsive behaviour and staying longer at work to show commitment and in many cases that extra time is needed as they are working for 2 or more.
… and if not at work to work extra hours at home during the week, weekends… holidays
I remember a story a friend told me once. He didn’t want to follow this path. He wasn’t going to stay at work to show the bosses in this way that he was committed. His bosses and colleagues rebuked him for his so called anti-social behaviour. His comment I can do my job in the time that is foreseen and it shows I’m very good in what I do. Believe it or not his contract wasn’t prolonged because he ‘didn’t fit in’…
This is the state of our working environment.
The cost of the 24/7 working environment, of the information overload man has created is 1 trillion dollars in America alone. Yes a 1 with 12 zero’s behind it.
And lets not forget the human suffering this overloaded and perverted works society has created like the 60 suicides at France Telecom between 2008 and 2011.**
It’s a hard wake-up call to reality but companies are waking up. Like at Volkswagen where some employees email is turned off 30 minutes after their shifts end and BMW who are planning to make agreements with employees to stipulate the times where they can’t be contacted.*
I sincerely hope it is the start of a global change in attitude and behaviour in the work environment from employers to stake holders but also from employees themselves.
We need to stop and start to make sense again.
Our way of living has been destroying nature with climate changes as a result… and still we didn’t listen.. now … with the way we are living we are destroying ourselves…
The time to take Health Matters to heart can’t be postponed till tomorrow. You are the one that makes the difference. You are the future. You control how your future looks like and don’t let anyone tell you different.
I’m Tom Meyers, Stress Coach for Body and Mind and contributor of thought to a healthier and brighter future.