Is Your Workplace Psychologically Healthy?

Bullying in the workplace has been on the employment radar for several years, now.  But what exactly bullying is, on the other hand, remains elusive and without a universal definition.  The American Psychological Association (APA), has provided a way to come close, though. image

Each year, the APA sponsors the Psychologically Healthy Workplace Award program.  The award program recognizes employers who excel in five categories.  When a workplace can implement each of the five, it qualifies not just as a “good place to work,” but as a psychologically healthy workplace.  

The five types of workplace practices that contribute to a psychologically healthy work environment include: (1) work-life balance; (2) employee involvement; (3) employee growth and development; (4) health and safety; and (5) employee recognition.  These factors mirror those most commonly cited as the most important drivers for employee engagement, as well. 

Employers interested in reducing health-care costs, improving quality and productivity, and positioning their organizations for recruitment and retention of the best employees can learn more at the APA’s website.

50 Best Blogs on Wellness, Women’s Interests, and Work-Life Balance

Delaware Employment Law Blog is pleased to add the following 50 blogs to its “Best of” Blogroll.  The common premise among these blogs is the idea that well-rounded employees are happier employees and happier employees perform better for their employer, who, in turn, enjoys more success overall.  In other words–wellness and work-life balance are valuable principles, which should be considered high-ranking goals among employers.   man holding blog

Here’s the list, alphabetically:

  1. About Working Moms
  2. Alliance for Work-Life Progress
  3. Business Week’s Working Parents Blog
  4. Chief Home Officer
  5. Corporate Voices
  6. Corporate Voices for Working Families
  7. Discovering Your Inner Samurai Blog
  8. FunnyBusiness
  9. Half Changed World
  10. How She Really Does It
  11. Hybrid Mom Insider
  12. Institute for Women’s Leadership
  13. Jugglezine
  14. Kathy Lingle’s Work-Life Blog
  15. Moms Rising
  16. Motherlode
  17. Mothers Movement
  18. Newly Corporate
  19. On Balance
  20. Progressive States
  21. Sloan Network
  22. Sue Magazine
  23. The Anti 9-to-5 Guide
  24. The Juggle
  25. The Lattice Group
  26. The Women’s Initiative Blog
  27. The Work/Life Balancing Act
  28. The WorkLife Monitor
  29. Women for Hire
  30. Women on Business
  31. Women’s Leadership Exchange Blog
  32. Women’s Rights Employment Law Blog
  33. Work from Within
  34. Work+Life Fit, Inc
  35. Working Mother
  36. Work-Life and Human Capital Solutions
  37. WorkLife Law Blog
  38. World at Work
  39. YourOnRamp.com
  40. Christina’s Considerations
  41. Corporate Wellness Quotes
  42. Employee Corporate Wellness Programs
  43. Employee Wellness USA
  44. Employee/Corporate Wellness Programs
  45. Meditation At Work Info
  46. My Meditation Coach: Improve your workforce!
  47. Wellergize
  48. Wellness Corporate Insights
  49. Wellness.com
  50. Workplace Wellness

Layoffs Can Lead to Abusive Workers’ Compensation Claims

Employers are conscientious about safety and injury-prevention, regardless of the economic climate.  But when the economy is difficult, employers should keep an especially cautious eye out for fraudulent workers’ comp claims.  There are three methods to prevent abusive workers’ comp claims that every employer can utilize, regardless of size or industry. shutterstock_17077399

To read more about how to best prevent laid off employees from bringing baseless comp claims, have a look at my guest post at the Workers’ Comp Kit Blog

Ergonomic Chair Update: Herman Miller Laptop Stand

Previously I posted about my quest for the perfect economic office chairherman miller scooter laptop standAnd, as everyone knows, nothing’s more important than the perfect accessory.  When I do manage to find my dream chair, I now know the perfect accessory for it–the Herman Miller Laptop Stand. The Scooter Laptop Stand  provides comfortable and ergonomically correct keyboard and mouse support. The Scooter adjusts in height from 22″ to 30″ and has a tilt range of 20°. It can be purchased at Amazon for $379 and comes in Solid Cherry, Ash, and Ebony finishes.  

Wellness Resolution: The Quest for the Perfect Ergonomic Office Chair

Walking while you work was the topic of an earlier post. This post stays within the same theme–how to be healthy at work–but with a different perspective–mine.  I have some thoughts of my own on this topic. 

For one, I would cherish the opportunity to move more through the day without sacrificing working time.  It’s not the walking part, really, as much as it’s the idea of not sitting that I find attractive.  Basically, anything that involves me not sitting would be of value.  Alternatively, sitting comfortably and without permanently wrecking my posture would be a heck of an idea.

Somehow, I’ve never gotten around to buying one and my back really pays the price for my indecisiveness.  What’s stopping me?  There’s just too many from which I could choose!  But that’s not to say that I haven’t given it a lot of thought.  Here’s the rundown on my years of searching. image

There’s the classic Herman Miller Aeron chair.  Everyone knows that the Aeron is pretty hard to beat when it comes to function and design.  Being a lover of modern furniture, I can admire the Aeron even for the story of its creation–and if you haven’t yet read the story, it’s a great story of perseverance and dedication, of leadership and teamwork.  Good stuff.  The Executive Aeron can be purchased for approximately $1,300. 

 

Herman Miller also offers the Mirra ($829) and Celle ($629) chairs as less pricey Aeron alternatives. Both chairs come in a variety of colors, which is an advantage over the Aeron.  Color is important. 

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I have to pass on the Aeron because, honestly, it’s just not “pretty” enough for me.  Yes, mock me if you will, but at least I’m honest.  I appreciate the aesthetic but I need more glamour than the black mesh has to offer. 

The Freedom chair by Humanscale is next in the rotation.  The Freedom chair (with headrest, ofimage course), also has plenty of design awards on its resume and is known as one of the best in the ergonomic category.  But, to its credit, it comes in a variety of colors and textures, including leather, which happens to be my preference.  At around $1,000, the chair is priced competitively.  The Liberty chair, priced for under $800, is Humanscale’s task chair alternative. 

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Next up is Steelcase–the maker of the Walkstation treadmill-desk combo that prompted this post.  Steelcase has plenty to offer in the way of ergonomic seating, the two most popular choices being the Leap and Think chairs.   Both are offered in various colors and both have a contemporary look, with the Think chair’s sleek, linear design being my preference between the two. image
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I’ve been known to be open to new things so it’s not surprising that I’ve given a lot of thought to the out-of-the-ordinary seating options.  For instance, the HAG Capisco saddle chair (in red, below, $690 – $1,200) dares to be different.  Even assuming that it’s as comfortable as could be and the look was where I wanted to go, the whole “saddle” concept just doesn’t work for me.  The idea is that you can sit in the chair backwards (why, I haven’t the foggiest).  Sorry, I wear too many skirts to make this a realistic possibility.  I’ll pass, although I do love the height-adjustable feature. In my ideal office, I would have a height-adjustable desk, making this feature quite important.  

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The same principles go for the “stool” option but, in the interest of fairness, I’ll list them anyway.   The Swopper Stool by Via (left, $600) is designed to force its user to keep their balance by engaging their abdomen muscles instead of letting us lazy office workers slump over in our traditionally terrible posture.   The HAG Balans Kneeling Chair (right) is even less likely to ever see the four walls of my office.  I’ve witnessed these in use and, unless you work at a health club or in another industry where you are expected to wear clothes designed for comfort, this option is just impractical.  My devotion to improved posture is not this strong.   

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Now let’s get to the serious contenders.  If and when I get around to breaking open the office-chair-piggy-bank, there are just two that make me stand up and cheer. 

First is the Steelcase Leap Worklounge Chair in Leather ($2,700-$3,400 depending on options). steelcase work lounger in leather

It’s beautiful.  And that’s exactly why I like it.  It comes in white leather, which is my favorite upholstery option (practicality be damned).  There is also an optional ottoman but who has time to put their feet up?  We’re working too hard to afford the chair!

 

 

And then there’s the ultimate in luxury office seating, the Silver chair by Interstuhl
Interstuhl is a German company and brings German precision to its line of couture office furniture.  I could say more but the pictures speak for themselves. 

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Beauty is not cheap.  The base model in black will cost you around $4,500.  But why stop there?  If you’re going to do luxurious, go all the way.  And Interstuhl has just the chair for satisfying the maximum luxury quotient.  

For a mere $65,500, you can be one of the lucky owners of the world’s most expensive office chair.   You’ll get not just the chair but the matching ottoman, as well, both of which are plated in 24-karat gold.

 

The chair has even had a few roles on the silver screen.  It was used as Al Pacino’s chair in the movie Ocean’s 13.  And, more recently, made a cameo in the latest Bond film, Quantum of Solace.

 

New Year’s Workplace Resolutions #2: Get More Exercise

What are your resolutions for 2009? I predicted the top 5 workplace resolutions based on the popularity of various topics on the blog. One of the most popular topics in 2008 was Corporate Wellness.  There’s no time like the present so why wait to get fit?  If you’re ready to jump on the healthy-employee bandwagon, here’s an interesting way to get started: the treadmill desk.  We’ve written before about this fascinating workplace wellness concept. 

The premise is this:  Healthy employees are productive employees.  To be healthy, employees need to move.  Moving employees aren’t being productive.  It’s a vicious circle. 

Until now, that is.

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Steelcase is trying to change that with its Walkstation treadmill desk.  The Walkstation is, in a basic sense, a treadmill and an adjustable desk.  Using this nifty tool, employees can walk while they type, talk on the phone, or review documents.  Employees aren’t asked to jog while working, though.  The treadmill runs at speeds of 0.3 – 2 mph. 

Health doesn’t come cheap, though.  A single Walkstation will set you back about $5,000.  According to Steelcase, employers are buying single units to be shared among several employees, who can reserve the unit for small periods during the workday.

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I have some thoughts of my own on this topic.  For one, I would cherish the opportunity to move more through the day without sacrificing working time.  It’s not the walking part, really, as much as it’s the idea of not sitting that I find attractive.  Basically, anything that involves me not sitting would be of value. 

I’m also in touch with the fact that I am just not that coordinated.  The thought of me trying to walk on a treadmill in 4″ heels while typing an e-mail to opposing counsel is funny to me, even funnier to anyone who’s seen me try to walk and chew gum at the same time.  I think it’s a disaster waiting to happen.  So what would be my preferred alternative?   Stay tuned to find out.

“My Boss Is Killing Me”: Why this just may be true

Bad bosses can kill you.  Even more so than factors such as whether the employee smokes, exercises, or has weight problems. The data comes from a four-year-long study in Switzerland and was published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

Workers who were subject to inconsiderate and uncommunicative bosses were about 60% more likely to suffer a heart attack or other life-threatening cardiac condition.  Employees who had strong leaders as bosses, on the other hand, were roughly 40% less likely to suffer heart emergencies. 

Got boss troubles?  Check out these posts:

How Crazy Is Your Boss? No, really, how crazy?

15 Things that Jerks at Work Usually Do

Inside the Mind of a Super Jerk

5 Costs of Coworker Bullying

And In This Corner. . . Susan From Accounting. Office Rage in the Ring

Top 5 Lessons to Be Learned from the Jerk at Work

Workplace bullying

You Know You’re a Bad Manager When. . . Mutiny at the Post Office

Bosses Aren’t the Only Workplace Toxins: What to do with toxic employees?

Employee Handbook Policy #502: Respectful Workplace

Everything You Needed to Know About Your Toxic Boss