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New Office ID Badges Can Track, Record Workers

Gizmos that monitor employees' movements, stress, and more are spreading

(Newser) - How would you feel about wearing an employee ID badge that tracks when you move away from your desk, how often you speak up at meetings, and how stressed you are? Such smart badges are already a reality, and they're spreading around the corporate world, the CBC reports. Boston-based... More »

Swedes' Trial With 6-Hour Workday Getting Thumbs-Up

There are expenses involved, but workers seem happier, more productive

(Newser) - Full-time workers in the US spend an average of 47 hours a week punched in for a paycheck, according to Gallup data cited by Quartz , keeping pace with the current trend to work harder and longer. But a retirement home in Sweden has been reaping positive results from an experiment... More »

Study Reveals How to Take Better Work Breaks

For starters, don't wait until the afternoon

(Newser) - Did you just get caught taking a few minutes to update your fantasy football team or Instagram your lunch? Just tell your boss it's making you a better worker. Two researchers from Baylor University recently published a study after looking at the break habits of 95 workers to identify... More »

France Should Ditch Its 35-Hour Workweek

Bloomberg writer: Experiment has outlived its usefulness

(Newser) - France has had a 35-hour workweek in effect for 15 years now, and it's time to let the controversial law fade away, writes Leonid Bershidsky at Bloomberg . In fact, this is already happening to some extent: Successive governments have weakened the law by providing loopholes and temporary exceptions, and... More »

Can't Take Time Off? Try a 'Workcation'

Employees are starting to combine work/pleasure time to save vacay days

(Newser) - Don't have a lot of vacation days stockpiled but need to get away? Consider taking a "workcation"—what the Wall Street Journal describes as a growing trend in which workers head to a destination and pay for their own travel and lodgings, but don't get docked... More »

Solution to Work Woes: a Lunchtime Walk

Sedentary subjects find they feel better

(Newser) - There's an easy way to beat the workday blues, researchers find, and it doesn't take long: Go for a walk a few times a week during your lunch break. In a study of 75 "physically inactive" people—that is, those who engage in less than 150 weekly... More »

Guy Skips Work for 24 Years, Gets Fired

AK Verma, an engineer in India, last showed for work in 1990

(Newser) - A man who ditched work for 24 years has finally lost his job—apparently a sign that India is cracking down on government bureaucrats who avoid office time, Reuters reports. AK Verma, a senior engineer at the Central Public Works Department, last showed up for work in December 1990. The... More »

Moms With More Kids Get More Done at Work

But research comes with some caveats

(Newser) - Having kids doesn't hurt a mom's performance at work; in fact, it may enhance it, a study suggests. Researchers at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis (who are all male, the Washington Post reports) found that in the span of three decades, moms were more productive than... More »

Working Kills 54K Americans Each Year

11 people die every day on the job; thousands more die from getting sick there

(Newser) - If you've ever muttered under your breath, "This $%&* job is seriously going to kill me," you might actually be right. An average of 11 US workers die every day (yes, every single day) on the job, and another 50,000 or so die each year... More »

To Work Better, Break Every 52 Minutes

And make those breaks 17 minutes' long: study

(Newser) - To maximize your productivity, you should probably be spending a lot more time not working. At least, that is, according to a study that finds we should take 17-minute breaks after every 52 minutes of work. The idea, the Muse reports, is to treat those 52-minute work periods "as... More »

Man, 101, Has Worked at One Company for 73 Years

Hy Goldman says the work is what keeps him young

(Newser) - Do what you love—not just to enjoy yourself, but possibly even to live longer. So says Herman "Hy" Goldman, who yesterday celebrated his 101st birthday not in a nursing home but surrounded by coworkers at Capitol Lighting in East Hanover, NJ, where he has been working for 73... More »

France Bans Work Emails After 6pm

Move affects 1M workers in the tech industry

(Newser) - France already has a 35-hour work week, and a new rule is designed to make sure that it doesn't start shading toward 40 hours because of work-related email. The Guardian reports that the rule forbids workers from checking their phones or computers for work stuff after 6pm, and it... More »

Swedish Town Testing Full Pay for 30-Hour Week

Gothenburg is apparently the place to be

(Newser) - If you could be anywhere in the world right now, Gothenburg, Sweden, may be the perfect place. That's because the town's government is initiating a pretty appealing sounding experiment: testing a 30-hour workweek, in which workers will be paid as if they're working full-time. The hope is... More »

Spain Mulls the Unthinkable: Short Siestas, Reset Clocks

Nation considers aligning with its neighbors

(Newser) - In Spain, grappling with economic crisis could require a major cultural shift. Activists are pushing to align the country's schedule with its neighbors, an effort that would require cutting daily siestas—including lunch and a nap—to just an hour. On top of that, the campaigners would turn the... More »

It's Time to Re-Embrace 8-Hour Workdays

Tech industry in particular revels in long days: Nathan Pensky

(Newser) - It's like a "badge of honor" in the tech world for employees to put in long days under the mantra of "always connected" or "entrepreneurship as lifestyle," writes Nathan Pensky at Pando . And while such dedication might be necessary in the short term for a... More »

Commuting Could Destroy Your Marriage

Longer rides linked to higher break-up risk: study

(Newser) - If it takes you or your partner 45 minutes or more to get to work, treat your marriage with care: It's 40% more likely to fall apart, according to Swedish researchers whose nationwide study looked at couples from 1995 to 2005. You may, however, have less to worry about... More »

Most Americans Work on Vacation

Including on the beach or toilet

(Newser) - A vacation doesn't necessarily mean time away from work, according to new research from software company Pertino. Not only do US employees—64% of men and 57% of women—get down to business on holiday, but (according to workers) 54% of bosses expect it. It's not just while... More »

Why Working at Home Can Be a Bad Idea

Slate's Katie Roiphe thinks a clear separation helps creativity

(Newser) - Marissa Mayer's decree requiring that Yahoo employees stop working from home and instead schlep to the office has set off a wave of pro and con arguments. Count Katie Roiphe of Slate , who has experience in both worlds, in Mayer's camp. When you work from home, you're... More »

Bosses Held Hostage Over 2-Minute Bathroom Breaks

1K Chinese workers kept 18 managers inside factory for day and a half

(Newser) - Hundreds of Chinese factory workers held their Japanese and Chinese managers hostage for a day and a half over ... strictly timed bathroom breaks. About 1,000 workers at Shanghai Shinmei Electric Company kept the 18 managers inside the factory in Shanghai starting Friday morning until just before midnight Saturday. The... More »

It's Time to End the 60-Hour Workweek

40 hours provides maximum productivity: Geoffrey James

(Newser) - Putting in a 60-hour workweek may look impressive—but it's probably not helping the company, or you. Plenty of studies back this up, writes Geoffrey James at Time , who points to a turn-of-the-20th-century analysis by Ford Motor Company that concluded the most productive number of weekly hours for workers... More »

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