MONTHLY BAROMETER – WELLNESS EDITION

An issue to watch is whether our relation to work, and what it means for wellbeing, will evolve in 2019.

When there is so much science-based evidence showing the necessity of a good night’s sleep, why is workaholism so much in vogue among successful entrepreneurs and investors? The culture of work zeal is particularly entrenched in the tech industry, where it found an extreme (absurd?) endorsement when Marissa Mayer (then CEO of Yahoo) revealed in 2016 that working 130 hours a week is possible “if you are strategic about when you sleep, when you shower, and how often you go to the bathroom”!

Yet, a plethora of academic articles in psychology, leadership theory, organizational behavior, neuroscience and the like show us that long hours neither improve productivity nor creativity. In fact, it often ends up doing the opposite. A strange cognitive dissonance exists among the tech entrepreneurs. On one hand, they are at the cutting edge in terms of how tech can contribute to enhance wellbeing and often obsess about wellness. On the other hand, they neglect one of the most basic and potent sources of wellbeing: sleep. Go figure it out.

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