The dangers of work loneliness; How to love your job again

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The dangers of workplace loneliness: Despite society’s increased connectedness, we are growing lonelier. This epidemic is not only harming people’s health, it’s also making workers less productive and engaged on the job. To improve the workplace, former US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy argues, companies need to focus on creating environments that encourage employees to build social connections. “Next time you find yourself wanting to refer a coworker to an article, a body of work, an author, or a corporate asset, don’t say you’ll send the link,” advises marketing consultant Sharyn Sears. “Tell them about it in your own words. Bring back the real conversation. And for heaven’s sake — have lunch with people away from your desk!” • Share your thoughts:#LonelyAtWork

Does your job need a makeover? Good news for those feeling miserable at work: There’s a way out, and it doesn’t involve quitting. Yale management professor Amy Wrzesniewski calls it “job crafting,” which can involve working with your employer to redefine your responsibilities, or simply tweaking how you think about your role and how you relate to others at the office. Developing a greater sense of control over your experience at work can yield significant benefits: In her research, Wrzesniewski has found that “job crafting” can improve employee happiness, performance, and commitment. • Share your thoughts: #JobCrafting

A “catastrophic sleep-loss epidemic” is causing a host of potentially fatal diseaseswith powerful links between a lack of rest and conditions like Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer, according to UC Berkeley sleep science expert Matthew Walker. Despite such grave warnings, the pressures of everyday life and work make it particularly difficult to carve out enough time for rest. Many on LinkedIn suggested that, in the face of such health risks, it may be time to revisit our priorities. “One solution to the overactive mind is to look honestly at why you strive so hard to fit in so much and for what,” writes Edinburgh-based leadership coach Juliette Lee. “We need a radical change in perception of what matters most in our lives.” • Share your thoughts: #SleepDeprivation

Why interview your job candidates when they can interview each other? Maryland consultant Lawrence Miller has opted to reverse the job interview process and have candidates interview him, his team, and, ultimately, each other. This approach, he explains to Fast Company, allows him to see candidates in action as an outside observer, which he considers a better predictor of how they might perform on the job. Such group interviews allow hiring managers to see how candidates might perform as part of a team, but there is a drawback: They tend to favor extroverted job applicants and may discourage some candidates from speaking up. • Share your thoughts:#ReverseJobInterview

Leaders, step away from the hamster wheel. Carving out unstructured time for reflection can help executives make better decisions, Boston Consulting Group partners argue in the Harvard Business Review“In reflective thought, a person examines underlying assumptions, core beliefs, and knowledge, while drawing connections between apparently disparate pieces of information,” they explain. Reflective thought also helps leaders become “meta-problem solvers” — focusing not just on questions of the moment, but considering whether those are even the right questions to be asking. While it’s tough to make room for reflection in a busy schedule, the authors suggest setting aside such time in advance on your calendar, preparing questions to consider ahead of time, and soliciting the help of a coach. • Share your thoughts:#WorkplaceReflection

One last idea:  Maybe imposter syndrome isn’t something to conquer after all. Communications coach Laura Bergells says we should actually embrace it, especially because it’s the only thing that can beat an even worse scourge: Expert Syndrome. Those with Expert Syndrome are overconfident, which means they often get ahead in the workplace, but they lack the skills to back it up. It’s on the so-called ‘imposters’ to fake some confidence — for the greater office good.

“We need talented and thoughtful people. We need people with empathy and insight. We need to work with people who are actually aware of the simple fact they don’t know everything. That’s why you need to at least pretend to be confident. If you don’t, we might have to continue to work with insufferable blowhard know-nothings.”

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