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Analysis and Comment (27)

Work is important, but so is fun. Work is important, but so is fun. Andrew Matthews/PA

Every weekend could be four days long, if the will was there

In a world of iPhones and drones, people are right to wonder why they are still working so hard. The past century saw huge technological advances and yet there hasn’t been a corresponding increase in leisure…
Can anger in the workplace be beneficial? Can anger in the workplace be beneficial? Image sourced from www.shutterstock.com

The upside of anger: why workers should express their emotions

Anger has traditionally been considered an emotion to be avoided at work as it is often linked to a lack of personal control. Anger at work is often seen as unprofessional; an uncontrolled response linked…
A morning staff meeting gets underway in 2034. A morning staff meeting gets underway in 2034. Grathio

Machines spell change rather than doom for white-collar work

If Google chairman Eric Schmidt is to be believed, the automation of jobs will be the “defining” problem of the next two to three decades. At a debate at Davos 2014, he warned that the constant development…
There’s more to life than the hard slog. There’s more to life than the hard slog. kooklanekookla

The case for working less

The focus of conventional employment policy is on creating “more work”. People without work and in receipt of benefits are viewed as a drain on the state and in need of assistance or direct coercion to…
Psychological detachment can help you recover from work related stress. Psychological detachment can help you recover from work related stress. Flickr/Stuart Pilbrow

Overworked? Good habits, not holidays, are the answer

Australians work very long hours compared to workers in other developed countries. But evidence shows that employees who work more than 48 hours per week, or are overcommitted or over-invested in their…
Body language can affect workplace morale. Body language can affect workplace morale. massdistraction

Body talk: how body language affects workplace morale

A council in Western Australia recently prohibited negative body language such as shrugging, eye-rolling and sighing in the workplace, but a blanket ban on certain gestures is destined to fail. Body language…
Take your pick. Social scientists have got skills galore. Take your pick. Social scientists have got skills galore. Erich Kesse

‘Lazy’ social scientists? Just what your business needs

A report by the Campaign for Social Science is challenging some tired stereotypes about social scientists. As The i reported, social science graduates are defying the “layabout myth”. The report “What…
Those leaves won’t carry themselves. Those leaves won’t carry themselves. Alejandro Soffia Vega

Obsession with ‘hard work’ is a dangerous distraction

This year’s Conservative Party conference has reminded us incessantly that George Osborne and his fellow ministers are “for hardworking people”. This same slogan has also become popular among Labour politicians…
“Oh hi, Mike from accounts. I believe we have a 10.30 strategy briefing?”. “Oh hi, Mike from accounts. I believe we have a 10.30 strategy briefing?”. Honda News

Machines on the march threaten almost half of modern jobs

Computers have been an important part of many industries for decades already and have replaced humans in many jobs. But a new wave of technological development means that even positions that we once saw…
There are sound business reasons for supporting staff with cancer. There are sound business reasons for supporting staff with cancer. Michael Lokner

Creating a friendly workplace for people with cancer

Cancer is now the leading cause of death and disability in Australia. One in two males and one in three females living to the age of 85 in Australia receives a cancer diagnosis at some stage in his or…
This is Canberera calling: Prime Minister Julia Gillard emphasises the importance of teleworking via videolink to a conference in Melbourne. This is Canberera calling: Prime Minister Julia Gillard emphasises the importance of teleworking via videolink to a conference in Melbourne. AAP

Go forth and telework — but will it work for you?

At yesterday’s Telework Conference at Melbourne Unversity, Prime Minister Julia Gillard — who delivered a speech via videolink — committed to a target of 12% of Commonwealth public servants working from…
It’s time to look closer at the value behind the work ethic. It’s time to look closer at the value behind the work ethic. Julian Smith / AAP

Hard yakka: what’s the work ethic really worth?

Accepting the Democratic nomination earlier this month, President Barack Obama said he was inspired by the spirit of “the auto worker who won the lottery after his plant almost closed, but kept coming…
There’s a lot of prestige to volunteering at the Olympics – working Tuesday mornings at the Salvo shop may not offer the same rewards. There’s a lot of prestige to volunteering at the Olympics – working Tuesday mornings at the Salvo shop may not offer the same rewards. London 2012

Volunteering at the Olympics is a thrill, but will it last?

Without volunteers, the Olympics would be a disaster. But will the “Games Makers” - the army of 70,000 Olympic and Paralympic volunteers - stimulate a spirit of volunteerism in and beyond London? Volunteering…
A labour shortage in Australia’s resources sector has led to the rapid growth of a transient workforce in remote mining communities. A labour shortage in Australia’s resources sector has led to the rapid growth of a transient workforce in remote mining communities. robstephaustralia

Mining towns and the rise of the transient workforce

Welcome to the Future of Work, a series from The Conversation that looks at the ongoing evolution of the workplace. Today, QUT’s Alison McIntosh outlines the social, cultural and economic challenges posed…
Casual workers can often feel as though they are being treated as a commodity by their employers. Casual workers can often feel as though they are being treated as a commodity by their employers. katiemarinascott

Labour in vain: casualisation presents a precarious future for workers

Welcome to the Future of Work, a series from The Conversation that looks at the ongoing evolution of the workplace. Today, Monash University’s Veronica Sheen examines the consequences of the increasing…
From the workplace to the workhome: architectural design should evolve to reflect the growing number of people taking part in home-based work. From the workplace to the workhome: architectural design should evolve to reflect the growing number of people taking part in home-based work. seier + seier

Home is where the work is: the case for an urban design revolution

Welcome to the Future of Work, a series from The Conversation that looks at the ongoing evolution of the workplace. Today, London Metropolitan University’s Frances Holliss looks at the growth of home-based…
Trials of a working mother: Kirstie Marshall was at the centre of controversy after she breastfed her 11-day-old baby in state parliament in 2003. Trials of a working mother: Kirstie Marshall was at the centre of controversy after she breastfed her 11-day-old baby in state parliament in 2003. AAP

For women to have it all, we have to change the way we work

Who said we could have it all, anyway? This notion is a media myth that somehow translated the idea that women should not be excluded from any sphere on the basis of sex into the sexy but fallacious view…
Interns should be more than just coffe-gophers … shouldn’t they? Interns should be more than just coffe-gophers … shouldn’t they? flickr/happydog

For love not money: interns and the modern workplace

Last week Reuters reported a former intern at Harper’s Bazaar is suing the magazine’s publisher, Hearst Corporation, saying her internship violated US labour laws because it was unpaid. The intern, who…
Is it time to take your working life to another level? Is it time to take your working life to another level? Holly Ford Brown

Gamification status: you score ten points for reading this article

A white paper was released this week stating that “Gen Y” employees could be better engaged and motivated by applying “game dynamics” to the workplace. Bunchball, the company behind the paper, would say…
Despite reports of increasing false workplace bullying claims, most complaints are genuine. Despite reports of increasing false workplace bullying claims, most complaints are genuine. Omar_Gurnah

False workplace bullying claims – we’re not seeing an epidemic

Workplace bullying is one of the most emotive issues in modern business. A recent article in the Weekend Australian Magazine deals with the issue of false claims of workplace bullying and how costly they…
The idea that Australians work longer hours than workers from other countries is a myth. The idea that Australians work longer hours than workers from other countries is a myth. Flickr/hongoxl

Time after time: the myth that Australians work longer hours than anyone else

Many economic and social commentators, including the University of Canberra’s Josh Fear on The Conversation yesterday, continue to express concern about the number of hours many Australians spend doing…
Workers are finding it increasingly difficult to leave work on time or enjoy their free time. Workers are finding it increasingly difficult to leave work on time or enjoy their free time. Flickr/Floris M. Oosterveld

You there, make sure you go home on time today (or why Australians do so much unpaid work)

Today is national Go Home on Time Day, the one day of the year that you can work the hours you are paid for and no more – without feeling guilty. Since The Australia Institute first declared Go Home on…
Women rushed to change their lives in the 60s and 70s, but their progress has stalled now. Women rushed to change their lives in the 60s and 70s, but their progress has stalled now. Flickr/Maciek Zygmunt

Why the rush for gender equality has stalled

No one is too surprised today if a young woman becomes a doctor, lawyer, or executive. But eyebrows are raised just about as much today as in decades past if a couple features a tall woman and short man…
The Labor government has shied away from making substantial changes in industrial relations law. The Labor government has shied away from making substantial changes in industrial relations law. AAP/Patrick Hamilton

Fair work? It’s all about political spin in industrial relations

Peter Reith’s spectacular re-emergence into Australian politics has enlivened the so-called “IR” debate. His intervention has called forth a flood of commentary, from Tony Abbott (who now supports “practical…
Workers will see a percentage increase in their pay packet from today. Workers will see a percentage increase in their pay packet from today. AAP/Greg Wood

Explainer: What the new minimum wage really means for workers

Fair Work Australia’s annual wage determination takes effect today. Importantly, we’re set to see award wages rise not by a single dollar sum, as in the past, but by 3.4%. This goes someway to addressing…

Research and News (2)

Research Briefs (8)

Boys act out when dads work too long

Boys whose fathers work long hours can display delinquent and aggressive behaviour, according to a longitudinal study that…

Gay men get fewer job interviews

Gay men are 40% less likely to be offered a job interview than their straight counterparts in some parts of the United States…