Work-life balance, toxic bosses, and generation gaps, this week in BusinessWeek

Work-life balance, toxic bosses, and generation gaps.  Three of our favorite topics at the Delaware Employment Law Blog.  They’re also the focus of a Special Edition of Businessweek.  The magazine, on stands Monday, has a feature called Business@Work.  The workplace special report was created, really, by readers.  In surveys, blogs, and polls, readers talked about their top concerns at work and their strategies and practical tips for how they deal with it all.  The topics covered include, in addition to the ones above, how to stay creative and entrepreneurial in uncertain economic times, time management, and managing the bureaucracy of Corporate America. image

There were lots of fascinating tidbits among the nine pages of text.  One of the main articles deals with the initiatives being taken by employers that focus on their employees’ “happiness.”   Go figure.  A “happiness initiative” is not necessarily a new idea.  After all, that’s what employee benefits are, for the most part.  But some of the efforts being made by companies like Safeco, IBM, and BMW N. America, are new to me. 

How would your employees like the idea of being flown to Disneyland for the day–families included.  (If you like it enough to transfer, you’d want to apply at the L.A. office of law firm DLA Piper).  Or maybe you’d be interested in hiring a Chief Happiness Officer, who, if he’s like the CHO at London ad agency, iris Worldwide, is in charge of managing regular pub crawls.  And for the academics in the group, there is happiness learning just around the corner.  Companies including Qantas and Sanofi-Aventis have called in experts to assess the emotional health of their employees. 

So are these “perks” really seen as perks by the employees who receive them?  Or does the fact that they occur during working time with coworkers and monitored by management make them any less enticing?

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