E-Commerce is going to surge this holiday season. Are you thinking about the workers?

E-Commerce is going to surge this holiday season

By Madison Hanscom, PhD

Online shopping has become a regular part of the holiday season. It is more convenient than ever to send gifts across the globe from retailers we trust. Recently we have experienced an added benefit to online shopping — social distancing. Now we can rely on home delivery to avoid contact with crowds of people on Black Friday, Super Saturday, Boxing Day, and after Christmas sales. Although this certainly brings a lot of positives, there are important considerations when it comes to occupational safety.


Executives – Have you thought about your wellbeing lately?

Executives – Have you thought about your wellbeing lately

By Madison Hanscom, PhD

It is common to assume that executives, CEOs, and highly successful entrepreneurs just ‘have it all’, but many of these individuals are silently suffering. Executives can have a lot on their plate. They might feel responsible for the ups and downs of employees. They might work long hours and feel pressure to make the company more successful. They also can feel very isolated, like they can’t be vulnerable without looking weak.


COVID-19: A catalyst for safety culture change?

A catalyst for safety culture change

By Madison Hanscom, PhD

COVID-19 has changed our way of life inside and outside of work. It has forced us to rethink the way we work and enjoy time off. Businesses have been hit extremely hard, and most have been forced to make fast decisions to protect workers and customers.

Can responses to COVID-19 act as a litmus test for safety culture?

a litmus test for safety culture

By Madison Hanscom

The pandemic has created an extremely difficult scenario for many businesses. Amidst the hardship, companies are working to balance the safety of workers and customers along with financial survival. This begs the question — will the way in which a company responds to COVID-19 be a reflection of the safety culture?

What are the main causes of burnout?

What are the main causes of burnout

By Madison Hanscom, PhD

Burnout is deep and pervasive. It is marked by emotional exhaustion, physical fatigue, cynicism towards others, and depleted mental resources (1).

The main causes: The five factors that were most strongly related to burnout (as indicated by a survey of nearly 7,500 full time employees) are unfair treatment at work, unmanageable workload, lack of role clarity, lack of communication and support from the management, and unreasonable time pressure (2). There is something these burnout correlates have in common — they are issues with the workplace, not the person. Although teaching employees strategies to deal with these burnout factors can be valuable (e.g., meditation, resilience), it is not addressing the root cause. It is up to management to fix the system and culture in order to make deep, meaningful change happen.

Do you support or hinder a climate of recovery in your workplace? A leadership self-assessment.

Do you support or hinder a climate of recovery in your workplace

By Madison Hanscom, PhD

Recovery and downtime are important for a happy and productive workforce. As a leader, you should consider your role in this process. Reflect on how you contribute to the climate surrounding recovery in your workplace. A study from the American Psychological Association recently showed when companies encourage people to take their vacation time to disconnect, employees come back feeling more refreshed, motivated, and productive than companies that do not encourage taking time off (1).

Can your leader at work influence life at home?

influence life at home

By Madison Hanscom, PhD

Whether it is wrapping up a deliverable, venting about a hard day, or preparing for the next day ahead, many of us bring work home. But has research been conducted to examine the effects of leadership characteristics spilling over into the home domain of their followers? A recent study was conducted to examine the impact that empowering leaders have on their employees’ home lives.

Why Sleep is Particularly Important During a Pandemic


By Kelly Cave & Madison Hanscom

The current coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has resulted in increased responsibilities for many people. Citizens are learning how to adjust to a new way of life. This might include learning how to work from home, wearing multiple hats while balancing childcare and work, or the stress of supporting older loved ones. When things get busy, we tend to cut back on sleep. Oftentimes we do this so it feels like we have more hours in the day, and your employees are no exception.

Creating Social Connectedness During COVID-19


By Kelly Cave

With cities, stores, public spaces, and offices around the world shutting down amid the current COVID-19 pandemic, we are all finding ourselves more isolated than usual. A major negative side effect of the CDC’s recommended practice of social distancing includes feelings of isolation and a lack of connection to our family, friends, and coworkers. Isolation is the exact opposite of what evolution has hard-wired us to do because humans are naturally social beings. Years of research has shown time and time again that social isolation has detrimental effects on our metal health and overall wellbeing. In times of stress, we find comfort in seeking out and supporting one another, which is typically done in-person. However, this in-person contact is the exact opposite of what the CDC recommends us to do in order to flatten the curve and slow the spread of the virus.

Work-Life Balance: The key to healthy employees and organizations

team meeting at table from above[1]

By Maggie Carey and Kelly Cave

What is work-life balance?

Both organizations and individuals thrive when employees feel a sense of autonomy, high morale, and overall happiness. In recent years, many have begun to think that the way to achieve this is through emphasizing the importance of work-life balance. This "work-life balance" phrase has been a buzzword in popular culture, but what exactly is work-life balance? More importantly, how can individuals and organizations reap the benefits of this concept? Occupational health researchers commonly define work-life balance as the ability to accomplish goals and meet demands in both work and personal life domains [1]. One of the major frameworks that researchers use to describe the strain that arises from a poor work-life balance is the job demands and control model [2]. According to this model, employees experience strain as a result from an overload of demands and an insufficient amount of resources to handle those demands. In the case of work-life balance, a common example of a demand many workers face is an excessive workload. One resource employees can use to handle that demand is sufficient time to complete work. However, if companies do not provide the proper resources to handle the demands employees face, strain arises, and wellbeing suffers. Read More...