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​Jeffrey Pfeffer: Your job is killing you

On the Future of Everything radio show, a professor of organizational behavior discusses what's gone wrong at the workplace … and what we can do about it.

The side of a building at night showing many illuminated offices

A ‘toxic workplace’ takes on a whole new meaning. | Unsplash/Vladimir Kudinov

Over the last three-quarters of a century, global corporations have lost sight of their broader role in society and now are focused almost exclusively on serving their shareholders.

That reality has had dire consequences for the workers of the world who are, quite literally, dying for a job, says guest Jeffrey Pfeffer, a professor of organizational behavior at Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Pfeffer says the workplace is the fifth leading cause of death and that as many as 1 million people worldwide die each year from overwork. The biggest culprits are long hours and micromanagement that leave workers both exhausted and unsatisfied.

Pfeffer insists that breaking the deadly cycle rests in encouraging companies to be as good at stewarding human capital as they are at financial capital. It all begins by getting a better handle on the problem through more research. Because, Pfeffer says, you can’t improve what you don’t measure.

You can listen to the Future of Everything on Sirius XM Insight Channel 121iTunesSoundCloud and Stanford Engineering Magazine.

Learn more about Pfeffer’s book Dying for a Paycheck: How Modern Management Harms Employee Health and Company Performance—and What We Can Do About It here.