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posted by janrinok on Wednesday March 27, @10:26PM   Printer-friendly
from the beatings-shall-continue-until-morale-improves dept.

https://arstechnica.com/science/2024/03/job-flexibility-and-security-linked-to-better-mental-health-among-workers/

American workers who have more flexibility and security in their jobs also have better mental health, according to a study of 2021 survey data from over 18,000 nationally representative working Americans.

The study, published Monday in JAMA Network Open, may not be surprising to those who have faced return-to-office mandates and rounds of layoffs amid the pandemic. But, it offers clear data on just how important job flexibility and security are to the health and well-being of workers.

[...] Overall, the study's findings indicate "the substantive impact that flexible and secure jobs can have on mental health in the short-term and long-term," the researchers conclude.

They do note limitations of the study, the main one being that the study identifies associations and can't determine that job flexibility and security directly caused mental health outcomes and the work absence findings. Still, they suggest that workplace policies could improve the mental health of employees.


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  • (Score: 2) by bzipitidoo on Friday March 29, @04:44AM

    by bzipitidoo (4388) on Friday March 29, @04:44AM (#1350805) Journal

    From what I've heard, there are two kinds of careers: many years in the same job at a good company, or job hopping from one bad company to the next. The latter has been my experience. Can't help some of that job hopping. Startups often fail and not because of anything I did or didn't do, it's because the founders had expectations and plans that didn't work out. Should they have known better? For the most part, yes. And I could've been smarter too, with more street smarts and less technical chops.

    For one of these startups, they hired me to be the chief programmer. Said they had a method of comparing images all worked out, but needed a crack programmer like me to optimize their terribly slow system for speed. I jumped on that far too quickly, without asking them nearly enough hard questions. Then, when I arrive, they tell me that actually, they hadn't tested on any images, only text, because their code couldn't handle the quantity of data needed to process an image. What?! They lied. But as long as the money was good, was that okay? I took the pay, and got to work, first increasing its capacity so it could handle images.

    As expected it was terribly slow, needing 20 minutes to compare 2 images. Their idea to speed it up was to swap out C++ iostream for the old C stdio. That sped the code up, yes, to 12 minutes. Then I said to them, okay, let me show you why you made a good choice in hiring me. I figured out what their code was doing, realized I could use a transform that was way faster than their method, and implemented that from scratch. Took me the better part of a month to get it coded and running. My version, before I'd done any optimizing, took 2 seconds to compare 2 images. Also, with their code for comparison, I saw occasional different output. I checked by hand, and found that my code produced correct output, and theirs was wrong.

    So there I am patting myself on the back for a speedup from 12 minutes to 2 seconds. We were now able to run thousand of comparisons in an hour, instead of needing a whole week to do just a handful. Another huge speed increase I did was show the college kids they'd hired how to do batch processing of images, instead of using Photoshop. But all this served to show was that their image comparison method did not work. The slower code had enabled them to cherry pick the data and kid themselves that they had a working method. Shortly after this discovery, the pay dried up. They begged me to stay on and keep working for them for free. And I said, sure, I'll work for free, if you can persuade the apartment owners I'm renting from to let me live there rent free, and the nearby grocery to give me free food. Oh, you can't do that? Then, bye bye!

    The boss did try to make amends. Sort of. He proposed that I join his financial backers at their company on the other side of the continent. He didn't explicitly say so, but it became painfully clear that his attempt to make amends was actually a set up. He was trying to manipulate me into a do-or-die situation. Make their fantasy work, or your life blows up and you lose your home and your car. Lot of managers believe in that sort of thing. I refused to go along with that scheme. Then he proposed that I go to the other side of the ocean to work in a teaching position. Um, no. He'd shown a certain deviousness and I no longer trusted him at all. He was something of a fraud, too. A PhD and a professor, and he cherry picks data? WTF? No good scientist does that!

    At a defense contracting gig, it was a similar story in the expectations, but wholly different in the environment. Much more hostility and suspicion. The military boys had unrealistic expectations, but it took a while for this to become clear. Meantime, they were trying to make it happen with their characteristic military style bullying. Throw in some sales pitches from rival defense contractors who were only too happy to tell those military idiots what they wanted to hear, that they could do the work wanted (they were lying, of course, but the military boys couldn't tell who to believe), and the constant reminders that failure could be construed as treason and us punished for that with prison time, and things were plenty stressful. Greatly magnifying the stress was our own management's incompetence and decision to feed them bull. The whole thing ended in a massive trainwreck. Management tried to pin the blame primarily on me, getting me escorted off the base, but it didn't work. The military cancelled my employer's contract anyway, and so everyone else lost their jobs too. I have never been so relieved to lose a job as that one.

    And so, I decided that as soon as I had enough saved up, I would do early retirement.

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