What Factors Distinguish a Healthy Workplace?

The number of Americans dissatisfied with one or more aspects of their jobs is shocking, as New York employment attorneys are well aware. According to a study reported in the New York Times, half or more of U.S. workers reported fundamental limitations to their ability to think creatively, focus on individual tasks, perform enjoyable work, and find meaning in their professions.

Those employees reporting high satisfaction levels at work attributed their sense of fulfillment to several factors, including:

• Breaks.
Taking a break every 90 minutes can yield up to 30 percent higher focus levels than for those who take one or fewer breaks per day. It can also result in 50 percent higher creativity and 46 percent greater feelings of health or wellbeing. Employers who encourage their employees to take breaks also enjoy higher retention rates.

Work hours. Working more than 40 hours per week can actually achieve the opposite effect of what the worker desires, causing decreased engagement and productivity. Even when employers abide by overtime requirements, the additional compensation may not make up for the lost work/life balance.

• Supportive leadership. When supervisors offer consistent and positive support, engagement and retention levels skyrocket.

• Meaning.
Individuals want to feel the work they perform has an impact on something they care about. Those whose jobs provide this feeling of purpose are three times more likely to stay with their employers for the long haul.

• Flexibility.
Modern workers crave flexible work options such as telecommuting and flex scheduling, but many employers fear losing the oversight that comes from a rigidly scheduled, on-site workforce.

Although some companies are better than others at fostering happy and productive work environments, all workers should familiarize themselves with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) to ascertain that their employers do not engage in unlawful practices. Possible employer violations include:

• Pressuring employees to work “off the clock”
• Categorizing hourly staff members as “exempt” to avoid paying overtime
• Sending work home with employees to meet deadlines
• Withholding overtime pay when non-exempt staff work more than 40 hours
If you are experiencing these or other signs of employer abuse, New York employment attorneys at Joseph & Kirschenbaum are here to help. To set up a consultation to discuss your legal options, contact us at (800) 348-7394.

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