Fresh Look – The political problem of being an introverted male

Taking an active role in office politics is psychologically taxing, and you can’t do it without social support.[1] Here I’m talking about being the beneficiary of advice, empathy, encouragement and help with practical tasks.[2] Without support, you will be unable…

Fresh Look – The politics of being a high performer

During the summers early in my college years, I worked in a factory on a drill press putting holes in metal parts. It was an objectively tedious job, but it exposed me to a menagerie of working class men. On…

When Machiavellians work for one another

Some of you may have worked for Machiavellians and experienced how your peers interact with them. If one of your peers is also manipulative, what is likely to ensue? Results from a new study indicate that sparks will fly. Machiavellians…

dissolution of workplace friendships

Friends at work can be tremendous sources of support, encouragement, and joint political action. They also offer employees overall well-being regardless of the consequences.[1] When friendships go awry, political problems often arise. The involved parties have problems coordinating their work,…

Spotting burn-out

Employee burn-out has horrible consequences. It is a common cause of such negative physical health outcomes as coronary artery disease and hypertension. Mental health is also compromised by sleep disturbances, depression, and anxiety, as well as to increased alcohol and…

Grin and bear it!

It is commonsensical that our facial expressions reflect our internal emotional states. Just ask any poker player, and he will tell you that it takes attention and energy to alter one’s expressions in order to create an erroneous impression, i.e.,…

Beware of non-promoted employees

When someone is promoted, there are usually a number of people who were in the running who failed. A new study shows that these also-rans are consequently more prone to act out on their frustration and lash out at the…

make plans to detach from work

People who have difficulty leaving work psychologically suffer considerable stress. One study shows that 72% of workers spend some time after work worrying about their job, and 22% report that they worry regularly.[1] To avoid this intrusion into your leisure…

Do people experience more stress at home or at work?

Conventional wisdom is that work is stress-ridden and home is a refuge. Yet, this idea was turned upside down with the publication of a book by Arlie Hochschild in 1997. In The Time Bind, Hochschild argued that home life had…

Status and stress

I remember my first surprise in the workplace. It was way back when I worked in a Chicago factory on a drill press. Repetitive, low status work to be sure. The guy I sat next to was about 50 although…