How many hours a week do you work?

office, business, men

In this week’s New Yorker magazine Cal Newport asks one of the most pressing questions of our age – Why Do We Work Too Much? From the story: In 2013, a Japanese news reporter named Miwa Sado died suddenly, soon after covering two consecutive elections. An investigation by government officials classified the tragedy as a case of karoshi, or death by overwork. Sado had clocked a hundred and fifty-nine hours of official overtime in the preceding month. When her body …

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#TheReset – Belfast City Centre’s loss is the rest of Northern Ireland’s gain…

I have not been in the City Centre since February and to be honest, I have no desire to rush back anytime soon. Even before the pandemic, it was not a great experience – noisy, dirty, lots of traffic, a harsh natureless environment, a notable increase in beggars and addicts. It is a pity because having a wander around the city centre was an activity that many of us grew up on. But lately, it has lost its attraction. Of …

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#TheReset: Slashing The Presenteeism Umbilical Cord…

Recent months have seen a significant change in the way we work. On Friday 13th March 2020, Northern Ireland’s workforce made their usual commute home from the office, and the majority of them haven’t returned since. While a number of our local employers embraced working from home as an option for their team prior to lockdown, few of them had engaged in a remote-working-only strategy rendering their office lease and funky fit-out somewhat redundant. While the early days of moving …

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#InConversation Podcast with Dr John Moriarty from Queen’s about changes to work patterns during Covid-19…

John is a fellow in the Centre for evidence and social innovation and a sociology lecturer School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work at Queens University Belfast In this podcast we chat about the changes to the workplace from Covid 19. As well as the obvious downsides, there have also been some positive to the lockdown. People are commuting less, meetings now take place on video saving time and money etc We also talk about the challenges of working …

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Why do we need foreign labour when we have so many unemployed?

A texter to Good Morning Ulster today asked the question: ‘Why do we need cheap foreign labour when we have 100,000 unemployed?’ I voted against Brexit and I also believe it is good to have free movement of labour, but I must admit the texter had a point. It is a strange state of affairs that we import labour from all over the world when we have so many local people economically inactive. From the NISRA Report on Economic Inactivity: …

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Coworking and what it means for Northern Ireland…

This week we are over in Poland attending the Coworking Europe Conference 2019.  After the success of last year’s conference in Amsterdam, this year the conference is being held in Warsaw with over 600 delegates from Europe and other international countries from as far away as the US and India in attendance. The Irish delegation is made up of ourselves from Newry as well as representatives from Dublin, Cork and Wicklow. For those of you who are not familiar with …

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Future Ireland / Does motherhood unite or divide us?

Most mothers have more pressing things to think about than constitutional arrangements. While there are some differences in the lived experiences of mothers in the UK and Ireland, they are small. In fact, our struggles are pretty much the same across national borders. Beyond the obvious, that all mothers want the best for their children (and often disagree on what that is and how to achieve it), we are united in our systematic disadvantage by the states in which we …

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You get less holidays than a medieval peasant…

Hopefully, you are enjoying your bank holiday weekend. As you look forward to returning to your toil on Tuesday you may find this article by Business Insider cruel comfort. Plowing and harvesting were backbreaking toil, but the peasant enjoyed anywhere from eight weeks to half the year off. The Church, mindful of how to keep a population from rebelling, enforced frequent mandatory holidays. Weddings, wakes, and births might mean a week off quaffing ale to celebrate, and when wandering jugglers …

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Stop messing around and get back to work!

If I woke up tomorrow and decided I couldn’t get on with my colleagues nor did I want to strike an agreement on a direction for a project we were working on – I’d be in trouble. Worse still if I just simply decided not to turn up to my job, I’d no doubt be sacked and someone else would be found to replace me. As the talks to restore the Northern Ireland Executive seem to be stuck in a …

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New journalism: The odd or the offbeat is often where the important news is buried these days.

As it happens, I’m on my way to the Reuters Institute at Oxford to join a small round table workshop on the Future of Journalistic Work, with the general idea of helping the Institute to “scope issues related to the shifts emerging in journalistic work and employment”. And as it also happens, Lyra McKee has blogged this morning on her own crowdsourced attempt to do some depth journalism on the story of the Reverend Robert Bradford in the last few …

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