Friday, October 23, 2009

Survivor's Anxiety

Here's an intriguing story from Business Week about those who survived a lay-off and those who didn't. An excerpt:

As more manufacturing was outsourced, workers said they no longer felt as if they were building planes. They were simply snapping them together. They obsessed about the loss of institutional knowledge. Managers who had fired people, meanwhile, confessed deep, pervasive grief—what researchers sometimes call "executioner's lament." Moore says they tended to become emotionally numb and disengaged.

In the greatest surprise of all, the researchers discovered that the people who had been laid off often were happier than those left behind. Many had new jobs, even if they didn't always pay as well. Over and over, Moore says, average depression scores were nearly twice as great for those who stayed with Boeing vs. those who left. The laid-off were less likely to binge drink, often slept better, and had fewer chronic health problems.

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