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How We Work

Live Your Purpose, Reclaim Your Sanity, and Embrace the Daily Grind

Leah Weiss • Harper Wave

Let’s face it: Work is broken. Despite numerous attempts to rejigger and modernize and open up the workplace, in the opinion of Leah Weiss—who teaches “Leading with Mindfulness and Compassion” at the Stanford Graduate School of Business—most people work in a toxic environment.

She’s not talking about sick building syndrome, though plenty of people still work in buildings cut off from the natural world with bad air, bad lighting, and bad building materials. She’s talking about working hours that stretch out of all recognition, the added ability to field communications at any place or time, and few if any doses of serious downtime to recharge. Weiss cites a study that shows that, in 2015, less than half of workers who received paid vacation days used all or most of them and that 44% of respondents said their job “negatively affected their overall health,” while 40% said it negatively affected family life, weight, and sleep.

Chief among our problems is a mindset that creates a false dichotomy between “work” and “life,” causing us to expect life to make up for the damage done at…

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