Workplace Wellness Links for Libraries May 12, 2023

I cannot recommend the Maintenance Phase podcast enough if you’re looking to unpack your beliefs around health and wellness and examine how health myths are formed. It has a lighthearted but not safe for work tone and uses data to break things down. I listened to an old episode this weekend on Workplace Wellness programs.  So many “wellness” programs do more harm than good. You can listen to it or read the transcripts on the website. Make sure to explore some of the links.

Michael: So, before we debunk everything that we just went over, we’re going to talk about the harms that have emerged and the forms of these programs that are really shitty and have started to proliferate. This is an excerpt from a congressional hearing in 2013 when the EEOC was thinking about doing something about this and ultimately decided not to. This is the kind of qualitative experience that just nobody is interested in for years. [laughs]

Aubrey: Yeah. Good. “Terry suffers from diabetes. And although, she passed all five fitness tests, she didn’t meet the body mass index of 24. As a result, her employer imposed an increase in her family’s insurance premium from $175 to $320 a month. After the birth of her baby, Terry’s doctor warned that any weight loss was medically inadvisable while she was trying to manage both her diabetes and breastfeed. Since Terry’s employer refused to exempt her from the BMI target and required her to work with a trainer outside of working hours, Terry was required to pay out of pocket for all these sessions and she continues to pay significantly more for her family’s health insurance, a financial burden not placed upon other employees.” Yeah.

I know many people who work in libraries get into the profession for the love of libraries, books, community programs and service (whether than community is a town, a school, a campus, a corporation), and other library related things. Librarians in all types of librarianship are experience burnout, stress, low morale. low pay, and attacks. This article is not library specific but it may have some good advice for those thinking of leaving the profession.

Is it time to quit your passion job?

How do you know when it’s time to leave a passion job behind?  The first step can be taking a hard look at the work environment and figuring out if it’s sustainable. Cech suggests workers actively monitor how much extra time they’re putting in, and whether their paycheque adequately compensates them for it – or if they’re in a position of passion exploitation. She also suggests thinking about rest – and if they’re getting enough of it. “If either through explicit or implicit expectation you aren’t able to recuperate from the work that you’re doing, that’s a big red flag,” says Cech.


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