The trouble with bad working conditions

From the New York Times:

Often companies seek out our services when they’ve begun losing valued employees [because of the working conditions in their office], or a C.E.O. recognizes his own exhaustion, or a young, rising executive suddenly drops dead of a heart attack — a story we’ve been told more than a half dozen times in just the past six months.

In a numbers-driven world, the most compelling argument for change is the growing evidence that meeting the needs of employees fuels their productivity, loyalty and performance.

First sentence: bad office working conditions are killing people. Second sentence: main reason to change bad working conditions is to improve “productivity, loyalty, and performance.”

Which makes sense. A firm can abide working conditions killing its employees. They can be replaced. They are only people. The trouble is when the conditions don’t just drive an employee into the grave, but create an ongoing drag on their productivity without killing them off. That’s what really strikes a blow to the bottom line.

The entire article reads this way. The author observes that working conditions are wrecking people’s lives and making miserable the great majority of their waking hours. And then they argue that the chief trouble with all of this is that it is bad for profitability and “long-term value” for the firm. I’ve not seen a piece this unintentionally bleak in a long while.

Policy Shop: SCOTUS and the Uncertain Future of Organized Labor

New post at Policy Shop. Excerpt:

This has been a blockbuster week for the Supreme Court to say the least. With DOMA, Proposition 8, Title VII, and affirmative action decisions dominating the coverage, few have taken note of the Supreme Court’s move on Monday to grant review to a set of cases that could strike a severe blow to private sector union organizing.

Read the rest at Policy Shop.