Lab Notes #16: Work-life balance

community engagement social determinants health
West end mural project sponsored by Viva Vancouver.

Microsoft’s Work-Life Choice Challenge is, fundamentally, a healthcare issue, and one that I expect will gain traction with folks studying the social determinants of health. (See here.)

Many reports about the Microsoft study, along with hundreds of folks in the comment sections, overlook a key point: “The company gave special paid leave to workers to account for their fifth day, but also subsidized expenses employees incurred for volunteering, taking classes or taking family trips” (cbsnews.com).

Effectively, there are two groups of MS employees: (1) the unsubsidized disengagers and (2) the subsidized engagers. Did these two groups raise work productivity at equal rates? What happens when unrushed humans have time for socializing and community engagement? Does that experience light a spark? Do humans carry that spark back to the office? There’s more data coming soon, I figure. What’s your take on this prospect?