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Learn the key ideas of the book by Jeffrey Pfeffer

Dying for a Paycheck

How to prevent employee stress and improve performance at work

Every year, hundreds of thousands of people die as a direct consequence of stress, caused by their jobs. Whether it is because of a busy environment, impossible deadlines, or a lack of financial security, the consequences are both clear and visible. And it really does not have to be this way. In Dying for a Paycheck, Jeffrey Pfeffer helps us to see how stress negatively influences not only people but also society and even companies themselves. He presents various hypotheses on new ways to manage businesses, enabling them to turn people’s physical and mental health into a company priority.

Dying for a Paycheck
Read in 9 min.
Listen in 12 min.

Many useful tips to:

  • Understand exactly how stress in the workplace negatively influences our society.
  • Analyse the principle causes of stress at work and in toxic environments.
  • Create hypotheses for an alternative approach, where wellbeing at work is just as important as financial results.

The author of the book:

Jeffrey Pfeffer is an American business expert and a professor of Organisational Behaviour at Stanford University. He is considered one of the most important and influential figures in the field of management and for years he conducted in depth studies in the areas of behaviour and management. He has written hundreds of articles and more than a dozen books on the subject, among which are The Human Equation, Managing with Power, Hidden Value and Leadership BS.


Why stress is often synonymous with work

The world of work that we live in seems to be guided by a fundamental principle, which is to maximise productivity and earnings. We are surrounded by methods whose aim is to obtain maximum results with minimum effort and minimum investment.

One of the consequences of this type of mentality is the creation of toxic environments in which everyone, from employees to managers, is constantly under very high levels of stress and discontent.

A stressful work pace, deadlines which are impossible to meet and too much overtime are just some of the factors that contribute to making our work not only unbearable, but even dangerous. Depression, suicide and heart attacks are just some of the results on the long list of consequences.

Studies show that the effects of stress on people are numerous, and we know all too well the consequences for people that live in stressful environments over long periods. The thing that we might have perhaps underestimated, is the enormous impact that stress has on society as a whole, as well as within a company.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. It is possible to imagine a world where work doesn’t cause stress and illness, but the creation of such a situation would require collective action, so that work would no longer be something that we risk dying for.


The key ideas of "Dying for a Paycheck"

Why stress is often synonymous with work
The way in which the working world negatively influences our health
Why firing people comes with several types of collateral damage
A side note on health insurance
Why little extras are not enough to fix the general discontent
Why we can no longer go on like this
What we can do to change things
Take-home message

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