Boundaries at Work: New Rules for Thriving in the Digital Age

MultitaskingLast week I wrote about the challenges of living in a “boundaryless” world – one in which we can (and do) bounce back and forth between work and non-work activities.

It is now common to communicate with colleagues and friends all over the world, to take care of personal needs in the middle of our work days, and to engage in work-related activities at all hours of the day and night.

(see “In a Boundaryless World, Peak Performance is More Difficult Than Ever”)

How many times have you been part of a global conference call at 4 or 5 AM local time, or completed a work memo and emailed it off at 10 PM? Read more

Creativity versus Cortisol

As I suggested last week (“Thinking About Thinking“), in today’s fast-paced business world it’s extremely difficult to find time to think on our own – and thus to be creative. Pressure for productivity, in combination with open office designs, means that not only are most of us collaborating with others most of the time, but we often can’t find a quiet place in the office even when we actually want some private “think time.”

But in turns out my analysis left out an incredibly important factor that makes our quest for creativity even more difficult than I realized. And may be making us more obese than we’d like.

My colleague and close friend Candace Fitzpatrick, the founder and president of CoreClarity, gently pointed out to me a few days ago that the biggest barrier to creativity in the workplace may well be stress – the tension we feel to perform at high levels, to respond quickly to emails and voice messages, and to accept as “normal” the insecurities many of us feel about our jobs and our lives more broadly.

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Wellness and Wellbeing in the Workplace

This article marks the beginning of a slight change in my Future of Work Agenda newsletter publishing plans. Some time ago I simplified the newsletter format, sharing a single thought piece with you about once a month. Now I am committing to a more frequent schedule, with the goal of condensing my rants and ramblings to an even shorter format (and I have also integrated the newsletter more tightly with the blog).

What follows here is the first post of a three-part series on Wellness and Wellbeing in the Workplace. Look for Part Two a week from now.


As some of you know, I host a monthly “Talking About Tomorrow” conversation with about twenty very smart thought leaders and practitioners. We have common interests in the changing nature of work, the workforce, and the workplace – and how to manage the future of work. We exchange ideas, concerns, and visions of the future as a way of keeping all of us sharp and well-informed.

Recently we spent an hour together (virtually, of course) exploring wellness and well-being in the workplace. It’s a topic that is getting a lot of well-deserved attention in many places these days. There’s no way I can adequately summarize the totality of that conversation, but I’d like to share some of the highlights here.

Thus, this is the first of several “chapters” in that particular conversation. What follows is an edited synopsis of what I found to be the most interesting comments and questions raised by several of the group members (all of those quoted here have granted me permission to share their contributions to the conversation). Read more