Are you binge working? The question is deadly serious

Twitter.com (Click to see original Tweet and responses)
Mita Diran worked herself to death. Twitter.com (Click to see original Tweet and responses)

(So happy to be back on CNBC and NBCNews.com again.  I’m scheduled to be on television Friday night — NBC Nightly with Brian Williams — to discuss this story).  

A toxic combination of digital leashes, the hypnotic effects of technology, economic anxiety, and caffeine is encouraging workers to push far beyond normal limits in the name of hard work.

It’s a costly trend. Consequences range from poor work and long unscheduled absences, to workers paying with their health, and in rare cases, their lives.

Take Mita Diran. The 24-year-old advertising copywriter worked for 30 hours straight just before Christmas, bragged that she was “still going strooong” on Twitter, and dropped dead within hours. The young Indonesian was the latest high-profile victim of what some are now calling “binge working.”

Diran’s story is eerily similar to that of Li Yuan, an ad writer at Ogilvy & Mather in China, whose heart stopped in May after similar bouts of overwork.

It’s also similar to the sorry tale of Moritz Erhardt. He died after a three-day work binge at Bank of America’s Merrill Lynch office in London. Erhartdt was a 21-year-old intern, and apparently desperate to prove himself worthy of a full-time job in banking. The death has prompted the bank to take steps to ease the frantic working conditions for ambitious junior staffers.

Read the rest of this story on NBCNews.com

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About Bob Sullivan 1319 Articles
BOB SULLIVAN is a veteran journalist and the author of four books, including the 2008 New York Times Best-Seller, Gotcha Capitalism, and the 2010 New York Times Best Seller, Stop Getting Ripped Off! His latest, The Plateau Effect, was published in 2013, and as a paperback, called Getting Unstuck in 2014. He has won the Society of Professional Journalists prestigious Public Service award, a Peabody award, and The Consumer Federation of America Betty Furness award, and been given Consumer Action’s Consumer Excellence Award.

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