“Google in Dublin recently ran an experiment to help them. It invited staff to check in their devices as they clocked off for the day, with the result that evenings were reportedly happier all around. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Opinion: modern working lives have catastrophically gone from eight-hour days to 24/7

‘If JPMorgan would have me back I’d be a far better prospect now than the sneering waster they employed 32 years ago.’ Photographer: Peter Foley/Bloomberg

I have about 20 years of work left, which ought to be plenty to begin again

‘None of us works anything like as hard as we think we do. According to studies in the US and elsewhere, people routinely overestimate their working hours by at least 10 per cent.’ Photograph: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Opinion: the disease of overwork is partly in our minds

“People end up as entrepreneurs for different reasons. Some, like Sir Richard Branson (above), are dyslexic and do so badly at school that the usual careers are closed.” Photograph: Chris McGrath/Getty Images

Egos need to be managed, which inevitably means tiptoeing works better than barging

Beware the wise words of others

Pieces of advice are positioning statements that tell the world about the values the issuer would like it to think they hold

“I’ve almost given up sitting in audiences with my husband as his yawning and fidgeting is too infectious. When we went to see Black Swan in a packed cinema a few years ago, he let out a great laugh at the horrifying moment when Natalie Portman turns into a ballerina-cum-demon.”

When giving a talk, your own performance is only half of it

“The damage done to the subject of the gossip is generally negligible, while the fun and fellow feeling created between the chatterers is considerable.” Photograph: Getty Images

Recent research suggests gossip increases co-operation, upholds the moral code, punishes the selfish and rewards the unselfish

“Far from making work less civilised, the arrival of Big Brother could make it more so. Office life could become more transparent and less political.”

If we are in favour of meritocracies, we should also be in favour of anything that helps us measure merit more accurately

“Inga Beale said what holds women back is not a lack of ambition or too many domestic responsibilities. It is that they don’t engage in enough aimless chatter with their colleagues.” Photograph posed by models.

If you don’t chat, people don’t like you much. So if women keep quiet at work, it matters

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