HR Strange But True!
October 10, 2008

With your workers all stressed out by the economy, is there anything you can do to help them out? Pass out the gum, says a press campaign by Chicago-based Wrigley's Eclipse gum, But a bar in that toddlin' town might have a better idea to calm them!

A survey, conducted by Wrigley and the Institute for Corporate Productivity, cited in the press release, found that 65 percent of employees thought that their employer wasn't doing anything to help them manage stress caused by working more hours, economic pressures, and general everyday demands at work and home.

"The ability to cope with stress plays a large role in employee performance," according to Mary Key, workforce leadership expert for the Institute, who adds that people need small tools to beat daily tresses at work, like going outside for fresh air, closing their eyes while they count to 50--and chewing gum.

"While chewing gum may not have the same effect as a vacation," says the press release, "chewing gum was associated with reduced stress ? and relieved anxiety."

The suggested solution? Pass out the gum, especially from 2 pm to 4 pm, the most stressful time of the day, according to the survey.

However, a bar in the trendy Wicker Park area of Chicago has another idea to help with economic liquidity--free shots and half-price drinks. The name of the bar is (of course) the Fifty/50, but the owners claim they genuinely want to "be there" for their customers, especially current and recently departed employees of AIG and Lehman Brothers, as well as those whose houses have been foreclosed.

Sympathy may abound, but maybe not trust--one has to produce a company ID, pay stub, or foreclosure paperwork to get the discount!

Sources: Reuters and Press Release from Wrigley

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