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Future You

Are You Having an Ideal, Disengaged or Toxic Work Day? It Matters

New research identifies five types of work days—and how to avoid the bad ones.



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It’s noon at work, and your morning task list remains untouched. Perhaps you stared at emails, snacked three times and cyber loafed. You just want to sit there.  

You’re having a disengaged day, according to three researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University who analyzed 11,245 workday surveys taken over two to nine months by 221 office workers. They found that employees cycle through ideal, typical, disengaged, crisis and toxic days, and that the same types of days tend to appear consecutively: Your one disengaged day turns into three.