The New York Times looks at how workers respond to a sudden economic downturn. The paper asked professionals, including psychologists and human resource experts to explain what is happening to those remaining in the workforce.

They say while the fear and uncertainty spurs employees to work longer and harder (and in some cases opening themselves to abuse) they are likely to be less productive.

This should come as no surprise. A large number of today’s employees are knowledge workers. These workers are paid to think.  But few people are capable of doing their best thinking when they are frightened and anxious — particularly over the long haul.

Fear Factor in the Workplace.

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