Ontario employers have until June 2 to craft a written policy on disconnecting from work. Will companies take inspiration from the television series Severance where workers volunteer to have their work self and home self surgically severed?

Today in The Conversation Canada, Steven Logan from the University of Toronto says that although companies are unlikely to be inserting chips into the brains of their employees anytime soon, the show points to the ultimate paradox of the work-life balance: relieving the stress of work or home life requires complete submission to a powerful corporation that takes control of the worker’s body.

The work-life balance is about more than shutting off devices or abstaining from emails and meetings after 6 p.m., but it’s not as simple as separating the two. Logan says the notion of separating work from home life has its roots in the Anglo-American suburban model: drive along newly built highways to the downtown office in the morning and retreat home to family in the suburban idyll.

He says that Lumon’s philosophy — the company in Severanceis the ultimate, unresolved contradiction: united in severance. It is an apt description for the state of the work-life balance.

Also today:

Haley Lewis

Culture + Society Editor | Producer, Don't Call Me Resilient

The TV show ‘Severance’ has employees separate their work self from their home self completely. (Apple TV+)

The folly of the work-life balance

Steven Logan, University of Toronto

The work-life balance is about more than shutting off devices or abstaining from emails and meetings after 6 p.m.

Pumpjacks draw oil in a canola field near Olds, Alta. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

Calls for ‘ethical oil’ are pushing Canada to become a petro-state

Sibo Chen, Toronto Metropolitan University

Calls to export Canadian oil and gas to Europe are repackaging ethical oil rhetoric. But Canada and Russia share similarities in energy policy making.

If teachers were to only address the skills, knowledge and referral protocols that Ontario’s Human Rights Commission recommends, students wouldn’t have essential knowledge to support their reading. (Shutterstock)

Why Ontario’s ‘Right to Read Inquiry’ needs to broaden its recommendations

Susan M. Holloway, University of Windsor; Shelley Stagg Peterson, University of Toronto

Direct instruction matters in learning to read, but reading can’t happen unless children are supported in making connections to what they know and their experiences.

A demonstrator holds a pro-Ukraine sign during a protest against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in Almaty, Kazakhstan — a former Soviet republic that has largely stayed neutral during the conflict — in March 2022. (AP Photo/Vladimir Tretyakov)

3 ways Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine is affecting the former Soviet region

Nicole Jackson, Simon Fraser University

The war in Ukraine is a seismic event. A weakened Russia will try to take advantage of a poorer, more divided and less secure post-Soviet region.

Ontario restored standardized testing in 2021-22 after missing a year due to the pandemic, but it’s going to be difficult to analyze results without consistent baseline data. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

After Ontario’s COVID-19 school closures, a responsive recovery plan is critical

Paul W Bennett, Saint Mary’s University

Ontario’s incoming government after the election will have its work cut out for it in restoring the public’s faith after extensive school closures.

La Conversation Canada

Il importe de comprendre la pertinence d’initier la future cohorte citoyenne au rudiment de la programmation informatique. (Shutterstock)

Voici pourquoi les élèves du primaire et du secondaire devraient apprendre à programmer

Hugo G. Lapierre, Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM); Patrick Charland, Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM)

Quels sont les arguments avancés par la littérature scientifique pour motiver l’intégration de la programmation informatique au cursus scolaire des élèves du primaire et du secondaire ?

L'étude documentaire est la première étape clé pour développer une bonne intelligence de marché. (Shutterstock)

Les études de marché sont essentielles à la réussite du parcours entrepreneurial

Philippe Massiera, Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM)

Alors que l’étape d’étude de marché est régulièrement décriée comme inutile et inadaptée, il convient de rappeler pourquoi elle reste absolument essentielle pour la réussite du parcours de création.

Ukraine Invasion

  • Ukraine diaries: our ethnographic correspondent documents the war

    Romain Huët, Université Rennes 2

    In this series, The Conversation France sends out an ethnographic correspondent to document the war in Ukraine. Here, Romain Huët reflects on what the conflict means for ordinary people and prepares to cross the Ukrainian border.

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