Got a minute?
Got a minute?
It's a sad fact of life that the volume of business emails seems to increase, just at the point in people's careers when they have the least amount of time to answer messages. As a result, it can be pretty hard to get answers from important folks, whether it's your boss's boss or some bigwig you met at a conference.
There have been a few stories about death by overwork in the past few months -- the copywriter in Indonesia, the office worker in China. Less dramatically, experts have connected binge working to a host of ailments, from depression to dementia. So why do companies still push workers to work such long hours?
If you're old enough to remember when computers couldn't fit in a purse, you also probably also have fond memories of the five-day work week. Nowadays, of course, many of us wind up working for at least some of that time -- even though we know better. Here's what you should do instead, if you really want to maximize productivity and job satisfaction.
When it comes to being happy at work, most of us have things the wrong way around: we think that when we find the perfect job, we'll finally feel good about coming to work. In fact, the opposite is true: become happy with your job, and you'll be more successful at it.
Most of us would say that employees shouldn't do a lot of non-work-related activities at the office. After all, everyone's worked with that person who can't get off Facebook or stop playing Solitaire long enough to get anything done. But in reality, given how long the average work day has become, most of us will be forced to "home from work" at some point or another.
You might have perfected your ability to deal with stressful situations -- deadlines, last-minute changes, the hustle and bustle of a busy office. But that doesn't mean you've mastered the most challenging piece of the stress management puzzle: handling the contagious kind of stress that you can easily catch from an anxious co-worker.
What's worse than a boss who doesn't do anything? A boss who works so much, it makes his reports feel like they're slackers if they leave before dinnertime.
The Congressional Budget Office released a report this week examining the effects of raising the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, the number proposed by President Obama and the current minimum rate for federal workers. Called The Effects of a Minimum-Wage Increase on Employment and Family Income, the report found that although a hike would lift 900,000 families out of poverty, it would also reduce total employment by 500,000 workers.
While many of us consider unemployment numbers and whether jobs will be available, hope long-term unemployment benefits are extended, or root for an increase in the minimum wage, there is, of course, at least one person in most companies who seems to be doing OK -- the CEO. In fact, you may be surprised how OK they really are.
The National Law Review recently reported that the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) reached a settlement with Georgia-Pacific over their social media policy. This is big for just about anybody who works. As always, the law is trying to catch up with changes in technology and society. The details of this case help inform employees and their employers which businesses may and may not regulate regarding employees' personal use of social media.
Unless you're in finance, you probably can't imagine being excited to hear that you get one whole day a week off. But that's the position employees of Goldman Sachs and Bank of America Merrill Lynch found themselves in recently, when their companies unveiled new policies that would require them to take off four days a month. Bankers, especially junior employees, regularly work over 100 hours a week. But that's only one reason they're miserable.
Congratulations on the interview call. You're almost there. But before you sit across the table or pick the phone to talk to your potential employer, learn to recognize questions that could be illegal.
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? If it was a clown, the World Clown Association would like you to know that it's not too late. The organization's membership numbers have dwindled from 3,500 in 2004 to 2,500, ten years later.
In the olden days (pre-internet, and before the advent of jeans that cost about as much as dinner) people dressed up for work. Nowadays, we have a lot more freedom to choose what we wear. But for many of us, when it comes to dressing for work, too much choice is not necessarily a good thing.
Recent research from Pew Research Center's Social & Demographic Trends project shows that college, although more expensive than it was just a few years ago, is probably worth the money -- especially if young workers want to make money and have careers they care about.
Americans who work full-time may spend more time interacting with co-workers and managers than with their own family and friends. Their relationships at work, however, are far different than with trusted friends. When bosses are difficult people, workers often do not have the freedom to confront them or to demand to be treated with common courtesy. For those employees who are not lucky enough to work for polite people, these three strategies may help them maintain their sanity.
Officially, only 4.9 percent of working Americans toil at more than one job, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That's down from 5.2 percent in 2008, at the height of the Recession. So why are some commentators concerned that workers are being forced to work harder than ever to make ends meet? Three words: the underground economy.
Some of your work-life balance is beyond your control. If your corporate culture dictates that you answer email on the weekend, for example, there's not much you can do on that front to balance your professional responsibilities with your personal commitments. The best approach is to focus on what you can control.
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