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Non-stop holiday music could hurt employees' mental health

The holidays are here, and for many employees it means the same holiday song play list on repeat loop all day long, for weeks on end. Now some psychologists are warning these repetitious, 24/7 holiday melodies could be hurting employees' mental health!

Holiday music can put customers into the right buying mindset, but too much holiday music exposure can send employees right up the wall. It's easy to see why many employee could feel a bit at loose ends by mid-December. They are a captive audience to the same old holiday songs, played all day long, over and over again, for up to two months.

Pipedown, a British group that seeks more silence in public, estimates that some store employees will hear "Jingle Bells" blaring over the workplace speakers up to 300 times before Christmas Day. Do you hear what I hear, indeed.

Where can employees go to escape another round of "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree"? They can't leave the sales floor, and they can&#…
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Feeling slow and sluggish at work? Blame global warming

Feeling tired at work lately? Well, you might be able to blame your exhaustion on more than poor sleep habits, because rising carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere could be making everyone feel tired, and stupid!

I'll type slowly so we can all understand together. Scientists at University College London (U.K.) claim that rising CO2 levels could become a real problem at work. As Britain's Daily Mail reports:

Surging levels of greenhouse gases could make people tired, forgetful and stupid, scientists claim.

Afternoon fatigue, the slump that office workers often experience, could become a worldwide problem due to surging levels in carbon dioxide.

A factor in sick building syndrome is higher carbon dioxide levels in poorly ventilated workplaces which can make workers feel lethargic, low in energy and slow, The Sunday Times reported.

Let's call it fossil fuel brain fog. Or clean coal cognitive cobwebs. Or something? I don't think this emerging workplace problem has a nam…

2019 workplace trends: re-evaluating social media scoring of applicants

If you want a job in certain industries these days, then it's a good idea to have a lot of followers on social media. But after what we've seen in the last year, maybe it's time to admit this thinking could be wrong.

Many employers love to see a job candidate with a great social media footprint. From followers to comments, the candidate is active on social media. Entire industries have sprung up around online "reputation" management and social media branding to help job candidates perfect their online presence.

But there's a problem. The last year has revealed real cracks in the social media facade. As social media sites sweep their sites of bots and other problems, it begs the question we need to start asking: Are social media metrics a poor way of scoring job candidates as potential hires?

How Much Do Followers Really Matter, Anyway?
Outside of specific industries that require high levels of contact with the general public -- sales and marketing quickly com…

Hello? How to deal with coworkers who stare

Another day at work, another day of dealing with the coworker who knows you're there, but never acknowledges you. Sometimes, you catch this coworker staring at you. Let's stare down this uncomfortable workplace problem together!

Before we go any further, let's clarify that this stare isn't a sexual stare. No, this stare feel downright competitive. It is a winner-takes-all stare. A lion in the grass stare.

You feel like this coworker is studying you from a safe distance. It's like he or she is quietly sizing you up, and competing with you on some imaginary plane to which you haven't been given the exact coordinates. Are you X, or are you Y, and where do your two lines intersect? In reality, you two are located in separate quadrants and your lines run parallel to each other.

The fact that this coworker won't engage you in conversation only makes the whole thing feel weirder. You've tried to smile and say "hi", but this coworker either…

2019 workplace trends: pawternity benefits

It may sound barking mad, but "pawternity" benefits -- a.k.a. time off to be with a new pet -- are shaping up to be a hot workplace perk for 2019. Woof!

Our pets are our furry babies, so why shouldn't employees get some time off to acquaint a newly-adopted dog with its surroundings? As usual, the Nordic countries are ahead of us on this idea, with a Nordic pet-food company recently adopting "pawternity" leave for its international workforce.

Pawternity benefits are sniffing around the edges of U.S. workplace culture, mainly in largely urban centers such as New York City. Like it or not, "puppy parental leave" is on the verge of becoming a thing.

Puppy Time!
Puppies need their people, especially when they're newly-adopted. Like a human toddler, they need constant, direct supervision. But pawternity leave could be good for humans, too. According to

Pawternity, or fur-ternity, has some big benefits. The National Institute of He…

When you want to walk but your coworker insists on driving

You're on your way to meet a client whose office is four blocks away. You start walking in that direction, but your teammate makes a beeline for her car. "I can drive!" she says. "It's too far to walk." Huh?

You don't mind walking. In fact, a short, brisk walk always feels great. You can't believe your coworker wants to drive FOUR FREAKING BLOCKS on such a great, autumn day. The colorful leaves are falling, the air is crisp but not freezing, and the walk would do you good.

Still, your coworker won't budge. She is driving, end of. It isn't worth digging in your heels on this issue, so you get into the passenger side of your coworker's car and drive the four blocks. Of course, now you're both running late to the meeting because you can't find a parking space.

Walk? Are You Serious?
We may need to update the phrase "walk a mile in my shoes," because a new survey of 2,200 Americans by tech product review company Gea…

It's 2018, where is my paperless office?

A new study finds your coworkers might see you as neurotic and uncaring just because your work area is cluttered. Let's meet by the water cooler to discuss!

Psychologists at the University of Michigan (Flint and Ann Arbor campuses) explored the dirty nooks and crannies of workplace messiness and how it affects perceptions of an employee's personality. 160 study participants were assigned to sit in one of three types of offices: spotless, generally neat and whoa, is that a dust bunny on your keyboard?

All of the offices were decorated identically, except for the varying levels of clutter -- e.g., books, papers strewn about, coffee cups, coats thrown on chairs, and so on.

As you'd probably guess, the messier offices were rated lower. But more than that, the study participants rated the employee's extraversion (social), agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism and openness to experiences, and here's the dirt: the messier the office, the more likely the employee …

2019 workplace trends: apps that score employees' mental health

So much for faking it until you make it, because emerging apps could let you gauge your current mental state at work!

Of course, mental health apps have been around for awhile now, and they are busy helping employees manage what they're feeling. Some employees are benefiting greatly from advice that, in some cases, is coming from robots.

But what about getting a personalized mental health score? Well, there are apps for that now, too. As reports:

Total Brain markets itself as a way for employees to train their brain to track and reduce stress. It starts by giving employees a 20-minute assessment of their mental health. The assessment includes a combination of tasks and questions that measure things like memory, focus and decision-making. There also are screening tests related to mental conditions.

After being assessed for their emotions, feelings, cognition and self-control, employees who take the test are given a percentile score. Then they can select a 15-minute d…