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Showing posts from May, 2013

The 10 Jobs Most Likely To Make You Gain Weight

Is scaling up a business leading to upticks on the weight scale? From co-workers bringing in homemade cupcakes to the dreaded company potluck to "working lunches," it's hard to avoid eating at work. And eating. And eating. Now CareerBuilder has whipped up a list of jobs most likely to add a few extra columns to your personal spreadsheet. Sorry, administrative assistants: you're the fattest (but still the fairest!) ones of all. Scientists, who might tip the scales by boasting a "food/lunch" refrigerator, a separate "specimens" refrigerator AND a walk-in freezer, are the skinniest employees. Go figure. In-between both extremes (in descending order of girth) are engineers; teachers; nurse practitioner/physician’s assistants; IT managers/network administrators; attorneys/judges/legal professionals; and machine operators/assembly-production workers. Why are we gaining weight on the job? CareerBuilder's survey participants cited the following…

Workplace Reality TV: Does Someone Have To Watch This?

Like every other media-obsessed person, I've been caught up in Pew's "breadwinner" study. For all the cable news yammer about women bringing home the bacon and frying it up in a pan, however, we really should be talking about how employers have taken all of the good manufacturing jobs abroad and created a bunch of McJobs for the once-proud American male. To me, that's the real story here. The Pew study makes me think of my World War II-era father, who worked a blue-collar manufacturing job for more than 50 years and far out-earned my mother, who worked a full-time clerical, white-collar office job for decades. These roles have been reversed, and it's not because we value clerical jobs so much more today. It's that we've chosen to saw an entire leg off of our economic stool, thanks to the MBA class that will continue to receive generous bonuses for figuring out how to ship even more "shower at the end of the day" jobs abroad and how to pla…

Psst, The Office Workaholic Thinks You're Lazy And Entitled

Do you have a co-worker who eats at his or her desk, sends you work-related emails at 2 a.m., never takes a vacation, and makes you feel like a total loser most of the time? Just try to keep up while we discuss how to manage the average workaholic! A new Florida State University study teaches us how to manage these warriors of the workplace, which, in this economy, is pretty much any employee afraid of losing his or her job, which, in this economy, is pretty much everyone. It turns out that today's workaholics are especially bummed out at work, though. They're more than happy to pick up the slack, but they quietly think that their co-workers have turned into spoiled, listless lazybones who are just sitting around, waiting for the office workaholic to step in and get 'er done:These self-identified workaholics reported positive and negative career consequences. For example, workaholics reported they gave more effort compared to other workers, but they also experienced more…

How To Teach College Kids How To Dress For Work

School's out for summer, and here comes today's crop of college students stomping into your workplace in their dirty, smelly flip-flops, neon green glitter nail polish, sweaty, sideways baseball caps and short shorts with writing across the butt. Oy, vey. What's a stressed-out, professionally-dressed manager to do? All signs point to managers having to do something, and stat. A student researcher at the University of Arkansas explored college students' first impressions of professional-looking work attire, and well, you can keep your Ann Taylor shift dresses and Jos. A Bank tie collections. The UA study concludes that the average college kid does not "react positively" to "professionally-dressed" people and would rather not have to interact with them in any way, shape or over-dressed form -- unless these "professionally-dressed" people are always dressed for casual Friday, in which case they're A-okay and everything's a go:Resul…

Six Signs A Job Interview Could Be Competitive Intelligence

You're sitting in a job interview fielding the interviewer's questions when you start to get a queasy feeling in the pit of your stomach. Is this interviewer interested in hiring me, or is he or she simply interested in learning more about my former employer? Let's talk about competitive intelligence disguised as a job interview! Competitive intelligence is the practice of gaining strategic information about the competition. It can take many forms, from surfing competitors' social media and corporate websites to visiting their booths at trade shows to...interviewing job applicants a company has no intention of hiring but definitely wants to "talk to," ahem. Oh, this person used to work at [insert name of major competitor]? Call her today and set something up. Is this hiring "practice" totally skeezy? Yes. How often is it happening? It's very hard to know, because survey organizations aren't asking the insightful question: "In the la…

How To Correct Co-workers Who Mispronounce Your Name

Pop quiz: How do you pronounce "gif," as in GIF file? Do you pronounce it with a hard "g" as in "golf," or with a soft "g" as in "giraffe"? If, like many of us, you've been pronouncing GIF with a hard "g" all of these years, then rest assured that you've been pronouncing it all wrong. The creator of the GIF file just settled an ongoing debate by announcing that the word is actually pronounced "jif." Just like the peanut butter. As in, "Haha! I love this hilarious JIF file!" So, you should start admiring everyone else's funny JIF files from now on. Let's update our pronunciations all at once and start getting it right! By the way, GIF stands for "Graphic Interchange Format," which is a format for storing web browser images. I've been told that there's also JPEG, which is a higher quality form of storage but it doesn't allow for cool, moving animations (or highly di…

Should Companies Make Employees Wear Google Glass, Or Ban It?

Google Glass. The thick-framed, Hipster-lite spectacles of the tech set that manage to look just as silly and annoying when worn in public. But what if your employer started requiring you to wear them all day on the job? There simply isn't enough Pabst Blue Ribbon in the world for that, is there? Be forewarned that some tech writers are forewarning of the "benefits" of Google Glass in the workplace. From ultimate note-taking to greater efficiency to safety regulation enforcement, Google Glass could be just what myopic employers are looking for in an increasingly smaller world. But are they considering the risks to employee morale? Namely, that many employees do not want to work around other employees who, potentially, could be taping everything they say and do, and then potentially forwarding this information to the boss, who could then march over to the employee's cubicle and make him go back to the restroom to wash his hands for 20 seconds because Google Glass sa…

Which U.S. State Has the Most Foul-Mouthed Workers?

Robots could put us all out of work by 2045, nurses probably don't want to weigh themselves anymore, and Google's Larry Page doesn't understand why everyone still insists on keeping their medical records private. TGIF, everyone! Google co-founder Larry Page was speaking at tech mash-up Google I/O yesterday after revealing earlier in the week that he suffers from vocal cord paralysis when he said: "At least in my case I feel I should have done it sooner [revealed his medical condition] and I'm not sure that answer isn't true for most people, so I ask why are people so focused on keeping your medical history private?" Oh, Larry. Larry, Larry, Larry. We wish you well, but where to start with stating the obvious because the rest of us non-famous, non-Googlegazillionaires just thought en masse: "All of our medical records should be Google-searchable? WTF?" If you happen to live in Ohio, however, then you're not simply thinking this acronym. N…

Workplace Bullies Want To Rough Up the Boss Now

When we talk about workplace bullying, we tend to view it from the perspective of bosses bullying employees. But there's a new "trend" sweeping some global workplaces called "upward bullying" in which employees are turning the tables and bullying the boss. Yeah. How do you like them apples? Upward bullying is apparently all the rage in Australian workplaces. Australia is far away from us, but human nature is the same everywhere. And chances are, American bosses don't want to talk about getting bullied by the rank and file, because it makes them look less managerial -- like bosses who are losing control over their workforces, which, of course, is exactly what's happening. There are scant articles on the topic of upward bullying, but here's one:In every company, there is always a cluster of slack workers whose performance is being questioned, a bunch of disciplined employees and a horde of grumbling workers who might have been denied a promotion or …

"Fakebookers" And "Twibbers" Aren't Keeping It Real Online

You don't need to download the latest fiction bestseller for some light reading this summer. Just log on to your favorite social media site because -- surprise, surprise! -- the majority of people's comments are just as fictional as Fifty Shades Of Grey, and your male co-workers are among the main offenders. A new British survey finds that most social media updates are tall works of "Twiction":According to new research out today from Barclaycard bespoke offers, just under six million of us regularly tell white lies or embellish stories on our social media channels. And with a further ten million Britons poised for pretence and considering typing out a tall tale or two, the trend is set to rise. Two fifths (39%) of fibbers put their dishonesty down to feeling the pressure of needing to have a good time or sound upbeat in their updates. More than a quarter (29%) admit that their lives are simply too boring without embellishment. Perhaps unsurprisingly then, 40% admit…

Great, Now Your Crappy Co-workers Are Giving You Diabetes

It turns out that your crappy co-workers aren't simply giving you grinding headaches on a daily basis. No, they're also increasing your risk of developing diabetes. Let's take an online doughnut break to discuss. New research finds that a stressful lack of "social support" in the workplace, when combined with obesity and general physical inactivity, can increase your chances of developing type 2 diabetes: Dr. Sharon Toker of Tel Aviv University's Faculty of Management has found that low levels of social support and high levels of stress in the workplace can accurately predict the development of diabetes over the long term — even in employees who appear to be healthy otherwise. Published in the Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, the study contributes to an ongoing body of research linking work conditions to physical and mental health. The researchers' 3.5-year-long study of male and female employees established that work conditions had a prevent…

What To Do About Co-workers Who Hide Behind Technology

Watch out, incoming! Your co-worker just sent you a terse, angry-sounding message via electronic means. Hit any key, indeed. Texting, email, instant messaging and our silly, myriad social media platforms have been a virtual godsend for the average passive-aggressive person in the office. You know, the co-worker who likes to play head games to get your dander up, but never will confront you directly to your face. Yeah, that co-worker. Forget Post-It Notes pasted on the break room fridge, because that's so Twentieth Century. Online communication offers your most passive-aggressive co-workers an instant firewall to hide behind, a sturdy bunker from which to spray you (and potentially your fellow co-workers) with verbal fire. It's like paintball, only without the paint. It's just balls, but it's still a big mess. Speaking of balls, your co-worker would confront you directly if he (or she) had any, right? Right. Our society talks about getting older as if it's the wor…

Is Your Co-worker Laughing With You, Or Laughing At You?

Your co-worker starts laughing. But is she laughing with you, or is she laughing at you? It's the eternal question of the workplace, right? Perhaps you suspect she's laughing at you in an "I-can't-stand-you-you're-such-an-idiot" kind of way. Or is she laughing at you in an "I-really-enjoy-your-company-you're-so-funny" kind of way? It can be hard to tell the difference sometimes, but rest assured that your big, beautiful brain is busy sorting out your co-worker's guffawing as it happens. While you're just standing there awkwardly thinking of something to say, your brain regions that are "sensitive" to "complex social information" are lighting up and potentially drawing not-so-wacky conclusions based on your co-worker's laugh track. Namely, that your co-worker might not have your best intentions at heart. Researchers at the University of Tuebingen in Germany had study participants listen to three different types o…

MIT Figures Out Why We Don't Get Home From Work On Time

Let's talk about your commute. No, not how long and horrible it is, or how your kids keep leaving sticky crumbs in the back seat. Let's discuss a new MIT commuting pattern study that says if we stop to run an errand on our way home from work, then chances are good that we'll also run a more "fun" secondary errand, such as getting ourselves an ice cream cone. No wonder you never get home from work on time, huh? Make mine chocolate mint! Have you ever really thought about your travel behavior on a small, local scale where you live, work and play? Well, researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology took the time between charm classes to think about it for you. They relied on "big data and the methodologies of statistical physics and network theory" and other big words to study our rat-like human maze tendencies, with the "maze" being the average beltway, clogged interstate or main thoroughfare and the "cheese" being the av…

Women Don't Take Full Credit For Their Work When They Work With Men

The average working woman isn't blurting out the trite relationship phrase "it's not you, it's me" when it comes to team projects because she still isn't taking full credit for her fair share of the work. Go, team! In the closing credits of the Spike Lee Joint that is joint team success, she's gotta have it -- her fair share of the credit, that is -- but she won't get on the bus and do the right thing to get it. We women gotta stop letting ourselves be baboozled! But enough Spike Lee references. According to a new report published in the Society For Personality and Social Psychology, we women need to step it up by taking full credit for our work on team projects:Michelle Haynes of the University of Massachusetts, Lowell, had examined how other people evaluate men and women working together. She decided to build on that work to look at how women view themselves on teams after herself reading glowing group feedback for a conference submission she co-au…

Could Tylenol Ease Your Existential Pain At the Office?

Feeling a bit out of sorts lately? There's new evidence that taking Acetaminophen (a.k.a. Tylenol) might do more than simply ease your muscle pain. It might also alleviate your pained feelings of social rejection at the office! A study in the June issue of Psychological Science poses a fascinating question: can the pain of social rejection be compared to physical pain? Can our social and physical pain systems overlap, meaning that our muscle and emotional pain can interact and turn into one, big, somehow interconnected ball of misery? The researchers pose that yes, this could be exactly what's happening. Your leg pain could be related to your feelings of social rejection, and vice versa! But you don't know that there's a connection, and so you take some Tylenol to ease your leg pain while your Kafka-like feelings of existentialism at the office seem to fade away, as well. Hmm, maybe life in this office isn't as bad as I thought! Interesting, no? As the study sta…

Sorry, Your Co-worker Would Rather Work With A Robot

If given the choice, would your co-worker rather work with you or with a robot? A Georgia Institute of Technology study asked this question of health care employees, and more than half said that if they had to choose between a human or robotic assistant then they would prefer one that is robotic. Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto! Robots are quiet and compliant, and they don't question why you're five minutes late getting back from lunch. The employees questioned by Georgia Tech would like to give their robotic assistants the s&^% workvery specific tasks: They were very particular about what they wanted a robot to do, and not do. Instrumental activities of daily living (IDALs), such as helping with housework and reminding patients when to take medication, were acceptable. But activities daily living (ADL) tasks, especially those involving direct, physical interactions such as bathing, getting dressed and feeding people, were considered better for human assistants.This study comp…

Bad Call? Half Of Companies To Require BYOD By 2017

No gadget, no job? A new Gartner report warns us that half of companies will require employees to use their own technological devices, and ONLY their own technological devices, for work purposes by 2017. If you're an employee, this means your employer might not be giving you a company-issued phone, a company-issued laptop, or anything else tichie techie five years from now. You're on your own, buddy. Maybe your company will still give you a stapler, though, as well as a stack of blank Post-It Notes from the storage supply closet. How else are you supposed to confront your co-worker without having to speak to him directly? Well, you can always hide behind texts, email and instant messaging, which brings me right back to the Gartner study. Gartner expects the number of employees required to use their own technology, and only their own technology, for work purposes to double by 2015 as the Millennials enter the workplace and land line phones make their way to the landfill. E…

Outward Bound: What's Wrong With Leadership Today

Yesterday, Yahoo! announced that it will double maternity leave, and the move is being hailed as ground-breaking. Call me cynical, but I'll pose a question: do our major leaders need to experience something personally these days before they'll do something about it? Just last week, Congress decided to ease up on the FAA budget, but is it because our members of Congress are worried about the resulting disruptions to the general public, or is it because they don't want to miss their own scheduled flights? Would Lean In author Sheryl Sandberg give such a hoot about work-life balance if she weren't a working mother herself? Would Sen. Rob Portman turn around and support LGBT rights if his son hadn't come out? Would pundit Peggy Noonan stay at your average airport hotel and use the experience to assess the state of the country? Then there's Marissa Mayer announcing that Yahoo! will double its maternity leave, offer Yahoo-branded gifts for newborns, and reimburs…