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Showing posts from December, 2013

10 Workplace Resolutions For Employees To Break In 2014

As yet another survey noted this week, Tuesday tends to be employees' most productive work day. Given that it's the Friday before Christmas, it's safe to say that at least half of your co-workers -- not including you, of course! -- have been "out of the office" since Tuesday "running an errand" and will "return shortly." Uh-huh. They're not fooling anyone, are they? We all know that they'll be returning to the office, mentally speaking, on January 2, 2014. Okay, go ahead and make it January 6, 2014, since New Year's Day falls mid-week this year. Until then, we can't in all seriousness expect people to think very hard for a two-day work week. So what can we do to pass the time at work until quitting time? Well, we can always think of a few New Year's resolutions to break! New Year's Eve/Day is one of my favorite times of the year. Frankly, I've been intrigued from an early age by the whole notion of the new year…

Thanking Co-workers For Holiday Gifts (When You Haven't Gotten Them One)

You're hard at work when a co-worker stops by your desk last-minute with a small holiday gift. The problem is, you haven't bought anything for this co-worker yet. Okay, let's be honest: you hadn't planned on buying a gift for this co-worker at all, until now. How will you navigate the next 30 seconds of this little workplace interaction? Here's how. It can be very easy to be taken aback when a colleague, co-worker or business associate gives us a holiday gift unexpectedly. We thought we'd finished our holiday shopping until this co-worker drops by our desks with a small gift in hand. Surprise! "Oh, wow. Thanks, you shouldn't have!" we might say almost reflexively. And by that, we mean, "Oh really, you shouldn't have because I haven't bought anything for you yet and I'll have to think of something and I'm not sure what to get you and my budget is tight and...you drink coffee, right? Would a Starbucks gift card suffice?"…

It's Time To Hug Your 60-Watt Light Bulbs Even Closer

Take a long look at the 60-watt light bulbs in the lights and lamps around you, because in a few weeks they're going away. Forever. As you try to un-knot another string of holiday lights -- how do they get so tangled up? -- I'm here to present a light bulb moment, courtesy of CNN.com:Light bulb manufacturers will cease making traditional 40 and 60-watt light bulbs -- the most popular in the country -- at the start of 2014. This comes after the controversial phasing out of incandescent 75 and 100-watt light bulbs at the beginning of 2013. In their place will be halogen bulbs, compact fluorescent bulbs, LED bulbs and high efficiency incandescents -- which are just regular incandescents that have the filament wrapped in gas. All are significantly more expensive than traditional light bulbs, but offer significant energy and costs savings over the long run. (Some specialty incandescents -- such as three-way bulbs -- will still be available.) If you're re-reading the above a…

Silent Slight: When Co-workers Brag About Their Holiday Gifts

You're chatting with a co-worker who says that her parents are buying her a house -- A WHOLE, FREAKING HOUSE!!! -- for Christmas. You, meanwhile, are standing there silently wondering how to cover next month's rent. It's time to discuss how to handle our boastful co-workers during the holidays!Household income disparity is something we don't like to talk about at work, but it can be there, the elephant in the proverbial conference room. Perhaps a co-worker comes to work and says that she's getting...a brand-new Lexus for Christmas. There it is, bright and shiny and sitting in the driveway, keys already in the ignition, just like in the TV commercials! Too bad it's not the make or model she wanted, and the interior isn't quite right, and she's all sorts of bummed about it.You, meanwhile, drive a threadbare car with 200,000 miles on it. You couldn't even afford the $350 big, red bow from all those holiday Lexus television commercials. Yes, the bow alo…

Your Co-workers Will Buy You A Holiday Gift If...

Whether or not to buy holiday gifts for co-workers can feel like a big decision this time of year. Who to buy for, what to buy, and, ahem, whether or not to expect anything in return can take up more than a few acres of employee mindshare. Or maybe not? Let's go to a new survey that unwraps employees' gift giving plans at work! Staffing company Spherion asked survey company Harris Interactive to ask a bunch of employees about their workplace gift-giving plans. So Harris Interactive created an online survey that netted a meaningful statistical sample of 970 working U.S. adults who probably still don't know who to buy for, what to buy, and ahem, whether or not to expect anything in return.So what did these employees say? Slightly more than half (52%) said they plan on giving presents to their co-workers, but only to their peers and above. So if everyone else outranks you at work, then you can suck it. You get nothing, you lose, good day, sir! (Or madame.) More employees pl…

Should Employers Offer Season's Greetings To Seasonal Workers?

Christmas is coming, which means it's time for some holiday cheer in the workplace, unless your employer is a real dud. Employees can look forward to delicious cookies and cakes in the break room, dishing up at the office potluck, pretending to be surprised by their Secret Santas, and, in general, finding a bit of merriment-making amid the spreadsheet mistakes. Wait a minute. Where'd this guy come from? Oh, yeah. The temp. What's his name again? Dave? Dan? Hey You? Why can't I ever remember his name? An equally important question for managers everywhere this holiday season is: So are you gonna invite the temps to participate in the company's holiday festivities, or not? How, exactly, will you fold your contingent workforce into the company's holiday batter? If you follow business news, then you've noted the steady rise in temporary and contract positions in recent years. From contractors to "seasonal workers" (read: temps) to part-timers to th…

Five Tips For Getting Over Your Egotistical Co-workers

Does your co-worker see himself as the second coming? Does he walk into a room with an attitude that screams, "don't you know who I am"? Dealing with co-workers who take themselves far too seriously is becoming a very serious matter in the workplace. Let's work together to take these co-workers down a few notches, shall we? We'll start our exploration of the self-grandiose self in California's Bay Area where start-up CEO/techies are getting mighty tired of being called techies. Apparently, they feel it's become a very derisive term and a not-so-subtle form of workplace discrimination. They're better than that, and by using the word "techie" we, as in all us non-techies, are stupidly, and loudly, conveying that we ARE NOT techies imbued with the bombastic ability to inhabit a social media bubble, and therefore we are not one of them. Silicon Valley techies would kindly prefer that everyone else refer to them from now on as either "c…

Would You Like To Hear A Wall Street Banker Sing?

If bankers bursting into song is your idea of a good time, then you could make out like a bandit thanks to reality television. There's a new BBC show called "The Choir" where Citigroup's choir, among others, are competing to land the "best workplace choir" title. Think of "The Choir" as a cross between "The Office" and "Glee," only it's reality television, which is quickly becoming the only kind of television we have anymore because quality shows such as Mad Men are expensive to make. Picking the right song to perform that represents your financial institution well, however, can be a very tough decision. Should the average, MBA-endowed banker pick "Take the Money and Run" by The Steve Miller Band? No. How about "Head Like A Hole" by Nine Inch Nails? Nah, but that would be totally awesome somehow. Maybe "I Got Mine" by The Black Keys? Nope. Today's bankers prefer songs such as Bob Marley&#…