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Showing posts from February, 2015

The 10 Elevator Passengers Most Likely To Press Your Buttons

Elevators. We can't work with them, and we can't work without them. Unless we want to take the stairs, and...meh. No, thanks. Going up? Yes, you will probably choose to take the elevator, simply because it's faster and less likely to leave pit stains in your best work clothes. If you're like the rest of us, however, you've probably encountered more than a few elevator passengers who seemed, shall we say, behind the proverbial sliding doors when the rules of Elevator Etiquette 101 were handed out long ago. Without further delay -- and I'll make it quick because you have to make an elevator pitch in a few minutes! -- here are the 10 Elevator Passengers Most Likely To Press Your Buttons:1. Passengers who block the entryway. You'd like to exit the elevator, but there's a scrum of people standing right outside the doors blocking your way. Perhaps you're trying to get on the elevator, but there are passengers blocking your way just inside the doors. Sh…

Doing "Office Housework" Might Help Your Career After All

A few weeks ago, Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg co-authored a New York Times article that discussed the perils for working women in performing "office housework" tasks. Now a new study is here to swipe its finger across our dusty office desks by telling us how cleaning the office coffee pot might just fill our cup of job security to the brim! A new academic study published online in the journal Human Resource Management explores our "employee citizenship" behaviors at work. As in, "Wow, the break room microwave is completely disgusting and I can't take it anymore, so I'll be the brave one to clean it out!" If you work with this employee, then please take the time to thank her. (And if Sandberg's article is accurate, then chances are good that it's probably a "her" in many offices.) We feel like a team player, but we might question ourselves as we reach for a handful of damp paper towels to clean the dirty break room microwave…

The Department Most Likely To Have An Office Romance Is...

Vault.com has released its annual office romance survey, which reveals that romantic wooing in today's workplaces is so commonplace that even someone in the HR department could be crushing on our co-worker. Hey, who says that human resources doesn't have a heart? Chances are good that someone at work will catch our eye as we're climbing the career ladder: Slightly more than half (51%) of professionals surveyed this year admit to engaging in an office romance of some kind, ranging from casual encounters to dating to finding a marriage partner or long-term significant other. Of these professionals, 63% said they'd do it all again. Perhaps the most surprising survey finding, however, concerns our co-workers in human resources! It turns out they're among the most likely employees to engage in an office romance. A full 57% of HR employees in this year's survey have been involved in a workplace romance at some juncture in their career trajectory. In fact, HR empl…

This Valentine's Day, Give Your Employer the Gift Of Two Weeks' Notice

Before you quit your job on the spot, a new OfficeTeam survey is here to remind us how quitting spontaneously is a bad idea. How you break up with your employer still matters. A lot. The vast majority (86%) of 600 HR managers OfficeTeam surveyed said that how employees go about quitting a job has an impact on their future career opportunities. As if we need a reminder of this fact of work life, but then again, we live in the self-absorbed social media age. Quitting a job in these "YOLO," upload-to-YouTube times can result in thousands, if not millions, of views. At the very least, we've all worked with someone who quits on the spot, or finds some other "creative" or rather unprofessional way to end things quickly at work. It can be easy to act in haste, and then repent at leisure upon the realization that it's going to be a long, hard slog to find a new job based on a previous job exit. Because reference checks.*** So how do we quit well? The OfficeTe…

The Japanese Are Giving Us Wearable Workplace Happiness

Japanese electronics maker Hitachi is gearing up to introduce a wearable workplace gadget that tracks and monitors employee happiness levels throughout the work day. Oh no, we're all going to get fired! According to an Uproxx article:Japanese electronics company Hitachi has developed a device for people to wear that will track their overall happiness with their employer. It looks similar to an ID badge, but it’s embedded with an acceleration sensor that monitors an employee’s motions during the day. Hitachi claims that there’s a correlation between people’s physical movements and their sense of happiness, and the data across an entire office full of employees wearing these badges can be collectively analyzed to measure workplace happiness on a scale of 0-100. It appears that the gadget, which will be sold on a subscription basis, tracks happiness levels across an entire department rather than on an individual employee level. Whew! We were all really worried there for a second! …

This Is Literally the Worst Workplace Problem You'll Ever Have, Ever!

Do you have a breathless co-worker who can make an average, ordinary work situation sound like an extraordinary plot line from a thrilling movie script? Let's talk -- in dramatic fashion, of course -- about the co-worker who exaggerates everything! I've been following the Brian Williams saga as it twists and turns and morphs and misremembers. I'm not going to comment on his situation, other than to say I've noted random comments accompanying various stories on the topic that read something like this: "I totally have a co-worker who exaggerates everything, all the time." To which someone inevitably replies: "Yeah, every office I've ever worked in has someone like that." Just add eggs and water, and bam! -- instant blog post that took hours and hours and HOURS to write!*** The Office Raconteur is always ready with a long-winded story, that, ahem, seems to exaggerate the circumstances. Sometimes, you're in the position to know if the detail…

Why Are Silicon Valley Tech Firms Giving Up On Flextime?

According to an article in India's Economic Times, HP reportedly wants its employees back in the office five days a week and all in the name of teamwork. It brings us right back to 2013, when Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer brought far-flung employees back into the office for the same reason. I find it strange, and more than a little bit contradictory, that major Silicon Valley technology companies -- the very firms the rest of us look to for cutting-edge, creative ways of enabling the use of technology for flexible work purposes -- would themselves shy away from the concept of flexible work arrangements made possible thanks to modern technology. Aren't these the very companies that should be selling the rest of us on the dream of collaborative remote work based on technology use? Shouldn't they be leading by example in terms of implementing ever more forward-thinking workplace flexibility policies that, in effect, act as a branding extension of the technologies they offer? S…

Wait A Second! When Employers Track Time Too Closely

Another morning, another mad rush to get to work on time. You're going to make it on time, too! I take that back. Unfortunately, you were 3.14159265359 seconds late today, according to management's up-to-the-second spreadsheet. Let's talk about working for an employer that times us down to the second! Yes, I used the calculation for Pi. Why not? It's a celebrity number of the math world, and we're trying to find an angle here. Precisely, we're trying to figure out how your workplace got so obsessed counting down the seconds to your arrival every day. Now I'm all for being on time. Showing up for work in a timely and consistent manner is very important for maintaining overall employee morale. We've all worked with excuse-filled co-workers who are consistently 10 to 20 minutes every day, and it does begin to grate. Particularly if we're waiting patiently to hand off the baton to this co-worker so we can go home. But timing employees down to the …