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Showing posts from July, 2015

Is the Modern Workplace Ready For Serif Fonts?

Even in the age of texting, the average American employee spends roughly one-third of the work week reading and sending email written in boring, non-artistic fonts. Well, not anymore! It's almost August, which means quirky workplace news is slowing to a crawl just like our productivity levels. Then I came across an interesting article in Australia's Sydney Morning Herald entitled "Your Email Font Is Ruining Your Life." While the corporate world has long relied on sans-serif fonts -- e.g., fonts where the letters stick to function over form by avoiding pretty end strokes and wavy-gravy curves -- our wide variety of hand-held electronic gadgets increasingly have the resolution to allow for pretty, formally-unreadable serif fonts to lean in to our corporate writing. The question is, are we brave enough to use them at work? Could Comic Sans cut it in the workplace? Well, companies such as Amazon have tested how we read various fonts online. Amazon, for example, fou…

Hearing New Messages Is As Distracting As Answering Them

Trying to concentrate on work? Then you should mute your smartphone and put it where you can't see it, stat!New Florida State University research finds that simply being aware of a missed call, email or text can be as distracting -- and productivity-draining -- as actually stopping to respond to the message! We can also make mistakes when we hear (unchecked) messages roll in on our phones and tablets. Our minds tend to wander as soon as our phone beeps with the sweet sound of impending, virtual human interaction! Or a "reminder" from the game app our kid put on our phone, as the case may be. So much for multi-tasking, right? Beep! Even when we choose to not check the message, we can't help but wonder who is trying to reach us. Mulling the possibilities takes up a chunk of mind share, and then we wonder how we made a mistake on the project at hand. By the way, putting our phones on "vibrate" doesn't help. The mind still wanders. So what does this st…

Congratulations, Your 9-to-5 Job Is Officially 24/7

A new CareerBuilder survey concludes that the 9-to-5 workday is running out of time. CareerBuilder surveyed more than 1,000 employees working in traditional, 9-to-5 jobs for their thoughts on whether 9-to-5 is still a relevant work schedule. It's a nutshell, it's not: Verging on two-thirds (63%) of survey participants think the 9-to-5 concept is outdated. Even more, nearly one-fourth (24%) can't seem to leave the office behind when they leave its four walls. Roughly 1 in 4 surveyed admit to checking work emails when they're hanging out with family and friends, while 2 in 5 surveyed (38%) keep right on working like they're still at the office. Of course, the "always-on" work model is just the way it is for the average working professional these days. It's the path to productivity, and progress:"Workers want more flexibility in their schedules, and with improvements in technology that enable employees to check in at any time, from anywhere, it…

The Office Know-It-All Knows Less Than You Think

Every office has a know-it-all employee, but a new study concludes that he or she doesn't know everything. In fact, he or she may not know that much after all! Researchers at Cornell University and Tulane University reveal that know-it-alls tend to "overclaim" -- meaning, they can pull "facts" out of thin air and rely on made-up information. No wonder they tend to talk so much! The researchers asked 100 study participants to rate their knowledge of financial investing. Would a few know-it-alls rise like Apple stock from the group, and would their self-proclaimed investing knowledge be highly accurate, or somewhat exaggerated? To find out, the researchers presented the group with a few examples of fake financial terminology (pre-rated stocks, fixed-rate deduction, annualized credit?) sprinkled among a set of bonafide financial terminology (IRAs, inflation, etc.) and let them...discuss. Here's what happened, as reported by Psych Central:As expected, peop…

Survey Reveals Most Annoying Conference Call Behaviors

It's been a few weeks since I've blogged. I've been on vacation. In the Silicon Valley. I know what you're probably thinking: Who vacations in the workaholic Silicon Valley? Yes, it is rather strange to take a relaxing getaway to the land of 24/7 mobile working and venture deal-making, but there I was, lounging by the outdoor hotel pool with a laptop-toting business traveler to the left of me and a headset-wearing business traveler to the right while the kids did handstands in the water. We did our best to make a splash. A very sweet employee at the front desk had asked upon arrival if we planned to swim in the pool, because "it would be so nice" to see somebody use it. Apparently, the Silicon Valley is rife with working pools. We never found Hooli, but we did see a driverless car while passing through Palo Alto. Now it's back to reality, and back to workplace blogging. Oh, where to start. How about with a new OfficeTeam survey that reveals the m…