Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from December, 2015

How To Pretend Like You're Working This Week

Are you working this week? Excuse me, I should say "working," because nobody is getting any real work done. Let's all fake it until we make it to quitting time! I haven't been posting much lately because I've been waiting in long lines to buy rolls of tape. I make deals with myself while I wait.I will get some writing done, just as soon as I bake those holiday cookies! I will move mountains, after I deal with a few more holiday-related molehills! Why do I always pick the line that stops moving? Repeat after me: I won't get anything truly constructive done today. I will try, but it probably won't happen. The best I can hope for is to knock one, maybe two, pressing things off my "to do" list. That's it. How did I forget to buy tape when that's what I went into the store to buy?! We are all distracted this week, and it's time to own it. Yes, I know. It's anathema to admit to slacking off in today's Slack-enabled workplaces. …

Let's Talk About Star Wars In the Workplace

Have you heard there's a new Star Wars movie hitting theaters? Of course you have, unless you've been living underneath a space rock. Star Wars is everywhere. The media are abuzz today with stories about Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and from every conceivable story angle. Even business journalists are trying to capture some Star Wars stardust by writing stories that seem to be, shall we say, reaching a bit here and there. Here is a small sample of online headlines: "One Company's Workplace Rules For Seeing 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens'" writes Forbes. "Over 50% Of People Think Women Are Controlled By Hormones At Work," trumpets Business Insider. (A large photo of Princess Leia accompanies the story.) "What Star Wars Teaches Us About Employee Relations," muses a writer for Workforce. (Hint: HR can look sort of like the Death Star, when you really stop to think about it.) "10 Excuses To Use To Play Hooky For 'Star Wars: T…

Your Toxic Co-worker Costs $12,489 A Year

Business articles love to talk about the "toxic co-worker," but what does "toxic" actually mean? Well, researchers at Harvard have analyzed data from 11 companies and 50,000 employees to offer up a personality profile of today's toxic co-worker! Of course, the word "toxic" can have a wide range of meanings in today's workplace, from the co-worker who undermines us to the co-worker who snitches on us to...sigh, we all have our own stories, right? But this Harvard paper is interesting in that it paints a personality portrait, if you will, of the typical toxic co-worker. Who is this co-worker, anyway? First, our toxic co-worker tends to be a highly productive employee, which might explain his or her longevity on the job -- especially if he or she might be on the less ethical side, which could very well be the case in some way, since we're talking about the toxic co-worker. Second, these co-workers tend to be highly selfish employees. Third,…

Only 1 In 4 Employees Expects A Holiday Bonus

Are you expecting either an end-of-year holiday bonus or pay raise? If you're not expecting either one, then you're in good company. The Bankrate Money Pulse survey of 1,000 adult Americans reveals only one in four employees expects either an end-of-year increase in pay or a holiday bonus. What do these eternal optimists plan to do with the extra money? They will stuff it in a old Folgers coffee can just like great-grandpa used to do, of course. Okay, they don't plan to go that far, but they do plan to be incredibly practical by placing the additional money in savings, paying down bills, and/or paying off debt. But unemployment is at a seven-year-low! Shouldn't employees be job-hopping by now, and basking in the glow of an employees' job market? What's going on out there? It turns out many employees are still in a Great Recession state of mind. As this excerpt from a Bankrate.com survey article reveals:"Usually, when the unemployment rate gets quite …

How To Do A Job Interview In A Coffee Shop

You've landed a job interview. Congratulations! The interviewer, however, wants to do the interview at a local coffee shop. Uhhh, okay. Let's figure out how to do this thing! We've all walked into a coffee shop to see someone being interviewed for a job. At least, that's what we suspect is going on. Maybe we don't overhear the conversation, but we can sense that a job offer is definitely on the line. We quietly root for this person as we wait to order our cup of joe. If you're thinking, "Excuse me, I'm a white-collar professional, and we don't do interviews at coffee shops," then you might want to update your views before your next job interview. Well-paid professionals are doing job interviews in public places such as coffee shops, food courts, or the nearest outside table at the strip mall just like everyone else. Our work culture is just that way these days. Now it's your turn to do a coffee shop interview! You've never done one …

The Old-fashioned Distractions Still Rule At Work

What is your biggest workplace distraction? Oh, come on now; you know you have one! Let's meet by the water cooler to discuss. A new BambooHR survey of more than 1,000 U.S.-based employees reveals that our workplace distractions, like our politics, remain largely local. While it's tempting to think that the internet would top our list of preferred workplace interruptions, it doesn't take up nearly as much mental bandwidth as standing by the water cooler, taking another bathroom break and engaging in office gossip with our workplace besties. Upper-level managers are the most likely to kick their workplace distractions old school, too. From the BambooHR press release:More upper management employees (10 percent) spend 30 minutes or more each workday taking trips to the water cooler or break room than lower management employees. More upper management employees (7 percent) spend 30 minutes or more each workday taking bathroom breaks than lower management employees. More upp…

Stop Texting Because You're Doing it All Wrong!

Do you ever wonder if your texts come off as sincere? Believe it or not, researchers looked into it and our texts need some TLC, stat! Researchers at Binghamton University had 126 undergraduates read a bunch of text messages. The main finding? Ending our texts with a period makes the message recipient doubt our sincerity. A period makes us sound less friendly in our online speech pattern. However, overusing exclamation points to sound like a poorly-written brochure can have the opposite effect by making our texts seem more genuine, and more heartfelt. Aww! Even using no punctuation at all is preferred to using a full stop. Better to sound ungrammatical than to end a line of text with a period and make everyone suddenly doubt us. As The Washington Postreports:According to [Binghamton University researcher Celia] Klin and her fellow researchers, that's an indication that the text message period has taken on a life of its own. It is no longer just the correct way to end a sentenc…

My Bad! When Co-workers Can't Admit Mistakes

Your co-worker made a mistake, but can't own it. In fact, this co-worker never owns a mistake, even when it's glaringly obvious who made it. Let's talk about the right thing to do when a co-worker can't admit to being wrong! From big mistakes on projects to surefire predictions that don't pan out to errors in judgment to picking up the wrong break room dessert at the local bakery, the typical office abounds with both major and minor errors on a daily basis. Hey, we're human; mistakes happen! We apologize for our misstep, and move on. The blameless co-worker, however, isn't one to eat humble pie by saying, "Oh! I was supposed to pick up an apple pie instead of a chocolate cake? My mistake." No, this co-worker prefers to let them eat cake by proclaiming, "Well, I don't know about you, but I heard 'chocolate cake,' so I just bought what I was told to buy." Sigh. Why don't some employees want to own their mistakes, no ma…

How Rude! Workplace Bullies Are Finding New Ways To Bully

A new study concludes that workplace bullies are finding new ways to circumvent corporate anti-bullying rules. Let's take a passive-aggressive look at what's going on out there!Psychologists at Sweden's Lund University surveyed 6,000 people to see how they interact with others on the job. They found that modern workplace bullying is less about pushing and shoving and more about devious, underhanded maneuvers intended to get under a co-worker's skin. There is a spot of good news, however: Many companies are taking workplace bullying very seriously by setting zero-tolerance policies and cracking down on instances of bullying behavior. The bad news? Workplace bullies are finding increasingly subtle ways to get around said zero-tolerance policies. What are they doing, exactly? Workplace bullies are turning to rudeness and incivility. They're "forgetting" to email a certain colleague about an upcoming meeting or event (made all the easier by blocking said co…