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Showing posts from September, 2017

Your Yelling Boss Gets Tired of Yelling After a Week

Being a jerk to employees makes your boss feel better -- but only for awhile until the abuse begins to take a toll on the boss's mental health, according to a new Michigan State University study.

You might think the manager who is a yeller secretly enjoys being this way. And, maybe he or she does enjoy it to an extent, but the enjoyment doesn't last.

According to the MSU press release:

Bullying and belittling employees starts to take its toll on a supervisor's mental state after about a week, according to the study, which is published in the Academy of Management Journal.

"The moral of the story is that although abuse may be helpful and even mentally restorative for supervisors in the short-term, over the long haul it will come back to haunt them," said Russell Johnson, MSU associate professor of management and an expert on workplace psychology.
Why does it all go downhill after a week? Because the boss begins to experience subtle blow back from employees in the…

20% of Workplace Coffee Mugs Have Poop on Them

Do you use a ceramic coffee mug at work? Well, your cuppa of French vanilla medium roast might just contain traces of fecal matter. Drink up, everyone!

A new University of Arizona study finds the vast majority (90%) of office coffee mugs have gross germs on them, which doesn't seem all that surprising somehow. But get this: 20% of office coffee mugs have traces of poop on them.

What is causing the transfer of fecal matter to our office coffee cups? A recent study finds many of our co-workers aren't washing their hands after they use the restroom. That's because our own germs aren't the problem; it's our co-workers' germs that are the problem!

But that's not all. The break room sink sponge that was last replaced in...actually, nobody in the office can remember when it was last replaced? The stinky, dirty sponge that serves double duty for wiping down the sink before using the same sponge to clean coffee mugs that are then put back on the shelf? Ew.

via GIPH…

Are You Tired of Teammates Riding Your Coattails at Work?

Your employer encourages employee collaboration -- and a lot of it! -- but your co-workers always look to you to provide the details, the documentation, and even the party decorations while they never seem to bring anything to the table!

Another day, another way your teammates find creative ways to ride your coattails at work. Somehow, you've become a grab-and-go corporate convenience mart for your under-performing teammates. The spreadsheets are on Aisle 4, and your past PowerPoint presentations on Aisle 2. One at a time everyone, and please don't crowd!

Sigh. Talk about taking one for the team! There you are, cutting down heavy brush and blazing another trail while your teammates drag their feet and take the path of least resistance. But complaining about it might make you look like a poor team player.

The Everybody Gets a Trophy Workplace
Welcome to the 21st-Century workplace, where high performers always feel like they're doing the lion's share of the wor…

How to Handle a Co-worker's Hard Candy Habit

You're trying to work, but all you can hear is a co-worker working on a jawbreaker. Sweet mercy. Let's talk about the co-worker with the raging hard-candy habit!

Maybe your co-worker has a thing for Jolly Ranchers or Tootsie Rolls, when he's not reaching for another peppermint starlight mint or the root beer barrels he bought at the candy kiosk. Sometimes, he likes to kick it old school by throwing a bag of Pop Rocks into his workplace productivity routine. You know, just to shake things up.

Talk about ten pounds of Life Savers stuffed into a five pound bag! No matter how you try, your co-worker's hard candy habit has you vaguely shaken up. The constant crunching, gnawing and scraping of candy against the teeth during the work day is something you can't un-hear, unfortunately.

At some point, each piece of candy submits to mandibular manipulation. At its breaking point, each piece of hard candy disintigrates into a dozen pieces inside your co-worker's mouth. …

To Raise a Good Future Employee, Stop Saying "You're So Smart"

Are you a parent raising the next generation? Well, don't forget that you're also raising a future employee. And raising a stellar future employee may require eliminating the phrase "you're so smart" from your parental vocabulary!

A new UC San Diego study finds that praising even young kids for being "so smart" isn't necessarily good for them. In fact, the study finds that kids who are repeatedly told how smart they are can give up easily, and turn to cheating. Oops.

Researchers separated 300 children in Eastern China into two groups. The children in the first group received no praise while playing a guessing game using number cards. In other words, they weren't told how smart they are. The second group of children, however, did receive praise, and lots of it. The children in this group were told repeatedly how smart they are, and that they performed well.

Then the researchers asked them not to cheat as a hidden camera recorded the game.

The …

Artwork is Disappearing from the Open Office Environment

Take a look around your department. Do you see artwork hanging on the walls? No? Let me guess: there are no walls on which to hang the artwork.

The open office environment has claimed another casualty in addition to our ability to focus and concentrate on a daily basis. The pretty pictures that once decorated our corporate cubicles and hallowed workplace hallways are disappearing! They have been replaced by glass, glass, and more glass. Glass windows, low-to-no partitions and gobs of open office space separated by -- you guessed it! -- glass walls.

In what would seem a strange contradiction, the open office environment that's meant to spur our creativity is instead actively purging artistic works from the workplace. Like Edvard Munch's The Scream, professional artists and other creative types are lamenting the waning availability of workplace wall space on which to display their finished masterpieces. A fascinating Workplace Insight article paints a rather sad picture of th…

When Co-workers Turn Standing Desks Into a Competition

Never one to miss out on workplace trends, your employer has invested in standing desks for everyone on your team.

Everything was fine at first, but now you've discovered that your lower back isn't so hip to this trend. So you pull up a chair, sit down and go back to work. That is, until one of your co-workers just has to say something about your butt being in a chair.

"Why are you sitting down? Standing is so good for your circulation," this co-worker says as he ticks off the list of standing desk health benefits. "I've been standing all day. But, to each their own, I guess. I notice Jane has been standing up all day, too. Good job, Jane. You rock!"

Congratulations, your overly-competitive co-worker has just issued a standing challenge to see how long everyone in the office can stand at their desk.

Stand In the Place Where You Work
You quietly wonder how to respond to this co-worker's comments as he checks his FitBit stats and proceeds to do som…

Sorry Snapchat, Senior Managers Just Aren't That Into You

Do you like connecting with co-workers over social media? And which social media platform do you like to use?

A new OfficeTeam survey of more than 1,000 U.S. employees and 300 senior managers finds that we may not have U.S. Senator Ted Cruz's social media problems on the job, but we do have our preferred social media platforms.

Facebook is the preferred social media platform for connecting with our co-workers. More than seven in 10 (71%) professionals surveyed give a thumb's up to workplace Facebook friendships, followed by Twitter (61%), Instagram (56%) and Snapchat (44%).

However, many senior managers still aren't sure about employees using social media to talk about work, or what they did this weekend. Just under half of senior managers (49%) think it's fine to connect with fellow employees on Facebook. But fewer senior managers want employees connecting over Twitter (34%), Instagram (30%) and Snapchat (26%).

Mixing Work With Social Media
Employees and senior manage…

Slam! When You Catch a Co-worker Going Through Your Desk

You walk into the office to find a co-worker rummaging through your desk with determined intensity. This co-worker is looking for something, but what? Let's dish about the co-workers you catch going through your desk!

Maybe this co-worker is looking for a staple remover, a working pen, some Post-It notes, or a spare pencil? Maybe she just wants to see what you keep in there?

Maybe you walk in on this co-worker using your desktop computer. What is he looking for, exactly? You don't know, but your gut reaction goes something like this.

Welcome to a weird conundrum of the collaborative, open, 21st-Century workplace: What's yours is yours, and what's yours is also everyone else's, apparently. On the one hand, the modern workplace is team-based and shrieking, "Get away from my desk!" in a territorial tone is generally not a desirable quality in a teammate. It's sort of like grandpa yelling, "Get off my lawn."

On the other hand, you mig…

Sorry, There's No Such Thing as a "Robot Proof" Job

I hope you had a wonderful and relaxing Labor Day weekend, the time of year when we celebrate the U.S. labor force by emailing them in the wee hours and making them come to work on Monday.

Well, at least a robot hasn't stolen your job yet, right? Okay, that's alarmist malarky because I keep reading that there are many "robot-proof" jobs if we simply plan ahead or adjust mid-career accordingly. A few "high-touch jobs" that haven't experienced the robot invasion yet include hairdressers, physical therapists, childcare workers, doctors and nurses.

Jobs of the future from CNBC.
Instability in the job market is why every parent these days wants their child to go into a STEM field or medicine. In the process, grade school has become a high-pressure endeavor, with parents demanding Billy's or Bella's grade in PE be changed from a 3 to a 4 -- even though grade school should be about learning from mistakes and learning to learn. Besides, colleges aren'…