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Showing posts from May, 2018

Dealing with Co-workers Who Don't Plan Ahead for Childcare

Summer is almost here, which means at least one of your co-workers will realize they still haven't planned out their summer childcare arrangements, and all of the day camps are full. Oops. Let's talk about the co-worker whose childcare arrangements are always last-minute and leaving you in a lurch at work!

The summer months only seems to exacerbate your co-worker's childcare quandary. Summer becomes ten calendar weeks of watching this co-worker desperately try to cobble daycare together. You can't help but wonder why this co-worker never plans well in advance for summer break -- or winter break and teacher workdays. (We'll get to that later in the post.)

Childcare is a topic many working professionals don't want to talk about, but hard feelings between colleagues can result when it's planned poorly. So what can you do as a work peer who is trying to make sure projects stay on track?

Tips For Making Summer Work At Work
While you can't force this colleag…

The Self-Employed Think the Robot Revolution Won't Hurt Them

Many employees are worried about artificial intelligence entering the workplace. No, I'm not talking about the 20-something Millennial your company hired last week; I'm talking about real robots here!

But there's one group of workers who think AI in the workplace won't be a big deal. The self-employed -- okay, I'll pause while you scoff and say, "Ha, like they even have real jobs!" -- are one group that welcomes our digital overlords to the workplace. Basically, independent contractors are the anti-Gilfoyle.

A Qdos Contractor study of more than 1,500 contractors in the United Kingdom reveals half think robots will have "little impact" on their careers, while another 21% think robots will have a "big, positive impact" on their careers. Verging on half surveyed (47%) think robots and AI could lead to more work coming their way, not less.

Only 11% of contractors surveyed see robots as potentially having a "big, negative impact" …

Blast From the Past: Trying to Keep a Calendar in the Trump Era

Do you feel like the future can't happen fast enough, but the past can be hard to remember?

I was trying to remember when I had my last dental checkup, because it felt like months had passed since my last one. My last checkup was in...January? I must be due for another visit.

So I called my dentist to put it on my calendar. "I see that your last cleaning was in March," the dental assistant said cheerily. "We'll see you again in September!"

Wait a minute here. My last cleaning was ONLY eight weeks ago? Really? I apologized for bothering her, thanked her, and ended the call.

I stood there, looking at my Big Family Calendar (the paper kind). The Washington D.C. winter did linger into April this year, but how could I have gotten this so wrong? I pride myself on running on schedule, and remembering dates and time frames. I'm the one in the family who remembers these things! We're all in trouble now.

Running on Trump Time
If you feel like the future is sl…

Study Finds Our Fear of Workplace Robots Could Be Hurting Our Health

Do you quietly worry about robots stealing your job?

A fascinating Ball State/Villanova University study reveals that employees are worried about the metal ones coming for their jobs, and all this worrying could be impacting their overall health!

Researchers at Ball State and Villanova wanted to examine, on the county level, how employees' underlying fears that they could end up unemployed thanks to a robot or computer might be linked to health issues. In other words, can our fear of automation make our overall health worse?

In a nutshell, it sure seems that way: The researchers found that a 10-percentage-point increase in automation risk at the county level worsens general, physical and mental health by 2.38 percentage points, 0.8 percentage points, and 0.6 percentage points, respectively. So even just our perception of poorer job security could be impacting our mental and physical health.

Where we live appears to matter, as well. The South, the study finds, has a higher percen…

Are Employees Who Wear Cold Shoulder Tops Getting the Cold Shoulder for Promotions?

The weather's getting warmer, and that means more tank tops and fancy flip-flops at work. But could your cold-shoulder blouse mean you'll get the cold shoulder when it comes time for a promotion?

OfficeTeam recently surveyed more than 1,000 U.S. office workers, 300 senior managers, and 300 HR managers and unzipped a startling statistic: 86% of workers and 80% of managers said that an employee's clothing choices affect his or her chances of promotion!

So what is acceptable clothing in today's wash-and-don't-iron workplaces compared to, say, five years ago? Jeans, tennis shoes and leggings have all earned a certain acceptability at work, much to the chagrin of employees who still dare to dress up. However, tank tops, cold-shoulder tops and shorts have lost workplace acceptability over the last five years. Nobody wants to see our shoulders at work, apparently. Wear sleeves.

One thing is for sure: managers would like to avoid this hot topic. Only half of managers who …

Your Napping Co-worker Doesn't Think You Should Get to Nap, Too

Do you ever nap at work? A new survey from mattress company Amerisleep finds we're happily grabbing a few Zs at work, but we look down on the co-workers who dare to do the same thing!

Our computers aren't the only thing we're putting on sleep mode: Of the 1,001 U.S. employees surveyed, more than half (nearly 52%) admit to napping on the clock. At their desks, in empty meeting rooms, in their cars, wherever they can grab some shut eye. And the less money we make, the more likely we are to nap at work. Senior management gets to power trip while the rest of get to power nap. Go figure.

Sometimes, we have a good excuse for nodding off, though. Maybe we're suffering through a bout of insomnia that's ruining our week. Or maybe we're a new parent. Again. Research shows we can reinvigorate our productivity levels with a quick nap, too. There are valid excuses for needing to nod off for a few minutes.

However, it really, really bothers us if a co-worker dares to nap …

The Open Office Plan is Making Employees Worry How They Walk

Ah, the cubicle. It was like a closet where employees could hide all day long. But now cubicles are going the way of the dodo -- leaving employees feeling exposed, and striking a pose.

Researchers at UK's Anglia Ruskin University and the University of Bedfordshire spent three years following a group of 1,000 employees as they moved from a compartmentalized departmental setting to an open office environment. As the employees transitioned to an office where all eyes were on them, all the time, their behavior began to change.

As one of the lead researchers explains:

Lead author Dr Alison Hirst, of Anglia Ruskin University, said: "When changing from a more closed, compartmentalised [sic] office space to a new open-plan, transparent and fluid working space, office workers were more conscious of their visibility and often found this unsettling rather than liberating.

"Women in particularly [sic] felt anxious about the idea of being constantly watched, and felt they had to dres…

Gallup Report Reveals Where the Great Jobs Are

Do you know that about 1.4 billion people around the world work a full-time job?

It's true. No matter where we go, there we are. And anywhere we are, we're ready for quitting time.

Whether we're in Sydney, Australia or Fargo, North Dakota or Helsinki, Finland, we're watching the clock with a quiet sense of desperation, just waiting to go home. It's always five o'clock somewhere, just not here in our minimalist, windowless office where everyone can hear us gulp. (Warning: Language NSFW.)

Where are all the good jobs, anyway? Gallup's new 2018 Global Great Jobs Briefing looks at the distribution of "quality jobs" around the world. As we sit at our desks doing the work of three people, let's check out Gallup's break down of where all the "good" jobs are, by world region:

North America 44%
Former Soviet States 41%
Europe 34%
Asia 27%
Latin America and the Caribbean 26%
Middle East and North Africa 21%
Sub-Saharan Africa 12…