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Showing posts from September, 2018

On National Coffee Day, An Ode to Our Coworkers Who Quit Coffee

Tomorrow is National Coffee Day, the one day a year when we pledge our enduring loyalty to the coffee bean. But what if your coworker is trying to quit coffee, and her caffeine deprivation ends up giving everyone else in the office a headache?

On Monday morning, your coworker announced that she was quitting coffee. She's been reading up on the negative impacts of caffeine on the body, and now she's going cold turkey.

I'm not talking about switching to decaf, or quitting coffee gradually over many months. No. She's pulling the plug on cappuccinos as of TODAY, and she's never asking for Hazelnut flavoring ever again! She scoffs at your Monday morning coffee run. You are weak, and you are not educated on the issues. She doesn't need the stuff anymore. She is stronger than a double shot of espresso.

Saturday is #NationalCoffeeDay! Here are some stimulating stats for you to ponder while your pot's percolating. How do you drink your coffee? Black? Milk & suga…

With the Kavanaugh Hearings, a Generational Change

Who are we kidding? Nobody is getting very much work done today. We are all riveted by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford's testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

In response to @NBCNews panel questioning whether people are just going about their day, not here. The entire plane is watching— jess salomon (@jess_salomon) September 27, 2018
I won't take up much of your time as you watch today's testimony. But one of the many things that strikes me about today is how a generational torch has been passed. As a nation, we're no longer talking about and debating the Baby Boomers' behavior in the 1960s. Did this person support the draft? What is his Vietnam service record? Did he inhale?

Instead, we're talking about jarring, ugly events alleged to have taken place between Gen Xers in the early 1980s. As a Gen Xer myself, it dawned on me that today is the first time I've seen my generation revealed in full, raw view in such …

Should All Office Workers Dress Exactly the Same?

Another day, another dilemma about what to wear to work. While our democracy hangs in the balance, we debate wearing New Balances to the office. We change our outfit three times, and hope for the best.

Sometimes, we wish that we had a personal stylist to select our work clothes for us, because figuring out what to wear can feel like a job in itself some days. However, there might be a simple solution to our sartorial indecision: a universal, formal office dress code where all office workers dress exactly the same!

Everybody In Khaki
An article in Britain's The Independent ponders bringing the dress code found in private schools into the white-collar workplace. This way, nobody stands out, nobody feels under-dressed, and nobody can out-do each other in the workplace fashion sweepstakes. Our colleagues won't be able to get a leg up on us professionally, since we're all wearing the same pants that we put on one leg at a time.

It could be like going back to 1999, when Gen X …

Workplace Trends: Sugar Shaming Your Employees

Between the plate of home-made cookies your coworker brought to work this morning and the afternoon sheet cake to celebrate this month's birthdays, sugar can be as plentiful in many workplaces as staples and paper clips.

But now, any manager worth his or her salt is beginning to say "no" to sugar at work! Because obesity problem. "Sugar shaming" is apparently all the rage, according to a WSJ article. But is sugar shaming only going to leave employees in a rage?

No More Sugar At Work?
Yes, we could all cut back on sugary snacks. We could skip the workplace birthday cake, and politely decline the coworkers who offer us a(nother) homemade chocolate chip cookie. If there's a will, there's a way, as they say, to go sugar free.

But do we really need a managerial eating edict to shame us into consuming less sugar? We already have the health-conscious coworker trying to shame us for not going gluten free, and for not Soul Cycling. Do we really need management…

Employees Are Having Trouble Answering All of Their Emails

A new study from LinkedIn, which I never use, asked more than 1,000 employees to name their most common workplace challenges. Here's the list:

1. Finding work-life balance (38%)
2. Managing their workload (31%)
3. Dealing with coworkers (26%)
4. Workplace politics (25%)
5. Dealing with managers (23%)
6. Growing their career (22%)
7. Being passionate about what they do (19%)
8. Not having somebody to turn to for help (16%)
9. Equal pay/negotiating their salary (15%)
10. Answering all of their emails (13%)

I've covered all of these issues since started this blog, except for one. Number 10. I haven't covered email overload because I find it's one of my biggest work-related challenges, if not my biggest challenge. An email comes in (in my case, usually a story idea/pitch), and I read it. I'd like to respond, but I don't know quite what to say, or how to phrase it just yet. And I write for a living.

So, I move on as junk emails pile up in my email box, one after t…

Study Finds Bcc'ing Your Boss at Work Is a Bad Idea

You're replying to an email at work, and decide to bcc the boss on it. You're just trying to keep the boss in the loop, but a new study reveals bcc'ing the boss on a group message could come back to bite you!

Researchers at University of Cambridge Judge Business School wanted to see how bcc'ing the boss in a work-related email -- that is, hiding the boss's name and address in the email while revealing the names and addresses of the other recipients -- made coworkers feel when they found out the boss had been bcc'ed without their knowledge. The study included nearly 700 working adults. Ooh, this is going to be good.

Bcc'ing the Boss is Bad, Bad, Bad
What did the researchers uncover? Well, for starters, our coworkers don't like it when they find out another coworker has been bcc'ing the boss on a work thread without them knowing about it. They feel a bit, shall we say, betrayed. Bcc'trayed. In fact, bcc'ing the boss could lead coworkers to se…

That Bites! Employees Aren't Taking Their Lunch Breaks Anymore

Ah, the lunch break. The time of day when we grab lunch solo or with our coworkers, and enjoy a brief respite from work.

Or at least we used to, back in the day when we felt like we had time to do such things, according to the results dished up in a new OnePoll/Eggland's Best survey of 2,000 employees.

Snack Breaks Are Replacing Lunch Breaks
The traditional lunch break is becoming a 20th-Century work anachronism, a hanger-on from a time gone by when we would stand up from our typewriters, turn off the Telex and let lunch take us away. These days, saying, "I'm off to lunch, back in an hour!" is sort of like yelling, "Pardon me, do you have any Grey Poupon?" in the middle of an open office environment.

Instead of keeping mustard in our glove compartments, we're keeping snacks in our desks to provide the sustenance that will power us to quitting time. More than four in 10 employees surveyed (44%) forage through their snack drawers throughout the day as a …

What If Your Gen Z Coworker Doesn't Remember 9/11?

On 9/11, I always wonder whether or not to write anything. Usually, I spend the day largely lost in contemplation, and reflection. It's a hard day, still. Surreal.

Like other Gen Xers, I remember exactly where I was, and what I was doing that morning. Trying to finish a story in my home office. I don't think I wrote a word that day. There were no words.

17 years later, 9/11 feels like it happened only yesterday for those of us who remember it vividly. Time moves on, but we'll always feel lost on this day every year. I know I do. Never forget.

But what if you have a young, new coworker who doesn't remember 9/11?

Where Were You on 9/11?
There is a new generation of employees entering the workplace for whom 9/11 is a history lesson. The 21-year-old new hire was four years old on 9/11. The 19-year-old intern in your department was only two years old. This year's high school graduates, meanwhile, were born in 2001. They, of course, have no memory of 9/11 at all.


Will "Rage Rooms" Be All the Rage at Work Soon?

It's one of those days, and you feel like banging your head against a wall. Why not bang a mallet on an old, broken TV set instead?

In what could be seen as a sign of the times, "rage rooms" are popping up around the country to let us take out our rage on inanimate objects using crowbars, bats and other weaponry. Here is what it looks like, courtesy of the fine folks at Rage Room Chicago.

I'll admit, I'm more of a yoga person myself. Or I'll go for a nice run and let the endorphins kick in whenever I'm feeling upset, or nervous. It works for me. Smashing dinner plates with a sledgehammer in a paint-smattered room isn't something I've remotely thought about, or pondered as a workplace perk. Whenever I think of sledgehammers, I think of the Peter Gabriel song, which has a steady bass beat for smashing stuff.

A Smash Hit?
Only a few years ago, the hot, new trend was toward escape rooms, where a team uses its problem-solving skills to emerge from a lo…

The Workplace Diva Blog's New Address

Just a quick note to let you know that I've updated this website's address. That is to say that I've shortened it.

You can now find this blog at Or you can keep using the same address you're visiting right now. I hope to see you there, or here, because they're the same place, really. Thanks for reading!

I Know! Dealing with Coworkers Who Fish For Advice They Won't Take

Your coworker seems to be fishing for advice. You take the bait, and offer your two cents. "I know," this coworker responds in an irritated tone. Well, you didn't seem to know a minute ago. Let's talk about the coworker who keeps fishing for advice, only to get irritated when it's offered!

"I'm not sure if I should do it or not," this coworkers muses as you listen. "Maybe I should wait. Or maybe I should do it? It could probably wait, but it should probably get done?"

This coworker's eyes meet yours, and they seem to be asking for advice. Or are they begging for advice? So you proceed to be a good human and offer your advice, which have the effect of irritating this coworker to no end. "I know," this coworker says with a hint of frustration, before leaving in a huff.

What the hell just happened? Suddenly, you feel like Princess Leia telling Han Solo she loves him.

I Know That Already!
I'll admit, I've fallen into t…

BFFs? Only 15% of Employees Consider Coworkers to be "Real Friends"

Do you see your coworkers as real friends? If not, then you're right in line with a new study that finds only 15% of U.S. employees consider their coworkers to be the kind of friends they could call at 3 a.m. with a non-work related issue!

Olivet Nazarene University in Illinois recently surveyed 3,000 full-time employed Americans to get a better understanding of how workplace friendships work. How close are we to our coworkers, and do we have unbreakable social bonds with them? Can we really be BFFs (er, Business Friends Forever) with our fellow working professionals?

First, the good news: More than eight in 10 surveyed (82%) said they do work with someone they would consider to be a friend. Aw. That's great, and completely understandable. We all need somebody we can connect with at work, since we spend so much time there. Work friends make the day go better.

Our Workplace Friends In Pie Chart Form
However, the survey reveals that if we were to put our coworkers into pie chart…