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Showing posts from November, 2018

Hey, Amazon: Welcome to Washington DC, you will fit right in

It's official. Amazon is moving one of its two additional headquarters to Northern Virginia. The move is expected to bring thousands of jobs to the area. Bummer.

I'm only kidding. I, for one, will never complain about job creation. But the influx of 25,000 new jobs won't stop the locals from complaining about the impending traffic nightmares and the inevitable swarm of lanyard-wearing tech bros walking...well, where are they walking to, anyway?

The Tech Bros Are Coming!
My home-owning friends in NOVA (Northern Virginia) are very excited about the favorable effect Amazon could have on home prices. But otherwise, they worry that Amazon's HQ2 arrival will add only more chaos to an area already beset by a troubled infrastructure and a very high cost of living.

In the spirit of Amazon Prime, commutes from NOVA into DC will now take two days.— neontaster (@neontaster) November 13, 2018
I've been following the online comments for weeks, and the Amazon work ethos seems to h…

Email? Generation Z doesn't use it, and doesn't want it

The other day, I told my teenager that somebody we know had sent her an email. "What? Email? I never check email," she said. "People still use it?" Um, yes.

It dawned on me that I might as well have told her to check her Myspace account or Facebook page. Her generation uses neither, and scoffs at both. But email is the work tool of the masses that is still widely used in the business world. Isn't it? Yes, at least until my child's generation arrives in the workplace en masse in the next few years.

"Can't they just text it to me instead?" she asked. "I never check email. I mean, I know you do, Mom..."

I told her that she really needs to check her email this one time, because that message is waiting for a response that may be already running almost a day late. "Okay," she said. "I'll go figure it out. I never check email."

Email Is For Old People
I assumed that I was the only parent having this discussi…

Does your company have an E-scooter use policy yet? It should

You need to run a work-related errand. Instead of driving, you hop on an electric scooter. You sure look cool, but who will be liable if you get into an accident or break local E-scooter laws?

Like a tween bopping around the neighborhood on an E-scooter, local laws are all over the place regarding their use. These motorized scooters are sleek, they're fun, and who in the heck doesn't want one? Depending on where you are, however, local ordinances may ban electric scooters on sidewalks and restrict them to bike lanes. Or vice versa. Or neither. Or both.

Zooming right to the point: Do you know the local laws regarding E-scooter use?

People are getting hurt, as well: a recent Washington Post article revealed a rise in emergency room visits resulting from E-scooter use. These scooters can go fast. That means they can be dangerous if not handled appropriately.

Here in Washington, D.C., E-scooters are everywhere. Employees are commuting to work on them, using them for wo…

Have we been oversold on our expectations of the workplace?

Feel like you're going through the motions at work? You are not alone: a new study finds that even highly-skilled knowledge workers feel largely underwhelmed by their own work load!

A new Conversica poll of 1,000 knowledge workers reveals the drudgery that can be found even in the most sought-after jobs. More than three-fourths (80%) of survey participants admitted that some aspects of their jobs are below their skill level, while verging on two-thirds (62%) said their work involves a "significant amount" of drudgery.

Meanwhile, more than four in ten knowledge workers (42%) report spending 30 minutes of every work hour taking care of "busy work".

Is this surprising? No, but perhaps not for the reasons we expect. As a society, we have managed to build an entire mythology around the culture of white collar work. Television shows, movies and magazine articles constantly send us the message that our careers are supposed to be exhilarating, and never boring. Our jo…

Need your office to look busy? Hire some seat fillers

Between telecommuting and remote work, today's workplaces might sometimes run short on warm bodies at desks. Working in a mostly-empty office isn't a problem, unless a big, potential client wants to stop by later this week for an in-person meeting. Oh, no!

Suddenly, the mostly-empty, 21st-Century office space can seem filled with perceived promotional pitfalls. Will the client think that we look too small to take on a big project? Will they wonder where everyone is? Will we lose the deal because we look like a dinky, fly-by-night operation? You need help looking bigger, and busier, stat.

Or maybe a company just has too much space, and many employees who work remotely. Instead of bringing them back to the office -- which could hurt morale -- the company looks for other ways to fill the space.

Space Fillers For Hire
Innovative staffing firms such as Desk Camping and LiquidSpace are able to match freelancers with employers that have a lot of empty space to fill. Like extras on a f…

Let's talk about talking about the midterm results at work

Have you voted? I know, you're tired of being asked this question. But exercising our right to vote is one of the most important rights we have, if not the most important right.

If you're like everyone else, then you are sneaking peeks at your smartphone as you work today. Many people feel like they've been waiting forever for election day to arrive, and now it's finally here. Politics is on everyone's mind, we're proudly wearing our "I Voted" stickers, and we'll be sweating it out until we know the results tonight (or whenever the runoff is over). This SNL skit is just a little bit too real to me. Today is a huge day.

The Morning After
Today is one thing, but tomorrow will be the day after the midterms. That's when stuff gets real. A few of your coworkers might want to run a verbal victory lap around the office while you're on your fifth cup of caffeine because you stayed up too late watching election night returns, only to watch your ca…

Are you planning to blow off the company holiday party?

Ah, it's November. This means the company holiday party is right around the corner! And just so you know, your manager expects you to show up.

We all know the drill. The date is set, the venue is lined up, and the boss says she "hopes" to see you at the party. No pressure, just show up if you can make it, and bring a potluck item!

Don't fall for it, because a new survey from staffing firm OfficeTeam reveals that your manager might just expect ALL employees to show up, no excuses, with hamburger tater tot casserole in hand, ready to par-tay!

The Unwritten Rule of Office Parties
Just when you were beginning to work on your short list of excuses, OfficeTeam finds that vast majority of 2,800 senior managers surveyed (93%) said their company will be hosting a holiday party or activity in the coming eight weeks. Slightly more than four in ten companies (41%) are planning to spend more on holiday parties this year, too.

But here's the catch: Exactly two-thirds (66%) of…

How to practice winter desk hygiene without wiping out morale

You had to use your coworker's computer for a minute. As soon as you leave, this coworker is bleaching down his or her entire work area like it's a bio-hazard zone. Yikes. How should we react to colleagues who make a Very Big Deal about everybody else's germs?

Hey, they're our germs, so they're okay -- at least to us, right? We live with them all day long. So we cannot understand why our germaphobe coworker frantically wipes down his or her desk every time we go near it. It's like they can't clean it fast enough.

At least we know it's not only us they're singling out with paper towels and copious amounts of 409 spray. Everybody in the office gets the same antibacterial treatment. Even customers.

We can appreciate that this coworker is taking necessary measures to avoid getting sick; we only wish he or she wasn't so obvious about it. There must be a more understated, subtle way to go about de-germing one's work area that do…