Tag Archive | workplace

Work from home: What you need to know before letting employees do that

(This post originally appeared on Philly.com)

Is letting your employees work from home a good idea? That depends. Some companies – and people – are more suited to the arrangement than others.

Research has shown that remote working could make employees feel less engaged, isolated and disconnected from their coworkers, and that could lead to more mistakes, miscommunication, and a lack of productivity. Other studies, such as one recently conducted at the Wharton School, have found that for some employees, the loneliness of working from home could have a significantly negative impact on their performance.

Researcher Dan Schawbel, an employment expert and consultant, even found that work-from-home arrangements could decrease the long-term likelihood that an employee will stay with a company. Read More…

Everybody loves to hate the open office, but is it dead yet?

(This post originally appeared on Philly.com)

When I started working at my first job after college in the mid-1980s, the typical office was made up of cubicles, where every employee had his or her own private space. Offices have changed a lot since then. Now open-plan spaces, where workers share desks in large rooms without any barriers or cubicles blocking their views, seem to be everywhere.

Many large companies — from Apple to co-working locations, such as WeWork — have replaced ugly and claustrophobic little rooms with bright, open-space areas that offer wide views and a more team-oriented environment. Open-plan offices promised to help employees collaborate better and be more productive, improve workers’ health, reduce construction costs, and provide more flexibility as the workplace changes. Read More…

Government should butt out of a business’s dress code

(This post originally appeared on The Guardian)

There aren’t many places to find a definition of anal cleft. I’ve tried. So I’ll have to rely on this description in Wikipedia which says that the anal cleft – otherwise known as the intergluteal cleft – is “the groove between the buttocks that runs from just below the sacrum to the perineum, so named because it forms the visible border between the external rounded protrusions of the gluteus maximus muscles”.

This controversial and somewhat vague definition of what most of us consider the butt crack is the crux of a federal lawsuit and please, do not crack any jokes. The decision could have a significant impact on the livelihood of Jovanna Edge, the owner of the Hillbilly Hotties café in Everett, Washington. Read More…

Are Working Moms Less Devoted to Their Work?


(This post originally appeared on Inc.)

Most employers think so, according to a new study.

When you’re sitting across from a female job applicant and she reveals that she has children – say young children – does that in any way influence your decision to hire her? Do you believe that, because she’s a mother, she’ll give less effort to her job than a father?

Not me. When I meet a mother with young children I don’t just feel like just giving her a job. I feel like giving her a bottle of Jack Daniels and some Xanax. But apparently, other employers aren’t as sympathetic. That’s the conclusion from a new survey published by child care provider Bright Horizons Family Solutions.

Read More…

Your Open-Plan Office Is Probably Missing This One Important Thing


(This post originally appeared on Inc.)

I just don’t understand how you open-plan people do it.

The thought of working all day just a few inches away from other people gives me the willies. I wouldn’t know how to behave. Don’t their phone conversations distract you? When is it rude to ignore someone? Doesn’t listening to your office mate’s criticism of anyone who’s not vegan get on your nerves? How do you put up with that guy who sits across from you and eats the same tuna salad sandwich every single freaking day?

If this describes your work environment I certainly sympathize.  But take heart – relief may be on the way.

Read More…

Looking at Very Old Photos Has Changed My Perspective on Business and Life in General

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(This post originally appeared on Entrepreneur)

If you could name one website that’s truly the best for business what would it be? A big media site like CNN or Fox News? A business site like Entrepreneur.com? A financial advice site? A site that’s aimed at your industry? Maybe. But for me it’s none of these (sorry, Entrepreneur.com).

In my mind, there’s only one website that — for at least the past seven years — has provided me the most help running my business.

That site is Shorpy.com. Named after a 12-year-old coal miner whose photo and thousands of other old (mostly century-old) photos that have been restored and digitized, Shorpy let you look at the most particular details of people, places and things that have long ago disappeared. Go there now. Do you see what I see? Here’s what I see. Read More…

The US labor department’s healthcare plan is a good idea. But it won’t work

(This post originally appeared on The Guardian)

This year, the Trump administration took two significant steps to help small business owners better afford both healthcare and retirement for themselves and their employees. They’re good ideas. But they’re not going to work.

In September, the Department of Labor began allowing businesses to create association health plans. These plans allow companies to form “associations” – or buying groups – that can use a wide definition of membership that includes geographic location or belonging to the same industry. The group would not be subject to the more onerous rules under the Affordable Care Act that effect employers as long as there are more than a hundred employees participating. Although some requirements of the law – such as allowing those with pre-existing conditions to join and not charging different premiums based on health history – are enforced, for the most part employers belonging to those associations can negotiate with the healthcare provider as to which benefits they want to keep and which ones they want to drop from their plans, therefore potentially lowering premiums to their participants – and themselves.

It’s really not a bad idea. If done the right way, a small business can offer a more affordable plan that’s better tailored to the demographics of its employees. Plus, the business can offer this plan along with other plans so that employees have more choices. The administration seems to like the concept so much that the Department of Labor just this week decided to apply it to retirement plans, too. Read More…