by Honolulu Mother
I don’t use Slackchat myself, but my son has been using it, I think primarily in connection with an internship he’s doing. I was interested to see this Vanity Fair article suggesting the way it’s set up blurs the lines between work and home:
Slack Made Work More Social. What Does It Do to Your Social Life?
I must admit, I’m not quite clear from the article how Slackchat is qualitatively different this way from something like the Skype-for-business that my office uses, or Google Hangouts. It sounds like you still have the option to never open it outside the office; it’s just that people have been using it with friends and acquaintances outside work so end up catching their work messages since they’re already on. But perhaps I’m misunderstanding it.
Do you use a work IM service, and do you find that it blurs the lines between work and personal life for you, or do you mostly just use it at the office?
by Honolulu Mother
Apparently a leader’s intelligence has diminishing returns for his or her popularity — it increases perceived effectiveness up to a point, but higher-IQ leaders are perceived as less effective regardless of their actual performance.
Why People Dislike Really Smart Leaders
Those with an IQ above 120 are perceived as less effective, regardless of actual performance
On average, the sweet spot is an IQ of around 120, but it could vary across fields:
The ratings peaked at an IQ of around 120, which is higher than roughly 80 percent of office workers. Beyond that, the ratings declined. The researchers suggest the “ideal” IQ could be higher or lower in various fields, depending on whether technical versus social skills are more valued in a given work culture.
Have you seen this at work in your office or elsewhere?
Why The 8-Hour Workday Doesn’t Work
The ideal work-to-break ratio was 52 minutes of work, followed by 17 minutes of rest.
What schedule works best for you?
This NYT article makes reference to deliberate practice, which also applies in academics and sports.
At least one of our regulars can relate to this.
How Hard Do Professors Actually Work?
A recent Twitter battle revealed that faculty members themselves can’t agree on an answer.
What are your observations about working smarter? Any advice?
by Honolulu Mother
NYMag ran some advice for shy people attending office parties:
Advice for Shy People Forced to Attend Holiday Parties
Since I’m in the government sector, my office just doesn’t do the kind of party described there, but for those of you who do attend dressy evening office parties, do you think the article offers good advice? What tips would you add?
by Honolulu Mother
In this request for advice to New York Magazine’s Ask a Boss, an employee leaving a nonprofit worried that her soon-to-be-former boss expected her to still be available after her planned departure for another job:
‘I Quit, But My Boss Won’t Let Me Go!’
Have you ever had a previous job try to follow you to your new job? Do you have any tips for smooth transitions, both for leaving the old workplace in good shape to carry on without you and for preparing to hit the ground running in the new job?
by Seattle Soccer Mom
From a poll conducted on behalf of the NY Times:
- 25% think private work meetings with colleagues of the opposite sex are inappropriate.
- 30-40% say it’s inappropriate to be in a car with someone of the opposite sex.
- Nearly two-thirds say people should take extra caution around members of the opposite sex at work.
- A majority of women, and nearly half of men, say it’s unacceptable to have dinner or drinks alone with someone of the opposite sex other than their spouse.
These findings surprised me. I supervise both men and women and have weekly meetings (one on one) with the people I supervise. My office door is generally open unless we’re doing a performance review or discussing sensitive information. I wouldn’t be able to do my job if I couldn’t meet with men. I was surprised that 25% of the people in the poll said this would be inappropriate. I’ve also been in cars with men when we’ve gone to off-site meetings – not a big deal. I was surprised that so many people thought this would be inappropriate.
Totebaggers – what do you think of the poll results? Any that you agree or disagree with? Here’s a link to the article:
It’s Not Just Mike Pence. Americans Are Wary of Being Alone With the Opposite Sex.
Everyone from Mark Zuckerberg to Barack Obama has adopted a “work uniform” — here’s how to make yours
How to Perfect the Art of a Work Uniform
Would Totebaggers consider (or have you already adopted?) a work uniform? Personally, I like clothes and variety too much to wear the same things all the time!
There have been a few times when health crisis/issues have forced me to request even more flexibility at work. One time I was reluctant to share the details but I found that all up the management chain were very sympathetic and actually asked me what I was doing at work instead of taking care of the issue.
Recently one new hire didn’t work out because she had not got over the death of a grown child. I felt I was way more sympathetic than others in my workplace.
How have you managed a personal crisis and work? Have you been forced eventually to quit because things became too hard to manage?
How To Deal With Personal Issues At Work (Keep Personal Issues From Harming Your Job And Career)
Why Is Silicon Valley So Awful to Women?
Why Men Don’t Want the Jobs Done Mostly by Women
Totebaggers, how would you suggest decreasing sexism and increasing the number of women in tech? Law? Banking? Other fields? On the other side of the coin, how would you increase the number of men in “pink collar” jobs? Or would you rather leave well enough alone? If gender gaps in certain jobs/industries don’t bother you, why not?
Open offices – The WP reported a while back that open offices were bad for business. Do you agree? How many Totebaggers work from private offices? Cubicles? Open offices?
Google got it wrong. The open-office trend is destroying the workplace
Do any Totebaggers’ jobs have unusual perks? What are they? What perks would you like to see your workplace implement?
I have worked in my industry and in my city for all of my professional life. I can say that over the past 30 years office wear has become more casual for both men and women. While some meetings and events still require formal business attire, mostly it is business casual. I came across this infographic. Of course it includes click bait – “style tricks that could earn you a promotion” – that pertains only to women.
I would agree with some of this, but maybe it is due to our warmer climate, but short sleeves (that come half-way between your shoulder and elbow) are not an issue in the work place. However, cap sleeves, sleeveless or spaghetti straps are offlimits unless they are under a jacket for women. I am surprised at how many younger women (35 and younger) try to pull off leggings in the workplace. It struck me last week when I went into the office, the number of leggings and tunic sweaters I saw.
How do people dress in your workplace?
This Infographic Is Your Ultimate Guide to Dressing for Work
by Honolulu Mother
This NYMag article briefly summarizes a much longer Harvard Business Review article by Adam Grant and Reb Rebele on the trade-off between being a giver at work (good for the organization!) and being too generous with yourself (bad for you!) The sweet spot is apparently to be generous, but to know your limits and keep something back for yourself.
Where do you fall along the spectrum from taker to selfless giver (there’s a grid in the HBR article), at work and at home? I suspect most of us will self-report as self-protective givers, the sweet spot, but I also suspect that category covers a wide range from aiming to have everyone owing you just one more favor than you owe them, to being an almost-selfless giver who holds just enough in reserve to avoid burnout. And, I suspect most of us are closer to the selfless-giver end of the spectrum at home than at work.
Open-Plan Offices Are the Worst
My office recently changed to an open plan (other than for senior management) and I am struggling with it.
It was pitched to us as a way to improve collaboration and foster creativity. When pressed, management acknowledged it also resulted in cost savings.
A few thoughts –
- If we had been told this was, bottom line, a cost saving measure, instead of hearing spin about collaboration, creativity and innovation, would that have made the transition easier? Why the spin?
- As an attorney, my job is to provide legal advice and to discuss sensitive issues. I have real concerns about confidentiality and my client’s willingness to share information with me in an open setting where others may overhear. I could book a conference room (although those are limited), however that extra step may inhibit candid discussions. Call it the PITA factor.
- As an attorney, a good chunk of my job is reading really long documents, which requires a lot of focus. We have headsets but they are not noise canceling (again a cost saving measure). How am I going to function?
- I feel a loss of status in losing my office. I see this in my colleagues as well, moral is not good. While I have an assigned desk, some of my (non-legal) colleagues are “hot desking” – taking what is available. We’ve also been discouraged from personalizing our work area.
- I now have the option to work more from home. I don’t have a home office but have worked from home occasionally in the past. I usually get more done, including the laundry and the dishes =), but feel less connected. In the past I’ve been told face time is important for career advancement and to “lean-in”. (My company is big on buzzwords.) If more people are working from home, what does “leaning in” look like?
- I am an introvert. I am really concerned that I will be less productive and more exhausted at the end of the day.
- Are in person, telephone communications a thing of the past? How concerned are you about what’s in your e-mails?
How Wall Street titans Jamie Dimon, Warren Buffett, and Carl Icahn avoid using email
Have you transitioned to an open office? Any advice, tips? Any advice on working from home? Do you use e-mail extensively or limit its use?
McKinsey/Lean In’s report on women in the workplace just came out. What are Totebaggers’ thoughts?
Women in the Workplace 2016
Workplace Wellness Programs Are a Sham
Does your work have a ‘wellness program’? Is participation mandatory or voluntary? Do you like it? Hate it? Comfortable indifference?
by Honolulu Mother
We’ve all heard how dangerous it is to spend all day sitting, and it’s recently been reported that we should be getting at least an hour a day of moderate exercise to counteract the effects of sitting down the rest of the day. But finding the time is difficult.
This Thrillist article proposes that exercising at work should be normalized:
YOU SHOULD BE ABLE TO EXERCISE AT WORK WITHOUT FEELING LIKE A FREAK
I have a yoga ball, aka an adult hippety-hop, that I sit on from time to time, although I’m dubious as to whether that really does much for my core. I just like bouncing while I work. Other than that, I just try to walk out a bit at lunchtime and take the long way to and from the bathroom. I do think my colleagues would look a bit askance at deskside burpees, wall squats, and so forth.
How about the rest of you? I remember that Risley has her under-desk cycle — is it still working out well? Have others found a good way to get in a little exercise at work? And do you think exercising at work should be a thing?
This article caught my eye. One party was fired by their firm, the other was not fired by another firm and continues on.
On a radio show, I listen to callers describe situations and listeners and radio hosts guess whether they were fired or not. Many times, I have thought the callers must have gotten fired, but no – they carried on.
Have you been fired? Or know of situations where people should or should not have been fired?
Fifth Third Fired Counsel Over Relationship With Fannie CEO
by Honolulu Mother
When you take a random day off, do you put it on the calendar well in advance and make sure everyone knows you’ll be out that day? Or do you just quietly avoid scheduling anything and slip away for that day?
Nervous Employees Are Taking ‘Stealth Vacations’ Now
by Honolulu Mother
This Washington Post article reports that for women, having a groomed and coiffed appearance seems to bring higher pay, well beyond the halo effect of attractiveness in general. I guess that Ipsy subscription isn’t an indulgence, it’s an investment.
While men also get an attractiveness bonus, theirs doesn’t hinge so much on grooming per se:
They found that a substantial amount of attractiveness was the result of grooming, and here’s where they found gender differences, Wong says. “For women, most of the attractiveness advantage comes from being well groomed. For men, only about half of the effect of attractiveness is due to grooming.”
For women, on the other hand, it seems we look disheveled at our peril:
In fact, as the charts below show, less attractive but more well-groomed women earned significantly more, on average, than attractive or very attractive women who weren’t considered well-groomed.
When I picture a senior woman in my field, the look that comes to mind could certainly be described as well-coiffed. I wouldn’t say the men are not well-groomed, though; it may be simply that there’s a lower bar for men to clear there. Totebaggers, do you see this effect in your profession?
The end of the office dress code? Totebaggers, your thoughts?
The End of the Office Dress Code
Casual Friday and the ‘End of the Office Dress Code’
[Note: Great minds think alike! Louise sent in the same article with this comment:]
… But we can discuss all sorts of dress codes. School uniforms, prom fashions, guest at a party or wedding, bridal fashions, casual wear/athleisure – what’s acceptable, what’s not….
by Honolulu Mother
This Pacific Standard article on a 91 year old working as a designer was interesting, both because the woman herself sounds like an interesting and impressive person and also for the points it raised about whether our culture drives post-retirement-aged people away from potentially continuing to work and the effect on our workplaces:
We’ve marginalized a lot of populations based on blanket prejudices, and our attitude toward old people is no different, Irving says. “The ironic thing is that aging is the one thing we have in common, if we’re lucky.” All generations have to think about aging, since we’ll all be affected. The mixed workplace may help reduce these prejudices. By keeping older adults active and integrated in our communities—and by thinking about our communities as wholes, instead of as isolated pockets—we will all benefit from the knowledge and expertise that comes from lives lived with purpose and vigor.
Do you have co-workers who are post-retirement age? Would you like to keep working after normal retirement age?
Would you ever resign from your job before you have another one lined up? What about to move to a dream location, such as NYC or San Francisco?
What circumstances would need to be in place to have you even consider? As a single person only responsible for yourself? What about a sole breadwinner of a family?
If I did something like this I would need to dip into my home equity and/or 401k savings.
Health insurance would either be through COBRA or ObamaCare.
I am currently miserable where I am (the boss, not the work).
by Rocky Mountain Stepmom
What Google Learned from Its Quest to Build the Perfect Team
This is a long article about which work teams are successful, and why.
It has a lot to do with the soft skills of being able to read others’
facial expressions and body language and respond to those. I think there
are parallels for families, too. Do the conclusions seem correct to