Not only can workplace meetings be tedious, lengthy, and frustrating, but it turns out that they can also lower your IQ – this according to a new study by an American research team. Yes, all of that doodling, under-the-table texting, and zoning out (while trying to look like you are deeply engaged) is essentially making you dumber. Unless you’re one of the few people who actually pays attention to the entirety of a four hour meeting, in which case, kudos to you on your phenomenal attention span. But you’re getting stupider, too.
A team of researchers at the Virginia Tech Crilion Research institute found that the performance of people studied in IQ tests after meetings was significantly lower than the performance of others with evenly matched intelligence. "We started with individuals who were matched for their IQ. Yet when we placed them in small groups, ranked their performance on cognitive tasks against their peers, and broadcast those rankings to them, we saw dramatic drops in the ability of some study subjects to solve problems," said Read Montague, who led the study. "The social feedback had a significant effect."
How many times can you remember where you left work frustrated, thinking, “This isn’t worth it!" I’ve had that thought at least twice this week, and my job isn’t especially stressful. I can’t imagine how enlisted military soldiers feel.
They’re the group identified as having the most stressful job, according to CareerCast’s Job Stress Report, and yet they make about the same amount of money as a medical records technician, as The Star points out.
It’s not exactly six figures in either case - $35,580 for the former and $32,250 for the latter. That number might be fine if you’re responsible for keeping records (albeit records dealing with people’s health), but I suspect it starts to feel less than worth it when you’re fighting on the frontlines or dodging land mines, as CareerCast notes is required for enlisted soldiers.
May 1st is “a good day to be sick,” or so says two groups encouraging workers to call in ill en masse on May 1st, 2012. In a move reminiscent of the recent actions by Air Canada pilots, Torontonians are being asked to feign illness as a united body. In this case, workers would be uniting not against management, but against “the attacks of the one per cent.” I wonder if anyone actually thinks this stunt will change anything in the workplace (or the world, for that matter). I don’t see why one would.
"People are suffering with Harperitis and have serious headaches from Fordotrophy, which makes it really hard to work and make a living," says a press release, referring, of course, to Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, "They should call in sick on May 1…. A nice day in the sun will help." Do you know what really makes it hard to work and make a living? Being sick and unable to leave your home. So, faking sickness is not really something I support, despite the fact that the press release discusses the benefits of sunlight as a source of Vitamin D.
People management rule #1: Don’t fire someone by email.
People management rule #1.1: Especially don’t fire your whole company by email. By mistake.
We’ve all sent an email to the wrong person or hit “reply all” when we didn’t intend to. I’ve received some doozies where some person sent something that had a whole department saying, “What the…?” But I suspect a certain person at Aviva Investors in the U.K. is still hiding in the loo after one email mistake.
There are numerous benefits to a diverse workplace – everything from improving corporate culture and cooperation to attracting the best talent and creating a globally competitive workforce. But since we live in a world where things are most often measured by dollars and cents, diversity initiatives are still lacking in some companies. Perhaps a new study can change that, as it has recently been determined that the monetary value of diversity in the office is a six-figure number.
The study, co-authored by professors from Temple University, Rutgers University and Davidson College, found that retailers can boost annual earnings by as much as $100,000 by employing a racially diverse staff that mirrors their customer base. According to the study, stores where the racial make-up of employees mirrored the ethnic makeup of the community served earned an average of $94,000 more a year than stores with staffs that did not represent the community.
Women in the workplace have a whole new label to deal with: grey panthers. This is the moniker given women who choose to let their grey hair shine instead of covering it up with dye, according to MSNBC. The label given to grey-haired men? There isn’t one.
Of course there isn’t. Oh sure, there’s a “silver fox” here and there, but that label doesn’t really carry the same connotation. Men who go grey are distinguished, wise, even sexy. Women, apparently, just look old.
It seems like everyone is “pinning” these days. Decadent cupcakes, kids’ crafts, dream homes and décor ideas. Even men are getting in on the fun (though many don’t want to admit it). But can you use it to find a job or build a career? Sure! Here’s how.
1. Create a portfolio. If you’re an artist or crafter or interior designer or…pretty much anything, you can create a portfolio on Pinterest by pinning your work.
Have you ever thought about what organizer you are at work? Yeah, neither have I. But a new article in the Toronto Star identifies four main workplace types, determined by organizational style, and I thought it was interesting enough to try and find my office persona. I think I’m a “piler” with a bit of “nester” and “filer” thrown in for good measure. Since you likely have no idea what that means, I’ll do a quick summation of the four “types” for you. It is possible that you fit into none or all of these categories, created by Toronto professional organizer Isolde O’Neill.
Spreaders are highly intelligent, but somewhat disorganized. They are often artists, professors, or others with a head full of thoughts. Don’t ask me how artists and professors are at all alike. O’Neill lumps them together for some reason, so I’m just going to go with it.
I wouldn’t wish workplace harassment on anyone, but here is one example where the victim should be able to find the silver lining. An American woman was recently awarded the largest settlement ever for a workplace harassment case in the United States. So, what did she get? Oh, just $198 million.
It isn’t like I want to be harassed, but I can’t help but be envious of Ani Chopourian’s big payout. That said, some of the abuse she suffered is truly disgusting, and there really is no figure that would make such innapropriate actions okay. While I am sure that the funds offer solace now, I can’t even imagine how Chopourian felt while working in an abusive environment for two long years.