Category Archives: work

Here’s a half dozen pieces on Work and Working that I thought were good

For many, there is not much worth considering when it comes to work. For some, though, work and the nature of it is something they think about often. If you are one of those people, I think you will enjoy these links.

This piece on  comfort work by Austin Kleon is worth considering. Do you have work that comforts you? I think we all do.

People are still discussing Quiet Quitting. This article on quiet quitting argues it could be the result of a trust issue.

If you have worked in different jobs, you may have worked at a toxic one. You may be in one now. Either way, read this on how to recover from a toxic job.

And then this piece argues that “the strongest predictor of men’s happiness and well-being is their job satisfaction, by a large margin”. That surprised me.

Is the 4 day work week the next big thing? It could be, according to this.

I used to work with someone who was incredibly neat and particular about his desk. I think he would appreciate this desk mat (see above). I don’t know which is better: neat or messy. I guess it is whatever works for you.

Have a good work week.

How to succeed in business: make life better for people by taking advantage of new technology

What drives innovation? If we look at the most innovative companies in the last decade, we see innovation happening in areas such as:

Finance: Square, Venmo, Zelle
Communications: Spotify, Tiktok, Instagram, Slack
Logistics: Uber, Lyft

What underlies all those companies: the mobile phone. While the mobile phone is not synonymous with innovative companies,  those innovative companies I listed were able to capitalize on the capabilities of that device to vault themselves into leadership positions.

Mobile phones are not new on the whole, but the capabilities they provide in the last decade provided these companies with the means to innovate.

What else do all those companies have in common? With one of two exceptions, they all made life better for a large population of people. They made life more entertaining, they made it easier to work, to manage your money, to get in better shape, to cook well, to get around easier.

Companies that find ways to make life better for many people while taking advantage of new technologies will be successful companies. It seems obvious, but too often I see companies focused on the technology and not on making life better for people. You need both things to succeed. Obvious, not easy.

For more on this, see: The 16 most innovative new companies of 2010s.

 

 

 

Two useful tools for people who want to be productive but find their work day gets away from them

Do you find the work day slide by and you think: what did I even get done today? Or do you find yourself tracking what you are doing but finding that you lost focus on what you are supposed to be doing?

If so, David Seah has tool useful tools on his web site you can use:

  1. The Emergent Task Timer
  2. The Emergent Task Planner

The first tool is a good way to track what you even got done today. David has some good examples of how he uses it. Generally I like to put what I think my focus will be at the top, put administrivia work and breaks at the bottom, and put meetings etc in the middle. You only have room for 12 tasks, so if you find you have a lot of meetings, consider grouping them all into one task: Meetings. Or you may have two tasks: Client Meetings and Internal Meetings.  However you do it, don’t sweat it too much. The first few days you might find it hard to get everything done, but it gets easier over time.

The second tool is a good way to plan your day and try to keep it focused. It takes a bit more work, but it is good when you want to ensure you spent your time well. It can be handy if you are doing daily standups, because you can list the main thing you are working on at the top. Ideally you are spending most of your day working on that…if you are doing other things below it, chances are they are a blocker of some sort.

These are just two useful tools on David Seah’s web site. I recommend you take a few minutes to check out the rest of his site: you might find other things he has worthwhile. I know I have. I’ve been using his tools off and on since 2007, and wrote about how good they are.

Good luck with the tools. Here’s to being more productive this week.

P.S. If you need a timer, I recommend this site.

(Image: link to image on David Seah’s web site)

What makes you happy about your job. Think Maslow, not Brooks

Too often when I see pieces on work and what makes a good job, they downplay certain aspects, like pay or job title. That comes up in this piece by Arthur Brooks, How to Pick a Job That Will Actually Make You Happy, where he writes:

… this belief is based on a misunderstanding of what brings job satisfaction. To be happy at work, you don’t have to hold a fascinating job that represents the pinnacle of your educational achievement or the most prestigious use of your “potential,” and you don’t have to make a lot of money. What matters is not so much the “what” of a job, but more the “who” and the “why”: Job satisfaction comes from people, values, and a sense of accomplishment.

I don’t think he is wrong with this, I just think he is missing out on the bigger picture. The way to see the bigger picture is to focus on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs (shown above).

According to Maslow, we have several needs: basic needs, psychological needs and finally self-fulfillment needs. The lower needs are simple and obvious: the higher ones are complicated.

Our jobs provide for some or all of these needs. For example, our work environment should provide us with our basic needs, while our pay satisfies both basic and psychological needs. Things like job titles, promotions, awards, perqs, and other acknowledgements also help with psychological needs. As for the work itself, and the things Brooks is discussing, they satisfy our self-fulfillment needs. If you are fortunate, you have a job that provides for all those needs to a high degree.

That said, we all measure our needs differently. For people who work dangerous outdoor jobs, their basic needs may not be met nearly as well as someone who works in a warm office. For those outdoor workers, the satisfaction from the work itself (e.g. rescue work, emergency repair work) may more than make up for the discomfort and difficulty they face. Likewise, for a person working in an office, doing interesting work that fulfills their potential may be much more important than promotions and pay raises and other things their co-worker with different psychological needs has.

In Brooks’s piece, he emphasizes self-fulfillment needs and minimizes basic and psychological needs. That’s a common mistake, and the reason people might become dissatisfied with their job, even though on the surface what they have appears to be a great job. We all know about people quitting because of bad management: in that case you can see people’s needs at all levels not being met. But people can also struggle because they have a conflict that some of their needs are being met while others are not. For example, people can have a good job with lots of benefits, but it is very unfulfilling, or they can have a good job that is very fulfilling but it doesn’t meet their basic needs.

The best job can fulfill all of your needs to a satisfactory level. That’s the job that will make you happy, not just a job that satisfies your top needs. When you look to work at a new place, make sure you can get all your needs met to the level you need. You’ll be much happier.

Want to make employees more productive. Do this, not the other thing…

If you are a manager and have or planning to have trackers on your employee’s computers to see how productive they are, I have an alternative and better suggestion.

The suggestion? Use your Office software to see how many meetings your employees are in. There is an inverse correlation between the number of meetings they are in and how productive they are. (Worse, when employees are trying to be productive by multitasking in meetings, people running the meetings will sometimes criticize them for not paying attention.) If you can reduce the number of meetings your employees are in, your employee productivity will increase, I assure you. (Can you make it increase even further? Yes. Give them S.M.A.R.T. targets and do whatever you can to help them achieve them. That will be another post.)

Meetings are a necessary evil for work: you need them, but not too many. Anyone managing people should review the meetings their employees are in and find ways to cut them out like bad clutter. And if they can’t eliminate the meetings, have fewer of them and make them shorter. One way to do that is use tools that default to shorter times. Software like Microsoft Teams makes the default meeting size 30 minutes. Years ago software I had would make the default meeting size 60 minutes. Guess what? We had lots of 60 minute meetings. Ideally software would take the default meeting size down to 20 minutes: that would give back at least 20 minutes / hour to employees, and more would get done.

For more on the problems of spying on your employees, see this piece in the WSJ: More Bosses Are Spying on Quiet Quitters. It Could Backfire.

P.S. Microsoft Viva can provide some of this information. For more on that tool, go here.

How to say “no” at work, why boundaries are important, and a very special mute button

To be effective at work, give your best, and not burn out, you need to learn to say “no”. Now if it were as easy as saying “no”, you wouldn’t be reading this. 🙂 Given that, here’s some good advice on how to say no at work without saying no.

I’d add that you want to get to say “yes” as much as possible. However, you want to say “yes” in such a way that doesn’t cause you to be ineffective, burnout or quit. That’s no good for you or your employer. To do that, say “yes” in a reasonable context. Instead of starting by saying “no, I can’t do that this week”, trying saying “yes, I can do that next week / month / etc”. Saying “yes + better alternative” is one way to get to yes for both parties.

That said, sometimes you will have to just say no. Remember, when you say yes to One Thing you are often implicitly saying no to Other Things. Make those Nos more effective.

As an aside, you could always say Yes and then never do it, like Mel Brooks did! But I don’t advise that. 🙂

Speaking of say “no”, here’s a piece on bosses who promise jobs with a coveted perk: Boundaries. Two things on that. One, boundaries are a good way of saying No in advance. Two, boundaries are more common than the WSJ lets on. Your salary is a boundary. Your office situation is a boundary. Scope statements, terms and conditions in contracts, and agreements: all are boundaries. Boundaries are important for EVERY aspect of your work. Don’t let anyone tell you different. Boundaries make work better for everyone. Make sure the people you work with respect them. Go work elsewhere with other people if they don’t (thereby establishing a new boundary).

In other business links, here’s more on quiet quitting, which is a passive way of saying no. And here’s a very sophisticated mute button, which seems related. 🙂

(Image: link to page on Austin Kleon’s blog)

 

 

 

Up and at ’em! Here’s some good stuff on remote work, office work, quiet firing and more


Hey, welcome back to work. Here’s some things to think about as you start (postpone?) your work day and work week:

Quiet Firing: first there was a trend about quiet quitting. Now there is a new thing: quiet firing. You can read about it here at huffpost and life hacker. I don’t know if this is a real trend or just something the next gen of workers are noticing. My take: if you are being sidelined or ignored, look for ways to discuss it with your boss or your HR people. You are responsible ultimately for your career, but you should also be getting the support you need to succeed. If you aren’t getting that support, you need to take action.

Remote work: One form of action you can take is to go and work some place else. If you want to remain a remote worker, consider these 10 companies that will let you work from anywhere and are hiring now . Or review this list of most in demand work from anywhere jobs. You are going to get pressured to go back to the office because …spurious reasons. Consider your options.

Office work: if you are looking forward to going back into the office, don’t forget: open office plans are awful and this piece reminds you why. Even if you work in a good location, you also need to consider how to deal (once again) with work distractions . You can’t ignore the coworker who sits in your workspace the way you can ignore you coworkers on Slack, I’m sorry to say.

Side-hustles: Maybe you plan to start up a side hustle? If so, read this, how to successfully bootstrap your startup , and this, is your side hustle is causing burnout? What to do before you quit.

In general: consider this,  is work intrinsically good?. Remember what Toni Morrison said about work. And finally, update your LinkedIn work profile.

Go get ’em.

Are you bad at taking vacations? If you are American, chances are you are


I am on vacation this week for a long overdue time off. In that regard, I am like many of my American counterparts. As this piece shows, Americans don’t get much vacation time. Worse, they are bad at taking it. As for why that is, it says Americans…

  • felt they couldn’t adequately disconnect from work while on vacation
  • thought they wouldn’t feel relaxed or connect with loved ones
  • anticipated negative outcomes, such as feeling stressed or having financial burdens.

As someone who has worked with many Americans, that all rings true.

There’s a joke on the Internet that Europeans will take off the whole summer for vacation, while Americans are available to take a business call during surgery. An exaggeration, but not that far off.

For more on this, see: U.S. vacation time is short and Americans don’t use it wisely.

Get some time off. You and the people you work with will benefit.

How’s work?

Work can be uplifting, especially if you have good leadership like that of Barack Obama, who knew the importance of such things as play at the office. Such work can be rewarding, not just financially but in spirit.

To have that type of work, you need good management, not just at the highest levels, but all through your organization. Unfortunately, no one wants to work in middle management anymore. At least according to that piece. Indeed, many women in general are giving up on work ambition in general. That’s too bad. Good workplaces need good leaders to be successful.

Perhaps as a result of all, we see dissatisfied employees who are “quiet quitting”. It doesn’t help that they are being forced to return to the office when they don’t want to. It also doesn’t help when you have people like Malcolm Gladwell going on about how working for home is bad (unless you are the hypocrite known as Malcolm Gladwell).

Mind you working from home can also be tough, as companies are dumb enough to think they can make people more productive by using employee monitoring. That’s the worst form of leadership.

If you are suffering at work, then you may want to read this account of how quitting a job changed their Work-Life Balance.

Finally, while it’s not for everyone, if you have considered being an entrepreneur, I recommend the site for Justin Jackson

It’s Monday. Do you dream of labor? Not if you are this group or Beyoncé

Chances are, if you are a young person, you do not. At least according to this: Gen Z’s war on modern-day work – Vox

I was skeptical when I first started reading it. I thought: Gen Z are just another generation dealing with their first few years of work. And that’s true, but there’s much more at play than just that. Things like the number of recessions that they’ve been through, a pandemic, the high/impossible cost of home ownership, and more.

It’s worth a read. Especially if you are in a position of employing young people.

With that, I give you Beyoncé and her big summer hit about….work. And more:

For more on that, see how Beyonce’s Break My Soul Inspires People To Quit Jobs. Very relevant to the above piece.

P.S. Relatedly, here’s a list of the Top 10 books about terrible jobs over at The Guardian. That might not seem appealing, but it is a list of very good books. It might appeal to those of you, Gen Z or not, who also do not dream of labor.

It’s Monday. Let’s look at how work is changing in the summer of 2022


Work has changed alot since the pandemic. People are somewhat returning to the office, though I have seen reports of it being less than 50%. As a result, you have pieces like this, talking about places trying to get people to come to the office three days a week. Should one of those days be Friday? Fuggitaboutit. As WaPo explains, nobody wants to be in the office on Fridays. Finally this piece argues you should come in for your own benefit. Ummm, maybe.

So we will still work from home for the next while. That’s fine by me. If staying on mute is a problem, you might need this Mute Me Button.

Maybe you should quit your job. The BBC makes the case for job hopping. That’s not always an option for people. How about this: Could the quiet quitting trend be the answer to burnout? What you need to know. Hopefully you have good bosses and will recognize that you need support. More likely they are too busy and you are own your own.

Good luck with things. You will need it.

Want to be more organized next week? Start with your desk

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If you are like me, your desk gets cluttered and disorganized at times. We all could use some help. To aid you, here are some nifty desk organizers to create the most efficient desk space for you from the good people at Yanko Design. Some of them are very practical, and some of them are very cool, like this:

All are worth a look.

The best way to organize your desk is to clear it off. The next best way is to get organizers that keep it tidy.

An office with a view. Or maybe it’s time to pack it in and go work from Italy….


What’s that you say…work from Italy? Well according to lonelyplanet.com

If you’re a remote worker looking for a change of scene, consider the possibility that before long you could be working from the sunny terrace of a hilltop town or beachside city in Italy. Italy’s government is planning to launch a new “digital nomad” visa to encourage foreigners to spend a year working there remotely. According to The Local, a government decree was first introduced in January and voted into law on March 28.

The idea of a digital nomad visa is a great one. And there are lots of great companies that are embracing full remote. If you can handle the difficulties of the time zones and you have some Italian in you, then maybe Florence is in your Future. Andiamo!

On rethinking work

Work takes up a significant portion of your life. To me, it is something we should always be examining, if we care about our lives.

This is especially the case during this pandemic. I think we all have been examining work as a result of it. as a result of  how we have had our working lives disrupted. That’s a good thing.

I expect employers are going to want us to resume working as if it were the Before Times. Maybe you are one of those employees who wants to go back to that time. Maybe you aren’t.

All that is to say that I recommend you read these two pieces as you reexamine your work life:

We sometimes need prompts to help us think about things. Those two pieces will help with that.

Thinking about your work life is thinking about your life in general. A worthwhile thing to do.

Here’s eight good pieces reflecting the state of work these days

I wanted to say the state of work is in flux these days due to the pandemic, but I have to admit that work is always in a state of flux, regardless of what is going on in the world. Here’s eight pieces that reflect that:

  1. According to VOX,  employees don’t want to return to the office . If the pandemic had lasted less than a year, we might not have seen this. But two years later, many people have adjusted and settled.
  2. Still, some are going back to the office. It will be interesting how this looks in a year.
  3. For those working at home, try and find an employer that does not use such surveillance. Such companies do not care about you at all.
  4. If you are going to look for a new job, here’s how to get your resume past the robots .
  5. If you are considering how to balance work and non-work, here may be the best thing ever written about “work-life balance” according to Austin Kleon .
  6. Whatever you do, do not write open letters complaining about your employer, especially AT WORK. Sheesh. I know I am old, but this is a terrible idea and I am not surprised that SpaceX fired the open letter writers.
  7. Here’s a good piece on how the billable hour is a trap into which more and more of us are falling. For some jobs, the billable hour is important. But find other ways to show your value to your clients, your employer and your co-workers.
  8. And finally, whatever you do, remember that you are more than your job title. 

So you are thinking of quitting your job during the Great Resignation. If so, read this

If you are thinking of walking away from your job these days,  you are not alone. As the WSJ says:

The ‘Great Resignation’ is on. Here’s what to do about your finances before embarking on the slowdown you’ve been craving.

Wait! You haven’t thought of your finances before quitting? Well stop for a second and read this: How to Prepare Your Finances Before Quitting Your Job – WSJ.

Change is good. Well thought out change is better. So get your finances in place and then make your move. Good luck!
(Photo by Rodion Kutsaev on Unsplash )

How we work is not good for us

Likely in a few hundred years people will look back at us and wonder how we could be so screwed up when it comes to work. If you are reading this while you have the Sunday Scarries, you likely won’t need much convincing.

If you do need convincing, then read these two pieces:

There are benefits that we as individuals get out of work. But we need to seriously question and challenge how good those benefits are in comparison to the drawbacks.

Many of us are becoming less religious in the 21st century. We recognize some of the benefits, but the drawbacks of it are too great to keep us religious. If you were to go back in time 500 years ago, most people would have thought this inconceivable, that we would give up on religion. Well, what those people think of religion then we think of work now.

If you do have the Sunday Scarries, I don’t envy you. But at least you know the problem is not you, it’s work.

(Photo by Alex Kotliarskyi on Unsplash)

End of university watch

classroom

It’s tempting to think that colleges and universities will start to see a major decline as a result of the pandemic. I think they will take a hit as a result of it, but I don’t think their demise is anywhere near. As this piece argues, people will take great lengths to take part in post-secondary educational experiences, pandemic or not: Why Did Colleges Reopen During the Pandemic? – The Atlantic

More than ever, the pandemic has made clear that major changes are required for post secondary education. Even before the pandemic, too many people waste their time and money going to university just so they can get a job. That’s wrong, but many employers demanded it. Fortunately, that is changing, as this piece shows:  14 companies that no longer require employees to have a college degree

Going to university is a good experience. Ideally I think university programs should split bachelor programs into 2. After two years, students could get some form of completion certificate. From there, they could go on to two more years of university study and complete their bachelor program, or they could switch to a vocational school and get something applied. (Or skip university all together.)

University isn’t for everyone. It should definitely not be something you need to start a job. A vocational school is fine for that. Indeed, most workplaces train people on the job once they hire them. Why wait for people to study something irrelevant to your profession?

P.S. Employers need radical rethinking of how they hire people. To see what I mean by radical, read this: This Company Hired Anyone Who Applied. Now It’s Starting a Movement.

(Photo by Changbok Ko on Unsplash)

On my tweeting and my working

Someone today highlighted my tweeting while working. I thought it useful to explain how I work and how tweeting fits in.

For the past many years I have mostly worked in solitude. I get assignments and projects where I am mostly working by myself. I have some meetings where I talk to people, but 50-90% I don’t speak with anyone, day in and day out.

For many people that would be unbearable, but mostly I like it. Mostly. I do like to have company and I do like to stay in touch with the world. For that I use work tools from time to time. But I also use twitter.

On days where I am not slammed with work, I will use the pomodoro approach. I will set a timer for 15-25 minutes (depending on how good or bad my ADD is that day). Then I will take a 5 minute break and check out and respond on twitter. Then I will set a timer again. By doing this, I can get my brain to stay focused. I can do my work in focused spurts and then let my squirrelly brain go for a few minutes.

I have found by doing this I am the most productive I can be. So if you think, “how can this guy be productive if he is on twitter all the time?”, well, now you know.

P.S. If you say “why can’t you just stay focused like me”, I can just say my brain isn’t like yours. You may as well ask: “how come you can’t be the same height as me?”

(Photo by Chris J. Davis on Unsplash)

If you want to recreate a cubicle in your home, you can (but why would you??)

Hey, if you are really really really missing your office cubicle (why?) and you want to recreate that at home (why??), you can, with this:

Cubicle at home

It’s called the Hug desk, and you can read about it, here.

Please try and make a nice work place in your home instead. I wrote about home offices to die for, here.  These are much better to recreate, imho.

 

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It’s Monday. The first thing you should do is tackle your todo list

Because as this piece argues: Your To-Do List Is, in Fact, Too Long.

I know mine is. Yours likely is too. And if you are using your inbox as an organic todo list, I am sure it is too long.

That piece argues for one way of dealing with it. To me, I think there are several ways. Here are some:

  1. Write down 1-3 things on your list that you can definitely accomplish today. Meetings count. So does research and education. Lunch too.
  2. Write down 1 hard thing and 1 fun thing to do from your list. Do that hard thing, then reward yourself with the fun thing.
  3. Park your old todo list somewhere. Come up with a new list. On the bottom of it, write down: revisit my old list later in the day. You will discover two things: one, you did things on it even if you couldn’t bear to write them down now; two, the things you actually did were more important than the things on your list.
  4. First thing on your todo list: create two new lists. One list is all the things on your todolist you can avoid doing for a month; the other list are things you have to do this month. Second thing on your todo list: for the second todo list, write down the least amount of things you have to do to push all the items off until the next month. After you do this, your list will shrink considerably.
  5. Don’t write anything down first, just start working. Every time you get something done in a period of 15 minutes or more, write it down. That was your todo list all along: you just couldn’t write it until you started.

Image via Donald Giannatti

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On the difficulty of meaningless work

I thought this piece was  insightful and worth reading:  Too Many Jobs Feel Meaningless Because They Are.

One of the examples from the piece was especially insightful:

Consider the case of Eric, a history graduate hired to oversee a software project ostensibly intended to improve the coordination of different groups in a large firm. Eric only discovered after several years on the job that one of the firm’s partners had initiated the project, but that several others were against it and were acting to sabotage its success. His job — and that of a large staff hired beneath him — was a meaningless effort to put into place a change that most of the company didn’t want.

This is not to imply that all companies are like this. Companies can be efficient and well aligned and the vast majority of the people in it can feel like the work they are doing make a difference most of the time. However there are also companies which are not well aligned and there are conflicts within the organization. When that happens, the work being done may be meaningless, despite the fact that someone wants it done.

Work can be hard for a number of reasons: too much of it,  difficult people to work with, etc. But it can also be hard if it is meaningless, even if everything else is good.

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It’s Friday. Time to assess your work week. Here’s something to consider

A good work practice is to take some time on Friday and assess what went well this week and what could be improved next week. A great thing to assess is the value your work provides to yourself and others. Clearly if you feel your work has no value, then that’s something you want to address as a top priority.  But that’s not enough. If you feel your work is of low value, then read this article: Stop Doing Low-Value Work.

That article makes the case for why you don’t want to be doing low value work. Sure your boss might not care and sure you may be comfortable, but come on, you can do better and you and your boss will be happy when you do.

Read the article. Assess your week. Do better next week. Now enjoy the weekend.

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Thinking about work (especially if you are not motivated)

If you don’t feel like working this Monday, you can at least read some pieces about work that might help you get motivated.

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“Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business” – a review in the NewYorker


For fans (or critics) of productivity books, here’s a review of  “Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business” in The New Yorker.

It’s a good review of such a book. Better than the usual synopsis. Also good to think about on a Monday as you roll into work and figure out how you are going to tackle – or avoid – the week and what it entails.

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LARPing your job: a guide to thinking about how we work now


The nature of work is always changing, and if you want to think about how we work now, I recommend this piece: LARPing your job.

Work has always been performative. With more flexibility and less well defined jobs, this becomes more and more important. How do you show your value? How do you demonstrate you are working hard (or working at all)? That piece addresses that. As for the title, if you want to know what LARPing is, you’ll have to read the piece. 🙂

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Is Slack the end of email?

Slack may not be the end of email, but some version of it is likely going to result in a decline in email. If it won’t be slack, it might be one of the ones mentioned here:

Speaking of Google, the company has a Slack alternative of its own, called Hangouts Chat, as does Facebook, in Workplace. Microsoft has Teams, which is bundled with its Office software and which the company says is being used by more than 500,000 organizations. This multi-front attack on email is just beginning, but a wartime narrative already dominates: The universally despised office culture of replies and forwards and mass CCs and “looping in” and “circling back” is on its way out, and it’s going to be replaced by chat apps.

I doubt email will go away forever: that’ not how tech works. Dominant tech tends to fade away rather than outright collapse. That’s likely what will happen with email.

Will Slack et all be better? Good lord, no. Just different. Some aspects of it are better, and many aspects will be worse than email.

For the curious, here’s more on this idea:  Slack Wants to Replace Email. Is That What We Want? – The New York Times

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What is the best age to launch that start up?


Did you guess 50? No? If you didn’t you should read this: A Study of 2.7 Million Startups Found the Ideal Age to Start a Business (and It’s Much Older Than You Think) | Inc.com

Key quote:

And in general terms, a 50-year-old entrepreneur is almost twice as likely to start an extremely successful company as a 30-year-old. (Or, for that matter, a successful side hustle.)

It’s never too late to pursue that business dream.

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Able to work remotely? Forget working from home: go work around the world. Here’s how

Thanks to the folks from Roam, you can do just that. It sounds appealing. To find out more, check out:  Forget Coworking—These Coliving Spaces Let You Travel the World For $1,800 a Month – Dwell

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Would you like to work from home all the time? Consider this…

If you would like to work from home all the time, then you owe it to yourself to go here:  Remote Jobs: Developer, Design, Writing, Customer Support & More

Lots and lots of jobs you can apply for that let you work remotely. Worth a look!

(Image via pexels.com)

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Truly great MacOS apps for working remotely

I’m often disappointed by lists of software that supposedly help me work better. This is not one of those lists. I think the tools here are really great, and anyone with a Mac that works remotely should definitely check out this:  These Are the 8 Best MacOS Apps for Working Remotely | Inc.com

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A fascinating study of worker engagement worldwide

The big takeaway from this fascinating article, Engagement Around the World, Charted, is that people who work on teams are significantly more engaged than people who are not.

But note the diagram above: working from home also makes people more engaged.

All managers and HR groups should take a look at this and proceed accordingly if they want higher employee engagement.

17 things you should do as soon as you get laid off (and here’s hoping you don’t)

Here’s hoping you don’t get laid off, but if you do, keep this in mind: 17 things you should do as soon as you get laid off | Business Insider India

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My last work project…

is written up, here:  ATB Financial, IBM partnership focuses on digital transformation in banking | IT Business. 

It was a great project, with a great team, a great client, and a great working environment. All around great. I am glad I had the opportunity to do it.

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Senior Citizens Are Replacing Teenagers as Fast-Food Workers. Some thoughts.

Worth reading: Senior Citizens Are Replacing Teenagers as Fast-Food Workers – Bloomberg.

Some thoughts:

  • the reasons to hire older workers for fast food places is also true for other work as well.
  • the notion of retirement needs to be rethought. People are living lives well past traditional retirement ages, and some people retire involuntarily decades before they die.  Additionally, many of them cannot afford to not work all that time. Having work and an income in their later years makes sense.
  • Good work is uplifting. If you can find good work as you get older, you can find a way to make your later years more worthwhile.

 

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The state of meetings

I’ve had this saved from some time ago but I want to post it for two reasons: The Modern Meeting: Call In, Turn Off, Tune Out – The New York Times.

One reason is just as a placeholder for how work is now in this time period. I will be happy to go back in five or ten years from now and see how much has changed.

The second reason is that no matter what happens in five or ten years from now, people who work in offices will always struggle with meetings. There is no solution to effective meetings: there is only managing your time and how best to be effective in the time you are working and meeting. If you work with people, you will have meetings. Nowadays you have too many meetings and you need to manage them and your time as best as you can.

Once meetings were hard to schedule. There were no digital calendars, no videoconferencing. You had to call or talk to someone and arrange to meet them, they would write it down on a piece of paper, and then physically show up and have the meeting. You likely worked with a limited number of people. And even then, even though they were hard to set up, meetings were a pain. Meetings will always be a pain. If they weren’t occasionally useful, no one would ever have them.

But meetings are occasionally useful. Sometimes they are essential. As long as people work together, there will be meetings. If you are working on many different things with many different people, you will have many meetings. Try to be as effective as you can in them. For those holding the meeting, don’t expect so much of people: get what you can and then end the meeting.

Want to be a great boss or leader? Make sure you do these nine things

These nine activities, listed here: swissmiss | The Bosses We Remember are nine things great bosses or leaders do continually. If you had one or more great bosses, then you likely saw that person do many of them. As you become more senior, you should do them too.

(Image via pexels.com)

How to work wellness into your work day

A good thing to consider as you start your week is: does your work day contribute to staying well, or does it do the opposite? One way to know is to compare you typical workday to something like this one: How To Schedule Wellness Into Your Workday And Still Get Stuff Done.

You don’t need to do all the things in that article, but if you do none of them, consider incorporating some of them into your work day. I believe you will see your attitude towards work improve and your workday will feel better.

Work / life balance is important. But having a work routine that is balanced in itself is a better way to enjoy your work and stay healthy, especially during the winter months.

Monday goal: stop using business jargon


Something to consider for the work week is to try and not use any of the phrases found in this piece. I can’t say I agree with their substitutions. Best to leave the cliches behind and strive for clear English.

Once we get rid of all the bad business cliches, we can strive to clean the world of bad office stock photos like the one above 🙂

P.S. If you don’t use those cliches, that’s great. Another thing to consider is starting a bingo card and score it every time you see or hear one of those cliches at work. Chances are you will fill your card by Friday.

How to skip the Monday Blues, take off Wednesday, pace yourself throughout the week and other week hacks

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If you suffer from the Sunday blues, whereby you spend Sunday evening dreading the upcoming week, I recommend you read this: Skip Monday Blues with Sort-Your-Life-Out Sundays – 99U. It is one way to hack your time and enjoy it more.

Another good hack is the making Thursday night the start of the weekend. Consider some of the things you enjoy doing on the weekend and schedule them for Thursday evening. Even people with jam packed weeks can do this occasionally. You still have to go in to work on Friday, but you feel you already have gotten a start on the weekend. It makes the weekend seem less stressed, at least for me.

Finally, if you feel every week is one busy day after another, try making Wednesday a night of putting everything down and just relaxing. Either pare back the things you’d normally do on Wednesday, or shift some of it to another day.

Ultimately you want to figure out how to do less throughout the week in order to enjoy each of the days in themselves, be they busy or slow. If you do that, the days you have to do things will help you enjoy the days you do not.

Pace yourself and enjoy yourself.