Work-Life Strategies & Solutions

On the Evolution of Work Systems in the Digital Economy

Monthly Archives: March 2013

L. P.:

“You’re like that stubborn mule who moves forward when you want her to back up and backs up when you want her to move forward.” This was a recent remark about my contrarian mindset by a long time friend who is one of the few privy to my deepest nature. Indeed, I’ve often dealt with social pressure to go along with a group by digging in my heels and doing the opposite of what’s desired just because I find social pressure odious. I’ve managed to stifle this part of myself at work so successfully that I can’t think of anyone who would suspect that I’m not the “cooperative team player” type. Due to the social undesirability issue, it takes guts to admit this as bloggers like Bruce Byfield noted. However, as his blog post explains, when you dig deep and think about how weaknesses are also strengths it becomes evident that there really is an appropriate place, a role, for each and every person in the world of work… even if you’re not a cooperative team player!

Also, check out what these other writers have to say on this subject!

I’m Not a Good Team Player… And That’s a Good Thing

Why hearing “you are not a team player” isn’t such a bad thing

It’s Okay Not Being a Team Player

Originally posted on Off the Wall:

OK, I confess: I am not a team player – at least, not in the sense that the expression is usually used around an office.

This admission is so burdened with nasty connotations that finding the courage to make it has taken most of my adult life. Nobody ever says so in as many words, but the implication is that something is wrong with you if you are not a team player.

In an office setting, not being a team player means that you are uncooperative, unwilling to make sacrifices for the sake of the company for which you work, and probably first in line to be fired. It suggests that something is deeply wrong with you, and that maybe you have other nasty habits as well.

In many ways, the usage reminds me of the admonition by a crowd to be a good sport. In both cases, the implication…

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This or That? Work-Life Preferences Survey

From each of the following 4 pairs, select one answer:

This survey is based on: Read more of this post

L. P.:

Boredom at work is one issue that many people I’ve encountered don’t take seriously. Some have even asked me, “How can you be bored when you have so many repetitive tasks to do all day?” The answer is explained very well in a post by Alex Hagan. This post contrasts the roots of boredom with the roots of anxiety at work. The issue of establishing a work environment that would facilitate engagement and the experience of “flow” is also discussed alongside an interesting look at how the typical environment at Las Vegas casinos is designed to keep people immersed in activity there.

Originally posted on Strategic Workforce Planning:

Does Las Vegas have anything to teach Employers about employee engagement?

I’ve recently been reading about “flow”, a state of extreme focus and productivity – and the lengths that Las Vegas casinos will go to in encouraging it.  This got me thinking about how Flow could be applied to the workplace, and whether Las Vegas has anything to teach employers about it.

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Announcement: Source Materials List & Upcoming Features


Hip (Photo credit: wasoxygen)

This is a general announcement to notify readers that a comprehensive list of links to research studies, scholarly articles, white papers, and various documents covering on this blog is now available. As stated on the Source Materials page, I will continue to update this list as I find more material. So check back if you don’t find what you’re looking for or feel free to make requests and I will see what I can find.

It’s proven tougher for me to post more regularly as I’m in the midst of a work-life transition, however I’ve arranged to feature an artist’s rendition of the Industrial Age office work lifestyle as well as social commentary that revolves around associated problems (e.g., stress, boredom, etc.). Read more of this post

The New Groupthink: A Case Against the Call for Collaboration for the Sake of Creativity

Introverts like myself heave a huge sigh of relief upon reading Susan Cain’s new book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking. In the chapter titled, “When Collaboration Kills Creativity,” Cain explains the origins of this recent, increased call for in-office collaboration and presents compelling research studies that run counter to the assumptions and reasons behind the move towards the open office plan and the usually, taken for granted requirement for employees to work collaboratively in teams. Yes, I’ve always loathed projects that required teamwork in school and, although I can’t speak for everyone, I’ll say that I’ve always come up with creative ideas on my own while group brainstorming always inhibited idea generation. Read more of this post

Another Look at Employment Gaps, Responsibility, and Objectivity

“They just think that you might have a problem with drugs or alcohol,” a friend explained, “They don’t want to hire someone with that sort of problem.” So, employment gaps carry a negative stigma even though people have a wide variety of reasons for taking a few years off here and there. Due to the recession, potential employers have become more understanding as more people have them now, so I hear. However, well-meaning friends and relatives will urge you to cover them up with some story if you don’t already have a conventionally acceptable excuse to take a break. You can also gauge how much of a concern employment gaps are to those that have them by conducting an Internet search on how to explain them. Read more of this post


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