Work-Life Strategies & Solutions

On the Evolution of Work Systems in the Digital Economy

Category Archives: Work-Life Balance

Flexible Working: Productive or Destructive?

The following content was submitted by Vervoe. The original article can be found here.

It’s a much-debated topic and a growing trend, but most companies still don’t seem to take a deliberate approach to flexible working. Instead, they just offer a vague middle ground of “flexible working” on a case by case basis.

There are strong arguments for encouraging remote working and, conversely, arguments for bringing everyone together under the one roof. As recent examples highlight, there is no “one size fits all” answer. The key is to tailor your company’s approach to your objectives, operating rhythm, desired culture and workforce composition.

Back to the office

Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer famously abolished working from home in 2013, saying that “people are more productive when they’re alone, but they’re more collaborative and innovative when they’re together. Some of the best ideas come from pulling two different ideas together.”

It’s a powerful argument. It also contains an inherent assumption that working from home increases productivity, which may not always be true. But Mayer had to do something to shake up Yahoo!’s culture and she put collaboration ahead of flexibility, which is what she felt the company needed at that point in time.

In 2014 Reddit decided to consolidate its workforce in one location, San Francisco, and abolished remote working. Reddit’s reasons were similar to Yahoo!’s.

More flexible companies

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15 Ways to Get Ahead During Your Lunch Break [Infographic]

The following content was submitted on behalf of Self Lender.

If you’re someone who struggles to maintain a good work-life balance, there’s a great opportunity you have every day that you may be missing out on: your lunch break. If you’re longing to get ahead in your personal, professional, or financial life, don’t work through your lunch break. Take the time to get up from your desk and do something else that matters to you.

From going on a jog to listening to an inspirational podcast, taking full advantage of your lunch break can actually make you more productive when you return to work. Knowing that you got to take the time to do something you love will help you become a more well-rounded person.

So now that you understand the significance of regularly taking a lunch break, how will you choose to use yours? If you’re in need of inspiration, this infographic from Self Lender will give you 15 ideas on how to make the most of your lunch break. Read more of this post

Special Feature: Why Every Office Should be a Home Office

Now here’s an interesting article about transforming your office into a home office. Ben Lempert’s article, Why Every Office Should be a Home Officeprovides various suggestions for making your office more comfortable, healthy, and conducive to focused work along with advocating for a results-oriented work environment. Take a look at this list and let me know what works for you!

Who doesn’t love a home office? You can show up to work in sweatpants, you can get your laundry done, and you can eat when and what you want. Honestly, it’s awesome.

There are plenty of articles out there telling you how to set up a home office to avoid distractions. But what happens when you have to work in — gulp — an actual office? You know, not at home?

My proposal: start thinking of every office as a “home office.” This means: make every office a place where you can be relaxed and productive, comfortable and focused.

How to do that? Here are some suggestions.

Read more at Why Every Office Should be a Home Office

A More Pleasant Breakdown of the Gender “Pay Gap” [Infographic]

Many have viewed, or heard of, that viral “car crash” of an interview between the now very famous Canadian clinical psychologist Jordan B. Peterson and Cathy Newman, English journalist and presenter for Channel 4 News. If you haven’t viewed it however, here it is:

Without delving into the entire back-and-forth, like Peterson, I too mentioned the different, naturally occurring rate in which the personality trait agreeableness/disagreeableness appears between men and women, collectively, as one factor contributing to the alleged pay gap. (See this Wiki article on agreeableness for more detailed explanation.) This section of What do you think about the recent Jordan Peterson interview? by Lynn Patra clarifies that this is a proportional, rather than an absolute, difference of a tendency between men and women:

When talking about personality differences between men and women collectively, [Cathy Newman] also displayed a frustratingly common misunderstanding that these are absolute differences instead of differences in proportion (i.e., the frequency) of an observed trait or tendency.

If I’d been in Peterson’s place, I think I would’ve slowed wayyy down and tried to illustrate what proportional differences between groups look like, for example (and this is a hypothetical example because I don’t know if a consensus exists with regard to the specific proportions of agreeableness/disagreeableness between groups – where A = agreeable and D = disagreeable):

Men: D, D, D, D, D, A, A, A, A, A

Women: D, D, D, A, A, A, A, A, A, A

For awhile, it seemed like Peterson and Newman were going around in circles about this. And I know a person doesn’t get it when I hear, “But women aren’t all the same!” or “But there are some women who aren’t like that!” as Newman expressed.

Of course, the “pay gap” results from a complex mixture of numerous factors. This interview inspired me to find an infographic that displays the multi-faceted reasons for the “pay gap.”  Some may find the following infographic, which was first published in 2016, to be provocative but it’s one of the better ones I could find. It certainly gives you plenty to chew on.

Via TopManagementDegrees.com

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What a Financially Comfortable, Successful, Laid-Back Professional Looks Like

Over the years I’ve noticed personality psychology related posts are visited most frequently. So, I’ll expand on a popular, though cryptic, post on particular facets of the Big Five’s Conscientiousness scale and success in various professional contexts. Whereas that post explains in abstract terms, this one provides a concrete (and personal) example. With the lazy days of summer ahead, I’ll discuss that which seems impossible, or at least improbable, for those who live life in the slow lane – laid-back, Type B people with high achievements and financial comfort.

It stands to reason, as popular culture tells us, that hard-driving folks enjoy more fruit from their labor than their counterparts do. It might be hard to believe financial comfort is achievable for the latter if I didn’t have a source of inspiration, a family member that I’m nearly a carbon copy of personality-wise.

Revisiting Posts on General Kurt von Hammerstein-Equord’s Wisdom & Lessons from Gaming Read more of this post

My Return to Blogging and Resolve to Use Time and Social Media Efficiently

During my hiatus, I reassessed my endeavors. One of the joys of maturing involves reconciling lofty dreams that drive you with life’s realities. Dreams keep life from seeming bleak and boring though awareness of time passing by compels you to estimate your chances of achieving them. For instance, I too wish to discover some way, within my own capabilities, to avoid trading time for money. However, realizing I might be wasting time thinking about this, I settled on hope that perhaps someday I’ll have an epiphany (and then I’d share it with you).

However, there are practical steps I can take to decrease wasted time. I thought about what good, realistically, could come of efforts to present myself as a professional online. Like many issues in life, potential results depend on many variables. Some tips follow. Read more of this post

Sitting Is Killing You [Infographic]

Just in time for Halloween season! Here are some scary figures illustrating some health consequences of spending much of our days seated. We have been hearing about the health hazards of sedentary office work more recently, so none of this may come as a surprise.

Sitting around watching television or engaging in computer-related activities during our free time is, of course, a choice that some of us make. Unless you have a standing desk or treadmill desk however, you’re likely required to spend most of your workday sitting if you are an office worker. It’s common for commuting to add another 1-2 hours to this, leading to the total of 9.3 hours spent sitting down per day as cited below. Telecommuting can make a difference by freeing up time that many of us need in order to fit in physical activity. While considering the option to telecommute, keep in mind that the good health of individual employees is also important for the organizations they work for.

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Truly need 10, 11, or even 12 hours of sleep per night? By all means, try to get it!

During the course of blogging, I’ve been surprised by how often my previous post about sleep, “Why I Stay Up Late and 3 Reasons You Should Too [Satire],” which celebrates the experiences of people with late chronotypes (also known as “night owls”), has been visited. To spread awareness about another aspect of sleep-wake biorhythms, this post presents information about why it’s important for those of us who truly need 10 or more hours of sleep a night (dubbed “long sleepers”) to get the sleep we need.

Before going further, I’d like to point out that it’s important to resolve any underlying issues (sleep apnea, depression, or other medical conditions) that may be causing someone to sleep for more hours than is normal. If medical conditions have been ruled out, if the long hours of sleep have been consistent and of high quality sleep throughout life, and if the sleeper wakes feeling refreshed, this individual might be a “long sleeper” – a category that describes about 2% of the population (see here). More facts about long sleeping from the American Sleep Association follow: Read more of this post

Making Virtual Work a Success for Employer and Employee

Better CollaborationThe next Better Collaboration video conferencing event on strategies for driving virtual workers’ productivity is coming up! The information that will be presented is geared towards organization leaders who’re interested in learning about the best tools and practices for virtual work arrangements. This event will take place on Wednesday, January 15, 2014, 2:00pm-3:00pm Eastern Standard Time/11:00am-12:00pm Pacific Standard Time. To register, please visit the Better Collaboration Meetup site. Details regarding this event follow: Read more of this post

Societal Structures Influencing Telework Adoption Rate

Previously, we explored cultural as well as psychological and sociological factors determining receptivity to telework implementation in various regions of the world. As you may have guessed, there are still more angles to explore. Here I’ll discuss some societal structures that impact telework adoption as outlined in Growing the Virtual Workplace: The Integrative Value Proposition for Telework by Alain Verbeke, Nathan Greidanus, and Laura Hambley with support from the recently published Remote: Office Not Required by David Heinemeier Hansson and Jason Fried. Read more of this post

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