Showing 205 posts tagged work

In this survey, 92 percent of IT personnel admitted that they did, indeed, sneak peeks — under the guise of doing their job, you understand — at the details buried in workers’ computers. The other 8 percent work in monasteries. At least that’s my assumption. Perhaps you won’t be surprised at the things these IT snoopers (42 percent of whom where female) see. Eighty-two percent observe the obvious — workers wafting onto social media sites of varying hues, rather than being what used to be called productive. Surely even work is social these days. Fifty-seven percent insist that a huge problem is e-mail attachments of dubious provenance being opened. I have no evidence that any of these IT managers work for US Airways. Fifty-two percent say that workers download games onto their office computers. And don’t get them started about the unauthorized USB and other devices that get plugged into the precious office machines. It seems there’s also a lot of pirating going on in office time and on office equipment; 45 percent said they had seen evidence. But perhaps the most enjoyable of all is observing just how many people in your office are applying for other jobs. Thirty-nine percent of IT managers said that, oh, yes, they’d seen job applications flying on work computers.

Big Brother really is watching you (It’s your IT manager) - CNET

The New Economics Foundation recently posited that a 21-hour work week might be the ideal point for an advanced economy, where paid work and natural resources would be more evenly distributed across a robust economy, solving problems from carbon emissions to gender relations and the quality of family life. “The Netherlands and Germany have a shorter workweek than the United States and Britain,” NEF researcher Anna Coote recently argued in the New York Times. “But the Dutch and German economies are stronger, not weaker. Workers on shorter hours tend to be more productive hour-for-hour. They are under less stress, they get sick less often and they make a more loyal and committed workforce.” But hold your applause, fellow proletarian: The efficacy of the shortened work week is far from proven. France moved to a 35-hour week in 2000, bringing the legal standard limit down from 39 hours. The goals of the shift were more of the same: a better division of labor, lower unemployment, and more personal time for workers to enhance their quality of life. But this gradual tightening of the work week didn’t work as intended.

Will We Ever Be Able to Enjoy a Shorter Work Week? - Pacific Standard: The Science of Society

France is not alone. Germany recently banned managers from calling or emailing staff after normal work hours, unless it’s an emergency. “Managers should apply a principle of minimum intervention into workers’ free time and keep the number of people whose spare time is disrupted as low as possible.”

French IT Employees Win Right to Unplug after Work and Other Fascinating News on the Web |

When I was an underpaid, over-worked, under-respected public school teacher, I never bragged about being busy. I just was," says Kim, who lives in San Francisco. "And I never bragged about what I was doing… I quietly wished I had my life back." She now works as an academic writing writing coach for students, and her schedule is a little less crazy. She said, "When I ‘busy brag’ now, it’s usually a passive-aggressive way of saying, ‘Hey, can you give me some kudos for all this effort I’m putting in?

We complain about being ‘too busy’ — but secretly we like it -

Pay Increases for Academic Professionals Outpace Inflation

The median base salary of professional staff members on college campuses rose by 2.1 percent this academic year, outpacing the 1.5-percent rate of inflation, according to an annual report being released this week by the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources.

For the first time since 2009-10, median salaries for professionals at public institutions climbed at a pace equal to that at private institutions, according to the report, suggesting that the effects of the economic recovery are spreading to more institutions.

Across all institutions, the overall median base salary increase in 2013-14 was slightly larger than the year before, when professionals’ salaries rose by 2 percent.

» via The Chronicle of Higher Education (Subscription may be required for some content)

Economists have noted how work hours for white collar, college-educated workers began to become extreme in about the 1980s, and at the same time, social surveys were picking up a heightened sense of economic insecurity in this same group. Some people say we’re working more because we want more stuff (like that stupid Cadillac commercial that made me so angry I wrote a piece about it). While it’s true that household debt and spending on “luxury” items have gone up at the same time, it’s also true that wages have been stagnating and the costs of basic things like health care, housing, and education have gone through the roof—the cost of college has blown up nearly 900 percent in recent decades. When was the last time anyone outside hedge fund managers and the 1 percent got a 900 percent raise? Against that backdrop comes technology and the ability to be connected 24/7 - which leads to a feeling of constantly being “on call,” that you can never quite get away from work, that the boundaries that used to keep work more contained have bled and spilled over into the hours of the day that used to be for family, for self, for leisure, for sleep.

America’s Workers: Stressed Out, Overwhelmed, Totally Exhausted - Rebecca J. Rosen - The Atlantic

The world of A.D. 2014 will have few routine jobs that cannot be done better by some machine than by any human being. Mankind will therefore have become largely a race of machine tenders.

Isaac Asimov, Visit to the World’s Fair of 2014 (1964)

The researchers found that there is only one aspect of work that “results in happiness levels that are similar to those experienced when not working”—casual interactions with colleagues. In other words, the only part of work we seem not rank above the flu is socializing at work. So if the best way to be happy at work is to chat with your colleagues, why aren’t we encouraging more socializing? Well, because it’s business. And business, for the most part, still operates under the principle of efficiency to drive productivity.

How The Knowledge Economy Is Redefining Work | Fast Company | Business Innovation

Boosting the skills and earning power of the children of 19th-century farmers and labourers took little more than offering schools where they could learn to read, write and do algebra. Pushing a large proportion of college graduates to complete graduate work successfully will be harder and more expensive. Perhaps cheap and innovative online education will indeed make new attainment possible. But as Mr Cowen notes, such programmes may tend to deliver big gains only for the most conscientious students. Another way in which previous adaptation is not necessarily a good guide to future employment is the existence of welfare. The alternative to joining the 19th-century industrial proletariat was malnourished deprivation. Today, because of measures introduced in response to, and to some extent on the proceeds of, industrialisation, people in the developed world are provided with unemployment benefits, disability allowances and other forms of welfare. They are also much more likely than a bygone peasant to have savings. This means that the “reservation wage”—the wage below which a worker will not accept a job—is now high in historical terms. If governments refuse to allow jobless workers to fall too far below the average standard of living, then this reservation wage will rise steadily, and ever more workers may find work unattractive. And the higher it rises, the greater the incentive to invest in capital that replaces labour. Everyone should be able to benefit from productivity gains—in that, Keynes was united with his successors. His worry about technological unemployment was mainly a worry about a “temporary phase of maladjustment” as society and the economy adjusted to ever greater levels of productivity. So it could well prove. However, society may find itself sorely tested if, as seems possible, growth and innovation deliver handsome gains to the skilled, while the rest cling to dwindling employment opportunities at stagnant wages.

The future of jobs: The onrushing wave | The Economist