A 60-something instructor at a major university was working on a project with an undergraduate student. The student complimented the instructor on her proficiency with technology. The student thought he was paying a compliment to the instructor. The instructor was offended because she believed the implication was that her skills were good “for someone her age,” playing into the stereotype that all Baby Boomers struggle with technology. Little did the student know that the instructor serves on the boards of several technology companies and is a former CEO of a tech company. (more…)
Internships are a great way to prepare for your future. They can help you discover if the job path you’ve chosen is the right one for you, expose you to the professional world, and equip you with skills, experience and knowledge for a successful career. Since internships are usually one of the first experiences for students in the professional working environment, they can seem a bit daunting. To help ease the nerves, here are five tips I learned during my summer internship to ensure you get the most from your experience. (more…)
You might not think of your workplace as a health hazard, but the effects of sitting all day at the office, grabbing a handful of candy as you walk by your coworker’s desk every day, and not drinking enough water are just a few of the unhealthy habits that can take a toll on your health. Here are three Quality of Lifehacks that can make for a healthier you in the workplace and a more productive workday. (more…)
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In the past, workplaces were designed with the employer in mind. The goal was to get the most productivity out of each employee—often without taking into account the quality of those employees lives. But as a new generation enters the workforce, ideas about how to keep employees productive are changing. We now know that employee engagement boosts productivity over the long term and that creativity keeps companies competitive in a changing world. As a result, workplace design is evolving to put the employee experience first. (more…)
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Members of Generation Z, the youngest generational cohort, are beginning to enter the workforce. Raised in the era of constant communication and instant gratification, these individuals pave the way for a restructuring of our current workforce. As thought leaders, our job not only calls upon us to monitor workplace trends, but to recognize who influences these changes and the challenges and opportunities they present in the workplace. (more…)
What’s your favorite office snack? Is it candy, chips, cookies, or other treat?
It’s very easy to eat unhealthy while at work. Further, many people may eat breakfast, lunch and snacks at work. Add in a midday gourmet coffee drink, treats provided at meetings, and an office drink fridge, people can easily tank their diets while on the job.
With this in mind, here are three Quality of Lifehacks to eat healthy at work. (more…)
J.K Rowling has expanded upon the world of Harry Potter, introducing us to a new wizarding school named Ilvermorny. Located on a mountain is Massachusetts, Ilvermorny is the school that all American wizards go to. The school is composed of four houses, each of which representing different character traits. Take this quiz to see which Ilvermorny house you belong in when it comes to the workplace.
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No matter where you work, it’s likely that you have a boss that manages you. What you may not realize is that not only does your boss manage you, but you can manage him or her as well. Being able to positively manage up can make your life at work easier and happier, but it has other benefits as well. A good manager can advocate for you to get the opportunities you want, whether it’s being put on a new project or getting a promotion. (more…)
People make a lot of promises about quick fixes to improve productivity in your workplace. While most of those are more hype than help, there’s a remarkably simple trick that might actually work: Drink more water.
Water is one of the most basic things humans need. In addition to a host of health benefits – like improving skin and kidney function – drinking water prevents dehydration, which can cause fatigue. By staying hydrated throughout the day, you and your employees can maintain energy and focus – and improve performance.
Here are three easy ways to incorporate more hydration into your workday.
Have a water date
Chats around the water cooler used to be so common in workplaces that the term is shorthand for a time when employees take a break to gossip or discuss last night’s TV shows. These days, the idea seems almost as outdated. Employees are now more likely to head to a coffee shop for some caffeine or discuss the latest spoilers on interoffice chat. To encourage your office to drink more water, bring back the water cooler conversation. Start by making sure you have a water cooler, fountain or other way of accessing clean water. Then, instead of going for coffee with a friend, make a date to meet at the water cooler to fill your water bottle. Making the break something to look forward to will get your team more hydrated in no time.
Make the swap
Swap at least one beverage a day for plain water. If you drink sugary soft drinks, replacing them with water will reduce the number of calories you take in and reduce your consumption of sugar, too much of which can lead to obesity and diabetes. Sugary drinks, as well as caffeinated ones like diet soda and coffee, give you a quick burst of energy but usually result in a crash soon after. Water won’t lead to a crash – and because it prevents dehydration, it might give you the energy boost you’re after.
Challenge your team
A little competition among team members can be a great thing. A water-drinking competition will promote both team-building and health. Rather than seeing who can drink the most water, it might be best to see who can hit a specified goal (2 liters a day is a challenging but reasonable goal for most) because, while rare, it is possible to drink too much water. You could even kick off the competition by giving out some cool water bottles. And be sure to have a healthy prize for the winner!
How will you promote drinking water in your office? Share your ideas in the comments.
The rapidly expanding global economy has prompted the growth of work teams comprised of individuals from diverse backgrounds with different values, experiences, perspectives, knowledge, and skills. Greater diversity in the workforce can positively impact organizational outcomes, including performance. Understanding the advantages of workforce diversity helps you establish an organization with a competitive edge. But companies can only fully leverage the power of their diverse employees by creating comprehensive, thoughtful and fully integrated diversity and inclusion initiatives that encourage engagement and align with the ultimate goals of the business. Creating an environment where inclusion is the expectation and people feel welcome, safe and able to contribute fully will result in heightened innovation, increased productivity and greater organizational effectiveness.
One of a CEO’s toughest but most crucial roles is overseeing change within an organization. It’s not just a matter of making the tough decisions that change requires, but about being able to see the change approaching. Whether it’s change a company has chosen, or one that’s forced upon it, the process can only be guided by a leader who can effectively balance the public and human sides that change brings.
Women have made huge strides in their pursuit of higher education and now earn more associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees than men. Yet they remain noticeably absent from STEM careers despite strong job growth in the past decade and solid projections for continued growth. There’s a lot of incentive: according to Forbes, careers in STEM industries offer better compensation and more career advancement opportunities. In fact, women who hold STEM positions earn 92 cents to the dollar versus 77 cents for women in other fields.
Sustainable work spaces are becoming more prominent. Investing in sustainability benefits business, employees and the environment; it’s a win-win. By recognizing the value in sustainability, innovative companies can improve the health and well-being of their workforce—while supporting business goals.
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In our continually growing and evolving global environment, Millennials have a unique perspective as a result of being raised during an era of incredible social and technological change. According to a May 2015 TIME report, the 53.5 million millennials (aged 18-34) now constitute the largest generation in the U.S. workforce. In fact, Pew Research, estimates Millennials represent one in three American workers. While there are many opinions, positive and negative, on the Millennial generation’s dependence on technology, we cannot ignore the fact that these digitally-oriented, social networking savvy future leaders are rapidly changing what work looks like and how it gets done.
Given employees’ busy and demanding lives, sleep is a necessity—but its importance is all too often overlooked. Getting enough sleep is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle, and can benefit your heart, weight, mind and more. Yet, it is estimated that around 30% of adults don’t get enough sleep. According to a 2008 National Sleep Foundation poll, almost a third of American employees report that daytime sleepiness interferes with their daily activities at least a few days each month. In fact, sleep loss affects so many adults that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has labeled insufficient sleep a public health epidemic.
In offices around the world, the open floor plan debate rages on. Do open office spaces allow for greater collaboration, increased energy and a free flow of creativity? Or do open areas create disruptions and distractions that ultimately kill performance? The answer to both questions is yes. And no.
The demand for a quality worklife isn’t confined to corporate offices. For most employees the workday experience begins and ends in the lobby of the building, and developers and building owners are reconsidering what design features and amenities will make their properties attractive to a new generation of tenants. To be competitive, Class A buildings, whether they are new construction or repositioned properties, now feature active entry lobbies with great curb appeal — a concept that has evolved dramatically since the 1970s and 1980s, when the office tower was designed more as a corporate icon than as a vital part of the work experience. Set back from stark entry plazas, the sleek lobbies were treated as voids, sheathed in stone and dark glass.
In the blog post, Workplace Design for the Generations, we covered how the workplace should be designed to accommodate different generations. There are other factors about the work space that also impact employee wellness and productivity. Some key factors that we routinely come across are below.
Today’s office planning approach has come full circle, from the organizational needs of the late 20th century to the uber-individual focus of the dot.com era, to what is now a hybrid of both. Companies have long seen space as a differentiating factor in attracting talent, but with four generations, with vastly different attitudes and work styles in the place of work, companies must now re-think how space works for them.