/blog > archive > July 2011

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Last week we spent some time exploring the future of the workplace. For this week’s poll, let’s explore a closely related question — the future of work itself. A century and a half ago, most of us worked on farms. A century ago (or even 50 years ago) most jobs took place on a factory floor. Today’s workforce includes a vast array of occupations in a wide variety of settings.  Services and information technology have been the big growth engines for jobs over the past few decades, but there is some reason to doubt whether that will continue. Matthew Yglesias at Think Progress predicts that the major job engine of the near future will be personal services. He believes we are heading towards what he calls the Yoga Instructor Economy: The people of the future will be richer than the people of today, and therefore will more closely resemble annoying…

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While the debate about raising the debt ceiling continues, Nick Gillespie at Reason has identified the most effective HR manager working for the US government. He’s a real killer! Death is the Most Effective H.R. Manager for Federal Employees From USA Today, an analysis of just how tough it is to get canned if you’re a federal employee: Death — rather than poor performance, misconduct or layoffs — is the primary threat to job security at theEnvironmental Protection Agency, the Small Business Administration, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Office of Management and Budget and a dozen other federal operations. The federal government fired 0.55% of its workers in the budget year that ended Sept. 30 — 11,668 employees in its 2.1 million workforce. Research shows that the private sector fires about 3% of workers annually for poor performance, says John Palguta, former research chief at the federal…

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imnothere

Alexander Kjerulf gave his “out of Office” message on his blog a couple of weeks ago and asked readers to respond with the best out of office message they had ever seen. Two in particular that caught my attention seemed to speak to much longer absences. (Well, one of them was permanent, actually.)Read More…

TransparencyRevolutionLogo

Businesses are becoming more flexible about office hours and telecommunicating. Is the office itself on the way out? Blogger and telecommuter Jay Manifold joins us to discuss. About Our Guest Jay Manifold is an IT project manager at Sprint, where he has worked since 1989.  He has telecommuted regularly for the past 5 years.  Jay is based in  Kansas City, Missouri.  He formerly blogged at A Voyage to Arcturus and blogs now when the mood strikes, at Chicago Boyz. Listen to internet radio with PhilBowermaster on Blog Talk Radio Join us live Wednesday July 27 at 2PM EDT / 11 AM PDT or access the show archive via the player above. If you’re having trouble with the player you can also listen at our page on Blog Talk Radio. Our music is Semi-Funk by Kevin MacLeodRead More…

Google+

The Cynical Girl weighs in on Google + and finds it to be…okay.Read More…

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UPDATE: Instalanche. We’ll have more on this topic when Jay joins us for next week’s Transparency Revolution audio edition. And while you’re taking surveys… try the Social Media and Career Management Survey. I’m giving a $5 Starbuck’s card for the first 100 people who answer that one. — Related to last week’s piece on whether both office hours and offices themselves are on the way out, reader and blogger Jay Manifold wrote the following comment: I stand by my prediction that within this decade, a majority of large private employers in the US will not merely tolerate, but mandate, telecommuting for their employees whose jobs do not involve the movement of physical objects or face-to-face customer contact. Some of the responses above are pretty amusing.  The hard facts are that economics favors a movement in this direction, that it has already been successfully implemented on a massive scale, and that…

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It’s no secret around here that performance reviews are generally despised by everyone, for a host of reasons. We can add a new reason to the pile with this recent piece from Evil HR Lady Suzanne Lucas. Pulling no punches, Lucas derides a growing class of “whiny, entitled employees” who have been led to expect far too much undeserved positive reinforcement — first from their parents and later from their professors. Professors Stuart Rojstaczer and Christopher Healy researched grading at 200 universities and colleges.  The results, detailed in Where A Is Ordinary: The Evolution of American College and University Grading, 1940-2009, show that 43 percent of letter grades are, drum roll please, As.  This is up 12 percent from 1988, and a whopping 28% since 1960. No wonder young (and not so young) employees believe they deserve the highest performance rating and regular raises and promotions.  They’ve always gotten it….

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worldofthefuture2

All through human history, people have sought ways to create a persistent record of themselves. Warriors and adventurers would strive to accomplish great feats in order to be remembered in legend and song. Kings would commission sculptors and painters to preserve their likeness. More recently, celebrities would hire ghost-writers to pen stylized renditions of their exploits. Today, we all cast an increasingly long shadow in the digital world. This has given us the best opportunity yet to create a persistent record of our lives. In some ways it almost feels as though we’re creating a digital version of ourselves. Is that the direction we’re heading in? We conclude our discussion of that question with futurist Stephen “Man from the Future”  Gordon About our guest: Stephen Gordon is an attorney based in Shreveport Louisiana. Stephen is a blogger, broadcaster, and futurist. He blogs at The Speculist and he is the co-host…

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careerpath

As noted over on the Zapoint blog, Hannah Glover writing at the Financial Times blog Ignites (access requires paid subscription) cites some eye-opening figures from an employee survey by Blessing White in which more than 10,000 workers were interviewed on the subject of retention: Having a strong career path was the second-most cited reason for employees to want to stay with a company. (Only enjoying one’s work was cited more frequently as a reason for wanting to stay.) Lacking a strong career path was the most frequent answer given for why employees choose to leave. This is one of those things that really ought to be obvious, but for whatever reason is not: people stick with situations, or don’t, based on a perceived future. Few of us would leave a football game late in the fourth quarter if our team was down by  three points and moving the ball effectively….

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unemployment_sign3

Out of work? Here’s a list of 72 companies that don’t have a job for you.

What’s the big deal, you say? Times are tight. There are hundreds, thousands of companies that aren’t hiring.Read More…