March 6, 2020

Last year, we looked at how open office plans can discourage communication between employees despite claims about their supposed collaborative benefits. This video explains the history of open offices and how modern workplaces often fail to live up to the standards of the past due to concerns about cost. 

Questions:

  1. How do modern open office plans tend to discourage communication and collaboration between employees? 
  2. Do you think more companies should create open office plans based on the principles Continue reading
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January 21, 2020

For many people in business, reaching the position of chief executive officer (CEO) means that they’ve finally made it to the top of their profession. And life is certainly sweet for most CEOs: Disney’s Bob Iger, for instance, took home nearly $50 million in compensation last year. But with all of that money and power comes great responsibility. If these top managers fail to live up to a company’s expectations, they might not get to enjoy their lofty positions for Continue reading

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October 25, 2019

In recent years, many companies have gotten rid of cubicles in favor of open office plans that place everyone in sight. The idea is that employees will be more available for communication when they aren’t constricted by barriers. According to a recent study published by Harvard Business Review, however, open office plans could actually be having the opposite effect. Researchers tracked the physical and digital interactions of employees at two Fortune 500 companies that were in the process of Continue reading

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October 3, 2019

This past summer, the startup WeWork heavily promoted what it promised would be a historic initial public offering (IPO). Analysts seemed to agree: Goldman Sachs estimated the office space leasing company could reach a valuation of $96 billion upon its stock market debut. When WeWork submitted the first documents for its IPO, though, the company settled on a potential valuation of $47 billion as it promised to change the world as well as the office leasing industry. Co-founder and CEO Continue reading

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August 3, 2018

A few months ago, we looked at why our subject for the Chapter 8 profile in Understanding Business was leaving her position as CEO of the Campbell Soup Company. As the video below shows, however, Campbell’s problems began long before Denise Morrison took the top job.

Questions:

  1. Why has Campbell’s struggled to grow steadily in recent years?
  2. What do you think Campbell’s should do to start winning over young consumers who don’t like canned soup?
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July 20, 2018

Back in the pre-Internet days, companies would pay a fortune to set up services that allowed them to limit the number of phone lines used in the office. This meant that a company with 100 employees could use a single number with extensions rather than set up 100 seperate lines. Once caller ID came on the scene, these systems would display the same name to the receiver whether the call was coming from the mailroom or the C-suite.

This pricey Continue reading

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In the Understanding Business profile for Chapter 8, we looked at how Denise Morrison brought a lifetime of business experience to her role as CEO of the Campbell Soup Company. She landed the job in 2011 just as the company was ready to undergo some major changes. Rather than continuing to use unhealthy, processed ingredients, under Morrison’s leadership Campbell’s began to focus on developing more organic options. “We believe we need to participate in this, so you can either lead Continue reading

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April 19, 2018

Last week, a manager at a Philadelphia Starbucks called the police on two African-American men who were waiting for a friend to arrive. Their subsequent arrest was caught on video and quickly went viral as thousands of social media users directed their outrage towards the coffee chain. Starbucks then took the drastic step of announcing that it would close all stores on May 29th for racial sensitivity training. Along with showing clips of the offending video, this short report also Continue reading

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April 12, 2018

The concept of working from home has been a controversial issue among some employers for years. On the one hand, proponents claim that remote working can reduce costs while improving morale among staff. For its critics, though, the idea of working from home brings to mind images of employees who would rather lounge on a couch than do their job.

But according to a new study from Stanford, the former group’s assessment is likely the more accurate one. It all Continue reading

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February 16, 2018

Although Americans are known for spending a lot of time at their jobs, they’re not always working during those long hours behind a desk. In fact, a recent Harvard study found that 78 percent of surveyed employees experienced some type of idleness at work. This isn’t referring to laziness or procrastination: “We are talking about time at work when employees are supposed to be working, and available to work, but they are unable to,” said Andrew Brodsky, co-author of the Continue reading

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