March 7, 2017

LisaNottinghamIn recent years, many companies have sought to create work environments that place a heavy emphasis on collaboration. With flattened hierarchies and open door policies, these workplaces give employees easy access to managers and other top performers. The system is meant to improve office efficiency by allowing staffers to receive unique advice that makes their jobs easier.

But while regular employees can have their workloads lightened, managers quickly become overwhelmed by overly collaborative workplaces. After all, executives who spend much Continue reading

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January 26, 2017

DaveSTo people familiar with sunny Silicon Valley, Finland may seem like a questionable tech hub. But thanks to the telecommunications giant Nokia, for years the snowy Scandinavian nation served as one of the central destinations in Europe for tech workers. Once Nokia began to collapse, however, the fortunes of many Finnish engineers declined as well.

These formerly prominent staffers then signed up for unemployment benefits in the hopes that the tech industry would turn around. When jobs largely failed to Continue reading

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January 19, 2017

ArvindGroverFor many corporate executives, non-compete agreements are just a part of doing business. Since companies want to hang on to top talent as long as possible, they often insert clauses in contracts that prevent employees from joining competitors for a certain amount of time. While this limits a staffer’s options when looking for a new job, their high-level status usually provides them with plenty of alternative choices.

That’s not quite the case for sandwich makers, however. While non-compete clauses are Continue reading

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November 21, 2016

CurranKelleherThe end of November is always a trying time for travelers. Each year millions of Americans crisscross the country to reach their loved ones for Thanksgiving, leading to congested roads and crowded airports. And for those who hoped this year might be easier, think again. According to the American Automobile Association (AAA), nearly 49 million Americans will travel at least 50 miles from home between Wednesday and Sunday. That amounts to an increase of 1 million people compared to last Continue reading

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November 4, 2016

MartinThomasFrom short essays to lengthy term papers, college students are no strangers to writing. Matters don’t change much once they graduate to the business world: internal memos, progress reports, and a seemingly endless amount of emails constitute the daily tasks of many office employees. According to a recent study of businesspeople who write at work, an average of 22 percent of their time is spent reading. Unfortunately, the quality of the work that passes their desks is often clumsy or Continue reading

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November 1, 2016

MarkOhIn April 2013, more than one thousand Bangladeshi garment workers died when the Rana Plaza building collapsed. Considered to be the deadliest garment factory accident in history, the tragic event led to worldwide condemnation of many Western clothing companies. After all, brands like H&M, Walmart and Zara had long pushed producers in Bangladesh’s growing garment industry to make clothes faster and cheaper. While this allowed retailers to set low prices at their stores, the focus on efficiency forced Bangladesh’s factories Continue reading

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October 20, 2016

CorttoAccording to a study conducted by the Manufacturing Institute, over the next decade American workers will miss out on two million industrial jobs due to lack of training. For years the Obama administration has tried to close this growing skills gap by promoting German-style apprenticeships that provide on-the-job education for young workers. In Germany roughly half of all high school graduates opt for these intense training programs, not least of all because they are virtually guaranteed employment at the end. Continue reading

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October 18, 2016

LindsayHolmwoodThe grisly nature of the meat industry practically ensures that the business will never be pretty. Still, conditions in a slaughterhouse can always get worse if management marginalizes their workforce. According to the global development agency Oxfam America, that’s precisely what’s happening at a number of U.S. poultry plants. In facilities owned by big names like Tyson, Perdue and Pilgrim’s Pride, workers complained that superiors regularly denied them bathroom breaks. Some even reported wearing diapers while working on the line. Continue reading

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October 4, 2016

KanasphotoWith the fall semester now in full swing, the easygoing feeling of summer vacation is becoming an increasingly distant memory. Then again, that’s only for the lucky Americans who actually get to take a vacation during the warm months of the year. For the rest, either they don’t receive adequate time off or simply refuse to take advantage of it. In fact, as much as 55 percent of American workers don’t use all of their paid vacation days out of Continue reading

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For more than a century tipping has been the preferred method for American restaurants to pay their servers. The idea is that customers will tip more if they receive good service, thus giving employees incentive to do well. However, the system doesn’t always work out that way. Besides getting outright stiffed by diners, on slow nights servers can earn as little as $2.13 an hour, the legal minimum that tipped employees can be paid. Given these less than ideal outcomes, Continue reading

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