February 19, 2016

For years manufacturers around the world have taken advantage of the efficiency and speed of robotic labor. But these mechanical monstrosities aren’t polite or funny like the droids in a Star Wars movie. Instead, industrial robots are big, clunky pieces of equipment that have no regard for humans. As a result, most factories have separate rooms for robots that people are prohibited from entering. Many countries have even passed laws requiring the separation of automated and human labor. After all, Continue reading

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February 17, 2016

At big tech companies like Google and Facebook, employees enjoy a range of benefits that have become almost as famous as the companies themselves. From free smoothies and snacks to complimentary massages, these perks are meant to fulfill the basic needs of staffers so that morale and productivity remain high. In fact, tales of these benefits have reached so far that many workers today would prefer them to increased wages. According to a recent survey by job-listings website GlassDoor, 79 Continue reading

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February 5, 2016

In Silicon Valley’s immensely competitive entrepreneurial environment, many startups end up failing shortly after they launch. But among these many fallen firms stand a few “unicorns,” or private tech companies with valuations worth more than $1 billion. At these lucky startups, the strategy is to increase the firm’s value as much as possible until it can be sold to the highest bidder. Not only does such a sale grant enormous payouts for founders and investors, it can also enrich regular Continue reading

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January 27, 2016

For years, skilled workers from around the world have used H-1B visas as their tickets into the U.S. These visas are intended to provide companies with a pool of specialized foreign labor in case they can’t find any qualified domestic candidates. According to a recent lawsuit, however, one of the world’s biggest brands may have been abusing the H-1B system in order to boost their own bottom line. Rather than filling open positions with outsourced labor, The Walt Disney Company Continue reading

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July 30, 2015

Trading commodities is a complicated business. Employees in the industry not only have to possess financial intelligence, they also must be able to seemingly predict the future based solely on projections and estimates. For years traders like these thrived in the “pits” of Chicago and New York’s stock exchanges, shouting about everything from livestock to produce as they searched for deals. These financial foot soldiers eventually became pop culture icons, with frantically yelling floor traders appearing in everything from serious Continue reading

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July 23, 2015

What do the United States of America, the Federated States of Micronesia and the Kingdom of Tonga all have in common? Aside from being decidedly long-named nations, none of these three countries requires employers to provide their staff with time off for holidays or vacation. In fact, the U.S. is the only advanced economy in the entire world without such a requirement. As a result, American workers have seen their vacation time shrink from an annual average of 20.3 days Continue reading

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July 11, 2015

The online shoe retailer Zappos has always set out to be an innovative employer as well as a successful business. Along with quality benefits and perks, CEO Tony Hsieh grants his staff the freedom to do their jobs according to their terms. In fact, recently the Zappos boss put a radical new corporate structure into place that eliminates all traditional managers or job titles. Instead of a traditional hierarchy, employees now work in “circles” that encourage more collaboration and agility. Continue reading

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March 12, 2015

These days, any office must have a unified communications system in place in order to compete. Years ago this could have been accomplished by installing a series of linked landline phones with conference call capabilities. Now, however, services like Google Voice allow users to ditch their landlines and receive calls directly on their smartphones. Companies currently spend as much as $75 billion per year on Internet voice systems. This figure is expected to increase as disruptive startups take unified communications Continue reading

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March 10, 2015

For many companies recruiting new employees, a traditional one-on-one interview only tells part of a potential hire’s story. Some small businesses simply don’t have time to hold deep conversations with interviewees: one family-owned car wash in Kentucky said that it receives more than 1,000 applications each year.

In order to streamline its hiring process, Finish Line Car Wash turned to a personality assessment company called PeopleClues. The service’s 30-minute online test gives applicants a series of statements and then asks Continue reading

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March 6, 2015

 

In 2013 CEO compensation at the nation’s largest companies grew to 204 times higher than the salary of the average worker, a 20 percent increase since 2009. But the enormous wages paid to American executives is far from the only financial perk they receive. Along with inflated salaries, CEOs also enjoy lucrative retirement plans that can see them net tens of millions at the end of their careers.

For instance, Gregg Steinhafel recently stepped down as CEO of Target Continue reading

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