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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March 3, 2015

For years, Walmart has been criticized for not adequately sharing its success with its employees. After all, the retailer is not only the largest private employer in the U.S. but also the largest retail chain in the world. With so much capital at its disposal, critics have long argued that Walmart has enough resources to spend on its staff. And now at long last it appears the retailer agrees. Last month Walmart announced a plan that will raise the wages Continue reading

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February 2, 2015

From the first colonists to the heyday of Ellis Island, the U.S. has largely been built upon the backs of people who were not born here. But the economic impact of immigrants is more than just a matter of history. Even today, immigrants are the entrepreneurial engines that power the nation. From 1996 to 2011, the business startup rate for immigrants grew by more than 50 percent. In contrast, the number of companies started by U.S.-born citizens dropped by 10 Continue reading

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January 29, 2015

In mid-December 2014 President Obama shocked the world by announcing that the U.S. would reestablish a diplomatic relationship with Cuba. Reversing more than six decades of American foreign policy, the decision is expected to have an enormous impact on Cubans living both on the island and abroad. Diplomats are even discussing lifting the trade embargo that the U.S. imposed in the 1960s in response to Cuba’s hostile Communist regime.

Besides opening up channels for travel and trade, the easing of Continue reading

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January 14, 2015

For more than a decade Silicon Valley has been the go-to destination for ambitious young professionals looking to make a big name for themselves. After all, the Bay Area suburb is home to tech giants like Google, Apple and Facebook that offer huge starting salaries and even nicer perks. But there are plenty of opportunities for talented careerists beyond the Valley’s most notable names. Startups tend to attract many young coders and engineers as well, even though they don’t pay Continue reading

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August 30, 2014

In the Internet age, people don’t need to leave their homes in order to access near limitless choices of entertainment. Although convenient for consumers, this cultural shift has sent attendance at many theaters and symphonies across the country on a downward spiral. But it’s not just highbrow pursuits that have seen a drop in public interest. In fact, circuses are in such a dire state that industry insiders fear their decline will lead to a nationwide decline in the number Continue reading

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