Is it just me, or do offices never seem to have an adequate amount of space for all workers?I'm not even talking about comfort. I mean literally having enough desks and chairs to go around. People always seem to be shoehorned into a corner near a fridge, or offices are shared when they should be solo. And let's not forget about the shrinking distance between cubicles.At $100 a square foot in major metropolitan areas, I can almost forgive companies for dehumanizing us into sardines. However, what excuses do their suburban counterparts have? From urban centers to quiet suburbs, I've repeatedly seen this phenomenon, regardless of ZIP code.If that weren't bad enough, it appears many people never learned the limits of personal space. Thanks to some studies conducted with zoo animals in the 1950s, then adopted by anthropologist Edward T. Hall, the term "proxemics" was born. Studying spatial relationships between people, here are the general guidelines for human beings as they … [Read more...] about Dear Coworkers: Step Away From My Cube
Archives for June 2008
Scheduling a Meeting Made VERY Easy
Ever notice how it often takes 10 e-mails to accomplish what could have been done in one simple conversation? I often find this when it comes to scheduling meetings at work. You know the drill.Cube Dweller #1: "When do you want to meet? I can do Wednesday morning or any time on Thursday."Cube Dweller #1: "How about Wednesday at 11am? But we should probably ask Susie."Cube Dweller #1: Sounds goot to me. Susie, will that work for you?Susie: "I can't do Wednesday, but Thursday is good." Cube Dweller #2: "Hmmmm. Thursday won't work for me. How about Friday?"ENOUGH!!!There a brand new tool that makes the process easy, quick and painless. You don't even need to register.Check out When Is Good.The Web app lets you create an event, highlight the times that are good for you, and share a link with coworkers. Coming soon, Outlook and Google Calendar integration. … [Read more...] about Scheduling a Meeting Made VERY Easy
The Status of Chairs. Where Do You Sit?
Have you ever been to a job interview and felt completely overwhelmed when you sat in the “hot” seat? Have you ever felt so nervous that you were oozing buckets of sweat even before your interviewer asked you those tricky intricate questions? Well, it may not be your fault for feeling like this. It may have something to do with the cunningness of your interviewer. It is likely that your interviewer may have arranged his office furnishings to raise his own status and power, and, in doing so, lowered yours. Just look at the chairs around your office and then look at the executive ones and you’ll see the difference. Here’s how it works... Chair Size: The height of the back of the chair raises or lowers a person’s status, and the high-backed chair is a well-known example. The higher the back of a chair, the greater the power and status of the person sitting in it. Kings, queens, dictators, popes etc… always have ridiculously pronounced chair backs to … [Read more...] about The Status of Chairs. Where Do You Sit?
The Work Hazard Known As Food
Food days, potlucks, international feasts, share days…no matter what you call it, these gluttonous events remain a serious work hazard. OSHA should have a workplace regulation that bans these (and vending machines while they’re at it). As we spend more time sitting in our cubicles, our natural tendency is to find a way to relieve the boredom. Why else would we look forward to the monthly food day with as much anticipation as a long weekend? Ok maybe not quite that much enthusiasm.As summer rolls in with full force, many of us find ourselves scurrying around trying to start that 10-day diet or at best, a half-hearted attempt to stick to the one you were already on. Then enter the food day at work, complete with macaroni and cheese, lasagna, homemade chicken strips (who can pass up homemade??), potato chips, brownies, cookies, cake…I could go on forever. If you are one of the fortunate ones that does not know what I’m talking … [Read more...] about The Work Hazard Known As Food
You or Boss: Who’s at Fault?
Here's how the story usually goes: "I HAD to leave. My boss was determined to make my life miserable." In my experience, both personal and secondary, I have discovered that in the majority of cases, the failure of the relationship lies on the employee, not the boss or the organization. People who tend to get 'unlucky' and experience this misfortune over and over again, usually can use a little self-reflection. Start with these questions: - Have you had more than one 'horrific' boss who 'drove you crazy?' - Do you find yourself thinking very bad thoughts (not in a good way) about a current or former boss? - Do you feel these 'evil' bosses not only held you back but went out of their way to keep you down or make you miserable? - Were you or are you so desperate to find a new job that you're willing to work anywhere, earning just about anything? If you answer 'yes' to most of these questions for more than one job, there is a good chance that you will need to … [Read more...] about You or Boss: Who’s at Fault?
You Are NOT Married to Your Job (you are only dating)
You always hear about how over 50% of marriages are doomed to fail from the start. To anyone who is happily married, the statistic sounds grossly exaggerated. With several friends and acquaintances on the brink of the big 'D-word,' I've been thinking about the parallels and differences between the relationship we have with our significant other and the relationship we have with our jobs. Each couple seems to head for Splitsville for different reasons, yet there is a consistent theme: they all try to force it to work for too long.We human beings seem to have a very difficult time 'quitting while we're ahead.' Win $200 at the roulette table? Give it all back.Talk about selling your home? While you were talking, prices have dropped.Get laid off after years of ignoring signals? Exactly.Your relationship with your employer isn't all that different than a marriage (with less sex). You'll have butterflies in your stomach as you court one another; times when … [Read more...] about You Are NOT Married to Your Job (you are only dating)
Three Ways to Kill Your Boss
(Editor's Note: While we strike to help you make work better, sometimes a good ol' fashioned rant is in order. Please excuse us. Chris hasn't had the best day at work.)If Hitler was the as*hole of the 20th Century, then my boss is the rusty bullet hole of the 21st. It is beyond me why my company would hire such an inconceivable, gigantic, heap of steaming horse sh*t, to do the job that he apparently does. If you, like me, are fed up with your boss’s shenanigans, then you should use this article as a way to unleash your distain, anguish, and unventilated-raw-old-fashioned-anger. So, without further adieu, here are 3 ways to kill your boss. Death by Dildo Invite your boss down into the basement of your office building for a chat about the state of today’s economy. Why you would select this as a suitable location is beyond me, but let’s continue none the less. Take one large black dildo (this set of criteria is important for no apparent … [Read more...] about Three Ways to Kill Your Boss
Scaredy Cat? 7 Common Workplace Fears
It's not just horror movies that give folks the willies. From natural disasters to a floundering economy, there's no shortage of workplace fears. Since going to the office is such an integral part of our lives, and an anxiety-provoking one at that, I think it would be interesting to discuss common work terrors.Here are a few common ones that have hit the Jobacle inbox over the years. Check them out and please tell the U.S. News community what freaks you out in the comments section on their Website.GETTING FIRED: The economic downturn has certainly added fuel to the fire. How will you break the news to your family? Pay the mortgage? Find another job? This is the powder keg of panic, potentially leading to a bevy of unpleasant, catastrophic thoughts.PUBLIC HUMILIATION: Whether you stumble during a presentation, spill coffee on your pants, or drop an F-bomb within earshot of your boss, no one wants to be embarrassed—especially in front of people you are forced to see on a daily … [Read more...] about Scaredy Cat? 7 Common Workplace Fears
What Makes a City Telecommute Friendly?
This article proclaims to describe "20 of the Best Cities in the World for Telecommuting". Not only does the article suffer from a seriously awkward title (how about "The 20 best cities for telecommuting"? See, that wasn't so hard.) it also has some serious flaws in its choices. I mean, Mexico City? Really? I'll live in Mexico City if I want to die from an upper respiratory disease or lose my sense of smell, but not if I want to telecommute. Also, when talking about Canada, the author espouses that Vancouver BC is "one of the largest cities in the state." Yes, in the state. Edit much? OK, so the article has some problems. But it also points out some really cool cities, and makes a strong effort to be global minded, mentioning cities such as Taipei and Cordoba. I also give the article props for including Seattle on the list, where I have spent the last four years of my life (great city, by the way). As I was reading, I kept asking myself the question: What … [Read more...] about What Makes a City Telecommute Friendly?
How to Gain an Advantage at the Office
Let’s face it, we humans are greedy. We always want more, and the neurotic nature of our species has kept us ahead of all the others. Personally I think this is OK, because if we were not like this, then we would more than likely be happy, but would be relegated to somewhere in the bottom half of the food chain; something more akin to a hedgehog. Those fellas look happy don’t they, with their little spikes and all. Anyway, as I was saying, let’s embrace our perfection-seeking-self-centred-nature, and use some interesting techniques, which may give you an advantage over others in the work related arena. Stick your tongue out This may sound a bit strange upon the initial reading of this statement, but rest assured the men in the white coats are never wrong. Many years ago researchers (by researchers I mean NLP practitioners, cold readers, and con men) discovered that in an occupational, educational, and examination setting, people in a position of power are less … [Read more...] about How to Gain an Advantage at the Office