A curated mix of articles on work.

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Friday, Dec 15, 2017

Things Many People Find Too Obvious To Have Told You Already

Some people really benefit from hearing advice that everyone knows, for the same reason we keep schools open despite every subject in them having been taught before. In that spirit, here’s some quick Things Many People Find Too Obvious To Have Told You Already.

Tuesday, Dec 12, 2017

How to fight work bullshit (and keep your job and your dignity)

The most effective tactic in the war on empty talk seems to be to outflank the bullshitter by posing your questions as constructive tweaks, rather than refutations. That way, you might be able to clean up the mess from within, rather than raging from the outside.

Monday, Dec 11, 2017

The compelling case for working a lot less

Mastering ‘active rest’ is far harder than it looks, but there are good reasons why we should keep working at it.

A growing number of young Americans are leaving desk jobs to farm

For only the second time in the last century, the number of farmers under 35 years old is increasing, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s latest Census of Agriculture. Sixty-nine percent of the surveyed young farmers had college degrees — significantly higher than the general population.

Thursday, Nov 16, 2017

The Economics of the Office: Why Do We Still Commute?

The personal computer was supposed to kill the office and liberate us from hellish commutes to the city. But the average American commute has only increased since then. Could virtual reality finally change that?

Wednesday, Nov 15, 2017

You’re working in the wrong place. (if you’re working in an open office)

At my most recent job, I did all of my best work at home. I would actively try to avoid the office for as long as possible. At home, I had two desks and complete control over my environment. Distractions and breaks were choices. Once I went into the office, the environment changed.

Yeah, but I could have done that too

My standard answer to myself and others usually is: “Yes, you could have done that, but you didn’t.” But let’s dive into some more details of this statement.

Monday, Nov 13, 2017

Meetings — A culture of excess that hurts our productivity and morale

71% of meetings are considered unproductive. Let’s fix that.

Thursday, Nov 9, 2017

Don’t Get Too Comfortable at That Desk

First there were individual offices. Then cubicles and open floor plans. Now, there is a “palette of places.” New office designs are coming to a workplace near you, with layouts meant to cater to the variety of tasks required of modern white-collar workers. Put another way, it means people don’t sit in just one place.

Thursday, Oct 26, 2017

The Open-Office Trap

The open office was originally conceived by a team from Hamburg, Germany, in the nineteen-fifties, to facilitate communication and idea flow. But a growing body of evidence suggests that the open office undermines the very things that it was designed to achieve.

Thursday, Oct 12, 2017

Work and the Loneliness Epidemic

There is good reason to be concerned about social connection in our current world. Loneliness is a growing health epidemic. We live in the most technologically connected age in the history of civilization, yet rates of loneliness have doubled since the 1980s.

Wednesday, Oct 11, 2017

Open offices are overrated

If you work in an office, there’s a good chance it’s an open one. How did we get here? And why is it so bad?

Tuesday, Oct 10, 2017

The Origins of Office Speak

Corporate jargon may seem meaningless to the extent that it’s best described as “bullshit,” but it actually reveals a lot about how workers think about their lives.

Thursday, Oct 5, 2017

The average American spent more than 9 full days getting to and from work last year

Compared with 1980, the typical American spent about 42 more hours commuting in 2016. That’s like adding another full workweek to the calendar year.

Tuesday, Sep 19, 2017

If working less is so productive, why is it so hard?

In the context of work-life balance, our brains didn’t evolve to determine exactly how much we need to work. Our brains simply want us to survive and reproduce, and working more seems to contribute to those end goals. Our brain’s anxiety about survival and reproduction motivates us to work more, even though it’s not always in our best interest over the long-term.

Monday, Sep 4, 2017

Good News for Young Strivers: Networking Is Overrated

If the very thought of networking makes you throw up in your mouth, you’re not alone. Networking makes us feel dirty — to the point that one study found that people rate soap and toothpaste 19 percent more positively after imagining themselves angling to make professional contacts at a cocktail party.

Wednesday, Aug 30, 2017

Is the open office layout dead?

The open office layout is meant to foster an egalitarian work environment that inspires creativity and spontaneous collaboration among colleagues. Nearly 60 years since their invention, an increasing body of research is beginning to show what many employees already know—open offices often fall short of that ideal.

Monday, Aug 28, 2017

Let’s hear it for the four-hour working day

The point isn’t that the world would be a lovelier place if nobody felt forced to work long hours, though that’s true. It’s that in any remotely creative job, a culture that doesn’t allow for rest is self-defeating, even just for the bottom line.

Wednesday, Aug 23, 2017

A short history of the office

For centuries people have been getting up, joining a daily commute or retreating to a room, to work. The office has become inseparable from work. Its history illustrates not only how our work has changed but also how work’s physical spaces respond to cultural, technological and social forces.

Thursday, Aug 3, 2017

This Is The Current State Of The American Workplace

A glimpse of workplace trends on the rise.