Editor's Note (17 August 2015): In light of news of Amazon.com's working conditions, BBC Capital is bringing back this piece from our archives. A look at companies that say shorter days make for much more productive workers, and those who say it simply doesn't work.
Q: I recently attended a work event at which a very senior national political leader spoke. To my surprise, several people blatantly checked their phones throughout the talk, and one person at my table got up in the middle, announcing that he had a meeting. Unless his meeting was with the Head of State, he was definitely being rude. How do ethics interact with etiquette in such a situation?
When Pamela Juliano makes plans with her husband of 31 years, they have to compare schedules, just like any other dual-career couple. But unlike other couples, they have to decide whose house they’ll stay in for the weekend.
When Keith South presses the trigger on his folding roll film camera from 1927, he’s reconnecting with family history. The modest German import, of uncertain make, would sell for a paltry sum, but to the 51-year-old database manager it’s a priceless portal to the past.
When one of the process operators at SaskPower showed signs of Alzheimer’s disease in his mid-50s, his managers at the electric power company in Saskatchewan, Canada, realised he could pose a safety risk. They knew he could no longer be responsible for their turbines, generators, boilers and other equipment.
E-mail; love it or loathe it, it’s not going away — especially in the workplace. Business email traffic accounted for 55% of all emails sent worldwide per day in 2014 – that’s an average of 121 emails sent and received per day by each one of us. With all those electronic messages flying around, it’s no wonder we get it wrong so often.
In 2009, Robert Wahbe took control of a $20b division of Microsoft, with hundreds of managers and tens of thousands of employees. But there was one huge problem — a communication chasm between departments, resulting in lost deals and hours of lost productivity.
The way we work has changed profoundly in the last two decades as the pace of technology, growth and the on-demand global workplace increases. But what does that mean for the rules of work—for those of us already in it and young professionals starting their careers?
Have you ever purchased shoes or clothing from an online store? Remember the first time you considered it? You were probably hesitant about taking a risk on something so personal. And after you made that first digital purchase, did your friends wonder how you could do such a thing; how would you know if you liked the items or if they fit properly?