Summary of “How We Nudged Employees to Embrace Flexible Work”

Globally, many leading organizations have introduced workplace policies to enable flexible work, recognizing its benefits for staff retention, morale, commitment, diversity, recruitment, and being an employer of choice.
Organizational culture is often resistant to change, so even after the introduction of a flexible work policy like allowing staff to arrive and depart within “Broadband” hours, there can still be a strong 9-to-5 culture.
Employee views are reinforced by the example set by managers, many of whom do not work flexibly.
Drawing on these findings, we wanted to see if behavioral economics could be used to encourage people to work more flexibly, especially to commute outside of peak hours.
Intervention #2: Prompting managers to discuss and model flexible working.
We encouraged them to both model flexible working and have an open conversation with their teams about how it could work for them.
Teams could win points for arriving or leaving out of peak times as well as for often-devalued forms of flexible working, such as part-time work or working from home.
This result reinforces the role that promoting flexible work policies can help manage transport demand.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Ace Your First Impression: Then Follow These 7 Steps to Keep Impressing”

So how do we do this in business? How can you make the impression you want, and then keep impressing them enough to create a lasting relationship?
For YPO member Heather Shantora and her company, success is all about relationships.
Shantora always gets to know the people she’s working with, and she sincerely cares about them.
Shantora expresses her enthusiasm for the possibilities when she says, “My frame of mind is one of learning from one another and innovating in new and creative ways. Instead of trying to one-up each other, we can leverage each other’s strengths. To me, this is the epitome of working smarter, not harder.” By working together, you can make both your industry and your individual business that much stronger.
Unlike some CEOs, Shantora believes her job requires her to be intimately involved in the finer details of the business.
“For me, it’s important that at every level of the business, I am able to meet an individual in their role and know about their day and job. They are consistently surprised that I know and care about the details.” Some CEOs don’t get involved at this granular level, but for Shantora, “I don’t comprehend how one can make decisions about the business if they don’t.” Another reason for this approach is “Knowing which dark corners of the business to probe. Working ‘in’ the business is actually as important as working ‘on’ the business,” she explains.
Listening to a variety of opinions helps your company grow and helps you become a better CEO. Shantora explains, “Diversity of minds enables me to identify my own blind spots, and I use that to become a better leader.” Don’t be afraid of being challenged.
Jim Collins’ research in Good to Great shows that a consistent feature of great CEOs is humility, and to Shantora, the underdog mentality requires humility in abundance.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Competition Is Ruining Childhood. The Kids Should Fight Back.”

If enough students manage to master cutting-edge job skills, it will be great for the “Economy,” but as workers they will find themselves rewarded with lower wages.
In the ’70s, the economist Gary Becker theorized that employers would shift the costs of developing human capital onto workers, from paid on-the-job training to unpaid schooling.
If firms want workers who can speak Mandarin or code Python, why should they pay trainees to learn when they can scare kids into training themselves? Within this system, all an individual kid can do is try to put a sufficient number of their peers between themselves and poverty.
Competition between workers means lower wages for them and higher profits for their bosses: The more teenagers who learn to code, the cheaper one is.
Even though older adults are ostensibly worried about the kids, policymakers will never scale back academic competition, and most educators and parents are understandably loath to tell children, “Don’t work so hard.”
Schools can’t run without students, and the economy can’t run without schools; their work matters, and they can withdraw it.
The idea of organizing student labor when even auto factory workers are having trouble holding onto their unions may sound outlandish, but young people have been at the forefront of conflicts over police brutality, immigrant rights and sexual violence.
Only young people, united, can improve their working conditions and end the academic arms race.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How to Stay Focused If You’re Assigned to Multiple Projects at Once”

Few people today have the luxury of working on a single project at a time; most of us are juggling the demands of many teams at once.
In theory, this system of “Multiteaming” offers a number of upsides: You can deploy your expertise exactly where and when it’s most needed, share your knowledge across groups, and switch projects during lull times, avoiding costly downtime.
Switching attention between tasks takes time and saps your focus and energy.
Moving between teams, you probably also need to adjust to different roles – you might be the boss on one but a junior member of another, for example – which changes not only your level of accountability but also your ability to juggle resources when a crunch time hits.
By proactively identifying crunch times when multiple projects have high demands, you can better manage your time and set expectations.
If you know you are going to need to answer phone calls at random intervals, work on another task that can be interrupted at any time.
Obviously, you can’t go overboard and become a bottleneck just to carve out contemplation time, but make sure team members see reflection as “Real work.”
Across the world, the significant financial benefits of multiteaming mean it has become a way of life, particularly in knowledge work, despite the stresses and risks it can pose for people working across multiple teams at once.

The orginal article.

Summary of “When Faced with Conflict, Try an Introspective Approach”

How is it that rational, good, understanding, kind, collaborative people like you and me can get so triggered by certain colleagues’ work performance that our minds race with how we want them to get out of our lives and work – in any way possible? We come up with long diatribes of the million and one reasons why they need to get their act together – or, better yet, disappear.
In my research and experience as a time management coach, and in my work developing my new book, Divine Time Management, I’ve discovered that people often jump to blaming others in conflict.
Ask yourself: Was something else going on in my life that had an impact on how I saw this event? Had something happened previously in this work relationship that affected how I saw this person? Am I tired, stressed, hungry, hot, or in any other way mentally, emotionally, spiritually, or physically not at my best? Identify any external factors at play, particularly those that might have nothing to do with your counterpart or conflict.
If you are feeling confident about the projects you’re working on, your relationships with people at work, and your overall team performance, someone dropping the ball on a few things may slightly annoy you but won’t infuriate you.
When you’re feeling uncertain about your projects, believe that people think badly of you at work, and are insecure about your team’s performance, one little slipup could send you over the edge.
Instead of calmly working with a coworker on improvements, you could end up lashing out at her or going behind her back to try to get rid of the problem.
The why shouldn’t be “Because you made me so mad that I wanted to spit,” but something like “When you turned in this report late, I ended up working until 1 AM and missed my son’s soccer game to meet the client deadline. For us to work together effectively, I need to receive reports on time from you.” Then move on to find a solution: “We’re a team, and I want us to work well together. Can you explain what happened, so we can work together on preventing this situation from happening in the future?”.
I’ve had times when the people I work with do change their approach, and other times when it’s become clear that they’re not the right fit for the job and need to move on.

The orginal article.

Summary of “This Is How Many Minutes Of Breaks You Need Each Day”

Your calendar is probably full of things to do, but how often do you schedule in breaks? If it’s rare to find a blank space on your calendar, you should rethink your nonstop workflow.
How often you should break depends on your workload, energy level ,and the time of day.
“Don’t think of breaks in terms of taking a set number a day, such as 12 or five,” says Robert Pozen, senior lecturer at the MIT Sloan School of Management and author of Extreme Productivity: Boost Your Results, Reduce Your Hours.
An experiment by the software startup Draugiem Group using time-tracking app DeskTime found that the most productive workers took regular and frequent breaks, working in 52-minute sprints with 17-minute breaks.
“Our cognitive capacity declines throughout the day; you must build in frequent mental breaks to recharge and maintain productivity,” he says.
“Not all breaks are created equal, according to Northern Illinois University assistant psychology professor Larissa Barber and NIU psychology doctoral student Amanda Conlin.”Employees tend to choose breaks that often do not work to their benefit,” they write in an article for Psychology Today.
Morning breaks can include meditation, talking to a friend, helping a coworker, or even engaging in goal setting, but afternoon breaks are more important and need certain activities, says Pozen.
“We need to do away with time as a success metric. You can accomplish more when you give yourself breaks to reenergize.”

The orginal article.

Summary of “How Do You Focus?”

I do think more students should prioritize education over grades.
What you learn is far more important than the artificial relic of grades.
Two More Bonus TipsIf You’re Young, Go Wide, Not DeepAnother thing to remember about being young is that you have a lot of time to rack up those accomplishments.
So instead of spending time trying to go super deep into any one thing to become THE BEST, I think more young people should focus on going as wide as possible.
Enjoy the time to do a lot of things at first to see what you really want to do.
Of course that’s applied over a lot of different systems.
So many things we work on, and experiment with, just don’t move the needle.
From a different perspective, you’ll probably find, most of it really didn’t even matter.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Why Do We Still Commute?”

Firms like IBM, Honeywell, and Aetna joined a long list of others that have deemed it more profitable to force employees to commute to the city and work in a central office than give them the flexibility to work where they want.
Once workers could communicate with their colleagues through instant messages and video chat, he reasoned, there would be little coherent purpose to trudge long distances to work side by side in centrally located office spaces.
Part of the story, Glaeser says, is that “Macrae didn’t foresee the rise of the consumer city, the fact that millions of people would actually want to locate in London or New York-not just because there are jobs there-but because it was fun.” The other part of the story is that, far from killing the urban office, computers invigorated it with new forms of work that made it even more profitable.
The vast majority of us still travel to work most days: only about 2.8 percent of the total workforce says they work from home “At least half the time.” It’s a reality reflected in commuting data: Since 1980, when the U.S. Census Bureau started collecting data on this issue, the average daily commute of Americans has increased roughly 20 percent, with the typical worker now commuting over 26 minutes each way.
According to data from Waze, Google’s traffic app, there are regions like Sarasota, Florida, and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, where the average worker commutes over an hour and half.
We report we hate it more than anything else in our routines and that we’re happier when we get to more regularly work from home.
Studies have shown that teams who work together face-to-face, as opposed to via email, are more productive when doing complex tasks.
If VR technology can one day produce a lifelike virtual handshake, the future of work may not be intrinsically tied to commuting for much longer.

The orginal article.

Summary of “‘We can’t compete’: why universities are losing their best AI scientists”

According to a Guardian survey of Britain’s top ranking research universities, tech firms are hiring AI experts at a prodigious rate, fuelling a brain drain that has already hit research and teaching.
Pantic said the majority of top AI researchers moved to a handful of companies, meaning their skills and experience were not shared through society.
Many of the best researchers move to Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple.
Ghahramani sees no sign that industry’s demand for talented AI researchers has peaked.
“Universities will have to train enough people to meet the demand, and that’s a challenge if lecturers and postdocs are being lured into industry. It’s like killing the geese that lay the golden eggs. Companies are starting to realise that and some of the major tech companies are starting to give back to universities by sponsoring lectureships and donating funds.”
He said universities should also focus on researchers’ career development, giving free access to external training and teaming up with business schools to broaden researchers’ knowledge.
Ghahramani believes UK universities will have to become more flexible about researchers holding joint positions.
“They need to be flexible about intellectual property arrangements. They need to be flexible about PhD students who might want to spend time in a world-leading industry AI lab. That’s what we need to get around the problems. The universities that have been flexible have benefited,” he said.

The orginal article.

Summary of “In $25 billion video game industry, voice actors face broken vocal cords and low pay”

Voice, that intimate marker of human emotion, is now seen as essential to the $24.5 billion U.S. video game market, where the hyper-realistic graphics and operatic ­story lines used in games can be as textured as the best film dramas.
This led voice actors to go on strike last year against 11 of the largest video game developers over bonus pay and safety issues such as vocal stress.
A couple of days before her “Horizon Zero Dawn” session, Burch was at the Cartoon Network offices in Burbank, Calif., to record voices for the new cartoon “OK K.O.! Let’s Be Heroes.” Jobs like this helped Burch and other voice actors stay afloat as the strike dragged on and auditions for video games disappeared.
Another voice actor on the show, Courtenay Taylor, mentioned she suffered a hemorrhage in her vocal cords last year while voicing a game.
Last year, the union invited California’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health to investigate what it called unsafe and vocally stressful conditions for actors doing video games.
The union proposed a bonus structure for voice actors that would kick in when games sold at least 2 million copies – a blockbuster in movie terms.
Almost no voice actor can survive on video game work alone.
“I’ve made more money from one episode of some crappy preschool cartoon than one of the biggest-selling video games of all time,” said Phil LaMarr, a comedic actor who has lent his voice to the “Metal Gear Solid” series and cartoons such as “Pound Puppies.”

The orginal article.