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How Office Air Makes You Dumber

Poor ventilation is among the problems, study says

(Newser) - Yeah, that air you're breathing at the office? It's likely diminishing your brain power by more than half unless it's kept environmentally clean, according to a new study . Researchers came to this conclusion by placing 24 professionals—including engineers, designers, and architects—in a specialized office for... More »

Office Temperatures Are 'Sexist'

Temperatures are based on the male metabolism, study says

(Newser) - A man and woman work in the same room all day long. One is perfectly comfortable while the other is freezing her tush off. Sound strange? Nope, it's just daily life in offices, according to a new study that says our average building temperature is outdated and favors the... More »

Telecommuting Isn't as Great as You Think

Workers in study were more productive, but they missed their colleagues

(Newser) - Cogs in the wheel toiling away in an office have probably dreamed of working from home in pajamas. But a new study out of Stanford University suggests telecommuting may not be all it's cracked up to be, leading Business Insider to assert that "traditional workspaces will never disappear.... More »

Windowless Offices Cut Workers' Sleep

Researchers point to health issue

(Newser) - No windows in your office? You may be losing sleep over it—literally. Researchers surveyed 22 workers getting natural light exposure and 27 others missing it; they found that those who were getting the exposure at work got an extra 46 minutes of sleep during the work week and reported... More »

Feds: Flatulent Worker No Problem After All

Social Security officials rescind reprimand against employee

(Newser) - That smell over in cubicle four? Let's not worry about it, Social Security officials have decided. The federal agency had reprimanded an employee last month for allegedly disrupting work "by passing gas and releasing an unpleasant odor," reports Today . The letter came with a timestamped log that... More »

Men Have More Bacteria in Their Offices: Study

Though it could just be because they're bigger

(Newser) - If you're a guy, chances are your office is swarming with microbial coworkers. OK, it's actually probably true for women as well, but a new study has found that on average, men have 10% to 20% more bacteria in their offices, the New York Times reports. "It... More »

5 Worst Office Habits

If you want to please your co-workers, stop complaining

(Newser) - LinkedIn asked more than 17,000 professionals around the globe to name their biggest workplace pet peeve—and, surprisingly, the top spot went to something a bit more serious than leaving your smelly food in the office fridge. The top five:
  1. Those who don’t take ownership of their
... More »

Worker Dies in Cubicle, Not Found for Day

LA County employee Rebecca Wells, 51, found dead at desk

(Newser) - A Los Angeles County employee lay dead and slumped over her desk in an office cubicle for what could have been as long as a day before anybody noticed, police say. Rebecca Wells, a 51-year-old auditor who had recently become a grandmother, was found by a security guard Saturday afternoon,... More »

10 Sites Your Boss Is Most Likely to Block

You mean we actually have to work?

(Newser) - Funny how the hours between 9am and 5pm just fly by when Facebook is involved. Unfortunately, our bosses are on to us. A study by OpenDNS reports which websites were most blocked by companies in 2010. The Huffington Post has the top 10, noting the proportion of business networks that... More »

Your Boss Reads Your IMs... and 9 Things He Won't Admit

But fear not, you're not likely to get fired for online shopping

(Newser) - Ever wonder if your bosses are snooping on you at work? They probably are. On SmartMoney , Catey Hill reveals 10 things they’ll never tell you:
  • They read your emails and IMs: Some employ monitoring software that flags certain keywords or types of messages; one company estimates reading 5% to
... More »

Is Telecommuting Greener?

You'd think so, but the answer isn't that easy

(Newser) - Unless your idea of fun happens to include "exhaust, tiny workspaces, dress codes, and wasting your time," telecommuting is fantastic, writes Brian Palmer in Slate . Studies have shown that it's also "a win-win" for employers and employees in terms of productivity and quality of work. And it's... More »

TMI Takes Over at the Office

If you're about to tell your co-workers about your kinky underwear habits, just stop

(Newser) - Discussions about shaving one's private parts over lunch. Dishing details about your husband's kinky underwear habits while pouring coffee. It's official, writes Elizabeth Bernstein, "the TMI phenomenon has invaded the workplace," and we have no one to blame but ourselves. Sure, Facebook and the confessional culture of reality... More »

Holiday Gifts Not to Get Your Boss

To get ahead, steer clear of religion, politics, and 'The Office'

(Newser) - A thoughtful holiday gift for your boss can smooth out your workday and even help your career. But not all gifts are created equal. David Seaman of The Street lists some to avoid:
  • The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People: A self-help or management book "implies that you don't
... More »

Enough With the Skimpy Office Attire

(Newser) - It’s all well and good that women in the workplace have dropped the power suit for more feminine attire, but does it have to come with "yards of cleavage," micro-minis, and peekaboo bra straps? Relaxed attire has wandered way into bimbo territory, and it's a big mistake,... More »

How to Stage a Vacation Coup

It can be done, with help from the expert

(Newser) - Planning a summer vacation? It may be harder than you think to get away from your needy colleagues, but with “aggressive, simultaneous upward and downward management,” it can be done, writes Stanley Bing in Fortune:
  • First, get the boss’s permission and make sure your subordinates know you’
... More »

At Office, Anything Beyond Handshake Can be Touchy

(Newser) - After countless bear hugs, fist bumps, elbow grips, and pats-on-the-back, Elizabeth Bernstein realized that she is her office’s “touchee”—someone co-workers know will be receptive to physical demonstrations of support, she writes for the Wall Street Journal. That got her thinking: When is such touching OK, and... More »

Firms Feed Workers to Boost Morale

It's not a raise, but perk goes long way in tough times, managers say

(Newser) - The way to employee satisfaction is apparently through their stomachs. Businesses slicing jobs and benefits in tough times are finding that free food is a cheap way to boost worker morale, the Boston Globe reports. The majority of financial officers recently surveyed—68%—is taking steps to boost employee spirits.... More »

Etiquette for 2009: Don't Mention Your Job

Unemployment straining friendships

(Newser) - The onetime small-talk staple “So, how's the job going?” is liable to get you into trouble these days, reports Newsweek. Rising unemployment is straining friendships as the haves learn to interact with the have-nots. Among 30- and 40-somethings, discussing luxurious vacation plans is not a good idea, and for... More »

Working at Home Could Boost Layoff Risk, Some Fear

'Trend toward flexibility' makes about-face in rough economy

(Newser) - Workers who once had the flexibility to work from home are sticking to the office, worried that less “face time” could make them layoff targets, the Washington Post reports. To some women, the shift appears to be a step backward as pressure builds to “work as many hours... More »

Ousted Thain to Repay $1.2M Spent on Office

Lush renovation was a 'mistake,' says ex-Merrill CEO

(Newser) - Former Merrill Lynch CEO John Thain says he’ll repay the $1.2 million he spent on office renovations last year, Bloomberg reports. “The expenses were incurred over a year ago in a very different environment,” Thain wrote in a memo to Merrill execs. “They were a... More »

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