workplace practices

is it worth going to HR about a bad manager?

A reader writes: I’ve always been told by colleagues at various employers that if you have difficulties with your supervisor, you shouldn’t bother going to HR. People have told me that it’s HR’s job to protect the organization and your manager, even if he or she is a bully or violating policies and laws. I’ve […]

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should our office ban smelly foods?

A reader writes: My staff are busy so I do not discourage them from eating at their desks. My problem is the type of food because some produce strong odors. For example, kebabs are smelly and the smell lingers throughout the afternoon, and if dropped on desks they can stain! We don’t have enough room […]

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how to say “no, I won’t clean the bathroom”

A reader writes: I work at a small nonprofit organization. My manager is always looking for ways to save money. Some make sense (think shopping around for the best price on office supplies). Others, not so much. We don’t have a janitor on staff, nor do we hire a service. We used to have someone […]

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a tale of two companies

I want to highlight two very different approaches by employers that were described in the comments on one of last week’s letters. The first: My friend just texted me and her office is doing “pants and shoes checks” before Zoom meetings to make sure people are complying with the dress code 100% even if you […]

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working from home is making a lot of people miserable

We traditionally tend to think of working from home as a perk. You can do your laundry while you work. You can stay in pajamas and control your own thermostat. You can take the dog for a walk. But after being abruptly forced to work from home full time this year, a lot of people have […]

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how can I make our team meetings more collaborative?

A reader writes: I manage a department of 20 people, who are devided in smaller teams of two to three people each. Each small team is in charge of exactly the same tasks but for a different geographical area. Some of the challenges they face on a daily basis are part of bigger issues that […]

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