workplace practices

at what point in a very long cold should I stay home?

A reader writes: Despite getting the flu shot and frequently washing my hands, I catch two or three bad colds a year that last at least two weeks. They start out with three days of feeling terrible (headaches, nausea, aches) but looking fine. The next two days I feel better, but my eyes turn red […]

Read the full article →

passive-aggressive notes at work

Take a look around any office, and you’re likely to find at least one passive-aggressive note. It might be the note someone taped above the kitchen sink, reminding you not to leave dirty dishes around, or it might be  the exasperated note on the copier, sternly reminding you to refill the paper tray rather than […]

Read the full article →

my office is requiring us to disclose all medications we take

A reader writes: I work for a small office (around 20 people) with a director who has a tendency towards micromanagement and distrust of employees — think paranoia that people are constantly trying to get out of doing “enough” work. The director recently announced a new policy requiring employees to disclose prescription and over-the-counter drugs […]

Read the full article →

our sick leave practices are a mess

Every year around this time, my inbox at Ask a Manager fills up with complaints about coughing, sneezing colleagues who shouldn’t be at work and, by coming in, are putting everyone else at risk of getting sick, too. Sometimes, of course, it’s due to a martyr complex – the feeling that work cannot possibly go […]

Read the full article →

I’m assigned all the worst holidays to work

A reader writes: I work as a pharmacist in a federal hospital with a group of 13 other pharmacists. We are open 24/7 and that requires people to work shifts and weekends and holidays that no one likes. It is a shared burden. However, for the last two years, management has assigned holidays to people. […]

Read the full article →

can you have close work friendships when you’re in HR?

A reader writes: I work at a company with a large number of employees under the age of 30 (myself included), and because of that, there’s a very social atmosphere. I’ve become quite close with a woman in a difficult department (let’s call her Linda) who is very fun to be around but will often […]

Read the full article →

35 gifts for every type of employee

If you’re the boss, finding the right gifts for your employees can be fraught with questions: How much do you spend? Should you spend the same amount of money on each person? And if you don’t know someone well, how do you make sure they like the gift while still keeping it professional? To be […]

Read the full article →

should I get my boss a gift for the holidays?

A reader writes: I just started a new job and I am working in a team of three. Should I get my boss a gift for the holidays? I would round up the other coworker, but had second thoughts because she is a temp. I don’t want to be gimmicky or a teacher’s pet, but […]

Read the full article →