workplace practices

can we make hot-desking work in our office?

Before we get into this letter, a definition. Hot desking = an office design that eliminates assigned desks, instead having people find a new work space each day. It’s sometimes used in offices where people are frequently out (on the road, working from home, or at another site), rather than having lots of desks sitting […]

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why do our meetings run on so long?

A reader writes: I’m trying to figure out if I’m a crabby cynic or if I’m missing some genetic code that makes people enjoy sitting in meetings. I work in a very busy legal department in a non-attorney role. Too often I have observed that when a new process or other change is announced at […]

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can I call in sick from work because of acne?

A reader writes: I have cystic acne that I have been able to keep under control for the most part, but once in a while it flares up and is horrifically painful and embarrassing. Most managers understand calling in because of sickness, but is it reasonable to call in when I get a flare-up? It […]

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my office contacts me all weekend long

A reader writes: I’m in the middle of the hierarchy at a very small company. Two people report to me, and I report to two people, but they trust me and I have a lot of autonomy and decision-making power. My two reports and I work a pretty standard schedule, with a few weekends and […]

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how to ask for more vacation time

If you’re like most Americans, you don’t get nearly enough vacation time from your employer. But what you may not realize is that you can often negotiate more vacation time for yourself – either as part of the offer negotiation process when you’re first being hired or later on after you’ve been on the job […]

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what is going on with hugging at work?

You’re greeting a colleague who you haven’t seen in a while – and suddenly, without warning, they’re enthusiastically opening their arms and going in for a hug. Whatever happened to the simple handshake at work? Hugging used to be reserved for close family and friends, but it’s been infiltrating professional contexts for a while now, […]

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my office has a mandatory feelings chart

A reader writes: I work in an office of a large company. The work my team does is often stressful, so sometimes staff morale suffers. The managers of my team have created a feelings chart that has giant emoji representing various levels of being happy, stressed, and angry. There are stickers of all our names […]

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