You’d be perfectly okay with your boss installing a monitoring device called “OccupEye” that can tell them when you’re at your desk and when you’re not, right? The fact that it has a creepy name doesn’t really help me feel comfortable about such a device.

Barclays just installed these sensors to keep track of when their bankers are sitting at their desks.Now, these monitors only track heat and motion so it’s not like they are tracking your actual performance or who is sitting and who is standing. Since they do a lot of hot-desking (that is, anyone can plug in anywhere), it doesn’t even monitor who it is that sits all day.

They say, according to an article in Bloomberg, the purpose is to see what spaces employees use. This information can then be used to lower space and energy costs–people can know what is truly being used.

To keep reading, click here: Barclays Puts Creepy Sensors to See Where All the Bankers Are

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This was a summer of flying. My two children and I took a total of 10 flights in a matter of four weeks, and while I was prepared for the worst, the recent news hadn’t prepared me for what would really happen with our flights. Here’s what happened:

Fantastic and Customer Service

On our flight from Rochester, NY to Philadelphia, PA, we flew in a little tiny American Airlines plane. Because it was a tiny plane, all carry on suitcases had to be gate checked. The man in front of us had a large roller bag. The gate agent handed him a gate check tag, and the man said, “I’m sorry, I can’t be separated from this bag. It contains medical equipment. I have a heart condition, and I could die if I can’t access it.”

That’s the best argument I’ve heard for keeping your carry-on bag. It, however, didn’t change the fact that the plane just isn’t big enough to put a roller bag in the overhead bin and it certainly wouldn’t fit under the seat.

To keep reading, click here: I Took 10 Flights in a Month, and Here’s What Happened

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The Importance of Paid Time Off and Vacation

by Evil HR Lady on August 18, 2017

Americans famously get less paid time off than other developed nations, and yet we don’t manage to use it all. While it may seem better to have your employees working than to have them enjoying their PTO, the reality is that you should want them out of the office. Taking a break is good for them and good for your business. Here’s why and how to get your employees to take advantage of their PTO allotment.

Remove the Fear

Marketwatch reported that 54 percent of Americans don’t use all their allotted PTO because they are afraid—of getting fired, of coming back to work completely overwhelmed and that things will fall apart while they’re gone. These are all problems the company can resolve. Make sure employees know that vacations are planned for and expected. Focus on cross-training employees so that whenever one person is out of the office, someone else can handle emergencies. Make sure work is assigned out so that when an employee returns from vacation, they aren’t playing catch-up.

To keep reading, click here: The Importance of Paid Time Off and Vacation

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Dealing with Ransomware Attacks

by Evil HR Lady on August 17, 2017

Have you heard of WannaCry, Cryptolocker or Cryptowall? These, and other malware, cause ransomware attacks. That’s where someone steals your data and holds it hostage. Your data is worth far more than your hardware, so it can put any business into a spin.

You may think it won’t happen to your business—you’re too small to have anyone pick on you—but you need to be prepared. It can happen to your business. A survey conducted by Spiceworks found that one in five small businesses experienced an attack, with an average ransom of $2,423. If it doesn’t happen to you, it will probably happen to someone you know. And your business is at risk.

Just What Is a Ransomware Attack?

Using malware—in other words, a virus—your data is locked or stolen and you cannot get it back unless you pay a ransom and, unfortunately, paying up doesn’t even guarantee your data back.

To keep reading, click here: Dealing with Ransomware Attacks

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The How-Tos of Building Relationships With HR

by Evil HR Lady on August 16, 2017

Human resources departments often have a reputation for being hard to approach or understand. Building relationships with employees is a critical step for a successful HR department. Here’s how.

Don’t Get Too Close

This may seem counterintuitive to building relationships, but when HR becomes close friends with some staff, the other staff members feel HR doesn’t operate fairly. If the HR manager goes to lunch daily with Barb in accounting, and then Steven in accounting has an issue with Barb, he will feel like he can’t get fair treatment from HR — even if another HR person handles it. HR needs to build good relationships with others, and that means staying at arm’s length from everyone as well.

To keep reading, click here: The How-Tos of Building Relationships With HR

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Your Workplace May Be Toxic for Your Health

by Evil HR Lady on August 15, 2017

Does your job have repeated intense physical exertion? Are you exposed to unpleasant and potentially hazardous working conditions? What about hostile or threatening workplaces? Are your deadlines reasonable, or do you have too much to do in not enough time? Do you take time out of your personal life to do work, all for a dead end job?

If any of this sounds familiar to you, you’re not alone. QZ just reported on a survey from the Rand Corporation that found the following:

  • Nearly three-fourths of Americans report either intense or repetitive physical exertion on the job at least one-quarter of the time.
  • More than one-half of Americans report exposure to unpleasant and potentially hazardous working conditions.
  • Nearly one in five Americans are exposed to a hostile or threatening social environment at work, such as unwanted sexual attention and verbal abuse.
  • Most Americans (two-thirds) frequently work at high speeds or under tight deadlines, and one in four perceives that they have too little time to do their job.
  • About one-half of American workers do some work in their free time to meet work demands.
  • Only 38% of workers state that their job offers good prospects for advancement.

To keep reading, click here: Your Workplace May Be Toxic for Your Health

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Want the Ideal HR Department? Follow This Recipe

by Evil HR Lady on August 15, 2017

So, you want to make the ideal HR department? There’s a recipe for that. It’s a little tricky and some of the ingredients have to be special ordered. But if you follow this recipe, you’ll get the HR department of your dreams.

Step One

Ingredients:

1 cup administrative skills

1/2 cup recruiters, firmly packed

1 tablespoon onboarding

3 HR trainers, chilled

Directions:

Blend these first three ingredients until smooth. It could take a while, as the recruiters may not want to blend with the administrative skills, but it’s necessary if you want candidates to have a smooth experience.

To get the rest of the recipe, click here: Want the Ideal HR Department? Follow This Recipe

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Should You Fire the Charlottesville Protesters?

by Evil HR Lady on August 14, 2017

Over the weekend, a group of white nationalists held a march to protest the removal of a Civil War hero statue in Charlottesville, Virginia. Protesters from Antifa and Black Lives Matter showed up in a counter protest and violence broke out, resulting in one death, when a driver rammed his car into the crowd of counter-protesters.

A Twitter account, “Yes, You’re Racist” is working to uncover the identity of the white nationalist protesters. The goal is to notify employers and schools so that the protesters face consequences at work and at school.

So, let’s say you come into the office this morning to find out that one of your employees was part of the white nationalist group? Can you fire him (and from the pictures, it appears to be a male thing), and should you? (These are often two different questions.) Well, the answer is, it depends.

To keep reading, click here: Should You Fire the Charlottesville Protesters?

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After James Damore published his document “Damore published his document “Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber” on an internal message board, and that document was leaked to the press, the internet seemed to freak out. People took up sides and jumped to conclusions (often without reading what Damore had actually said). Google fired Damore.

Naturally, this didn’t calm the furor on the internet or at Google, and Google wanted to hold a town hall to address some of the concerns. However, Google CEO Sundar Pichai had to cancel the town hall due to Googlers concerns about “their safety and worried they may be “outed” publicly for asking a question in the Town Hall.”

To keep reading (including the full text of Pichai’s memo), click here: Google Fires Employee For Expressing an Opinion; Shocked When Employees Don’t Feel Safe Speaking Up

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How an Attempt to Save $150 Cost This Employer $354,070

by Evil HR Lady on August 11, 2017

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires that you not discriminate against people with disabilities and that you make reasonable accommodations for a disabled employee. However, the employee has to be capable of doing the “core functions” of a job. That may not be as cut and dried as you might think, as the City of Evanston, Illinois, found out.

Biago Stragapede worked for the City of Evanston for 14 years, when he had an accident at home (not work related) that resulted in him being out for 9 months. When he returned, the city’s doctor had concerns about the traumatic brain injury he suffered and sent him to a neurologist for an evaluation. The neurologist recommended a “work trial” to see if Stragepede could do his job. The city gave him a two-week trial and then he returned to work full time.

All of these things are fine. When someone has had a serious injury, you need a doctor to release them to work again and you’d be negligent if you didn’t. But, the problems started a couple of weeks later when Stragapede made some mistakes and needed some help at work.

To keep reading, click here: How an Attempt to Save $150 Cost This Employer $354,070

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