In a New York Times op-ed last weekend, architect Michael Graves lamented the fading art of drawing–that which binds the dynamism of the human mind directly to an unencumbered stub of graphite. Like the malleable visions within our heads, a pencil in the grip of a practiced hand can flick at nuance and wrap a curve in a way that’s neither inaccurate nor final–letting the line sashay just enough to let our minds decide where it best fits. CAD, on the hand, insists on rigid absolutes: sharp corners, perfect circles, and clean, defined lines that leave little room for impromptu invention. advertisement advertisement Machines, Graves pointed out, are no longer handling only the prosaic tasks of design. CAD was once a tool to pump out accurate construction drawings and utility plans, but there now exists software that will automatically consider size, style, budget, and materials–as well as produce designs on its own. A drive through fresh sprawl leads you … [Read more...] about Want To Maximize Your Human Resources? Employ Algorithms
Recruiting human resources
Chalk another one up for “one step forward, two steps back.” Women who request time off care for children are penalized, while men requesting flex-time are viewed as both more likable and committed to their jobs. advertisement advertisement A study presented yesterday at the American Sociological Association examined 646 requests for non-traditional hours and work-from-home time. Study author Christin Munsch, an assistant professor of sociology at Furman University, varied the requests, gender and age of the employees as well as whether they were making the request to take care of children. The results showed that men requesting time off for child care were ranked favorable, while such requests could actually hurt a woman’s reputation. Nearly 70% of the study’s participants would be likely or very likely to approve the man’s request while only roughly 56.7% would approve the woman’s. Nearly one quarter of the fathers making the request were … [Read more...] about Gender Inequality’s Latest Victim: Flex-Time Requests
Home for the holidays takes on a whole new, depressing meaning when businesses layoff employees during December. advertisement advertisement Losing your livelihood during the “happiest time of the year” is pretty awful for employees, so why would a company be so Scrooge-like? We asked several HR professionals to weigh in on whether or not it’s acceptable, or advisable, to conduct layoffs during the holiday season, and if so, how to do it compassionately. They had a lot to say. Why Companies Conduct Layoffs During The Holidays The vast majority of organizations run on a calendar year budget, explains Steve Spires, a managing director of outplacement solutions with BPI group, and year-end coincides with the need to achieve year-end numbers. “Business cycles are agnostic, and focused on results without bias, emotion, nor sentimentality,” says Jason Hanold, managing partner at executive search firm Hanold Associates. Because companies may want to … [Read more...] about Fired For The Holidays: Is It Acceptable For Businesses To Downsize In December?
Plantronics has a shiny new headquarters in Santa Cruz, Calif., but most employees probably won’t spend too much time there. The space is designed for people to not come in to work; there aren’t even enough desks to accommodate the whole Santa Cruz staff. The audio communications company hasn’t just accepted telecommuting, it has designed around the concept. advertisement advertisement Plantronics, which makes wireless headsets, already has European offices that have made the switch to a more flexible working environment. “People change through different catalysts. We wanted to be more open to smarter working, anywhere anytime. [Plantronics’] European human resources had the catalyst of the government telling them they had to reduce their carbon footprint,” explains Patricia Wadors, Senior Vice President of Human Resources at Plantronics. So this week, Plantronics opened a revamped headquarters in Santa Cruz that doesn’t have assigned … [Read more...] about An Office Designed To Keep Employees Working From Home
Amazon’s announcement that it will invest US$700 million to retrain 100,000 employees—a third of its U.S. workforce—in new technologies is the latest reminder that the much-heralded future of work is well underway. advertisement advertisement Policy makers, analysts, and scholars trying to discern the retailer’s motives and objectives chalked it up to a public relations move or the natural result of a tight labor market. Others deemed it standard retraining and investment. Lost in the reaction, however, is what it means for the rest of us workers. As an expert in technology disruption, I believe the main message in Amazon’s announcement is clear and indisputable: The jobs of tomorrow will require at least some competency in the STEM fields—science, technology, engineering, and math. But do we want to leave it to companies like Amazon to take the lead in making sure we’re ready? Amazon’s rationale Amazon offered, in painstaking … [Read more...] about Amazon plans to upskill 100,000 employees. Here’s what that means for the future of work