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7 Very Telling Signs Your Job Is a Poor Fit

At some point in our work lives, many of us will find ourselves in the wrong job. (I hear of this quite often.) Specific fault can be difficult, and likely futile to assign. However, one day you may look around to find that your work life is dangerously out of sync. Nothing is more alarming than throwing yourself into your role—and realizing things have taken an obvious turn. The important element here? Identifying the problem for what it really is (in very short shrift), and acting to make changes. Poor matches do happen. Jobs morph. Great bosses move on. We grow and change. Any of these could serve as a contributing accelerant.

So, make every attempt to let yourself off the hook and avoid a long-term “soul sucking” experience. Poor fit is a very common—and it is important to recognize its symptoms.

Here are a few signs worth notice:

You feel lost. Have you experienced the classic nightmare where you arrive at class on exam day, only to realize that you’ve not purchased the textbook? This certainly should not be your work life experience during waking hours. If tasks or projects leave you feeling unprepared, take note ...

The Most Intelligent Groups Aren’t Just a Bunch of Smart People

It’s becoming increasingly important for businesses to think about themselves not just in terms of their productivity and efficiency, but also their intelligence. But how do you measure an organization’s intelligence? And with so many groups working remotely, can you measure an online group’s intelligence? It turns out that you can measure and predict group intelligence, and that the same factors affect both face-to-face and online groups.

In a prior study, my colleagues and I took the same statistics techniques used to measure individual intelligence and applied them to measure the intelligence of groups. As far as we know, nobody had ever before asked if groups had an “intelligence factor,” just as individuals do.

We found that there is indeed a single statistical factor for group intelligence that predicts how well the group will perform on a wide variety of tasks. We called this factor “collective intelligence,” and it is only moderately correlated with the average individual intelligence of people in the group. In other words, having a bunch of smart people in the group doesn’t necessarily lead to a smart group. Instead, we found three other factors that predict collective intelligence.

The first was average ...

The Health Benefits of Going Outside

  • By James Hamblin, MD and Katherine Wells
  • December 18, 2014
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As people spend more time indoors, ecotherapy has emerged as a way to help rebuild our relationships with nature—and improve mental and physical health. James Hamblin visits San Francisco to learn more.

(Top image via Vivian Fung/

5 Tips to Boost Your Employee Survey Ranking

It’s official: the morale of the federal workforce is the worst it’s been since they first started measuring.  Each year, the Partnership for Public Service conducts the Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey across all agencies and departments. The FEVS can be one of the single greatest pain points for federal leaders. Some are resigned to thinking that much of the government is just doomed to have low morale—but that doesn’t have to be the case. And now it looks like the Office of Management and Budget is going to incorporate those measures in senior executives’ performance evaluations. Figuring out how to engage your employees and boost your scores is more important than ever. There are a variety of things leaders can do to boost morale (and their FEVS ranking) if they are willing.

 1. Monitor Progress Constantly

The FEVS is conducted once a year so progress is made slowly over time. Make sure you are constantly tracking progress with regard to morale and employee engagement. Moreover, to show that you are taking this seriously, make the progress (or lack thereof) public knowledge across your organization. Even if things are not progressing as quickly as desired, you will ...

The Complete Guide to Sitting at Your Desk

By now, you’re probably sick of hearing about standing desks, with their promises of staving off obesity, diabetes, even death. (The craze is evident here at Quartz’s New York office, where a new standing desk pops up nearly every week.)

But standing all day is not for everyone. For those who are more productive with their behind planted on a comfy seat, take heart. There are ways to stay healthy and happy without ditching your swivel chair.

Quartz talked to Kevin Costello, president of United States Ergonomics, a company that consults on ergonomics in workplaces, and he offered some tips on how to optimize your sitting desk at work.

Move around

Desk work can take a toll on your body, and it’s the sitting still that causes the problem. “Most people start the day OK, but start to notice discomfort late in the day,” says Costello. “This is typically the result of static postures and the onset of muscle fatigue.”

One study found that taking a five-minute walk every hour can be just as effective as standing all day. There are apps that can remind you to take a break and stretch, or you can set an ...