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Data Can Make for Cutthroat Coworkers

May 7, 2015 The introduction of data to the workplace has been hailed as a revolution as often as it has been assailed as a digital Big Brother. Just last month, The Wall Street Journal deemed data "the new middle manager"—a way for start-ups to transparently take cost-cutting measures that are backed up...

The After-Work Email Quandary

April 27, 2015 I remember a conversation with a colleague a couple years ago: During one summer Friday, nearly half his work emails bounced back with out-of-office autoreplies. My colleague rolled his eyes. "It's not like they're really not reading their emails on vacation," he groaned. He has a point. Once, I myself...

Nine to Five, After 65

April 22, 2015 If you can afford it, the ability to enjoy one's elderly years out of the office is ideal. But longer lifespans often mean that retiring at a more traditional age requires workers to save up larger nest eggs and spend dozens of years living on dwindling savings. Retiring at 65...

Mapping Genomes to Understand Contaminated Foods

April 16, 2015 Last week, two companies issued national recalls of their products due to listeriacontamination. For Sabra Dipping Company, which is recalling 30,000 cases of hummus, no illnesses or deaths have been reported to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) thus far. But for Blue Bell Creameries, the CDC has confirmed a...

There Really Are More Pregnant Women at the Office

April 8, 2015 The case of UPS driver Peggy Young, which was decided by the Supreme Court two weeks ago, highlighted the issue of pregnancy discrimination in the workplace. Pregnant women often face latent discrimination and unfriendly workplace policies—Young's employer wouldn't lighten her workload when she was pregnant—but federal agencies are taking note....

Science Agrees: Being Laid Off Is Terrible

April 6, 2015 I graduated from college in 2007 and took an entry-level reporting job in Hong Kong to spend time with extended family and work on my Cantonese, but by the end of 2008, my classmates in the U.S. had just one piece of advice for me: Don't come back until there...

Finding the Right Price for Water

March 24, 2015 There's a classic economic paradox about the price of water and value, and it comes from Adam Smith: Why do diamonds cost more than water? The comparison is meant to demonstrate how pricing works—that even though water is essential for human survival, our economy puts prices on things based on...

Are Organizations With Drug Tests Weeding Out Great Candidates?

March 4, 2015 The FBI's jobs page makes it pretty clear how the agency feels about marijuana: "You can easily determine whether you meet the FBI's illegal drug policy by answering the following questions." The list's first question: "Have you used marijuana at all within the last three years?" Government agencies are some...

Bad Weather: Better for Work, Terrible for Everything Else

February 27, 2015 Talking about the weather used to be drudgery saved for only the most boring acquaintances. But in the age of temperature selfies and record snow, winter'spopularity on the Internet seems to thrive in spite of the season's toll on our minds (and bodies). Winter and the snowstorms that come with...

The Financial Consequences of a Bad Flu Shot

January 21, 2015 The polar vortex has abated (at least for the time being), but flu season is far from over. By now, mid-January, many of my colleagues have fallen ill and been confined at home with chicken soup and Netflix. This has been a bad year for the flu, in part because...