Workplace Success – What You Need to Know This Week

Dec 23, 2014
4 Min Read

Here are three stories people are talking about this week.

1. Most people don’t want to be managers

In news that should surprise no one who’s ever managed other people, most American workers aren’t interested in becoming managers, according to a new CareerBuilder survey. Only one-third of workers aspire to management roles, with the majority of the rest saying that they’re satisfied in their current roles (52%), don’t want to sacrifice work-life balance (34%), or don’t feel they have the necessary qualifications (21%).

Harvard Business Review notes that the results “don’t necessarily reflect a lack of ambition. Today’s workers don’t have to be a manager to be successful – they don’t even need to take up a traditional ‘career.’ Which is a good thing, since for many people the corporate ladder doesn’t even exist anymore, as organizations have become flatter and options for moving up more limited.”

2. Why aren’t more companies embracing telecommuting?

Companies that are still avoiding telecommuting need to reconsider their stance, argues FlexJobs founder and CEO Sara Sutton Fell in Entrepreneur. Noting that only 10% of professionals work from home regularly, she asks why companies still see teamwork and collaboration as in-person activities, and argues that today’s technology and the tangible benefits of teleworking should have companies switching their practices more quickly.

Moreover, she says, Yahoo!’s and Best Buy’s well-publicized moves away from telecommuting in the last few years don’t prove it doesn’t work: “They only prove that telecommuting with little oversight and evaluation doesn’t work as a management system by itself. What employers miss is that proactive communication, performance evaluation, management training and employee accountability make the foundation for successful telecommuting, just as they should for in-office work. Without those components, productivity and effectiveness suffer just like they would in a traditional office environment.”

3. How being a jerk can hurt you at work

New research says that being a jerk at work might help get your ideas taken seriously in some contexts, but it will hinder you in organizations that value creativity. In a study published in the Journal of Business and Psychology, two professors set out to test whether being a jerk helps people get their ideas accepted and used in a work setting. Their results? Being a jerk can help in pushing through an idea when you’re already working in a somewhat hostile environment, but it will hinder you in healthier (and one might argue, more optimal) settings: The more open-minded and creative-thinking a group was, the less likely they were to take the ideas of a "jerk" seriously.

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