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As we endure Blue Monday, the most depressing day of the year, is the onus on employers to keep their staff happy? Yes- Mike Foster is creative director of brand design agency Straight Forward. Keeping employees happy makes good business sense apart from anything else. Smart employers want their team members to feel fulfilled, connected [...]
Billy from a TV production company writes: “Hello Elena, I know you simply can’t wait to kick off the festive season and are counting days until Christmas.” Top marks for presumptuousness, Billy. You “know” that I “can’t wait”? I can, actually, because I don’t celebrate Christmas. You also suggest that I am “counting days”. Are [...]
In the past year, I have witnessed an unfortunate proliferation of language apps: those that correct your spelling, grammar and style, and claim to make you a better writer. I’ve tested a few, and here is my considered advice: avoid. Apart from their obvious redundancy – Microsoft has been doing this for 20 years – the [...]
Is Elon Musk’s erratic behaviour just the price we need to pay for brilliant entrepreneurs? Kathy Gromotka, associate at Downing Ventures, says YES. We back entrepreneurs because we buy into their desire and ability to behave in a way that creates value, whether they’re a star in the spotlight or operating in stealth mode. Elon [...]
The month of July is rich in national festivities. Bastille Day in France, Independence Day in America. If you haven’t been to Paris on 14 July, I urge you to go. It’s glorious: fireworks erupt, crowds cheer, street bands blare, strangers embrace, the army parades, patriotic films roll. There is another red calendar day in [...]
In 2014, at a rather pompous event in the City, I met Fred. In a room full of big characters straight out of a Tom Wolfe novel, the two of us – office-looking and hassled – clearly stood out. I wore a dress that I also used as a blanket on overnight flights; he had [...]
If an email titled “New research reveals” lands in your inbox, don’t open it. Most of this stuff is so bad that a glorious tweet comes to mind: “Jesus regrets dying for each of you”. Recently, however, I broke this rule and read a “study” on irritating office habits – the morbid appeal of this [...]
"I could see from first glance that he was a half-wit, but then half-wits sometimes have the genius to amass a fortune.” The quote is from Henry Miller’s Tropic of Cancer. Don’t you just love it? Astute as it is, Miller’s observation is nevertheless remarkably at odds with the current consensus, which seems to be: [...]
Employee engagement is taking itself very seriously these days. It has its theorists and practitioners, its own Wikipedia page and an annoyingly persistent PR machine. According to this discipline's teachings, there exist fail-proof methodologies that can transform your average office worker – the one who browses Facebook and Mail Online when no one is watching [...]
Until now, the #MeToo movement has bothered me more than it inspired me. It lacked nuance, I thought, failing to distinguish – as some commentators pointed out – between sexual aggressors (who should be in jail), persistent harassers (who should be sacked and blacklisted), and sleazebags of the hand-on-knee variety (who deserve ridicule, but not [...]
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