work

created 2 years ago

When was the last time you felt comfortable doing nothing? Not for an hour or a day, but in general, with no immediate projects at hand? Lewis said he has no problem with inactivity if nothing worthwhile has captured his attention. If he believed that being industrious was important, he said, "I'd be panicked at the question 'What are you working on?' if I wasn't working on anything."
"People waste years of their lives not being willing to waste hours of their lives. If you mistake busyness for importance--which we do a lot--you're not able to see what really is important."
www.inc.com
Yet the focus on pushing for the best result has also fueled what current and former Uber employees describe as a Hobbesian environment at the company, in which workers are sometimes pitted against one another and where a blind eye is turned to infractions from top performers.
Among the most egregious accusations from employees, who either witnessed or were subject to incidents and who asked to remain anonymous because of confidentiality agreements and fear of retaliation: One Uber manager groped female co-workers’ breasts at a company retreat in Las Vegas. A director shouted a homophobic slur at a subordinate during a heated confrontation in a meeting. Another manager threatened to beat an underperforming employee’s head in with a baseball bat.
Then on Sunday, Susan Fowler, an engineer who left Uber in December, published a blog post about her time at the company. She detailed a history of discrimination and sexual harassment by her managers, which she said was shrugged off by Uber’s human resources department. Ms. Fowler said the culture was stoked — and even fostered — by those at the top of the company.
Her revelations have spurred hand-wringing over how unfriendly Silicon Valley workplaces can be to women and provoked an internal crisis at Uber. The company’s chief executive, Travis Kalanick, has opened an internal investigation into the accusations and has brought in the board member Arianna Huffington and the former attorney general Eric H. Holder Jr. to look into harassment issues and the human resources department.
“What I can promise you is that I will get better every day,” he said. “I can tell you that I am authentically and fully dedicated to getting to the bottom of this.”
Mr. Kalanick, 40, has made pointed displays of ego: In a GQ article in 2014, he referred to Uber as “Boob-er” because of how the company helped him attract women.
One group appeared immune to internal scrutiny, the current and former employees said. Members of the group, called the A-Team and composed of executives who were personally close to Mr. Kalanick, were shielded from much accountability over their actions.
Uber’s aggressive workplace culture spilled out at a global all-hands meeting in late 2015 in Las Vegas, where the company hired Beyoncé to perform at the rooftop bar of the Palms Hotel. Between bouts of drinking and gambling, Uber employees used cocaine in the bathrooms at private parties, said three attendees, and a manager groped several female employees. (The manager was terminated within 12 hours.) One employee hijacked a private shuttle bus, filled it with friends and took it for a joy ride, the attendees said.
According to attendees and video of the meeting, Ms. Huffington said there would no longer be hiring of “brilliant jerks.”
www.nytimes.com
"In just a few short years, Jobr has built a simple and consumer-friendly, mobile-first approach to connecting jobs and people. Bringing the Jobr app and team to Monster will enhance our leading global talent platform for job search, people search and related solutions across mobile channels," saidMark Stoever, President and Chief Operating Officer, Monster.  "Our company promise is to bring humanity and opportunity to the job market; adding the impressive Jobr team to the Monster family is another incremental step in delivering on this promise and bringing new opportunities to connect jobs and people to market."
www.monster.com
By stepping aside, finding other projects and actively ignoring something, our subconscious creates space for ideas to grow.
medium.com
Not unexpectedly, the trends of hiring part-time workers and independent contractors, automating, and outsourcing have become persistent, widespread, and are growing.
hbr.org
Conformity at work takes many forms: modeling the behavior of others in similar roles, expressing appropriate emotions, wearing proper attire, routinely agreeing with the opinions of managers, acquiescing to a team’s poor decisions, and so on. And all too often, bowing to peer pressure reduces individuals’ engagement with their jobs. This is understandable: Conforming often conflicts with our true preferences and beliefs and therefore makes us feel inauthentic. In fact, research I conducted with Maryam Kouchaki, of Northwestern University, and Adam Galinsky, of Columbia University, showed that when people feel inauthentic at work, it’s usually because they have succumbed to social pressure to conform.
In fact, research suggests, the manner in which we weigh evidence resembles the manner in which we weigh ourselves on a bathroom scale. If the scale delivers bad news, we hop off and get back on — perhaps the scale misfired or we misread the display. If it delivers good news, we assume it’s correct and cheerfully head for the shower.
hbr.org
The man, who wasn’t identified by authorities, sent an e-mail visible to hundreds of co-workers, including Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos, before the incident occurred, according to a person familiar with the matter. The man survived the fall from Amazon’s 12-story Apollo building at about 8:45 a.m. local time Monday and was taken to a Seattle hospital, police said.
In the e-mail, the man expressed criticism of how the company handled his transfer request, and he hinted that he might harm himself, according to the person.
The online retailer has taken steps to soften its image as a difficult employer since a New York Times story last year portrayed the company as a bruising workplace where employees were encouraged to take advantage of one another to get ahead. Amazon disputed the characterization of the company.
www.bloomberg.com
But when manufacturing returns to the states, jobs aren’t coming with it in high numbers. Automation has left workers in developing nations without employment,
Players in this space include burger flipping and pizza making robots, respectively, from Momentum Machines and Zume, painting robots from Rational Robotics. Then there are the likes of Modbot and Baxter, robots configurable for a wide range of purposes in manufacturing and elsewhere.
It’s not just startups, though. Large brands like Nike and Adidas have shed contractors and embraced robotics and 3-D printing to make their shoes. Large farms have long employed robots in the field, and major companies like Amazon and UPS rely heavily on robots for logistics and warehousing.
Let’s just hope there’s always a market for “handmade” goods and human-delivered services, and perhaps a robot that can help teach former employees new work skills.
techcrunch.com
“Campuses are full of people who look different but think alike. That is not real diversity, but pseudo-diversity. Real diversity requires a diversity of ideas, not simply like minded activist who resemble the bar scene of Star Wars.”
I’m a Chicano, a Mexican American or whatever buzzword we’re using nowadays to describe the fact my parents immigrated from Mexico. I joke around and make fun of the “white” memes with my siblings and friends. Yet when I travel to Latin America, I’m unequivocally categorized as the gringo or white guy, because I grew up in the United States and have similar cultural references with other millennial Americans, regardless of city or state of origin. As writer Nassim Taleb said in The Black Swan, “…a philosopher from Peru resembles a philosopher from Scotland more than a janitor from Peru.” It’s why I can relate to Aziz Ansari’s experiences as the son of immigrants, for example. I’m not Indian and we don’t look remotely the same but we relate and share that common experience.
“Don’t ask me where I’m from, ask where I’m a local.”
I’m multilingual and so even if you speak Mandarin, English and Swahili, I can relate to you because I know what it is like to think in one language and dream in another. Our connections, our empathy changes depending on who we talk to. It isn’t that we’re a different person, it’s that we’re different persons. We’re a collection of experiences and those are not limited nor defined by race.
You could certainly have more black engineers or Latino sales managers. But if your goal is “diversity”, whatever the hell that means to you, then what good is it, if those engineers went to the same schools and came from similar workplaces? Hire college dropouts. Look more closely at international candidates. Go talk to kids in Junior Colleges. If you need a VP of Sales for your new startup, interview an investment banker. Seek out diverse experiences and not just diverse skin colors.
Really, the only time I felt like a disadvantaged minority is when I’m reminded of it, as if it were important or relevant to the work I am doing. I cringe when someone asks me “What is it like being one of the few Mexican Americans in tech?” Never mind that I’m from Modesto, the home of George Lucas and Jeremy Renner.
observer.com
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