Category Archives: Work-Life Balance

“Model” employee outsources his software job to China

Description: Bob was his company’s best software developer, got glowing performance reviews and earned more than $250,000 a year.

Source: www.theglobeandmail.com

Date: Jan 17, 2013

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Bob was paying a Chinese firm about $50,000 a year to do his work, then spent the day surfing the web, watching cat videos and updating his Facebook page.

“This particular case was pretty unique,” computer security investigator Andrew Valentine, who helped uncover Bob’s scheme, said in an e-mail to The Globe and Mail. “We thought it was actually pretty clever.”

Mr. Valentine made Bob’s tale public in a blog post on Monday and it has since been the talk of tech websites.    Read Rest of Story 

 Questions for discussion:

1. Is there an ethical dilemma in what Bob was doing at his place of work?  Why or Why Not??

2.  What benefits can you see with outsourcing as a company?

3.  What pitfalls can you see a company risking by outsourcing?

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How the Smartphone Killed the Three-Day Weekend

Description: It would seem an ideal time to take a break, but our ability to unplug and relax is under assault. A three-day weekend? We can barely get through three waking hours without working, new research shows. The average smartphone user checks his or her device 150 times per day, or about once every six minutes.

Source: CNBC.com

Date: May 24, 2013

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There’s plenty of debate among economists and psychologists whether the economy is to blame, or we do this to ourselves. There’s little arguing that the concept of a Sabbath is in serious danger.

“It’s like an arms race … everything is an emergency,” said Tanya Schevitz, spokeswoman for Reboot, an organization trying help people unplug more often. “We have created an expectation in society that people will respond immediately to everything with no delay. It’s unhealthy, and it’s unproductive, and we can’t keep going on like this.”

There’s a long list of horribles associated with our new, always-on-digital lives: You are dumber. You are more stressed. You are losing sleep, and more depressed.  READ REST OF STORY 

Questions for discussion:

1. Has Technology affected our ability to enjoy and have downtime from our daily pursuits?  Why or Why Not?

2.  “We need a modern day-rest that brings balance back to life”  Do you agree of disagree with this statement? Explain.

Jack Dorsey: He’s too hip to be Square

Description: Twitter founder Jack Dorsey speaks about his latest project and his original: the site that started a revolution.

Source: CNN.com

Date: March 21, 2013

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Click on Link for video

http://cnn.com/video/?/video/tech/2013/03/21/exp-lead-dorsey-twitter-square-intv.cnn

Payments company Square is different from many consumer technology startups in that many businesses use the service all day for retail transactions in brick-and-mortar locations.

The transactions are critical to these businesses and have to work in many different situations in the “real world.” So Square’s multi-tiered testing program is a key part of its development process for its hardware and software.

The quickly growing payments company, headed by Twitter cofounder Jack Dorsey, last year announced a major deal with Starbucks and raised a major funding round valuing the company at $3.25 billion. Behind that growth is an in-depth testing program with small businesses to not only get feedback on new products but to keep Square connected with its merchants and learn about their most pressing business needs. While Square is ultimately used by consumers, Square’s essential customers are its merchants and the testing is an important part of its relationship with them.

Questions for discussion:

1. What is Square Technology and who are the target segments for this market ?

2. What is the business model for square technology and how does this technology make money (revenue model)?

Silencing the Smartphone

Description: some companies are adopting policies aimed at weaning employees from their electronic devices.

Source: www.nytimes.com

Date: Dec 31, 2012

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A study conducted last spring by the Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project found that while mobile phones were valued as a way to stay productive, there were downsides to being available at all times. The nationwide survey of 2,254 adults found that 44 percent of cellphone owners had slept with their phone next to their bed and that 67 percent had experienced “phantom rings,” checking their phone even when it was not ringing or vibrating. Still, the proportion of cellphone owners who said they “could live without it” has gone up, to 37 percent from 29 percent in 2006. Read Rest of Story 

Questions for discussion:

1. Do you feel organizations would gain benefits by limited their employees’ exposure to mobile devices? Why or Why not?

2.  What is your best reason or evidence that mobile devices affect either productivity or non productivity in the workplace?