Make Going Back to Work Work for You

Make Going Back to Work Work for You

Why you should care

Because being a better employee might just get you what you want. 

The holidays are over (sorry) and it’s time to start shifting our focus away from indulging — in food, drinks, sleep — and back to the daily grind. But it needn’t be all doom and gloom. The return to the workplace can be a chance to make a fresh start. Really. It might be as small as changing some behaviors that might not be getting you the results you want, or learning to embrace office dynamics that might work in your favor more than you realized. Becoming self-aware is a first big step. It might just help you get that raise in the new year.

Are You a Jerk at Work?

Turns out you might be and not even know it. In fact, whatever you think you are — persuader or aggressor, collaborator or inspirer — you’re probably wrong. So says a new series of studies from Columbia Business School that sought to suss out the difference between how we perceive ourselves and how our co-workers perceive us. A surprising number of participants were not aware of their level of assertiveness. So if you want to ask for a raise or inspire your team, maybe instead of following your gut, have a listen to the opinions of others. Read the story here.

Monitoring Employees’ Moods — With an App

One of a company’s best assets is its people. Studies have shown that good moods correlate with good results. And since nobody wants to work with Oscar the Grouch, tapping into how employees feel could improve their satisfaction and retention — and a company’s productivity. Which means, of course: There’s now an app for that. The Niko Niko platform is an emerging service that can measure and track mood data. But capturing and recording cranky levels? Great if it helps bolster employee morale — but it also sounds a little creepy. Read the story here.

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Learn to Love Corporate Vocab

Words like “bandwidth” and “deliverables” and “actions” might elicit eye rolls from the younger set in the office. But many smart young people could learn practical, transferable skills from spending a few years speaking corporate vocabulary. Especially if you start mining that getting-shit-done vocabulary, turning instrumentalist language into your instrument. Making a choice to be self-aware about your language can genuinely help you be a smarter, better worker. And if you figure it out, it means you’ll never be that silent person in the back of a meeting again. Take it from this young worker who figured it out and found her own word. Read the story here.

Why It’s So Hard to Get Up for Work in the Morning

Most of us don’t spring from bed, well-rested and ready to start another glorious day of work. Turns out there’s a scientific reason for why we feel groggy or can’t concentrate at our desks. Our lives are governed by three different clocks: solar, biological and social. And when these aren’t in sync, we suffer from what’s called “social jet lag,” which is similar to actual jet lag in its effect on concentration, memory and digestion. OK in the short term but no so good in the long term. Starting our days a little later isn’t just a matter of personal comfort, but public health. Read the story here.

Photography by Shutterstock.

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