Workplace Culture

By Pam Fox Rollin | How we work today, in business, startups, nonprofits in US & around the world.

Beyond the Paycheck

Meaningful work, argues psychologist Barry Schwartz, shouldn't be a luxury. It should be a feature of every job, from CEO to factory worker.

There’s a belief that what gets some workers to keep coming into work every day is their “psychic wages”—the fulfillment that comes with doing meaningful work. …

Barry Schwartz

Jeff Bezos Responds to New York Times Story: ‘I Don’t Recognize This Amazon.’

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos doesn’t say much in public, and he wasn’t quoted in the damning report the New York Times published about his company this weekend. But now he has responded to the Times, which said he runs Amazon as a “bruising workplace.”

In an memo to Amazon employees, Bezos acknowledges …


The management tool Amazon employees hate could be coming to your company

Who doesn’t enjoy a good round of brutal criticism? A lot of former Amazon employees, apparently.

In a deep dive into the corporate culture fostered at internet mega-retailer Amazon by founder Jeff Bezos, the New York Times reports on a piece of management software that is particularly controversial …


The Future of Women in Work

Changes in the demographics of the workforce and the nature of work itself have created both challenges and opportunities for women and their families. Many of the fastest growing workforces, like professional caregiving, have long been associated with women. The rise of freelancing, …

Women's News

Men are literally freezing women out of the workplace

It may be the dead of summer in the northern hemisphere right now, but the must-have clothing item for white collar women isn’t a breezy blouse and matching culottes. It’s a desk blanket. Female office workers around the world brace for hot weather by bundling up—even as their male colleagues type …

Human Resources

The Future of Work: 19th-Century Brutality, in the 21st Century

(Photo: Habeeb Mohammed Abu-Futtaim/Flickr)In Qatar, employers can now use their smartphones to notify police when their workers have run away. The …

The Future

An Advocacy Group for Discussing Mental Health at Work

Katherine Switz thought she could walk on the Charles River when she was at Harvard Business School.

Robert Boorstin believed his hotel was the Starship Enterprise.

David Chow feared he had blown a chance at a job when he broke down crying during the interview.

All three are part of an organization …

Mental Health

The Future Of Work: The Big Changes CEOs Need To Make Now To Be Ready

It’s no surprise that the world of work is changing—big time. We are shifting to a new type of leadership, and we’re about to welcome a new generation of innovative thinkers to the work ranks.

But how do we prepare for this new future of work? I recently sat down with Maynard Webb, founder of Webb …

The Future

Holacracy vs. Sociocracy

I have written book reviews of Brian Robertson’s book on Holacracy and Gerard Endenburg’s first book on Sociocracy. Robertson’s book was published in …

Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman invited summer interns to stop by and chat — here's what that's like

What's it like to chat with Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman?

"He smells bulls--- from miles away."

That's according to a summer intern who got to sit down with the chief executive in his midtown Manhattan office.

Gorman extended an open invitation to summer interns to coordinate with his staff and …

Morgan Stanley

How To Talk About The Future Of Work

The Future of Work is an incredibly popular topic these days.

Startups and established businesses are experiencing a shakeup in the way they hire, retain, and reward employees. It’s amazing because things like employee engagement, leadership roles, and organizational structures are seeing rapid …

Human Resources

Everything you need to know about your Millennial co-workers

A new study from Great Place to Work reveals the quirks that drive the biggest generation in the American workforce.

Millennials are tired of getting a bad rap. They’re sick of being called lazy, entitled or high maintenance simply because they played on T-ball teams in which everyone got a trophy …

Boston Consulting Group

HP bans T-shirts at work, and employees are furious

For a lot of programmers, especially in Silicon Valley, the trusted T-shirt-and-hoodie combo makes up the only work uniform they need. It's considered by many to be a perk of the job: Nobody cares how you dress for work, so long as you deliver.

But this week, several teams within HP's …

Silicon Valley

Airbnb Chief Human Resource Officer Becomes Chief Employee Experience Officer

Airbnb Chief Human Resource Officer Becomes Chief Employee Experience Officer Businesses have long recognized the importance of delivering a differentiated and engaging experience for their customers. But as Millennials have surpassed Generation X to become the largest share of the American …


A B-School Prof On Ethics, Power & Gender

Jennifer Kennedy is an organizational behavior professor at Vanderbilt’s Owen Graduate School of Management

Scandals make good headlines. Whether it’s …


Lessons From Companies Thriving With 100 Percent Remote Teams

The Bureau of Labor Statistics just released its much-anticipated American Time Use Survey, which found that more Americans are working from home, with 23 percent completing all or some of their work from home, up from 19 percent in 2003. Most employees who work remotely have a hybrid situation …


Here’s why Chinese workers are wearing ‘no-face’ masks

The government is worried about overwork-related deaths.

Like Casual Fridays? Try “No Face” day.

On Tuesday, a handful of service companies in Handan, a city in China’s Hebei province, encouraged workers to wear masks to work so that they could relax their faces instead of smiling all day. Customers …


I Feel Bad For SF “Techies”

This originally appeared in The San Francisco Examiner.

I feel bad for the “techies.” I’m not talking about the ones like Jack Halprin, the Google …

San Francisco Bay Area

If you want happy workers, stop treating them like children

Recently, there’s been something of a happiness backlash against America’s obsession with feeling happy at work. That’s because some companies have been going about it in the wrong way, working on short-term solutions that tend to treat employees more like children than adults who add real value to …


Combining Virtual and Face-to-Face Work

Many companies feel they face a conundrum when it comes to determining remote work policies. Perhaps the most common misconception about adopting virtual work is that it is an all-or-nothing proposition, such that once we have networking tools in place, there is no need to come together — or …


U.S. has a lousy work-life balance

While the U.S. ranks high in housing, income and wealth, it ranks abysmally low on work-life balance—29th among the 36 advanced nations surveyed. …

Work-Life Balance

Figure Out Your Manager’s Communication Style

Effective communication takes a deft touch when you’re managing up. If your attempts to persuade are too obvious, they may not succeed. Yet you need to be deliberate in your approach.

As you engage with your boss in everyday activities, try to identify the messages behind her speech and behavior. …


Measuring the Benefits of Employee Engagement

It’s well known that employees’ attitudes toward the organization have a significant effect on how they approach their jobs and how they treat …

Employee Engagement

Pursuing a Merger Or Acquisition? Culture Can Trip You Up

“I have an existential map,” a comedian said. “It has ‘You are here’ written all over it.” Joking aside, that’s exactly what every good change agent needs: a map that shows not only where you’ve been and where you’re going, but keeps you well grounded in the here and now. This need [...]


75% of Cross-Functional Teams Are Dysfunctional

When I was in the midst of researching what caused cross-functional teams to succeed — and finding that many of them failed — I discovered a deeply dysfunctional development project in a huge multinational IT company. The company had invested $100 million in the project, which involved three …


How These Companies Have Made Four-Day Workweeks Feasible

More businesses are offering three-day weekends every week and seeing tons of benefits, but how do they pull it off?

Three-day weekends feel like a treat when holidays fall on a Friday, but employees at several companies regularly say "TGIT" because four-day workweeks are their norm.

According to a …


America's Fantasy of a Four-Day Workweek

Will Americans ever let out a deep breath, crack open a beer, and say, “Thank God it’s Thursday”?

Essays about the fantasy of a four-day, 32-hour workweek seem to follow a certain formula: Start with an eminent thinker’s starry-eyed prediction of how many hours we’ll be working at some point in the …

University of Texas

A World Without Work

For centuries, experts have predicted that machines would make workers obsolete. That moment may finally be arriving. Could that be a good thing?

1. Youngstown, U.S.A.

The end of work is still just a futuristic concept for most of the United States, but it is something like a moment in history for …