Monday, October 2, 2017

Work has changed dramatically over the last few decades

According to a report, it’s become more time-consuming, less stable, and more flexible. In 1973, 6% of Americans said they worked excessive hours; in 2016, 26% said they worked more than 48 hours a week. Insurance coverage by employers has also dropped since 1973, although companies now provide more benefits to aid work-life balance, such as paid parental leave and remote work options. Businesses are spending less on employees, both in terms of compensation and capital investment, while investors get triple the payout from 30 years ago. This has all contributed to workers increasingly acting like free agents in the job market; while they have more control and flexibility, the “safety net that once came with full-time work has frayed.” (Wall Street Journal)


Twitter found 201 Russia-linked accounts that aimed to influence the US election in 2016

The social network admitted in its closed-door testimony to congressional committees after analyzing some 450 accounts previously identified by Facebook in its own study of the issue. Twitter also said the Russia-backed news channel RT spent over $274,000 on ads in 2016, more than the $152,000 spent by Russia-linked actors on Facebook. The full scope of activity on Twitter is unclear, partly due to the network’s use of anonymity and pseudonymity. Following a similar announcement from Facebook last week, Twitter said it will review its political ad disclosure policies. (Wall Street Journal)


Kmart’s been hit with a Halloween banana lawsuit (yes, you read that right) 

Kmart is being sued in federal court for copyright infringement, and it all comes down to the look and feel of a banana costume. Costume manufacturer Rasta Imposta claims Kmart misappropriated its banana costume design after the two companies failed to reach a distribution deal for this coming Halloween season — in which US consumers are expected to spend some $3.4 billion on costumes. Kmart had been purchasing its banana suits from Rasta Imposta since 2008. “The phrase ‘banana suit’ now has a dual meaning,” (Bloomberg)


Elon Musk wants to send you anywhere on Earth in an hour

Elon Musk has ambitions to colonize Mars, but his latest goal is a bit closer to home: The SpaceX founder wants to use the same rocket, nicknamed “BFR,” to shuttle humans anywhere on Earth in an hour or less. A trip from New York to Shanghai would take 30 minutes. The BFR, which Musk hopes to start constructing in six to nine months, would be able to land on Mars in 2022, with a crewed mission ready for 2024. (The Verge)


Black Lives Matter is a movement that can’t be sued, judge rules

Black Lives Matter  is a social movement, like the tea party or the civil rights movement, and therefore can’t be sued, a federal judge ruled Thursday (9/28). A police officer anonymously sued Black Lives Matter and DeRay Mckesson, a prominent Baltimore-based activist in the movement, after being injured by a rock thrown during a protest over a deadly police shooting in Baton Rouge last year, but U.S. District Judge Brian Jackson dismissed the officer’s suit and ruled that Black Lives Matter is not an entity capable of being sued. “Although many entities have utilized the phrase ‘black lives matter’ in their titles or business designations, ‘Black Lives Matter’ itself is not an entity of any sort,” Jackson wrote in his 24-page ruling. The judge also concluded that the officer’s own claims demonstrated that Mckesson “solely engaged in protected speech” at the July 9, 2016, demonstration, which followed the fatal shooting of Alton Sterling, a black man, by a white Baton Rouge police officer. (The Baltimore Sun)


The dangers of workplace loneliness

Despite society’s increased connectedness, we are growing lonelier. This epidemic is not only harming people’s health, it’s also making workers less productive and engaged on the job. To improve the workplace, former US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy argues, companies need to focus on creating environments that encourage employees to build social connections. “Next time you find yourself wanting to refer a coworker to an article, a body of work, an author, or a corporate asset, don’t say you’ll send the link,” advises marketing consultant Sharyn Sears. “Tell them about it in your own words. Bring back the real conversation. And for heaven’s sake — have lunch with people away from your desk!” (Harvard Business Review)


Does your job need a makeover

Good news for those feeling miserable at work: There’s a way out, and it doesn’t involve quitting. Yale management professor Amy Wrzesniewski calls it “job crafting,” which can involve working with your employer to redefine your responsibilities, or simply tweaking how you think about your role and how you relate to others at the office. Developing a greater sense of control over your experience at work can yield significant benefits: In her research, Wrzesniewski has found that “job crafting” can improve employee happiness, performance, and commitment. (The Cut)


Make A Difference On This Monday Because It’s:

*Child Health Day (First Monday)
*Day of Unity  (First Monday)
*Guardian Angels Day
*International Day of Non-violence
*National Custodial Workers Day
*Peanuts (Cartoon) Day
*Phileas Fogg’s Wager Day
*World Day of Architecture (First Monday)

*World Day of Bullying Prevention / Blue Shirt Day  (First Monday)
*World Farm Animals Day
*World Habitat Day (First Monday)


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