A Case for Using Good Old Pen and Paper to Take Meeting Notes

© anyaberkut – Fotolia.com

Taking notes on a laptop is undoubtedly faster, easier and more convenient than using pen and paper, but a recent study suggests that longhand is much better if you want to actually remember some of those notes. A recent paper published in the journal Psychological Science found that those who took longhand notes performed better on quizzes than those who took notes on their laptop, even when there was no Internet connection.

[Read more...]

Here’s Why Americans Aren’t Using Their Vacation Days

© Kurhan – Fotolia

A large percentage of American workers won’t take a vacation, even though they are given paid time-off by employers. This really isn’t news, but many of us have always wondered why. The answer is because American workers are simply too scared and stressed out to go on vacation.

A recent survey from the US Travel Association and market research firm GfK found that about 40 percent of Americans will not be using all of their paid vacation days this year. The survey polled 1,303 workers, which includes 235 senior business leaders.

[Read more...]

Four Ways Home-Based Workers Can Naturally Boost Energy

work from home
(CC) puresolitude/Flickr

This is a guest post by Alison Stanton.

Whether you own your own business or get the chance to telecommute through your regular job, the number of people working from home has increased in recent years. As Global Workplace Analytics notes, telecommuting has increased almost 80 percent since 2005, and Forbes notes that just over half of small businesses are home-based. While working from home has a lot of perks — from more flexible schedules and fewer distractions to cutting back on commuting costs and more — like any job, there will be days when it’s hard to find the motivation and energy to get everything done.

The following four tips will help home-based workers naturally boost their energy and help make their days as productive as possible:

[Read more...]

The PowerPoint Tools & Shortcuts Everyone Should Know

powerpoint shortcuts
Photo credit: learningworksforkids.com

This is a guest post by Camille Holden.

Marshall McLuhan famously said, “We become what we behold. We shape our tools, and thereafter our tools shape us.” But as 21st century workers, we don’t usually get to shape our tools, they are just handed to us and we’re expected to be able to use them.

Think of the tools you use every day: Outlook, Excel, PowerPoint…

The problem is that the tools we get handed are built to work for everyone; they’re generic and dumbed-down for mass use. So what does this say for us, the workers, who will become shaped by our tools?

[Read more...]

Stress Expert Jan Bruce Talks Overworking vs. Hard Work [Interview]

jan bruce interview

Many people, too many people, believe that working hard equates to working more, to longer hours, and a complete lack of a personal life. This doesn’t have to be the case — people can be ambitious while maintaining work-life alignment with the help of productivity tools and knowledge which allow people to get more done in smaller amounts of time.

Stress expert Jan Bruce, co-founder of meQuilibrium, says this is exactly what leads to overworked employees, which thus leads to higher levels of stress (which, in itself, comes with a long list of health issues). Bruce says there are two ways to overcome overworked employees — a change of policy from managers and an overall change in culture from leaders. She talks to us about balancing stress and how both employers and employees can change to combat burnout.

[Read more...]