Tag Archives: work life balance

How to Ask for a Reduction in Hours

Maybe when you started this job you thought it was going to be a standard nine to five. Or perhaps you want to spend more time at home with your family.

Regardless of reason, you’re working more hours than you anticipated or want to work, and it’s getting in the way of your schoolwork, family time, or other responsibilities. As a salaried employee, it’s time to have a frank discussion with your manager about cutting back your hours.

But how do you start that conversation? We’re here to help. (more…)

Traditional 9 to 5 or Flexible Hours?

What’s better?

There’s been a large trend recently in companies shifting to a more flexible work schedule. In Japan, for example, a 4-day workweek experiment saw productivity jump 40%.

As noted by Upwork, Apple hires “At Home Advisors” to help out with customer support, while Dell offers a “Connected Workplace” that includes a wealth of flexible work options, from remote work to flextime and more.

But are flexible work schedules better for everyone? And what are the advantages? Let’s dig in.

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Keeping Your Work and Personal Lives Separate

You want to be the best employee you can be. Professional, organized, and enthusiastic. But you also want to be you with your own opinions and personal life.

Reconciling these two worlds is difficult. How many email accounts do you need? What about social media? Do you add all of your work colleagues on Facebook? Do you really need a LinkedIn?

We’re here to answer all your question. Let’s get started.

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Father’s Day: Recognizing Fathers in the Workplace

The first Father’s Day is believed to have originated in the state of Washington on July 19, 1910. Yet, the day did not become a nationwide holiday until President Richard Nixon made it official in 1972, nearly 60 years after Mother’s Day was declared a holiday.

Father’s Day will be celebrated this Sunday, June 19. In honor of the annual celebration, we’d like to recognize all fathers while taking a deeper look at those in the workplace.

Fathers in the Workforce
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, about 93% of all men with children under age 18 participated in the labor force in 2015. The Pew Research Center also revealed that in 46% of two-parent households, both mom and dad work full time. This is up from 31% in 1970.

Work-life Balance
With that many working fathers, the recent results from a Pew Research Center survey should come as no surprise. Just like mothers in the workplace, fathers often find it challenging to balance family and work. Yet, a large portion of those surveyed said they feel like they have to work to provide for their family. The survey also found that men want to be able to spend more time with their children and enjoy sharing the child raising responsibilities.

Here at Movin’ On Up, we salute our associates who are working fathers and wish all of them a happy Father’s Day!

Are you a working dad? Do you have tips for other working dads? Let us know in the comments section below!

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Movin’ On Up is brought to you by Express Employment Professionals.

Tips for Surviving Today’s Changing Workforce

Changing Workforce_blogToday’s workforce is in the middle of a transformation that is altering the way employees, new and old, work on a daily basis. With technological advances, a shift in the overall age and work style of employees, and more, it can be tough to discern how to effectively manage one’s career and be an effective employee. But, never fear! We’ve compiled some tips to help you navigate this unique time in your career and survive in today’s changing workforce.

Be flexible.
The workplace of today is not the same as it was in years past. You may end up at a company where shared workspaces and collaborative meetings are the norm, rather than individual cubicles or offices. Work schedules may also be different from what you’re used to or would expect. Instead of being frustrated or thrown off by the way companies are evolving, keep your stress levels in check to stay productive in this ever-changing environment.

Take advantage of training.
Whether it’s an internship or company-offered training, don’t shy away from opportunities to learn and add value to an organization. As baby boomers retire and younger generations fill those roles, employees and job seekers should bridge the skills gap by taking it upon themselves to be trained and ready to step into those shoes.

Keep a balanced life while working hard.
As younger generations move into roles, there is a stronger desire for improved work-life balance. Regardless of what your employer promotes, keep in mind that you will still have to put in the hours to work your way up the company ladder. The commitment to work hard isn’t a quality employers expect to see disappear. If your company does promote a strong work-life balance, be sure to utilize it without abusing it. Your life outside of work is full of people who are important to you, and finding a good balance will keep you happy in years to come, regardless of change.

Develop your skills.
Today’s changing workforce requires employees to be able to think critically across disciplines, while also being able to communicate effectively. As you adapt, it’s important to consider what skills you bring to the table. People skills are just as important as business and technical skills, and companies will want to know what value you can add to their business.

If you’re wondering where to get started, one option may be to engage a mentor or someone who can help develop those soft skills and give you guidance on achieving success. With the generational variety in the workplace now, it’s a great time to build relationships and learn from other age groups.

Get connected.
As social media continues to grow, it’s important to utilize these platforms to promote your professional brand and establish key career connections. While a traditional resume is still required for most job applications, a social profile promoting your skills and accomplishments can go a long way, as well. With the easy access, you can use social media to network, share your ideas and work examples, and demonstrate your personality to potential employers before they even meet you.

A word of caution: Be smart about what you’re posting on social media. For tips on how to clean up your social media accounts to garner positive attention, view this Movin’ On Up article from April.

Can you think of other ways to survive today’s changing workforce? Share with us in the comments section below!

Movin’ On Up is brought to you by Express Employment Professionals.

The Results Are In: What Factors Contribute to Your Job Satisfaction?

results_job_satisfaction_webMany job seekers focused on their goal of finding a job at the beginning of the new year, and now that 2016 is well underway, it’s important to understand the key factors that contribute to job satisfaction in order to know that the job you’re trying to get is right for you. To help determine the factors that go into job satisfaction, we recently polled Movin’ On Up readers and the results are in!

Keys to Job Satisfaction
According to our poll, there are two main factors that go into overall job satisfaction. Tied with 27% of votes each, “feeling valued” and “engaging or meaningful work” are the most important factors to Movin’ On Up readers. Another 14% of respondents chose “compensation,” followed by 10% who chose “job security.” Additionally, 6% of respondents chose “leadership,” 5% chose “company benefits” and 4% chose “room for advancement.”

Readers were also able to select the “other” option and provide their own responses. Of the 6% who selected that option, responses included:

  • Variety of work
  • People
  • Environment
  • Work-life balance
  • Enjoyable work
  • All of the above

Results Compared to 2015
Last year, we asked the same question and received very similar results. In 2015, 32% of respondents selected “engaging or meaningful work.” Additionally, 29% of readers chose “feeling valued” as the key factor for job satisfaction.

What Leaders Think
Interestingly, it seems there may be a disconnect between a company’s decision makers and those trying to secure a job. On Refresh Leadership, the Express blog for business leaders, we asked the same question and the results were very different. In fact, the number one factor business leaders cited was “poor leadership” with 47% of the vote. That’s a sharp contrast to the job seekers’ opinion that leadership matters most (6%), and it suggests a divide between what employers think is needed and what employees want. The number one factor for job satisfaction among job seekers was recognition and feeling valued (27%), but only 16% of employers believe that as a factor in employee engagement.

What other factors contribute to your job satisfaction? Let us know in the comments section below.

Movin’ On Up is brought to you by Express Employment Professionals.

The Results Are In: How Do You Wish Your Company Showed Appreciation to Employees?

results_show_appreciation_webThe holiday season is quickly approaching, and many companies are deciding how they’ll show appreciation to their employees this year. In a recent poll, we asked Movin’ On Up readers how they wish their employers, or future employers, showed appreciation this time of year.

According to the results, 29% of respondents would most appreciate a cash bonus, while 23% reported pay raises would be better incentives. Aside from monetary gifts like gift cards (6%), 16% of respondents picked days off or shortened holiday hours as their top choice.

Holiday parties received 6% of the vote, followed by non-monetary gift items at 1%. An additional 15% of respondents reported that a combination of items would be best received.

Participants also selected “Other” and respond with their own thoughts, including:

  • “Work-life balance”
  • “Incentive vacation time for employees with no sick days”
  • “Well-developed systems”
  • “Better benefits”
  • “Company profit sharing”
  • “A turkey or ham at Christmas to take home”

An overwhelming majority of people requested one thing in particular – appreciation. Responses included:

  • “Praise and acknowledgement”
  • “Just to hear someone from management say, ‘Thank you for doing a great job’”
  • “Respect”
  • “A thank you would go a long way”
  • “I’ve never heard a thank you”
  • “Saying thank you or I appreciate you”
  • “Email or verbal appreciation on a regular basis”
  • “Recognition”

These results are not far from last year’s, which revealed that 27% of respondents would most appreciate a cash bonus, followed by 13% who selected pay raises, and 9% who chose days off. Last year’s results also revealed that appreciation would go a long way with today’s workforce. In 2014, 31% of those who selected the “Other” option wrote that they wanted appreciation from their supervisors. This year, that number rose to 42%.

The results of the Movin’ On Up poll reveal some of the most powerful gifts are the easiest to give. From a turkey at Christmas to a thank-you email, sincerity is the gift that keeps on giving this holiday season.

Movin’ On Up is brought to you by Express Employment Professionals.