A Linking Mess: Week of 12/16/13

LinkingMess2The 8-hour workday vs. the 90-minute project – LinkedIn

This article on LinkedIn discusses the arbitrary nature of the 8-hour workday. It’s not the result of rigorous scientific analysis, but rather the post-Industrial Revolution desire to add balance to people’s hardworking lives. “Eight hours labor, eight hours recreation, eight hours rest,” went the refrain. The category of “recreation” is obviously the wildcard, right? Today, that could mean a couple hours just getting to and home from your job, picking up kids and bringing them to soccer practice, and any number of modern obligations. (Of course, imagine what it might have meant 200 years ago – stuff like hand-washing your clothes and filling your household lamps with kerosene or whatever.) The writer of this article suggests that work is best done in 90-minute chunks, followed by 20 minutes of rest.

One of your colleagues might be giving you secondhand stress – Wall Street Journal

Do you have a coworker who you try to avoid simply because he/she seems to always be rushing around, never completely focusing on one thing, impatiently hustling to get to the next task? That person can be introducing “secondhand stress” to you and your workplace. That person can be fixed by having them focus on longer-term goals rather than the thing(s) that need to be done by 5 pm. 

Fired after three days – Wall Street Journal

Have you ever thought how invigorating it would be to work at a startup? I have. The benefits are plain: the possibility of hitting it big, a high-energy yet casual work environment, a ping pong or foosball table, beers late in the workday, and a location that would presumably offer interesting lunch options. But the most common downside to working at a startup – that you could lose your job at any time – is even worse than you might think. This Wall Street Journal article discusses how quickly people get dismissed from jobs at startups. There’s a reference to Yammer, the company behind the Facebook-looking Leggett social media thing you might have seen over the past few weeks.