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Showing posts from August, 2012

Two power outlets per room? Are you from the 1950's?

One of the benefits of building a new house is that you get to address all those things that annoy you in houses built over the last 50 years.

One pet hate of mine is having to use power boards. And with good reason too: talk to any electrician, and they will tell you that power boards are a huge problem (although presumably not for them, since they are also the source of a lot of work). Although I hate them simply because they are a pain in the ass, and should absolutely unnecessary in any house built in the last ten years.

And yet, surprisingly, not only did I have to explicitly request a reasonable amount of power outlets when designing a new house, but I also got a lot of strange looks when I told the builder that I wanted 8 power outlets in the main bedroom.

The standard was 4 outlets: 2 on each side of the bed. But now think about how easily those two power outlets would be used. A clock radio and a bedside lamp is all that it would take to max out the two outlets available on y…

Work life balance... And no, a BBQ on Friday doesn't count

I recently had a conversation with a manager within a white collar company who mentioned that "work/life balance is something that we strive for". It was interesting to see exactly what this term of "work/life balance" (WLB) actually meant to the company.

It meant things like a BBQ on Fridays, casual dress, team building exercises that allowed even non-creative people to pitch their ideas, and a general emphasis on hiring people who would fit in with the existing employees.

All of which is great, and none of which has anything to do with work life balance. These employee benefits are all about creating a great corporate culture, but do nothing to help balance the demands of life and work.

In my opinion, WLB has become the new "great communication skills" of corporate lingo.

How many job advertisements have you seen requiring applicants to have "great communication skills"? I'd hazard a guess that the majority of job descriptions list communi…