February 26, 2013

Why Yahoo (Marissa Mayer) abolishes work-at-home policy?

Since Marissa Mayer became chief executive of Yahoo, she has been working hard to get the Internet pioneer off its deathbed and make it an innovator once again.

She started with free food and new smartphones for every employee, borrowing from the playbook of Google, her employer until last year. Now, though, Yahoo has made a surprise move: abolishing its work-at-home policy and ordering everyone to work in the office.

A memo explaining the policy change, from the company's human resources department, says face-to-face interaction among employees fosters a more collaborative culture — a hallmark of Google's approach to its business.

In trying to get back on track, Yahoo is taking on one of the country's biggest workplace issues: whether the ability to work from home, and other flexible arrangements, leads to greater productivity or inhibits innovation and collaboration. Across the country, companies like Aetna, Booz Allen Hamilton and Zappos.com are confronting these trade-offs as they compete to attract and retain the best employees.

Bank of America, for example, which had a popular program for working remotely, decided late last year to require employees in certain roles to come back to the office.

Employees, especially younger ones, expect to be able to work remotely, analysts say. And over all the trend is toward greater workplace flexibility.

Still, said John Challenger, chief executive of Challenger Gray & Christmas, an outplacement 
and executive coaching firm, "A lot of companies are afraid to let their workers work from home some of the time or all of the time because they're afraid they'll lose control."

Studies show that people who work at home are significantly more productive but less innovative, said John Sullivan, a professor of management at San Francisco State University who runs a human resource advisory firm.

"If you want innovation, then you need interaction," he said. "If you want productivity, then you want people working from home."

Reflecting these tensions, Yahoo's policy change has unleashed a storm of criticism from advocates for workplace flexibility who say it is a retrograde approach, particularly for those who care for young children or aging parents outside of work. Their dismay is heightened by the fact that they hoped Ms Mayer, who became chief executive at 37 while pregnant with her first child, would make the business world more hospitable for working parents.

"The irony is that she has broken the glass ceiling, but seems unwilling for other women to lead 
a balanced life in which they care for their families and still concentrate on developing their skills and career," said Ruth Rosen, a professor emerita of women's history at the University of California.

But not only women take advantage of workplace flexibility policies. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly as many men telecommute.

The bureau says 24 percent of employed Americans report working from home at least some hours each week. And 63 percent of employers said last year that they allowed employees to work remotely, up from 34 percent in 2005, according to a study by the Families and Work Institute, a nonprofit group studying the changing work force.

During the recession, the institute expected employers to demand more face time, but instead found that 12 percent increased workplace flexibility, said Ellen Galinsky, its president and co-founder. She attributed this to companies' desire to reduce real estate costs, carbon footprints and commuting times.

Technologies developed in Silicon Valley, from video chat to instant messaging, have made it possible for employees across America to work remotely. Yet like Yahoo, many tech companies believe that working in the same physical space drives innovation.

A Yahoo spokeswoman, Sara Gorman, declined to comment, saying only that the company did not publicly discuss internal matters.

The company's memo, written by Jackie Reses, director of human resources at Yahoo, and published on All Things D, a blog on digital issues, said: "Some of the best decisions and insights come from hallway and cafeteria discussions, meeting new people and impromptu team meetings. Speed and quality are often sacrificed when we work from home."

In part, the memo looks like an effort to bring a Google spirit to Yahoo, said Colin Gillis, an analyst at BGC Partners who covers both companies.

Photo Credit: Google Images

February 20, 2013

Momentum of Joy, Life and Success

The greatest joy in life is in giving, in loving, and in sacrificing. To give we must have abundance in ourselves. We can’t give what we have not. Therefore, first create fullness: good health, good emotions in plenty, great knowledge. Then, give physical help to all; give love and sympathy to those who deserve them; give knowledge to all who need it. Give, to give is life; to take is death.

The present alone is the time when we can work and achieve, gain and gather, give and serve. In the past we can ‘now’ do nothing; in the future, we can ‘now’ accomplish nothing. In the dead moments of the past and in the unborn moments of the future we can never act. These living, dynamic present moments are the only fields to be hammered at, wherein are all the glories of life, all the gains in existence.

Religion only asks us to live in knowledge, in discriminative understanding of things and beings, and of the correct value of life. There is a lot of difference between facing a situation with the never-shattering befooling spectacles of I-ness and My-ness, and facing it in utter dedication to God’s will. When attachment overtsteps its limits, there is danger of pain at every moment. Religion only wants us to understand ourselves and the world around us, and then to correct the relationship between ourselves and the world.

The most intelligent thing is to act as the occasion demands, always truthfully, honestly, without ego, vanity, or boastfulness. Meekly, as the servant of the Great Master, act. Act because we are His servants, and our action is only the accomplishment of His plans. The greater our surrender to His will, the greater will be our intensity of devotion to Him, the more constant our mental remembrance of Him, and the surer our action in parallel with His will. And His will ever works itself out to success.

Photo Credit: Google Images

February 14, 2013

How to Manage Your Health?

If you’re not around in five years, your business is going to suffer. Even a few weeks off being avoidably ill is going to involve you in a major waste of productive time.

Depending on the nature of your illness, of course, you may be able to claw back some of this involuntarily committed time – committed to your hospital bed – using it in some constructive way. To give to your work and to others high quality time you must top up your energy levels. We all have to write cheques on our energy. But are you overdrawn? Do you make a practice of paying back the bank – your body, mind and spirit?

I have prepared a small exercise on how do you really manage your energy levels. I request you to think about each question honestly. You just need to put Yes or No.

Ask your colleague, spouse or a good friend to verify your answers. 

Do you get enough sleep? : The norm is eight hours, slightly less as you grow older. You can function on much less, but your creativity is 15% down.

Do you apply common sense to diet? : There is a broad consensus on what is good for us to eat and drink. The golden rule is moderation in all things.

Do you take exercise? : What kind of exercise you takes and when is a personal matter, but are you really taking sufficient exercise?

Do you take holidays? : Don’t spare; don’t drudge. Remember that you can do a full year’s work in 11 months but you cannot do it in 12 months. Do you take and enjoy full holiday time?
Do you allow time for reflection? : It is a good idea to spend some time just meditating in a relaxed way about what you are doing in your work at present, even if it’s only for a few minutes each day.

Why not make an appointment with yourself now in your year planner in about three months time, for a review of how you are getting on?

The wonderful thing is that tomorrow’s 24 hours now await you – untouched and unwasted. You are now in a position to make more effective use of your time, body and spirit. The end result of organizing or managing your health and time properly is that you should be in good order. The end result of being in good order is that you are able to spend your energies, talents and time most effectively on the things that matter to you, and to start linking your daily planning to longer 
term goals and objectives.

Photo Credit: Google Images

February 12, 2013


From my five years in the field of Human Resources and three years in Management Consultancy, and as a business coach, and more, importantly, as a dad to my one daughter, I have developed the “Five Best Time Management Do’s for Students” to help you to get more out of every day, both your school day and during your personal time. These suggestions can increase your success and, most important, help you to have more fun along the way.

Plan An Hour Per Day For “Me Time.” Give twenty-three hours to school, your friends, and your family but keep one hour for yourself. During this hour add a new dimension to your life that is not there because you didn’t feel you had the time for it.  Read the books, learn a hobby, learn a foreign language, develop computer skills, start a business, spend time on health development etc. One hour per day is 365 hours in a year. The average college course is about 35 classroom hours. That equals 10 college courses per year. One hour per day and you become a full-time student! By taking one hour per day of focused study, any of us can become a world-class expert in a topic of our choice. Would your future be more secure, certain, and successful if you became a world-class expert in a topic of your choice?

Establish A Regular Reading Program. It can be just fifteen minutes a day. Even with that small investment, the average person will read fifteen books in a year. Also, consider taking a Speed Reading course. I did. It helped me to double my reading rate and comprehension. I can now read twice as much in the same time period. Or, better still, you can read what you have to read in half the time.

Overload Your Days. Create a daily action plan that includes not only the things you “have to do,” but the things you “want to do.” Parkinson’s Law tells us that a project will tend to expand with the time allocated for it. If we give ourselves one thing to do during the day, it will take us all day. If we give ourselves two things to do during the day, we get them both done. If we give ourselves twelve things to do, we may not get twelve done, but we may get eight done. Having a lot to do in a day creates a healthy sense of pressure on us to get focused and get it done. We almost automatically become better time managers, less likely to suffer interruptions, not waste time in meetings, etc. by having a lot to do. (“If you want to get something done, give it to a busy person.”) But don’t overload yourself beyond capacity. There’s only 24 hours in the day and things do take time. Don’t spread yourself too thin.

Prioritize Your List Of “Things To Do.” Some of our tasks are “crucial” and some of our tasks are “not crucial.” We have a tendency to gravitate to the “not crucial” items because they are typically quicker, more fun, and easier to do. Identify the most important task you need to do and label it as a “1,” the second most important task as a “2,” etc. Then tackle your items in the order of importance, doing the most important items first.

Radiate A Genuine, Positive Attitude. Often, like attracts like and it repels the opposite. When you are in a negative mood you tend to repel the positive people who do not want to be strained and drained and brought down by your negativity. This includes your friends, your family, and your teachers. And, when you are in a negative mood, you have a natural system set up to attract the other negative people to you who want to share their stories of their misery so the two of you can compare experiences to decide who has the worse life. Positive people help to bring us up. Negative people help to bring us down.

Photo Credit: Google Images

Some of the text, word and sentences of this article are reprinted with prior permission from Don Wetmore.

February 7, 2013


You spend a lot of time reliving memories from the past. Some memories are positive and uplifting and give our days a bounce, enhancing our productivity and results. Other memories are not so bright and bum us out, draining our spirits and motivation and productivity. Memories are stored in your head after a long journey that begins with a single vision. Visions are the pictures you see in your mind. You can have positive visions or negative visions.

For example, you are going to a party Friday night. This is a party that your brother-in-law always attends and in the past you always got in an argument with him, then left the party in a huff, and generally had a bad time. So you start to visualize going to the party again on Friday and what do you see? You see yourself having a bad time at this party because, after all, you’ve always had a bad time at the party with your brother-in-law.

From those visions, those pictures, you take action. You see a confrontation coming with your brother-in-law and consistent with that image you attend the party waiting for him to trigger the arguments as he has in the past, and sure enough, your body language and words telegraph the message that you are ready for verbal combat and so the process moves forward to conflict and leaving in a huff.

These actions produce results. Your result was, “not having good time at the party.”  Those results then become the memories that you re-live over and over again negatively affecting your future productivity.

Your visions direct the actions you take that create the results you realize that form the memories you re-live over and over again,

Now let’s say you would prefer to have a positive memory from this upcoming party in your mind to relive in the future for enhanced productivity. What can you do in advance to change the outcome, the lingering memory? You change the vision.

You stop visualizing having a bad time at the next party. I know, you’ve had a lot of history with bad results, but you put a new picture in your mind this time. You see yourself intentionally avoiding being in the same room with your brother-in-law and if he presses to goad you into argument, you see yourself walking away. You see yourself sitting with Aunt Sarah, whom you spend little time with and talking with her for the evening.

You repeat that vision only, over and over, and if you do enough of that, you find yourself changing your behavior, avoiding your brother-in-law and instead, spending quality time with the other guests. When you leave, you discover you have produced the result called “not having too bad a time at the party.” You recall and remember this now in a positive vein, as an uplifting memory that boosts your attitude and daily productivity in the future.

Does it all happen so easily and quickly? Unlikely. Maybe you create no new results in the near term from this new, more positive way of visioning, but if you are willing to persist and make this healthier way of thinking a consistent habit, then soon you will find it does work. Your visions will be more positive, your actions will follow the visions creating the results that form the positive memories you will re-live over and over.

Photo Credit: Google Images
Courtesy: www.balancetime.com/article.../Visions%20That%20Repeat.doc (with prior permission from author)

February 1, 2013

How to make best use of your time?

Office literally means the place where much of the work is done. It may be the directing headquarters of an enterprise or organisation, or simply the place where a professional or self-employed person conducts professional business.

Do you make best use of your best time?

If No, then you need to keep active your watch and mind too.

Here are questions for you:

Do you know clearly how much of a morning or night person you are?

Do you regularly programme your day so that ‘best time’ is given to the highest grade activities, such as strategic thinking?

Did you know that your manual dexterity – the speed and co-ordination with which you perform complicated tasks with your hands – peaks during the afternoon?

Most of us seem to reach our peak of alertness around noon. Is that true of you?

Did you know that your short-term memory is best in the morning – in fact, about 15% more efficient than at any other time of the day?

As you tend to do best on cognitive tasks – things that require the juggling of words and figures in one’s head – during the morning, do you pay special attention to planning your mornings?

If it is your choice, when would you plan a meeting? The morning, the afternoon, or does it depends on what sort of meeting it is?

A few minutes of reflection will tell you that the quality of your attention or concentration varies at different times.

It’s not enough to be busy. The question is: ‘What are you busy about?”

Photo Credit: Google Images