Sometimes the lines between our personal and professional lines can get a little blurry. Since we spend a large amount of our lives at our jobs, it’s inevitable that we’ll create social bonds with the people around us. It’s important to define what the limits are for the blending of our personal and professional lives.
A recent study by Rice University found that sharing non-visible personal aspects, such as mental illness, sexual orientation, or religious affiliation, caused tighter bonds to form than visible aspects like race or gender. Co-workers tend to respond well with sharing personal aspects of our lives, when it’s welcome. Getting to know those around us help us feel connected, and seen. Work is much more pleasant when you greet Steve, who you know is restoring a classic Mustang, than just mindlessly nodding at the bald guy in the cubicle next to you. A word of warning, however: only share if they’re comfortable hearing these things, and be sure to only share what you’re comfortable sharing.
But what about when you feel you know all about your co-worker? During down times, try doing ice breaker questions. These are usually done in big groups of strangers, but they can be really fun and insightful with friends and co-workers too. You may know all of Karen’s kids names, but do you know which superhero she would want to be? Do you know her favorite children’s movie? It may seem silly, but it can be a fantastic way to learn about people you already ‘know’.
What to Avoid
No one likes an emotionless robot at work, but people also dislike the nosy person that’s in their private business and spreading gossip. People, much like Holden Caulfield, don’t like phonies. Avoid “TMI” (too much information), since over-sharers (especially about things that should be private) aren’t the most enjoyable people to be around. There is a balance between being genuine, and maintaining a professional level of personal privacy.
It’s often best to leave anything controversial at home, like political opinions. It’s too easy to cause hurt feelings and conflict because of a off-hand comment (even if there wasn’t harmful intent). If a conversation starts drifting into a contentious area, it’s best to steer it back to something fun. Instead of arguing the latest congressional vote, debate sports teams or the latest Drag Race contestants. But even when talking about innocuous things like pop culture tastes, remember to be respectful. There’s no reason to needlessly hurt feelings at work, making your co-workers’ lives worse (and yours, too) because you accidentally called Peter’s favorite movie “the kind of movies idiots love.”
The key to all of this, like so many things in life, is respect and kindness in all interactions. Pay attention to body language and reactions. We all remember when that one insufferable guy told an off-color joke, and the room got quiet, so he repeated the offending punchline (but louder this time, followed by “Do you get it?”). This is not the way to go (off-color humor is probably best to avoid in the first place at work). It’s important to find and adhere to your own boundaries, and those of the people around you.
What makes video such a powerful medium? Why is it that even small toddlers natively understand videos? Why are “how-to” videos more popular than “how-to” books? Why are movies and television more popular than radio or novels? They’re easy for any human to comprehend, even children that can barely talk seem to just absorb Elmo videos (over and over and over and over again). Every single day, 1 billion hours of video are watched on YouTube.
If there’s one universal truth about marketers, it’s this: we’re all trying to sell something. It might be a shiny new product, a service to a business, or a political candidate, but it’s all about sales, right? Not quite, because marketers need to understand it’s not just about selling something. Understanding what your audiences really want is vital to your success.
Not everyone in the business world studied English in college. In fact, I think it’s safe to assume most didn’t. Unless you’re a writer, editor, or just have a random passion for grammar, it’s likely that once you slogged your way through Macbeth and To Kill a Mockingbird (or at least watched the movie versions or skimmed the Sparknotes), you felt free. Because of this, the professional world is rife with grammatical errors, misspellings, and other things that make English teachers’ brains twitch.
Adding a new employee to a company can be an awesome, exciting event. It can also be an awkward nightmare. There’s a fine line between a good and bad experience for a new hire, and balance is absolutely vital to welcoming the newcomer while not scaring them away either.
Celebrities love to post pictures of their healthy meals and videos of them working out with their personal trainers in the middle of the day on Instagram. It’s easier to stay healthy when you have the time and resources of a celebrity. But what about the rest of us? How do we stay healthy while typing on our computers for hours and sitting through way too long meetings? How do you maintain a healthy lifestyle in an office?
Keeping up with the latest and greatest fashion trends is exhausting (not to mention prohibitively expensive for those of us that don’t have our own line of rocket ships). Luckily, in a workplace setting, we’re not being judged on the same level as if we’re walking a runway in Milan. Still though, you don’t want to be known as the office slob, so here are some super easy, basic tips for dressing professionally and looking good at work.
Usually, when people hear the word “animation,’ they think of cartoons. When we talk about animations, especially for businesses, we mean so much more than just cartoons. Animation can be 2D, 3D, a blend of both 2D/3D, or things like motion graphics. Animations can be used to announce products or services, explain complicated processes, tell stories, or even just to make a fun, lively showcase for whatever message you’re trying to share with the world.
With the increases in identity theft, cyber crime, and hacking these days, it’s best to keep yourself as protected as possible. Although sentences like these are usually followed by ads for expensive anti-virus or online protection services,
You may have heard the oft-quoted statistic that when Google made their doodle a playable version of Pac-Man, the US economy lost an estimated $120 million in productivity (although that number has been criticized). That’s a loss of productivity on a massive scale. How do you address your own productivity, and make it better?
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Burnout isn’t just a great Green Day song, it’s increasingly a real problem in the professional world. While American workers’ productivity climbs, so does the prevalence of burnout. More than just being tired, burnout is a condition of feeling emptied, exhausted beyond function.
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Sometimes the lines between our personal and professional lines can get a little blurry. Since we spend a large amount of our lives at our jobs, it’s inevitable that we’ll create social bonds with the people around us...