From global legislative news to changing workplace dynamics, we covered a range of topics this year. Here are the ones that resonated the most with readers.
We introduced The Roundup this year to deliver bite-size and relevant updates and interesting tidbits about the world of work. We covered a range of topics, from global legislative news to employee wellness to changing workplace dynamics.
Here are some of the topics and themes that resonated the most with readers.
Supporting employee wellness with the human touch and green spaces
Bright lights and greenery make an employee happy. This post covered the effects of dim lighting on the brain. It highlighted that employers need to think about how they design spaces to include natural light because it’s a necessity for people to be their most productive and healthiest selves. The post also touched on the benefits for office workers of being exposed to nature, even for short periods.
Interestingly, this popular post shared research that found U.S. workers actually prefer working in the office, though they appreciate having the option to be able to work from anywhere. With this in mind, employers should take note of how important it is to maintain a human touch, being mindful of creating work environments and policies that are conducive to productivity.
Navigating office dynamics and co-worker clashes
This year, our readers liked reading about workplace interactions. As an example, we covered the dark side of having work friends in this post – the key takeaway being that if you become deeply involved in workplace friendships, they can be taxing or distracting, especially if there’s an interpersonal conflict.
Here, we shared the importance of using the right language at work to convey professionalism and authority. Uh, just hoping you’ll identify your, um, crutch words and, like, how you’ll be more conscious of using them in the future.
This was a fun one – a survey about the most passive-aggressive email phrases. I’m sure we’ve all seen memes on social media that provide the “real” meaning behind phrases like “Per my last email” or “reattaching for convenience.” Other than the obvious takeaway that we should all try to avoid using these phrases, we also provided some tips to improve communication etiquette. That includes not Bcc-ing the boss (which is considered passive-aggressive), and we explained why in this post.
Elsewhere, we covered the gamut of interacting with co-workers, including trying to get along better with them, and crafting co-worker apologies.
Legislation and compliance news
Yes, there was a flurry of compliance and legislative changes this year, with more to come in 2019. Readers were particularly interested in these two newsy bits:
- Iceland becoming the first country in the world to require companies to prove they’re not paying women less than men. This fell under an amendment to the Act on Equal Status and Equal Rights of Women and Men that came into effect on Jan. 1, 2018
- The possibility that banning after-hours emails could become law, as Brooklyn, New York council member Rafael Espinal introduced a bill that would prevent employers from requiring employees to check emails and other work-related communications outside of the employees’ usual work hours.
Readers were also particularly interested in pay gap news from around the globe – and what other cities, countries, and organizations are doing to address it: How the U.K. is addressing firms that failed to report their gender pay gap (read more on the 2018 results here); the “gay glass ceiling” in top management; conversations around Equal Pay Day; London’s equality campaign; and Switzerland’s salary transparency campaign.
The changing interview process
Ceridian’s recent report, The optimal recruiting experience, found that candidates are open to exploring new types of job interviews, such as doing more remote and video interviews versus in-person. It also found that there is an optimal time for candidates to participate in the process, and that recruiting exhaustion is in fact a real thing.
In the Roundups, we covered some of the newest (and in some cases, weirdest) ways employers are interviewing candidates today. These include:
- Asking weird interview questions (example: what’s your deepest, darkest secret?), leading to a disorganized and unstructured experience
- Mixing up traditional assessments by holding interviews via escape rooms or capture the flag games (an approach that employers and employees both seem to support)
- Prospective candidates answering interview questions via voicemail, so that employers can speed up the process
These new approaches are the result of employers responding to the tight labor market, and looking for new and innovative ways to attract top talent and differentiate themselves from competitors.