Companies

We are re-imagining everything else, so maybe we need to imagine the office as well. The physical office we are familiar with has its roots in designs first imagined a hundred years ago, with a bit of a Dilbert-style reboot thrown in during the 1950s....

  Six months into the pandemic and with  more months to come, most workers are coping but not without difficulty. Whether it is stress about being home and isolated, or stress about going back to work and possibly getting sick, a lot of people are under...

It may have been a bit of a struggle to make it work, but the pandemic has forced many companies to keep their teams intact even when they are not under the same roof.  As workers have de-camped to far-flung places, perhaps permanently, we are...

Freelance work something of a controversial workforce trend. To some, it is the dreaded gig economy, those who are forced to work on contracts or driving ride shares because they cannot find that holy grail, the full-time job. To others though, it represents freedom, the ability to...

Was so great to speak to Manitoba Tech's Disrupted Future conference last week..I spoke about the future of work, which is scary and challenging but something we need to come to terms with now. There is lots to be optimistic about, and I think people...

Maybe we will have a recession, maybe we won't, and anyway by all means use a different word if you prefer.'Slowdown', 'Soft Patch', 'Downturn', any of them will do, and any might describe where the economy will be by next year. If we do hit...

Did a shift in corporate culture have anything to do with the issues with the Boeing 737 Max, the (now grounded) plane that was involved in two accidents in recent months? Maybe we will never know the truth of that accusation (which comes from a...

When I speak to employer groups about the future of work, they are often keen to know what they should do to both attract and hold on to workers. In tight markets, that often means attract anyone, anyone at all, they are not fussy. Still,...

A big misunderstanding? Uber and Lyft drivers are protesting across ten U.S. cities this week, as well as in the U.K., South America and Australia, saying that the companies are treating them unfairly. The companies say that they are a great deal for the drivers,...

The 'nine-nine-six culture' (working nine to nine, six days a week) is something close to the norm for Chinese tech workers who are supposed to embrace it with no complaints. Now, some are pushing back on it, and employers are not thrilled (and are not...

Walmart buying Modcloth? ‘Say it’s not so’ went the lament from Millennials and other assorted cool people earlier this year. After all, Modcloth is a cutting-edge, online retailer that offers funky clothes for those who consider themselves the opposite of everything the world’s biggest retailer...

Collaboration, sharing ideas, boosting creativity, creating bonds – all of these are reasons that are typically given for having open plan workspaces. Sit next to your colleagues in an open plan office or cubicle, goes the reasoning, and productivity will rise. Not so, says new...

Robots, joined by Gig Workers, are now making Twinkies, and they are doing such a good job that their parent company is going public.  That’s a powerful statement about today’s manufacturing and economy, never mind our nutritional preferences. Twinkies, those flaky, cream-filled snack cakes that are...

You might not have noticed it, what with one economic crisis and stock market meltdown after another grabbing your attention, but the last few decades have actually been great ones for investors. Thanks to a perfect storm of factors, investment returns for the period from...

Like it or not, the sharing economy is everywhere. I’ll go as far as saying it will be one of the big economic stories of 2016, although its influence will extend far longer than that. It’s a different way to do business, and it works...

Is Mickey Mouse a snob? According to this article from the blog Theme Park Insider (reprinted by Quartz), while once Disney (NYSE: DIS)  was all about welcoming the middle class into its parks, these days you have to be rich to party with the well-heeled...

There are so many facets of the shuttle-bus-to-Silicon-Valley story that fascinate me. The fact that people are willing to commute a fair distance to be able to live in San Francisco while working for tech companies 60 miles away has big implications, and not just...

Former Abercrombie CEO Mike Jeffries (yes, I said ‘former’, he stepped down today) said some pretty dumb and offensive things about who he wanted his clientele to be. If the company’s numbers were good nobody might have cared, but in this retail environment he rightly...

Do you go to the mall? I used to, quite a bit actually. In the 70s, 80s, 90s, even the 00s – the mall was the place to buy stuff, and I liked stuff as much as any child and young woman in North America....

Everybody has their favorite so called-called ‘bellwether’ company, the one that tells you where the economy is going if you scan its fortunes. A lot of people like Federal Express, since tracking shipments tells you a lot about the level of activity. Another favorite is...

Advertising, television, media – they sound like cool places to work right? What with Mad Men like a giant commercial for the glamorous industry of advertising, I imagine more people than ever are lusting after careers writing copy and crafting campaigns. Maybe though, their better...

Is being a ‘solopreneur’ – someone who basically runs their own shop –a good thing or a bad thing for the economy? We had better figure it out, because apparently the number of them (us actually, I am one as well) are increasing a phenomenal...

If Ikea says it’s a trend, it must be a trend. The giant furniture retailer known for its affordable products as well as its make-a-day-of-it-and-eat-the-meatballs approach to shopping, is thinking of changing strategy. Noting that tight budgets mean people do not want to shell out...

Can’t you just hear executives around the world gnashing their teeth? Now that Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group has an approved a ‘take as much vacation as you want’ policy, there is going to be pressure for other companies to offer them as well. Question...

I had no complaints, really, the last time I called a plumber. The nice lady on the phone (Lorraine) was efficient, she gave me a four hour window and sent out a cheerful plumber (Brent). He fixed the pipes under my sink then gave me...

‘Work is Not a Place’ is one of my favorite catch-phrases these days. I use it to talk about how people can work anywhere, why telecommuting makes sense, why commercial construction may be affected by a trend towards working away from offices. I believe it...

‘Come here, we will give you a great deal on real estate!’ ‘No, come here and you’ll get a tax break!’ ‘No, come here instead and we have a grab bag of subsidies so awesome it will be like you are operating for free!’That’s what...

Of course I like Whole Foods. How can you not? It is like going to a carnival, almost. The cheeses are beautifully displayed with generous samples offered, the prepared food aisles are filled with yummy products you never knew you wanted, the flowers are always...