Working longer hours doesn’t create better results, according to Morten Hansen of the University of California, Berkley.
Early in his career, Hansen believed that working 90 hours per week was the secret to success. But he noticed some colleagues worked less, much less, but achieved better results. But, why?
That question spurred a five-year study involving 5,000 managers and employees. Hansen found that job performance increases stopped at the 50-hour mark and sharply declined after 65 hours.
Hansen found that the best workers relentlessly focus on the activities that produce the most value for their organization. They weren’t just being busy, they were actually accomplishing something.
Some strategies for leaving on time:
Focus on planning the day and week to remove the most common reasons for overworking, according to The Ladders. Meetings, phone calls, and emails fill up a schedule, but don’t necessarily end in results.
Schedule times for work and play during a given day. This removes some of the urge to procrastinate during scheduled work hours.
Create a hard deadline for exiting the office by making an appointment with a personal trainer or a reservation for dinner. Let your coworkers know you have a firm leave time.
Guilt and the perceived importance of putting in a certain amount of time relative to peers is a potent factor that often leads to overwork, according to The Motley Fool.
Unfortunately, many company cultures have been built around long work days, and it can quickly feel like a person is walking out on their team or shirking their responsibilities. Instead of the guilt, focus on making the best use of time during work hours and accomplishing real results.
Discuss priorities on projects with the boss and then make a plan to accomplish them.
How to buy a small business
Business ownership is a dream for many people, and an alternative to starting from scratch is to buy an existing business. But where to begin?
First, with loads of due diligence. The more preparation, the better.
Your prep work starts with an honest look at your own experience, lifestyle, and desires to figure out what type of business you want to buy. It’s helpful to search for a business that aligns with your interests and skills.
Next, make sure you assemble a good team. An accountant will help you decipher financial information, and an attorney will help with negotiations and advice for structuring transactions.
You can search for available businesses in a number of places, from Craigslist to networking events and conferences. The website BizBuySell has thousands of listings.
When you do find one you’re interested in, the seller will likely ask you to sign a nondisclosure form or confidentiality agreement. The reason is that you’ll be privy to a lot of proprietary information that the seller wants to make sure remains private, should you decide not to buy.
You and your team will review financial and business documents to analyze the profitability of the business, as well as whether they’ve remained up-to-date on necessary licensing and forms.
Among others, these may include:
* Business licenses and permits
* Organizational paperwork
* Contracts and leases
* Financials, including tax returns, profit and loss statements, cash flow statements, balance sheets, accounts payable and accounts receivable, debts, etc.
* Organizational chart
* Inventory and equipment status
* Insurance documents
* Client or customer lists
* Intellectual property
Finally, if you decide to buy, you’ll have a stack of paper to review before purchase. These include things like a bill of sale, transferring ownership of vehicles and equipment, the lease and more. You might also ask the seller to sign a non-compete agreement, so they don’t start a new business that competes with yours.
Why you should work for a fast-growing company
Is there a fast-growing company in your area that’s hiring? If you’re ambitious and love taking on new challenges, applying for a position with a business that’s undergoing major growth could be a great career move.
It can be exciting to join a company that’s developing quickly. For example, working to establish new products, services, territories, and markets can provide a unique challenge that keeps you on your toes. In addition, the dynamic atmosphere of a fast-growing company typically fosters strong bonds with co-workers and puts your skills to good use.
In many cases, fast-growing companies attract talent by providing a range of employee benefits including competitive salaries, flexible hours, and the opportunity to work remotely. The company may also offer access to health facilities, free food, and other perks.
In short, joining a company that’s quickly growing could be a great opportunity.
If you’re hoping to make a career change, working for a fast-growing company is a great choice. You’ll have the opportunity to build new skills and grow your existing talents.
Robotics fills bill; workers are hard to find
Find it, pick it, pack it, ship it.
That is the routine for warehouse work, and robots are coming to the rescue in an industry that just can’t hire enough humans.
Companies are investing millions in warehouse robots to pick up the slack in enormous storage and shipping facilities.
According to the International Federation of Robotics, a single robot saves up to 18 miles of employee walking, increasing picking productivity by two or three times.
In 2018, according to Stord.com, there were 400,000 robots installed per year globally. By 2022, that number will grow to 584,000 units.
In fact, robotics has come to the rescue of North American warehouses, which are struggling to find labor. In the U.S., warehousing companies added about 168,000 jobs between April 2020 and April 2021, a 13.6 percent increase. But sector payrolls contracted by 4,300 jobs from March to April, according to a preliminary report from the Department of Labor. Logistics employers simply can’t find enough staff to keep pace with demand. Logistics staffing firm ProLogistix says the average starting pay for warehouse workers was $16.58 an hour in April 2021. That is up nearly 9 percent from April 2020.
According to the Wall Street Journal, warehousing demand has been driven forward dramatically by the pandemic, which created a surge in online demand while shrinking the supply of available workers. It’s not that robots are taking human jobs so much as there aren’t humans to fill them.
Logistics providers are looking into remotely operated forklifts in warehouses that can be controlled from anywhere in the world using real-time video and audio. This could allow automation companies to find workers in areas of the employment market not usually tapped by warehousing, such as disabled workers.
4 benefits of working for a family business
No matter what industry they’re in, family businesses are unique. If you’re looking for a new job, here are some of the advantages of working for one.
1. They offer a sense of belonging. If you don’t want to feel like a number, joining a family-owned business is the right choice. You’ll likely be part of a small, close-knit team that’s truly invested in your well-being.
2. They subscribe to strong values. Family businesses are generally driven by strong values such as reliability, trust, respect, solidarity, and transparency. These values are reflected in the way they treat their customers, suppliers, partners, and employees.
3. They tend to endure for a long time. Since family businesses are passed down from one generation to the next, they continue to develop and grow over the years. This changing of hands keeps things fresh and ensures the company continues to thrive.
4. They have a good reputation. Family businesses have a strong interest in protecting their reputation to encourage pride in the family name. They not only want to present a positive image to their customers, but they also want their employees to speak well of them.
If you want to be part of a company run by a devoted and caring team, consider working for a family business.
Studies search for causes, solutions to truck driver shortage
There aren’t enough big rig drivers now, and there haven’t been enough drivers for a long time.
In 2019, the trucking industry was short 61,000 drivers, according to the American Trucking Association (ATA). The association estimates a shortage of 160,000 drivers by 2028.
Trucks carry more freight across the country than every other mode of transportation combined, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. About 3.8 million drivers haul 71 percent of U.S. freight.
So there is plenty of work. Driver pay averages $47,000 a year, somewhat higher than the average of $42,000 across all occupations. It works out to about $22 an hour.
According to the ATA, the driving force is older, an average of about 46 years old. The industry is not attracting enough young people. At least one of the reasons is mandatory regular drug testing, something some industry leaders say should be strengthened.
While people who enter the trucking industry can be quite loyal to it, people still have to be 21 to drive. The ATA is working to lower that age to 18. Safety advocacy groups have argued that young truck drivers are more likely to be involved in fatal crashes.
The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association says that wages have not kept up with inflation. The association also cites problematic working conditions, since drivers must spend long hours away from home.
A Loyola University study points the finger at federal regulations for the long periods of downtime away from home. Regulations can make it difficult for drivers to drive at the best times, and drivers can be stranded for days away from home. For example, a driver who stops work on Friday morning may have to wait until Monday rush hour to get back on the road. For drivers paid by the mile, being stuck in traffic can chop $2 an hour off their pay.
All the kids are doing it: How short videos can help your small business
It sprang onto the scene with goofy dance trends and questionable dares, but TikTok and other short video platforms have evolved — and can offer an edge to the creative business owner.
The dancing and pranks aren’t going anywhere, but they now share space with more cerebral users. Social media algorithms reward accounts that incorporate video into their feeds, meaning your posts will gain more traction and reach more people than a static image. Instagram and Twitter have each introduced short-form videos into their repertoire this past year.
Not sure what content to publish? Remember the philosophy of ‘show, don’t tell.’ Brainstorm visual ways to show off your business and company.
Here are some ideas:
* Behind the scenes videos, showing viewers your office or desk, taking them into the kitchen or the factory, under the hood of the car.
* Consider a series of tips, offering snippets of bite-sized advice.
* Summarize an event with scenes from the day.
* Tease an upcoming sale, event, or expansion.
* Show the progress of a renovation, whether that’s a remodel of your home office, a new fire pit or a commercial building.
* Answer questions. Ask viewers to submit questions and answer them via video.
* Feeling brave? Go ahead and jump on a dance trend! You can easily find the latest trending videos and songs and add your own take to it. Or you can do a split-screen video in which you dance along or react to someone else.
* Speaking of reactions, reaction videos are big. They don’t have to be dances. You can react to a short news clip or speech snippet, visually and/or with your own comments.
* Remember to use captions. Studies show that up to 80 percent of people scroll through their phones without the sound on. Most videos incorporate easy text graphics to display words and titles, and you can also use closed captions.