43% of companies monitor worker’s online activity.

 

 

by David McCann

 

With remote work destined for good to be a fixture of the modern workplace, almost half of companies are monitoring remote employees’ online activities.

 

 

Among 1,000 remote and hybrid U.S. employees who participated in a February survey, 43% said their employer monitors their online activity. That broke down into 48% of hybrid workers and 37% of fully remote ones.

An additional 21% of respondents said they weren’t sure or were unaware whether their employer is monitoring their online activity, according to the survey, which was commissioned by Forbes Advisor and conducted by OnePoll. Forbes Advisor is a platform designed to help consumers make financial decisions, but its report on online surveillance of workers offers some worthy insights for employers.

Monitored activity can include active work hours, websites visited, chats, and messaging logs. Almost a third (31%) of respondents said their employers are monitoring their computer screens in real-time.

Unsurprisingly, many employees dislike the monitoring, and some of their viewpoints might make employers pause. Among the scrutinized workers, 39% said the monitoring has a negative effect on their relationship with their employer, and 43% said it negatively affects company morale.

Further, 27% of survey participants said they would be at least somewhat likely to quit their job if their employer began monitoring them.

On the other hand, 30% said they are “very comfortable” with their online activities being monitored, and 31% reported a positive association with job satisfaction. “This could indicate that a segment of the workforce feels more aligned or accountable when such practices are in place,” the survey report said.

Room for Improvement
According to the report, a “concerning aspect” of the trend is insufficient communication about surveillance policies. Only a third (32%) of those surveyed reported having received clear guidelines or policies regarding the monitoring.

Are there ethical issues with companies monitoring employees’ online activity? Three in five (59%) of the surveyed workers agreed that there are. However, ethical concerns go both ways, as 25% of those whose online activity is monitored admitted to pretending to be online while performing nonwork activities. In fact, 11% of such employees said they use anti-surveillance software, and 9% said they’ve attempted to “trick” the monitoring software.

Source: cfo.com

8 Essential Qualities of Successful Leaders

 

 

 

by Rebecca Knight

 

Do you have what it takes to be a great leader?

It helps if you excel at communicating. And, of course, you need to be adept at planning, problem-solving, and delegating. You also need to be capable of navigating any and all challenges that arise.

Beyond these skills, though, the qualities that set great leaders apart are more elusive and can at times appear otherworldly. Exceptional leaders possess a certain X-factor that makes it seem as though they inherently know what to do.

But according to Harvard Business School professor Linda Hill, one of the world’s top experts on leadership, star leaders aren’t born with superhuman capabilities. Rather, they tend to have intentionally put themselves in situations where they have to learn, adapt, and grow — a crucible for developing the tenacity and fortitude to motivate and guide others.

“Leadership is a process of self-development, she says. “No one can teach you how to lead; you need to be willing and able to learn how to lead. Mostly we learn from our experiences and facing adversity. Stepping outside of the spaces where we feel safe — is a powerful teacher.”

Here are what Hill says are the top eight most important qualities for successful leadership — along with ideas on how to cultivate them.

1. Authenticity

Being genuine and true to who you are is fundamental to success in any role. Hill says that as a leader, you must embody your best self — the version that’s not only highly effective but also capable of motivating and inspiring those around you.“Your competence is not enough; people need to trust your character and connect with you, otherwise they will not be willing to take risks with you,” she says. This understanding ties deeply with your ability to be self-aware: “You need to figure out how to create the conditions for your success, and don’t assume others will do it for you.”

How to show up as your best self.

Understanding how people perceive you is crucial for growth. But asking for and receiving feedback can be complicated and emotional, says Hill. She recommends seeking feedback at a time when you can remain open, without becoming defensive.

Start by asking for feedback from peers in low-pressure situations and work your way up to higher-stakes scenarios. Say something like: “I’m trying to understand my impact and the kind of experiences I am creating for those who work with me. Can you give me some sense of what I should keep doing, start doing, and stop doing?” Finally, don’t dwell on the negative and the things you need to fix. Instead, Hill recommends you “home in on the positive.” Continue reading

Let’s not try to be “Authentic”

 

 

 

by Dylan Seltermann

 

One of the big recent cultural shifts in America has been people claiming that they want to strive toward greater authenticity in their lives.

 

Perhaps this was brought on by a feeling that people are increasingly “fake” in their online personas, especially on social media and dating app profiles, or in routine interactions with acquaintances or colleagues that might seem forced and mundane. Whatever the reason, people seem to be strongly craving a connection with their true selves and to bring more authenticity into their lives.

There’s just one problem. There is no true self, at least not in any sense of the self that we can understand through science. We should seriously question the idea of authenticity as a meaningful construct in our lives.

A Psychological Quirk
We might naively assume that everyone has a true and authentic core “self,” almost like believing in a secular version of a soul. But this assumption is based on a psychological quirk. Humans are essentialist thinkers, which means we wrongly assume that all beings have a stable underlying essence, or a je ne sais quoi. But when it comes to living, growing life forms, this is an illusion. Lots of people say that in order to have a happy, meaningful life, we just need to get in touch with that core, essentialist part of ourselves and behave in ways that are consistent with this. I suggest this is a false and unhealthy way of thinking. This concept of authenticity isn’t useful because it’s based on a flawed assumption of how human psychology works.

Previously, I suggested that people actually change a lot throughout their lives. But the pace of change diminishes throughout adulthood, so it may not feel subjectively like we’re changing very much from year to year when, in fact, we do. This also helps explain why it may not be possible to have one true authentic self, because the self is almost always changing. Striving for authenticity may be like trying to hit a moving target. If you’re always in motion, or if your north star keeps shifting, then getting to an authentic state would be a fool’s errand. Developmental psychology is, in a sense, the study of change. The more we change, the more it should be apparent to us that there isn’t a fixed, static thing that we should use to define ourselves. Continue reading

Yes, you can train yourself to be happier, just be aware of the downsides.

 

 

 

 

by Lydia Dishman

Is there a day on the calendar that isn’t significant for some sort of recognition? From pizza to hotdogs, pets to cousins, the “International Day of fill-in-the-blank” populates each square of the 365 that mark the year.

And so it was for happiness. March 20, in case you missed it, marked that highly sought quality that the U.S. forefathers cited as one of three inalienable rights in the Declaration of Independence. As such, the pursuit of happiness has become a holy grail in work and life. Why shouldn’t we be happy? Or happier, if we have a right to be?

Of course, philosophers, sages, scientists, and business leaders have each tried to detail prescriptive measures to reach greater happiness. That’s because copious amounts of research point to the fact that happy people live longer.

It has an impact on working life, too. Citing research from a study conducted by the Saïd Business School, Jade Green argued that happiness should be a new performance indicator. “Happiness can have a significant impact on productivity. Results showed that happier workers were 12% more productive than their unhappy counterparts,” she wrote. “This boost in productivity can be attributed to various factors, such as increased motivation, engagement, and creativity.” The study additionally revealed that fewer mistakes were made by happier workers.

On the flip side, unhappy employees might suffer long-term health effects. That goes for the youngest members of the workforce. As Fast Company’s Jared Lindzon wrote, “A study conducted by researchers at Ohio State University found that those who are dissatisfied with their jobs in their twenties and thirties were more likely to have problems with sleep, anxiety, and depression later in life.”

Continue reading

8 Essential Qualities of Successful Leaders

 

 

 

 

by Rebecca Knight

Do you have what it takes to be a great leader?

 

 

It helps if you excel at communicating. And, of course, you need to be adept at planning, problem-solving, and delegating. You also need to be capable of navigating any and all challenges that arise.

Beyond these skills, though, the qualities that set great leaders apart are more elusive and can at times appear otherworldly. Exceptional leaders possess a certain X-factor that makes it seem as though they inherently know what to do.

But according to Harvard Business School professor Linda Hill, one of the world’s top experts on leadership, star leaders aren’t born with superhuman capabilities. Rather, they tend to have intentionally put themselves in situations where they have to learn, adapt, and grow — a crucible for developing the tenacity and fortitude to motivate and guide others.

“Leadership is a process of self-development, she says. “No one can teach you how to lead; you need to be willing and able to learn how to lead. Mostly we learn from our experiences and facing adversity. Stepping outside of the spaces where we feel safe — is a powerful teacher.”

Here are what Hill says are the top eight most important qualities for successful leadership — along with ideas on how to cultivate them.

1. Authenticity

Being genuine and true to who you are is fundamental to success in any role. Hill says that as a leader, you must embody your best self — the version that’s not only highly effective but also capable of motivating and inspiring those around you.“Your competence is not enough; people need to trust your character and connect with you, otherwise they will not be willing to take risks with you,” she says. This understanding ties deeply with your ability to be self-aware: “You need to figure out how to create the conditions for your success, and don’t assume others will do it for you.”

How to show up as your best self.

Understanding how people perceive you is crucial for growth. But asking for and receiving feedback can be complicated and emotional, says Hill. She recommends seeking feedback at a time when you can remain open, without becoming defensive.

Start by asking for feedback from peers in low-pressure situations and work your way up to higher-stakes scenarios. Say something like: “I’m trying to understand my impact and the kind of experiences I am creating for those who work with me. Can you give me some sense of what I should keep doing, start doing, and stop doing?” Finally, don’t dwell on the negative and the things you need to fix. Instead, Hill recommends you “home in on the positive.”

Continue reading