This chapter discusses current trends and their pros and cons. They are not presented in any particular order. “Current” doesn’t necessarily mean “new.”
Working from Home (Telecommuting)
Telecommuting arrangements vary. Some people work from home one day a week; some work primarily from home and visit the office for certain meetings. Telecommuting must be considered from the view of the one who wants to figure from home and therefore the view of the employer that needs the work done. Whether the arrangement is productive depends on the kind of labor, the person, and also the home environment. If you propose to figure from home:
- founded an office with computer, printer, fax, scanner, and speaker phone. don’t try and work regularly from a laptop computer on a dining room table.
- make sure you have got the personality to figure from home. In an office, you’ve got people to speak to during the day. If you’re employed at home, you need to be able to handle the quiet and isolation.
- Exercise discipline. Don’t visit the refrigerator frequently or leave the office “for some minutes” to travel to the bank or the dry cleaner. Take time for lunch and do errands then. Don’t take time from work to possess your car washed.
- Provide an appropriate home environment. Allowing distractions such as babies playing nearby isn’t conducive to serious work.
- Provide an acceptable environment for videoconferencing. Other conference participants (including your supervisor) don’t want to determine evidence that you simply are cleaning house and “squeezing in” your employer’s work.
- Dress appropriately for work. you may feel more professional and this can be essential after you are videoconferencing.
- Understand the momentum of working in a very business office.
Don’t let social calls and other interruptions interfere with that momentum.
If you follow these suggestions, you’ll be able to probably work productively from a central office whether you’re employed for an outsized firm or own a homebased business.
Social responsibility includes environmental considerations. this is often not a new concept. Many large companies are socially responsible for years. The concept involves awareness of a company’s responsibility to its employees, customers, neighborhood, and therefore the environment.
It requires quite simple compliance with local, state, and federal regulations. It’s about making conscious efforts to be fair to employees, provide quality products to consumers, participate in community affairs, and avoid contamination of the environment.
Many companies take their social responsibilities far beyond legal compliance. We’ll discuss two of them* that share mutual concerns
for consumers and therefore the environment. One is Johnson & Johnson, a company. Its website,
www.jnj.com, includes various links. One is Our Caring that has sublinks like Environment, People, Access to Medicines, and more.
The S C Johnson Company manufactures Edge, Windex, Glade, and other home products. Its www.scjohnson.com website homepage links to Environment and Social Investment. Many other companies exhibit social responsibilities in line with their products and profits.
No one can tell you exactly what activity constitutes socially responsible conduct or perhaps define it for you. you are doing what you think that best for your company and evaluate companies you accommodate supported your own standards.
Domestic and Foreign Outsourcing
Outsourcing has become more common in recent years and it isn’t going away soon. One reason is that several people will accept lesser quality for a lower cost. Every company must decide whether outsourcing is suitable for its operation supported analysis of the many factors.
Outsourcing may be domestic or offshore (foreign). a corporation can “contract out” segments of its manufacturing operation and produce a quality product.
Consider ABC Pharmaceuticals, a fictional drug manufacturer in New Jersey. ABC can conduct research and development at its own location, then manufacture, test, and package product at that very same location. Alternatively, it can contract with DEF Company to order and mix chemicals for capsule production, then send the majority mix to GHI Company for filling into capsules. GHI, in turn, sends the capsules in large containers of 500,000 or more capsules to JKL Packaging where they are filled into bottles of 5,000 each. The bottles are labeled appropriately and shipped to distributors that fill orders from pharmacies.
Why do companies outsource certain operations? Cost savings.
How can companies benefit by making products offshore then incur shipping costs from India or China, for example? Because the cost of shipping is way offset by the low cost of manufacturing abroad. The economies of the many countries allow low wages together with minimal regulation. Employees in such countries earn a fraction of what U.S. production employees earn. the quantity varies with the merchandise and location. In many cases, foreign workers are paid only one-half to one-twentieth of the wages earned by a comparable worker within the U.S. Why do the people work for such low wages? Because such wages represent good pay supported the economies of their countries.
Compliance with government regulations is dear. Domestic labor regulations cover issues like clean air and effluents, and safety standards for workers. Many countries don’t impose stringent requirements on employers and so the employers incur lower costs. Is pollution an issue? Foreign governments are beginning to realize the impacts of pollution and should soon enact regulations, thus increasing production costs.
What about quality? Offshore production of pharmaceuticals must meet U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) standards if the products are to be sold within the U.S. which means contractors for U.S. companies must befits the FDA requirements and also the U.S. company must monitor compliance. Items like clothing don’t seem to be regulated so strictly and significant trade-offs in quality occur. Despite that, many consumers buy supported price.
Incidentally, if you wonder if there are additional costs incurred by U.S. citizens in contrast to savings, there are. within the pharmaceutical case given above, currently the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is saying that it’s “inadequate resources” to examine every foreign firm that produces pharmaceutical intermediates or finished drug product for U.S. companies. They don’t need to do this.
They have to examine foreign firms that want to sell their pharmaceutical products within the us. Regarding the foreign firms that are contractors of U.S. companies, those U.S. companies have the responsibility to examine their contractors. So we’ve a case of a administrative body doing the domestic company’s work for them.
If additional persons are hired to conduct all the inspections that are claimed to be needed, the U.S. taxpayers are going to be paying for a government regulatory agency to try to to the manufacturers’ work for them.
Governments outsource work. in a very March 2008 article within the Washington Times, Bill Gertz wrote, “The u. s. has outsourced the manufacturing of its electronic passports to overseas companies— including one in Thailand that was victimized by Chinese espionage—raising concerns that cost savings are being put ahead of national security, an investigation by The Washington Times has found.”
Several states have purchased American flags from China. Various states have proposed legislation requiring that flags be purchased from U.S. manufacturers for patriotic reasons. Federal legislation now prohibits manufacturers from using “Made within the USA” labels unless the entire product was made within the U.S.
The primary objection to outsourcing is that the elimination of jobs. If all U.S. citizens had satisfactory jobs, outsourcing would probably not encounter objections. Another problem is counterfeiting of electronics, sneakers, and other products—a Rolex watch costing $250 is certainly not a Rolex. Two excellent books on overseas outsourcing are Take This Job and Ship It by Byron L. Dorgan, St. Martin’s Press, 2006, and Exporting America by Lou Dobbs, Warner Business Books, 2004.
Not Invented Here (NIH) Syndrome
Don’t confuse this NIH with the National Institutes of Health. NIH syndrome isn’t good for consumers. it’s paradoxical that some companies that want to look innovative only look inward and restrict themselves to their own activities (see Chapter 20). While some companies welcome ideas from outside inventors, others limit research and development (R & D) to their own facilities for a spread of reasons.
They may have NIH syndrome, based solely on ego—no one outside the company is as intelligent as in-house staff, and paying attention to an outsider’s ideas would be a waste of valuable time whether or not the outsider owns patents on a product or procedure. In reality, if an outsider has the patent received or pending, then the big company simply has got to look at applications of the merchandise or process.
A company might want to entertain outside ideas but fears litigation.
Companies are sued for “stealing ideas” after they talked to inventors and realized they already had similar products or processes. Big companies have a plus in having the ability to prove they already had a technology that’s involved in litigation.
However, the time, money, and aggravation required to defend such suits, still because the unfavorable publicity, make them necessarily skittish about reprimand outside inventors who may or may not be legitimate.
Companies that have R & D functions and also visit inventors usually have an oversized number of ideas ongoing by virtue of the philosophy of being attentive to others. they will not actively solicit ideas, but they will not exhibit NIH syndrome and can hear you. You will be required to sign a Confidentiality Disclosure Agreement (CDA) or Confidentiality Agreement (CA) or Non Disclosure Agreement (NDA). These are different names for the identical thing. It’s O K, and preferred, to sign such an agreement. However, take care that if there’s an exclusivity clause in it indicating that you simply discuss with no others while they are evaluating it such a clause has an expiration date beyond which you’ll be able to show the invention to others. This precludes the corporate from letting your innovation sit while a competitor may come out with something almost like it.
Tools of Your Trade
Every business requires tools, whether the business is large or small, or involves production, science, engineering, or professional services. Such tools is also mechanical, personal, or administrative, for example:
Intellect—There aren’t any substitutes for logic and nerve.
Trust in yourself. Know after you need information and know when you have enough information to act.
Accurate sources of information—Knowing after you have enough information to act is sweet practice, but you want to also know the degree of accuracy of the knowledge. Receiving information from a friend, business associate, boss, the web, or newspaper doesn’t guarantee its truth or accuracy. Know the degree of reliability of your sources and rely only on the simplest.
Internet—This source enables you to get a wealth of data almost instantly. Twenty years ago, operation entailed a visit to a library. Now you’ll, through Google and other search engines, find data in minutes. However, search engines facilitate your find information; they are doing not verify it. detain mind the various degrees of reliability because of sources. A related caveat is to be very careful about what you set on a social networking site. Anything that portrays you in a very negative light are discovered and influence people who could also be in an exceedingly position to rent you or do business with you.
Careers are ruined by one keystroke. Use the net for constructive activities.
E-mail—This is incredibly useful for communicating instantaneously with individuals or large groups. Another caution is so as here.
Whatever you write in an e-mail lives forever and may be accessed at any time. use caution what you say and use caution before hitting the “reply all” button. Sometimes only a sender needs a solution. At times, a telephone is best. Don’t use e-mail for convenience if you believe that a telephone is more appropriate. you would possibly send an e-mail after business hours asking the simplest time to call the subsequent day.
Be sure to say the topic. This step will prepare the recipient for your call.
Teleconferencing and videoconferencing—These are most useful for communicating with several persons directly a couple of common subject, getting immediate feedback and suggestions, and making joint decisions. If you’re videoconferencing, confirm the background is non-distracting which you dress properly.
Networking—This may be a continuous activity conducted head to head, by phone, and via the net. It involves making friends in your business world and knowing on whom you’ll rely for what. You will do favors for people in your network and that they will reciprocate when necessary. The difference between politics and networking is that a politician will need a favor returned. A favor granted within the course of networking goes into a pool and also the recipient passes it on by doing a favor for somebody else.
Telephone—Old and true and still the simplest after you want to speak to someone and acquire immediate feedback to incorporate their voice tones and inflections, things that an e-mail doesn’t convey.
Meeting Face-to-Face—Whenever possible this is often the most effective tool to convey information, judge reactions, and acquire information.
Depending on the reliability of your interpretations, meeting remains the foremost accurate means of communication. this is often why the best salespersons— those who work on commission only—meet and talk with their clients. they will see the clients’ responses and react accordingly.
Contract Assignments and Short Term Employment
There are three classes of this kind of labor. the primary is functioning temporarily for an employer. You perform a “regular” job, but you and your employer agree that matters is temporary—until an individual on leave returns, a department reorganizes, or a seasonal increase subsides.
Another arrangement is functioning through a brief employment agency. The agency hires you and assigns you to an employer as a “temp.” you’re paid by the agency which successively is paid by the client company.
The other is that if you’re a consultant and work different places, some of whom compete with one another. during this situation you will be sent there under contract to an oversized consulting organization otherwise you may be there as a personal consultant. If the previous, then your pay comes from the massive consulting organization and if as a private, you are paid directly by the client.
Here are some things to understand about these classifications.
If you’re a “temp” you’ll or might not have “benefits” like health insurance. they’ll or might not work something out with you.
If you’re sent regularly to firms by office, that agency may provide benefits. It’s worth checking with them.
As a consultant, you always should provide your own insurance.
You may be required to supply insurance. This varies with the kind of consultant you’re and thus the character of the projects on which you’ll be working.
If you’re a “temp” you’ll should pay your own taxes or the agency or client will take them out of your check for you. If they take out your various taxes they’re going to, by the top of January of the subsequent year, send you a W-2 form, which states what you earned and what they took out and sent to the state and federal governments for you. As a consultant you’re paid your fee and are reimbursed for any expenses. However, you’re accountable for sending your various taxes quarterly. The state and federal revenue agencies accept what you say quarterly, except for your annual filing they need proof. This proof is on your statements sent to you by your clients. These statements are 1099s. The 1099 is that the form on which they create the statement of your earnings. Sometimes you’ll hear someone ask another person “Are you a W-2 or a 1099?” which may be a slang way of asking them if their client withheld their taxes or not.
Here’s a awfully important aspect of doing contract work. Additionally to doing a decent job because you’ve got high ethics and work standards, you will be expected to take care of confidentiality. you will be handling the company’s top secret documents. you’ll even have access to employees’ personal data. You consultants already know this. For you “temps” who know this, fine. For those of you for whom this is often a reminder, take heed. you’re unlikely to deliberately discuss the proprietary issues or products of a client company. No, not normally.
However don’t let yourself slip when being interviewed by a possible new client who says “Tell me about other projects on which you’ve worked.” Think! There are some things, a bit bit general, that you can say. There are things, specific to a previous client’s confidential projects that you just cannot say. this is often important. Being competent is one aspect of you as a possible contractor; having the ability to “keep your mouth shut” is as valuable.
A bonus should be a generous reward for extra good work. Bonuses should never be publicized or anticipated. After you promise a bonus to an employee, he will direct his efforts to gaining the bonus and possibly exclude important activities that don’t contribute to the current bonus.
The bonus system is sometimes counterproductive and typically applies to a limited group. as an example, sales bonuses usually reward exceptional sales; plant managers may receive bonuses for exceeding production.
Before you opt to implement bonuses, ask yourself whether the level of activity required for a bonus adequately determines superior performance that benefits the corporate. Consider the following:
Example 1—A plant manager receives a bonus for the number of product shipped and not for its quality. a major amount of inferior product is shipped and recorded. Customers are dissatisfied, but the plant manager receives the bonus.
Example 2—A salesperson receives a bonus for creating an outsized number of phone calls in an exceedingly day although no sales are made because the potential customers haven’t been given the chance to ask questions.
Example 3—A CEO receives a bonus because the corporate stock price rises to a specific figure. The bonus involves direct payment and additional shares of company stock. The CEO directs his efforts to increasing the stock price at the expense of long-term projects such as the purchase of recent equipment that may increase the long run value of the firm. (There are CEOs of enormous companies who have caused their companies to lose billions of dollars then they received bonuses of uncountable dollars for that! Some were retained and some were dropping. all of them got their bonuses. How can an organization justify bonuses or severance packages of lots of dollars to executives who performed badly? the solution is within the wording of the bonus statement.)
We all need recognition to a degree. Some people need only a smile, while others want salary increases. Still others need a more visible style of recognition, like a plaque or an announcement at a gathering.
Hollywood grants awards all the time and recipients immediately increase salary demands for his or her next movies.
An identical situation applies here. Look beyond the nice feeling enjoyed by the winner and consider the (possibly) negative feelings of these who failed to receive awards but thought they must have. Presenting a reward may produce more harm than good. Consider the impact on other good performers once you commit to provides a person or group a souvenir.
If you would like to acknowledge extraordinary performance, present generous bonuses as a surprise to deserving persons or groups.
Here’s an issue without a solution or comment. Did you ever notice that the alumni who donate the foremost money to the university get the most important award for being the “Person of The Year?” Did you see that it’s given at a banquet in their honor?
Here’s another question without a solution or comment. Did you ever notice that organizations like Chambers of Commerce and others transfer solicitations for names of potential awards recipients at their annual awards banquet? Maybe that point would be better spent networking.
Attempts to Mislead
People will deliberately mislead you from time to time. In fact, they’ll outright lie to you. We sometimes give reflex answers that indicate approval of feeble excuses. after you see a number of these in print you’ll see how weak they’re. Let folks that attempt to mislead you recognize that you’re aware of the attempt. Table 17.1 shows variety of incorrect or insincere statements, their true meanings, and suggested responses and relevant comments.
Accuracy of knowledge
People sometimes pass away erroneous information they think is correct.
This is different from a deliberate lie. you want to understand how to assess the accuracy of knowledge. Here are some tips:
- Know your source. you ought to know the credibility of individuals you supervise, go together with, and socialize with and the way accurate their information is.
- Be objective. Don’t assume that if the knowledge is what you want to listen to, it must be correct.
- Verify information whenever possible.
- Never assume that information from a newspaper or the Internet must be correct.
- remember that information you receive is also incomplete or repeated out of context.
Let’s review an example. A town wanted an appropriation for a brand new playground. The town council agreed to an amount and a county official turned it down. When the newspaper printed news of the refusal, the residents became angry at the county official. At the subsequent meeting, the town council, at the urging of the politician, appropriated a much larger amount for a much bigger playground and sports complex.
The county official declined the mercantilism because he knew the sum was insufficient to create the specified facility. His action led to a larger appropriation for a higher facility, despite the initial negative public reaction. the purpose is that you simply must know all the facts before you pass judgment. Get all the facts, assess your sources, determine the accuracy of the facts, and appearance in the slightest degree sides of a problem before making a judgment.