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Water Cooler

Information and insight about your career and the workplace at large
October 2006

News and Views

The boss is watching your every click, writes Annalee Newitz in the 30 September 2006 edition of New Scientist. Whereas HP has gotten unfavorable press for this practice, hundreds of other corporations are routinely spying on their employees without challenge. Logging keystrokes and Web browsing, recording emails and IMs is common practice at such companies as Bank of America, Yahoo, and Kaiser Permanente. What about yours? Details

Some companies find that group mentoring can be a cost-effective alternative to the traditional one-on-one mentoring, writes Eve Tahmincioglu for T hree things are needed: commitment among leadership, clear expectations for mentors and mentees, and clear objectives Read more (registration required)

Seth Godin thinks small is the new big. Check out his manifesto "Polkas, Pyrotechnics, and Point Ds" and see if it inspires you. Details

Are you willing to work for an unethical employer? According to this recent report from Winning, whether a company acts ethically is a significant factor in the average American's willingness to work for that company. This has significant implications for attracting and retaining employees, and ensuring productivity. Note: (only) 56% of U.S. workers say their company has an ethical culture. Yet 25% say that in the past six months they witnessed unethical, and even illegal, behavior where they work. Details


There's a certain etiquette to conference calls. One obvious "do": always say your name before you speak. After all, people can't see you, and if they don't know you, it's hard to know who's saying what. Here's another great one: embrace your mute button. Here's why

Blog Entry

Incentives for Telework A telework experiment debuted in 1973/4. Today, more than 30 years later, telework is an accepted option at large technology companies, and the Feds have also promoted telecommuting. But many agencies are still reluctant to embrace the practice, even though it offers a solution to gridlock and to keeping businesses running in the event of natural or manmade disasters. The Commonwealth of Virginia is looking to provide telework incentives for public and private sector companies. — Get more info here.

Coming Up

Cross-Posting: Writing Retreat

Write Time, Write Place, Write Now Royal Rose Inn B & B, Rehoboth, DE. Hold these dates: March 2 - 4, 2007.

One of the greatest thrills in my career was achieving a dream: having two books published. Maybe you have a similar dream, but have been putting off getting started. So take action—get away and get writing by attending my upcoming writing retreat. If you'd like to join my mailing list and be among the first to get the details, email me.