The average workweek for private employees comes in at just under 35 hours a week, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. But in an era when technology makes work more accessible than ever before, many knowledge workers never really disconnect from the office.
The downsides to this from an employee’s perspective are clear: with no real separation between work and life, it’s impossible to feel like you’re fully present either at home or at the office. Beyond that, as today’s lead story reminds us, working all the time is bad for productivity. It turns out, making your workday more efficient is good for your employer as well as for your sanity.
In this week’s roundup, we look at techniques to trim your workday, plus hiring trends you need to know about and job scams to avoid.
“A new study finds that being productive really is more about working smarter, not harder,” Daskal writes. “The study looked at musicians’ practice habits and discovered that a violinist who practices extremely intensely for four focused hours actually gets more done than those who practice for seven hours but less efficiently.”
Sold on the value of the shorter workday, but not sure how to pull it off? Daskal offers some tips, including managing interruptions, taming your email and more.
Making your workday more efficient is good for your employer as well as for your sanity.
If you’re looking for a new job right now (or thinking about getting started), it’s a good idea to learn about the current trends in hiring. A big trend right now: passive hiring.
“Pinpointing excellent candidates, instead of waiting for candidates come to them, can save recruiters time,” Jay explains. “Hiring managers want to fill positions fast and with the best person possible. Passive hiring allows them to seek out candidates they really want. Job seekers should bulk up with online profiles (such as LinkedIn and personal websites) to make it easier for companies to find them. Make sure all contact info is up to date, and be sure to actually check notifications on social media sites.”
Learn more about what recruiters are looking for — and what they’re willing to offer — over at FlexJobs.
Susan P. Joyce at Job-Hunt: 9 Characteristics of Scam Jobs
“If the opportunity seems ‘too good to be true,’ it is probably a scam,” Joyce writes. “Pay attention to what your instincts tell you if something feels ‘off’ about the opportunity.”
Of course, sometimes it’s hard to tell gut instinct from job-search nerves, which is why it pays to have other guidelines to help you sniff out frauds. Joyce’s advice will help you tell the genuine jobs from the fakes. (For example, she says that if the job is easy to do, but pays exceptionally well, it’s most likely a scam.)
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