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Why are IT Workers Gaining Weight?

April 17th, 2014

Recent studies show that IT professionals are tend to outpace other professionals in an alarming new area: weigh gain.  The information technology field may show IT contractors, IT recruiters, and IT managers gaining higher poundage for a few reasons. 

The first, though not special to the industry, may be the fact that IT consultants do tend to sit quite a bit at work.  There are plenty of studies about the dangers of sitting and it’s hard to ignore how often people in IT sit at their IT jobs.  The second reason may be that IT workers are likely to have to work odd or long hours to keep up with the 24/7 need for technology that delivers.  Sleep deprivation or odd sleep patterns are shown to throw off people’s metabolism significantly.  Some studies even show that tired workers are more likely to reach for food full of carbohydrates or sugar.  Lastly, IT professionals, like most professionals, are subjected to the onslaught of office food and office food as a management incentive.  Providing food for workers is a well-known tactic for managers to gain loyalty. While well-intentioned, managers who use this tactic too often may be hurting their supports. 

Image: Obese worker

 

3 Mistakes IT Managers Commonly Make—and How to Deal With Them

April 15th, 2014

Information technology, like all industries isn’t immune to poor management techniques.  All IT recruiters and IT consultants have had direct or indirect experience with terrible IT managers at IT jobs.  Below are the some of the most common mistakes that technical recruiters and IT contractors have to deal with—and how to deal with them.

  1. Speaking negatively: Managers who speak negatively about people who are currently on their staff, people who have quit or been fired, or the company itself, are certainly hurting their team’s morale.  Feeling like your manager has no hope for your department’s success, or the success of you and all your teammates, quickly kills your own motivation.  While you can’t change their outlook, you can do your best not to share in it or to be influenced by it.  Try to respond in a neutral way to any negative talk like this and quickly change the subject.  Avoid repeating it and avoid thinking about it. 
  2. Doing their staff’s work for them: Sometimes managers will want to save time and complete a task that their staff either can’t do correctly or at all.  This is a serious mistake.  It doesn’t give the staff the chance to learn how to do the task and ensures the same exact scenario, except probably with increased frustration, in the future.  If your manager is doing something for you, do your best to stop them and ask for feedback on how you can do it yourself.  Take the opportunity to learn whatever the task is and take notes so you can do it in the future. 
  3. Letting staff break the little rules: It may simply feel like too much energy for a manager to have to exert to make sure all rules are followed.  But here’s the problem:  Breaking the little rules, especially when it comes to coding, programming, and other IT tasks, can lead to bigger issues down the line.  While you can’t control what your manager does and doesn’t enforce, you can hold rigorous standards for yourself and encourage them (gently!) in your teammates.  Everyone will thank you later down the line. 

                                           

France’s Email Decision: Will it Affect IT Workers Worldwide?

April 13th, 2014

By now, most IT professionals around the world probably know about the big move by the information technology field’s labor unions in France.  The move to give IT contractors, IT recruiters, and IT managers the right to disconnect from their IT jobs and email after 6 pm has made epic waves around the internet.  In fact, the story has made a particularly large impact just because it’s been misinterpreted so often.  Some are taking the story as France banning email after 6 pm for all workers in all industries. 

While the story has largely been impactful because of its misinterpretation, it may be impactful in the future for actually affecting more than just IT consultants and IT headhunters.  This movement was actually a pretty niche one, only affecting a small part of France’s population.  However, it has already begun a surge of blog posts and op-eds about how the policy should be affected world-wide in a far more concrete way.  This story may be only the beginning of a bigger revolution around the world.    

No, France hasn’t banned work emails after 6pm


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