Posts by Teresa Moy
In our Jargon Crazy game, it certainly has been entertaining to see which IT buzzwords have been the most disliked. Some results have surprised me, and some have confirmed my own loathing. I won't identify any of them, though, because I don't want to sway anyone's opinions in the slightest.
We are now down to the wire. Mashup and Center of Excellence are going head to head for the championship. Which one will be crowned the most hated IT term? Please play along here by submitting your vote in the final round, and check back next week to see who the winner is!
Here we are again, the start of another year, and the start of another 365 days of new year’s resolutions which we may or may not keep. What’s at the top of that well-intentioned list? For most of us, it’s exercising more and eating healthy.
And with good reason. David Agus, professor of medicine and engineering at the University of Southern California, reports that “86% of employees today are above their normal weight or have a chronic condition, according to a Gallup survey a few years ago. They miss an estimated 450 million extra days of work a year compared with healthy workers, which a recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says annually costs American businesses from $150 billion to a little more than $225 billion in lost productivity.” On a more personal level, prescription drug and medical care costs continue to rise at a much faster rate than personal income and can erode your financial security.
These are staggering figures, and they should scare us into being more proactive – both employers and employees. But most of us in the IT industry have sedentary jobs that require long hours sitting in front of a computer screen. Unfortunately, those strong, sitting muscles only make us more susceptible to health risks such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
To combat the problem, David Agus proposes that companies create a new job position – a Chief Health Officer, who would take on the responsibilities of helping our workforce to be healthier without all the guilt strings attached. Some of the duties that the Chief Health Officer might have would be creating health and wellness programs that encourage employees to participate instead of alienating them (in other words, forget about the weight loss contests), redesigning the workplace so that it supports optimal health and productivity (think wireless headsets so that employees can move around while on calls or treadmill desks for those who are desk bound), and creating age-appropriate exercise and healthy cooking classes during lunch break.
While some of his ideas are not feasible for smaller companies or those on a tight budget, I believe that even little steps can make a difference. You probably don't work for a company that will ever have a CHO, but feel free to at least set an alarm to remind yourself to stretch or walk around, or invest in some wearable technology like activity trackers. If you’re motivated by money, consider bringing a healthier sack lunch to work and tracking how much less you are spending on fast food.
Sources and Additional Reading:
Last month, we wrote a post on business and social media. Now with the holiday season in full swing, I’d like to redirect our focus to being less techie and being more sociable. Everywhere we go, we see people attached to their mobile devices. We spend a lot of time gazing at Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, catching up on what others are doing or getting others caught up on what we are doing. What happened to the days when down time while waiting to get that much needed coffee was spent just standing there in line?
Nothing spells out the holiday spirit better than a good ol’ fashioned “Happy Holidays!” tweet that goes out to all of our followers in a single click. At holiday parties and get togethers, all the smartphones and tablets are still out in force, and we may spend just as much time taking photos, texting, and posting about each moment as talking to the people we are supposed to be socializing with.
Don’t get me wrong; I will probably send a “Season’s Greetings!” post to my family and friends, check Facebook to see what they are doing, and use my smartphone to capture some of our precious holiday moments, too. But during this festive season, when we’re at that holiday party or get together, let’s try to put down all the mobile devices and slowly back away – at least for a little while – and look into the faces of our family and friends. Let’s call our faraway loved ones instead of texting them. Let’s look around and feel the magic and awe of the holiday season.
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