Coming to Your Classroom–Gen Z! … Remote Workers Being Recalled… Top Hiring Criteria-Writing!… Easy Focus Fix

Coming to Your Classroom Soon–Gen Z!

They’re 60 million strong, and those who are native-born Americans have never known the world without social media.

Generation Z—those born around 1996 and after—outnumber millennials by a million and look more multicultural than their predecessors. The eldest members of this demographic are already beginning to show up on college campuses, and they are a different breed. Between the September 11 attacks, war on terror, and Great Recession, Gen Z has always lived amid a world in crisis. Their parents are worry-warts, and so are they. In fact, they are acutely aware of the new world order and how it affects their future.

These native users of smartphones eschew Facebook entirely and have an even shorter attention span than millennials; marketers claim that the only way to grab Gen Z’s attention is to create a message in fewer than five words and include a large picture.

Gen Z people are hyper aware of their Internet presence and prefer platforms such as Secret, Snapchat, or Whisper, all of which remove content almost instantly. Pragmatic rather than optimistic, the members of this group are anticipated to act more like their grandparents and great-grandparents than their closest demographic cohort.

From The New York Times

Remote Workers Are Being Recalled

While some jobs can be completed effectively at home, others cannot, and that conclusion is leading many employers to rethink remote work.

Research suggests that personal productivity hits a peak when workers are allowed to work where and when they like. Likewise, in jobs that require on-site relationships or little interaction, working remotely can be the best bet.

However, companies such as IBM and Yahoo! have decided that jobs depending on collaboration require people to be in the same place at the same time for maximum efficiency, and that place, they say, is in the office.

The return to the office makes sense to anyone who has waited to get feedback from others on a project—the back and forth of remote communication leaves a lot to be desired. Because today’s workplace is filled with time sensitive situations in which a problem must be diagnosed and a solution delivered almost in real time, it’s simply more efficient for teams to be physically together, researchers say.


Top Hiring Criteria? Writing Skills!

Although employment ads for Basecamp don’t say “Only good writers need apply,” they may as well.

Even if a position at the company that markets a web-based project management tool does not specifically call for writing, only competent writers are considered for several reasons. Foremost, the employees work from remote locations, so the primary way workers communicate is by writing. Next, Basecamp CEO Jason Fried says writing well demands clear thinking.

The process of evaluating an applicant’s writing begins when a cover letter is received. (Anyone sending a résumé without a cover letter is not even considered.) In the letter, candidates have been asked to describe who they are and why they want the job, and their responses show the Basecamp team how well the individuals express themselves.

Finalists for a position are then paid to do a job for the organization and afterward are asked write up their thought process for completing the project.  Fried doesn’t hesitate to challenge the document; it’s another way to evaluate the applicant’s ability to think and “handle disagreement,” he says.

From The New York Times

Lost Your Focus? Mac Users, Here’s an Easy Fix

The answer to knocking out that report on deadline is right in front of our noses in Microsoft Word, and it’s called Focus mode.

Appearing as a function in Word for Mac since the 2011 version, Focus mode blocks out everything on your screen except the Word document you’re working on. It hides the toolbar, social media, and e-mail, leaving nothing between the writer and the words. By removing distractions, the barriers to hunkering down to the work of writing are effectively gone.

While other writing tools may be gaining popularity, Word is still the preferred digital app for composing, even for millennials, especially when writing solo.



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