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Most embarrassing moments at work — survey

THINK YOU HAVE HAD a bad day at the office? In a new survey from staffing firm OfficeTeam, senior managers were asked to recount their most embarrassing moments at work. Perhaps you can identify with some of them:

• "Everyone showed up for a meeting on the wrong day because I had incorrectly scheduled it."

• "I sent an email badmouthing a person to that individual."

• "I got caught hiding in the bathroom using my phone."

• "I broke the coffee machine, and it started spraying nonstop."

Others suffered a case of mistaken identity:

• "I gave an award to the wrong person during a recognition ceremony."

• "I greeted two clients who were sisters as mother and daughter."

• "I accidentally called a male customer 'ma'am' on the phone."

"No one's immune from the occasional embarrassing moment at work," says Brandi Britton, a district president for OfficeTeam. "As awkward as office blunders can be, employees should remember they're not the end of the world. The best way to bounce back is to keep your cool, own up to mistakes and laugh along."

Holiday cards said to be still relevant

NINE OUT OF 10 people plan to send holiday cards this year, according to a survey by Half will send custom printed cards with photographs and a third will mail pre-printed cards.

"Sending holiday cards is still a wonderful way to stay connected to family and friends," says Renee Redman, president of The Stationery Studio.  "Now more than ever, a holiday card is appreciated in the digital age we live in." Judging by these findings, holiday cards are still relevant for businesses, too.


New book release

How to handle an attack on your firm's reputation

How will you react to a crisis facing your company's reputation, such as an accident, product recall or litigation? If you are like most companies in today's world, you will probably fumble it.

The reason: You will not be able to get your act together quickly enough to respond. The result is like gasoline poured on the reputational fire.

So says James F. (Jim) Haggerty, author of the new book Chief Crisis Officer: Structure and Leadership for Effective Communications Response.

"Most organizations and high-profile individuals are working from yesterday's playbook," Haggerty adds. "They don't have the structure, tools or leadership—the 'Chief Crisis Officer'—to respond at the speed of the modern crisis."

With a lively mixture of analysis and anecdotes drawn from more than 25 years handling complex crisis and litigation communications matters, Chief Crisis Officer makes the case that organizations of all sizes need proper planning and leadership in the face of unexpected negative events, be it "exploding" crises like accidents or product recalls, or "unfolding" crises like litigation or regulatory action.

Chief Crisis Officer is designed to help business executives, lawyers, public relations professionals, and other advisors minimize the possibility that a public-facing crisis will have devastating consequences for an organization's success—even its very existence. With corporate crises making news nearly every day, this timely book breaks down crisis events into their component parts, providing both a strategic approach and the proper tools to enable a chief crisis officer to assemble his or her team and respond when an inevitable crisis occurs.

Some of the topics covered in Chief Crisis Officer include: selecting the right person to be your Chief Crisis Officer; building the crisis communications team; preparing a crisis plan that actually works; developing messages that resonate; using technology in a crisis; and managing the legal crisis.

A well-known attorney, communications consultant and software entrepreneur, Haggerty is the principal of PRCG | Haggerty LLC, a public relations firm, and the founder and CEO of CrisisResponsePro, cloud-based subscription software that brings the crisis team together and provides the tools and collaborative platform for efficient and effective crisis communications response.

— PR Newswire

Feature of the week

How to  redesign your workplace to cater to millennial workers

If your business is seeking to attract millennial employees, you might want to look at your office layout.

Those are the results of a new study by IPSOS, a global research firm, on behalf of National Business Furniture.

The study found that office design and aesthetics are playing a greater role in recruiting young talent.

Younger generation cares more

The survey found that 76 percent of millennials, ages 18-34, feel "somewhat or very strongly" that  office design and aesthetic influences their impression of a company, whereas only 39 percent of employees older than 55 care about what their office looks like.

The survey found about two-thirds of younger employees wished their workplace would consider  design upgrade. They also cared about where an office is located.

A millennial employee will judge a company more on its websites, logos and branded materials than older workers.

"Clearly first impressions matter, especially with millennials, and an interview experience can be impacted by how good a prospective employee feels about a company's physical space," said Dean Stier, vice president of multi-channel marketing for National Business Furniture.

Tips for businesses

Stier offers these tips on how businesses can create a more inviting office space for prospects and current employees.

  • Customize spaces to fit departments and jobs. While employees in finance will want personal offices to manage sensitive information, more collaborative groups like marketing may work better in the open with desks clustered closer together for creative brainstorming.
  • Add portable wall panels to open cubicle spaces. Noise is one negative side effect of today's contemporary open office floor plan. Today, there are a wide range of creative portable screens and walls that can be quickly added for privacy and to act as a sound barrier.
  • Go green. Researchers in the Netherlands conducted a study that measured a 15 percent increase in productivity when "lean" workplaces with a bare-bones aesthetic were spruced up with green plant life. Introducing plants to an office environment has been reported to reduce absenteeism by up to 50 percent, and reduce minor illness by 30 percent.
  • Create an active workplace: Recent studies have found that prolonged sitting can increase health risks such as cancer, heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Employers can create more active workplaces today by incorporating standing-height or adjustable-height tables that allow workers to rotate between sitting and standing during the day.


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