Last month, Yahoo’s CEO Marissa Mayer made the unpopular decision to end telecommuting programs for the ISP’s employees. Best Buy was quick to follow suit. However, not one but three recent surveys say she may have been too short-sighted.
Staples Advantage telecommuting poll
On March 8, Boston.com reported on a survey commissioned by Staples Advantage, the business-to-business division of the office supplies giant. It polled 150 business decision makers and 150 telecommuting employees about the practice of employees logging in and working at home from their own computers.
Of the employees surveyed, 93 percent endorsed the idea. And 53 percent of the business [...]
Unlike most retailers, Costco is siding with President Obama in his call to raise the federal minimum wage to $9 an hour. In fact, it would do the President one better, supporting a minimum hourly wage of $10.10.
New bill to raise minimum wage
In his last State of the Union address, President Obama recommended raising the federal minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $9 an hour. Since then, a new bill, the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2013, has been introduced, seeking to raise it even higher, to $10.10 per hour, and thereafter indexing it keep up with inflation.
The federal [...]
People who are old enough remember the impact Atari had in the neophyte days of video game development. Many, however, will be surprised that the company is still in business. The U.S. arm of the company has filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy in order to separate from its parent company in France. That parent is likewise making a similar move it its country.
Atari cutting edge in 1980s
Those who were coming of age in the 1980s no doubt remember playing Asteroids, Centipede and that ancestor of all video games, the frustratingly dull Pong. Atari launched its Video Computer System, a.k.a. the Atari [...]
Gun ownership has become one of the most heated debates in the nation, polarizing consumers from coast to coast. Gun sales are rising in an already thriving industry as aficionados stock up, fearing what may come. The White House is considering 19 separate gun control measures that could be passed by executive order. Meanwhile, it is meeting stiff opposition from gun advocates and from the National Rifle Association, which may or may not have close ties to the $12 billion-a-year firearms industry.
Gun control measures being considered
In 2011, according to the FBI, 10,037,110 background checks were conducted in efforts to purchase [...]
Closely held beliefs about the value of certain college degrees have been challenged by some compelling numbers. Research indicates that the median salary of ABA law school graduates a year after graduation is $45,000, with an average debt of $150,000. So from a debt-value standpoint, law school could be out. Now studies indicate that the value of a business school degree – a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) – may also be very questionable.
What is happening to MBAs?
According to the Wall Street Journal, the early 1990s saw the rise of many part-time and executive MBA programs at lower-ranked schools, as [...]
Many major retailers took heat last month when they decided to keep employees on the clock and away from their families on Thanksgiving Day. Now McDonalds is playing the Ebeneezer Scrooge card by asking its franchisees to stay open on Christmas Day. It is unlikely, however, that those store owners will be putting in the hours behind the stainless steel counter on December 25.
McDonalds more Scrooge than George Baily
The world’s number-one hamburger chain (with 34,000 restaurants that feed 69 million a day) that espouses family-friendliness has traditionally closed its doors on major holidays. All that seems to be in the [...]
According to the Associate Press, the Food and Drug Administration has been blocking the introduction of new tobacco products for more than 18 months. The tobacco industry says cigarettes have not changed, so the delay is meaningless. Meanwhile, watchdogs say that tobacco companies have been effectively skirting the review process.
New tobacco products in limbo
The tobacco industry typically introduces dozens of new products every year. However, the AP says that the FDA has been sitting on nearly 3,500 new tobacco product applications. Around 90 percent of those applications have been in limbo for over a year. The review process is supposed [...]
The baby is asleep. You have the volume down on your favorite show. Then a commercial comes on and the volume is screaming. Within seconds, of course, so is the baby. Excessive volume on radio and TV commercials has been the largest source of complaints received by the Federal Communications Commission since 2002, when it started taking complaints. However, on Dec. 13, when the CALM law kicked in, it became a federal violation for broadcasters, cable operators and satellite operators to transmit commercials at an excessively high volume.
CALM law passed over a year ago
Advertisers know you are leaving the room [...]
Oil giant BP has agreed to pay the federal government $4.5 billion in penalties for the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. It is the largest such settlement in history. BP still faces civil suits, but don’t worry. It is still making enormous profits.
BP pleads guilty to 12 felonies
The London-based petroleum titan has agreed to plead guilty to 11 felony charges of misconduct or neglect that led to the oil spill and to the deaths of 11 drilling rig workers. A 12th felony count was added for obstruction of Congress, due to a misrepresentation of the [...]
Traditional wisdom has it that women fare worse than men at negotiating salaries. However, a new study suggests that may be far from the truth.
Are women worse at negotiating salaries?
The new study, published by the National Bureau of Economic Research, is entitled “Do Women Avoid Salary Negotiations?” Written by Andreas Leibbrandt of Monash University in Australia and John A. List from the University of Chicago, it found that women actually negotiate a higher starting salary then men do when told that the salary is negotiable.
To come to their conclusions, the researchers posted help-wanted ads for administrative assistants in nine U.S. [...]
Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, along with two temporary employment agencies, are facing a lawsuit in Illinois. The suit alleges that temporary workers were forced to work through their breaks, come in early and stay late, with no overtime compensation.
Walmart faces proposed class action
The suit was filed Monday, Oct. 29, in the Chicago area against Walmart, Labor Ready Midwest Inc. and QPS Employment Group Inc. According to Daily Finance, the proposed class action could affect thousands of temporary employees in Illinois.
Walmart is also being accused of keeping inaccurate records of the hours that temporary hires work, making it difficult to [...]
The sixth annual Strategic Directions in the U.S. Electric Utility Industry Report from the consulting and construction firm Black & Veatch was released on June 4. It reflects an industry on the brink of change.
A changing industry
The report shows a rising feeling among utility executives that the very structure of the industry is in a transitional period, due to environmental regulatory standards and a shift toward cleaner technology and renewable power sources.
The survey of 500 utility executives revealed that, as with the auto industry and many others, dwindling fuel reserves and concerns about the sustainability of natural resources is having [...]
For small business owners, the drive to build a bigger customer base can be very strong. It is important, however, to remind yourself that getting more customers is not necessarily always the best move for your business.
Every customer comes with an opportunity cost
Developing a customer base comes with a variety of costs, including the cost of marketing, invoicing and billing, the cost of running your website, all those little non-paying things that you have to do to keep your business running. Each and every customer you have takes a certain amount of time, money and effort to maintain. You should [...]
Pricing is, and will always be one of the most difficult challenges for freelancers and independent contractors. One thing many freelancers forget to do, however, is pad their quoted hours.
The process of quoting
A freelancer or independent contractor will, at some point, need to provide time estimates. This could happen during a simple conversation between friends at a coffee shop, or it could be a formal quoting process that the potential customer has set out. No matter what the process, the potential customer will describe the project and ask you what you would charge for that project. The level of detail [...]
It can be very tempting to try to maximize every moment in your day, bringing in more money to pay off debt, build an emergency fund or save for a goal. Keep in mind, however, that slowing down and giving yourself some time off can actually save you money.
The dollar costs of always working
Financially, always working can be a stress. When you spend time always working, you could end up spending quite a bit of money. You will spend money on food that you may need to purchase, instead of make for yourself. You will spend more time and money [...]