How far should you live from work?

or why commutes tend to average 20-30 minutes.

It’s not just limited to the United States, either. In the Netherlands, the average commute time in the early 2000s was about 28 minutes. Many European nations average about 35 minutes. What makes a half-hour so universal in terms of commuting?

Excellent discussion of the research at Per Square Mile.

The workforce reduction notification is currently in progress

“Unfortunately your position is one that has been eliminated.”

So read an email sent to 400 RadioShack employees.

Q: Is the medium appropriate to the message and to the audience?

Netflix to employees: Take as much vacation as you want

Employees at the online movie retailer often leave for three, four, even five weeks at a time and never clock in or out. Vacation limits and face-time requirements, says Netflix Chief Executive Reed Hastings, are “a relic of the industrial age.”

“The worst thing is for a manager to come in and tell me: `Let’s give Susie a huge raise because she’s always in the office.’ What do I care? I want managers to come to me and say: `Let’s give a really big raise to Sally because she’s getting a lot done’ – not because she’s chained to her desk.” (San Jose Mercury News)

The phone is where the whistle is blown

What’s the best way for an employee to blow the whistle on fraud or related infractions? The most popular way seems to be via hotlines or similar reporting tools. According to a joint report from the CSO Executive Council, an organization of corporate and government security executives, and The Network (a hotline provider), almost two-thirds of the nearly 200,000 reports it studied were made via hotlines without first alerting anyone in management. (…)

The study, which tracked incidents at 500 organizations over the past four years, found that 65 percent of the reports were serious enough to warrant investigation, while 46 percent led to some type of action being taken. Corruption and fraud accounted for 10 percent of the incidents, well behind personnel-management situations (51 percent). Company and professional-code violations accounted for 16 percent and employment-law violations 11 percent. (

Survey: On whose time?

A poll (…) found that employees spend an average of 36 minutes a day — the equivalent of three hours a week — doing personal tasks at the office, anything from surfing the Internet to chatting with the babysitter.

Men were more likely to take a pause from their official work at the office. They admitted to spending an average 44 minutes a day on non-work related activities, 15 minutes more than the daily average for women.

There were also significant generational differences, with younger workers more prone to taking personal time during business hours. Respondents aged 18 to 34 estimated they spent an average of 45 minutes a day on personal pursuits at the office, compared with 32 minutes for those aged 35 to 64, and 17 minutes for workers over the age of 64.

The survey, released by staffing service OfficeTeam, was based on responses from 559 U.S. adults working full- or part-time in office environments, and 150 senior executives. (

Survey: Money not meaningful

About 62 percent of small-business employees think pay is better at larger companies (and 72 percent think benefits are better), but they stay at their jobs anyway, according to the survey of 474 employees at both large and small firms.

Small-company workers cite a better working environment as a reason to forgo a higher salary elsewhere.

Small companies have benefits that provide “meaningful value to employees,” says Jeffrey Blue, director of marketing for About 46 percent of those surveyed called work-life balance the biggest perk. Thirty-four percent cited loyalty to justify staying with a smaller company, while about 30 percent mentioned relationships with their boss or coworkers. Plus, small-business employees thought they had a better chance of getting ahead and eventually boosting their salary. (

Looking for work from work

In workplaces where high-speed broadband Internet access is typically available and 60-hour workweeks are commonplace, many employees believe that the office is the most convenient or effective place to do a job search. And people who are unhappy with their jobs sometimes believe that they are entitled to use the workplace to find something better. (…)[M]ost employees, especially those under 40, saw themselves as “free agents” who would search for jobs from their offices as a matter of course.

Employees working 50- or 60-hour weeks (…) are often too exhausted to look for jobs when they are outside the office. (IHT)

What say you?