TIME restaurants

Chefs Ditch the Straitjacket of New Nordic Culinary Rules

People enter the Noma restaurant in Cope
Casper Christofferson—AFP/Getty Images People enter Noma in Copenhagen, on April 27, 2010.

Rules on using local produce made Scandinavian cooking the most fashionable in the world but now chefs want more freedom

It has put exotic ingredients like sea buckthorn and reindeer lichen on menus from Helsinki to New York, and forced many a professional kitchen to employ its own forager in order to collect the delicacies. It has made stars of chefs in a region that, culinarily speaking, was previously known only for the decidedly acquired tastes of pickled herring and salted liquorice. It has turned Copenhagen and Stockholm and Oslo and even Malmo and Are into objects of gastronomic pilgrimage. And it is the foundation from which one restaurant in particular has risen to be judged best in the world. But now, it seems, even the chefs who helped create it are ready to move beyond New Nordic cuisine.

On Friday, several Copenhagen chefs used the launch of a new platform for the local culinary community, called Aorta, to call for liberation from the very paradigm that has made them and their region the object of intense foodie devotion. “’New Nordic is no longer Copenhagen’s food agenda,” the text reads. “Tired of the ‘N-word,’ [these chefs] explore the possibility of a Post-Nordic style of gastronomy.”

That was fast: new Nordic itself is only eleven years old. In 2004, twelve chefs, led by the Danes Claus Meyer and René Redzepi, signed a manifesto in which they laid out principles for a regional cuisine. Individually, the measures weren’t revolutionary: to reflect the changing seasons in the meals they prepared; to base their cooking on ingredients particular to their climate, landscape, and waters, for example. But in a region where ‘fine dining’ had until then meant one thing — French — it sparked tremendous change. New Nordic chefs began forging a sophisticated, creative cuisine that relied heavily on wild plants, native fish, and indigenous meats. Banished were olive oil, lemon juice, and foie gras; in their place came sea buckthorn, musk ox, and mahogany clams dredged from icy Norwegian waters.

Spearheading the movement was Noma, which Redzepi co-owned at the time with Claus Meyers. When that restaurant opened in Copenhagen in late 2003 in an abandoned whaling warehouse, its mission was to create a truly native cuisine. Redzepi began by simply swapping local ingredients for the classics of French cuisine: musk ox for beef in tartar, beetroot for stone fruits in desserts. But a revelatory run in with a wild herb growing on a local beach (It tasted like cumin, he says. “I thought, ‘We are a spicy nation!’”) made him realize that there was a world of local flavors there for the discovering. His chefs began working with foragers to harvest wild plants and even insects and treated them as new ingredients. Eventually, by using fermentation and other techniques, they increased the range of locally-available flavors even more. It wasn’t always popular; early on, some in Copenhagen accused Redzepi and his chefs of being people who did unprintable things to seals. And it wasn’t even 100% local — Noma has always, for example, included chocolate among its desserts and served wines from France. But in the hopes of spurring creativity, Redzepi encouraged himself and his chefs to find inspiration in the landscape around them.

It worked. In the course of a few years, Noma won international acclaim and a well-earned reputation as one of the most creative kitchens in the business. In 2010 it took the first place ranking in the World’s 50 Best Restaurants; a position it would regain four times (the restaurant will learn on Monday night if it has managed a fifth victory).

And just as Noma took off, so too did New Nordic, at least as a brand. Some of the restaurants so labeled did indeed try to adhere to the principles outlined in the manifesto, Others, such as Christian Puglisi’s Relae in Copenhagen, interpreted things their own way, using ingredients — like olive oil — regardless of provenance if they made sense for the chef’s individual style or local circumstances. When he opened Chef and Sommelier in 2010 in Helsinki, Sasu Laukkonnen was committed above all else to using organic ingredients. “At first, I was just importing everything from France,” he recalls. “It was Rene who really turned my head to Finland — who said to me, look what you have her. So we started foraging and farming ourselves, and our food became much more personal and intense. But it’s not possible for an organic restaurant in Helsinki to use only local products, so I never considered us a New Nordic restaurant. But we get called that all the time.”

The identity helped restaurants in Oslo, Helsinki, Stockholm, and ever far-flung corners of Scandinavia like Skåne, Åre, and the remote Faroe Islands make names for themselves as well. “The label has done so much for our region, and everything that came after Noma’s success has been so important,” says Esben Holmboe Bang, chef of Oslo’s Maaemo . “Any chef who says that “new Nordic” didn’t have something to do with our success is lying.”

It’s even spread far from the actual region; New Nordic restaurants have opened in Barcelona, New York, Edinburgh, and Long Island City. But back home, in the actual Nordics, chefs are now chafing against the label. One restaurant’s culinary tics — desserts made from vegetables instead of fruit, three-word menu items utterly lacking in adjectives — have ossified into near dogma. And limitations once designed as a spur to creativity have begun to feel more like a straitjacket for chefs who want, say, to shave a bit of frozen foie gras atop their beets, or — God forbid — serve a tomato. “ When you go really Nordic, you get flavors that are very acidic, very green, lots of fermentation, lots of pickling,” says Matt Orlando, chef of Copenhagen’s Amass. “Those are great flavors, and we use them at the restaurant. But there are things from my past that I also like to use, that can round all that acidity and greenness out.”

At Amass, Orlando grows many of his own herbs, works closely with local farmers, and changes his menu sometimes daily to ensure that peas, for example, are only served when they are at peak deliciousness. “That’s the way people cook in France and Italy; the only thing different here is that it’s new to this region,” he says. “But why does that need a label? Why can’t you just call it ‘cooking?’”

One of the chefs behind today’s “Post-Nordic” text, Orlando himself worked for several years at Noma. But because he is American (and has worked at both New York’s Per Se and England’s Fat Duck) he has other experiences and flavors that he likes to bring into his dishes. And he is hardly alone. There are a number of non-Danish chefs in Copenhagen who came originally to the city to work at Noma, but have stayed to open their own places. “You have Victor (Wågman) and Sam (Nutter) at Bror bringing an almost French interest in fat to their cooking, and the guys at Taller who are cooking Venezuelan. That’s another reason the label isn’t accurate anymore.“

It may be inaccurate, but it’s certainly been powerful: A lot of money and attention have been made by the New Nordic brand. Culinary tourism in the area has shot up; by 2011, one in three of every tourists to Copenhagen said they planned to visit a specific restaurant. The Nordic Council, an intergovernmental agency, devoted over $3 million to supporting workshops and other initiatives under the rubric “New Nordic Food” in the last ten years. Not long ago, Vogue magazine published a “New Nordic Diet” (headline: Is Eating Like A Viking the Next It Diet?). You can also buy New Nordic shampoo, and even a New Nordic liver cleanse. “As a label, it doesn’t really have any meaning anymore,” says Bang. “It’s lost its way.”

As communications director for FOOD, an organization that promotes restaurants, producers, and agriculture in Denmark, Kasper Fogh started Aorta, the web magazine that published today’s protest, to “help spread the attention around a bit, to take some of what Noma has and get it to these young guys.” But perhaps one of the ironies of this situation is that few are more fed up with the New Nordic label than Redzepi himself.

Objecting to the way the phrase has become more marketing tool than meaningful signifier, he draws distinctions. “I don’t have a problem with ‘Nordic,’” he says. “It’s the only way to give a sense of place. But the ‘new’ in front of ‘Nordic’ should be erased, buried. I am so sick of that term.”

Although he got the chance to cook with soybeans and citrus while Noma was in residence in Japan earlier this year, Redzepi still maintains a regional-only ethos as a goal for his ingredients now that he is back home. But even he holds the future open. “We aim to only use regional ingredients because, you know the saying, the greatest catalyst to creativity is limitation? It made us more creative. But will it be like that forever? I doubt it, because we’ve already explored a lot. First we found new ingredients, and then we processed them in ways that developed new flavors. What comes after that? I don’t know.” He pauses, and laughs. “Maybe olive oil comes after that.”

TIME health

When Shedding a Few Pounds Meant Reaching for Some Milk

In the 1930s, women attempted to lose weight by spending time at a dairy farm

In recent years, rich dairy foods haven’t exactly had a reputation as fad-diet favorites. That may be changing, and it wouldn’t be the first time that foods like butter appealed to those hoping to get healthy. In fact, dairy was so central to a women’s weight loss retreat in the 1930s that the camp was situated on a milk farm.

Rose Dor Farm, located up the Hudson River from New York City, was run by siblings Bob, Rosalie and Doris Taplinger. A ten-day stay came with a strict diet—three days of what today would be called juicing, followed by a week of cultured milk and vegetables—as well as gym classes. As LIFE described the farm:

Men who get out of condition from sitting too long at a desk or leading too high a life have long been in the habit of slipping off for a couple of weeks of clean living and hard exercise at some health farm. Now women whom the pace of modern life requires to look their best are turning increasingly to “milk farms” where strict diet and regular scientific exercise takes pounds off oversize figures.

If many of the women in Alfred Eisenstaedt’s photographs don’t appear to have much weight to lose, it’s because the farm attracted “not only stylish stouts but many a young girl who wants to work off a few pounds to get that modeling job.”

Some women, like one Mrs. Remer of Kansas City, couldn’t resist the temptation to cheat (“she sneaked fried chicken till caught”). Barring lapses from the milk-and-veggies diet, women could expect to lose a pound per day.

Liz Ronk, who edited this gallery, is the Photo Editor for LIFE.com. Follow her on Twitter @lizabethronk.

TIME Soccer

Women’s Teams Now Feature in Soccer Game FIFA 16 but in Real Life Have Second-Class Status

What happens on screen is a far cry from real life

For the first time, EA Sports will feature women soccer players in its hugely popular FIFA video-game series.

FIFA 16, which launches in September, includes 12 of the top women’s international teams — USA, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, England, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Spain and Sweden.

The video game has only featured men’s teams since it was first released in 1993.

However, as welcome as EA Sports’ announcement is, Mashable points out that while the women’s teams are “in the game” on screen, in real life they fall far behind the men’s teams in the way they are treated by soccer’s governing body.

In the upcoming Women’s World Cup, beginning June 6 in Canada, the women’s teams will have to play on artificial turf fields, instead of actual grass.

No men’s World Cup has ever been played on synthetic surfaces and many of the women’s teams feel it is gender discrimination. Playing on the fake turf puts them at a higher risk of injury.

A group of the sport’s top female players filed legal action against FIFA and the Canadian Soccer Association last year but had to end their challenge in January because FIFA stalled for so long that it was too late to potentially change the pitches in time for the championship.

“This being the pinnacle of our sport, we feel like we should be treated just like the men,” U.S. forward Abby Wambach told the New York Times last year.

EA Sports’ announcement comes as FIFA finds itself snared in a huge corruption scandal that has seen 14 senior officials arrested on charges of bribery, fraud, and money laundering.

TIME language

Here’s a Theory About Why South Asian Americans Totally Rule the Spelling Bee

Anthropology professor Shalini Shankar shares her ideas with TIME

South Asian-Americans, whose forebears immigrated from countries like India or Pakistan, have now won the Scripps National Spelling Bee eight years in a row. At one point in the 2015 final, six of the remaining seven spellers were of that ethnicity, and in the end there were two: co-champions Vanya Shivashankar and Gokul Venkatachalam. That means that out of the last 16 years, spellers of South-Asian origin have lost only four competitions. And one Northwestern academic says it’s not a coincidence.

Shalini Shankar, an associate professor of anthropology and Asian-American studies, spent this week with the 283 elite spellers who qualified for the bee in National Harbor, Md., continuing her research into what, exactly, might have produced this string of success. TIME spoke with Shankar about her interviews with parents, the kids’ intense preparation and how immigrant culture might lead to dominance in “brain sports.” (Hint: It doesn’t hurt that there is a spelling bee circuit exclusively for spellers of South-Asian descent.)

Who exactly are we talking about when we talk about top spellers in South Asian cultures?

Primarily India and Pakistan and Bangladesh are the countries that appear to have a lot of spellers. And when you look at South Asians in the South Asian spelling bee, it’s a range across those three countries. Occasionally from Sri Lanka as well. But once you get down to the finals or the championship level, it tends to be more spellers just from India. So Indian-Americans. Usually they are second generation. They were born in the United States to parents who are first generation Indian immigrants.

Is there a chance the string of wins by South Asian-Americans is a coincidence?

I think we can safely say it’s not a coincidence. I hesitate to call it dominance, only because it sounds like something premeditated or strategized. These kids come from families where their parents are really well educated, many of them, and their parents really emphasize education and certain types of extracurricular activities. Combined with that, they seem to have a real love of words and language and their parents foster that.

What kind of extracurricular activities are we talking about?

The parents spend a lot of their time and resources taking [their kids] to participate in what some of them describe as brain sports. So rather that going to travel baseball or travel soccer, they’re traveling this academic competition loop. Part of why you’re seeing their success on the rise is they’re in constant preparation mode for these various academic competitions. And there are several competitions that are exclusively for children of South Asian parentage. So they have more opportunities to do what they’re doing.

If part of this is the parents spending money on the travel circuit, does income level come into play in explaining the phenomenon?

I can’t speak to income levels because I don’t have that data. But I can safely say there’s at least one professional parent in most of these families that have what they call elite spellers. So they’re certainly socially upwardly mobile families even if they may not be wealthy, per se.

How much have you found the kids are into this intense competition because their parents are pushing them, versus pursuing it themselves?

The parents are definitely facilitators to this process but they can’t actually produce champions. They can only enable their children to excel in this activity if they’re predisposed and dedicated to doing it themselves. But I don’t think that’s so different from spelling bee champions of any other race or ethnicity. Any time you see spellers who really are dedicated and they’re making it to the highest levels of competition at the national level, generally their parents have invested a tremendous amount of time and energy helping them.

But isn’t there something, even if it’s not Tiger-Mom tactics, like a value the parents are passing along about what kind of competition is worth winning?

I have some partially formed ideas about that. I’m still looking into it. Part of what I’m seeing is that there’s a lot of prestige in this community to winning something like a spelling bee or winning a geography bee or a math bee. And that is valued as much if not more than winning some sort of physical sport … These are very important bragging rights among South Asian-American communities. There’s some real status linked to it, that the kids feel too. The kids are really excited about the prospect of being on ESPN. They want to be on television.

 

Is there a more fundamental place in the culture that this value on academic prowess comes from, like what brought these immigrants to America?

Among the elite classes in India, both economically and socially elite, there’s a real emphasis on education and the use of education for social mobility. It’s not so different from other places in the world, but it’s certainly quite prevalent there. So I think that value is one that gets very magnified when you look at what Indian-American populations actually emigrated. It’s mostly professionals who immigrated post-1965. They are doctors or engineers or scientists, etcetera. So they are absolutely going to place a higher value on that than, say, other types of accomplishment. It doesn’t meant they downplay other types of accomplishments, but there’s an understood value of education that these contests jibe with very well.

What is it that drives these kids to dedicate themselves to spelling so intensely?

Unless you really love language and reading and words, it becomes very hard to care about preparing to the extent that one needs to for a spelling bee at this level. Kids who do this love words and they love thinking about words. They read the dictionary, among other things. And not all of them prepare to win. They set their own goals, like ‘I want to make it to Scripps’ or ‘I want to make it to the semi-finals’ or the finals and proportionately spend time preparing in whatever ways they think will allow them to attain those goals.

What is that preparation process like?

That process is usually every day, if not almost every day, they spend a few hours after school, after their homework, sometimes after their parents get home so they can quiz them. They spend several hours each weekend day preparing, maybe not year-round but certainly in the weeks and months leading up to the bee. Some of these spellers who compete in their school bees as well as these South Asian spelling bees, they don’t let too much time go by when they don’t have to be preparing for something. They’re kind of constantly keeping this fresh in their minds. So it’s an ongoing process for them, during the years in which they’re able to compete. And then suddenly it ends when they’re 14. It can be a very abrupt ending.

How do competitions like this affect the way we think about childhood?

If anything, the continuum of what childhood means is being expanded in productive ways to accommodate things that might have seemed extremely marginal or relegated to this untouchable nerd kind of activity. It’s something that has more mainstream cachet. I mean, being on ESPN is something very few kids get to do and these kids are very proud of participating in something that has such national recognition. It’s just expanding our ideas about what childhood means in ways that are keeping up with how the world is changing.

TIME Smartphones

This Is What Teens Are Really Doing on Their Phones

New report reveals all

It’s amazing how glued snake people—er, millennials—are to their palm-sized, Internet-connected rectangles. But why?

Mary Meeker, the Morgan Stanley analyst turned venture capitalist at Kleiner Perkins, today released her annual report on Internet trends. One section—slides 68 through 70, in particular—digs into the mobile habits of American youth, and it reveals some interesting statistics.

Fortune senior writer Leena Rao has a breakdown of the year’s biggest overall trends here. But for the millennial scrutinizer, here’s what the 2015 slideshow has to say:

First off, 87% of young adults—or those between the ages of 18 and 34—who own smartphones report never separating from their mobile devices: “My smartphone never leaves my side, night or day.” And four-out-of-five of them report that the first thing they do upon waking “is reach for my smartphone.” Good morning, screen-glow.

Nearly as many, 78%, spend more than two hours per day using their smartphones. And three-out-of-five believe that mobile devices will somehow vaguely rule every aspect of the future: “In the next five years, I believe everything will be done on mobile devices.”

So what do teens care about now on their phones? For those who average roughly 16 years, about one third report prioritizing Instagram as the most important social network. That’s about the same as the share that reported Facebook [fortune-stock symbol=”FB”] was the most important in Spring 2013. Today, Facebook’s share of perceived importance has halved among that demographic.

While Zuck’s friend-zone still has the most penetration of any social network—about three-quarters of 12- to 24-year-olds use it—that share is in decline. It dropped from to 74% this year from 80% last year.

Other networks that lost some share include Twitter, Google+, Tumblr, and LinkedIn. Vine stayed steady at 30% in terms of usage among socially networked 12- to 24-year-olds. And those networks on the rise? Instagram, Snapchat, and Pinterest. (WhatsApp lacks 2014 data, but clocked in at 11% this year.)

Instagram appears to be the king, for now. (Never mind that it’s a Facebook fiefdom.) Which explains why so many—44% of 18- to 24-year-olds, that is—report report using their smartphone camera at least once per day. And an overwhelming majority—about three-quarters of 18- to 34-year-olds—report that they use their cameras to post pictures to social media.

So that’s how teens are mostly using their phones. To take pictures of the world around them, and to inject those photos into and across the screens that consume their mornings, their days, their nights, and a good portion of their present lives. Not to mention the entirety their future lives, as many of them report anticipating.

Unfortunately, the report does not break its numbers out into share of selfies.

TIME Education

3 Myths About the Gap Year

volunteer-building
Getty Images

A gap year is not a vacation

The term “gap year” traditionally applies to the year between high school graduation and college matriculation. For many students, the gap year is a time for adventure and personal exploration. While the gap year has long been an accepted tradition in other parts of the world, it is still growing in popularity in the United States. The reasons that a student might opt for a gap year are various: he or she might feel burned out after more than ten years of school, or he or she might desire a change of scenery and routine. Some students may simply feel uncertain about which direction to take after high school.

A well-structured gap year can inform your college and career path, and it can educate you in ways you might not have imagined. But the gap year you see on television is not always the gap year that you find in reality. Here are three gap year myths that stand in the way of honestly evaluating whether a gap year is right for you. Debunked, they may make your decision process much clearer:

1. A gap year is like a vacation

Your gap year is whatever you make of it. Certain students choose to work, while others complete internships. Some students volunteer, or they travel while pursuing a self-directed education. But each of these options involves effort. A gap year is not a week at the beach.

For instance, consider City Year, an AmeriCorps project that places individuals between the ages of 17 and 24 in high-needs communities across the United States. While you gain a stipend, real-world experience, health care, and access to scholarship money, you do so through completing long hours of challenging – and rewarding – work.

Internships and self-directed education also involve concentrated effort. Internships are like a work-learning hybrid, and they can be an excellent way to explore a potential career field. If you choose to participate in a gap year internship, be sure to do your research first. Look for internships that offer training in specific skills, as well as a reasonable number of hours per week. Beware of “internships” that are actually commission-based sales positions – or schemes that take advantage of your labor and savings.

Finally, websites like Coursera and Udacity offer free or low-cost education around which you can design a gap year. If you are undecided about what you would like to study in college, it makes a great deal of sense to explore various subjects before you begin to pay thousands of dollars a year in tuition. Self-directed education can also help you improve a weak academic portfolio. You can even develop marketable skills via programs like Codecademy. If possible, select those options that offer certificates of completion (or another way of tracking your progress) so you will have demonstrable proof of what you learned during your gap year.

2. A gap year can harm your admissions chances

The effect a gap year has on your college applications depends entirely on how you spend that year. A 12-month gap in your education and/or work history could be a significant warning sign for a prospective school, but if you instead participate in meaningful experiences, your gap year can serve as a significant admissions boon. A gap year can enable you to start college refreshed and eager, and for students with less impressive high school records, it can also be a chance to demonstrate your maturity and dedication to your personal growth.

Some schools, such as Princeton University, have even developed programs that allow admitted students to pursue a year of volunteer work before beginning their traditional college educations. In other words, prospective freshmen submit their applications in their senior year of high school, but they delay starting classes in order to complete a gap year project. Inquire with the admissions departments at your top-choice schools to determine if such a plan exists, or if they have advice for students who are interested in the gap year experience.

3. A gap year is expensive

Certain gap year programs require a significant monetary investment, but there are many opportunities for students who wish to spend less on this experience. For example, if you live at home and work part-time, you can participate in a volunteer project in your free hours. You can also further your education with the (mostly) free resources mentioned above. Delaying college for a year can seem like a daunting opportunity cost (as it also delays your entry into the workforce by a year), but a gap year can ultimately become an excellent long-term investment.

While deciding whether or not to pursue a gap year, work with your high school guidance counselor, as well as the admissions and financial aid departments at your top-choice colleges, to identify the best possible option for you and your goals.

Brian Witte is a professional SAT tutor with Varsity Tutors. He earned his Bachelor of Science from the University of Washington and holds a Ph.D. from The Ohio State University.

TIME advice

Words of Wisdom From Maya Angelou

Poet and novelist Maya Angelou at a Sickle Cell Disease Association of America program in Mobile, Ala. on Sept 12, 2006.
John David Mercer—AP Poet and novelist Maya Angelou at a Sickle Cell Disease Association of America program in Mobile, Ala. on Sept 12, 2006.

"Be a rainbow in someone else's cloud"

Dr. Maya Angelou may be gone, but her legacy lives on. She has been immortalized on a U.S. postage stamp, and now, her iconic autobiography I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings is being re-released, complete with a foreword by her “daughter-friend” Oprah Winfrey. The re-release ensures that her vast wisdom will live on, touching millions of lives and countless generations to come.

  • “I am a Woman Phenomenally. Phenomenal Women, that’s me.”
  • “One isn’t necessarily born with courage, but one is born with potential. Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can’t be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest.”
  • “Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.”
  • “The first time someone shows you who they are, believe them.”
  • “You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.”
  • “Be a rainbow in someone else’s cloud.”
  • I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels. Life’s a b—-. You’ve got to go out and kick a–.”
  • “You may write me down in history with your bitter, twisted lies. You may tread me in the very dirt, but still, like dust, I’ll rise.”
  • “Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.”
  • “My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.”
  • “I believe that each of us comes from the creator trailing wisps of glory.”
  • “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

This article originally appeared on Essence.com.

TIME Careers & Workplace

These Are the Best Jobs You Can Do In Your Pajamas

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Here's what kinds of jobs offer this perk

Whenever the topic of flexible work arrangements or work-life balance comes up, telecommuting is one of the first ideas that comes up. Fortunately for dedicated employees who just want a job where the commute doesn’t drive them to distraction, more companies today are coming around to the idea that telecommuting is a good option to offer, according to FlexJobs.com, a job search site that focuses on flexible positions, including ones that permit telecommuting.

And it’s not just worker bees who can reap the benefits. FlexJobs found that there are executive-level options for department heads, vice presidents and even C-level bosses who are sick of battling rush-hour traffic and compiled a list of 15 of the best. Not surprisingly, jobs in consulting and technology — where much of the work is conducted remotely anyway — turn up, but there are also jobs in healthcare, education and even the nonprofit sector that extend telecommuting benefits. Positions in sales, finance or HR also can provide opportunity for telecommuting.

“I think something that will surprise job candidates looking for executive-level telecommuting jobs is the number of large and well-known employers offering them,” says Sara Sutton Fell, CEO of FlexJobs. “Companies of all sizes hire for telecommuting jobs even at the highest levels of leadership,” she says.

For instance, there’s an academic employer looking for a director of research is happy to have a full-time telecommuter step into the role, and a big national firm is looking to fill a senior vice president of managed travel position that will require logging plenty of frequent-flier miles but can otherwise be performed from home.

Don’t be fooled into thinking that only low-level positions are eligible for telecommuting. “A typical telecommuter is 49 years old, college educated, and in a management or professional role,” FlexJobs says. One vice president of consulting gig wants candidates with 15 years experience — at minimum. A VP-level sales job requires 10 years of management experience, plus another decade focusing specifically on project management. And even though working from home means saving on gas, parking and/or public transportation tickets, these jobs don’t pay peanuts. FlexJobs says three-quarters of people who work from home pull down $65,000 a year or more.

Not only does letting people work from home let companies extend their talent search beyond driving distance of the office, but there’s a growing pile of research that suggests people are both happier and more productive when they have the option to lead conference calls in a bathrobe at least part of the time.

But if you think there might be perks to working in your PJs, you might need to make your case during an interview, Fell says. If a job ad says telecommuting is limited or available on a case-by-case basis, “The job candidate should prepare him or herself to make a case as to why they’re both an excellent fit for the job, and an excellent fit for telecommuting as well,” Fell says. And if you score a job where you’re trading in your briefcase for bunny slippers, the lack of face-to-face interaction also puts the onus on you to be proactive and straightforward in their communication style, she adds. “Job candidates who are interested in working remotely need to hone their communication skills [and] their ability to set goals for themselves and their teams.”

TIME fashion

Lilly Pulitzer Employee Posted Fat-Shaming Cartoons on Office Wall

While the plus-size line of its Target collaboration is only available online

A photo feature about the offices of fashion house Lilly Pulitzer has uncovered an uncomfortable detail: nestled among bright dress prints and fabric samples were some mean-spirited doodles.

The drawings, which an online New York article showed displayed on a wall in the Lilly Pulitzer offices, show two overweight women. On one, a caption says “Just another day of fat, white and hideous… you should probably just kill yourself.” The other is accompanied with the phrase, “Put it down, carb-face!”

A Lilly Pulitzer spokesperson said the illustrations were displayed by a lone member of staff but Twitter users erupted with outrage at cartoons many saw as fat-shaming:

“These illustrations were the work of one individual and were posted in her personal work area,” says Jane Schoenborn, Lily Pulitzer’s Vice President of Creative Communications. “While we are an employer that does encourage people to decorate their own space, we are a female-dominated company and these images do not reflect our values. We apologize for any harm this may have caused.”

The kerfuffle comes a few weeks after some accused the designer’s new collaboration with Target of discriminating against plus-sized customers; while all sizes up to 14 are carried in stores, larger sizes are only available online.

 

 

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