TIME work

66% of Female Restaurant Workers Report Being Sexually Harassed by Managers

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Examples of sexual harassment reported in a new survey run from sexual jokes to explicit advances and groping

A large majority of restaurant workers say they face consistent sexual harassment at the hands of customers, co-workers and managers, according to a new advocacy group survey.

Researchers at the Restaurant Opportunities Center (ROC) United, a nonprofit which advocates for low-paid service industry workers, interviewed 688 current and former restaurant employees from 39 states, and reported a number of findings:

  • 66% of female and more than half of male restaurant employees reported having been sexually harassed by managers
  • 80% of women and 70% of men reported sexual harassment by co-workers
  • 78% of women and 55% of men reported sexual harassment by customers
  • 50% women 47% men, and 60% trans workers characterized the behavior as “scary” or “unwanted”
  • 30% of women, 22% of men, and 40% of transgender workers said inappropriate touching was a “common occurrence”

Examples of sexual harassment given by respondents ran from sexual jokes to explicit advances and groping. In general, women reported a higher volume of harassment than men.

ROC United also said reports of sexual harassment increase in restaurants which give employees a base pay of $2.13 an hour—forcing waitstaff to rely on tips from customers—rather than offering minimum wage.

“When a guest does it, then I feel a lot more powerless,” a participating Houston server told ROC United. “That’s when I’m like, man, that’s where my money’s coming from.”

Women making $2.13 an hour reported getting sexually harassed twice as much as women working in states that pay minimum wage to all workers, and they were three times as likely to be told by management to wear “sexier” clothes, they said.

Several survey participants said that management not only dismissed harassment at the hands of customers, but encouraged them to play along.

“I was kind of surprised,” said a respondent. “He said, ‘Well, those people pay a lot of money for our services and, I mean, would it hurt to smile a little bit, be a little bit more friendly to them?’ And I was blown away.”

TIME work

3 Easy Ways to Get Healthier at Work

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Jamie Grill—Getty Images

If you’re chained to a desk all day, you’re likely to feel the effects on body and mood. A few workspace tweaks can help.

This post originally appeared on RealSimple.com.

The average employed American adult spends well over a third of the day working—and more often than not, those eight-hours-plus aren’t healthy ones, loaded with sedentary behavior, sugary office snacks and bleak cubicle walls. The good news? A few simple tricks can improve your on-the-clock well-being.

Go Green at Your Desk

In a recent study published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology, researchers found that office plants were linked with a 15% productivity boost. Scientists in the UK and Netherlands studied offices over several months, and their research showed that greenery increased employee-reported levels of satisfaction and concentration, as well as subjective perceptions of air quality. So go ahead and get a low-maintenance plant for your desk (just don’t forget to water it!).

(MORE: 11 Superfoods You Should Know About)

Look Out the Window

In June, researchers at Northwestern Medicine and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign found that workers who were exposed to natural light during the workday experienced higher quality sleep and overall better quality of life than those whose only source of light was their computer screen. The study, published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, focused on “white light exposure,” which came through office windows, and found employees who worked near windows received 173% more white light and slept 46 more minutes on average than those whose offices lacked windows. If you don’t have the corner office, try to eat lunch outside or near a window, and schedule meetings near natural light to get your fix.

(MORE: 9 Healthy Predinner Snacks)

Stand Up!

Since 1950, American workplaces have become 83% more sedentary, and the average workweek is almost 47 hours long. All that extra sitting comes at a steep health price—like increased risks of cancer, heart attack, or weight gain. But some simple tricks can help even the most idle desk jockey get moving. Some ideas: Take hourly laps around the office or ditch your chair or create a “standing desk.” And stop slouching! Practice these simple moves to develop better posture at your desk.

(MORE: The 30 Healthiest Foods)

TIME work

Why You Should Embrace Late-Night Work Email

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Luis Alvarez—Getty Images

Why being constantly “on” at work is as liberating as it is confining

Eight hours to work. Eight hours to play. Eight hours to sleep.

In the early 19th century, Welsh reformer Robert Owen declared this as the ideal division of a 24-hour day and we workers of the world have been fighting for it ever since.

But in our ever more connected lives the old barriers between work and personal life are increasingly fuzzy. The smartphones in our pockets ding and buzz with messages from our workplaces late into the night, making the notion of eight hours of uninterrupted recreation seem very quaint indeed. Smartphone-dependent professionals are justifiably worried about where this road leads. In Germany, policymakers are toying with the idea of an outright ban on contacting employees after the official workday is over.

Never fear, humanity. The smartphone will set you free. Here’s why.

(MORE: 9 Rules For Emailing From Google Exec Eric Schmidt)

Robert Owen, and other labor activists who fought and died for the right to leave work at a reasonable hour, were responding to a world rapidly changing from one of independent contractors (farmers, artisans, etc.) to one of wage-earning employees. You went to work at a factory or an office where you worked under the watchful eye of a floor boss or a manager. You sold your labor away in large blocks of time during which you were not, for all intents and purposes, free. Today, we’re headed in a different, and altogether better, direction.

The workplace today is becoming increasingly flexible, which is to say that workers today, in the developed world, are increasingly free. You see it in the rise of telecommuting and of the flexible workday. Today, 34% of the U.S. workforce are freelancers, according to a recent survey from the Freelancer’s Union. We’re heading in the direction of a labor force that is increasingly free to move freely and to divide up their time in a way prioritizes their own goals and schedules, to run a midday errand or spend time at home with the family even on a late work night. The smartphone and the era of constant connectivity is what makes that freer world possible.

(MORE: Germans Say “Nein!” to Late-Night Work Email. Here’s How You Can, Too)

That’s a good thing and most workers in the U.S. agree. In a Gallup poll earlier this year, 79% of workers said having the ability to connect with work remotely using a computer or a smartphone or the like was a positive development.

As in an earlier era that needed new laws to protect the rights of factory workers, it may be that today’s changing workplace demands new laws of its own. Today’s always-on workplace can morph into a monster if unchecked and freer workers will need to be willing to say no sometimes and just turn off the phone. As in all things, with freedom comes responsibility — and that includes responsibly maintaining your all important email account. The difference is that today’s freer workers are freer to do that than in eras past.

Robert Owen’s prescription for the good life, eight-hours for work, play and sleep, still seems a useful framework. The only thing really different today is that we’re freer to divide up those eight hour blocks than before.

(MORE: Here’s a Radical Way to End Vacation Email Overload)

MONEY office etiquette

Germans Say “Nein!” to Late-Night Work Email. Here’s How You Can, Too

Mariella Ahrens attends the Dresscoded Hippie Wiesn 2014 at Golfclub Gut Thailing on August 28, 2014 in Steinhoering near Ebersberg, Germany.
Turns out Germans may have us beat when it comes to balancing work and play. Gisela Schober—Getty Images

Sick of your boss's 3 a.m. emails? Maybe you should move to Germany—where support is growing for a law banning late-night work communication.

Despite their reputation for industriousness, it turns out Germans have a thing or two to teach us about work-life balance.

The country has shaved nearly 1,000 hours from the annual schedule of its average worker (compared with 200 hours in the U.S.) in the last half-century. And now a movement is growing there to make after-hours work emails verboten.

A newly initiated study on worker stress led by the German labor minister is expected to lead to legislation preventing employers from reaching out to employees outside of normal office hours. (That might surprise those who’d expect such a thing only from the French.)

Though the law wouldn’t come to fruition until 2016, Germans—and Europeans in general—are still slightly better off than Americans in the meantime. While the average work week in major developed countries is 47 hours, that number balloons to about 90 hours per week for U.S. workers (vs. 80 for Europeans) if you include time that people are checking email and staying available outside of the office.

“We have become such an instantaneous society,” says Peggy Post, a director of The Emily Post Institute and expert on business etiquette. “We’re expected to be on call 24/7.”

And all this late-night work isn’t without consequences: Studies have found that staying up checking work emails on smartphones actually makes workers less productive the next day because of effects on sleep. Other downsides include more mistakes and miscommunications.

In lieu of practicing your Deutsch and moving your whole life overseas, take back your “offline” time by doing the following:

1. Become an email whiz while at work.

One major reason we’re forced to take to our phones late at night and on weekends? Because it’s so hard to get actual work done during work these days, due to smaller staffs, long meetings, floods of email, and noisy open floor plans.

At least in some jobs, the more you get done during regular hours, the less you’ll be penalized if you aren’t available during evenings or weekends. Some experts suggest giving yourself a specific window during the day to handle emails. See nine specific tips on more efficient emailing from former Google CEO Eric Schmidt here. With smart rules, like “last in, first out,” you can become a speed demon.

And if you just can’t pack it all in, you might also think about a quick end-of-day meeting (preferably at the scheduled end of day) to check in with whomever you’re most likely to get emails from later on.

2. Make sure you understand the expectations.

You assume your boss wants an immediate response to that late-night brainstorm, but are you sure? It’s worth finding out.

Alison Green, who blogs at AskaManager.org has suggested phrasing your question as follows: “Hey, I’m assuming that it’s fine for me to wait to reply to emails sent over the weekend until I’m back at work on Monday, unless it’s an emergency. Let me know if that’s not the case.”

But what if the boss says that you really are expected to be at the ready? You might need to communicate your dissatisfaction with these terms—rather than succumbing to burnout.

Again, the words you choose are important. Green suggested the following: “I don’t mind responding occasionally if it’s an emergency, but I wonder if there’s a way to save everything else for when I’m back at work. I use the weekends to recharge so that I’m refreshed on Monday, and I’m often somewhere where I can’t easily answer work emails.”

Post agrees that how you speak up goes a long way toward getting the result you want. “Without whining, try to share specific constructive solutions,” says Post. “For example, you could suggest having employees take on separate after-hours times to be on call for different days of the week.”

3. Stop the cycle.

Remember, you’re perpetuating the expectation when you engage in these email chains. Should you write back once at 10 p.m., those above you will likely begin to assume that you’ll be available at that time (even if they didn’t initially expect you to be).

Likewise, if your boss emails you, you might feel that you’re in the clear to contact those below you in their free time. But that’s a no-no, according to many experts.

While you may simply be trying to send something while you remember it, you are actually putting someone else in the same predicament you’re in. Some suggest limiting yourself to answering or writing emails to between 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., unless there’s a particularly urgent need or project—though the right window for you probably depends upon your company and office culture.

And if you do have your most brilliant thought at 2 a.m.? Go ahead and write it, but then use a tool like Boomerang that lets you schedule it for a more reasonable post-shower hour.

TIME LIFE Photo Essay

‘Career Girl': Portrait of a Young Woman’s Life in 1948 New York

Seven decades after they were made, Leonard McCombe's photos of a young woman's life in 1948 New York City are still wonderfully moving

Of all the photo essays that LIFE magazine published over the decades, a 12-page 1948 feature known simply as “Career Girl” remains among the most moving and, in many ways, one of the most surprising. Chronicling the life and struggles in New York City of a 23-year-old Missourian named Gwyned Filling, the article — and especially the essay’s photographs by Leonard McCombe — struck a nerve with LIFE’s readers. Seven decades later, McCombe’s pictures have lost none of their startling intimacy, or their empathy.

A 1947 graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism, Gwyned Filling moved to New York with a friend a week after commencement. Less than a year later, LIFE selected her, from more than a thousand other candidates, to serve as an emblem of the modern “career girl” — the smart, driven young woman who viewed post-World War II America, and especially its big cities, as a place where opportunities seemed limitless. After all, the nation’s workforce during the critical war years had been transformed by a massive influx of skilled female workers; when the war ended, it was only natural that educated, ambitious women would view the labor landscape as utterly changed—for the better.

LIFE Magazine

The article that appeared in the May 3, 1948, issue of LIFE — titled “The Private Life of Gwyned Filling” (see slide #3) — follows Gwyned as she negotiates the frenetic universe of New York City while trying to keep her own personal hopes and career expectations in perspective. She works; she dines out; she stays abreast of the doings of friends and family back home; she dates; she dreams.

The reaction of LIFE’s readers, meanwhile, ranged (perhaps predictably) from outrage and moral indignation at Gwyned’s “unladylike” pursuits to a kind of celebratory relief that LIFE chose to show on its cover “a young woman with a serious, purposeful, intelligent face” rather than “some vacuous-faced female with the molar grin that has come to be regarded in America as a smile.”

A reader from Detroit, on the other hand, opined that if the story “can keep only a few girls in their small-town homes it will have done at least some small service to humanity. Big cities are a menace to the progress of civilization. The people who fling themselves against them to be battered to pieces like moths against a lamp are fools.”

In the end, the enduring value of “The Private Life of Gwyned Filling,” and of McCombe’s quiet, masterful portrait of Gwyned at her happiest, her most determined and her most despairing, is that it serves as an honest record of a certain moment (the late 1940s) in a certain place (New York City) as experienced, to one degree or another, by countless women striving for something beyond what might have been expected of them a mere generation before.

Finally, it’s worth noting that in November 1948 Gwyned married the man, Charles B. Straus, Jr., she is seen dating (and, at times, weeping over) in some of these pictures. They remained married for 54 years — they had two kids and several grandkids — until Straus died in 2002. Gwyned died in 2005, in Rhode Island. She was 80 years old.

TIME society

This Hamster Wheel Treadmill Desk Is the Ideal Way to Make Your Coworkers Hate You

Or, you know, to make you feel like a rodent marching slowly toward your own death

Ah, standing desks. Great way to avoid the many negative effects of sitting all day, and great way to increase your coworkers’ disdain for you. But now, you can take that a few steps further with this wooden hamster wheel desk. Forget standing while you work — now you can walk while you work.

The Hamster Wheel Standing Desk is the brainchild of artist Robb Godshaw and developer Will Doenlen. The video above shows a brief glimpse into how they constructed it using four sheets of plywood, two skateboard wheels, two pipes and 240 wood screws.

Here’s a look at how the final product works:

Admittedly, it looks pretty cool — but also a tad depressing, bringing up the kind of themes we remembered from Office Space. You know, about office workers being nothing more than mindless little worker bees (or worker hamsters?) frittering away their meaningless lives. But if you ignore that idea, and don’t mind some disdainful glances from your coworkers, this could be the perfect desk for you.

TIME Drugs

1 in 10 Americans Has Gone to Work High on Cannabis, Poll Says

Are your co-workers high on life — or something else?

One in 10 Americans has turned up for work high on marijuana, according to new statistics.

A joint Mashable.com and SurveyMonkey poll of 534 Americans found that about 9.7% of U.S. workers have gone to work after smoking weed.

Some 81% of those people bought the drug illegally, the poll found — that is, did not purchase it in Colorado or Washington, where the drug is legal for recreational purposes, or were not taking it for medical reasons in one of the 23 states where doing so is legal.

The poll also found that 28% of poll respondents have gone to work under the influence of a prescription drug, and 7% of those people took it for recreational, not medical, purposes. About 95% of people who have been at work while on a prescription drug got the medicine from their doctor.

Last month, a poll from Blowfish (the company sells a tablet to treat hangovers) said that half of all Americans have gone to work hungover.

TIME Style

11 Ways to Get Dressed for Work Without Going Crazy

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Jan Stromme—Getty Images

A fashion insider offers tips for pulling yourself together

Meet George Brescia, a longtime fashion insider who has worked for big names like Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hilfiger turned personal stylist and feel-good clothing guru. But the best thing about Brescia is that he’s about much more than just telling you which colors look good together. His new book, Change Your Clothes, Change Your Life, looks at the connection between our feelings and the clothes we put on our body. Brescia has even coined the term “conscious dressing” to appeal to those who have convinced themselves that what you wear just doesn’t matter. Even better, his how-to guide culminates with a checklist of must-have items for your closet (sneak peak: it runs from “the classic little black dress” to “three to four quality bras”).

Brescia wants to be your fashion fairy godfather and psychiatrist at the same time, using your style woes as a way to diagnose how your day-to-day struggles with clothes relate to issues that go beyond your wardrobe. Some of his advice might feel time consuming at first — he recommends eschewing sales and shopping online in lieu of hitting the stores in real life — but chances are you’ll end up feeling a little more aware of how your clothes affect every aspect of your life.

Here, tips from Brescia about how you can make your clothes work for you:

1) What you wear matters.

“It’s never about just wearing the clothes. People get so overwhelmed when they think about what to wear. So they just fall asleep at it, they just pick and they don’t think about what they’re wearing. And some people get really freaked out by it. They want to hide and not be seen, no matter what. But you’re required to wear clothing by law. So the key is that no matter what you do, other people are going to see you and think about what you’re wearing. And you’re going to think about them. Take that experience and work it to your advantage.”

2) You are your closet.

“Your closet is like the window to your soul. Your closet says everything about you. But I still see this all the time: What do you not wear 80% of the clothes that you own? People don’t know what to do, so they get overwhelmed and buy things they think they should. Which means a lot of people go into their closet and feel dread. You should go in and feel joyful.”

3) Learn from the likes.

“Go into your closet and start by going through piece by piece. We all know what these pieces are in terms of what you get compliments on. Don’t you have a sweater or a dress or a suit that people always say, ‘OMG! You look amazing?’ Take those pieces and start to gather them. But don’t just think about the superlatives — it’s time to learn from them. What color are they? How do they fit your body? If you’re getting compliments every time you wear green, green is a good color for you. This is a way to teach yourself about silhouettes, colors you look good in, fabric. And then go back to gather the things you’re not wearing. Make a pile and take it to a consignment shop or thrift store.”

4) Care about what you wear.

“Getting dressed isn’t superficial. It’s not for [other people], it’s for you. It makes you feel good by taking the time and making it an important thing, then you’re going to attract what you want in your life. If you take the time to figure out for yourself how you want to feel, dressing right can help. You can’t just try hard when the stakes are high. You’re making an impression whether you realize it or not.”

5) Throw away your old casual wear.

“Casual dress freaks women out the most. Figure out what you want to say — do you really want to be wearing your boyfriend’s basketball shorts on the treadmill at the gym? And you don’t have to pay a lot for casual clothes. You can get basics at amazing prices. There’s no excuse — it’s not costly! When you’re walking the dog, you don’t know who you’re going to bump into. No one is asking you to go out in a cocktail dress. If you’re grabbing something, it might as well be cute.”

6) Don’t break your bank.

“Everyone has their own budget. When you know what you look good in, and are using your closet as a toolbox, you can shop anywhere. It’s a personal preference. Just be mindful. You don’t have to spend a lot of money on basics. Fashion and style are for everyone.”

7) When to spend.

“Splurge on things that are timeless, like a handbag or a watch. Pick a beautiful accessory. If you get an item of clothing like a great blazer, make sure there’s a longevity to it, because you can wear it with different things.”

8) Know your trend.

“When you know what you look good in already, you can chose the trend that’s right for you. If there’s a trend out there that you like, figure out how to do it so that it works for you and your color. You never want to just go out and buy trendy items. The challenge is to know what you have to work with while knowing what you should camouflage. If you don’t love your legs, don’t wear short skirts. If you have a fab back, wear something backless. A lot of times trends are going to naturally happen, so when you see something while you’re shopping, just try it on.”

9) The one thing we should all stop doing.

“Wearing clothes that don’t fit. It’s so unflattering. When the clothes start to wear you and you’re not wearing the clothes, something isn’t working. Make sure your clothes fit. Take them to a tailor. Women especially are uncomfortable if they think clothes are too revealing.”

10) Pull yourself together every morning.

“People freak out in the morning because it messes with their confidence. They second guess themselves and spiral out. They haven’t taken the time to be conscious about it and stop and say ‘no, I’m going to take control and feel and look amazing.’ Take that time.”

11) Treat every day like you’re dressing for a big meeting.

“When people are getting dressed for a day that’s really important, they pull it together. They stop their lives, they take the time and they know it’s important. When it’s just a regular day, that’s when they get overwhelmed. You’re being seen everyday whether you want to be seen or not. There’s so many different levels, so much subtext in the workplace and a lot of politics to deal with. If you really put yourself together, it brings in a whole different experience to work. Think about the people who go the other direction, and look inappropriate.”

 

 

TIME equality

These Are the Best and Worst States for Women’s Job Equality

Women in D.C. have a median income of $60,000

Washington, D.C., is the best place for women’s workforce equality in the U.S., according to new analysis by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research.

 

MAP
Courtesy of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research

 

According to the report, women in the District have a median annual income of $60,000, which is double the median income of women in West Virginia, the state ranked lowest in women’s employment and earnings. Each state was given a letter grade based on the median annual income of women who work full time, the earnings ratio between full-time men and women, the percent of women in the labor force and the percent of women in managerial or professional occupations. In each category, the District of Columbia ranked first, with neighboring state Maryland nabbing the second highest ranking in percent of employed women and median annual income.

Among the other top-ranking states: Minnesota, Colorado, Virginia, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut and New Jersey.

“Top ranked states are doing a better job of making use of women’s economic contributions,” Heidi Hartmann,President of IWPR, said in a release about the report, “Ensuring women have access to training and education, working to place women in top jobs.”

She adds, “While these factors impact women individually, they also contribute to overall economic growth and strong economies in these states. Public policies also make a difference and voters and candidates should pay attention to these results.”

The majority of the 14 states that received the lowest ranking were in the South: Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee all joined West Virginia in receiving grades of D+ or lower. The report came out ahead of the IWPR’s 2015 report on the Status of Women in the States.

TIME Careers & Workplace

The Secret to Not Flubbing a Job Interview

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Zero Creatives—Getty Images/Cultura RF

A phone interview can be a convenient first step for job-seekers and employers alike because it takes less time and expense than an in-person meeting. Be aware, though, that phone interviews present some unique pitfalls.

Want the edge on your fellow applicants? Read on. If you’re looking for a job, here’s what experts say you need to do to make sure that time on the phone gets you a call back.

Do your homework. “Have handy a copy of the job description, talking points about your qualifications, and the questions you’ve prepared for the interviewer,” says Amanda Augustine, job search expert at mobile career network TheLadders. Read over them before the interview to refresh your memory.

Find someplace quiet. “Make sure you are in a quiet place with the doors closed so no one can barge in and disrupt the call by creating noise,” says Scott Dobroski, a career trends analyst at jobs and salary site Glassdoor. A crying baby or barking dog in the background isn’t going to help you project the professional image you want.

Don’t use, like, verbal filler. “Avoid verbal crutches like “um,” “like,” and “uh” that can undercut your communication skills and make you sound like you’re not confident,” says Robert Hosking, executive director of staffing service OfficeTeam.

Make clarity a priority. “Over the phone, the interviewer needs to be able to hear what you are saying as clearly as possible,” Hosking says. “Make sure you have at least one glass of water before the interview so your voice doesn’t crackle or become dry,” he says. It’s not a bad idea to keep a glass of water at hand in case you get a tickle in your throat, too.

Practice “verbal nods.” “Remember, the interviewer can’t see you shaking your head through the phone,” Augustine points out. This means you’ll need to give the interviewer verbal cues that take the place of a nod. Phrases like “I understand,” “Sounds great,” “Alright” and “That makes sense” will all do the trick, Augustine says. “Basically, you’re making sure the person on the other end of the line knows you’re following along with the conversation and on the same page,” she says.

Keep on track. Since people tend to ramble when they’re nervous, Hosking says it’s important to make sure you get to the point quickly. “While you certainly don’t want to give a series of one-word responses, aim to be thorough, yet succinct. It’s OK to pause and collect your thoughts before you begin to speak,” he says.

Sound confident. “Your interviewer is likely trained to glean from your conversation your level of self-confidence, personality and ability to communicate effectively,” Arnie Fertig, founder and CEO of Jobhuntercoach, writes in US News & World Report. Don’t rush through your replies to the interviewer’s questions, ramble during pauses in the conversation or slip into overly colloquial language. “At the same time, do show something of your personality,” he says.

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