​Remote work, the skills gap, shorter workweeks and workplace transgressions—like lying—were among the topics that readers wanted to know more about in 2019.

No. 1: Why Are Companies Ending Remote Work?

With research suggesting that companies can save money, boost morale and attract top candidates by offering work-at-home options, why are some employers calling their telecommuters back into the main office?

The classic four-year college education—with its emphasis on critical thinking, debating, exploring issues from several angles and communicating clearly—was designed to teach so-called soft skills. Yet nearly 3 in 4 employers say they have a hard time finding graduates with the soft skills their companies need.

So few young adults in the U.S. are interested in so-called blue-collar jobs that there's now a frightening shortage of workers who have traditionally been the economic foundation of this country—be they builders, welders, plumbers, pipe fitters, miners or mechanics. 

You're impressed by a job candidate's resume, references, interview responses and insightful questions about your company, and she's the strongest applicant you've seen so far. But uh-oh. She never sent a note to thank you for meeting with her. So you cross her off your list. Sound harsh? Over the top? It's the approach one publication's executive managing editor swears by.

No. 5: Is the Shorter Workweek for Everyone?

The traditional 40-hour, five-day workweek is "outdated," according to 70 percent of U.S. workers surveyed by The Workforce Institute at Kronos Inc. Many workers feel they could get their work done in less than the typical time allotted. 

No. 6: If You're Faking That Smile at Work, You're at Risk for Heavy Drinking

Faking a smile at work or suppressing one's emotions—whether you're a teacher, a nurse or a barista—can lead to heavy drinking, according to new research.

No. 7: Liar, Liar … Now You're Fired

Let's say your worker calls in sick on Monday, claiming she's got the flu. Later that night, you bump into her at a concert, and she seems just fine. Did she lie to you? And if she did, is her deception grounds for firing?

No. 8: Company Gifts That Workers Hate

Coffee mugs and water bottles emblazoned with the company's logo. Gift cards to stores that employees rarely visit. These are among the gifts that companies give to workers—and that workers hate. These tokens actually make employees feel unappreciated and give the impression that their employers are thoughtless.


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