RIP The 40 Hour Work Week

With constant access to email thanks to our smartphones & tablets, 88% of survey respondents said they work more than 40/wk according to a recent survey from PGi.

Those who think their employees are getting more done by putting in more hours than other are in for a rude awakening.  Not surprisingly, there is a negative correlation between hours worked and productivity levels.  As hours increase, the GDP per-hour-worked decreases.

Now there are those people who thrive off working 24-hours, but they are the minority, and they probably live in New York City. The majority of people value a decent work/life balance.  In fact, it is shown that working shorter hours creates more loyal, healthy, and productive employees.

We understand you may not have the access to overhaul your company’s work policy, so we wanted to share some tips on how you can make your work week more productive:


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New Trend in Construction: Drones

When most of us hear the word drones, we think of one thing.  However, a construction firm in Dayton decided to think outside the box and utilize this technology to their advantage.

Danis Building Construction Company is using a DJI Phantom 2 Vision+ as a tool to help surveyors assess buildings in a faster, safer way.  Rather than sending workers into a questionable building to determine its stability, or setting up scaffolding, the company’s use of the drone to survey will majorly decreases the exposure of risk to employees.

What types of technology can you use to improve your work?

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How To Make The Best Out Of A Storm

Coming off the recent hurricane that put a damper on most of our holiday weekend, we thought it might be nice to look on the positive side of things!  You may have wondered at some point what happens to all the rainwater during a storm? Does it run off into another body of water? Disappear into the earth?  Fill up our underground reserves?  It seems nonsensical to not utilize all that excess water.

Here in the northeast where we experience the full range of weather. Because of this, it makes sense to invest in technology that can collect and reuse stormwater in an effective way.  Some of those technologies include bioretention basis, rain gardens, dry wells, green roofs and wet basins, just to name a few.  If you are working on a new construction project in the Northeast region, you may consider incorporating these sustainable practices which can have financial, environment, and social benefits.

To read how Nitsch Engineering used sustainable stormwater management strategies on their project, read on here:

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How To Make Your Tech Team Faster And More Innovative

The tech industry is arguably the most innovative and fast-paced out there.  Slow is not a word in their vocabulary.  As Heidi Klum likes to say on Project Runway, one day you’re in and the next day you’re out.  The same can be said in the world of technology.

Technology managers face unique challenges on a daily basis and need to come up with creative solutions that keep their company on the competitive edge.  No one knows this better than those who work in Silicon Valley, the tech capital of the world.  Below are three important management principles that you should pay attention to if you want your company to have the success those in the Valley have.

1. Treat IT decisions as urgent business decisions.  CIOs in Silicon Valley are empowered to make time-conscious decisions unlike other conservative industries.

2. Innovation speeds up when more people participate. Staff members are encouraged to participate in the creation of solutions during large crowdsourcing and brainstorming sessions.  Sharing information beats secrecy in the tech world.

3. Help your people grow, even if it means they leave.  Rather than worrying about who will leave and when, managers in the Valley make the most of the people they have, for the time they have them.  Just like the pace at which technology changes, so do its employees, therefore managers must be realistic that their employees will move on to other opportunities.

To read on:

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Tools To Get You The Job You Want

If you are currently in the market for a new job, you’ve probably experienced the “black hole” of online applications.  That place where hundreds of applicants’ cover letters and resumes go to disappear into an HR’s database.  We’ve all been there!  But here at the College of Professional and Continuing Education, we want to make sure you don’t get overlooked for the job of your dreams.  We want you to stand out and make a great first impression so you get a call back!  We’ve put together a guide on how to ensure your resume (paper and electronic!) makes it to the top of the pile.

Resume Tips

In addition to a stellar resume, you may be surprised to find out that writing a personalized Thank-You can actually help you get ahead.  Those who take the time to follow up after an interview show not only how motivated they are, but also that they follow through, which is a very attractive quality in an employee.  For tips on how to write the perfect Thank-You, read on here: 

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As Sea Levels Rise, So Do Pressures To Be Proactive.

You would have to be living under a rock to not realize the environment is changing.  The Cedar Rapids Flood, Hurricane Katrina, and Hurricane Sandy are just a few recent examples of the extreme changes in our weather that have wreaked havoc on our current infrastructure.  Forecasts predict that by 2050, which is only 36 years away, the sea level will have risen two feet, and by 2100, as much as six feet.  While it may be hard to imagine that far in advance, being proactive rather than reactive when it comes to preparing our coastal cities will ultimately save lives and money. Developers and business leaders need to partner with designers, engineers, non-profits, government, academics and community members so that we can protect our shared assets.

Take for instance the Sea Change: Boston initiative.  The exhibition in District Hall examines our city’s vulnerability to sea level rise and demonstrates proactive design strategies at the building, city and regional scale. For more information on how Boston is planning to protect itself against climate change, read on here:

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A Shortage in Skilled Workers is Your Opportunity

The latest employment report released this month shows that construction’s jobless rate last month has improved by 10.8% since May 2013. This is great news after years of slow construction activity and spending during the 2007-2009 recession.

But now that we are in recovery mode, we face another problem; a shortage in skilled laborers to fill all these new positions. Welders, electricians, technicians, these are the skilled trades that are so prevalent in manufacturing and construction and are needed to support the projects both public and private sectors are planning.

According to the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), 86% of companies are hiring. 62% of those are having trouble filling key professional and worker positions. Although this is bad news for developers, supply and demand principles will say it’s the perfect time to enter the field. Seize the opportunity to make yourself marketable! Join one of our Construction programs today!


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