Imagine you go to work every morning wearing a badge that tracks your every movement conversation and interaction. Sounds like a futuristic scene right? According to an article posted on Fast Company this week, this was a reality for 20 employees at Fast Company for two weeks during April of this year. A new company by the name of Humanyze builds these devices, bearing a similar purpose to that of the Fitbit, and consults for different companies who would like to try the new system out. In April of 2015, Humanyze offering free badges and free analysis, Fast Company decided to try the experiment itself. “Our goal was to discover who actually speaks to whom, and what these patterns suggest about the flow of information, and thus power, through the office. Is the editor in chief really at the center of the magazine’s real-world social network, or was someone else the invisible bridge between its print and online operations?” As the article brings out some of the analysis, the better part of the first two weeks were almost spent in silence because employees felt awkward and uncomfortable having a device that recorded everything they said or did. The article also stated that after receiving analysis from the organization, the information is extremely private and cannot be demanded by the organization of Fast Company. In other words, the employees are not in any way forced to share what the device found with any personnel in the Fast Company business. The full article is quite interesting and definitely reveals how innovation and technology can add to market research whether it be outside of a company, or directly within the walls of an organization.
A new study explored in a Fast Company article this week, revealed that, although many hoped The Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 would be successful, more kids are eating less fruits and vegetable than before. Why you ask? According the article, “… kids toss their apples into the trash before they even take a place at a table.” This new study, led by Sarah Amin, used cameras placed over cashier stations as well as over food disposal areas. Amin claims the beauty of this method lies in the fact that the researches can actually see what was selected, what was eaten, and what was wasted. Upon viewing the data, researchers concluded that the fruit and vegetables that children were obliged to take were almost instantly thrown out directly afterward. However, there’s still hope according to Amin and her researchers. “There are some neat tricks, like renaming "carrots" to "X-ray Vision Carrots, which almost doubles consumption, for instance.” Amin also suggests serving vegetables cut up in the meal rather than serving them whole. Overall, however, it would appear that what we used to know about kids then still remains true: kids don’t like to do what they’re told to do.
In an article released on Fast Company this week, psychologist Art Markman helps a reader determine whether his communication habits are hindering his future career. The individual who writes in, describes a pattern of only wanting to communicate through email and text while avoiding speaking over the phone. Markman first starts his response by stating, “Human communication evolved in an environment in which small numbers of people communicated face-to-face in real time.” He goes on to say that the sooner and closer we get to a situation much like a face-to face conversation, the more effectively we will communicate with others. Speaking on certain factors that go missing when you just communicate through written text, Markman highlights that, “When people can hear your voice, they hear more interpersonal warmth than when you just write to them…tone of voice helps people to find the emotional intent in what you say.” The final part of the article is where Markham explains how you can incorporate verbal communication back into your day. The article is a well written piece that uniquely sheds light on an important research area.
It’s the job everyone in the corporate world envies: being a freelancer and working, essentially, or yourself. The job itself comes with many obvious perks such as, setting your own price, managing your hours, working from the comfort of home, and of course being your own boss. However, in an article released this week on Fast Company, being a freelancer also has its down sides. Yes you get to work from home and be your own boss, but that also means you don’t get human contact and or coworkers to converse with during your day. “When the house is quiet and everyone is gone for the day, it’s just you and the humming of your laptop—day in, day out. You may go through an entire day without speaking, and often go for several days without having any face-to-face interactions with anyone.” The article then goes on to explain why adding in social contact for individuals who are freelancers is necessary and actually helps boost creativity and even work productivity in some cases. It is definitely a relatable issue for most people, so good on Fast Company for recognizing this issue and bringing it to the surface.