LEAVE EARLY? WHAT’S THAT?
Did you skip out of work early on Thursday, June 2?
Chances are you didn’t, but if you did you had a good excuse:
it was national Leave the Office Earlier Day. The idea was supposed
to show workers how much more productive they can be during a normal
eight-hour workday given a chance to leave early once everything got
The reason you probably didn’t leave early was because you are
overworked—or, at least, that’s the way you feel. According
to a 2004 study by the Families and Work Institute, one out of three
American employees say they feel chronically overworked. Reasons include
having trouble focusing on tasks because of constant interruptions
and being asked to do too many tasks at once.
Technology, which is supposed to make work go faster, has increased
this sense of overwork by creating the possibility of 24/7 communications.
THE POWER OF THE WEB COMMUNITY
At least one major U.S. corporation takes seriously the thoughts and
ideas of regular participants in an Internet Web site and recently
met face-to-face with 275 online critics to hear what they had to
Earlier this year Continental Airlines hosted members of FlyerTalk.com,
a travel Web site known for its message boards that discuss all aspects
of flying. According to The New York Times, Continental execs bought
dinner for site contributors who took up the offer to pay their own
way to Houston for the chance to meet in person.
It seems companies are finding the Web can be useful for studying,
learning from and even responding to opinions about what they are
doing wrong and what they are doing right—without spending money
on focus groups or market research.
BORDERS MAY HAVE CROSSED THE LINE
There may be a chink in the wall that keeps online merchants from
charging sales tax when they sell products over the Internet, which
usually means lower prices.
Currently, local sales taxes are collected by mail order and online
retailers only if the merchants also operate businesses in that state.
Borders, a popular bookstore, set up a separate entity to do that:
Borders.com sold over the Internet; Borders Group operated Borders,
Inc. and sold through stores.
An appellant court in California, however, said that doesn’t
work. It says Borders, Inc. is liable for $167,000 in back state sales