So this is what Deja vu feels like…

About a year ago I was working my first big job on a large web project. I had to teach myself pretty much everything along the way. My supervisor asked me many many times when (approximately) I would finish each part of the project. I never really understood what all the fuss was about regarding timelines. I never knew what to say. On the inside I always thought that I would just get it done when I got it done. I was not able to predict efficiently until the very end of activities how long they would take because everything was relatively new to me. Now in hindsight I see how helpful these planning concepts and skills would have been in planning and changing the project according to time constraints. Learning planning techniques in class such as identifying activities, mapping out precedence, estimating time and identifying critical activities/paths is very new for me but finally brings all those questions I was being asked into perspective. I knew that having time estimates was important and necessary to plan but I never realized how important and complex planning could be. I now plan to take a more proactive approach and will do my best to give time estimates when possible in future projects.

I am glad to say that as I am learning how to plan in class I am applying what I am learning in another classroom. In another class I am currently in we have to plan, design and build a web application in 10 weeks. This means that time is valuable and we need to balance it out with the other key project metric triangle components to make sure performance and cost (our personal time in this case) are within reason. In this project we have had to develop a GAANT chart and plan out some of the most meticulous details of the project weeks ahead of even starting to build it. In addition, we had to plan out how long activities would take. When the planning requirements were brought up in the class I was one of the only students in the group familiar with the basic terms due to MGT 301. I have been able to help the team and manage our time so that we do not get behind in our project. We have identified activities that can be crashed (by investing more time in the week and putting our more experienced group members on specific tasks) as well as identifying activities that could be run concurrently (done at the same time) so that we can get more done in the same amount of time by splitting our group into mini groups.


–          Have any of you had the above issues at a new job or on a unique project?

–          Have any of you seen the lessons and concepts we are learning in class come up in a current or past class?

–          How did these concepts help you to do better or contribute in that class?

–          Have you applied these concepts to a class or work project?

Quality of Work is Affected by Stress! What Triggers Your Stress, and How Can Employers Help?


Like many Americans, it is natural to be bothered by a few things in your work environment.  Some people are bothered by a coworker, their salary, or even their fear of being fired.  These, and other factors, are categories of stress in one’s work environment. 

We all know that the higher we are stressed at our jobs, the higher the chances that the quality of our work can progressively decrease.  So where does this leave the quality of America’s output, as the stress levels of the workers are progressively increasing?

Harrison Interactive, of Everest College, conducted a study of stress factors at work and how much individuals are bothered by it.  This study was conducted by phone, using 100 adults, between February 21st, and March 3rd.  This study was conducted last year, also, and according to their sample size, 73% of American workers were stressed by some factor of their jobs last year.  It is no surprise that this year’s study (released earlier this week) shows that, at a number of 83%, even more American workers are stressed at their jobs.

Below is the data from the study:


Percentage of Stress Factors at Work for American Workers by Year
              Stress Factor Year 2012     Year 2013
Low Pay 11%     14%
Unreasonable Workload 9%     14%
Commuting 9%     11%
Annoying Co-Workers 10%     11%
Working Outside Chosen Career 8%     8%
Work-Life Balance 5%     7%
Lack of Advancement Oportunity 5%     6%
Boss 4%     N/A
Fear of Being Fired N/A     4%

Since last year, each individual factor that didn’t remain constant, increased. The top two stress factors this year are pay and an unreasonable workload. Last year pay was still one of the top two stress factors along with annoying co-workers, which increased this year, also, just not as much as the stress of an unreasonable workload.

With the quality of American output at risk, what can companies do to keep the stress level of American workers down?  My personal opinion is to start by creating a comfortable work environment.  Some companies, such as Google, do many things to keep their work environments as stress-less as possible.  Google offers many perks to its staff, such as relaxation rooms, giant slides, free meals via gourmet chefs, motorized scooters to move through the offices, the option to bring pets to work, prayer rooms, company outings, and many more!  There are also some days where the employees have to stop the work their doing, to do something fun that they enjoy.



If all companies headed towards creating a relaxed environment, the stress levels of employees would decrease, increasing the quality of their work. Because pay has consistently been the number one stress factor of American workers, employers should consider giving raises to the well-deserving employees. Keeping employees as stress-less as possible can be considered as an investment in the increased quality of the employees’ work.

Because commuting is another high factor, companies should also consider parking perks for employees, where they can park for free in a company parking lot. Businesses can also consider a program with their city’s transit services, where the employees can receive discounts on bus and train passes.






Chicago Tribune-

Global Staff-