Halloween at the Office

Halloween at the Office | CorporetteHalloween is one week away, ladies! We’ve talked about office-appropriate Halloween outfits in the past, but I thought I’d start an open thread to see what’s happening this year: Are you dressing up for office-related Halloween events? What will your costume be? Is Halloween generally a source of stress for you, or a fun time?  (Personally I love the idea of being Rosie the Riveter as a smart costume… maybe next year!)

I’ve seen a ton of articles circulating lately on smart, non-slutty Halloween costumes for women, so I thought I’d round up some of the links below: [Read more...]

How to Campaign for Flexible Working Conditions (Or, How to Change the Company Policy That Requires You Lug a Heavy Laptop Around)

How to Campaign for A More Flexible Workplace (Or: How to Ditch Your Company Laptop)How do you campaign for accessibility and flexibility in your workplace when the policies are less than ideal?  Yesterday’s post on how to lighten your tote bag got me thinking — I was so intrigued by the commenters who noted that they have to carry a huge, bulky laptop to and from the office because that is the the only approved way to get access to the office system.  When I was working in BigLaw, my firm used Citrix to give everyone access to the Docs Open system and other office programs — there were even times you could access document review programs from home.  (Ah, glory days.)  The only thing we needed to access the system was a small, flat device (a 2″ by 1″ fob) that displayed a long number that changed every thirty seconds. When you needed to log into the system, you entered the current security number.  That was five years ago, so it honestly didn’t occur to me that companies with information security issues would not be using something similar to Citrix in 2013.  (Even the Department of Defense has a better remote access option, according to a 2011 Lifehacker article.)  Maybe there are good reasons Reader R’s company isn’t using a secure remote system — but maybe it’s just an old policy that hasn’t been reevaluated in a while or from the right perspective. 

So readers, let’s talk about this — how do you change an office policy to make the conditions better for you (and those who come after you)?  Sheryl Sandberg talked a bit about this in Lean In — regarding how she insisted that the Google parking lot have spaces reserved for expectant mothers — and this was kind of mentioned in a recent NYT article about workplace flexibility  — but I can’t seem to find much else about this topic on the Internet.  For my $.02, here are some ideas… [Read more...]

How to Fit Exercise Into a Busy Day

midday-workoutsAfter we linked to our last open thread on midday workouts, a bunch of readers expressed an interest in having another discussion on how to fit workouts into a busy day.  For my own $.02, in my ideal world I get my exercise out of the way first thing in the morning, my socializing in with friends in the evening, with a long day in between to do lots of work.

But of course, that’s easier said than done.  You may have work commitments in the morning, or prefer to use the time for other personal development.  And as a new mother, the thing I’ve realized since having a baby is that your concept of “me time” changes drastically once you have a kiddo.  Particularly that “morning/evening” time — if it isn’t already committed to work, that time quickly becomes blocked as “family time” — either because you genuinely want to see your child(ren), or you literally have no one else on hand to care for them (unless you have a nanny around the clock, lucky you).  So a midday workout is the only way a lot of people can fit in exercise at all.

So if you have to have a midday workout, here are a few ideas: [Read more...]

Making Real Change…With Just One Thing

My number one, originally uploaded to Flickr by Snowflakesarewhite.Can changing just one thing make a big impact in your life?  It’s my plan of attack for my New Year resolutions, so I guess we’ll see…

I was reading this article in Working Mother with tips from top executives, all of whom happen to be mothers, and I was intrigued by the “One Thing” program at Bank of America, as described by Cynthia Bowman, Senior VP in Leadership Development:  “Each of us identifies the single thing that would be the biggest help in achieving work life balance. My ‘one thing’ is protecting my weekends.” (Pictured.)

I mentally bookmarked it and said, ah yes, we should talk about that at some point on the blog.  But this somehow got conflated with my New Year resolutions in my head… and now I think I’ve got a pretty good idea: [Read more...]

What to Wear to the Boss’s Holiday Party

The intimate office holiday party at your boss’s house:  it’s like it’s designed for trouble.  What do you wear?  Reader J wonders this very question…

I work in surgical research, and although this is a very different field than most people who read this blog, my work environment isn’t all that different when we’re not in the operating room- business casual, long hours, small division (within general surgery). I’ve worked here about a year and a half and am the youngest staff member here by about 20 years (I’m 23). My question is- what do I wear to a small, conservative Christmas party at the Chief of the division’s home?

We’ve talked about whether to bring a hostess gift, how to save money on fancy attire, and how to look professional in an evening gown — but we haven’t talked about what to wear to the intimate party at your boss’s house for a while, so let’s discuss.  (Pictured.) In my mind, you need to ask yourself a few questions.  The primary one is thus:  Who can you ask?  If you feel uncomfortable asking the men you work with, ask a female coworker or two.  Note that the answer, “My wife is wearing __” is not necessarily what you should be wearing, since you’re there in a different capacity.  For example: if the wife is wearing a sparkly, strapless cocktail dress, you should probably wear a more conservative but still festive dress (such as this, this, or this), or perhaps one of the great “party pants” (such as this or this) we’re seeing this season with some killer heels and a sparkly sweater.  The same thing goes if the secretary for the group says, “I’m wearing jeans and a funny holiday sweater!” You need to dial it up a little bit from that — perhaps a festive blazer with a pencil skirt or sheath dress.  [Read more...]

Sponsored Post: Go Desk to Dinner with Ann Taylor

With Thanksgiving out of the way, it is officially holiday party season — which means that it’s time to perfect your desk-to-dinner shuffle, if you haven’t already. For me, separates have always been the way to go — that way you don’t have to change your entire wardrobe before you go out after work, and you only need to carry one or two additional pieces with you to the office.  Maybe it’s just me, but separates always feel more “true” to me — more like a “dressed up, sparkly version of me” and less like “Kat’s pretending to be a glamorous jet-setting party-goer!” [Read more...]