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Written by Kieran Delamont, Associate Editor, London Inc.

WORKPLACE

Stressed to impress

Busy bragging: The workplace habit that annoys everyone

TO APPROPRIATE AN old joke format, how do you know who’s the busiest person in the office? Don’t worry, they’ll let you know!

These are the “busy braggers” ― the people around the office who won’t (or can’t) stop talking about how busy they are, how maxed out their time is, how much they are working on. And according to some new research, the practice is not good for either the bragger, or the office as a whole.

 

“People are harming themselves by doing this thing they think it is going to make them look better to their colleagues,” said University of Georgia researcher Jessica Rodell. “It just spills over onto the coworker next to them. They wind up feeling more stressed, which leads to higher burnout or withdrawal from their work. Think of it as this spiraling contagious effect from one person to the next.”

 

Interestingly, Rodell’s research found that it’s not just being stressed that is the problem. Busy, stressed workers who put their heads down and get on with it don’t provoke this effect nearly as much as the people who won’t stop talking about it.

 

It’s also not winning you any friends around the office to busy brag. “By emphasizing their own busyness, such individuals might inadvertently dismiss or minimize their colleagues’ efforts and challenges,” wrote Mark Travers in Forbes.

“Colleagues may find busy bragging annoying, especially if it is frequent or comes across as a bid for sympathy or attention. They might start to believe that the individual is exaggerating and being disingenuous.”

 

But maybe consider that busy bragging can also be a cry for help. Many people still struggle to raise their hands and say they are overwhelmed and might turn to busy bragging to try to signal something. “They almost require a group of people around them to understand that they are not okay,” said Aircare Health CEO Jaclyn Wainwright.

 

Rodell adds that while busy bragging might be annoying, the answer isn’t necessarily to just shut up about it. “If you genuinely feel stressed,” she noted, “it’s okay to find the right confidant to share with and talk about it.” 

TRENDS

The rise of corp-c0re

A fresh take on typical nine to five dress code, this latest fashion trend is making business wear hot again

FOR THE LAST few years, we’ve been asking ourselves what the future of office wear is going to be, with WFH upending traditional workwear and pushing people in a more casual direction, even on in-office days.

 

But as ever, what’s old becomes new again, and the pendulum is swinging back to corporate attire ― both in and out of office. Enter “corp-core.”

 

“The business-core trend is not necessarily new to the fashion world, but it’s showing back up in a fresh, new way,” explained Shopbob fashion director Caroline Maguire. “Trendy young professionals who are in the office for the first time want to dress work-appropriate without compromising style, so we’re seeing more of our office-ready pieces jump off the site.”

 

Pinterest pegged corp-core as one of its summer trends, with searches for “corporate chic” surging by nearly 1,000 per cent.

 

So, what exactly is corp-core? It’s something between traditional and totally casual. Think suits paired with Dr. Martens. It’s like blending the structured, formal look with a dash of nonconformity, creating a whole new vibe.

 

“It’s wearing a tie, but with jeans,” noted Frank and Oak art director Kristina Spiro. “It’s still a hybrid type of workwear or dressing up, where there are still some elements that can be more casual.”

 

You might, perhaps, look at the corp-core trend and even read a bit into our collective feelings on in-office work. You might say that there’s a nostalgia creeping in for the visual identity of corporate work, circa the 1990s, especially among younger workers who never experienced it. If you’ve come of age when workwear was the Zoom kit ― business on the top, sweats on the bottom ― a shirt and tie might be just a little bit subversive.

 

“The elephant in the room: Gen Z is entering the workforce for the first time, but not in the manner most did throughout prior decades,” wrote Camille Freestone. “Corp-core is made possible by ties borrowed from dad and Carhartt khakis. No one is reinventing any wheels here; just twisting it up a bit.”

Terry Talks: Recognizing the importance of gratitude

Gratitude is the practice of feeling and expressing appreciation for the things that we have in our lives. It’s a simple but powerful habit that can have a profound impact on our wellbeing, relationships, work life and overall happiness. In this Terry Talks, Terry explores the benefits of gratitude, as well as some tips on how to cultivate this habit in your own life.

WATCH HERE

WORKFORCE

What happened to all the summer jobs?

In the face of high interest rates, layoffs and stiff competition, summer jobs are proving tough to come by

YOU MIGHT HAVE to get used to your teenager or university-aged child hanging around the house this summer. Labour market data, and reports from young jobseekers, all point to the same conclusion: it’s a tight year for summer jobs.

 

Recent data from StatsCan found that the employment rate for students had dropped to 46.8 per cent ― the lowest it’s been since the late 1990s ― with unemployment rising to 12.8 per cent in April. There was also a 14 per cent increase in youth on employment insurance, compared to May 2023.

 

On job boards like Indeed, postings with the word “summer” in their title are down 22 per cent compared to 2022, though that is partially explained by a decline in job postings overall.

 

“It’s been challenging, and more and more challenging for younger people than for the broader population,” said assistant chief economist at RBC Nathan Janzen.

 

On the ground, it translates into a lot of rejections for young jobseekers, Youth Opportunities Unlimited’s Tyler Paget told the CBC News London. Sometimes, it’s hundreds of rejections, he said. “It’s really difficult. It’s a hard reality.”

 

Young jobseekers told The Globe and Mail that employers seem to be very picky this year. “They’re asking you to take customer-service skill tests, but then they end up not even looking at your application,” one University of Waterloo student said. “There aren’t even minimum wage jobs that are accepting applications.”

 

But with a likelihood of more rate cuts ahead, economists say the long-term outlook should bring the summer jobs market back to normal (although, probably next summer). “This is likely a temporary issue for young people,” said chief economist at CIBC Avery Shenfeld. “It won’t necessarily affect them by the time they finish their studies.” 

HEALTH & WELLNESS

Fit for success

Companies dont always take responsibility for the physical health of their employees, but maybe they should

WANT TO CURB team burnout? Want to put an end to all this employee discontent you’ve been hearing about? Boost your company’s productivity? Get them exercising, advises a new study from the University of Michigan.

 

“Employees who exercise moderately feel less emotionally exhausted and more personally satisfied at work than their less active co-workers,” the study found.

 

The researchers looked at three groups ― low-, moderate- and high-activity workers ― and found that “employees experiencing low physical activity may feel less engaged and motivated, gradually disengaging from their roles without formally resigning, resulting in reduced productivity and a lack of enthusiasm for their work,” said lead author Brandon Albedry.

 

The research adds evidence to a growing sense that promoting physical activity throughout the workplace is a strong employee wellness and retention policy ― on top of bettering employee health.

 

“Employers should understand that if you really want to have a healthy, happy workforce, that you should encourage them to do some type of physical activity while they’re at work,” said Jump Sport business development director Steve Carver.

 

“That might look like offering stipends for staff to pay for gym memberships or workout equipment,” wrote Hailey Mensik. “It could also mean having a gym facility on-site or allowing staff to work out on the clock.”

 

Moderate activity appeared to be the sweet spot. “We don’t need to engage in crazy amounts of activity to see benefits,” said co-author Michele Marenus. The study found that those who do a moderate amount of exercise see just as much benefit as those who do large amounts. You don’t need to be whipping your staff into marathon shape ― just promoting an active lifestyle is often enough.

 

“It is time to create a movement that assures all occupations and work settings are designed to integrate healthy physical activity and decrease sedentary behaviour,” wrote the editors of the American Journal of Health Promotion last year. “Physical activity can be one of the most effective “medications” or “treatments” for overall health and well-being, and it has a positive impact on productivity, focus, and creativity.”

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