Workplace Communication

In an era of Casual Fridays and work-from-home colleagues, how can you maintain effective office communication in a changing business climate?

We’ll steer you through changes in business etiquette, and help you successfully navigate through the new realities of workplace conflict and office politics.

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Poker is back in vogue, and not just among middle-age men. As many as 80 million Americans now play the deceptively simple card game of strategy, cunning and luck.
Disagree with the boss? Some managers say they can't do it. Some won't. Some wish they could. And some say it's not necessary. But in our experience, the boss isn't always right—and sometimes needs feedback to tell him so.
You're no prude, but some of your employees can be downright foulmouthed, particularly when people or things aren't "cooperating." This hurts both their image and that of the team, and you want to make a change. Here's some expert advice:

Standardized replies save you time but can cost you good will. Create templates and common paragraphs that you can pop into an e-mail or letter, then easily personalize. Use these shortcuts:

Your big-company competitors are doing much more this year to register employees to vote and encourage them to go to the polls.

If employees wear inappropriate clothes to work, express your concern in a firm-but-diplomatic fashion.

With PC sales and profit margins shrinking, big computer companies are rolling out a wider variety of small business networking hardware. Prices are lower than ever.

Like most small business owners, you probably work with a tight advertising budget—if you have one at all. One way to stretch your ad dollars: Use customer testimonials, a powerful and inexpensive form of advertising.

"Web rings" are basically a linked collection of Web sites with a common theme, industry or product business. The idea behind them: Banding together an assortment of smaller merchants or services can help the entire group compete more effectively online and build Web traffic.

The sluggish economy of recent years has helped encourage more employees to come to work, even while they're sick. Nearly 77 percent of employees say they've shown up to work when ill, says a recent poll by ComPsych Corp.