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You Look Like You Need a Vacation

6 tips for checking out and kicking back

You just got back from a trip? Me too. And I already need the next one. My name is Christine Calvin, and I take vacations. That’s right, I use all my PTO every year, and I don’t feel an ounce of shame. You should do the same — it’s going to cost your company either way.

Feb 2, 2015 Christine Calvin
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Spread the Love

True client appreciation requires a year-round strategy

While it may be tempting to wait until next year to tally up the cards and gifts you’ll need to send clients at the end of 2015, there are ways to show your supporters that you appreciate them year round. Here’s how to develop a year-round strategy without additional headaches.

Jan 29, 2015 Kelly Azevedo
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Dress for Success

How can I legally amend my company's dress code?

Since starting my business in 2010, my number of full-time employees has tripled. One thing I wish I’d done in the beginning is establish a dress code. I’m worried that the relaxed atmosphere I’ve allowed does not reflect the professional competency I’m trying to project. How can I implement a dress code, and should I be worried about violating any laws when I do?

Jan 21, 2015 Coral Henning

How to Spot a Liar

9 tips for reading body language when the truth is on the line

Recognizing key signs of dishonesty and deception is a professional skill that can pay off in spades. If you’re keen, you can see people’s body language change when they lie, as they try to manage their anxiety. So unless you’re dealing with a sociopath or a superb actor, you can spot those who try to mislead you by monitoring their nonverbal signals. Here’s how:

Jan 14, 2015 Carol Kinsey Goman

Extreme Makeover: Work Edition

Does your office need an etiquette expert?

You know That Guy. He wears too much Axe body spray, he makes loud personal calls while you’re trying to work, he chews food with his mouth open. He’s a close-talker with his shirt open one button too far. He’s also really good at his job. If you’re a manager, what do you do with That Guy?

Jan 6, 2015 Jeff Wilser
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Unpolished Problems

How to politely enforce your dresscode

“We have a male employee whose shirt buttons pop open, leaving his skin exposed. We also have a female employee whose tight clothing reveals her undergarments. This is a horribly awkward and uncomfortable situation, but their attire is not appropriate for the office. How should HR address this?”

Jan 5, 2015 Suzanne Lucas
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Back Off!

Micromanaging is toxic — here are 3 tips to help you stop today

At my first full-time job after college, the office manager routinely sorted through the recycling box to ensure that tossed junk mail had been cancelled with the sender. If someone from my department did not write the cancellation clearly enough, there was a lecture. This culminated in a 20-minute rant and the ultimate request to track all incoming junk mail, date of cancellation and subsequent mail on a spreadsheet for review. I refused. And then I quit.

Dec 19, 2014 Kelly Azevedo

Food for Thought

Acuity with Chris Jarosz

Chris Jarosz is the founder of Broderick Restaurant & Bar and co-owner of the Wicked ‘Wich food truck. This year, he also took on the overhaul of midtown’s Capital Dime restaurant and its sister eatery, Trick Pony, which have been folded into the Broderick Roadhouse family of restaurants. It’s not all glamorous, but it is pretty tasty.

Dec 15, 2014 Christine Calvin
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Missing Moms

Can an employer require employees to return after maternity leave?

I run a small business. Twice in the past two years, I’ve had employees quit directly after taking maternity leave. Prior to their departures, it was understood that they would return to work. This has caused understandable upheaval in the office. What questions, if any, can I ask employees taking maternity or paternity leave? Can I require them to come back to work in order to take the leave? Are there any options for me to avoid this happening in the future?

Dec 8, 2014 Coral Henning
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Sick of Sitting Around?

Don't be surprised if HR won't buy into office furniture fads

I know sitting all day is bad for me, even if I’m getting exercise, so I’d like to try a standing desk. Some of my coworkers would, too. How do I approach my boss about potentially making a change to the way his employees do their work? I have the same question for getting new chairs. I know they’re expensive, but many of us are uncomfortable. How can I convince him that it’s a good idea to spend the money?

Dec 4, 2014 Suzanne Lucas
Design by Lily Therens (elements courtesy of Shutterstock)

Content Marketing Starter Kit

3 basics that will make an impact

Sometimes the best way to stand out is to stick to the basics and nail them. Before cooking up an elaborate six-part blog post series complete with diagrams, infographics, and a really neat flowchart on how to choose the best frozen turkey for your teen driver, take a step back and resolve to start small. The following ideas will help get you started:

Nov 26, 2014 Melissa Sorcic
Illustrated by Zuza Hicks with elements from Shutterstock

On the Cover: Web of Thieves

Big-name cyberattacks make headlines, but smaller businesses have more to lose.

In cyberattacks against multimillion-dollar companies, computer criminals break in and steal personal information from millions of customers. Though there will be big losses and maybe a high-profile resignation, the reality is, these retail giants will live to sell another day. But the stories that won’t make the front pages involve the most frequent targets, whose survival isn’t guaranteed: small businesses.

Nov 18, 2014 Russell Nichols