How to Stay Productive During COVID

In the troubling times that we’re in, there’s no surprise that people are finding it difficult to stay on track at work. Many are burnt out, stressed, and don’t see the point of focusing on a job that may not have any security. However, there are those that still have work they would like to do and want to get back to feeling like their old selves by taking some control of their lives. Here are some ways you can inch closer and closer to being productive at work during COVID.

Pick Your Spot

Having a dedicated workstation is a key move in getting yourself into the work mode. It should be a peaceful place that only you use frequently that inspires productivity. A desk, table, or countertop is suitable and it’s important that you’re not easily disturbed or distracted. This location can’t be too comfortable (beds are not ideal) and it should be a place that you can mentally log off from when you leave. Creating boundaries with work helps maintain balance. Consider some time off as if you were commuting to the office. This allows you to reset your focus.

Find a Routine

Since the pandemic, everyone all over the world has lost a sense of rhythm and is looking to get back into previously established habits. If you’re working from home or looking for work, it’s important to create a structured lifestyle that aids you in boosting productivity. Humans are creatures of habit, so having a clear path or project helps to keep things balanced and increases productivity.

The Right Clothes

Everyone works differently, both in and out of the office, so there are naturally different methods for different people. When it comes to dressing up, many took a break from the formal attire the office required (depending on the job) before the pandemic. For many, getting even slightly dressed up will help put them in the mood to get things done. There are clothes for every occasion and those clothes are designed to physically and mentally prepare you for the task ahead. So that might mean it’s time to start putting on pants again and not be too casual or too formal at home.  

Taking Breaks

Working all day around the clock isn’t healthy and working remotely doesn’t mean you have to overcompensate. Setting aside time for yourself at certain points of the day, whether it’s fifteen minutes of walking or napping, can get you the energy boost you need to finish the job. You can also call a friend or mentor to keep you motivated and on track in case you feel you need an extra boost.

Dontei Wynter | Staff Writer

4 Latest Tech Gadgets to Help Your Business

Entrepreneurs and managers have been, in recent years, enabling their businesses to become more efficient with their scheduling and transactions by using new tech gadgets and other forms of technology. There is no longer the need for a small business owner to hire a big team of employees to keep up-to-date with their clients, maintain schedules, have answers to curious questions and more, when a piece of technology can do it all for them – especially if they have partners and clients who live abroad or on the other side of the country.


Therefore, businesses should consider adopting these four gadgets to become more efficient with their daily tasks and projects:

Google Home

Bluetooth speakers have revolutionized the way we listen to music, but the speakers lack intelligence and cannot function as an assistant. Google, unsurprisingly, has taken this idea of the Bluetooth speaker and transformed it into a smart speaker – Google Home. It’s not a smartphone; it’s a smart home control centre, an assistant, as well as a music/entertainment player and a task manager. Also, it can provide an answer to any curious questions.  It’s surprisingly inexpensive for a device that has so much built into it. It can be brought home for just $130.


ZutaLabs Pocket Printer

This is a great gadget to have when needing a printer on the go, and it’s a “lifesaver” when one brings the wrong document to a meeting or when adjustments to a business contract need to made. This printer is about the size of a computer mouse and fits nicely inside a pocket. Just lay the paper on a flat surface, place the printer on the top left of the page and press print; you can print up to an impressive 100 pages with just one cartridge. This pocket printer is available for pre-order for $199 but is expected to move up to $250 after its release.


Wearable technology

Wearable technology – specifically smartwatches – has been great for those who want to keep track of their fitness, heart rate and provide notification updates on the go without carrying around a smartphone. However, a smartwatch can have other functions that are beneficial for a small business. It helps businesses manage tasks, meet deadlines, schedule meetings/appointments and maintain their schedule. Smartwatches even come with a microphone built-in, so important meetings can be recorded and documented. There are multiple options in the markets. And yes, most of the smartwatches are compatible with both Apple iOS and Android. Just choosing one may take some research in order to understand the benefits of each one.



At first glance of the iTwin, it looks as if it were a USB flash drive.  But, in fact, it holds no storage space. Rather, it connects two remote computers to each other by using “a pair of iTwin units.” It enables a business to share files in real-time as long as both computers have an internet connection. Indeed, it does the exact same job as a cloud service, but it has more security options. So, your documents are safer than they would be in a cloud. However, it is much more expensive than a free cloud service. You can buy a pair for $199.


M. Policicchio | DBPC Blog

Why You Should Take Risks in Your Career and Life

“True entrepreneurship comes only from risk taking.”

Dhirubhai Ambani, founder of Reliance Industries, India’s largest private company

Risk. Not everyone loves it, many try to avoid it, but the people who are most successful are the ones who seek it out and embrace it.

By definition, entrepreneurs are risk-takers. They have an idea, take the initiative and do everything possible, including taking risks, to make their dream a reality. But entrepreneurs shouldn’t be the only ones willing to take risks. If employees, whether at the bottom or the top of the working ladder, want to stand out from the crowd and find opportunities, being a risk-taker is paramount to success.

Not All Risk is Created Equal

There are a variety of types of risk. Calculated risk means people have considered all the angles, the pros and cons, and have decided that the gamble is worth it. Entrepreneurs and those who are tolerant of risk understand that despite their planning, there’s always a chance that the risk won’t pay off, but they embrace it nonetheless. There’s also the no-lose scenario which, according to Cigna, means that if people look at all possible outcomes and each one offers a gain, the risk is definitely worth taking.

Test Your Risk Tolerance

While some people thrive on risk and the opportunities it presents, others try to avoid it at all costs and are content with the life they lead. But many of us fall somewhere in between. People who want new opportunities and a different life need to look at their risk tolerance and learn to step beyond it.

Here are three reasons why people should embrace risk if they want to be successful:

Risk Equals Opportunity: The more risks you take, the more opportunities you’ll find. Those interested in the status quo will likely remain within the status quo, staying stagnant in their jobs and in their lives. Those willing to do the work and take chances will likely climb the ladder faster and discover new opportunities along the way.

Risk Equals Learning: People open to taking risks often try new things, learn new skills, and gain more knowledge, which in turn increases their confidence and broadens their range of skills and abilities.

Risk Equals Resilience: Many businesses fail, but even when a venture doesn’t work, most entrepreneurs don’t give up. They dust themselves off, learn from their mistakes, and try again. But failure, according to Huffington Post founder Arianna Huffington, isn’t bad; she says it’s “not the opposite of success but a stepping stone to success.”

Those who take risks learn to embrace failure and use it as a starting point for their next success. Whether you’re an employee starting out or somewhere in the middle of your career, if you want to be successful in business and in life, try taking a few risks.


Lisa Day | Contributing Writer

Life Hacks to Increase Your Productivity and Success

Want to squeeze out every moment of every day like a superstar? It’s not hard if you program your mind and body with some simple hacks.


Start Your Day Right

How many of us switch on our smartphones the moment we get up in the morning? Most of us do, and it’s time to ditch this harmful habit. Instead, stay in bed for an extra five minutes after your alarm goes off. Focus on your breathing and engage in a 15-minute power yoga session or another quick exercise. Do your stretches and feel your muscles unfurl after a good night’s rest. Before the madness of your morning routine begins (making breakfast, packing lunches, etc.), take some time out to acknowledge your body. This is also a great time to quickly make a concise day plan.


Don’t Get Distracted

You’re finally stationed at your desk, ready to go, when a notification about the latest recommendation on Goodreads pops up. Ignore it. Studies have shown that it takes a person more than 15 minutes to return to their original task when distracted by an electronic device – usually a smartphone. Along with ignoring devices, you should also shut out unnecessary interactions with people who will take up your time without offering anything productive in return. If you’re afraid of seeming rude, keep these interactions until the end of the day, when all your major tasks are completed.


Hate It? Do It!

Speaking of those tasks, many of them can be quite cumbersome or even downright boring. Unfortunately, these are also tasks that absolutely must be done. Remember your day plan? Place your least interesting tasks at the top of your to-do list so you get them out of the way first. It could be proofreading an 800-page document full of spelling errors or mundane research on clams – whatever they are, get them done. Doing so will make your preferred tasks seem even more desirable, and you’ll find yourself more energized to take them on.


Finish the Quick-Fixes

Some tasks will be quite easy, and that’s precisely why you keep pushing them to the bottom of the list, promising yourself that you’ll get to them eventually. If they’re brief in terms of time and energy required, just get them done. The result will be a feeling of positivity and accomplishment at having ticked off several tasks. You’re already having an extremely productive day. Now you can reply to those emails, make that phone call you’ve been putting off, or refill the cartridge in your printer – it just takes a minute or two.


Smell the Roses

Finally, it might sound insignificant, but take a moment to step back and enjoy life. Half-hour subway ride ahead of you? Read some of that novel you recently started. Extra 15 minutes before your next meeting? Watch a fun video on your phone or spend a few minutes with a mobile game. Appointment cancelled at the last minute? Take a quiet walk in the park with your phone’s ringer off. These short breaks are like power naps – designed to refresh you and reboot your brain. Then, when you’re back behind that desk, you’ll be your best, most productive self.


Lisa Day | DBPC Blog








Living the Life You Want to the Fullest

We’ve all heard the expression “live life to the fullest,” but what does it really mean?

Naturally, your mind may wander to the extreme: cliff jumping, sky diving and other adrenaline-inducing experiences. While that may be someone’s version of living life to the fullest, it may not necessarily be your own.


With the New Year around the corner, it’s a great time to start thinking about what your own version of the expression is. Here are some tips to help you get there:


Be a ‘Goal Digger’

Not content with the life you’re currently living? According to Mick Ukleja, co- author of Who Are You? What Do You Want?: Four Questions That Will Change Your Life, that’s much better than being too content, which leaves little room for personal growth. Desire fuels us, which explains why, as per Time, people with goals are 20% more satisfied with their lives.


Focus on Feeling

According to transformative life coach and author Bernadette Logue, one of the best ways to live life to the fullest is to write down what it means to you and how you would feel if you were living your fullest life. Better yet, revisit those feelings once a day. The more in tune you are with your feelings, the easier it is to avoid giving in to negative thinking.


Do Something You Love

An easy way to feel good is to do at least one thing you love each day. We spend so much time fulfilling other people’s to-do lists and our own chores that we often neglect the things we actually enjoy doing. Love to play an instrument, hike, or cook? Whatever it is that makes you happy, make time for it in your day; you won’t regret it.


Leave Your Comfort Zone

We all know life isn’t always easy, and why would we want it to be? Easy is boring. As Lewis Carroll famously said, “We only regret the chances we didn’t take.” Every reward has risk, but that’s what makes life exciting. Psychologist Amy Bucher notes that “running away from fear intensifies our anxieties.” The more you face fear, the more control you have over it.


Pay it Forward

Kindness is contagious. In a study on the topic, Shawn Achor found thatindividuals who completed five acts of kindness over the course of a day reported feeling much happier than control groups and that the feeling lasts for many days.” Whether it’s as small as holding the door open for someone or buying the person in line behind you at Starbucks a coffee, why pass up an opportunity to make yourself – and others – feel good?


Before you take up sky diving or cliff jumping, realize that it’s the decisions you make in each moment that add up to your happiness, and thus a life that feels full. Taking things one day at a time will be more effective than making big, dramatic changes to your life all at once. As Logue says, “No one else misses out if you don’t live your life to the fullest, it’s just you that misses out.”


So, what are you waiting for?


Laura D’Angelo | DBPC Blog

Stop Eating Out: How to Make Healthy Meals at Home

Stop Eating Out: How to Make Healthy Meals at Home

The choice between eating out and cooking at home is a common dilemma for busy professionals. On one hand, eating out is quicker and easier; but on the other, it can get expensive, and in many cases the food isn’t always the best for you, even if you avoid traditional fast-food outlets. However, cooking at home often means extra time and energy that, after a long day at work, you don’t always have.

As more and more people work more than the traditional 40-hour workweek (which is still enough to tire many people out), the time required to prepare a meal at home after a long day at the office can seem increasingly like a luxury. It’s often much easier to simply stop at a take-out restaurant, or, in this age of UberEats and other such apps, just order in.

Below are some tips on making it easier to prepare healthy, home-cooked meals and cut down on how often you eat out.

Prepare Food in Advance

A solid tip to avoid the problem of having no energy or time – especially if you’re the type who gets home late enough that the thought of cooking just makes you feel even more tired – is to get a head-start on your dinner early.

It may seem strange at first, but try getting up a bit earlier and starting on that night’s dinner in the morning, before you leave for work. You don’t necessarily have to cook a full meal, but even getting a head-start on things like marinating meat or fish, washing and/or chopping vegetables and storing them, or defrosting meat by transferring it from the freezer to the fridge will shave precious time off your food-prep schedule once you get home. You can even get started on some meals over the weekend, then refrigerate or freeze it for use through the week.

Make More Than One Meal’s Worth

Try preparing double- and triple-servings of some foods to store for use later in the week. Not necessarily full meals (you’ll probably get sick of leftovers of the same dish two or three times a week), but side dishes like rice or certain vegetables can be re-used in various combinations across a few different meals.

Do Your Dishes

This isn’t about acting like a nagging parent, but it’s a good idea to get into the habit of doing your dishes after each meal. Nothing will discourage you from cooking than arriving home to a sink full of dirty pots and pans that you know you’ll have to clean before you even start preparing food.

Eat Healthier

There have been numerous studies that link energy levels to the quality of food we eat. If you just eat stuff like McDonald’s or pizza all the time, it’s no wonder you never feel like preparing anything yourself. Don’t fall into this vicious cycle.

Do a little research and ensure that you’re getting the required amounts of nutrients in your meals. Modify recipes that include fatty ingredients like butter, or that recommend cooking with animal fat. Don’t add salt to food during preparation. Use non-stick pans to reduce the need for oils and butter while you cook. Trim the fat from meat and remove chicken skin before cooking. Try cutting down on the amount of meat in your meals, and balance it out with more whole grains and vegetables.

These tips are just intended to be a starting point to get you moving in the right direction. A little bit of effort and you’ll soon find yourself in the habit of eating at home, and eating better. It’ll likely save you some money, and you’ll feel better about yourself. It’s a true win-win situation.

Spelling and Grammar in Professional Communications


You spend months waiting for that important email, and finally the day arrives! Opening your inbox, you see your new business partner’s name at the top of the list. But the subject line gives you pause: “Your invited!” Well, accidents happen, you think as you open the message – but it only goes downhill from there…

In a world ruled by social media, where something that occurred an hour ago is no longer considered “news,” conveying the message itself has taken priority over how that message is conveyed. In fact, many business owners forget that correct spelling and grammar are integral to professional communications. They help avoid confusion, loss of credibility, and a host of other problems.

A few advantages of grammatically correct writing include:

  • A good first impression of your business creates a solid foundation for the future at the outset. Proper grammar not only demonstrates impeccable attention to detail but also provides your audience with confidence in your skills.
  • Appropriate use of spelling, grammar, and punctuation results in more effective communication. It is crucial to convey your message in the clearest way possible, without hindering your audience’s ease of reading or comprehension.
  • According to LinkedIn, grammatically sound marketing messages help maintain an organization’s competitive edge. Research also shows that consumers are much less likely to make a purchase on a website with glaring spelling and grammar errors.
  • A recent study by Grammarly found that professionals who fail to progress to director-level positions in the first 10 years of their career make more than double the number of grammar errors.
  • The study also revealed that professionals who earn six to nine promotions in a 10-year period make 45% fewer grammar errors than their less frequently promoted colleagues.
  • Proper spelling is essential not only for the message you are attempting to convey, but also for the medium in which it is delivered. Spelling a professional contact’s name and email address correctly indicates that you respect them and their time.
  • Eloquent use of language establishes a business owner as an expert in their field. A perfect structure and smooth flow of your message indicates that you are speaking from experience, whereas awkward sentences imply lack of industry knowledge – regardless of whether or not this impression is a reflection of the truth.
  • Clear, error-free language also helps establish trust in both internal and external communications. Be it your clients, partners or even your own employees, anyone to whom you convey written messages must be able to rely on complete transparency from you as a business owner.

If you need proof that bad grammar can cost your business, one company learned about it the hard way. You may be familiar with the age-old debate on the Oxford comma. While in some cases it may not be necessary, in others its absence can completely change the meaning of a sentence. (For example, “I would like to thank my parents, Ayn Rand and God” vs. “I would like to thank my parents, Ayn Rand, and God.”) That distinction could cost a Maine dairy company $10 million in lawsuits due to unclear wording in a state law.

The next time you doubt the impact of spelling and grammar on professional communications, remember the examples above. Is an extra minute to proofread an email or a Facebook post worth it to avoid all the problems that could follow? It is, indeed.


Diana Spektor | DBPC Blog

5 Ways to Make Your Job More Meaningful

5 Ways to Make Your Job More Meaningful

Many of us at some point have had the kind of soul-sucking, mindless, monotonous monkey work that makes us grit our teeth and grumble. Still, some of us have been lucky enough to have work that excites us.


Whether you have the kind of job you look forward to going to, or the kind of job you look forward to leaving, how is it possible to find meaning and fulfillment on a day-to-day or week-to-week basis?


Here are five tips from businesspeople and entrepreneurs, that might help.


Help Your Employees (or Yourself) Improve


“The more skills you equip an employee with to make them more attractive in the marketplace, the more fulfilling their job will be. People want to feel valuable, and important, and if you think of the individual’s long-term career goals first, you will maximize their skills and in turn, make them invaluable in achieving the goals of your own organization,” notes Jeremy Durant, CEO of San Francisco’s BOP Design.


Consider the Greater Good


Phil Gerbyshaks is a Wisconsin-based speaker, author, and a trainer, who delivers programs on the power of technology, social selling, and connection. He suggests fulfillment can be found by “focusing and drilling down until you find the greater good goal.”


“Something beyond ‘to pay my bills’ or ‘to make the company profitable.’ The more a goal is connected to a greater good, the more meaningful the work will be. If you lead people, help them find this meaning by connecting the minute-to-minute to the greater good, and celebrate progress towards that goal by adding milestones along the way, so the clues of success are visible, for others to see too.”


Find the Fun in What You Do


No matter the kind of work you do, find something that’s enjoyable in it, encourages David Hunter, New Brunswick-based CEO of Blugenics Innovations Ltd., which produces a line of phytoplankton supplements and creams.


“Sprinkle in positive attitudes, and you can overcome obstacles and reach goals… having fun is what makes business meaningful.”


Discover How Your Work Benefits Others


Makarand Deshpande, a Toronto-based financial planner, says he makes his clients’ concerns his own.

“I invest the time to understand each client and their unique values, experiences and dreams. I then share a process that aligns who they are, and what they care about, with a strategy that meets their vision. The real benefit is the confidence and peace of mind in knowing that my clients have a trusted confidant and counsel for their life’s vision.”

Caroline Neron’s philanthropic work is tied to the success of the company, and she maintains that giving to various charities “really fulfills” her. The Quebec singer and entrepreneur has a line of jewelry seen in more than 20 boutiques across Canada, and a few hundred distributors globally.

“Women’s issues are very important to me, especially since my daughter was born,” she says. “I am also very supportive to causes that relate to children. I even created a tween collection called EMA, named after my daughter, that donates $1 of every piece purchased to the Breakfast Club of Canada.”


  1. Help the Company Perform Better


Los Angeles-based Rachel Lee of SORI Brand teamed up with her mother Cara to create a women’s contemporary clothing brand. Rachel says growing and developing the company is always top of mind. With that mission, she finds fulfillment in bettering the brand, and as a happy byproduct, bettering customer’s satisfaction.


“[Spanish Basque fashion designer] Cristobal Balenciaga once said, ‘Fashion is not about clothes; it’s about people,’ and it inspires us to bring out that truth in everything we do for the brand. This attitude pushes us to be mindful of how we can improve the SORI experience for our shoppers, and it encourages us to take initiative,” notes Lee.

“We strive to improve the lifestyle for women, to lead the fashion industry in a new and innovative way, to make women feel youthful at any age.”

These tips from businesspeople and entrepreneurs have helped them and others derive meaning from their work, and they can hopefully be good pointers for those seeking ways to make their own jobs happier and more fulfilling.


Dave Gordon | DBPC Blog

8 Tips to Manage Toxic Employees and Managers

Toxic Employees and Managers

For most managers, learning how to effectively lead a team is a daunting task. Understanding what skills everyone brings to the table, and how to use them to the company’s advantage, is a challenge on its own. But oftentimes the most difficult part of management is knowing how to deal with that one employee or manager. The one who always seems to be in the middle of a heated argument, the one whose name is constantly brought up in HR meetings. Here are a few tips on how to manage a toxic employee or manager.


How to handle a toxic employee:


Look Past Their Brilliance


To form an objective opinion on a difficult employee, you need to separate their work performance from their behaviour. Sometimes the most competent worker can have a poor attitude, which eventually affects the rest of the team. This can be destructive to the company’s morale in the long run, so how do you correct the problem? Start by keeping an eye on their team dynamics; jot down feedback from their co-workers; document HR complaints. Make it clear that the employee’s performance is not relevant to the issue, but rather it’s their attitude that’s a problem. Once you stop rationalizing their troubling behaviour because of the value they bring to the organization, you’ll begin to see the full picture more clearly.


Reinforce Accountability for Everyone


There’s only one set of rules for the whole team, and everyone should understand that. If others become aware that certain people get a pass for their bad behaviour, resentment and dysfunction will begin to simmer beneath the surface. Be firm with your team and make your expectations clear. Establish the ground rules for appropriate behaviour, and reinforce the penalties for not adhering to them.


Be Proactive


Observe the individual in action, provide feedback and coach them if necessary; these are your tools for implementing real change. If you create opportunities where you can work with the individual and provide constructive feedback, you can offer advice to improve their behaviour and show them alternative ways to approach a situation. Equally as important, make sure you provide positive feedback to the individual when it’s justified; this well help them see how situations can be handled with a positive approach moving forward.


If There’s No Progress, Go Further


Once you’ve implemented the above steps, you’ll have to assess whether the individual is making progress. Be honest with yourself; if the employee continues to disrupt the work environment, you must take further action. Keep your superiors informed of the entire process, as they need to understand how this employee’s negativity impacts the entire team and overall productivity. You may want to work with your HR specialist as well to develop and implement an escalation program which includes termination for lack of compliance.



How to handle a toxic manager:


Learn to Speak Their Language


Dealing with a difficult boss is not an ideal situation for an employee. But sometimes learning more about your boss – their likes, dislikes, goals and fears – can work in your favour. Observe your boss’s behaviours and preferences; if you speak to your boss’s core interests and match their style of communication, it can be a great way to get them to listen to what you have to say.


Focus on Their Strengths, Help with Their Weaknesses


You can help your boss by emphasizing what they’re already good at. A great way is to help them improve their own performance. If your manager lacks organization, offer to help him or her stay on top of their schedule. If showing up late to meetings is a problem for your boss, take the initiative to start the next one yourself. If you help your boss succeed, you’ll be seen as an asset, and the work you’ve put into making the company better will be appreciated.


Address Your Concerns Directly


Don’t be afraid to speak up, you owe it to yourself and your boss to be honest about how you feel. Although it may be easier to keep quiet or move on to the next opportunity, give your boss a chance to respond. If you approach them respectfully and with the intent of mending the relationship, you may be surprised to see it open a new level of trust and collaboration between you. And at the very least, you can tell yourself that you gave them the opportunity to change.


If All Else Fails, Prepare for Your Next Move


You’ve exhausted all your resources, and you’re content to move on to another company, so prepare yourself for this change. There’s nothing worse than escaping one toxic work environment and moving to an even worse one, so do your research: Meet your new co-workers for coffee and learn more about the work culture; ask questions about the team you may be joining and what sort of management practices are common. Whether you’re moving internally to another department or joining a new company entirely, it never hurts to be prepared.



Aileen Ormoc | DBPC Blog

Silicon Valley’s Rest and Vest Culture is Real

It would be lovely to go to the office and not have to work. Even better to swim, play volleyball and drink beer while there. This isn’t the stuff of fantasy; rather, it’s a new breed of wealthy tech engineers who are playing hard instead of working hard, and they’re doing it on the company’s dime.


They are the Rest and Vest bunch, as seen most recently on the hit HBO comedy Silicon Valley. On that show, characters working for fictional tech firm Hooli (a Google analogue), hang out on the office rooftop and guzzle brews while waiting out their contracts or waiting on a big merger or takeover.

In real life, these tech workers are indeed paid insane amounts of money, sometimes millions, to essentially use the office as their own personal play area. The online slang dictionary describes the phenomenon as, “at a place of employment, to do little work while waiting for one’s stock options to vest.”

As Business Insider reports, Microsoft has enabled or encouraged this kind of activity. They’ve sought out niche experts in burgeoning industries, such as artificial intelligence and quantum computing, and offer a generously increasing bonus, called “discretionary equity”, to ensure these employees don’t migrate to another company. In the interim, they can still be university professors or do other lucrative work, all while continuing to collect these “discretionary” bonuses concurrently.

One tech expert who has worked with Microsoft, Intel, and Sony, says there’s a perfectly good explanation for this sort of arrangement.


“Competition for great resources is fierce in Silicon Valley, and with the [US] ‘travel ban’ legislation in play, companies’ abilities to recruit and retain the best talent are going to become even more difficult,” notes Lori Schwartz, principal of Story Tech, a Los Angeles-based agency that uses evolving technology to help businesses find strategic solutions. “So it becomes a strategic imperative to get and keep ‘talent’, however necessary, close by.”


Tenured employees at tech companies, meanwhile, are doing their own version of playing at the office. They’re coasting through their work – when they bother to do it – knowing that they’re so valued, the company wouldn’t dare let them go. These are the “coasters”, a subset of the Rest and Vest crowd.

But what about the swimming, volleyball, and other fun at the office playground? That’s also abundant and real. All the largest tech firms – Google, Microsoft, LinkedIn, Facebook, Oracle – offer some variety of carnival-like amenities for employees.


Oracle has beach volleyball and a swimming pool; Microsoft boasts Xboxes for its staff, an on-site spa, and fields for cricket or soccer among its “benefits”; Google offers free massages, yoga and a rock climbing wall; and Mark Zuckerberg wouldn’t let his Facebook hires go a day without opening up the video arcade, the foosball or ping-pong tables. (Employees at the social media giant also get three weeks of paid vacation and unlimited sick days.)

And why even go home, when Google, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn all offer unlimited free food throughout the day?

No surprise, then, that Rest and Vest techies are hardly in short supply at these Fortune 500s, indulging in Silicon Valley’s version of an indoor Coney Island fairway.

Few companies, however, will admit outwardly to grooming the Rest and Vest practice. Band reputation is everything, and no company will risk its brand by allowing employees to talk to the press about this part of tech culture.

Though companies are loath to admit they have these kinds of employees on payroll, they do exist. And some aren’t happy about the practice.


“I do understand some of the motivations behind ‘Rest and Vest’, particularly the interest of some companies in keeping ‘top talent’ out of the general job marketplace,” notes Jerrold Landau, a 27-year employee of a global tech company’s Toronto office. “But it goes against everything that my company stands for, and likely, that many other companies stand for.”


But these engineers can’t all just be playing Xbox, or there would be no innovations or development. In the looser definition of Rest and Vest are employees who know they can indulge in playtime, so long as they complete what’s expected of them.

Though not exactly sitting on a rooftop drinking beer, Doron Nadivi could, in theory, do that while working. He’s the VP of business, development and growth hacker of Pruvo Net Ltd. – and he’s 10,000 kilometres away from his boss. Nadivi is in Costa Rica, while his company is based in Tel Aviv, Israel.


“I can tell you that as long as I provide results, he could care less how many hours I work, rest, vacation, etc.,” he explains. “Results are the name of the game, at least in the eyes of CEOs that understand efficiency over effort-action.”


But there is a hidden downside to this lax approach to work that some Rest and Vest tech workers are learning the hard way, primarily when the time comes to move to another job.

Their position and title may have some impressive clout, but when an interviewer or headhunter asks what kinds of things they did while at Google, “played ping-pong and drank beer on the rooftop” is not the best answer.


Dave Gordon | DBPC Blog

Photo credit: Haldane Martin