The Week That Was

Get those long, weekend road trips in now, because summer is quickly winding down. Also, read these top five stories from for the week of Aug. 6.

1. Use Meetings for Employee Development: Don’t waste time in meetings. Here are some tips to make every minute count, writes Daniel R. Tobin, author of seven books, including Learn Your Way to Success.

2. Are You Surviving or Succeeding?: The key to happiness at work is determining whether you derive personal satisfaction and benefit from an activity, writes columnist Marshall Goldsmith, author or co-editor of 31 books, including MOJO.

3. The Potential for Greatness Is Everywhere: Firms that understand that outstanding accomplishment comes from good coaching and lots of practice rather than native talent and intelligence may tap into an unlimited pool of outstanding performers, writes Talent Management blogger Aubrey Daniels.

4. Facebook’s Role in Social Recruiting: Social recruiting is all the rage, but where does Facebook have the most value for recruiters in the social recruiting shuffle? Talent Management editor Frank Kalman has the story.

5. Canada Is One Happy Place, Eh?: Blogger Dan Bowling shares insights from a conference focused on the science of happiness and how it might be applied in schools, workplaces and individual lives.

In Other News …

Modern work is built on a heightened need for collaboration and teamwork, yet demands for remote working are as high as ever. Problem solved: create a robot for the office while a teleworker controls it from a remote location while working from home.

This way the worker is able to stay immersed in the office while working from a distant location, right?

Not so fast, writes Wall Street Journal reporter Rachel Emma Silverman.

Silverman, who works primarily from her home in Austin, Texas, spent much of the summer testing out the idea. In Wednesday’s edition of the paper, she writes that she spent more time struggling to maneuver the robot — named QB-82, made by Anybots Inc. — around the Journal’s New York newsroom than she did getting her interview and story work done.

Anybots told Silverman that such telepresence robots “enable workers to collaborate with peers and log face time at the office,” which is still considered a critical part of playing office politics and getting ahead.

Still, Silverman said her experience was far from flawless: she could barely hear others in news meetings and had to have a New York-based co-worker help guide the robot around much of the time as Silverman struggled to navigate it from her home office. Not to mention the conferencing software in the robot would constantly freeze, among other problems.

To read the full story and watch a related video, click here.