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Microsoft is removing the user names from its creepy “productivity score”

In response to a backlash, Microsoft has agreed to remove the user names from its new “Productivity Score” function that we talked about earlier this week. To recap, they’d unveiled a feature last month that would have let employers track how their employees use Microsoft’s tools across 73 different measures — including things like how frequently...

updates: asking out an ex-boss, kids taking note at your meetings, and more

It’s “where are you now?” month at Ask a Manager, and all December I’m running updates from people who had their letters here answered in the past. Here are four updates from past letter-writers. 1. Should I ask out my former boss? My update is that my ex-boss is now once again my boss! 2020 happened while he was trying to change industries and...

my employee wants too much time off for the holidays

A reader writes: Two of my employees are hourly graduate students who mostly work nights and weekends when our full-time employees do not. The position is pre-professional, meaning we treat them like any other professionals, while giving them coaching and help looking for full-time work in the field. We’re clear up-front that they are expected to...

update: my work is getting more and more religious and I’m an atheist

It’s “where are you now?” month at Ask a Manager, and all December I’m running updates from people who had their letters here answered in the past. Remember the letter-writer whose work was getting more and more religious and she’s an atheist? Here’s the update. I wrote to you about me being an atheist and my work becoming more religious. (A commenter...

I’m attracted to my boss, VIP references, and more

It’s four answers to four questions. Here we go… 1. I had a dream about my boss … and now realize I’m attracted to him I am a teacher in a large school district. From my first interview with my superintendent, we got along. I didn’t realize then that he had a reputation for not being friendly. Every interaction I had with him after was positive,...

update: my coworkers make orgasm sounds while I’m on the phone

It’s “where are you now?” month at Ask a Manager, and all December I’m running updates from people who had their letters here answered in the past. Remember the letter-writer whose coworkers were making orgasm sounds while she was on the phone? Here’s the update. I decided to take the slightly underhanded route of scheduling a call with an important...

“I will confront you by Wednesday of this week”

Several years ago, a reader shared with us this epic email that was sent by their company’s boss after a holiday party gone terribly awry, and as we enter the holiday season we remember its glory. “This happened about ten years ago, but the email I received from our boss was so epic I preserved it. Context: The second year I worked at this company,...

update: my employee keeps getting deadnamed by a coworker

It’s the launch of this year’s “where are you now?” month at Ask a Manager! Every day this month, I’ll be running updates from people who had their letters here answered in the past. To kick us off… Remember the letter-writer whose employee kept getting deadnamed by a coworker? The coworker, Lizzy, insisted she would only use the name the coworker...

I couldn’t use sick time after my boyfriend had a stroke because we’re not married, and more

It’s four answers to four questions. Here we go… 1. I couldn’t use sick time after my boyfriend had a stroke because we’re not married I have a pre-COVID question about something that is still bothering me after more than a year. I am a single person and I do not have immediate plans to marry or start a domestic partnership. Last October, my then-boyfriend...

Microsoft’s creepy new “productivity score” tells your boss how often you attend meetings, answer email, and use Word

If your workplace uses Microsoft Office products, be aware that the company launched a new “Productivity Score” feature this month, which lets employers track how their employees use Microsoft’s tools across 73 different measures — including things like how frequently you send emails, how often you turn your camera on during virtual meetings, how often...

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