Tracked while reading about being tracked at work

While reading this NYT article, by Jodi Kantor and Arya Sundaram, on the drawbacks of activity and time tracking for work, the article itself tracks your reading behavior. You see counters for the time you spend reading and scrolling, clicks, keystrokes, idle time, and active time. It comes complete with snippy comments and a final grade — and a bitter taste for productivity tracking.

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Time splits from a visualization freelancer

Eli Holder shows how he split his freelance time across various projects and categories. With visualization work, a lot of your time is spent doing non-visualization things:

As expected, at 16 percent, data wrangling and analysis takes a significant chunk of total time. This includes data prep, which I’ve categorized as fairly mindless data engineering or spreadsheet maneuvering (nine percent) or data pulls (three percent). More interesting data work was more fragmented: ~two percent of the time was exploratory analysis (e.g., for storytelling), ~one percent of the time was spent designing metrics (e.g., exploring different calculations that might best tell a given story) and another one percent was creating mock datasets (e.g., to compensate for data security constraints or clients who are slow to provide real data).

I don’t track my time with FlowingData, but if I were to guess, I spend at least half my time on analysis and wrangling. If you consider the many potential visualization projects that I scrapped because nothing panned out in analysis, that analysis/wrangling percentage goes up a lot more.

Sometimes you gotta dig a lot before you find anything worth showing.

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Working the triple peak

Microsoft researchers analyzed keystrokes by time of day, for a sample of Microsoft employees during this past summer. You can see the typical peaks during work hours with a dip for lunch. But among 30% of workers in the sample, there was a third peak starting around 9 o’clock in the evening.

That third peak felt too close to home for me.

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Most people think their employers don’t care about their well-being

Based on polls by Gallup, almost half of U.S. employees thought their employers cared about their well-being early on in the pandemic. That sentiment did not last:

Fewer than one in four U.S. employees feel strongly that their organization cares about their wellbeing — the lowest percentage in nearly a decade.

This finding has significant implications, as work and life have never been more blended and employee wellbeing matters more than ever– to employees and the resiliency of organizations. The discovery is based on a random sample of 15,001 full and part-time U.S. employees who were surveyed in February 2022.

This seems not good? Or maybe it’s just life’s terrible way of saying it’s healing.

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How Much Women and Men Worked

Over the years, more women have entered the workforce while the percentage of…

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Simulating how just a little gender bias in the workplace can lead to big effects up the chain

Yuhao Du, Jessica Nordell, and Kenneth Joseph used simulations to study the effects of small gender biases at entry level up to executive level. It doesn’t take much to skew the distribution. For NYT Opinion, Yaryna Serkez shows the simulation in action with moving bubbles and stacked area charts for each work level.

The simulation imagines a company where female performance is undervalued by 3 percent. Each dot represents an employee, and they either move up with promotions or stay still. The distribution of men and women start even but end very uneven.

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Age and Occupation

Whether it’s because of experience, physical ability, or education level, some jobs tend towards a certain age of worker more than others.

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Jobs that Marry Together

Find out which jobs most often pair together among married couples.

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Income in Each State, Adjusted for Cost of Living

A dollar might not buy you as much in one state as it does in the other. Read More

Minimum Wage and Cost of Living

We already looked at minimum wage over time, but when it comes to geography and income, you also have to consider the cost of living for a fair comparison. Read More