A directory of resources inthe field of technical communication.


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Apply Empathy Within Your Organization

Each organization exists for a purpose: to bring something to the world, make it available to people, and enable those people to capitalize upon it. Many organizations exist to also make
 a profit. Whether for profit or not, all organizations seek to sustain themselves, so they can continue bringing their things to the world. Within each organization, there is usually a healthy awareness of the purpose, as well as a focus on being sustainably successful.

Young, Indi. UX Magazine (2015). Careers>Workplace>Collaboration>Emotions


By the Water Cooler in Cyberspace, the Talk Turns Ugly

Thousands of message boards for individual companies have emerged over the last few years, creating a window on what some employees feel but never say publicly. Often the view through this window is rather ugly.

Abelson, Reed. New York Times, The (2001). Careers>Workplace>Collaboration>Online


Cell Phone Etiquette   (PDF)

Lists fifteen rules for conscientious cell phone usage.

Robart, Kay. Intercom (2001). Careers>Workplace>Collaboration


The Co-Working Revolution: Your Office Away From Home

I’ve been fascinated by businesses popping up around major metropolitan areas that create a shared workspace for independent workers. Imran Ali wrote about the trend of co-working spaces back in April, and I’ll be exploring the trend further as I look to set up a co-working space in my town.

Sherman, Aliza. Web Worker Daily (2008). Careers>Workplace>Collaboration>Coworking


Communication in International Virtual Offices   (PDF)

Advances in communication technologies mean that colleagues from different parts of the world can work together in the same online space. In some cases, that space is an e-mail exchange, text messaging, or a shared corporate intranet site; in other cases, it is an electronic bulletin board or chat room related to a project. These shared online work spaces—or international virtual offices (IVOs)—provide a level of interaction that can reduce production costs and shorten production cycles.

St. Amant, Kirk R. Intercom (2003). Careers>Telecommuting>Collaboration>Workplace


Competitive Advantage through Employee Engagement

Engagement. Is it the latest corporate buzzword? Not for serious business leaders who understand the correlation between engaged employees and improved financial performance. They see engagement as a source of competitive advantage. All things equal, they believe, an organization that has engaged employees will outperform one that doesn’t.

Shaffer, Jim. Communication World Bulletin (2005). Careers>Management>Collaboration>Workplace


Conquering the Cubicle Syndrome

Cubicles aren't really physical walls--they're a state of mind. In effect, it's the belief that you've been compartmentalized and isolated that defines the cubicle. The four-sided, felt-lined livestock pens loved by evil office managers everywhere hides the truth: cubicles are all about being isolated and treated as part of the building infrastructure, whatever the physical location of your chair.

Hart, Geoffrey J.S. TECHWR-L (1999). Careers>Workplace>Collaboration


Coworking Evolved

It’s interesting to see coworking snowballing as a phenomenon, but like many trends originating in dotcom culture, what’ll be most interesting is how these shifts begin to affect larger companies and more traditional employers.

Ali, Imran. Web Worker Daily (2008). Careers>Workplace>Collaboration>Coworking


Cubicle Etiquette   (PDF)

Presents 22 rules for considerate behavior in the workplace.

Smith, Gary M. Intercom (2000). Careers>Workplace>Collaboration


Design Patterns for Coworking

Recently a member of the global coworking mailing list, Joseph Holsten) recently created what’s essentially a recipe book of ‘how to’ guides for those seeking to setup a coworking community, coworking space or simply better operate the communities and spaces they’re already running.

Ali, Imran. Web Worker Daily (2008). Careers>Workplace>Collaboration>Coworking


Developing High-Performing Teams   (PDF)

Social psychology and organization development suggest that virtually all people, and all teams, must deal with conflicting impulses toward effective and ineffective behaviour. Research shows that it is a basic human trait to want to succeed, to be in control, and to avoid embarrassment. Group dynamics research also suggests that teams operate on two dimensions: the task or work dimension, and the social or relationship dimension. High-performing teams pay attention to both the task and social environments. They create an environment that minimizes the occurrence of face-saving and defensive behaviour. This environment is usually characterized by honesty and authenticity, by the use of relevant and verifiable information, and by a willingness to own up to mistakes.

Conklin, John James. STC Proceedings (2004). Careers>Collaboration>Management>Workplace


Dr. Strangemeeting (or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Enjoy the Donuts)

Experts claim you'll spend 1500 hours in meetings during a typical 30-year career--that is, if you can duck some meetings by looking busy and if you can retire early. If you duck slowly or plan a long career, you could easily spend more time in meetings than you spend working. Fortunately, a little planning and some quick thinking should let you turn meetings into a blessing--or at least a tolerable evil.

Hart, Geoffrey J.S. Geoff-Hart.com (2001). Careers>Workplace>Collaboration


Going Hollywood: Trends in the World of Work   (PDF)

The 'Hollywood Model' is one of several work trends that have emerged to satisfy the needs of the changing U.S. workplace in the last couple of decades. This paper will: examine some of the forces that have precipitated change in the U.S. workplace; explore emerging work trends especially relevant to technical communicators; and recommend a small set of key skills that technical communicators will need to develop in order to thrive in the changing workplace.

Cheirrett, Peg A. STC Proceedings (1997). Careers>Workplace>Collaboration


How To Get Fired

Much of today's news is bad, so much of it can adversely affect your career, and so much of it is maddeningly beyond your control. But there are things you can control, starting with your own behavior. Now more than ever, it's essential to ensure that idiosyncrasies and personal peccadillos don't undermine your career. Here are five cautionary tales of real CIOs whose tragic flaws did them in.

Pratt, Mary K. Computerworld (2009). Careers>Management>Workplace>Collaboration


Integrate Yourself!   (PDF)   (members only)

Looking for a way to demonstrate your value to management? Pao’s advice is to become as involved in your organization as possible by volunteering for assignments and being proactive in project planning.

Pao, Cynthia. Intercom (2009). Careers>Collaboration>Workplace>Planning


Key Content: Developing a Personal Tagline

It is a helpful exercise to develop a tagline for yourself, in the same way that professionals in a previous generation were encouraged to develop a mission statement. With shortening attention spans, today's professional needs only a few-word tagline to fit in the sound bite of management's smaller time slots.

Albing, Bill. Carolina Communique (2007). Careers>Portfolios>Workplace>Collaboration


Location, Location, Location—Not!

One of the traditional signs of corporate success has been the corner office. Yet today some of the most successful communication executives don't have an office at all. They work from home, the airport, a visitor’s cubicle at headquarters, the back of a cab, a corner Starbucks or a beachfront cottage. If you’re setting up a corporate communication department today, it’s time to think outside the box—or the cubicle—when it comes to locating yourself and your coworkers.

Whitworth, Brad. Communication World Bulletin (2008). Careers>Workplace>Collaboration


Networking: a Key To Career Communication and Management Consulting Success   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

Now that job security with one organization is a relic of the past and companies are outsourcing training and other 'nonessential' functions, I suggest in my career communication classes that students develop the same inventive strategies to plan their employ- ment futures that management consultants use to market themselves in the 21st century. The most important of these skills is networking: the use of person-to-person, print, and electronic communication tools to alert potential employers that, as candidates, they are the confident, cooperative, uniquely qualified experts that companies seek.

Clark, Thomas. Business Communication Quarterly (2009). Careers>Workplace>Collaboration


Sticky Chocolate Company Goes Total Team   (PDF)

Explore the total team approach to providing customer solutions in a large-team environment. Enjoy skits that dramatize team-building issues. Join in the discussion on approaches, alternatives, solutions, and results.

Allen, Pam, Morris Dean, Sharon L. Hayes and Gina Poole. STC Proceedings (1995). Careers>Management>Collaboration>Workplace


Teamwork Creates a Positive Working Environment

In our present economic system, competition is viewed as a positive force. As children, our parents undoubtedly rewarded us for being the best, the fastest, the cleanest, or the smartest. As adults, we learn very quickly that only the best can be successful in a highly competitive world. While this competitive spirit can often help us to perform to our limits, when applied in its purest form within a work environment (i.e., when the competition is not of the friendly variety) it frequently results in hostilities that are counterproductive to producing good results.

Zvalo, Peter. Writer's Block (1995). Careers>Collaboration>Workplace


The Right Way To Sell Yourself At Work

The more time I spend in the workforce, the more I realize that my aversion to self-promotion can limit my career. I can't assume that people will notice when I do my job well. It's a career version of the old tree-forest expression: If a girl pulls an all-nighter and lands a big account, and there's no one there to see it, does she get promoted?

Coster, Helen. Forbes (2009). Careers>Collaboration>Workplace


The Tricky Backhand

An hypothetical example of interpersonal communication issues which may arise in the workplace.

Hard at Work. Careers>Workplace>Collaboration


When Statecraft Fails: Tips on Surviving the Great Game   (PDF)   (members only)

Following up on his article in the September/October issue, Hart explores how to avoid “rats” in office politics and offers advice on combating coworkers who might not have your best interests in mind.

Hart, Geoffrey J.S. Intercom (2009). Careers>Collaboration>Workplace


Why You Need To Be Likable at Work -- But Not Nice

Likable, to me, is the ability to work with differing types of people in a way that protects your interests while still getting things done. Being nice, to me, means you subordinate your needs to that of everyone else on your team and pleasantly go about your business even though there is nothing pleasant about your business.

Herrick, Scot. Cube Rules (2010). Careers>Workplace>Collaboration



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