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The top stories HR pros need to know this week. 

Immigration is at the forefront of national debate this week, with President Obama proposing policy changes last night. But while many Americans focus on keeping unskilled, undocumented immigrants out of the country, U.S. businesses are looking for ways to bring in more skilled workers, especially those with science and technology backgrounds. Google and Facebook are among several companies lobbying Congress to increase the number of technology workers allowed to enter the U.S. on H-1B visas.

Read more at Bloomberg Voice

Company-encouraged Facebook habits

Facebook, often seen as a productivity killer at work, wants to be the complete opposite. Facebook@Work represents the social media giant’s foray into enterprise software. Similar to other internal online workplace communities, this new service will let employees collaborate, edit documents, collect professional contacts and chat with colleagues.

Read more at Business Insider

Death to the desk?

Employers did away with individual offices and even cube farms, but now even the desks where employees operate are being questioned. With mobile work, people don’t necessarily need to be chained to a workspace. They can accomplish tasks in a greater variety of settings, and employers are becoming more conscious of better matching their office spaces to work styles. 

Read more at The Atlantic 

Best jobs for the brain

Some jobs keep people sharper than others. Research from the University of Edinburgh and published in the journal Neurology finds that intellectually complex jobs can lead to better thinking skills later in life. People whose former jobs included synthesizing data (e.g., civil engineers and architects) or working on complicated tasks with other people (e.g. lawyers and sociologists) had better cognitive functioning later in life. The research underscores the importance of keeping our minds active on the job.

Read more at The Wall Street Journal

The intergenerational push to make work matter

Read anything about Millennials’ career preferences and you’ll likely find they value meaningful work above all else in their jobs. But they’re not alone. Baby Boomers are working longer partly because of economic downturn, but also because they want to leave a social impact, Sarah McKinney writes in Fast Company.

Read more at Fast Company

Photo: Can Stock