The down side is when these relationships are bad. That is when we refer to them as office politics. Office politics are relationships gone sour.
We can use socializing at work as a teambuilding tool.
What Does Socializing at Work Mean?
Socializing at work can mean taking breaks together, sharing work tips and venting. It can mean talking about vacations, families, fashions, sports plus many others. The face-to-face contact that comes with this is very important. Simple social actions correlate to happiness and success on the job. “Those who sat at larger [cafeteria] tables were 36% more productive during the week.”
Socializing at work means sharing. Share ideas, tips and experiences. Share problems and solutions.
Turning Socializing at Work into Teambuilding Tool
People like breaks in training and seminars. They can network. They can socialize. This adds to the event and to job enjoyment and productivity.
There are many other ways to promote socializing at work:
Form small project teams of two or three.
Create smaller groups within larger teams and committees.
Increase the length or number of breaks in meetings.
Balancing Management by Email with Phone and Face-To-Face
This does not mean we do not use email. Pentland says there is a balance. He does not say what that balance is though. (This is probably for proprietary reasons.)
From my experience and research, in terms of time, a good phone and face-to-face (FTF) percentage will be in the 35-60% range. We can quantify email time as reading time. The average adult reads 300 words per minute.
Emails will still make up most interactions. Phone and FTF will be fewer but longer. Logistics will vary this percentage. For scattered teams, phone will substitute for FTF. Using the same content, phone calls are about half the time of FTF meetings.
A financial professional emailed me regarding bosses who “manage by email.” She implied that her boss rarely calls or meets with employees. She asked, “What does this mean?” and “What should I do?”
First, email does provide certain efficiencies over personal interactions (phone calls and visits). However, from a relationship-building perspective the others are superior. Consequently, I advise managers to have at least one personal interaction with every employee every day.
Managers who MBE will do so for different personal reasons. Nevertheless, we can categorize them under one or both of the following:
Wanting to minimize their personal interactions
Liking something better about email communications
So, what do you do? Begin by uncovering the specific reasons under these broad preferences. Here are a couple sample questions to customize:
What are the advantages of emailing on ____ over meeting to discuss it periodically?
It seems you prefer to communicate by email; if so, would you share with me why so I can ensure I communicate effectively in them?
Their answers will give you a general direction as to what bosses like to see in their relationships. For instance, if he references efficiency, then speed might be more important than substance in his relationships. If she references documentation, she might prefer accountability, organization and recollection. If he references organizing or forming his thoughts, he might prefer control to spontaneity in relationships.
After gaining this insight, employees can initiate personal interactions and seek to deliver the attributes they’ve identified. Regardless, employees are wise to reverse the tables and make it a point to call or visit their bosses at least once a day. This will not only help protect their jobs but also help employees be happier and more successful in them.
I have a sick cat; he has had Calicivirus and has been sick with it for two months. It was a Saturday, the vet’s office was closed and I was tossing and turning about what to do because he looked worse. My options were to take him to Vet ER again (another $150). As I agonized what to do, I realized that the ER room was probably where he got the virus in the first place. A friend who works at clinics says the animals are brought into a ‘holding room’ in their carriers and wait there until they are seen by a vet. In ER, due to volume, that could be two hours. More than enough time for a sick cat to sneeze and for the droplets to carry and infect other cats. So, instead, I thought to call an online service and speak to a vet that way. I found JustAnswer and at first it looked to be $5; that was just to log in. Then it was another $28 to talk to the vet. I did that, got hold of the vet, she gave me a lot of good tips. By Monday morning, I was on the phone with my regular vet and requesting additional meds that I received.
So far, so good. Then today, eleven days later, a $50.00 charge pops up on my bank balance that I don’t recognize from JustAnswer. I contact them and they advise me that the $5 was for a trial membership and here is the important part, if I did not cancel the membership within 7 days, I would be charged amembership fee ($50). Apparently, someone at JustAnswer has been to law school and found out about the strength of unilateral contracts. (I would love to hear from some attorneys from the readership.)
Anyway, after making enough noise about the fee, and telling them they should be ashamed of this behavior, the fee was cancelled and I guess I get my $50 back. The CEO of JustAnswer is Andy Jurtzig, who looks like a nice guy from his photos. The company is making 100 million per year which probably means Andy is making at least 1 million per. More and more, we see companies like this one and Amazon, pulling with all their might, customers into ‘membership’ programs. They have clearly learned that steady ‘membership’ fees are far more lucrative than individual sales.
Years ago I worked as a cashier at a huge furniture retailer. Customers would routinely come in and buy $2000 worth of furniture and then make $10 a month payments. Since the stuff was junk, the furniture would easily break and wear out long before the loan was paid off. Businesses over and over again seek to lure customers into financing schemes which of course, with interest, earn way more revenue than just the simple retail sales. At Macys I have been asked as many as three times during one such purchase if I wouldn’t like to sign up for their credit card. No, no thank you.
I can only say, that people contacting JustAnswer for Vet, MD, or attorney advice probably do so in desperate times. The frantic pet owner or frantic whomever is not likely to focus on the small print. So, you just enjoy your cocktails there in Silicon Valley, Andy, I am just hoping more people will get wise to this racket.
Nearly seven months after Operation Warp Speed was created, Americans are finally starting to get answers about the candidate vaccines that could potentially slow the coronavirus pandemic.
Operation Warp Speed, the White House-led task force on coronavirus vaccine treatment and development, was created on May 15. Since then, vague and contradicting timelines made by both the Trump administration and leading scientists have muddled predictions about when a COVID-19 vaccine would be available to the public.
However, two big companies leading the race for a vaccine have released promising results from their Phase 3 trials.
Here’s what we know about both trials and what they might mean for the future of the pandemic.
Both results are preliminary, with final results expected in as soon as a few weeks.
How effective are the candidate vaccines and what does that mean?
Pfizer released interim results that showed its candidate vaccine was more than 90% effective, after 94 patients developed COVID-19 – the vast majority of whom received the placebo.
Out of Pfizer’s 44,000 volunteers, half the participants received a placebo and half the vaccine, so the new data shows that more people who received the placebo than the vaccine came down with COVID-19.
They were protected a week after the second dose of the vaccine. The two doses are given 21 days apart. Pfizer/BioNTech will do a final check of effectiveness when 164 study participants have fallen ill.
Moderna’s vaccine appears to be 94.5% effective against the disease, after 95 people out of the 30,000 volunteers came down with COVID-19, 90 of whom received the placebo. Eleven people – all in the placebo group – developed “serious” cases of the disease.
A final analysis is expected to include 151 trial volunteers, by which point, statistically, the company can be 90% sure that its findings will hold true.
Are there any side effects to the Moderna, Pfizer vaccines?
Both candidate vaccines reported mild or moderate side effects, mostly pain at the injection site, fatigue and aching muscles and joints for a day or two.
“A sore arm and feeling crummy for a day or two is a lot better than COVID,” said Dr. William Schaffner, professor of health policy and of preventive medicine at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.
What makes Pfizer, Moderna candidates different from others?
The Chinese government publicly released the genetic sequence of the virus that causes COVID-19, called SARS-CoV-2, in mid-January, a few weeks after recognizing an outbreak was underway. Scientists focused on the sequence for the so-called “spike protein” found on the surface of the virus, which allows the virus to attach itself to host cells to infect them.
The Moderna and Pfizer vaccines are based on delivering strands of genetic material to turn people’s cells into spike protein factories. The spike proteins created by the body aren’t dangerous because the rest of the virus isn’t present, however, the body now sees the protein and designs immune soldiers to fight it upon future exposure.
This technology has never been used before in an approved vaccine, and other vaccines have taken 15-20 years to develop and test. The mRNA technology was chosen this time because scientists knew it could be developed quickly. Other COVID-19 vaccine candidates being supported by the U.S. government target the spike protein via a carrier virus or tiny particle.
When can I get a COVID-19 vaccine?
Before the companies can apply to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for authorization to provide their vaccine to the public, they must clear several more hurdles.
About half the trial participants must be two months past their second shot, to prove that the candidate vaccines are safe. If someone were to develop a severe vaccine reaction, it’s likely to happen within six weeks of receiving it. Pfizer will pass that safety milestone this week. Moderna will take longer because it took longer to enroll trial participants.
The final hurdle concerns production. Both companies will have to show that they can safely produce their vaccine at scale. Pfizer said it will provide the FDA that information before this week, but it’s not clear when Moderna will complete this process.
Finally, the FDA will take some time to review each application, as will an independent committee. While no one knows how long this will take, the regulatory agency is expected to an issue an emergency use authorization for the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine before the end of the year.
President Donald Trump has promised that vaccine would be distributed within 24 hours of an FDA authorization. It would first go to front-line health care workers.
Moderna said Monday it will have 20 million doses available by the end of this year and another 500 million to 1 billion next calendar year. Pfizer has said it will have as much as 50 million doses of its vaccine manufactured by the end of this year, and another 1.3 billion next year.
While the gears have been oiled up to start cranking out vaccines, scientists have predicted vaccines won’t be available to the general public until summer or fall of 2021.
Follow Adrianna Rodriguez and Karen Weintraub on Twitter: @AdriannaUSAT @kweintraub
The FDA issued emergency use authorization for Eli Lilly’s monoclonal antibody, called bamlanivimab, and Regeneron is waiting for FDA’s green light for its antibody treatment. Monoclonal antibodies are particularly promising in therapy because they can neutralize the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19, and block its ability to infect a cell. This might be a lifesaving intervention in people who are unable to mount a strong natural immune response to the virus – those over 65 or with existing conditions that make them more vulnerable.
I’ve worked in public health and medical laboratories for decades, specializing in the study of viruses and other microbes. Even when a vaccine for COVID-19 becomes available, I see a role for monoclonal antibody therapy in getting the pandemic under control.
Why should we care?
Until a large percentage of a population has immunity to an infectious disease – either through a vaccine or the unchecked spread through a community – the world must rely on other weapons in our war against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Along with the previously mentioned therapies, monoclonal antibodies can offer us another tool to neutralize the virus once it causes an infection.
These man-made antibodies offer the world the possibility of immunotherapy similar to the use of convalescent plasma but with a more targeted and accurate action. While a vaccine will ultimately help protect the public, vaccination will not be an instantaneous event, delivering vaccine to 100% of the population. Nor do we know how effective it will be.
The impact of a vaccine also isn’t instantaneous. It takes several weeks to generate a powerful antibody response. In the interim, monoclonal antibodies could help mop up virus that is multiplying in the body.
An antibody is a Y-shaped protein naturally produced by our body’s immune system to target something that is foreign, or not part of you. These foreign bodies are called antigens and can be found on allergens, bacteria and viruses as well as other things like toxins or a transplanted organ.
A monoclonal antibody treatment mimics the body’s natural immune response and targets foreign agents, like a virus, that infect or harm people. There are also monoclonal antibodies that pharmaceutical companies have designed that target cancer cells. Monoclonal antibodies are one of most powerful types of medicine. In 2019 seven of the top 10 best-selling drugs were monoclonal antibodies.
For President Trump, the experimental treatment made by the pharmaceutical company Regeneron included two antibodies.
Typically the spike protein on the coronavirus fits perfectly into the ACE2 receptor on human cells, a protein common in lung cells and other organs. When this connection happens, the virus is able to infect cells and multiply inside them. But monoclonal antibodies can slow or halt the infection by attaching to the viral spike protein before it reaches the ACE2 receptor. If this happens, the virus becomes harmless because it can no longer enter our cells and reproduce.
How are monoclonal antibodies created?
Monoclonal antibodies that neutralize the coronavirus are complicated to manufacture and produce. They must be made inside cells taken from a hamster’s ovary and grown in gigantic steel vats. The antibodies that these cells manufacture must then be extracted and purified. Unfortunately these monoclonal antibodies, which have been used for other illnesses for years, are often quite expensive.
Regeneron’s two antibodies are targeted to the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 – the protrusions on the surface of virus that give it a crown-like look and are critical for infecting human cells.
One of Regeneron’s two antibodies is a replica, or clone, of an antibody harvested from a person who recovered from COVID-19. The second antibody was identified in a mouse that was biologically engineered to have a human immune system. When this mouse was injected with the spike protein, its human immune system generated antibodies against it. One of the most effective mouse antibodies was then harvested and used to form part of this therapy.
Both companies have in place large-scale manufacturing with robust, global supply chains in place to produce the monoclonal antibodies, with many global manufacturing sites to ramp up supply. Eli Lilly has received FDA approval, and Regeneron is still awaiting approval. Unfortunately, there will likely be a shortage of the antibodies in the early going of approvals.
Monoclonal antibodies plus a vaccine
Monoclonal antibodies will be able to complement vaccines by offering rapid protection against infection. When they are given to an individual, monoclonal antibodies provide instantaneous protection for weeks to months. Vaccines take longer to provide protection since they must challenge the immune system. But the advantage of a vaccine is that they usually provide long-term protection.
Regeneron’s and Eli Lilly’s products are both delivered by intravenous injection, after which the patient must be monitored by health care professionals. Since they offer immediate protection, the implications to treat or provide protection to high-risk populations is immense.
These medicines have the potential to treat infected patients or prevent infection of essential health care and public health professionals on the front line of this pandemic. Monoclonal antibodies could also be useful for older people, young children and immunocompromised people for whom vaccines either don’t work or can be dangerous.