“One of the greatest puzzles about email is that despite the fact that we have spent several hours a day for the past 15 years practising, we are failing to show any improvement. Even on the basics, we are as clueless as ever.” Photograph: Ian Nicholson/PA Wire

Last week I got an email that went like this. “Dear colleagues, Please join me for the next Global Conversation webcast on December 10th. All the deta(...)

  A mere third of the workers canvassed by CareerBuilder said being a manager appealed to them. The remaining two-thirds said no thanks, I’d rather stick with the lowly job I have.

Not long ago, thousands of workers in the US were asked if they fancied the idea of being promoted to the rank of manager. You might have thought they(...)

All office work viewed from the outside makes you glad you are not having what she’s having at all.

I ran into a journalist acquaintance the other day and asked him how things were going. Badly, he said. He had just failed for the third time to get p(...)

At the end of each day of being boorish and unpleasant the traders would go  to the pub to be more so

In the early 1980s I spent the most hateful year of my working life in the foreign exchange dealing room of what was then Morgan Guaranty in London.It(...)

As an employee, being fearless is not obviously an advantage.

In the past few months I’ve realised something odd about myself. I’m not frightened any more. All my working life I’ve been scared. Scared of failing.(...)

At any given moment of the business day, millions of mostly pointless coffees are being had

Every week I receive assorted invitations to drink a cup of coffee with perfect strangers. Readers email to say that they are passing through London o(...)

There are far more fitness fanatics than fatties in corporate boardrooms. Yet the reason is not that extreme exercise causes extreme success, more that both are the result of the same personality defect

Last week I spent some time with an entrepreneur I know. When I last saw him he was training for an Ironman, that inexplicable race in which you swim (...)

Russell Brand: “The reason I don’t vote is the same reason I don’t eat glitter; there’s no fucking point”. Photo: EPA

Brand has been good at many things in his 39-year life. He has made people laugh. He has made them cross. He has had a genius for getting into scrapes(...)

Not only are CVs unhelpful, so too are interviews  and references are the most pointless of the lot. Photograph: Getty Images/Hemera

We are hopeless at hiring. Deep down we know this is true, but we have to pretend it isn’t because we spend so much time and money doing it and becaus(...)

Conscientiousness makes work and life run a lot more smoothly: it’s time to value it more.

If you want to be successful at work, there is one trait that you need above all others. It isn’t creativity, or emotional intelligence, or people ski(...)