Summary Synthesis

My IDS program is Human Resources. My degree covers both business and law courses, with a few other courses in the psychology, anthropology, and interdisciplinary discipline. The majority of my degree is business, with 9 total classes at 27/53 credits of my major. I would say the next largest discipline in my contract would be under the law discipline. While I have only one criminal justice course, I would say that a few of my business courses mainly focused on business law aspects. Therefore, I see them as more of a law centered course.

My applied project is a PowerPoint presentation that encompasses Union Contracts. Union Contracts are large documents that provide a lot of information. This made doing my project a difficult task. Going through just one contract is an experience on its own, and I decided to go through 3 different ones. I went through Plymouth State Universities, the University of New Hampshire’s, and the University of Connecticut’s. I went through and found every clause in common and broke it down to make each commonality easier to understand. Through my major, I have covered Union Contracts, but never in a way that I did for this project. I believe this gave me extra knowledge which will help me for my future in Human Resources.

My research article focuses on altered workweeks. Within the paper I go over a multitude of different types of workweeks, as well as how they work, and what they look like. Through this paper I discovered the positives, the negatives, and everything else that is important to know when deciding to change what your workweek looks like. I believe having this knowledge, just like the Union Contracts will help me in my future career if I ever come in contact with an implementation of an altered workweek.

As a Human Resources degree having these assignments will definitely contribute to my future. As an IDS major in a business focused degree I am in someway at both a disadvantage and an advantage to other HR degrees at other Universities. Since I am under an IDS degree I have more of a background in my education, but less HR focused activities. But, other HR degrees in other Universities have more of a solid course schedule, and therefore more of a focus on HR related activities to help them in their future. I still believe that having a background in IDS, will help me in my future do to the larger background of disciplines.

PLN Portfolio

For my PLN I used LinkedIn, which is an online professional social media used to ‘link’ with other business professionals. The best way to connect or show people what you think is interesting is by first linking with people, and then either liking or sharing content. During the course of this semester I have linked with some of the people I have met through PSU, a majority coming from the HR office that I have worked at for the past 4 years here at PSU. Some of those including Karen Schaffner, Caryn Ines, Joye Cushing, and Christine Alexander. These are all professionals that have in the past or currently do work at the HR office. I have also linked with Shannon Smith and Shakoy Francis who were student workers I met and linked with through LinkedIn.

Through LinkedIn I also was able to do some of the research for my research article, I got a lot of information that I both did and did not use in my essay. But both gave me a better background with altered workweeks.

Through this platform I also discovered other interesting articles that didn’t apply to my major directly, but will still help me become a better business professional in the future.

LinkedIn is a great source of connecting, as well as a source of professional learning. Through my experience, it as mainly been following and liking stuff that I found interesting whether it was about my major and projects or not. With LinkedIn I also was able to post both my applied project and my research article. By posting my two projects I will be able to gain more feedback, or just in general see how people like what I am able to do with my IDS degree.

Overall my experience with LinkedIn as my PLN was very good. I feel as if that using LinkedIn as a majority business major was successful and would have been over any other platform. Through LinkedIn over the course of this semester I have been able to make more connections. Learn more about things outside of my discipline and will help me with my professional life in the future.

If I were to do anything different, I think I would have maybe posted it a bit more, or shared articles instead of just liking them. As a student I have learned how to intake information, and find its usefulness, but I have not done a whole lot to spread information. The only information I have spread are my two assignments, and that has only been very recently. I believe that I have gotten a lot out of my time with LinkedIn, and I think I will keep using the platform throughout my career.

Union Contracts: The Overview and Comparison Between PSU and other Industry Contracts

For my project I decided to focus on Union Contract. I know that these contract can be a lot of information to take in, so I wanted to simplify them to make it easier for any general employee to understand. To do so I chose Plymouth State Universities Union Contract and compared them to the University of New Hampshire, another USNH school, and the University of Connecticut, a larger school. I chose these two schools because one is so closely connected to PSU, and the other is very disconnected from PSU. The following PowerPoint goes over all of the similarities in the contracts, in hopes to better understand the most common clauses within them.

The Alteration of the Workweek

One of the most important aspects of any workplace is the overall happiness as well as its productivity, the two commonly go hand in hand. For this essay I will be writing about the topic of compressed or alternative work weeks, because I want to find out if it increases happiness, productivity, and overall job satisfaction, in order to help my reader understand whether or not it is a successful strategy to change the normal work week. I will do so by researching the topic itself and breaking it down into different sections that will best help me make a final decision. I will make said decision by using the facts presented, as well as my own knowledge of the industry. I will first go over what an altered or compressed work week could look like. Then  the following sections will be; what does an altered 40 hour week look like, does an altered work week affect happiness, does it increase productivity, how does the integration of it matter, and what are the most important factors for integration, how will it affect me in my career, are there any laws linked to it, what are the advantages and  disadvantages associated, then finally the conclusion with my opinion. The decision on whether to integrate a whole new schedule is a large and nerve-racking one to make. So being sure that you have the right option for your business is important.

            There are many different types of work weeks encompassed within the thought of an alternative work schedule. The first one I would like to go over is called the Flexitour schedule, this allows employees to select their own arrival and departure times. The only requirement is to either work your 40 hours in each week or 80 hours in a biweekly setting. The next is a Gliding schedule which allows employees to pick from a set of two or three different schedules. For example, a regular 9-5 option, or an 8-4 option, and lastly a 10-6 workday. The company in this case creates the schedule and you as an employee get to choose which would work best for you. A Variable-Day schedule requires employees the same 40-hour work week, but lets the employee choose the hours work in any given day. Like 10 hours on Monday, 8 hours on Tuesday, another 10 on Wednesday, and then 6 on Thursday and Friday. The days can be setup in any way to your liking as long as you hit the requirement of 40 hours. Similar to the Variable-Day is the Variable-Week which permits the employee to vary both its workday and work week. Say your company pays in a bi-weekly engagement, if you work your 80 hours in 8 days straight then they will allow you to miss the other 6 days of the remaining week. The next option is the Maxiflex schedule is a gain like the last and allows the number of hours in a day to change as well as the week. Although the company may require core hours or days in which you need to be there like Monday-Thursday 10-4. The next option is known as Credit Hours schedule, and it offers an employee to work say 60 hours in one week and only 20 in the next to reach the 80 for the biweekly period. This option does not mean the employee is receiving overtime, they are just allowing the ‘credits’ to be carried over. The Three-Day Work Week schedule allows the employee to work a maximum of 13 hours and 20 minutes for three days, or in a bi-weekly schedule six 12-hour days and one 8-hour day. The Four-Day work week allows employees to work four 10-hour days. Lastly, the Five 4/9 plan permits the employee to work eight 9-hour days and one 8-hour day within a bi-weekly pay period. There are many different setups for an alternative work week, but the common goal for all of them is to increase both happiness and productivity, as well as give an employee the means to best situate their life and work plans. While there are many options, I do believe that a few of them stand out above the rest (McCampbell).

            Happiness is an emotional state that includes positive or pleasant behaviors. In a workplace happiness is one of the most important factors to being successful, for the worker themselves, their coworkers, managers, and the workplace as a whole. According to Kathy Barany and Mary Anne Ciccarelli there are multiple ways to increase happiness into the workplace. While many of them are unattainable due to a lack of budget, an altered work week is an option that does not cost a whole lot to implement and increases happiness in workers. “Alternative work schedules have also proven to lift employee morale as well as productivity. Instituted as a response to growing work/family issues, flexible compressed work weeks, telecommuting, and job sharing are effective low-cost practices” (Barany). Giving the option to employees motivates them and makes them feel like they are being valued for the work that they do.

            Productivity is another important factor in every aspect of work. Once employees are happy their productivity and morale will increase, which will then cause satisfaction with managers and customers. While there are many ways to increase productivity, I believe that an altered or compressed work week is a prominent one. While some may think that either way 40 hours is 40 hours no matter which way you look at it, therefore productivity will not likely change at all. The thought behind the increased productivity is that with an extra full day to yourself and your family will radically change your happiness, morale, and ultimately productivity. In fact, “There are several reasons for increased productivity through the offering of flexible work programs. Not only are employees given more control over how they put their time in, they are also provided with an environment of trust and autonomy. With happier employees and a more trusting environment, productivity increases” (Howington). Also, in some job settings have a longer work days does instantly mean increased amount of work done, for instance “situations in which the work process requires significant start-up and shutdown periods, the four-day workweek can effect an increase in productivity even [with] the efficiency of labor remain[ing] unchanged” (Calvasina). There are many instances in which alternate or compressed workweeks will change the landscape of your professional life, and productivity is clearly included within.

            Integration into compressed or altered workweeks is very important. Without do so properly it could become disastrous. First when switching to any sort of altered workweek you must be able to either comply with your workers or give them the ability ahead of time to decide their future with the business. You must also ensure you are not breaking any laws for over working employees, which is fairly easy to do. Once this portion is squared away you can start to update/create things like job analyses, core times, options for the workweek, how you recruit/select future employees, payroll processes, training, etcetera. The most important parts of the change are the job analyses, core times, options for workweek, and recruitment. Most everything else involved is a simple switch. Job analyses are important because they entail all the details and requirements for the job. While this may not be important for all jobs, it is still important to make sure that to ask yourself the following question to be sure; Will the distribution of work change? Will the tasks themselves change? Will concentration or density of skills used change?” (Hammer) These questions are important because they will answer the uncertainties you may have. Again, while it may not always affect the job, knowing is better than being unsure. Selecting the workweek that best suits you are really quite simple. You must look at your organization and connect whichever form fits best. For a general office space, the four 10-hour days work well. For jobs that require a lot of tedious work the 9 days within a two-week period works well. Different jobs require different sacrifices to keep employees at the best. While the concept is a simple one, picking the right choice is still very important. The notion behind the change is for a better the experience, so you want to guarantee that is exactly what you do. Recruitment and selection are arguably the most important aspects from the integration to an altered workweek. Altered work schedules are also a great way to attain more talent. Having the ability to give possible employees a choice in their schedule will give you as an employer more options in candidates. The integrations of an altered or compressed work week can be a great asset for any company, and the way it is introduced is the key to using it successfully.

            I believe the future of our workplaces will have some sort of flexible scheduling. The ability to give your workers a way to create their own schedule as I have said before will make them a happier and more productive worker. So, it seems likely to me that in the future we will ultimately switch to this form of workweek. While the exact setup seems to be somewhat of a mystery, I believe that it could alter from workforce to workforce. Many successful entrepreneurs and business leaders believe the same as well. For instance, “Sir Richard Branson, billionaire founder of the Virgin Group, argued against the notion that we should view the five-day work week as set in stone. Branson [said] earlier this year: ‘There is no reason this can’t change. In fact, it would benefit everyone if it did’ (Anderson). While currently there is no immediate future for the change here in the United State, other Countries like New Zealand, Denmark, Netherlands and Japan have been adjusting to it. Denmark and the Netherlands already have had a four-day week for a while and even shorter than 40 hours. Productivity and happiness of employees has skyrocketed, and their average salaries falls around $50,000. To further that point the “six of the countries with the ten shortest work weeks are also among the top ten countries with the highest annual salaries (Switzerland, Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, Austria, and Belgium)” (Ellis). I believe that the future does look more like this list. While in the U.S. it may take longer for it to start becoming the norm, especially when talking about fewer than 40 hours, it seems to make the most sense. The future of our professional workweeks is looking to change the way we work and play.

            Any laws regarding working hours are covered under both the Fair Labor Standards Act or the FLSA and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration or OSHA. “The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is a federal law which establishes minimum wage, overtime pay eligibility, recordkeeping, and child labor standards affecting full-time and part-time workers in the private sector and in federal, state, and local governments” (FAIR LABOR STANDARDS ACT). While OSHA “ensure[s] safe and healthful working conditions for working men and women by setting and enforcing standards and by providing training, outreach, education and assistance” (Department of Labor). While the FLSA is more of the standard given their specific target is wage administration, overtime, and other working standards, OSHA still has a vital role given their focus on health and working conditions. Both regulatory programs want to ensure the wellbeing and guarantee fairness to all workers. While most of the altered workweeks would fit under these programs there is one that needs an agreement to work. For the credit hours work schedule you must comply to the FLSA’s “8 and 80” system which states that “the employer and employee must have an agreement to use the “8 and 80” system before any work is performed… [the] system requires employers to pay overtime for every hour worked in excess of eight hours per day.  For example, if an employee works a 12-hour shift, he/she is owed four hours of overtime regardless of how many total hours are worked during the 14-day work-period… [and lastly the] system requires the employer to pay overtime for every hour worked in excess of 80 hours during the 14-day work period.  Credit can be taken for any overtime paid in excess of eight hours per day.  For example, if an employee works 84 hours in the work period, he/she would be due four hours of overtime.  If that same employee had worked a 12-hour shift during that work period and the employer paid overtime on the four hours in excess of eight per day, then no additional overtime would be due for that work period” (Hall). There is a lot to unpack in that statement, but the overarching theme is that an alternate system is a possibility. The only caveats are that the overtime requirements are in some ways harsher than others. Other than the FLSA standards and the small amount of OSHA standards that relate only to working hours in excess, than there are no other large laws affecting altered work weeks. Of course, you should check State laws to ensure you are complying at all times. For NH the only law that takes some sort of stance is a pretty common law across the U.S., that of course being that “employers cannot require that an employee work more than five (5) consecutive hours without granting a thirty (30) minute lunch or eating period. If the employer cannot allow thirty (30) minutes, the employee must be paid if they are eating and working at the same time” (New Hampshire Labor Laws). Overall the laws regarding alternate workweeks are mostly relaxed, and you can easily comply to them.

            There are many advantages to an altered workweek, many of which I have already gone over. The hope for an alternate workweek is to have a better lifestyle and happier employees, so having many advantages is the goal. A few of them include a “greater emphasis on leisure time, changes in the composition of the workforce to include a proportionately larger representation of women, minorities, and the elderly – groups that may be particularly amenable to alternative work schedules, a shift towards the service industry, where atypical patterns of work arc more common, and skill obsolescence, which might be combated by providing employees with flexibility to pursue educational and retraining opportunities while remaining on the job” (Hammer). Also, the integration of altered workweeks also includes “Arrangements that give workers more freedom with their time and location also enable them to take better care of themselves” (Villarcia). There are even more advantages to this style of work but listing them all out would be an overload. Overall, the advantages are clear, and changing the perception of a workweek is very beneficial to your workers and ultimately your company.

            While there are many advantages, there are also some disadvantages. For some workers the normal workweek is the best option. With the addition of altered workweeks, there is the possibility for some workers to be involved while others work normal hours. Nonetheless for some, mainly “Older employees may become tired and be unable to work effectively for 10 or 12 hours… Compressed work weeks can also cause problems for people with young children; a 10-hour workday added to a long commute can make child care arrangements difficult” (Bencivenga). Older workers will not always be able to productively work more than 8 hours a day, which makes complete sense. While parents do sometimes need the extra time in order to take care of their children. Another disadvantage can be the drop off of morale. It is said that the addition of this workweek will increase morale, but “In the long run, as the novelty of the system begins to wear off, it is doubtful that employee morale will stay at a high level. If the majority of workers in the United States operated on a 4-day schedule, its motivational impact would be seriously lessened, since it would then be viewed as a right rather than as a privilege” (Gannon). Some also believe the same can be said for productivity, the longer and with more companies using this method of workweek the more productivity will flatten out. Lastly, fatigue is cited as the biggest disadvantage, “the American Management Association Report is based on a study of the attitudes of employers. When employees are allowed to express their opinions concerning the major disadvantages of the 4/40 approach, fatigue ranks highest” (Gannon). It is easy to believe that fatigue would be the largest issue, especially with older workers. While there are some disadvantages, I firmly believe they do not outweigh the advantages.

            I wrote about the topic of compressed or alternative work weeks, because I wanted to find out if it increases happiness, productivity, and overall job satisfaction, in order to help my reader understand whether or not it is a successful strategy to change the normal work week. Given all of the facts I presume that the use of an altered workweek can be quite successful in increasing happiness and productivity. I believe the caveat to this is that every industry is different, and you must take that into account when deciding how you want your workweek to look like. The purpose of this topic was to find out if managers, and HR representatives should take the risk of integrating a new system, and for most I think the risk is worth it in the long run. The audience is also for HR and other business managers, so that they can understand some of the facts, and effectively make their own decision. While some aspects like fatigue or endured morale may take a decrease. I still believe the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. Especially when something like fatigue eventually will dissipate given the need to get used to a longer day for an ultimate shorter week. Overall, I believe there are many positive aspects of an altered workweek, and many industries could easily take advantage of.

Bibliography

Anderson, B. (n.d.). The Call for a Shorter Work Week Is Trending-and Both Employees and Employers Are Behind It. Retrieved from https://business.linkedin.com/talent-solutions/blog/company-culture/2018/shorter-work-week-trending.

Barany, Kathy, and Maryu Anne Ciccarelli. “A Happy Workplace Really Is a More Productive Workplace.” Business Journal Serving Southern Tier, CNY, Mohawk Valley, Finger Lakes, North, vol. 9, no. 24, Nov. 1995, p. 7. EBSCOhost, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=bwh&AN=9512193238&site=ehost-live.

Bencivenga, Dominic. “Compressed Weeks Fill an HR Niche.” HR Magazine, vol. 40, no. 6, June 1995, p. 71. EBSCOhost, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=buh&AN=9506290859&site=ehost-live.

Calvasina, Eugene J., and W. Randy Boxx. “Efficiency of Workers on the Four-Day Workweek.” The Academy of Management Journal, vol. 18, no. 3, 1975, pp. 604–610. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/255689.

Department of Labor logo UNITED STATESDEPARTMENT OF LABOR. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.osha.gov/aboutosha.

Ellis, M. (2019, June 12). The Four-Day Work Week: Why It Works. Retrieved from https://zapier.com/blog/four-day-work-week/.

Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). (n.d.). Retrieved from https://ofm.wa.gov/state-human-resources/compensation-job-classes/compensation-administration/fair-labor-standards-act-flsa.

Gannon, Martin J. “Four Days, Forty Hours: A Case Study.” California Management Review, vol. 17, no. 2, Winter 1974, pp. 74–81. EBSCOhost, doi:10.2307/41164563.

Hammer, Leslie B., and Karen M. Barbera. “Toward an Integration of Alternative Work.” Human Resource Planning, vol. 20, no. 2, Apr. 1997, pp. 28–36. EBSCOhost, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=buh&AN=388594&site=ehost-live.

Howington, J. (2019, February 25). The Benefits of Allowing Employees a Flexible Schedule. Retrieved from https://www.flexjobs.com/employer-blog/the-benefits-of-allowing-employees-a-flexible-schedule/.

Jennifer, H. (n.d.). The FLSA’s “8 and 80” Overtime Provisions: What You Need to Know. Retrieved from https://www.bakerdonelson.com/The-FLSAs-8-and-80-Overtime-Provisions-What-You-Need-to-Know-12-11-2013.

McCampbell, Atefeh Sadri. “Benefits Achieved Through Alternative Work Schedules.” Human Resource Planning, vol. 19, no. 3, Sept. 1996, pp. 30–37. EBSCOhost, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=buh&AN=9706204523&site=ehost-live.

New Hampshire Labor Laws – Wage and Hour. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.employmentlawhandbook.com/wage-and-hour-laws/state-wage-and-hour-laws/new-hampshire/.

Villarica, H. (2011, December 29). Study of the Day: Employees With Flexible Work Hours Are Healthier. Retrieved from https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2011/12/study-of-the-day-employees-with-flexible-work-hours-are-healthier/250524/.

LinkedIn’s Marketing Strategic Partnership & Talent Solutions

LinkedIn has a program called Marketing Strategic Partnership in which LinkedIn chooses technology and service providers that link with different companies in order to provide them some sort of marketing service in which ever field they choose. Currently there are 10 areas of specialization to choose from. They include Ad Technology, Media Buying, Marketing Analytics, Audience Management, Content Marketing, Community Management, and Audience Engagement. Within each specialization there are a multitude of different partners to choose from. These partnerships are important because they provide a successful, professional, and authenticated source of both marketing and creating a conversation. Also, this is an important tool for LinkedIn, because marketing is one of the most important parts of being successful. In this way LinkedIn, does not have to do it themselves, they have these partners assist their users. All LinkedIn must do is approve the correct partners and from their let them work through their platform. Through LinkedIn’s platform the marketing is cheaper the standard, it helps inform the populous of a product, it keeps the companies in the foreground, and most importantly it engages users. One of LinkedIn’s biggest issues is keeping user engaged on the platform, with the assistance of both marketing itself, and offering marketing to customers, they will surely start to engage more and more users. If the user does not have any need for linking with more people, or looking for a job, these partnerships can provide yet another service someone may be interested in.

Another great service they offer is LinkedIn’s Talent Solutions is a service offered directly through their platform. The service is specifically tailored to companies that are attempting to recruit new hires. The hope for Talent Solutions is to offer insight for HR managers or recruiters to be able to read the data the service offers, and hopefully help target specific qualities in order to hire the perfect candidate. According to LinkedIn the service is working quite well with over 3 million talent professionals actively using the service every day. LinkedIn has also stated that this tool assists recruiters with hiring so much, that the platform consistently makes a hire every 10 seconds. The process of hiring from this tool has 2 steps. The first step is to scan through the long list of applicants and narrow it down a somewhat small list, after that the talent insight tool narrows it down to a few options. But, from there LinkedIn has you ultimately make the decision, because only true instincts and judgment can make the correct choice. The algorithms can narrow down lists based upon key words, job history, and relative skills, it cannot read people or their desires and attitude.

Currently LinkedIn offers four plans, the first two are LinkedIn Premium and is for small business who are less likely to be hiring constantly. The first is the Premium Business plan for $59.99 a month, and Executive plan for $99.99 a month. These plans give you InMail, a free mailing system without exposing your email within the platform, in premium you would get 15 while executive has 30 per month. You can see who viewed your profile, view business/job insights to see what your profile looks like to others, as well as other companies. The subscription also lets you browse candidates, no additional cost to LinkedIn Learning, and open your profiles so that other companies do not need to use InMail credits.

The last two options are Linked for larger businesses and is called LinkedIn Recruiter, the two options spans from $119.99 a month and $999.99 a month. With each plan there is a discount if you buy yearly. With the first option under LinkedIn Recruiter is Recruiter Lite, the only difference here over the Premium plan is that you can save your searches as well as templates. Once you reach Recruiter Corporate you get the ability to either track one or multiple applicant(s), a wider range of search options, and to gain feedback from managers during hiring and interviewing processes. The corporate option is only viable if you are going to be using this tool to hire consistently over the year. Recruitment processes can take months, but with the correct tools, it can reduce the amount of time searching and interviewing and can streamline the whole practice. These tools will create a positive image as well as give you the best results for hiring and hopefully retaining competent employees. Recruiting is a very important part of any company, ensuring you make the correct and timely hire can decide the success of your future.

LinkedIn’s Innovations & Advantages

LinkedIn’s biggest competitive advantage is its success as a social media platform focused on business professionals and their ability to connect with others. No other social media platform, nor professional network has ever come close to the success that LinkedIn has achieved. I believe this to be true because a social media account specifically branded for professionals is something that seems to be not very desirable for most. LinkedIn became so successful because it was ahead of the curve, it started out strong and from there the popularization caused other professionals to follow suit. If another platform came along and did the same basic idea, I believe it would not catch on as well, given LinkedIn being the powerhouse they already are. One of many reasons LinkedIn’s competitors do not have much of a chance of taking it down is because of the fact LinkedIn has already crossed into markets all over the world. LinkedIn is in over 200 Countries and boasts 24 different languages. Another strong advantage is the acquisition from Microsoft. Having a major company like Microsoft entrust in you, as well as support you, gives the company a major advantage in the market and in financial freedom. LinkedIn also tends to buy different companies they see promise in usually before they become too large. They have bought companies like Connectifer which helps with recruiting. Refresh.io which gives you information about people in your network, Careerify which helps businesses hire using social media, and a couple of their larger buyouts SlideShare which is a online presentation software, and Lynda.com which is an online learning technology which gives you real learning and certificates of said learning. LinkedIn can successfully see what companies pose a threat as well as what companies can help their platform thrive.

As far as innovations go, many of them have come from the acquisitions of other companies. From these buyouts LinkedIn has taken their services and bridges many of them directly into their platform. The biggest innovation you could argue is that LinkedIn allows user, to find jobs all over the world without having to pay anything to do so. This function is exactly what has made LinkedIn innovative and advantageous over all others. There are many more services LinkedIn has started to offer over the years, that can all be marked as innovations. Some of the largest one offered by LinkedIn are Premium Subscriptions, Marketing Solutions, Learning Solutions and Talent Solutions.

Learning Solutions is something that LinkedIn has somewhat recently created. With the buyout of Lynda.com, LinkedIn has been able to start the new program with an already successful platform, integrated into their own. Learning Solutions, also called LinkedIn Learning is a wonderful opportunity for any person. Continuing your education is both good for you, because you should be always learning, and it is a great for your resume or even your LinkedIn page. Shelf life for new information does not last long, especially in our digital age. You must always be learning new things and adapting to the most recent trends. With LinkedIn learning you can access over 15,000 expert led courses, earn certificates through these courses, and do it all through your computer or phone. The price for a membership to take courses at anytime is also very cheap at $29.99 a month, or $239.98 annually which is around $19.99 a month, both with a one-month free trial. You can even sign up your whole team for a specific course to easily get everyone in the same place for any skill. Courses can be taken in a multitude of different subjects from excel, photoshop, leadership, business software, data science, and much more. Each course come with an expert with the information coming through text and video. Simply said LinkedIn Learning is an easy tool to better develop your knowledge.

AP Rough Outline

Working Title: The Alteration of the Work Week

            I am working on the topic of a 4-day 10-hour work week, because I want to find out if it increases happiness and productivity, in order to help my reader understand whether or not it is a successful strategy to change the normal work week. I will do so by researching the topic itself and breaking it down into different sections that will best help me make a final decision. I will make said decision by using the facts presented, as well as my own knowledge of the industry. The following sections will be; does an altered work week affect happiness, does it increase productivity, what is the best setup for a 40 hour week (including both 4 or 5 day weeks), how does the integration of it matter, what is the best integration, how will it affect me in my career, what are the issues associated, and I am hoping for more sections as I conduct more research. Then finally the conclusion with my opinion. These sections will be broken up into separate paragraphs, with their own focus upon the subject. This paper will be a sort of report, using fact ultimately ending with my own opinion. I have started initial research into the first few topics but do need to continue, I would like to be farther than I currently am but have a full schedule filled with the remainder of my major classes, so I have been quite busy writing other essays as well as the applied project.

LinkedIn: SWOT Analysis

LinkedIn as a social media has had a lot of opportunities as both one of the first social media platforms as well as being one of the first online operation solely based upon professionals looking to build a network and or find employment.

Strength

Which has to do with their first strength as a company. Their Network is based off making professional links and has done so effectively with around 600 million members. The company has both a large user base but is also all over the world in over 200 Countries. Another strength of LinkedIn is its recent attainment from Microsoft. This may not seem like an important factor, but it gives LinkedIn a large financial freedom. The last strength I would like to bring up is the sheer size LinkedIn has already reached as well as the fact that the number has only increased in its 16-year history. The size of the corporation only gives it more potential and credibility.

Weakness

One large weakness for LinkedIn is the popularity of Facebook and the constant user engagement of the service. LinkedIn has around 600 million members, but it is estimated that just around half of those are constant users. Whereas Facebook has over 2 billion users, obviously they are not all looking for jobs, or linking to other professional, but it does happen in small markets of the service. Also, where LinkedIn has around 300 million active users, Facebook as around 1.6 billion active users. Again, they are not all using the services in the same way, but it is still a threat.

Opportunity

One of the biggest opportunities is the recent expanding operation into the Chinese market. With the added population from China their users’ number will start to increase at a astronomical rate. Another opportunity is the use of smartphones. Industries are starting to catch on to the use of social recruiting through social media apps/hiring apps such a Facebook, Monster, Glassdoor, and of course the biggest in the industry LinkedIn. I myself recently got a job from LinkedIn without even looking for it. Through the use recruiters can look for candidates, search through their profile and hire directly, which is exactly how it happened to me. The last opportunity would be to increase user engagement. As I stated above it is estimated that around half of their users are active of the platform. But, by spreading their services through other apps/platforms/service providers they can increase their active users.

Threat

Lastly the threats of LinkedIn are services like Facebook, Monster, Glassdoor, Indeed, and even a service like Instagram. Both Instagram and Facebook are social media platforms that have their own respective markets within a professional world. Facebook is more like LinkedIn due to its nature of connecting, while Instagram is more a connecting application for more artistic fields. Either way both have opportunities to take a slice of the market. Platforms like Monster, Glassdoor, and Indeed are all specifically for hiring. They do not have the advantage of being a social media, but their goal is to help user find jobs which is one of LinkedIn’s primary functions. Overall LinkedIn has the best of both worlds, with its function as both a social media and a tool to find jobs. Another major weakness that goes for most internet service is the threat of privacy issues. Most companies that have an online presence has this risk of getting hacked and having their user’s data released. Although this is a risk that doesn’t just focus on LinkedIn.

I believe that LinkedIn’s Strengths and Opportunities far outweigh their Weaknesses and Threats. They have continued to prove that they are successful company throughout their history, and I believe that they will only continue to find success.

Precis

Haar, Jarrod. “Working Four-Day Weeks for Five Days’ Pay? Research Shows It Pays Off.” Phys.org, Phys.org, 25 July 2018, https://phys.org/news/2018-07-four-day-weeks-days.html.

In Working four-day weeks for five days’ pay? Research shows it pays off (2015) Jarrod Haar claims that a New Zealand Company that is trying out a four-day work week has “declared it a resounding success, with 78% saying they were better able to manage their work-life balance” (Haar). The analysis shows that employees felt better at their jobs, they were more engaged, less stressed, and overall could better support a better work life balance. His purpose is to find out if this style of work week is actually a good alternative, by looking through the process, the challenges, and the results of the trial. He seems to want to give the information of the New Zealand findings in order to give a clear and concise answer to whether a four-day work week is worth the change.

Coslor, Erica, and Edward Hyatt. “Hyatt & Coslor Compressed Lives: How ” Flexible ” Are Employer- Imposed Compressed Work Schedules.” Personnel Review, https://www.academia.edu/34531047/Hyatt_and_Coslor_Compressed_Lives_How_Flexible_are_Employer-_Imposed_Compressed_Work_Schedules.

In Compress Lives: How “Flexible” are Employer-Imposed Compressed Work Schedule?  By Edward Hyatt and Erica Coslar, they examine “employee satisfaction with an employer-imposed compressed workweek (“CWW”) schedule” (Hyatt). The authors do so by discovering exactly how a CWW affects the workers happiness and their freedom, as well as looking at specific age groups. They are studying this topic in order to discover how a CWW works and how employees feel about it, and to highlight the importance of decisions for employees. The intended audience is managers, and those in charge of the decision of how work weeks operate, to get across the importance of freedom of decision-making for the employees.

Peeples, Lynne. “Should Thursday Be the New Friday? The Environmental and Economic Pluses of the 4-Day Workweek.” Scientific American, 24 July 2009, https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/four-day-workweek-energy-environment-economics-utah/.

In Should Thursday Be the New Friday? The Environmental and Economic Pluses of the 4-Day Workweek by Lynne Peeples she discusses the benefits of cutting Friday off the workweek while still working 40 hours. She uses facts that says it could not only save money but could also ease pressure the environment and public health. She believes as we should be more efficient, and that this method of working could be one of those ways. Lynne is a freelance science journalist that is looking to shed light on one of the many methods of creating a more efficient world.

O’Bannon, Isaac M. “The Case for a 4-Day Work Week.” StackPath, 15 Oct. 2015, https://www.cpapracticeadvisor.com/payroll/article/12429975/the-case-for-a-4day-work-week.

In The Case for a 4-Day Work Week, Isaac O’Bannon states having a four day work week would make more sense, given that people could still do their job effectively. Isaac says that nearly half (45 percent) of full-time workers say it should take less than five hours each day to do their job if they worked uninterrupted, while three out of four employees (72 percent) would work four days or less per week if pay remained constant. He believes that work would still get done in the same manner, while giving employees more free time. Isaac O’Bannon seems to want to start a conversation about the facts of a shorter work week.

Anderson, Bruce. “The Call for a Shorter Work Week Is Trending-and Both Employees and Employers Are Behind It.” The Call for a Shorter Work Week Is Trending-and Both Employees and Employers Are Behind It | LinkedIn Talent Blog, LinkedIn Talent Blog, 26 Sept. 2018, https://business.linkedin.com/talent-solutions/blog/company-culture/2018/shorter-work-week-trending.

In The Call for a Shorter Work Week Is Trending—and Both Employees and Employers Are Behind It by Bruce Anderson he talks about the benefits of a shorter work week and how many Countries and successful business owners believe it is a good idea. He uses the words of successful people in order to argue his side. He does get his point across as well as talks about the history of a shorter work week. Bruce is interested in where shorter work weeks can take our culture and seems to believe they are coming soon.

LinkedIn: The Background and Financial Overview

Linkedin is an internet employment social network and service that was founded in 2002 by co-founder Reid Hoffman. Reid had a good resume with working at companies such as Google, PayPal, and Ebay. He recruited a few friends who had previously were executives at SocialNet, PayPal, Microsoft, Electronic Arts, Yahoo, and TiVo who ultimately became the 4 other co-founders of LinkedIn.

(From left to right Reid Hoffman, Eric Ly, Jean-Luc Vaillant, Allen Blue, and Konstantin Guericke.)

LinkedIn was officially released on May 5, 2003 and by the end of its first month had over 4,500 members. LinkedIn was one of the first social media platforms, while also being a platform based around both professional connections and job opportunities. Early into LinkedIn’s’ life cycle they added in the ability to import your address book in order to invite colleagues and to make more connections. By 2004 the platform had just over 1,217,000 members, and just another year later they were already up to over 4,000,000 members. In this same year LinkedIn started to offer subscription plans to their members. In 2006 the number of members raised by another 1,000,000 users and gave the ability to have a profile that was able to be seen by anyone who searched for it, like the way Facebook works. On 2007 the number of users increased to over 17,000,000 which was a massive jump to the previous years. Reid Hoffman at this time also decided to step down from running the company so that he could concentrate on innovation within the company, after stepping down Reid chose

Dan Nye to run the company. By 2008 LinkedIn opened to an international market and put out a French and Spanish version to its members, which had almost doubled from the previous year. They also launched a mobile app, for on the go linking. The next year LinkedIn went through another change in leadership with

Jeff Wiener who is still currently the CEO. In 2010 LinkedIn started to grow at an extraordinary rate with over 90,000,000 million members by the end of the year, and with over 1,000 employees in 10 offices in the United States and across the Atlantic. The next year their users increased yet again to 135,000,000 users, and the company also got a listing in the New York Stock Exchange at $45 a share. Also, in 2011 they added in the apply with LinkedIn option in order to easily apply through the product 2012 was an important year for LinkedIn, this s the year their interface was updated, in order to make the experience easier to use. LinkedIn celebrated their 10-year anniversary in 2013 and celebrated with over 225,000,000 users. They also lowered the minimum age so that people could start their professional experience earlier. Since 2013 to today LinkedIn has been bought by Microsoft for $26 billion, has had a large redesign again to make the experience easier to use, as well as released many other opportunities to for its users. Currently LinkedIn has almost 600,000,000 users in around 200 Countries and is only growing.

Financial Overview

In 2016 Microsoft acquired the very successful LinkedIn for $26.2 billion. In order to make a deal this large, you must have some sort of belief and proof for the company’s success. LinkedIn has been offering subscription plans since 2004, and currently have 4 tiers. One tier being Premium Career at $29.99/month. This tier provides your profile being higher up when either a recruiter or another person searches up qualities or experience that are under your profile. It also gives you the ability to Compare yourself to other applicants that are going for the same job, and Lastly gives you small tips to improve your profile, and your career. The next tier is Premium Business at $59.99/month. This tier gives you more concise linking possibilities in order to grow your profile, as well as promote your own business. This tier also gives tips on how to improve your brand profile in order to enhance it. The third tier is Sales Navigator pro at $79.99/month. This tier unlocks sales opportunities which gives you the ability to find more leads by searching in target areas, and to better build trusted relationships with customers and prospects. The last tier is Recruiter Lite (Hiring) which is $119.99/month. The last tier gives you the ability to find candidates faster, contact talent directly and to better build relationships with future hires. A total 39% of users pay for at least one of these tiers. 39% of 600 million is 234 million users that pay for some sort of subscription. If 234 million users pay for just the cheapest subscription plan LinkedIn would take in $7.02 billion a month. Clearly many users pay for more than just the cheapest plan, so this number is on the lower side of LinkedIn’s true monthly earnings. Of course, by the end of the year LinkedIn does not make over $84 billion, much of this money goes into things like salaries and wages, new product development, growing the industry, among many other things. Before the Microsoft merger LinkedIn’s total profit was around $2.3 billion in 2017 (Microsoft had taken over late in the fiscal year). In 2018 after a full year under Microsoft their total revenue was at $5.3 billion.

Work Cited

“About LinkedIn.” About LinkedIn, LinkedIn, https://about.linkedin.com/.

Gregersen, Erik. “LinkedIn.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., https://www.britannica.com/topic/LinkedIn.

“LinkedIn History: The Road To 300 Million Members.” Top Dog Social Media, 5 Dec. 2017, https://topdogsocialmedia.com/linkedin-history/.

Potter, James. “The History of LinkedIn.” The LinkedIn Man, 22 Jan. 2017, https://thelinkedinman.com/history-linkedin/.