Reference Blog Entries

Work, work, work...

Laura's picture

It's 1931.The Great Depression is spreading worldwide. People are out of work. Banks have failed. An eminent British economist  publishes an essay titled “Economic Possibilities for Our Grandchildren” in which he predicts the following for working people:Image - Scales with Work-Life Balance in Chalk Drawing

He predicts that not only will the economy return to normal, it will be significantly better within three generations due, in large part, to: 

Fast forward to 2015.  The modern workplace does not match his prediction. There are new attitudes, technological advances and new influences on the economy that John Maynard Keynes (1883-1946) could not have foreseen.

What are the trends in the modern workforce? What are economists predicting now? Take this quick quiz and test your knowledge.  

Find the answers at the end of the quiz. Click on the answers to go to the source and read the entire article. Most are taken from the library's databases, e-reference books and books, some are from websites.  

  1. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics how many hours did the average American work in 2014?
  2. What is a CWW and what are some of its advantages?
  3. The Fair Labor Standards Act does not define how many hours a worker must work to be considered a full-time worker. Historically it has been left up to the employer to decide.  However, when the Affordable Care Act was put into place it became necessary to set a definite number of hours.  Which of the following did they choose?
    • (A) 30 hours
    • (B) 35 hours
    • (C) 40 hours
  4. How many hours did the average commuter in Columbus spend driving to and from work in 2014, according to an article in the Columbus Dispatch in May of this year?
  5. The United States is the only advanced economy in the world that does not have a paid parental-leave policy. True or False?
  6. Explain the difference between Work-Life Balance and Work-Life Integration.
  7. The Society of Organizational and Industrial Psychology (SIOP) predicted 10 technology workplace trends for 2014 as published in an article in EHS in March of 2014.  Which of the following were among the 10 trends for 2014?
    • (A) Gamification
    • (B) Greater use of Big Data
    • (C) Increasing Efficiency
    • (D) More Social Responsiblity
    • (D) All of the above

  8. ​Nationwide Insurance Company, based in Columbus, Ohio announced this month that it will increase the minimum wage for some of its employees to $15.00 per hour.  True or False?


  1.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average workday for an American worker in 2014 was 7.75 hours.
  2. A CWW or compressed work week is a flexible work arrangement in which employees work longer hours four days a week and have the fifth day of the workweek off. Benefits include 
  3. 30 Hours per week.
  4. The average amount of time a commuter in Columbus spent going to and from work was 41 hours in 2014.
  5. True
  6. Work-Life Balance refers to a traditional job schedule in which one maintains a regular workweek and juggles time for family and outside interests outside of work.  Work-Life Integration involves a flexible work schedule that allows the worker to take care of personal business as it arises during the work day.  Work may be done outside the traditional work day. In general, Millennials favor Work-Life Integration and Boomers favor Work-Life Balance.
  7. (D)  All of the above
  8. True

Life on Mars

Megan's picture

The Martian by Andy Weir book cover

Andy Weir’s The Martian will be released as a film early next month - if you haven’t read it, it provides a delightful fictional account of how a human astronaut could survive on Mars with very limited means. The book has been praised for its accuracy, and NASA itself has even pitched in on the film. Learn more about Mars, from our efforts to explore the planet to our cultural fascination with life on Mars. Remember - you’ll need a library card number and PIN to access UAPL databases from home.

You can even follow the Mars Curiosity Rover on Twitter to keep up to date with the latest discoveries!