Being Politically Correct at Work Makes You More Creative
If you’re a #girlboss who’s fighting for more women in top positions on the daily, you’ve likely come across those who roll their eyes when you suggest they cool it on the sexist jokes. Or maybe your boss has suggested some guidelines to make sure everyone has a seat at the table, and that sparks protests from people who argue that those kinds of rules block natural creativity. Well, now there’s some hard evidence you can use to counter those arguments. A new study co-written by four US professors found that while “people tend to associate political correctness with conformity,” it can actually maximize creativity at work.
Researchers found that PC guidelines add a layer of safety to the workplace so that everyone feels comfortable sharing their ideas and bringing their creativity to the table. In other words, when your gender, race or sexual orientation isn’t being casually put down, you’re more likely to know your worth and express it. Shocker!
In this study, the researchers focused on gender, studying how groups that were either mixed-gender or single-gender worked together after imposing a “PC norm” (AKA a guideline for how men and women should interact to avoid sexism). Groups were given 10 minutes to come up with their most creative new business idea. Researchers found that the mixed-gender groups came up with a significantly higher volume of ideas and more creative ideas when a PC norm was imposed. The effect was less significant in single-gender groups, which shows that there really could be an issue with how men and women interact in the workplace.
“What the research findings mean for the state of gender relations… is troubling. The fact that men and women still experience a high level of uncertainty while working together, and that a norm as restrictive as PC provided a safer environment for free expression, means we still have a lot of work to do,” the researchers wrote in a blog post.
At the same time, the study is encouraging, since it shows that companies that are working to set clear guidelines for political correctness could be on the right track. So keep calling out those sexist co-workers, #girlbosses of the world. It’ll pay off soon!
Do you think political correctness stifles or encourages your creativity? Tweet us your thoughts @BritandCo!
(Photos via Getty)
Welcome to Selfmade Finance School, our new money series with Block Advisors to help small business owners with their tax, bookkeeping, and payroll needs year-round. This week, we explore the tax implications of bringing family members into your business.
The question for today is this: Does hiring your family members make sense for your business? Let me be clear. This is not a piece about whether hiring your family members makes sense for your relationships with those family members. As someone who is part of a family business, I could fill up a lot more than 600 words on my opinions about that. For today's purposes, we focus on whether it makes sense from an overall "good business and tax implication" perspective. As it turns out, there is a decent amount of tax nuance when it comes to employing your family. Let's break it down based on relationship to the employee:
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Spouses Who Are In Business Together
Personally, if I had to be in business with my husband, it would not go well. However, many couples build viable, strong businesses together and I say, good for them! Depending on how you have your business entity structured, it will make a big difference on the tax treatment of you and your spouse working as partners. Because a business jointly owned and operated by a married couple is generally treated as a partnership for Federal tax purposes, the spouses must comply with filing and record keeping requirements imposed on partnerships and their partners. The election to file two Schedule C (Form 1040) forms, (one for each spouse) permits certain married co-owners to avoid filing partnership returns, provided that each spouse separately reports a share of all the businesses' items of income, gain, loss, deduction, and credit. Under the election, both spouses will be subject to self-employment tax and on net earnings from self-employment and receive credit for Social Security earnings.
One Spouse Employs Another
If you have a dynamic where your spouse is an employee of your business, then your spouse's wages are subject to income tax withholding, Social Security and Medicare taxes. If you are self-employed (not a corporation or a partnership), your spouse's pay does not have to be included in your federal unemployment tax account (FUTA) contributions and payments. However, if your business is a corporation or a partnership you must include that spouse's pay in your unemployment tax contribution calculation.
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You Employ Your Child
First, let's be clear. I work in my family business, but I am an adult, so I am treated just like a normal employee. However, if you, for example, run a family restaurant and want to hire your children under 18 to work for you, there are some tax benefits. But first, you should check with your state for rules on how many hours minors can work (in non-agricultural jobs) and reference the Fair Labor Standards Act for information on limitations on the kinds of work children can perform.
"This is an often overlooked or under-utilized strategy. Paying your children for true services they provide in your business can be a powerful tax-saving tool," says Cathi Reed, Block Advisors Regional Director. "If you are a sole-proprietorship or single member LLC, and the child is less than 18 years of age, the business is not required to withhold FICA or payroll taxes. The child can use his or her standard deduction against income you pay."
You Hire Your Parent
Oh dear. If you are brave enough to do this, know that you will need to pay Social Security and Medicare taxes on your parent's wages and make the appropriate withholdings, but you don't have to pay unemployment taxes. Now all you have to do is convince your parent that you are the boss. Have fun with that!
Is Hiring Family Members Worth It For The Tax Benefits?
"There are some positive tax advantages to hiring family members. It's important to treat a family member like any other employee. Hiring your children can result in substantial savings for businesses. Make sure your child has real, age-appropriate work to do and a reasonable pay rate, comparable to other employees. Consult with a Block Advisors small business certified tax pro to ensure that you are complying with all requirements," advises Reed. "Block Advisors, a team within H&R Block, is dedicated to meeting the tax, bookkeeping and payroll needs of small business owners year-round. To start working with the tax experts at Block Advisors, visit blockadvisors.com."
In my opinion, you should not hire a family member solely because of the tax benefits. You should always hire based on whether that person is right for the job and keep in mind how this hire could materially impact your relationship with that person and others in your family. Finally, as I mentioned, make sure you have a tax professional on your team when making these determinations. As you can see, things can get a little tricky!
*All details were sourced from IRS.gov and blockadvisors.com