Yuki Noguchi

Yuki Noguchi is a correspondent on the Business Desk based out of NPR's headquarters in Washington D.C. Since joining NPR in 2008, she's covered business and economic news, and has a special interest in workplace issues — everything from abusive working environments, to the idiosyncratic cubicle culture. In recent years she has covered the housing market meltdown, unemployment during the Great Recession, and covered the aftermath of the tsunami in Japan in 2011. As in her personal life, however, her coverage interests are wide-ranging, and have included things like entomophagy and the St. Louis Cardinals.

Prior to joining NPR, Yuki started her career as a reporter for The Washington Post. She reported on stories mostly about business and technology, and later became an editor.

Yuki grew up with a younger brother speaking her parents' native Japanese at home. She has a degree in history from Yale.

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4:12pm

Tue September 30, 2014
Business

Preventing Worker Burnout Can Boost The Bottom Line

Originally published on Tue September 30, 2014 6:46 pm

iStockphoto

Burnout at work seems like a fact of life, especially with employers cutting back on leave benefits.

But some companies are trying novel fixes. In addition to boosting morale, some employers say, eliminating burnout can increase productivity and profitability.

At Aptify, a Virginia software company, burnout was a problem a few years ago. Projects demanded long hours, which affected motivation and morale. It's a medium-size firm, with 200 workers, but at the time, procedures seemed overly corporate and cumbersome.

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4:59am

Mon September 22, 2014
Business

Rockefeller Brothers Fund Forsakes Its Legacy

Originally published on Tue September 23, 2014 4:18 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

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3:21am

Wed September 10, 2014
Business

New York Says It's Time To Flip The Switch On Its Power Grid

Originally published on Wed September 10, 2014 11:18 am

A worker repairs electrical lines in Plainview, N.Y., after Superstorm Sandy in 2012. A proposed plan to overhaul the state's power grid could help the system better withstand severe weather and enable energy to be stored and managed more efficiently.
Bruce Bennett Getty Images

In the power business, it's all about managing the peaks.

During the hottest days of summer, electric utilities run at full capacity to keep giant cities comfortably cool. But most of the rest of the year, half that capacity goes unused — and that's highly inefficient.

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4:14pm

Thu September 4, 2014
News

The Big Picture Of The Fast-Food Wage Dispute

Originally published on Thu September 4, 2014 6:51 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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5:07am

Tue September 2, 2014
Business

What's In A Name? Former Arthur Andersen Employees Spell It Out

Originally published on Tue September 2, 2014 10:01 am

Courtesy of Prime Group

Arthur Andersen is back. Or at least the old accounting firm's name will be, for the first time since its association with accounting scandals at Enron more than a decade ago.

The firm was criminally convicted — a decision that was later overturned, although that came too late to save the company.

As of Monday, a company called WTAS is adopting the Andersen name and, in doing so, hopes clients will have forgotten the bad associations.

'That Was The End'

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3:30am

Wed August 27, 2014
Business

Driven By Climate Change, Cotton Buyers Look For Alternatives

Originally published on Wed August 27, 2014 11:32 pm

Unifi makes Repreve, a thread that comes from plastic waste bottles and leftover polyester scraps, at its Yadkinville, N.C., facility.
Courtesy of Unifi

VF Corp. is one of the biggest clothing companies you might not have heard of. But its brands include Lee and Wrangler jeans, Timberland shoes and The North Face, and it also makes uniforms for police and major league sports teams.

It's also a large purchaser of cotton. "We buy roughly 1 percent of the cotton available in the world," says Letitia Webster, VF's senior director of sustainability. Her job is to both reduce the company's greenhouse gas footprint and reduce its risks from climate change.

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4:32pm

Tue August 12, 2014
Shots - Health News

Colorado Case Puts Workplace Drug Policies To The Test

Originally published on Thu August 14, 2014 5:23 pm

Workplace drug testing for marijuana may need updating in light of changing laws, a case before the Colorado Supreme Court suggests.
Kai-Huei Yau MCT/Landov

A car accident crushed Brandon Coats' upper spine when he was 16, leaving him unable to walk. His muscles still spasm, disrupting sleep and causing pain.

"If I'm out in public it's embarrassing," Coats says. "It's always uncomfortable. If I smoke marijuana, it almost completely alleviates it" — more, he says, than other prescriptions.

Coats smokes at night, and says he was never high when answering customer calls at Dish Network. "I was really good at my job," he says.

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4:03pm

Wed August 6, 2014
Business

Who's The Boss? Labor Board Says It's McDonald's, As Much As Franchisee

Originally published on Wed August 6, 2014 7:29 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

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4:20pm

Thu July 31, 2014
Shots - Health News

Amid Smoking Decline, Look Who's Still Lighting Up

Originally published on Mon August 4, 2014 10:18 am

Tobacco giant Reynolds American is buying Lorillard and acquiring Newport, a popular menthol cigarette. In a shrinking market, Newport is one of the few U.S. brands gaining market share. It is particularly popular among African-American smokers.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Robin Koval is making a career of her changed tobacco habit.

"I'm a child of a smoker — my father was a heavy smoker," Koval says. "Really typical to the way the story goes, I started smoking when I was 15."

Now she is president and CEO of Legacy, a foundation devoted to preventing tobacco use.

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10:37am

Sun July 20, 2014
Business

Justice Dept. Charges FedEx For Online Drug Shipments

Originally published on Sun July 20, 2014 12:08 pm

Transcript

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A federal grand jury indicted FedEx last week on charges the company knowingly shipped drugs from illegal online pharmacies. NPR's Yuki Noguchi reports the disputes over shippers' responsibilities in the illegal drug trade go back many years.

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3:27am

Wed July 16, 2014
Shots - Health News

Coping With A Co-Worker's Body Odor Takes Tact

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 1:14 pm

We can all work up a stinky sweat — welders, ballerinas and number-crunchers alike. Would you want to know?
emreogan/iStockphoto

It's summer. It's sweaty. And sometimes that means people are trailing some pungent body odors that their colleagues can't help but smell. But how do you tactfully inform co-workers that they stink and need to address it? As Cath Ludeman-Hall will tell you, it isn't easy.

She was just out of college and a newbie at a staffing firm when she was asked to gently talk to an older worker in a retail warehouse after his colleagues complained that he stank.

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3:33am

Tue July 8, 2014
Business

Paintballing The Boss: Office Team-Building Exercises Gone Bad

Originally published on Tue July 8, 2014 9:51 am

A team-building exercise involving marshmallows and knives is led by Create-Learning. This is relatively tame compared with some co-worker bonding activities.
Clark Dever Courtesy of Create-Learning

Who can forget that game of Twister played in a skirt? Or the failed "trust fall" where the boss ends up on the ground?

Office team-building exercises often create lasting memories — just not necessarily ones you want to remember.

Several years ago Ben Johnson worked at a health foods store in Iowa. He remembers store management stringing up a donkey piñata to pump up the workers.

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3:49am

Wed July 2, 2014
Shots - Health News

Targeting Overweight Workers With Wellness Programs Can Backfire

Originally published on Wed July 2, 2014 2:08 pm

Employers say obesity is a top health concern for their workers. But health is a sensitive and personal issue. Some employees say these wellness initiatives can go too far.

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3:27am

Tue June 24, 2014
Environment

As Sea Levels Rise, Norfolk Is Sinking And Planning

Originally published on Tue June 24, 2014 11:25 am

The naval base at Norfolk has had to build two levels to its docks to accommodate rising sea levels. The water level has risen about 1 1/2 feet since 1920.
Yuki Noguchi NPR

From the water's edge in Norfolk, Va., the U.S. naval base spans the whole horizon. Aircraft carriers, supply centers, barracks and admirals' homes fill a vast expanse.

But Ray Toll, a retired naval oceanographer, says the "majority of [the naval base], if not all of it" is at risk of flooding "because it's so low and it's flat."

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4:32pm

Thu June 5, 2014
Business

Sprint Might Finally Get Its Way With Possible T-Mobile Deal

Originally published on Thu June 5, 2014 7:58 pm

Transcript

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Sprint has made no secret of its designs on its smaller rival, T-Mobile. And today, there were multiple reports of a tentative deal valued at around $32 billion. Sprint chairman, Masayoshi Son, has said a deal would make it possible for Sprint to offer more competition in high-speed Internet. But as NPR's Yuki Noguchi reports, there are still plenty of obstacles to the proposed takeover.

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