Welcome back to Collective Bookmarks. This week’s newsletter is many words and a 5 minute read.

Spring is in the air and we’re quickly approaching the summer vacation season. Conference season is also well underway and we’ve been having an awesome time getting to spend some quality time with workplace folks in different cities and specialties. Last week we ran a round table at IFMAs Facility Fusion on breaking down the silos between teams. Our biggest take-away was that all our combined teams form a scaffolding of support for our companies. Without all of them operating in concert, the support system fails. We’ll be sharing more in a full write up soon.

In This Week’s Issue:

As always if you have feedback or want to sponsor / support you can reach out below.

Three Things You Should Know

From The World of Work and Place

1.How American Cities Can Avoid The Urban Doom Loop

In the latest episode of the “Plain English” podcast with Derek Thompson, Dror Poleg discuss the downwind effects of empty offices. The ecosystem of cities are complex, vast, and much of the support systems of cities have been designed around office use cases. Together they dive into what options cities have for reinvention and avoiding further issues.

What We Think: The story of cities is complex. Dror and Michael have a lively discussion in this episode and we really appreciated the nuance they get into. A key point they touch on – total hours worked remotely, though down from the peak, are still 25% of total hours worked nationally. This massive shift will continue to have an impact on cities for some time as they are forced to adapt to this change. This episode is worth a listen for workplace professionals since we will be the ones enabling these distributed teams, but also the ones internally who will need to understand how the cityscape is shifting for our local teams.

2. Team Agreements, Outcomes, Asynchrony: The Future of Work Trifecta

In their latest episode of their “Flex Perspectives” podcast, Rob Sadow sits down with Brian Elliot of The Future Forum to discuss why mandates don’t work, how team agreements can better enable distributed teams, and managing teams with an outcomes based approach.

What We Think: We’ve really enjoyed the level of thought provoking content that the Scoop team has been putting out. So far their Flex Perspectives podcast is no exception. They dive deep into not just what these topics mean but how to take action on each of these subjects and get started. Brian does an excellent job of diving deep into what are complex management topics in an approachable way. Our key take-away was that most teams are still using the old ways of managing in a new way of operating. If you’re a workplace manager that is now managing a distributed team, this episode is a great one to watch.

3. Quantifying Remote Work

In a recent effort the Centre For Economic Policy Research recently sought to understand where the shift in remote work is taking place by diving into job postings. They looked at 250 million job postings across 5 english speaking countries using a large language model. As seen below, they were able to map which job postings explicitly offered hybrid or fully remote work based on their parameters.

What We Think: Do workplace teams need to become economists now too?? Probably not, but having an ability to read and interpret high level studies can definitely be helpful. We’re glad that research groups like CEPR are diving into this kind of information in order to help us better understand just how big an impact remote work will continue to have. This can enable workplace professionals to understand how they should be preparing their own teams and orgs to adjust to the new state of distributed work as well. Our key take-away from their info and summaries shared was that wfh is now flattening. As Nick Bloom pointed out this should indicate that wfh / remote work is now solidifying at these rates. Read more below.

One Big Thing

“Friday is dead forever, and Monday is touch and go. ” – Steve Roth Vornado Realty Trust

Someone You Should Know

In The World of Work And Place

Shannon Riley is an award-winning, creative leader and cultural entrepreneur, who’s spent her career producing innovative experiences bringing artwork to life, pushing the boundaries of what is possible in the art world. She is the Founder and CEO of Building 180, a women-run art agency whose mission is to inspire change through art and to help artists maintain sustainable careers. Most recently, Shannon co-founded and became Executive Director of Bay-Area non-profit arts initiative, Paint the Void, that has commissioned over 200 artists to paint murals on boarded storefronts in the wake of COVID-19.

Shannon focuses on amplifying the voices and work of artists. She cultivates community, fostering collaboration and trust to inspire the idea that anything is possible. She previously worked in Business Development and Sales for Fortune 500 Companies and a handful of small tech start-ups. In 2015 Shannon embarked on a new adventure to start Building 180 and follow her passion as an entrepreneur, artist and designer.

In Her Own Words: I am the magician’s assistant. I really feel that I am. I get to work with artists, makers, creators, inventors, doers and above all passionate people who say yes to doing things that have never been done before, to seeing things through a new perspective. That is all art, right? No matter the medium, whether you’re cooking, playing music, painting, sculpting, writing – you’re putting together things that have never been mixed together before and the outcome is, well MAGIC! And I am not saying all art is perfect, that’s my other favorite part about my job. I surround myself with people who fail and aren’t afraid of failing. It isn’t about the end result, it is about the process and in that process you learn, you get back up and you try again, and with all these lessons and practice we know that we can create something BIG. 

I help build big art and change the way people interact with the world. Prior to Building 180, I was in a job that made me miserable, serving people who I did not respect. In 2012, I became a part of this Burning Man art community and was forever changed by how a group of people could make such an incredible impact. I wanted to follow this pull to become a larger part of this insanely, wild and talented group of people but I couldn’t figure out exactly how to do my part. Yes, I am creative and I’ve always practiced my own art, but not in the way these folks were. 

In 2015, I volunteered to build a 72ft high temple in Derry, Ireland, before it was ceremonially burnt. The temple turned traditional associations with bonfire burning in Northern Ireland on their head. Bonfires have long been a part of Northern Ireland’s history. During the Troubles Protestant churches were firebombed by Catholics. Every summer, rival bonfires the size of small mountains still burned, and with them the flags and effigies of the other side. To some the bonfires were a time-honoured tradition, to others they created tension and division. Over 1,000 people helped in making this temple, over 75,000 people visited it during the week it was open to the public before it burned to the ground. The message was in letting go, in healing. This experience changed me forever. I realized art at this scale could live beyond Burning Man and touch the lives of many. 

I took it upon myself to use my past career, as Executive in Advertising Sales and Production, to help these artists build their careers, first with websites and instagrams and then with contracts and sales. I launched my LLC, legally known as Broke But Grand, to celebrate the “starving/broke artist” and their grand lifestyle. I didn’t care about making money, I just wanted to live in the feeling that the artwork created when shared with the public. From there Building 180 (the artist warehouse where I first met all these artists, and the “DBA” name of my company) took on the job of supporting and placing many magicians’ artwork. I have a dream job, and everyday I feel so damn lucky!

A (Physical) Product We’re Into Right Now

The Peel Chair

Prowl debuted their new Peel Chair in collaboration with M4 at Milan this week. As we covered in a previous issue, waste in furniture is a huge issue. They’re taking novel approach to help solve that problem and raise awareness of the issues. From Dezeen: “California-based design studio Prowl collaborated with M4 Factory to create the Expect Death exhibition at Alcova, Milan. Their exhibition proposed biodegradable hemp as a new material for manufacturing stacking chairs, which can be returned to the earth when it no longer serves a purpose. Their design explores new beginnings created at the end of a lifecycle.”

Photo By Noah Webb

What We Think: We love seeing designers figure out ways to create beautiful furniture with materials that won’t have a long term negative impact on the world. The team at Prowl are doing a great job of walking the walk when it comes to sustainable design. Prowl does much more than just design furniture but you can check out more about their current project below.

That’s It For This Week

We Appreciate You

As one of our over 300+ weekly readers we appreciate you being an early subscriber. We’ve reached over 5000 humans already and can’t wait to reach even more of you. Together, we believe we can enable teams at the intersection of work and place to move beyond conversation.

Until next time – Omar and Kayla