Welcome back to Collective Bookmarks. This week’s newsletter is a 6 minute read or about 12 TikToks.
The world of workplace is going through what we often refer to as the “messy middle.” We can’t go back to the past way of doing things, and the beautiful future is still in the distance. This is the time where we try things, figure things out, and work towards that future. It can feel confusing, messy, and just downright not great sometimes. However, we know that if we work as a collective we can get there, and so we move forward. Onwards.
In This Week’s Issue:
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Three Things You Should Know
From The World of Work and Place
1.What is a Digital Nomad?
To write her recent study on digital nomadism Alma Andino Frydman spent a summer living as one in Mexico. She conducted 50 interviews with digital nomads to get at the heart of who they were, and why they choose to live / work this way. What she found were people who valued new experiences, freedom of movement, and a craving for work life balance. She also found that issues such as gentrification and loneliness come along with some of the more positive aspects of digital nomadism. However, still 70% of these digital nomads would quit, if asked to change their way of living.
What We Think: We found Alma’s work through our LinkedIn network and were immediately hooked. We definitely need more people looking at digital nomads, and other new ways of working to better understand the real affect they have on local communities. Studies like this will also help us to better understand the needs of future generations of workers and what kind of changes we need to make or adapt from a compliance perspective in workplace. Tax code hasn’t quite caught up with digital nomads, but it certainly will soon.
2. Talent, Scarcity, and Culture
In a recent article Dror Poleg breaks down a new theory from Nadia Asparouhova about how company culture forms. The premise is that cultural norms are dependent on the type of talent each specific company is looking to attract. These three types as Dror calls them are industrial, modern, and creative companies. For example, a modern company would be current state Google with their emphasis on top performing generalists. As a result their company culture is a meritocracy oriented towards innovation. The mapping has a multitude of implications for how companies develop.
Why it Matters: As Dror points out in his article, the scarcity of talent will drive each company looking for these more rare types of talent to adopt different working models to attract / retain talent. “Corporate structure and culture are downstream from talent distribution. The type of talent a company relies on determines how it is managed and the type of stories it tells itself.” We think this is an interesting dynamic for workplace teams to understand as we select which companies we want to work at / build culture at. As Dror points out Google started as a creative company 20 years ago, but is now a modern company. Internally we always just referred to this as working at a different “stage” of a company’s lifecycle. We frequently saw counterparts going to work at an earlier company because they preferred that early creative mode vs the later mode. We encourage you to read Dror’s whole article, then Nadia’s too. If you’ve got even more time, why not pick up her book.
3. Productivity, Do Bosses Really Understand It?
In this article for Vox Rani Molla does an excellent job of breaking down the issues with measuring productivity in a modern context. Most knowledge workers aren’t really making widgets and as she points out there is a focus from managers on measuring inputs vs outputs that can lead to negative effects such as “performance working.” She emphasizes that the results of research are variable about whether people are more productive remotely or in person. When it comes to productivity, the context of each individual company is extremely important. Much of the reversion to the status quo seems to be about ease vs pushing to learn new management methods.
What We Think: Rani does a great job of breaking down the latest research and emphasizing why it is important to understand productivity better. Worker engagement is dropping lower and lower. However, those who are forced to RTO have the lowest engagement scores of all. Workplace teams have their work cut out for them but are on the front lines of helping executives to understand that new methods of management are needed for working remotely / hybrid but also that there is no one size fits all approach.
One Big Thing
“70% of subjects said they would quit. For these digital nomads, the freedom to live anywhere to pursue a lifestyle they desire is worth more than any raise.” – Alma Andino Frydman
Someone You Should Know
In The World of Work And Place
Lauren Pollack is an Executive Workplace Strategy Consultant for CRUX Workplace, based in Washington, DC. She has cultivated a diverse background in interior design, facilities management, employee & client experience, coaching, and design thinking over more than 15 years. Lauren’s role with CRUX brings together her passions for research, workplace design, and talent health, creating strategies that enhance employee experience, client engagement, and organization effectiveness.
Lauren is an expert at asking the right questions, listening to and synthesizing the needs of employees and teams into actionable insights that guide businesses to overcome barriers. Inspired by digital facilitation, Lauren is always ready to design a new workshop or framework to help teams and individuals get “unstuck”. She is proud to bring this skillset to CRUX’s clients, helping organizations around the globe create atmospheres where employees and businesses can thrive.
In addition to designing tools for CRUX, you can find Lauren creating personal development frameworks and workshops to help friends and colleagues clarify their path forward.
In Her Own Words: Following breadcrumbs of curiosity has led me to discover work about which I am passionate! By seeking out true interests as opposed to what I believed “made sense” professionally, opportunities to apply those outside-the-box skills within our industry emerged. I’ve been lucky to work and apprentice with amazing mentors along the way, allowing me to receive hands on experience with new skillsets while in my previous role.
My writing and research centers around finding new routes to experience wellbeing in the workplace. I hope to demystify challenging topics and help people remove perceived barriers to experience their potential for growth and clarity. In applying this lens to spaces and processes in the workplace, I like to show how intangible concepts take physical form.
I look forward to bringing more of myself to the industry and to my work as I continue to follow my curiosity!
A Product We’re Into Right Now
Archilogic is a digital twin management platform that makes your spatial data accessible, useful, and AI-ready. We provide a scalable onboarding service for digitizing floor plans, a suite of native applications for managing them and keeping them up to date, and a marketplace of third-party systems, services, and product offerings that you can integrate with.
What We Think: Being able to go from pdf floor plans to an actively updatable digital twin is a huge step for most teams. Archilogic certainly would have made the first 3 years of our careers easier. When you add a suite of integrations to that you have a pretty great setup. Archilogic is also actively experimenting with AI and LLMs to further bolster the usefulness of their integrations. If you want to know more just click the link below.
That’s It For This Week
We Appreciate You
As one of our over 600+ weekly readers we appreciate you being an early subscriber. We’ve reached over 6000 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