Welcome back to Collective Bookmarks. This week’s newsletter is a 6 minute read or about the time it takes to install a car seat in a compact car.
Last week we were lucky enough to spend some time at Epoch‘s Employee Experience Symposium. It was their second year of the event and it had tripled in size from the year before. The team created a truly welcoming atmosphere and the insights shared by the speakers were impactful but also actionable. We also ran a workshop on breaking down silos between workplace teams and getting buy-in for initiatives – two things that are core to what we do.
It’s definitely an event to check out for next year if you work in employee experience or workplace.
In This Week’s Issue:
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Three Things You Should Know
From The World of Work and Place
1.WFH & Realizing What Matters
In an opinion piece for the NY Times, Paul Krugman looks at the costs and benefits of remote work. He outlines the case that while there will be winners and losers if the adoption of remote / hybrid work sticks, it is ultimately beneficial to workers and the economy. He notes specifically that the decrease in commuting costs is equivalent to a rise of 1-3% in national income. One concern he notes is that this change largely benefits high income workers and not necessarily all workers. He goes on to state, “And one implication is that if we look at what an economy is for — namely, to serve human needs, not generate favorable statistics — America’s bounce back from the pandemic has been even more impressive than you may realize.”
What We Think: As Krugman states in his piece, the change to remote / hybrid working appears to be solidifying. If that is the case it’s an even greater reason for workplace teams to take up the challenge to build their companies new ways of working. Demand for remote work remains high among employees, and companies that want to remain competitive in this environment will have to offer some level of flexibility. Employees are better informed than ever and as you’ll see in the next article, know what they want.
2. Driving Change in Workplace
Deloitte’s recent 2023 Gen Z and Millenial Survey is full of interesting insights into how those generations are approaching work differently. While they identify a number of key points including the fact that both generations want to work for employers that share their values & want more flexibility, they also point out that both generations are more financially stressed & burned out than prior generations. However, despite these circumstances these generations are willing to work more in order to find companies that align with their desired parameters.
Why it Matters: Demanding change is nothing new. Just as the Baby Boomers demanded change when they came of age and began entering management teams – Millennials and Gen-Z are doing the same. Understanding what these new generations are asking of their employers is key for those who want to continue to hire and retain younger talent. Generational trends can be helpful to glean a broad understanding, however, we should note that no generation is a monolith. You can find the full report below.
3. Building Social Capital, Remotely
In her piece for HBR Aliza Licht highlights the importance of social capital in an increasingly hybrid / remote world. She notes that while social capital has always played a big part in how we collaborate at work, it’s now more important than ever. She puts forward four key ways we can accomplish this; Don’t be stingy with your time, be smart and intentional about how you communicate, keep track of your efforts, stay on top of your inbox, and be generous & show gratitude whenever you can. She does a great job of showcasing the need for building social capital through telling the story of her own journey from corporate employee to entrepreneur.
What We Think: The author highlights that some workers risk becoming invisible in a remote / hybrid world. As workplace professionals we should note that while employees must make efforts to build social capital (not just for the sake of their current role but any future one they may wish to get), it’s also the role of workplace teams to ensure that communication, ways of working, and teaming are built in a way that ensures everyone can contribute equitably. Even with those measures in place we believe the author’s recommendation to keep track of what you are contributing is specifically important in a remote / hybrid environment. It can be helpful during reviews but also helpful if you choose to switch companies and quickly need to highlight all your achievements to date. The author’s recommendations of ways employees can further their social capital efforts should be read in full by anyone who works in a hybrid / remote environment. As we noted in our talk last week, building social bridges requires effort!
One Big Thing
“They’re (Gen Y&Z) values-driven. Striving for work/life balance. Concerned about the environment, the state of the world, and the future they see developing ahead of them. And they’re looking for employers who will empower them to make a difference.” – Michele Parmelee Deloitte
Someone You Should Know
In The World of Work And Place
Darcy Marie Boles is a Future of Work Thought Leader, Culture Architect & Remote Experience Designer. Her deepest why is that work doesn’t have to suck, and she has dedicated her career to ensuring that it doesn’t. After spending 9 years leading remotely in startups and big tech at Airbnb, TaxJar and Stripe, she now serves as a consultant At Shift with Darcy Marie for early stage startups who are looking to build profitable, connected and sustainable remote-first cultures. When she’s not helping to increase connection and profits as a Fractional Head of Remote, facilitating a remote-first connection workshop or coaching leaders on how to write their unique culture down, you can usually find her gardening, cooking or surfing in San Diego, CA with her husband Dan and Golden Retriever, Blanche.
In Her Own Words: I tell people that my full time job is friendship.
In my 9 years of working remotely, I’ve found that remote work only truly works to its greatest potential when individuals form strong bonds of mutual trust and minor affection for one another, no matter the distance between them. While having my full time job be centered around friendship may sound light and fun, humans are inexplicably complicated beings and teaching folks how to work well remotely and build relationships that matter is no easy feat. Remove the physical office and all you’ve got holding folks together are intrinsic values and a whole lotta collective unlearning to do! So, I design virtual ecosystems to help folks shift their mindsets and behaviors to thrive in the new world of work.
I guess the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree – my dad is a behavioral scientist and ever since I was a little kid I’ve been fascinated with why people do what they do. Part of my job as a remote work consultant is to study patterns of behavior in distributed environments and codify solutions to the nuances that come when teams aren’t physically together, all the way from hire to retire. It’s awesome!
I really love being creative and coming up with solutions to problems we’ve faced in the world of work since the industrial revolution. I even recently bought myself a lab coat and lab goggles which I put on when facing a particularly challenging situation :). I genuinely believe that if we intentionally build the future of work on the pillars of our three deepest psychological needs – Autonomy, Belonging, and Competency (what I call the ABCs of remote work), we can create a pretty epic win-win world of work that benefits all stakeholders.
Wanna be friends? Connect with me on LinkedIN and sign up for my weekly newsletter (coming soon).
An Update on Our Ecosystem
Submit Your Solution
We’ve been delighted with the response to date for our Workplace Solution Ecosystem. We’re happy to note that we’ve now added a form for companies to be able to add their solutions to the list. That form can be found on the page that is linked below.
On Process: We’ve been able to continue this mapping process thanks in part to the efforts of our external advisor Henry Massey. Once a company submits a solution, we’ll reach out with any questions and ensure the response is accurate before adding it to the map. If you have questions you can reach out to us on the contact page as well!
That’s It For This Week
We Appreciate You
As one of our over 700+ 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 workplace professionals to move beyond conversation.
Until next time – Omar and Kayla