Welcome back to Collective Bookmarks. This week’s newsletter is a 6 minute read or about the time it takes to get the sand out of your car after a visit to the beach.
Last week we got the chance to attend Purposeful Intent LA which focused on technology. The attendees were as welcoming as ever, dinner was a great chance to share stories, and the speakers & moderators were all top notch.
We especially enjoyed the talks by Eric Termuende and Allie K Miller. It’s always important for those of us who create workplaces to understand where technology is heading so that we can prepare for and adapt to change.
Quote of the day definitely goes to Eric “After surveying thousands of people around the world I learned there are two things people don’t like; change, and the way things are.” Stay strong out there workplace change friends!
In This Week’s Issue:
- Three Things You Should Know
- A Person You Should Know: Omar Ramirez
- A Product We’re Into: Ludio
Events We’re Attending: Building Bridges, Not Walls: Encouraging Collaboration in Modern Workplace in San Francisco with Gable
Books We’re Reading: Deep Work by Cal Newport
As always, if you have feedback or questions please reach out below.
Three Things You Should Know
From The World of Work and Place
1.The Experience of Parents In The Workplace
In her first article for Collective Thoughts Jen Paxton gets personal about her experiences as a parent in workplace. As a workplace practitioner Jen has a unique view into both her lived experience and how companies can better support their team members. She provides some great actionable advice for how workplaces can support their employees, but also provides insights into how individuals can better enable themselves as a parent / employee.
What We Think: Jens’ experiences highlight an attempt to find balance that all working parents have been through. As workplace professionals it’s important for us to recognize that our lived experiences can make us even better stewards of our workplace and enable us to create better solutions for the parents that come into the workplace next. We highly recommend reading her entire piece.
2. Apple’s New Headset, Will it Change the Way We Work?
This week Apple unveiled their mixed reality headset dubbed “Apple Vision Pro” to the world. The product allows users to play games, watch movies, use a suite of applications, and even Facetime using a realistic avatar. Priced at 3499 it will be the most expensive headset on the market. Apple is betting big that folks will not just use this device for fun but actively use it for working. A piece, highlighted heavily in the presentation but also in the Verge review linked below is using the device for viewing multiple screens to review presentations / collaborate on work.
What We Think: First, let’s talk about what we love. There’s a lot of really cool technology built into the device. We love that it has gesture control instead of having another remote or thing we have to carry with us. Additionally, the ability to pull up multiple screens to review docs while still being able to see your surroundings is a huge step forward for these kinds of devices. No more cluttering up rooms with 4 monitors! Now for the things we think might be troublesome. First, the price tag is quite high. If you’ve ever had trouble getting a $200 dollar monitor approved, you’ll know this headset might be a hard sell for some teams. Secondly, while we love this technology, we hope people will use it individually when alone and not necessarily when together. We’re already locked into our phones constantly. At a time when we need human connection more than ever, we hope people will use this to improve remote collaboration, and then get together in person to switch off too. In all of this one thing is certain, brick and mortar offices have another competitor, a quickly improving digital workplace.
3. Spotify’s Latest Ways of Working Results
In her latest piece for Spotify’s HR Blog Sonya Simmonds dives into the latest survey results of their Work From Anywhere program. In it she notes that employees appreciate the flexibility of the program, there is trust being built on both sides, and that despite this flexibility – employees still appreciate having workplaces that aren’t their home. She also notes that while productivity remains high, they are continually working to strike the right balance of synchronous and asynchronous work to avoid burnout. One way they’re doing this is by utilizing team agreements.
What We Think: The results of Spotify and other companies WFA / flexible programs are encouraging. We’re happy to see teams working out in the open as well and sharing the results of their internal surveys where possible. We also appreciate the intentionality with which they are building. Looking critically at your ways of working and continually refining are key parts of any workplace going forward, and so we really appreciate their approach. You can read her full piece at the link below.
One Big Thing
“Spotifiers see our spaces as connection points to bring people together, whether or not the people are part of their direct teams or simply colleagues who work side-by-side. They also see them as separation points that support their work-life and life-work balance. ” – Sonya Simmonds Spotify
Someone You Should Know
In The World of Work And Place
Omar Ramirez is the co-founder of Collective, but you probably already know that. Before co-founding Collective Omar developed workplace, design, and facilities programs at top companies such as Atlassian, Netflix, Dropbox, Stripe, and Google. He is also a husband and father of two awesome boys.
In His Own Words: As a kid I was always curious and my parents definitely encouraged that curiosity from an early age. We were exposed to music, film, art, and were lucky enough to travel back to Peru where my father was from a number of times. After being diagnosed with Leukemia at a young age, everything got put on pause. I still had my curiosity though and somewhere along that journey I became deeply curious about how people formed beliefs. That journey of curiosity led me to study religion in college. To pay for part of my schooling I was working as a resident director, working off-site as a facilities assistant, and even worked in the school paper shop. I got to see a lot about how building ran and how the infrastructure that supports communities worked (behind the scenes).
As I floundered post college into the recession of 2008, I was lucky enough to find the world of facilities. It combined two of the things I loved the most – building culture and the infrastructure behind it. I took the first job that would have me and never looked back. That same sense of curiosity has carried me to many jobs and projects in as many countries. That path also led me to LA where I met my wife (we got married after 6 months but that’s another story).
Today I want to make the journey for all the folks who come after me an easier one. I want to make workplace better so that they don’t have to struggle with the same issues I faced. When I started working in workplace we still put up paper room schedules and now we have VR headsets. Change is happening quicker but a lot about how we build culture hasn’t changed. We still need connection and community.
That’s where I’m at now and I appreciate you reading a bit more about how we got here.
Know someone Incredible?
A Product We’re Into
If you’re a manager, finding new engaging activities to do often with your remote team can be hard. Organizers don’t have a ton of time to research good options (they’re not full-time event planners), and not all activities work well over video chat. Even putting together a simple trivia game can require a lot of effort – enough effort that you’ll only do it once!
Ludio is a video-chat platform for playing bite-sized games with your remote team. Think Zoom-meets-party-games where the video, the audio, and the game live on one screen.
Ludio offers 15+ games that are designed to be fun over video chat for any number of players – and require zero work from organizers. Our most popular games are Codenames, Take 5, and Insider. The games are very accessible, even to “non gamers”, and there’s no preparation required – the games run themselves!
Ludio is currently used by 10+ remote companies for their monthly/weekly team socials.
What We Think: Finding ways for teams to connect remotely and to make meeting less transactional can be tough. Not all teams can afford to get together IRL every month or even every quarter. Ludio has created a solution that enable folks to build that social connection while having a little fun along the way. We got a chance to try out Ludio’s solution and the way they’re integrating a long running tradition at companies (games) is really ingenious. You can learn more at the link below.
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