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Welcome back to Collective Bookmarks. This week’s newsletter is a 7 minute read, or about the time it takes to find your earbud after it drops out of your ear mid flight.

This week’s newsletter is sponsored by HqO, the world’s leading workplace experience platform. Our founder Omar and Collective Thoughts contributor Jen Paxton were invited to speak at HqO’s Boston forum this week and it was a great event all around. There were a ton of great lessons shared amongst attendees. Our big takeaway from the event was that teams that are working to understand the needs of their employees & balance those needs with the requirements of the business are clearly building programs that will last. Those efforts start with listening.

In This Week’s Issue:

Events We’re Attending: Collective Table LA Edition
Books We’re Reading: Still working on “Deep Work” by Cal Newport

As always, if you have feedback or questions please reach out.


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Three Things You Should Know

From The World of Work and Place

1.The Latest From WFH Research

The team at Stanford and released their latest batch of research this week. As always there are some very interesting insights in the report. We can now see that the total share of WFH is roughly 28.2% as of May 2023. While this is down significantly from the start of the pandemic, this is a remarkable increase from the pre-pandemic level of 4.7%. An additional point of interest in the report is the % of people who have met their co-workers in person, and how often they meet. A surprising 30.6% of remote workers had never met their colleagues. The remainder ranged from once per year to more than once a month (30.4%).

What We Think: We’re still in the early days of companies adopting the management practices they need to manage remote / hybrid workers properly. The average hybrid employee is now working 2.2 days from home per week. However, as we covered in our newsletter last week – a record number of employees are disengaged / disengaging from work. The need to adopt better management practices and up-skill both employees and managers is clear. There is no shortage of resources available already and we’d point towards Gitlab or Atlassian as companies that have put out great resources for how companies can get started on learning how to better manage in hybrid and remote environments. As stated in this and multiple previous reports, WFH share is expected to continue to increase over time. When more than 25% of our working hours nationally are worked from home, workplace teams need to focus on finding better ways to enable and engage employees wherever they are.

2. How DEI Priorities Have Slipped

In her first article for Collective Thoughts, AnnE Diemer takes on a topic that seems to have dropped from some companies priority lists – DEI. She looks back at how companies set new priorities during the wake of the George Floyd protests, how those have slipped, and what companies can do to reassess those plans now.

What We Think:  AnnE does a great job of breaking down what can be a intense and tough subject for some companies to grapple with. As she points out, study after study have shown the clear benefits of enacting DEIB initiatives. Additionally, she lays out a great way for companies who are struggling to get started down this path. We appreciate her focus on setting realistic and also very intentional goals here. Her article is a must read this week.

3. The Future of Workplace Design

Much has changed in the way we design physical workplaces in the past 3 years. In a feature in Metropolis Mag, they take a look at Publicis’ new space designed by A+I. The space is designed to be an attractor giving their 100,000 plus employees a creative clubhouse to come to. The designers and team went a long way to correct some issues with open office plans of the pre-pandemic era by creating more secluded spaces, and other focus spaces that meet the needs of now hybrid workers. The full feature is definitely worth a look.

Photo By Magda Biernat for Metropolis Mag

What We Think: We thought this feature was a great example of a company taking a step in a different direction in how they design spaces in 2023. We also appreciated that they are working to create a great workplace experience to attract as opposed to mandate employees to gather. The additional inclusion of actual floor plans ,so that others can learn from their work is a great add by the team at Metropolis Mag and we loved that A+I & Publicis allowed this. We hope to see more great shares like this as companies reimagine what it means to bring folks together to build great work.

Together with

HqO, ranked No. 75 on the Inc. 5000 list, is transforming how people connect with each other and the places they work. The HqO Workplace Experience Platform and App makes it easy for companies and commercial property teams to create modern workplaces through world-class amenities and services that allow people to thrive and produce the best results. Active in over 250 million square feet in 25 countries, 57% of the Fortune 100 rely on HqO to enhance their workplace experiences, improve employee satisfaction, and drive operational excellence.

One Big Thing

“Remember: the goals in June 2020 came from the right place – a place of empathy, critical thinking, and awareness. But if you haven’t met those goals and if you haven’t really moved the needle on DEI, then it’s time to try something new.” – AnnE Diemer

Someone You Should Know

In The World of Work And Place

Shai Poulard was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA, Shai is a talent strategy expert with 12+ years of professional experience in various industries, including Fin-tech, aerospace technology, retail, banking, biotechnology, and entertainment. She describes herself as entrepreneurial and innovative, passionate about aligning people’s skills, company resources, and development opportunities with the organization’s needs. She has a proven track record in building training and inclusion strategy and programs, strategic thinking, leadership, analytical thinking, facilitation, creative problem solving, customer service, and championing equity & inclusion. She thrives in and enjoys challenging, fast-paced, collaborative environments where autonomy and outside-of-the-box thinking are valued and encouraged.

In Her Own Words: My life Motto is to Live, Learn, Teach, Pay it Forward, and Enjoy every moment like it is the last, and I try to embody this every day. I like to be a lady of all trades where I know a little about multiple things outside of work. I do my best to maintain a healthy work-life balance, so outside of my career, I am usually looking for ways to have new experiences, whether it is a concert, traveling to a place I have never been before, singing karaoke, taking a hip hop choreography fitness class, or binge watching my favorite show which for the moment is All American. I am a new fur mom to two new fur babies (Cici and Chase), and no one prepared me for life with two puppies who are learning, growing, and finding ways to be mischievous together every day. I also firmly believe that we can impact others, whether positively or negatively, so I chose to impact others positively and pay all that has been invested in me through my village to others. No matter how you look at it, people will always drive society and business. My professional goal is to help leaders understand that you cannot achieve maximum success, so why wouldn’t you want to invest in an engaged and inclusive workforce?

One person you should know in the workplace is your CEO. Understanding what is top of mind for them and how your work enables their vision is important.

One product you should know about is NerdWallet Content and the NerdWallet App. NerdWallet is committed to providing consumers with information and tools to make the right money moves. I use NerdWallet regularly and, most recently, use the app to help me keep track of how I spend my money monthly.

Know someone Incredible?

A Product We’re Into


CXApp, The Workplace SuperAppTM, consolidates the services, features, and functions of your workplace tech stack into a single mobile app – we power experiences so employees and operations can make faster, reliable, data-driven decisions across the workplace. Simplify the complexities of work with our employe mobile app with native features that include company info, newsfeed, desk booking, conference rooms reservations, indoor wayfinding, smart workplace automation and more. 

What We Think: The team at CXApp has done a great job of building an all in one application that can make the entire digital experience seamless for employees. While it has all the typical features you’d expect from a workplace “super app,” the interface and design of CXApp is also very good. You can learn more about them below and check out their features on our workplace ecosystem as well.

That’s It For This Week

We Appreciate You

As one of our over 750 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