Welcome back to Collective Bookmarks. This week’s newsletter is a 5 minute read, or about the time it takes to get the sand out of your shoes after walking on the beach. This week’s newsletter is sponsored by HqO, the world’s leading workplace experience platform.

Last night we brought together some awesome workplace folks from across LA to break bread, share stories, and build connection. At the heart of Collective’s mission is enabling workplace professionals, and we believe one critical piece of that is building the community each of us needs to feel supported.

Our thanks go out to Nellie Hayat for opening her home to us all and to the team at Calven for sponsoring the dinner. We can’t wait for the next one.

In This Week’s Issue:

Events We’re Attending: Our Collective Table LA Edition
Books We’re Reading: “Get Together” by Bailey Richardson, Kevin Huynh, and Kai Elmer Sotto

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.What’s in a Zoom Background?

Whether we like it or not, video calls are a part of our life now. In a recent article the WSJ lends some advice on what actually works or doesn’t work for a great zoom background. They point out that while it might seem smart to have a sterile background that doesn’t distract etc, it actually is a missed opportunity. Just like making a first impression in person, the zoom background is an opportunity for self expression and starting adding to the conversation. They point out that there are limits here as well. An extremely messy space, or something that could create the wrong impression should be avoided.

What We Think: We always enjoy a well curated zoom background. However, much like when people are expressing themselves through the way they dress or present themselves, we want it to be authentic. A lot of first impressions happen over zoom now and you definitely want to share a bit more about yourself and maybe some of your interests outside of work. We appreciate the movement to bring our whole self to work, and to be able to express our personalities safely. The zoom background is just another opportunity for that. Hopefully your company culture also encourages self expression!

2. What is Workplace?

We often say workplace is the scaffolding that supports the employee ecosystem. In our most recent Collective Thoughts piece our co-founder Kayla dives into what a workplace team is and why all of it’s different parts are so vital to supporting employees. Kayla looks at the different roles in workplace and what they all do but she also gets into why working in workplace might be a great career choice. If you are a current practitioner or someone curious about workplace, we highly suggest reading this piece.

3. The Hottest New Perk is Flexibility

What size of companies are the most flexible? In a recent article Vox looked at what size of companies were the most flexible and how flexibility is turning into the ultimate perk. It turns out that larger tech companies are the least flexible, and smaller tech companies (<500) were the most flexible. As Vox points out, there was a time when the large companies like Google attracted the best and brightest employees with lavish perks. Now it seems those companies are behaving more like traditional older companies, and the smaller technology companies are competing for talent by offering the most sought after perk of all – flexibility. They note in the article that big tech is roughly 65% hybrid, not that far off from larger companies in the overall pool where 60% are hybrid.

What We Think: As companies grow they will inevitably change their programs and benefits to attract & retain talent. Smaller technology companies are able to be more nimble and don’t have the same burdens of large portfolios and other encumbrances that larger companies have. As a result hey are better able to adjust and give their employees flexibility. While AirBnB might seem like a “large” tech company, they are much smaller than Google, Apple, and similar large tech companies. We continue to see a variety of work models and setups as advantageous for employees. In the end employees will be able to select the work model that works best for them at the stage of life they are in and make it one more factor in how they choose a company to work at. Whether that will work out long term for these companies is a big question.

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

“In the face of volatility and uncertainty, it is human nature to want to revert back to something that is a known quantity,” – Caitlin Duffy, Gartner

Someone You Should Know

In The World of Work And Place

José Subero Diaz was born in the Dominican Republic and having lived in vibrant cities like NYC, São Paulo, and Amsterdam, José brings a global perspective to the world of workplace design. With a strong background in architecture and design, he has had the privilege of working with renowned companies like Starbucks, ING Bank, and Miro, leading innovative projects across the globe.

As a leader in workplace design and innovation at Miro, a cutting-edge collaborative digital platform, José has played a pivotal role in shaping the future of work. By harnessing the platform’s capabilities, he has created environments that seamlessly facilitate collaboration, unlocking the full potential of distributed teams while fostering creativity and connectivity.

In His Own Words: I’ve come to embrace the notion that there are no rules.
Instead, I view constraints as latent opportunities for creativity as long as we remain open to the vast realm of possibilities. Curiosity has been my guiding force, driving me to explore new territories and push the boundaries of what’s considered conventional. Learning, whether from books, podcasts, or engaging conversations, has always been a deep-rooted passion. At work, I value autonomy and trust and extend those values to the teams I collaborate with. Trust creates a supportive environment where everyone can thrive, and autonomy allows for the unfettered exploration of innovative solutions. Inspiration can emerge unexpectedly—a chance encounter with a stranger, a random article stumbled upon, or the mere act of taking action. I remain open to these moments of inspiration because I recognize their immense value.”

Know someone Incredible?

A Product We’re Into


FlowPath was founded by a former Operations Manager, Service Provider business owner, and a software engineer. Collectively, their knowledge and first-hand experience triangulated into the development of what is now one of the fastest-growing and most highly-rated Maintenance Management Software (CMMS) platforms in the United States. FlowPath solves inefficiencies in operations for Maintenance and Facilities teams with limited resources, allowing them to do more with less, as well as seamlessly connect 3rd party contractors into their workflows. Serving single-campus and multi-site operations across K12 and Higher Education, Retail, Hospitality, and manufacturing, FlowPath is enterprise power built to scale, unlike anything in the market today.

What We Think: FlowPath has progressed quite well in the industry since its market launch in January of 2020. We like that the founders created the product/solution based on experiencing real industry pain points of using antiquated, clunky CMMS softwares. Their platform is streamlining the work order and inventory management processes with its simplified interface and ability to connect with Google and Outlook for ease of communication and data sharing. It’s a tool that today’s Facility Manager’s want to use on a daily basis.

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