Welcome back to Collective Bookmarks. This week’s newsletter is a 7 minute read, or about the time it takes to get your popcorn at the movie theater. Collective Bookmarks is sponsored by HqO, the world’s leading workplace experience platform.
In This Week’s Issue:
Events We’re Attending: Worktech Chicago
Books We’re Reading: “Setting the Table” by Danny Meyer
As always, if you have feedback or questions please reach out.
Three Things You Should Know
From The World of Work and Place
1.Empty Spaces and Hybrid Places
In their latest report McKinsey Global Institute looks at the lasting effect that the pandemic has had on real estate and cities. They note that the ripple effects of hybrid work are substantial and wide reaching. One specific effect that will have impact for workplace teams: hybrid work has solidified it’s presence & office attendance has stabilized at 30% below pre-pandemic norms. The report conveys how this change in how / where we work & live will affect major “superstar” cities as well. If you work in workplace the 88 pages are a lot to digest, but worth the read.
What We Think: We’d like to zero in on one of the recommendations that McKinsey put forward in their report. They state that cities should operate in a “hybrid” manner to thrive in the future. Developing mixed use neighborhoods, building more adaptable buildings, and designing multi-use office/retail are all cited as potential moves that cities can make. One thing we have observed from visiting major cities across the U.S. while building Collective is that the neighborhoods we see still thriving aren’t dominated by office, residential, or retail – they are definitively mixed use. They also all have a great mix of amenities as well. A shift in the way we live will inevitably lead to a shift in how we work. People chose to leave city centers and move further away from their places of work (in the report NY lost 5% of it’s urban core population). If we want people back in city centers, we need to make it affordable and attractive. We recommend you read more below.
2. Prioritize Your People
In her latest article for Collective Thoughts AnnE Diemer reflects on her career in the tech industry and non-profit organizations, noting that despite being perceived as opposites, both industries prioritize work above all else. She questions this mindset and emphasizes that people are essential for productive work. She highlights some critical advice that all companies can benefit from and also advocates for shifting the perspective of workers to seeing them as people who work & understanding that not every day will be perfect. If you’re in management or want to better understand how to prioritize the humans on your team, this one is worth a read through.
3. The Latest from Stanford’s WFH Research Team
The latest research summary from Stanford has a number of important insights. Of note in this most recent summary is the fact that WFH has stabilized at 25% of days, which is a 5 fold jump from 2019. This obviously relates to the note in McKinsey’s research above. They also note that employees are split into three distinct groups and most companies have all 3 of these types of employees in their organizations. While that raises some difficulties they cite that based on their research, longer run technology developments will continue to enable WFH to build momentum. They note this will have a lasting impact on cities (see McKinsey paper above) as well. They go on to outline a number of practices teams are doing / can adopt to adapt to these changes.
What We Think: Working in a more distributed manner seems to be one of the strongest impacts of the entire pandemic. While managing a hybrid team requires more discipline and better management training – we believe the biggest hurdle are the 3 distinct groups that most companies employ. It can be difficult to create a flexible working policy that takes into the account the needs of front line workers, professionals / management, and specialized teams. This is one of the reasons that designing workplace policies with intention and empathy is so important. With hybrid working here to stay now is the time to start crafting better policies and ways of working.
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
“The larger the share of real estate in a neighborhood that was occupied by offices, the more out-migration from that neighborhood.” Empty Spaces Hybrid Places Study from McKinsey Global Institute
Someone You Should Know
In The World of Work And Place
AnnE Diemer (she/her/hers) is an HR Consultant who prioritizes the human in HR. AnnE’s experience began in the tech industry where she spent 3+ years at Stripe as a recruiting coordinator, university recruiter, and DEI lead. There, AnnE led initiatives focused on improving candidate experience, diversifying application pipelines, building university recruiting programs, and developing leaders within the company’s employee resource groups. In 2020, she brought her skills to progressive non-profits, first to NARAL Pro-Choice America and then The Hub Project. At each of these organizations, she designed programs that improved equity in hiring, promoted self-care and sustainable work, led internship programs, designed performance reviews, and facilitated connections amongst staff as they worked remotely for the first time.
Lately, she’s been focused on her consulting practice, aedHR, where she approaches her work through a lens that holds contradictions: How do we build great places to work while also questioning capitalist systems? How can we work efficiently and move quickly while also prioritizing ourselves and each other as humans?
When she’s not trying to answer these difficult questions, you can find her crocheting, riding her new bike, or planning her move back to the west coast in August!
In her own words: When you zoom in, my career path makes absolutely no sense. I started college intending to be a dancer, then switched to neuroscience, then I interned at the St. Louis Zoo as a primate keeper, then in my senior year I worked in the on-campus Career Services office, and now… I do HR.
I may not always have liked everything about those roles (things that come to mind include: pulled muscles, cockroach eggs in my hair), but I did always love something. And for me, that something was often the people.
I don’t know how much time you’ve spent backstage, but it’s the best place in the world – full of chaotic energy, endless support, and deep emotions shared with really excellent humans. At the zoo, the animals were my primary motivation, but the humans were a very close second; I certainly could not have been nearly as adept at this challenging work without their wisdom. Those connections – the ones backstage and the ones behind the exhibits – were the elements that fueled me. So, looking back, it makes sense that all these paths led me to HR.
HR is all about connections and enabling humans to do better work. Working in HR meant I got to help other people find what they loved – whether I was helping a candidate find just the right role within the company or asking the right questions as a manager decided that management was actually not for them. And ultimately, I think that is why HR has been the role that resonated most with me, because I get so much energy helping folks find what they love.
Right now, what I love most about my work are those “aha moments”: finding the missing piece of the puzzle to make a team feel connected again (spoiler alert: it’s almost always psychological safety) encouraging an employee to really hone in on their goals with the right performance review questions facilitating difficult conversations between coworkers who were at odds with each other to identify and resolve the disagreements creating just the right language to convince a leader to prioritize DEI – even when it makes them uncomfortable
HR may not have the backstage excitement of dance, but I rarely worry about a costume malfunction! My coworkers aren’t nearly as adorable as they were at the zoo, but they also don’t smear their food over their exhibit right after I cleaned it (to be clear, this was the animals, not the humans!). I won’t pretend that every moment in HR is a dream, but I’m not going anywhere, because those magic moments of real human connection make it pretty damn great.
Know someone Incredible?
A Product We’re Into
inspace is a cutting-edge workplace management platform designed to transform how organizations operate in the hybrid work era. With comprehensive features, inspace empowers companies to optimize space utilization, streamline office navigation, and enhance the overall employee experience. From intelligent desk and room booking to advanced analytics and insights, inspace offers a seamless and intuitive solution for managing the modern workplace. With its user-friendly interface, customizable integrations, and AI-driven capabilities, inspace enables businesses to adapt to the evolving needs of their workforce, boost productivity, and create a more efficient and engaging work environment. inspace is the future of work today.
What We Think: inspace recently launched it’s AI-driven features which only adds to its valuable product stack of comprehensive workplace analytics, seamless integrations, and interactive visual floor plans. We like that they offer instant sign up and implementation, since Workplace Professionals have to juggle a million things. Their solution is also flexible and scalable which is great since the work environment is a changing environment.
That’s It For This Week
We Appreciate You
As one of our over 750 weekly readers we appreciate you being an early subscriber. Together, we believe we can enable workplace professionals to move beyond conversation.
Until next time – Omar and Kayla