Celebrating wins has never been our strong suit, but we’re happy to celebrate the small win of shipping issue 4 of this newsletter! We strongly believe that helping to curate great information is the first step to enabling workplace teams to move forward and create a better future of work and place. Issue 4 is jam packed with insightful tidbits about work and place that we’ve assembled below.
In This Week’s Issue:
- Three Things You Should Know
- Cities Betting Big on Remote
- Pauses and Reduced Portfolios
- Are Our Brains Designed For The Modern Workplace?
- A Person You Should Know: Kelly Colón
- A Product You Should Know: Calven
As a reminder, we’ll be sending these weekly and if you have feedback shoot us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lastly, if you want to sponsor, support, or partner with Collective you can reach out at the link above. Now onto the good stuff!
Three Things You Should Know
From The World of Work and Place
1.The Cities Betting Big On Remote Workers
For several years some smaller cities in the United States have been working to lure remote workers to settle there permanently. One program, Tulsa remote, has been largely successful at doing just that. Once approved, remote workers were paid $10,000 to move to and settle in Tulsa long term. The cities running these programs believe that by bringing remote workers to these areas they will have the ability to create a positive long term economic impact. With over 2000 people moving to Tulsa over the past 4 years, studies are now showing a very positive economic impact for the city.
Workplace teams have been supporting remote workers since well before the pandemic. While they were previously an outlier, they are now just a part of our normalized set of personas. With programs like Tulsa Remote offering a more affordable cost of living and financial incentives, we should expect this group to grow as one we need to understand and support. As the article linked below points out though, many remote workers are now staying in larger cities as well. So a question to ask might be, what would remote workers who are farther flung require that is different from remote workers who are closer to a central office?
2. Pauses and Reduced Portfolios
This week Amazon pressed pause on their HQ2 project in Virginia. This announcement came shortly after their company announced a mandatory 3 days in office starting May 1 for corporate employees. The headquarters project was the second phase of a larger project and phase 1 is finishing in June when it will open for employee use. This news shouldn’t be surprising to anyone following corporate real estate over the past several years. While companies are reducing headcount, they are also faced with lower overall need for space due to the adoption of hybrid / remote working. These two combined are causing companies to reduce portfolios and reconsider their projects that are already in flight.
For workplace professionals we are all familiar with this scenario. As company strategy shifts in line with the economics of the market, we are the ones who have to adjust programs and projects to meet the revised needs of our companies. We have to create programs that will bend and not break when put under the pressure of these economic changes. Having an understanding of what outside forces will impact our plans is critical for workplace teams. Additionally we must advocate on behalf of employees so that the employee experience is preserved in the face of these changes as well. Far too often a reduction of resources leads to a backward step in progress.
3.Are Our Brains Designed For The Modern Workplace?
In a fascinating discussion with John Medina the author of “Brain Rules For Work,” Kevin Dickinson of Big Think dissects whether our modern workplaces align with the way our brains have evolved to function. They discuss what we can do to make our modern workplace fall more in line with the way our brains function, what we do and don’t know about how our brains work, and even why parental leave is vital. If you read one article from this section in depth this week, let this be it.
As workplace leaders we need to understand what is solid science and what is pseudo-science when designing programs and places to enable employees. For that reason having our hand on the pulse of modern research is critical. Our biggest takeaway from the entire interview was just how important it is for us to feel safe at work. Our faculty to think and process information is massively impacted when we don’t feel safe. Helping employees avoid going into survival mode is definitely something we as workplace professionals can help design programs and spaces for. Click below for more.
One Big Thing
“The researchers estimate that one new full-time job was created in Tulsa for every two Remoters who moved there. And they estimate every dollar spent on the program creates $13 in economic activity. ” Tulsa Remote Program Study
Someone you should know
In The World of Work And Place
Kelly Colón is a passionate, experienced, and authentic workplace strategist. She is based in historic Boston, Massachusetts where she was born, raised, educated and now raises her family with her husband.
Kelly’s multi-disciplinary background gives her a holistic view of strategic development – particularly focused on blending the physical, psychological and behavioral elements of the workplace when supporting new ways of working, changes in work practices and ongoing operational support.
Starting her career in the legal, real estate and property management industry, it was not until much later in life Kelly completed her formal education and transition to facilities, operations, construction, and project management. It is here where her passion took flight in understanding how the built environment supported users in a more emotional and behavioral fashion.
With this newfound passion she then pivoted her career to include strategy, planning and programming, where she would spend the better part of the last 10 years supporting customers and clients in their organizational goals.
As a non-traditional student Kelly’s love of education also blossomed. It is in the classroom where she credits her professional and personal success and where she has spent the last 10 years as a professor giving back to the next generation; shepherding them into the future.
Her ultimate goal is to support others in achieving their business, personal or professional goals by leveraging her multi-dimensional background and experience in facilities, operations, education, coaching, strategy and development to assist others in achieving success.
In Her Own Words: “I am what many would consider a chameleon. My tapestry of interwoven strengths, passions and gifts have allowed me to be nimble and pioneering – allowing me to continue to evolve and grow.
I am also neurodiverse which means I see, experience, and interpret the world in a different, unique manner. This gift allows me to connect dots, see connections and intersections in a way that others may not. This skill has been profound in my ability to help others navigate their personal and professional journeys.
Because of this gift, I am never quite satisfied with doing just one thing. My mind is constantly seeking information which is why I consider myself a lifelong learner. Information soothes my soul and using that information to find or solve a problem energizes me.
I am an avid reader. My collection of books in every nook and cranny of my home is a testament to this. I am also a writer. There is something magical and decoding about putting thoughts onto paper, especially for my neurodiverse mind. This lifelong love resulted in my publishing my first novel in 2022.
I am unafraid to challenge the status quo. To challenge beliefs of others and myself in the name of understanding and growth. Often I can be found questioning more than I solution, which ironically often leads to greater solutions.
I find sheer joy & fulfillment in supporting others to achieve their goals and dreams. Whether a student is looking for academic fulfillment, a peer looking to take on a new endeavor, or customers & clients seeking solutions to improve organizational goals; my role is the same; I am there to support, guide & assist others in achieving their dreams.”
A product we’re into right now
About Calven: Calven provides smarter software for corporate real estate, workplace experience and hybrid work. Companies are trying to optimize their people and real estate in isolation. In a hybrid world this won’t work. Traditional tools aren’t solving today’s challenges as they are often siloed and typically focus on operations (e.g. booking a desk, planning a floor). Calven is the first integrated platform for employers and employees to work this out together.
Calven combines hybrid schedule coordination with workplace experience and corporate real estate in a unified system.
What We Think: Workplace technology can sometimes feel disjointed and we wind up cobbling together systems that might not fully integrate. We’ve appreciated seeing Calven’s holistic approach develop over time and their co-founders are highly focused on developing their system further based on feedback from customers. The work they’ve done with several clients are featured prominently on their home page and we appreciate the fact that they’re openly sharing stories about how their technology is being utilized. Helping bridge the gap between employers and employees is a worthwhile goal that will require technology as well.
That’s It For This WEek
You Did It!
We’re glad you read all the way to the bottom! We appreciate you reading our newsletter and we’d love it if you checked out our resources page as well. It’s full of books, templates, and other great stuff all related to the worlds of work and place.
Until next time – Omar and Kayla