How to measure productivity in the hybrid era

Frederick Winslow Taylor, the American engineer who wrote The Principles of Scientific Management, believed that the most efficient approach to work was analysing each aspect of a worker’s role. Now, Atom Bank has put this concept to the test, introducing a four-day week after analysing 170 different metrics of productivity. It’s a good reminder that managers must focus on data and trust in order to track the productivity of workers, especially those working remotely. Read full article here

Storage is one of the least sexy words around. That’s a problem

This article highlights how storage is often overlooked and underinvested in, but why it’s so important during times of crisis. It tells the story of the Harford family, who made a “Brexit cupboard” in case of trade disruptions, only to find that it was more useful as a “pandemic cupboard”. The article also points out that during the pandemic, the price of natural gas in Europe went negative, meaning people were paid to burn it – all because of a lack of storage capacity. In conclusion, it’s essential to invest more in storage, even if it’s expensive, to avoid these shortages in the future. Read full article here

Is the Publishing Industry Broken?

According to many junior staffers, the publishing industry is getting more and more inhospitable, with one of the biggest problems being the lack of upward mobility. Junior staffers do gruelling work for years and sometimes never get promoted into better positions—and if they do, it takes forever. Promotion requirements are seemingly obscure; some say that you’ll get promoted when the higher-ups feel that you’re “ready”, without providing criteria to prove readiness. Senior staff are also staying in their positions forever, so there’s little room for growth short of switching companies. Read full article here

Adding One Sentence to Every Email Can Free Up Hours, Says Wharton Psychologist Adam Grant

“If you can, I would appreciate a response by ____, so that ____.” That is one of two magic sentences that we can add to our e-mails to make answering e-mails less time-consuming. We think that people expect an immediate response when they send an e-mail, but that’s usually not the case. So, we check our e-mails frequently throughout the day to answer e-mails as soon as we receive them. Specifying a timeframe for response—and asking for a timeframe if you’re the receiver—will help people focus on more important things. Read full article here

Influencer Creep

The need to have a good social media image has spread beyond influencers and into the world of creative workers. More and more people feel pressured to commit to an influencer-like social media presence just to get food on the table. Since faces seem to boost one’s presence in the algorithm, many have not only shifted toward making portrait pieces but also posted selfies. They power through discomfort and forgo other forms of art to get more eyes on their work. Read full article here

Buddhism Has Found A New Institutional Home In The West: The Corporation

Despite being wary of introducing religion to the workspace, Fortune 500 companies are embracing Buddhist meditation and mindfulness practices. Part of this is because of mindfulness’ recognised benefits, like compassion and social bonding, which lead to a sense of belonging. If their workers enact these practices in the workplace, the workers will likely learn to associate these good feelings with their workplaces, perhaps making them feel more connected to their companies. Read full article here

Why Microsoft Measures Employee Thriving, Not Engagement

Ever since the pandemic, Microsoft stopped measuring employee engagement and pivoted towards measuring employee thriving instead. Whilst engagement seems satisfactory, analysing their employees’ survey answers revealed there were issues going on despite employee engagement metrics looking good. A thriving employee, in Microsoft’s eyes, is one that feels energised and empowered to do meaningful work. So, if an employee is engaged but doesn’t feel like they’re doing anything meaningful, Microsoft sees that the employee is probably unsatisfied with their job and needs to do something to correct it. Read full article here

The Future Of Working From Anywhere You Want

Would you like to work in a different country? Well, it’s easier now than ever before as the world embraces remote work post-COVID. Airbnb has taken this to the extreme; its employees can work in over 170 countries for up to 90 days in each location. It’s a great way to support a lifestyle of travel and pairs well with the ever-growing list of countries offering digital nomad visas that allow remote workers to stay for an extended period. Read full article here

What Le Corbusier Got Right About Office Space

“It wasn’t the environment itself that was stressful or distracting — it was the lack of control.” People work better when they have some control. Workers were observed to be more productive and feel more satisfied with their jobs when their employers gave them the freedom to decorate their workspaces as they wished. However, when managers shifted their decorations slightly, they felt their freedom was taken away and performed significantly worse and felt dissatisfied with their jobs. Read full article here

How To Survive Automation

With AI getting smarter — being able to learn rules of games without human intervention — people are naturally anxious about losing their jobs to automation. Aaron Bastani suggests we embrace automation and adopt fully automated luxury communism (FALC). FALC proposes automation to take over all human work while people sit back and reap the fruits of their labour. Automation, in this case, would serve human needs, which would bring about a science fiction-esque “post-work, post-scarcity society” where we would hopefully live like modern-day billionaires.
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