The Remote Roundup June 11, 2021
If you have ever been looking for a remote work strategy you may have noticed there exists a huge gap in between great insights and everything else out there.
So, we created The Remote Roundup where we will scour the internet for the best remote work content and give our analysis on one article while ranking the top 4 blogs of the week. This week we also included a podcast!
For the weekly collection of relevant and high quality remote work news, jobs, podcasts, guides, and expert advice from remote work experts, subscribe to our newsletter: The Remote Times.
Ok, let's get started with the top remote content for the second week of June.
Top Article: What Apple and Google executives missed in telling workers to go back to the office
"I've found that working remotely has given me more space for long-term thinking and helped me spend more time with my family, which has made me happier and more productive at work,"
Zuckerberg wrote to employees on Wednesday, per The Wall Street Journal.
If you have worked remotely during this last year of quarantines and actually enjoyed it, these words from Mark Z will resonate with you. This is something people have known about since the start of the pandemic and long-before.
However, if you are Tim Cook it might not strike the same chord.
At the end of last week, the internet was abuzz with a letter made public from Apple employees. A several-page long document expressing their displeasure over the new hybrid work model announced by the Company. Obligatory Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday workweek at the office. All 127,000 employees would have to request remote workdays at a team manager's discretion.
A separate memo on Wednesday from Facebook said that they would allow full-time remote work at all levels for half the year as long as their roles don't physically require on-site working. The opportunity is open to all 60,000 employees and they can even request permission to be remote all year round.
This is a trend we have seen in the last few weeks as companies' leaders are divided on the return to the office. You have the CEOS of Apple, Google, and Uber providing some flexible work arrangements but overall want to institute a hybrid working model, have only 20% of the workforce remote, or a full-return.
Then you have Facebook, Coinbase, Celonis, Twitter, Salesforce, and SAP saying that workers can get to choose what is best for them or going full-remote and selling the headquarters.
We could spend days talking about the positives and negatives of each strategy but why is there this conflict?
Is there a generational gap in the logic of the founders and boards of the tech titans and the current software gods?
Of most surveys that report 40%-58% of workers willing to quit their job if their company doesn't allow a WFH option, the strongest group of respondents are Millennials or Gen Z.
Those born before 1984 in these surveys rank more in the 20-30% range.
This is why companies in older industries or the true OGs of tech like IBM with older demographics vote more for the hybrid option or full-return to when the world was a safer place. Let's be real though, Apple just spent 5 billion dollars on a space-shipped campus so that sunk cost must be a bit of a motivator.
Another idea it could be is cognitive biases. Gleb Tsipursky of USA Today writes that some leaders are suffering from mental blind spots that lead to poor strategic decision-making.
"They have a personal discomfort with work from home. They've spent their careers surrounded by other people. They want to resume regularly walking the floors, surrounded by the energy of staff working."
He says they’re falling for the anchoring bias. This mental blind spot causes us to feel anchored to our initial experiences and information.
Remote work is not a fit for everyone but a company shouldn't restrict remote work from someone who has shown increased productivity and well-being from it.
You may hear this argument "Well if they don't like the policies then they can leave! There are plenty of talented people waiting to work there."
Sure, but then they are still perpetuating a hiring system that is exclusionary to people with disabilities. They are also limiting themselves to great young diverse talent.
Will they be able to create the same iPhone as last year? Probably. Who knows what will happen 5 years down the line though when Facebook's watch is blowing them out of the water.
Top Remote Work Blog posts
4. Turing discusses the possibility of many working parents quitting their companies because they won't offer remote work.
Turing reports on a Flexjob survey that inteviewed 1,100 parents with children 18 or younger.
The survey found 62% of working parents would quit their current jobs if their company didn't offer remote work. 51% acknowledge that remote work increases productivity.
Twenty-one percent of working families report saving around $10,000 per year. Meanwhile, 33 percent and 22 percent report saving $3,900 and $2,000 per year.
Check out the full results and the Flexjob survey in their article.
3. Remote Tools interviews Seb Kipman, Workpuls’ Head of Communications, and how he runs a marketing department in Serbia from Australia.
In his former life, Seb was the Communications Manager at Cricket Australia. He traveled the world reporting on the sport but he actually had no control over where he went or how he worked.
He decided he would regret more not traveling the world the way he wanted to rather than losing his corporate sports job. He proposed the idea to go remote to his American girlfriend and before he even finished the proposal, she accepted and they first moved to Thailand.
They got settled in, rented an apartment and joined a coworking space. Things started off slow through multiple contracts on Upwork, often accepting anything that came through the door. However the work started to compound and he eventually met his current COO at Workpuls that help companies transition to remote-first operations.
His golden rule? Start out small and build yourself up.
2. Andy Sto explains the perfect balance that digital nomads need to maintain to be successful.
In his blog for digital nomads, Andy goes over a recent ethnographic study of digital nomads by Dave Cook. The study found that digital nomads tend to face greater challenges than traditional workers when it comes to setting healthy boundaries between “working” and “living”.
Howver, Mr Cook found that the key to being a successful digital nomads is self-discipline. They set times to work hard and play hard that establishes a balance of pain and pleasure without burning out.
If you were every interested in becoming a digital nomad or are already one and are looking for some better habits, you need to understand the value of mobile adaptability. This means not allowing your surroundings influence the work that you still have to submit.
He goes over several other disciplines that are needed to maintain the freedom that digital nomads enjoy.
1. The Atlassian Worklife Blog says ditch the water cooler. Contrary to popular belief, in-person interactions don’t breed creativity. Time, autonomy, and diversity do.
As many company leaders try to regain what they perceive as control over their workforces, they argue that workers are missing the water cooler conversations they used to have. There is this idea that these interactions are essential to establishing a company culture and where true collaboration happens.
Atlassian's question to everyone is when was the last time a monumental breakthrough happened as two employees got coffee in communal kitchen together?
They argue that Company leaders can lay the foundation for more creativity by embracing flexibility and empowering employees around when and where their employees work. The enhanced freedom and not having to be present at 8am every day reduces stress and allows creativity to happen.
For individuals, relying more on documents and less on real-time brainstorming can result in more creativity because as crazy as it sounds true innovation comes from boredom. When you are relaxed ideas flow more naturally and you get a better perspective.
Top Podcast: Carlos Escutia | La ergonomía en el trabajo remoto
The Dare2Learn Podcast interviews our founder, Carlos Escutia, about the importance of ergonomics in remote work and why the hybrid model is the most difficult for companies to sustain.
If you tune in, you will find out how Carlos went from a financial analyst on wall-street to a remote work advocate. He goes on to explain why we don't focus on ergonomics because it doesn't affect us in the short term.
Finally you will find out the principal thing most companies transitioning to remote miss out on: establishing a remote culture.
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See you next Friday for June's Third edition of the Remote Roundup!
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