October 26, 2021
Photo: Maskot/Getty Images
Welcome back to our Workplace newsletter where we share the latest tips, tools and insights to help you stay informed about the modern tech office. Today: The alternative to the four-day workweek, van and office life collide, and how technical training influences retention.
—Amber Burton, Reporter (twitter | email)
More startups and tech companies are experimenting with four-day workweeks, but others are seeking alternatives to the trend. Mathilde Collin, the CEO and co-founder of Front, a customer communication platform, said she felt instating a four-day workweek was not innovative enough.
What they did instead: Front has been running a two-quarter experiment it calls "Flexible Fridays."
Just like four-day workweeks, Flexible Fridays took some time to get used to.
The company has found employees use the day for a range of things. While some would guess most workers would take the full day off every week, the experiment has shown otherwise. According to Front:
Even with the freedom of choice, 95% of employees say they have seen no impact on collaboration with colleagues, and 89% of employees say they are happier at work because of Flexible Fridays. Many also report the flex day has positively impacted their desire to work at Front for the next two years.
Much like American employers, Chinese companies are struggling with questions of diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace. China's younger generation has a greater role for women, more inclusion for LBGTQ+ employees and more freedom to be themselves. In an upcoming event with Protocol, experts discuss China's most forward-looking workplaces, what they're doing to become more inclusive, and how it compares to efforts in the U.S. Join us for the discussion on Oct. 28 at 5 p.m. PT/Oct. 29 at 8 a.m. in Beijing.
If your organization wants to belong to that class of innovators during future times of change, there are methods you can use to continue innovating even when the waters are murky. Just like with running, you have to make innovation a daily habit in your company—not just an activity you practice when the conditions are right. Here are four ways you can set yourself up for success.
What began as a quiet getaway from his children in the early days of the pandemic has turned into one tech CEO's go-to work spot. Kenzo Fong, a software company founder in San Francisco, has been using a converted Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van as a mobile office. He and his family affectionately named the van "Wonder." Some days Fong works from Ocean Beach; other days, he works closer to his kids' soccer practice. He uses a trio of hotspots and takes Zoom calls from the van as well. Fong is a case study in how tech leaders are shedding traditional in-office culture for more innovative work setups.
Read the full story here.
Compartmentalization has been one of the trickiest skills to master during the pandemic when both work and our personal lives collide on an almost daily basis. (Whether that is good or bad is between you and your therapist). But there is one area of your work-life you can easily compartmentalize — it's all about your internet tabs. Did you know you can group and organize the open tabs in your internet browser? A number of my Protocol colleagues swear by this hack for staying organized.
In developing the product, Codecademy surveyed over 100 tech leaders about challenges with retention and employee turnover. Here's what their team found about the state of retention and skills training in the workplace:
A roundup of workplace news from the farthest corners of the internet.
A majority of tech workers say they're thinking about quitting their jobs for other opportunities in the next year, according to a new survey.
A long read about how politics are at the center of decision-making inside Facebook.
There's a reason many Black employees don't wish to return to the office.
Are the boomerang employees coming?
One last thing: Protocol wants to hear from you!
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TThoughts, questions, tips? Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Have a great day, see you Friday.