December 21, 2021
Photo: Alvarez/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: What tech companies are gifting employees for the holidays, how Tweeps use Twitter and the CEO wage gap.
—Amber Burton, reporter (twitter | email)
The idea of a corporate holiday gift was once foreign to some. I, for one, am more familiar with conference-room Christmas parties where the highlight is receiving a white elephant gift from the nearby Duane Reade (blame it on the lucrative field of journalism).
As the pandemic rolled in, companies have leaned more toward sending out elaborate holiday gifts to show appreciation in lieu of swanky holiday shindigs. And the benefits have been twofold: Employees feel recognized by management and no one has to pretend to enjoy their co-worker’s karaoke rendition of “The Little Drummer Boy.”
Holiday gifts from employers might also increase employee engagement. That’s according to a recent survey from Snappy, a personalized corporate gifting company that allows employees to pick their own gifts.
From the looks of it, companies have been listening. Joseph Sommer, president of Whitestone Branding and Aster Gifts, has seen the interest in corporate gifts explode since the start of the pandemic — especially around the holidays.
Not only have budgets gotten bigger, but the types of gifts employees are receiving have broadened. Gone are the days when you would simply get a mug with your company’s logo slapped on the side.
These are not your parents’ corporate gifts. Sommer is also seeing more items tailored to people working from home. When Protocol spoke to him, he mentioned that Whitestone had just sold 500 Google Nest Hubs to a company for its employees.
So what shouldn’t you get your employees for the holidays this year? Gift cards. Fifty-six percent of people said they forgot to use a gift card or lost one before ever redeeming it, according to Snappy’s survey. Save that Olive Garden gift certificate for the cousin twice removed you forgot you were seeing over the holidays.
For the latest in Protocol’s series of “How Tech Uses Tech,” Michelle Ma took a look at how Twitter uses Twitter. Or how Tweeps use Twitter? Michelle wanted to know more about how Twitter is used by the people who actually work there, and how others can make the most of the platform. And let me tell you, it did not disappoint. For one, if you use an animated GIF, you are an old, shared Alphonzo “Phonz” Terrell, the global head of Social and Editorial at Twitter, who is responsible for Twitter’s tweets. His other insights? Some teams at Twitter do a lot of their work and communication through Twitter DMs rather than Slack or email. They’ve found it helpful for brainstorming.
While we were all Zooming, the Zoom team was thinking ahead and designing new offerings that could continue to enable seamless collaboration, communication and connectivity while evolving with the shifting workplace culture. Protocol sat down with Yuan to talk about Zoom's evolution, the future of work and the Zoom products he's most excited about.
California is investigating Google following allegations of harassment of and discrimination against Black female employees.
Lawmakers are now seeking answers regarding how six people died following the tornado at Amazon’s Illinois facility.
Is your team taking part in Secret Santa? Apparently there are apps for that.
Here’s an inside look at what your tech workers actually want for the holidays.
Last week, Workplace reporter Anna Kramer crowdsourced some of Protocol’s favorite extensions and bots in her love letter to developers making weird things on the internet. Some of these quirky tools are so useful that I wanted to highlight them here for you as well.
The latest survey by talent marketplace Gloat suggests that the Great Resignation will likely follow us into 2022. Bad news for all those who were ready to leave the industry buzzword behind. But just like the pandemic, some things appear to be hard to shake. The survey polled over 1,000 workers in November and revealed that a sizable number of people are still considering leaving their jobs for other companies. Here are some of the most interesting findings.
A roundup of workplace news from the farthest corners of the internet.
Thoughts, questions, tips? Send them to email@example.com. Have a great day, see you Thursday.