May 10, 2022
Photo: Luis Alvarez/Getty Images
Welcome back to our Workplace newsletter! I’m subbing in for Michelle Ma today.
Today: Allison Levitsky shares how not to mess up your company off-site, why Uber is now treating hiring like a “privilege,” and who’s paying the most to commute to work right now.
— Amber Burton, reporter (email | twitter)
Off-site retreats are back. If you haven’t already held an in-person gathering of employees this year, chances are you’re planning one. Attending Protocol’s own IRLFest in D.C. last month — and hearing chatter from startup leaders about their own upcoming off-sites — got me thinking about how to plan a great retreat.
Retreat planners told me they’re now inundated with demand after a sleepy pandemic period. Normally, off-site season peaks in the fall, but this spring has been a busy time as offices reopen and colleagues gather. I asked some planners for tips to avoid common retreat-planning missteps.
Start early. Retreat planners sometimes have to turn clients down because their requests come in at the last minute, said Sean Hoff, founder and managing partner of the Toronto-based retreat agency Moniker.
Plan a realistic budget. Some companies are flying their employees out for international excursions — Mexico is one popular choice — but there’s no need to overspend. Just do your homework on how pricey hotels, meals out and activities can be.
Don’t overbook yourself. Many companies are overly ambitious with their retreat schedules, Hoff said. But especially after two years of remote work, a major goal of off-sites is just to have fun and connect with colleagues.
The ways that companies gather teams are changing quickly. Quarterly meetups may become a common cadence in the tech industry: Airbnb just told employees that while they can work from anywhere indefinitely, most of them will get together for a week at a time four times a year.
But it’s not about lavish parties. No one needs to go to Europe with their co-workers, but some festive and thoughtful in-person time is important. Face time means more to teams now than it ever has before.
Tech is hitting a “seismic shift” in the market. Or at least that’s what Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi told employees in an email obtained by CNBC. Khosrowshahi said the company plans to cut back on hiring and other related costs, and from here on out hiring will be treated as a “privilege.” Uber is just the latest in the long list of tech companies that have announced intentions to cut back on spending. Organizations are continuing to feel the pressures of the war in Ukraine, the lingering COVID-19 pandemic, supply chain failures, inflation and other issues. Perhaps Khosrowshahi summarized the current sentiment best: "Meeting the moment means making trade-offs.”
The digital revolution is already here – transforming the way we live, work, and communicate. Smart infrastructure is a key part of this revolution. It brings the power of the digital world to physical components like energy, public transportation, and public safety by using sensors, cameras, and connected devices.
Aye Moah, CEO of email app Boomerang, has a hot take: Stop pouring all your energy into Inbox Zero. Protocol sat down with her to talk about tackling the email inbox and meeting schedule blues. Read the full article, or check out a couple of her best tips below.
Back to the office means back to the commuter bus, train or plane (although, please rethink your life choices if you’re commuting to the office via plane on a regular basis.)
If you can’t take public transportation, that means you’re behind the wheel of your car again, white-knuckling it to work with the rest of the folks on the highway. And with gas prices as they are today, that can be enormously expensive.
Car insurance comparison site AutoInsurance.org looked at data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and a Harvard Business Review survey to find out who’s paying the most these days.
How the woes of ed tech remind us of Netflix.
Everything you need to know about the tech layoffs right now.
Why we should all stop being obsessed with the idea of reaching Inbox Zero.
Microsoft has a plan for closing the security talent gap.
TC or GTFO. Is this good for salary transparency or not? It's complicated.
The potential of the IIJA to shape our future is immense; if we don’t spend the funds wisely, the effects will be felt for generations. Physical infrastructure alone does not fully address the diverse needs of our modern, information-driven economy and set us up for future success.
A roundup of workplace news from the farthest corners of the internet.
Easier said than done: A look at how tech companies are actually moving forward without a physical office.
After a whirlwind hiring spree, a wave of tech companies are slowing down hiring to a near halt to offset costs.
A new global survey found that Asian employees feel least included in the workplace compared to other groups.
Turns out flexible hybrid work might not be all that flexible at Apple.
And finally, the marketing for the four-day workweek is really something.
Thoughts, questions, tips? Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Have a great day, see you Thursday.