May 17, 2022
Photo: Yolk CoWorking - Krakow via Unsplash
Welcome back to our Workplace newsletter. Today: How to make hybrid work less polluting, reckoning with the firing of a top leader at Twitter while he was on paternity leave and the impact the mass shooting in Buffalo might be having on your Black employees (and how to help them).
— Michelle Ma, reporter (email | twitter)
Everyone is wrestling with hybrid work right now: how it affects employee productivity, morale, retention; who wants it; who hates it; if it’s happening; if it’s dead; if it’s here to stay forever.
What’s undeniable is that right now more people are commuting to offices half the week and working from home the other half.
Still, we’ve yet to see consensus around the impact of our current state of working on the environment. My colleague Amber Burton took a stab at that question this time last year, but we were curious: How much have things changed in the interim? A lot, it seems.
Reporter Lisa Martine Jenkins and I spoke to experts in the workplace and climate space on the state of hybrid work and climate change. Turns out, it’s a mess right now.
Here’s how to make your hybrid workplace climate-friendly:
Amid the neverending Elon Musk acquisition fiasco, the company fired two of its top execs, including head of Consumer Kayvon Beykpour, who was on paternity leave when it happened. I had previously written about the stigma against paternity leave in the tech industry, and it was clear to me that this would have ripple effects beyond Beykpour and even Twitter itself. I spoke to experts about the legal landmines and the chilling effect for workplace culture and working parents as a whole as well as how to do it well, if you’ve got to do it. (TL;DR: Just don’t.)
100% of C-suite staff surveyed by Workplace by Meta said that frontline workers were a strategic priority for their business in 2022, but nearly two in three of them said that keeping their frontline staff, who bear the brunt of the stresses of the workplace most acutely, had only become a priority since the pandemic hit.
I’ve always been into personality quizzes, from Buzzfeed to Myers-Briggs. Turns out that productivity personality quizzes are fun, too. And they can help you find a better, more personalized way to work. I found Todoist’s productivity methods quiz helpful, as it asks you about your role at work and the biggest barriers you face in feeling productive.
This week, Black employees are returning to work after a mass shooting in a Buffalo supermarket that killed 10 people and injured three more, almost all of them Black. This and other “mega-threats,” like the Atlanta spa shooting targeting Asian Americans and police killings of Black people, have potentially harmful effects on employees of color. A study in the Academy of Management Journal called, “Am I Next? The Spillover Effects of Mega-Threats onAvoidant Behaviors at Work,” found:
Google is planning on using AI to make you look pretty on video.
Buffalo proves Twitch needs a racial equity audit. It’s probably not alone.
Congrats to Microsoft employees! They’re getting a raise.
Here’s how Big Tech is trying to do its part to make business travel better for the planet.
Businesses are starting to turn to workplace communication tools. Such tools enable frontline workers to feel more connected to the rest of their business, to raise concerns and to provide feedback on potential pain points or points of improvement. By bridging that divide, companies can unlock new savings and efficiencies, and build a business that can last for the long run.
A roundup of workplace news from the farthest corners of the internet.
Minority workers are tired of in-person workplace slights and prefer remote work.
At tech companies, the rebellion against returning to the office is getting serious.
China lockdowns are affecting almost 200 companies.
Almost half of Americans witness wrongdoing in the office, and most are willing to blow the whistle.
Thoughts, questions, tips? Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Have a great day, see you Thursday.