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The less time in the office, the better

Protocol Workplace

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: Will those who continue working from home suffer career setbacks? Plus: a small delivery company is suing Amazon for fraud and breach of contract, and an easier way to speak emoji.

—Amber Burton, reporter (email | twitter)

Remote workers are more satisfied

Although remote workers are reporting more satisfaction than those who spend time in the office, hybrid work is more popular than ever, according to a new survey from Slack’s Future Forum research consortium.

The Future Forum Pulse, which Slack released this morning, surveyed 10,737 knowledge workers across sectors in the U.S., Australia, France, Germany, Japan and the U.K. in November. Among the respondents, remote workers reported a better employee experience than those who spent some or all of their workweek in an office.

  • “There’s been a lot of benefits of flexibility over the last couple of years,” said Sheela Subramanian, vice president of Future Forum. “What we’re seeing in general is an increase in employee experience scores, better investment in inclusion activities as well as people are just getting more access to opportunity regardless of location.”

Remote, hybrid and office workers are all having better work experiences than they were at the end of 2020.

  • Ranking their experience on a scale from -60 to 60, knowledge workers reported an improved sense of belonging at work, (28.5, up from 12.8), better work-life balance (25.2, up from 12.2), higher productivity (33.2, up from 15.6) and feeling better about their level of stress or anxiety (15.2, up from 4).

But across the board, remote workers reported better experiences than others. Remote workers said they had better work-life balance (33.4, compared to 25.9 for hybrid workers and 19.7 for office workers), more flexibility (37.9, compared to 30.9 for hybrid workers and 22.3 for office workers), better feelings about their stress or anxiety levels (19.9, compared to 16 for hybrid workers and 11.2 for office workers) and a greater ability to focus (36, compared to 30.7 for hybrid workers and 29.5 for office workers).

  • Remote workers even rated their access to resources more highly than hybrid and in-office workers did.
  • Inflexible work could push dissatisfied workers to find other jobs, Slack found: While 58% of workers said they were likely to look for a new job in the next year, that percentage was much higher (72%) for those who said their jobs weren’t sufficiently flexible.

That said, hybrid work appears to be the model of choice. Between May and November, the percentage of respondents splitting their time between home and the office rose from 46% to 58%, and 68% of respondents said they prefer hybrid work.

  • “There’s been an increase in hybrid work from last quarter, and that number’s going to grow moving forward,” Subramanian said.

Executives are worried about proximity bias as hybrid work becomes the norm. Executives are growing increasingly worried about mitigating proximity bias, or favoritism of workers who spend more time in the office or close to leadership.

  • 41% of executives now say this is their greatest concern regarding flexible work. It’s clear why: Women, people of color and parents are more likely than men, white employees and non-parents to spend some or all of their time working from home, Slack found.
  • “This is a really defining moment for leaders within organizations,” Subramanian said. “There is potential for the divide — the cracks that we’ve seen in the system with regards to equity — to further widen.”
— Allison Levitsky (email | twitter)

Amazon just got sued for fraud and labor violations

If you want to start your own delivery business, hire your own drivers, coach them and then fire them while someone is recording you for TikTok, Amazon will let you do just that. The program is called Delivery Service Partner, or DSP. One of those partners is now claiming that DSP is designed to make it virtually impossible for business owners to make a profit. It’s not exactly Amazon’s version of an MLM, but it’s not not that either. According to workplace reporter Anna Kramer, the lawsuit alleges that the company misled partners about their potential for success and that Amazon relied on the federal government’s paycheck protection plan to stay afloat.

Read the full story.


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Today's tips & tools

I’ve got a quick one for you today: Control + Command + Space brings up the emoji keyboard. It doesn’t work everywhere, unfortunately (it’s a bit laggy on Slack and doesn’t work on Google Docs at all). But it does work for Google Search, Twitter, Notion and more. The more you know!

— Lizzy Lawrence, reporter (email | twitter)

Who is leaving the workplace?

As the pandemic rolls on, people are continuing to exit the workplace due to new COVID-related stressors. No one is more familiar with this challenge than parents who have been forced to fill in the child care gaps for children who are out of school due to closures. And even among parents, there's an imbalance as far as who is leaving (and thinking of leaving). Non-white parents continue to lead the trend, according to a recent survey by McKinsey. Here’s what they found:

  • About 50% of non-white parents said they have plans to leave their jobs.
  • 50% of the non-white fathers surveyed said they planned to quit their jobs, in comparison of 46% of white fathers who indicated they’re planning to quit.
  • The gap among mothers was slightly larger. 43% of the non-white mothers surveyed said they plan to quit their jobs, whereas 34% of white mothers indicated they’re planning to quit.
  • Parents in general ranked “care for children” as one of the top five reasons why they’re leaving their jobs.

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Around the internet

A roundup of workplace news from the farthest corners of the internet.

A look at how recent grads new to the workplace are faring with never stepping foot in an office.

I don’t miss riding the subway everyday to the office, but here’s an interesting look at how the increase in remote work has affected NYC’s M.T.A.

Why you should prioritize your health when working from home.

Thoughts, questions, tips? Send them to Have a great day, see you Thursday.

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