February 24, 2022
Photo: Mapbox via Unsplash
Welcome back to our Workplace newsletter. Is it Friday yet? Today: Slack channels for yelling, sperm testing as a work benefit and the state of inequity in the workplace.
—Amber Burton, reporter (email | twitter)
According to Slack’s most recent workplace communication report last week, employees are done with workplace jargon, instead embracing informal, organic chat. Enough with “let’s circle back” or “get the ball rolling.” Let’s communicate exclusively with emoji 🤩 🤯 👹.
Okay, maybe not entirely emoji. But with the rise of platforms like Slack and Teams, we’re talking to each other all the time (except when those platforms go down). Workplace communication has become much more instantaneous. You don’t stress over a Slack message in the same way you would an email. At the same time, remote work has inextricably melded our home and work personas.
Jaime DeLanghe, a senior product manager at Slack, agreed that our traditional idea of work has completely changed over the course of the pandemic.
One way to embrace casual communication is to create fun and quirky Slack channels. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, DeLanghe said company execs were often hesitant to add fun Slack channels to their digital headquarters, but that’s changed as leaders realize the need for informal communication.
One concern with the intermingling of work and play: Power dynamics can easily seep in. Communicating with colleagues, especially those above or below you, still requires professionalism. We need to be cognizant of what’s appropriate.
In sum: Let’s talk like real people at work, not corporate robots. But remember that you’re at work, not in a group chat with friends. If you have any thoughts or insights into the changing ways we communicate at work, please let us know!
— Lizzy Lawrence and Sarah Roach
Fertility trackers and home sperm-testing kits are the latest additions to benefits packages as more companies seek creative ways to retain employees. Tech companies have for a long time led the way when it comes to generous fertility benefits like subsidizing IVF and egg freezing. But some of the latest innovations in the space are helping companies take their offerings a step further. Fertility startups like Ava and Legacy are some of the latest on the scene. Ava makes a tech bracelet that detects when the wearer is fertile, and Legacy offers home sperm-testing and freezing kits. The move to adopt such offerings makes sense when considering the current play for talent in the tech industry. A report from Maven Clinic and Great Place to Work found that companies perceived as offering 'special and unique' benefits were twice as likely to retain their working parents.
The global nature of business makes tracking your company's operations trickier than ever before. Overseeing supply chains and an international, dispersed workforce is tough. Maintaining visibility over all aspects of your operations is even tougher. The changing norms of business make location services no longer a "nice to have" but a "need to have" — and at the forefront of the geospatial intelligence revolution is Esri.
Two quick ones for you today.
Hue, a nonprofit organization focused on uplifting diverse talent in the workplace, released its annual “A State of Inequity” report on Thursday. The report examines the experiences of employees of color at work and their perspectives on equity at their respective organizations. In collaboration with The Harris Poll, Hue surveyed just under 3,000 professionals in roles ranging from HR and product development to engineering. The findings reveal many BIPOC workers believe companies still have a long way to go to create equitable environments, and HR professionals frequently have a different view on progress. Here’s what you need to know from the report:
Op-Ed: If you want your Black employees to stay it’s time to build relationships, create opportunities and provide sponsors.
You might find your next tech job in Denver or Asheville.
Virgin Hyperloop abandoned its focus on passenger transport and laid off over 100 employees as well.
Protocol spoke to some of Peloton’s former warehouse employees who were caught up in the company’s recent round of layoffs.
The fight to unionize Amazon’s warehouse facility in Bessemer, Alabama moves into its second year with no end in sight.
Two labor unions are trying to stop Amazon from building a fulfillment center in San Francisco.
SymphonyAI appointed Jennifer Trzepacz as chief people officer. Previously, Trzepacz was an HR operating partner at Wildcat Venture Partners.
A roundup of workplace news from the farthest corners of the internet.
One good listen: What does the future of workplace flexibility really look like?
Big Tech still believes in physical offices.
In an effort to deter attrition some companies are threatening to seize employees’ bonuses if they quit.Would you offer job candidates money just to interview for a role?
Whether you're looking to build basemaps, plan routing and directions that reduce time and costs or want to use spatial analytics to crunch down massive amounts of data into easily realizable recommendations, Esri's geospatial expertise can help unlock new business opportunities and fine-tune pre-existing ones.
Thoughts, questions, tips? Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Have a great day, see you Sunday.