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Tech leaders set some big resolutions for 2022. They look a lot like our own.

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: tech executives’ resolutions for 2022, T-groups and what job seekers want in the new year.

—Amber Burton, reporter (email | twitter)

Let's talk about resolutions

Some of us try to pretend we’re above making New Year's resolutions, but let’s be honest, you likely have a list of 2022 “intentions'' hiding in the recesses of your phone’s notes app. I get it. It’s casual. We don’t want to commit too quickly to any resolutions for fear of failing at the start of the year. But whether you call them “intentions,” “resolutions,” “goals” or “vague recommitments,” we all know the importance of fresh starts and clear directions. And tech leaders know too.

Protocol wanted to know what tech execs and CEOs are aiming to do in 2022. My colleague Allison Levitsky spoke with several leaders about their New Year’s resolutions. And they’re surprisingly relatable. Here’s a glimpse into some of the goals they shared.

  • Airbnb global head of Hosting Catherine Powell: “This will be the year I discover more of the U.S. (Georgia and Nashville are next on my list), reconnect again with family overseas and spend time with team members and Hosts whom I have only so far met via Zoom.”
  • Roku CEO Anthony Wood: “Finish the linear algebra and machine learning Coursera classes — I have been halfway through for a while.”
  • Atlassian co-founder and co-CEO Scott Farquhar: “My New Year’s resolution is to focus on being more present with people. More effort concentrated on less things. I took a sabbatical this year to caravan around Australia with my family, and it gave me the headspace to think about how I can best contribute to the great relationships in my life.”
  • Reddit CEO Steve Huffman: "I don't believe in New Year's resolutions. They're a form of procrastination. If something is that important, I should start it immediately.” (There’s always one!)

Beyond their personal resolutions, many tech execs are just trying to achieve work-life balance like the rest of us. My colleague Michelle Ma reported how tech leaders are setting up personal boundaries and changing their relationships to work in the new year. One insight? Communicate what you need.

  • Aparna Bawa, COO of Zoom, said she allows herself to turn off her camera and take a walk during certain meetings or take care of herself by grabbing food. She simply tells participants upfront in the meetings if she chooses to do this. “I have taken it upon myself in the last year to go through my calendar every morning and see which Zoom meetings I can take on the go … Another thing I do that I'm unapologetic about is eating on Zoom. If you're the 12 o'clock meeting and I have to eat lunch, I might just eat.”
  • Angela Benton, founder and CEO of Streamlytics, is setting boundaries around when she takes meetings: “One thing I’m definitely going to be continuing in 2022 is not having meetings on Mondays and Fridays … a lot of times you don't have a chance to think about high-level strategy and just get your thoughts together. So that's what I use Mondays and Fridays for.”
  • Sid Sijbrandij, co-founder and CEO of GitLab, has embraced accepting help from the teams he’s been able to hire, while also making more time for finding balance outside of work. “I've been doing workouts with my wife three days a week now, and I am just now acknowledging that I'm just really bad at doing that by myself … I also stop working at 6 p.m., and I don't work on weekends. I take a couple of weeks of vacation every year.”

The takeaway? Go easy on yourself this year. We’re all just trying to find the time to finish that online course we started a year ago.

It's time to join a 'T-group'

Does your CEO need to learn how to emote? There’s a T-group for that. T-groups, otherwise known as training groups, are gaining popularity among startup founders and CEOs who want to learn how to optimize their emotional skills — something that’s become more important as organizations look to scale alongside a healthy work environment. The groups usually involve anywhere from eight to 12 participants and two facilitators who lead the group in discussing their emotional experience and providing a cringeworthy level of honest feedback. The goal is to improve participants’ ability to connect and communicate. “It kind of feels like you’re hacking the communication cycle,” Dallin Harris, the founder and president of the design and web development company Skyhook Interactive, told my colleague Allison Levitsky. “I don’t think I’ve ever done anything before or since that was more helpful to my career.”

Read the full story here.

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Today's tips & tools

Color-code your calendar events in order to make more sense of your meetings. At a glance, you can see how many team meetings, 1:1s, client calls and all-hands you have that week. On Outlook, click “Categorize” on a new or existing event to choose a color. Google Calendar has color tags as well.

On another note — send me the productivity tools, tips and hacks you’re looking at in the new year. I’m always interested in learning more about the tools other people live by. Reach me on Twitter or over email!

— Lizzy Lawrence, reporter (email | twitter)

What job seekers really want

It’s no secret that the tech talent shortage of 2021 has carried over to 2022. Tech companies around the world are still feeling the effects of the labor shortage (take a look at today’s "Around the internet" section if you want to read more on this). But perhaps one of the best ways for hiring managers to recruit top talent in the new year is by continuing to listen to what workers want out of their jobs. The American Staffing Association recently released its latest survey conducted by The Harris Poll regarding what job seekers are looking for in their search in the new year. Here’s what to keep in mind as you strategize the best ways to recruit potential employees.

  • Pay remains the top factor for job seekers. 63% of the over 2,000 survey respondents said pay rate or salary would be top among their considerations if they were looking for a job change.
  • A sizable chunk of people who responded also said flexibility, perks and benefits would be major decision-making factors. 37% responded that flexible work hours were important, while 36% said benefits and perks were meaningful when seeking a new job.
  • 25% of survey respondents said it was important for them to be able to work remotely.
  • A majority of respondents said COVID-19 vaccine mandates were important to them when seeking a job. 61% of people said they’d rather work for a company with a vaccine mandate as opposed to a company without such guidance.

Making moves

Workplace platform Envoy appointed Annette Reavis as its new chief people officer. Prior to joining the company, Reavis was chief people officer at Root and VP of HR at Facebook.

Around the internet

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

Never thought we would arrive at this place, but here’s how to think about workplace boundaries when bringing your dog to the office.

One fun tweet: Job van der Voort, co-founder and CEO of Remote, shared some of his learnings from managing people remotely for almost a decade. Looks like we’ll need this advice again this year.

ICYMI before vacation: Has Miami lived up to its claim that it could be the antidote to Silicon Valley for growing tech companies?

Fast Company’s most anticipated tech products for 2022 include two mixed-reality headsets. Is the virtual commute to work closer than we think?

Like the rest of the tech industry, the world’s chip makers are feeling the pains of the labor shortage.

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

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