March 7, 2022
Illustration: Christopher T. Fong/Protocol
Good morning! In December, we wrote about how we’re probably never going back to the office. My, how quickly things change. I’m Meg Morrone, and I once (or maybe even twice) hugged Steve Wozniak.
I spent this past week working in the office with a group of my Protocolleagues. (Better than Metamates, amirite?) What a relief to be back in person to see people’s 3D facial expressions and to know that some of your co-workers’ personal brands have nothing to do with what they say on Twitter and everything to do with the fact that they wear novelty socks.
But all that in-person stuff made me mentally and physically exhausted, and I’m an extrovert! I never mastered the hybrid meeting. I talked to too many people and drank too many Diet Cokes. I somehow accomplished less, but it felt like so much more. Mostly, I missed my sweatpants.
In-person office life is coming fast, especially for Big Tech. If you, too, miss your sweatpants when you’re away from them, you might want to start brushing up on your in-office etiquette.
Does that mean Zoom town’s dead? Lots of folks left their NYC/SF/DC bubbles in favor of a life with a slower speed and a lower cost of living.
If the Zoom town is located near a big city, this phenomenon is far from over. Stanford researcher Nicholas Bloom is part of the founding team at WFH Research where he studies the patterns of the workplace for professionals.
Once you’re in the office, not everyone will be masked up. It took the CDC until July 2020 to officially announce that masks would help stop the spread of COVID-19, and masks still do this.
Eventually, things could go back to some sort of “normal,” even though nobody’s sure what that is anymore. According to Bloom’s research, there might finally be a little certainty in the uncertainty, saying that he thinks the return will be gradual, but steady.
But as we’ve seen for more than two years, flexibility is everything. Workers have said time and again that they value flexibility in the workplace. And they will leave if they don’t get it. Tech professionals (like most professionals) want their bosses to trust them to know where and when they do their best work, within reason. That might mean letting managers decide how often workers come into the office and it might mean letting the employees decide, but it rarely means instituting a one-size-fits-all policy for everyone at the company.
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Elon Musk thinks we need more oil and gas, even if it hurts Tesla:
Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Ukraine will get more Starlink satellite internet terminals after talking with Musk:
Mykhailo Fedorov sees Twitter as a crucial weapon in winning the war with Russia:
Brian Armstrong said Russians won’t be banned from Coinbase:
Apple’s “Peek Performance” event is Tuesday. Expect to see a new iPhone, new iPad Air and maybe even a new Mac.
Sunny Balwani’s trial is expected to begin Wednesday. It’s been delayed a couple times leading up to this week.
Legalweek NYC also starts Wednesday, and will include talks about data privacy, the future of law and more.
Thursday is the Pinterest Presents global summit, where it’s expected to announce product updates at the global summit.
SXSW kicks off on Friday and will go through March 20. It will once again be a mix of in-person and virtual events.
Tech companies continue to pull out of Russia. To name a few: TikTok suspended livestreaming and new uploads in Russia; Google stopped advertising in Russia; Netflix shut down its service in Russia; PayPal, Mastercard and Visa cut off their services there; and Samsung Electronics halted shipments to the country.
Russia blocked citizens’ access to Facebook, the latest instance of the country trying to cut off independent information.
Apple shareholders approved a civil rights audit, citing employee unrest, privacy and safety concerns.
Amazon's Delivery Service Partner program isn't working out for some businesses. Many drivers and owners said they can't keep up with Amazon's impossible standards and ever-changing rules.
Is BBBY the new GME? Ryan Cohen, the GameStop chairman, disclosed a big new stake in Bed, Bath & Beyond. The meme-stockers are already getting excited.
Zelle is reportedly a hotbed for financial crimes. Millions of people have been scammed out of their money, but it's not clear what the banks can or will do about it.
Disney+ is introducing a cheaper, ad-supported subscription tier in the U.S. later this year, with plans to introduce the plan internationally in 2023.
Bobby Kotick is leaving Coca-Cola’s board, which he said will help him focus on Activision’s merger with Microsoft.
The money platforms are offering creators is like “lunch money,” some of them say. TikTok, Instagram and others are wooing people with new ways to make money on the platform, but creators said they’d much rather learn how to set rates with brands.
We’re not talking about the person you went on a first date with. We’re talking about that job candidate you really liked but never heard back from. Talent firm Robert Half recommended a few ways you can ensure candidates get back to you:
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