Last week I had a great dinner with my son Jack and we had an insightful conversation about his current internship with TracyLocke. He made fascinating observations about the workplace and it has become obvious to me that one of the most profound and fundamental shifts in our professional lives is how we all manage risk and uncertainty in this era of accelerating change.
Long work internships and “side gigs” are now the norm. But, I don’t believe it’s simply because companies are exploiting cheap labor, nor is it because young workers aren’t loyal or able to commit. It’s because it’s almost impossible for either party to guess which projects will be viable or which skills will be required even 18 months into the future.
So, managers and workers are adapting. Internships are actually multiple-month-long interviews to gauge adaptability and innate problem solving ability.
And, workers who‘re asked to specialize at a job and risk missing out on the rise in popularity of other skills, manage that risk by diversifying their skills during their personal time and cultivating potential, alternative income channels.
Both sides know what the other side is doing and why. So, these new arrangements are becoming increasingly transparent and common.
As broad categories of people, young workers haven’t become more lazy or disloyal and hiring managers aren’t more indecisive or greedy than they have been in the past. It’s simply that the rate of change is accelerating and no one really knows what’s coming next or how they should prepare for it. So, they’re all hedging their decisions as best they can with new workplace relationships.
These are fascinating times and I absolutely love being able to witness and discuss it with our children as they enter the world of work.
Last summer IBM announced their remote team members could find an IBM office from which to work or find work elsewhere.
I’ve always thought and said working remote has both positive benefits and negative consequences. I look forward to learning more about IBM’s hard reversal.
My uneducated guess? The real decision makers are still old school and another remote work wave will come right behind the next tech labor crisis as younger and younger people negotiate their employment (or contract) terms. 🙄
This Product Hunt blurb about Google Duo landed in my inbox this morning. This sector just gets more and more crowded. There's already at least a half dozen ways for me to make and receive video calls on my phone and desktop, and now I'm installing another one. Because google.
I still think it's cool. This is the period during which we get to vote for what we like and dislike with our usage stats. But, I can't help but think the platform will have more to do with the winner than the features. Skype in MS Office, FaceTime on Apple devices, Facebook and Google. I think the tweaking of features won't matter as much as where you're sitting when you initiate the call.
A buddy just sent me a link to a company/product you'll probably find interesting, if you're a programmer, product manager or designer working remote.
If you work on a Mac, you'll probably find Notion even more interesting.
Connected with this fine looking group this weekend. Looking forward to hearing more about their approach to #remotework
Here's a Medium post of a story I wrote last summer about progressive benefits. I think it's holding up. Weekly, I get private messages complimenting me on the original story and appreciating the benefit culture we're building at alamode.com/careers.
I tend to think of #remotework as a subject adjunct to progressive benefits.
By that I mean, remote work might have started off as a progressive benefit, a special treat for the select few who're lucky enough to work remote from a centralized office.
But, those days are rapidly coming to a close, as remote work becomes a competitive requirement for organizations.
If you want to innovate and grow you not only have to be where your customers are, increasingly you have to be where your key knowledge workers are. And, more of them are choosing to remain at home.
And, in context of that uptick in employer flexibility, even employees who work together in an office are picking jobs that provide flexible hours and flexible leave.
The company where I work dove headlong into this realm last summer and the verdict is still out on our new benefit program's efficacy. Time will only tell.
But, the more I think about it, the point might soon be moot. The rise in #remotework and the decline in measuring how many hours a worker punches on the clock might create a standard work environment in which vacation and family leave policy issues take care of themselves.