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What if every surface in your home or office could respond and morph throughout the day?

What if every surface in your home or office could respond and morph throughout the day?

What if the future smart home were more than gadgets, wires, and flashing lights? What if instead, we used technology to make the existing spaces around us more beautiful?"

Source: www.fastcompany.com

You've no doubt seen or heard of lights that can change color throughout the day, but what about walls? lampshades? sofas? artwork? While the technologies and materials that make this possible are mostly found in laboratories today, you can bet they'll be coming to a home or office near you in the not-too-distant future.


In case you doubted it, new robust study proves small teams fuel radical innovation, but…

In case you doubted it, new robust study proves small teams fuel radical innovation, but…

“Big teams take the current frontier and exploit it,” Evans says. “They wring the towel. They get that last ounce of possibility out of yesterday’s ideas, faster than anyone else. But small teams fuel the future, generating ideas that, if they succeed, will be the source of big-team development.”

Source: www.theatlantic.com

The researchers looked at more than 65 million scientific papers, patents, and software projects from the past six decades. They concluded that disruptive ideas overwhelmingly come from small teams. But here's the catch, when small teams are funded by large government funds, they lose their advantage and perform no better than large teams. 


Is Airbnb the next WeWork?

Is Airbnb the next WeWork?

Redefine business travel for your team with Airbnb. Help your team always feel at home, at any price point, anywhere they go, whether for group trips, team off-sites or extended stays.

Source: www.airbnb.co.uk

Looks like Airbnb wants a piece of the workplace pie. Their new video features happy employees using Airbnb's for team off-sites and company retreats. 


WeWork’s purchase of people tracking software raises privacy issues

WeWork’s purchase of people tracking software raises privacy issues

WeWork’s chief product officer said they’re aiming for a “Google analytics for space,” but their new tech acquisition raises questions about privacy i

Source: therealdeal.com

The WeWork model offers a rich source of data about what people like and dislike about a space. It also affords them insights about how and when people use various types of spaces. With the purchase of Euclid, they will now have the ability to track even more about how people utilize and move between spaces.

 

While the media response points to privacy issues, Euclid's technology is one of many that allows for people tracking. Smart phones, smart watches, sound and heat-sensing lightbulbs, programs that can 'watch' what employees are doing, and  many more technologies are becoming commonplace.

 

Working along side HR, IT, and Risk Management, organizations, particularly those in the U.S. who are not governed by GDPR, would be wise to take a deliberate stand on privacy now, before it is too late.


GitLab’s 2,000 page employee handbook available for free and it’s an amazing read!

GitLab’s 2,000 page employee handbook available for free and it’s an amazing read!

"The GitLab team handbook is the central repository for how we run the company. Printed, it consists of over 2,000 pages of text. As part of our value of being transparent the handbook is open to the world, and we welcome feedback.

Source: about.gitlab.com

Why would you want to read a 2,000 page employee handbook? Because it's amazing. It covers everything from their core values to chat/email etiquette. There's a whole chapter devoted to communications protocols including how to keep virtual workers from feeling ostracized. Another chapter not only reveals the dozens of apps they use to manage their work, but details about how to use them. 


Is your job killing you? The answer is ‘yes’ for many of us.

Is your job killing you? The answer is ‘yes’ for many of us.

Too many Americans are trapped in toxic jobs, a problem employers and employees need to take more seriously. Jeffrey Pfeffer, an organizational behavior professor at Stanford who wrote the book Dying for a Paycheck, found through his research that poor management in U.S. companies accounted for up to 8 percent of annual health costs and was associated with 120,000 excess deaths every year."

Source: www.huffpost.com

Work is the leading cause of stress and stress is a leading cause of many chronic problems including poor sleep, digestion, issues, depression, over-eating, pain, and more. While the article offers a couple of token ideas for reducing stress, the author's best advice to those with toxic jobs is to get a new one. Given the cost of losing a good employee and the war for talent, reducing employee stress and ferreting out the root causes ought to be an employer's job #1.


Microsoft includes remote worker stigma in unconscious bias training

Microsoft includes remote worker stigma in unconscious bias training

By using videoconferencing and chat tools like Skype and instant messaging, Rich Kaplan, general manager of employee experience at Microsoft, says he's seen teams "move beyond" the face-time bias. Sometimes, he says, a team will host multiple meetings on the same topic, to make sure everyone from different time zones has a chance to chime in.
 
"I think the technology is good enough today where if you really want to be diverse and inclusive globally, you have no choice but to use the tools to your advantage," he says.

Source: www.cnn.com

A UC Davis researcher quoted in the article suggests there's an unconscious perception that people who are seen around the office during regular working hours are more reliable, committed, dependable than remote workers (including telecommuters and those who travel heavily). In fact, Microsoft's 'unconscious bias' training includes an example of forgetting to invite remote workers to a meeting. 

The worry is that the 'not-being-seen'-bias could result in poorer performance reviews. It suggests including social time with remote workers and making sure managers judge their people by what they do, rather than their subjective feelings toward them.


Philippines sign telecommuting act into law

RA 11165 or An Act Institutionalizing Telecommuting as an Alternative Work Arrangement for Employees in the Private Sector encourages employers to adopt telecommuting - a work arrangement that allows an employee to work from an alternative workplace with the use of telecommunication and/or computer technologies.

Source: www.senate.gov.ph

The new law does not require employers to offer telecommuting, it simply requires that if they do, they ensure they are treated no differently than other employees. It specifically mentions having appropriate training, technology, and access to colleagues and advancement opportunities. These have proven critical to the success of work-at-home programs in the U.S. and elsewhere, so it's good to see them baked into law.

Reducing traffic and improving work-life balance are the primary drivers of the telecommuting law.


Workplace News is an exclusive benefit for WE members.

Workplace News is an exclusive benefit for WE members.

Please feel free to share an issue or two of this newsletter with colleagues, but as it's a WE member-only benefit, we hope you'll encourage them to join WE here: https://we.ifma.org/join/. At $55 dollars, it's a steal!

Insights are provided by WE:Research leader, Kate Lister. Kate is president of Global Workplace Analytics, a research and consulting firm dedicated to making the business case for workplace change. The opinions expressed herein are her own and do not necessarily reflect those of IFMA or the WE community.

Kate is not responsible for anything including, but not limited to, earthquakes greater than 4.0, crying babies, barking dogs, car alarms, and singing minstrels.


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