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"I'm in despair, my work has gone remote"
Also: Let me talk climate at your work // Dan Cable's new book // the best links of the week
Could I do a Climate Reality talk at your work? During October, in the run up to former Vice President Gore’s 24 Hours of Reality I’m looking to talk directly to groups of employees of companies across the UK. Last week I finished being personally trained by VP Al Gore and want to help share the latest message of what is happening with our climate.
Since Gore started his work 15 years ago the story has evolved remarkably. Firstly, it has got a lot, lot scarier. But secondly, the answers to it have never been clearer - and they are genuinely in our grasp. If you are interested in hearing the latest and commit to getting at least 50 people along to a lunchtime talk, please get in touch on this link. If you are in a smaller organisation but could bring fewer people along to a talk with other companies get in touch here. (The talks will delivered on Zoom or Teams, or whatever you use internally).
Previous guest Dan Cable has a new book out this week, which I’ve been fortunate enough to read. Exceptional invites us to seek inspiration on ourselves by reflecting on us at our best. Frankly what would others say about us over a good drink at our funeral? Based on lots of his own original research it’s a brilliant reframing of how we can think about our own impact on others. If you order today you’ll receive it in a few days when it comes out.
“My company has gone fully remote and I’m in despair… As humans, we need to be together. Collaboration does not happen very easily over Zoom.” It’s interesting that a lot of press angles are seeing the future of work as either/or rather than hybrid. I guess when you commission a piece an ‘it depends’ answer isn’t too satisfying
The Economist ran a few pieces on whether the office is finished in this week’s edition, their take is that we need to modernise laws/practices/working and this is a good provocation to do it
How remote workers will build a new culture (hopefully this link will get round the FT paywall, if you go onto their links via a Google search it’s normally free etc)
“It is easy to put too much stock in corporate culture, which can be a story triumphant companies tell themselves after the fact” - interesting dissection of Netflix and the ‘keeper test’
Wall Street Journal ran a piece this week saying that when we do return to workplaces, it won’t be to open-plan but to ‘dynamic offices’ (this is a paywalled WSJ article but I got it free when I went via the Apple News link above - thanks to Brendan Kearns for the lead). The piece includes this illustration, including someone nesting down in a desk in a tree (3). When I see these things I get baffled, why would someone come into the office to hide in shrubbery. The bifurcation of work is going to be about individual time/deep work/email - best suited to being at home, and collaborative connection - done in the office.
If I’m going to WFT (Work From a Tree), I’ll work from a tree near my house, surely? The article does recognise potential for other models like team neighbourhoods in smaller offices and work near home. Interesting summary of where we are, but a strong cautionary note to always look out for quotations from people with skin in the game - like a building systems manager quoted here).
Reminding us that being governed by billionaires isn’t democratic, here’s an article of how Amazon got into Facebook groups of their workers to see what they were saying
Picking up the phone to an old contact feels like it’s going to be more awkward, but in fact we’re more likely to love it. Phone calls are more intimate than texts
There was a bizarre piece in the Sunday Times a week or so ago saying our commute is part of our identity, and The Poke ran some replies to it, like this one:
Make Work Better is created by Bruce Daisley, workplace culture enthusiast. You can find more about Bruce’s book, podcast and writing at the Eat Sleep Work Repeat website.