Happy Tuesday, everyone. Yet another company—Apple this time—is facing a union drive. This week in Forbes Careers:
–A "troubling double standard" for return mandates
–No video conference camera? No future
–The happiness factor for entrepreneurs
So how are those return to office mandates going—at least for those returning full time? Not so well, it seems.
A new survey from Future Forum, a research consortium on the future of work, found that non-executives are nearly twice as likely as top managers to work from the office every day, and their work-life balance scores are now 40% worse than executive respondents. There was also a sharp divide between employee experience scores for workers who have full-time in-office mandates and those who have hybrid or remote options. Declines were twice as steep for work-life balance and 1.5 times worse on stress and anxiety, the survey found.
Those numbers are jarring—but not altogether surprising, given all we know about how much work, and our expectations about it, are changing. The interesting thing, to me, is what companies are doing to try and avoid those problems. I regularly speak with CEOs, heads of human resources and other future of work experts, curious about the practices and tactics they're using to navigate this new world of hybrid work that's both so compelling to so many and yet littered with potential hiccups.
HPE, for instance, which officially reopened its offices April 4 and where 80% of its workforce is designated as hybrid, with no mandate for the number of days they should be in the office, is spelling out collaborative occasions where onsite meetings are needed—and otherwise trying to draw people to the office through new amenities like make-at-home meal kits, large outdoor screens for movies and a pop-up "makerspace" with equipment like 3-D printers for workers to dabble in their own projects or attend workshops with peers.
At software maker Atlassian, cofounder Scott Farquhar (and No. 123 on our 2022 billionaires list) expects employees who don't live near one of the company's offices will ultimately travel about four times a year for what he calls "intentional togetherness," not calling it "working" because he foresees the time being used not for work, but for "building social bonds." In the past year, he says, 44% of its new hires in the U.S. live two or more hours from one of its main office locations.
One other interesting finding in Future Forum's survey: With all the talk about RTO and the location of work, we may be missing that what people really care about is when, not where. Future Forum's survey found that while 79% of respondents say they want location flexibility, 94% say they want to be able to choose the hours they work. For more on the survey and ideas from companies like HPE and Atlassian, read more here.
Robinson's pioneering leadership in the business world set standards for Black Americans and also for Black athletes, such as Magic Johnson and LeBron James, who've parlayed their fame and multimillion-dollar salaries into successful business ventures. The Jackie Robinson Foundation has developed more than 1,800 young leaders and is set to open a museum in the baseball icon's honor in July. His son, David Robinson, is the founder of Sweet Unity Farms Coffee, a cooperative of more than 200 small family-owned coffee farms in Tanzania. Read more here.
Open up, ask real questions, set boundaries: How to be more authentic at work.
The best ways to get a fast start in a new executive job. Five things to stop doing on your resume in 2022
On Our Agenda
Camera on: A survey commissioned by the Austin, Texas-based software company Vyopta found that more than 40% of U.S. executives think employees on mute or off-camera are browsing the internet or social media; some 92% said they believe employees who don't turn on their cameras don't have long-term futures at the company.
Back to the burbs: Mark Dixon, CEO at international co-working space IWG, sees more office space in the suburbs as people shun commutes but no longer see a closet at-home office as "remotopia." Senior contributor Jack Kelly shares why.
Entrepreneurial zeal: Turns out, going into business for yourself really might make you happier. Research from Baylor University and Louisiana State University discovered an interesting trend, writes small business contributor Bernhard Schroeder, by combining data from the Center for Disease Control and the U.S. Census. "What they found was that as the number of small businesses increased, the health of the surrounding community improved," Schroeder writes." And entrepreneurs, it turns out, have a significantly lower incidence of physical and mental illnesses, visit the hospital less often, and report higher levels of life satisfaction."
Four-day CA mandate? A California State Legislature proposal would define the workweek in the state as 32 hours rather than 40 for companies with more than 500 employees, and a committee is expected to decide whether the bill will move forward within days. As companies pilot the idea of a four-day work week as a novel experiment around the globe, could California actually mandate it?
No degree, no problem: As companies shift to a greater focus on skills rather than experience pedigree to hire new workers, a gradual shift toward fewer requirements for college degrees is taking place. The New York Timesreports that the Burning Glass Institute, an independent nonprofit research center, analyzed millions of online job listings and found that in 2017, 51 percent required the degree. By 2021, that share had declined to 44%.
The founders of the Summit event series, co-owners of the ski resort Powder Mountain and investors in startups such as Uber and Warby Parker write in the recently released Make No Small Plans: Lessons on Thinking Big, Chasing Dreams, and Building Communityabout how they went from young, earnest entrepreneurs to mountaintop hosts of Shonda Rhimes and Jeff Bezos. Described as "Burning Man Meets Davos," Summit has now played host to more than 250 events; the four founders—Elliott Bisnow, Brett Leve, Jeff Rosenthal and Jeremy Schwartz—share how they built it in their new book.
Key quote: "As an entrepreneur, you face a financial dilemma the day you decide to start your company; you're forced to navigate the balancing act between capital and responsibility," the authors write. "If you bootstrap your startup and you fail, the only person you let down is yourself."