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Future of Work Roundup: April 14th

This week’s Future of Work Roundup includes how even comms giants are challenged by the hybrid work balance, plus what to do to give your people their work-night’s back.

Struggling to navigate the hybrid workplace? So is Slack. (Axios)

As teams start to shuffle back into the office a couple days a week, employers are trying to navigate the murky waters of how to make that sustainable – and desirable. 

And it’s not just you who’s confused on how to proceed. 

  • Even Slack’s CEO Stewart Butterfield doesn’t quite know what to make of it. He spoke recently at the Axios What’s Next Summit, commenting on the fact that the ideal in-person office situation will vary vastly between colleagues. 
  • Rather, he’s keen to lean on allowing teams to be flexible. 

That means now is the time to upgrade your comms stack.

  • Butterfield emphasized the acute need for installing the right comms stack asap, all in an effort to maintain an effective and cohesive workplace.
  • “I feel like we have 10% of the tools we need [for hybrid to work effectively].” 

The bottom line: Employers have to start meeting employees where they are – enabling them to work when, how, and where they choose. Not all comms can or should be live. On-demand streaming and real-time communications that blend live and pre-recorded content is the future of work, and a key way we can keep our hybrid, global teams connected and engaged. 

Why on-demand meetings can give remote employees their evening’s back (The Atlantic)

Do you know what times of day you’re most productive? According to a Microsoft study, most people see their biggest spike at 11a, followed by a spike at around 3p, and then… another spike at 10:30p. But, why? It’s likely because of all the meetings we’re on. 

Meetings are up, and workdays spill into worknights. 

  • And by “meetings are up,” we mean they’re up 250% since the pandemic. 
  • As a result, the actual work you have to do gets pushed to later and later times of the day.

That means we need to rethink the role of meetings in work comms.

  • It seems natural that hybrid teams would use meetings as a modality to ensure everyone’s on the same page. But the thinking behind it could use some updating.
  • Do we really need to be in a meeting all at the same time? Or, could that meeting have been an email an asynchronous, on-demand video so employees can watch it at a time that works best for them – or, for our global employees, when they’re actually awake.

The bottom line: Employees aren’t mad about all the meetings; they’re mad about lazy communication tools that turn their workdays into worknights.