Want A Pay Raise? Switching Jobs Has Much More Upside Amid Soaring Inflation, Report Finds

A new report from Pew Research Center finds that 60% of workers who changed jobs between April 2021 and March of this year reported an increase in their wages, as adjusted for inflation, significantly more than the 51% of job switchers who said they saw wage gains the year before. It really does pay to change jobs. During the second year of the pandemic, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis, half of workers who changed jobs saw their pay increase nearly 10%. The median worker who stayed put saw an inflation-adjusted loss of almost 2%.

It’s long been thought that changing companies leads to bigger bumps in pay than asking for a raise from the same employer. Now, a new analysis of government data confirms that conventional wisdom—but appears to suggest a growing gap in the fortunes of those who stay put versus those who switch jobs, as high inflation and record turnover rates amid the Great Resignation have shaken up the job market.

Sixty percent of workers who changed jobs between April 2021 and March of this year reported an increase in their wages, as adjusted for inflation, significantly more than the 51% of job switchers who said they saw wage gains the year before, according to a new report released Thursday from Pew Research Center that analyzed data from the Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey. Among workers who stayed with their employers, the share that reported an increase in real wage gains fell from 54% to 47% over the same period.

The difference was stark: During the second year of the pandemic, half of the workers who changed jobs saw their pay increase 9.7%, while the median worker who stayed in the same job experienced a loss of 1.7%.

In addition to Pew’s analysis of government data, it also surveyed 6,174 U.S. adults about their job search plans, which could reveal concerns about a slowing economy. While 22% of workers surveyed shared plans to search for a new gig within six months, a greater share—37%—said they expect finding a job to be difficult.

“That’s the feeling on the ground, which may or may not contradict what we hear about labor shortages,” says Rakesh Kochhar, who led the research on Pew’s analysis. “But it may be some insight into what lies ahead, or what people are thinking lies ahead.”

Kochhar says the difference between the two groups reporting real wage gains during the first year of the pandemic was not statistically significant. He speculated more workers who switched jobs during those early months may have done so involuntarily, which could explain why more of their new jobs didn’t pay more.

But as the Great Resignation took hold, the benefits for job switchers appear to have grown. The findings are another indicator of how the tight labor market has continued to hand workers a bigger payday while employers struggle to hire.

“Across the board, workers are going to their bosses asking for more money,” says Ben Cook, CEO of the job negotiations firm Riva HQ. “But it’s often difficult to get large percentage increases at your current role, so that’s driving workers to seek other opportunities.” Over the past year, those other opportunities were often coming with a 10% or more jump in pay, according to Cook, who says he believes newfound confidence among employees has had the most impact on the increased turnover rate.

The Pew analysis of government data found that 2.5% of workers, on average, quit their jobs each month in the first quarter of 2022, a rate that suggests some 50 million workers could switch jobs this year. Its survey of U.S. adults also found that Black and Hispanic workers, young adults and those without a high school diploma were more likely to change jobs in any given month, as well as that about half of job switchers also change industries or occupations in a typical month.

The report closely follows the Federal Reserve’s announcement of another move to cool inflation, raising interest rates Wednesday by 75 basis points for only the second time since 1994.

The Fed’s aggressiveness, plus uncertainty in Ukraine and other factors, including Thursday’s report that GDP shrank 0.9% in the second quarter, have stoked fears of a recession. Layoffs in tech have accelerated—Shopify shed about 10% of its workforce earlier this week, for example—and venture-capital funding for startups has slowed. But U.S. employers added 11.3 million jobs in May, and that rate, while down from previous months, still exceeds the pre-pandemic norm.

“We’re not seeing a profound, pervasive decline in labor market activity at all — that’s what you’d normally see in a recession,” says Julia Pollak, chief economist at the online employment marketplace ZipRecruiter.

In a survey published in April of 2,064 U.S. adults who had started a new job within the past six months, Pollak’s team at ZipRecruiter found that 69% of new hires who voluntarily left their old jobs ended up with a higher salary under a new employer..

“We can see in the data that this was not a Great Resignation out of the labor force,” she says. “This Great Resignation was really the ‘Great Trading-Up.’”

While most workers who quit their jobs in 2021 did so for higher pay, others stepped down primarily to escape burnout, which surveys show has reached more than half of American workers.

Whatever the reason for changing jobs, higher pay is often a helpful byproduct. Take Bethlehem, New Hampshire, resident Ashley Willumitis, who a year ago swapped her job as a school admissions director for a program management role at a software company.

“One of my friends actually said to me, ‘if you’re going to be miserable at work, can you at least make some more money?’” recalls Willumitis. The 35-year-old, who earned less than $50,000 in her education job, has more than doubled her paycheck, enabling her partner to step away from work for a break.

After quitting, she met with a career coach and therapist, and first took up a low-stakes marketing job where she practiced shutting off her computer at the end of the work day and letting emails sit more than a few minutes before responding, freeing up more time for activities she loves, like biking.

“You gave your whole self to it and didn’t necessarily make a ton back,” Willumitis says, referring to the way she used to think about work. “It was through having some other people point out my skills to me that I realized I could not only make more money elsewhere, but arguably work a lot less.”

I’m an editorial intern on the Leadership and Communities team, covering founders, small business and Under 30. Previously, I worked in business development for a startup

Source: Want A Pay Raise? Switching Jobs Has Much More Upside Amid Soaring Inflation, Report Finds

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The Real Reasons Big Tech Hates Unions

Tech companies don’t like unions. Here’s why — and here’s what happens when they call in the union busters. Around this time last year, Mapbox’s Slack workplace descended into 24/7 chaos, the virtual equivalent of an office-wide shouting match. It was a few weeks before workers were to vote on whether to join a union, and Mapbox leaders and workers on the “anti-committee” were posting about their opposition to the union at all hours of the day and night.

At anti-union all-staff meetings and on Slack, leaders accused union organizers of xenophobia because they opposed offshoring jobs to other countries. Staff members on the “anti-committee” blamed union organizers for creating division, chaos and conflict, and then piled on to endless Slack threads that bubbled with bickering posts and sometimes snarky laughing emojis when someone posted a pro-union message. “They would say, ‘How can you be doing something like this? You’re putting our livelihoods in danger,’” said Josh Erb, a Mapbox software engineer who helped organize for the union and who left the company in January 2022.

“Because of Slack being this virtual workspace that you can’t ever actually get out of, like 24 hours a day the anti-committee … at 3 in the morning would post,” Wes McEnany, one of the former union organizers with the Communication Workers of America, told Protocol. Mapbox did not respond to Protocol’s requests for comment.

Mapbox’s union opposition was industry standard. A wave of unionization has swept white- and blue-collar tech workplaces over the last two years: In addition to the attempt at Mapbox, workers have unionized at Amazon and Activision Blizzard and are in the midst of union organizing at Apple retail stores, to name just a few. The leaders of those companies are among the litany who have made it clear they want unions out.

So they have done what every anti-union company in the United States has done since the first organized labor movement more than 100 years ago — hired what companies call “union avoidance experts” and what unions call “union busters.”

And it works. The playbook mastered by consultants and attorneys at major law firms and strategy groups is effective at forcing a union vote to fail or collapse. What companies rarely consider are the long-term consequences. “It was like watching this beautiful thing wither up and die,” Erb said of the fallout at Mapbox, where workers voted down the union. “Before, it was probably one of the best company cultures I’d worked at.”

The often chaotic and threatening atmosphere created in the lead-up to a unionization vote alters company culture. Especially in closely contested elections, trust erodes between workers and leadership. Companies that pride themselves on openness and communication find themselves unable to re-create the same atmosphere. Top talent, disturbed by the change in environment, often flees or is poached. Recruiting becomes more difficult because of the reputational damage caused by the fight.

To look at what company culture at this company had been a year ago versus what it is now, the vibrancy has just been sucked out of it. Mapbox epitomizes those consequences. The company lost nearly 300 employees in 2021, an increase of more than 100 people compared to the previous year, according to data from Mapbox organizers and from LinkedIn statuses reviewed by Protocol.

“To look at what company culture at this company had been a year ago versus what it is now, the vibrancy has just been sucked out of it,” one current Mapbox employee told Protocol. The alternatives could be less of a nightmare than the unionization one keeping tech leaders up at night. Microsoft President Brad Smith staked his claim last week as the one major tech leader who seems less afraid of this alternative future when he announced that Microsoft wouldn’t oppose union organizing among its ranks.

The company had an unusual opportunity to prepare its position on unions because Microsoft is in the process of acquiring Activision Blizzard, where 22 quality assurance testers at the company’s Call of Duty studio just formally unionized. Microsoft will have no choice but to deal with CWA, the union that represents those workers — and has even committed to a legally binding agreement to avoid the vicious, drawn-out fights that have embroiled places like Mapbox.

“If the employer treats employees in a good way, in my opinion a union’s not necessary,” Alfred Gray, an employment attorney who represents companies challenging unionization, said. “But once a union is in place, my attitude has been all along, I’ve gotta work with you, we might as well have an amicable relationship because we are going to get more done working together.”

At its heart, tech sector unionization has exposed messy political rifts at work. Whether someone favors unions or opposes them, their feelings tend to be rooted in political and ideological beliefs. Union organizers see union-busters as inherently malicious and opposed to worker rights; company leaders see unions as interfering pests with an anti-capitalist agenda. Enforcement of the laws that govern unionization changes depends on the political party in power in the White House, meaning that most legal fights create more mess, not recourse.

While tech companies proudly advertise progressive values on climate change, racial justice and diversity at work, unions are where most draw the line. (Aside from Microsoft’s recent commitment, the few exceptions come from small tech startups that build tech tools for progressive causes, like Mobilize.)

Mapbox, for example, touts that its first maps supported international development in partnership with the United Nations, USAID and Doctors without Borders. It cites “people first” values and advertises “an amazing community of friendly, diverse, and talented people who work together to achieve big goals.” One current Mapbox employee told Protocol that they joined the company in part because of its reputation for a caring and progressive culture. Mapbox’s own leadership tried to play on this progressive ideal, using the “xenophobic” label to try to make the pro-union crowd appear less progressive than the company.

“These tech companies which sort of might be liberal on some issues, when it comes to unions or regulation, they are very anti,” said Wilma Liebman, who was chair of the National Labor Relations Board, the federal agency that oversees union laws, under the Obama administration.

“It poisons the well oftentimes,” said Ileen DeVault, a professor of labor history at Cornell University. “It makes workers not trust each other as much anymore. It tightens all sorts of conversations and cultures of companies. And I think that may be especially important in some of these tech companies, where, for the programming folks anyway, the culture was always relaxed.”

Why fight?

Companies articulate three primary reasons for fighting unionization: They don’t want another group mediating their conversations and relationships with their employees, especially a group without industry knowledge; they usually lose money because they are forced to increase pay and benefits; and they lose control over their ability to hire, fire and lay off whenever they choose.

Amazon CEO Andy Jassy made some of these arguments in a June 8 talk, saying it’s easier and faster for teams to make change and for managers to incorporate feedback without a union. “We happen to think they’re better off without a union,” he said.

Liebman suspects that’s a view shared widely by tech company leaders, who might view unions as fusty relics. “My sense is that they view traditional collective bargaining relationships as probably being 20th century and out of sync with their business model, and they probably think that they can’t deal with a third party. ‘We have to make decisions fast, we can’t go through long negotiation processes,’” Liebman said.

Private sector unionization in the U.S. hit an all-time high in the 1950s, when more than one-third of workers at private companies were in unions. The majority of these unions were industry-specific; autoworkers were represented by the auto union, truckers by the trucker union. Every American citizen was either in a union or knew people in a union.

Today, private sector union membership hovers somewhere between 5% and 6% according to Department of Labor data, and most private sector employees don’t work in the same assembly-line style jobs that unions traditionally represented in the 20th century. “The average American on the street doesn’t know diddly-squat about how a union functions or what it can do and what it can’t do for workers,” DeVault said.

Union avoidance consultants and attorneys cite this shift as a key reason for opposing unionization. Gray believes that unlike historical private sector unions, unions today often organize workplaces in disparate industries and have little knowledge of how those industries actually function. When the teamsters won an election at a group home for people with disabilities, Gray said, citing an example, “it was problematic right from the get-go even from collective bargaining, because they didn’t understand the industry.”

Among other problems, Gray said the teamsters called for worker schedules to change to traditional daytime hours, even though the home only had residents in need of care during evening hours. “Now it’s just a numbers thing. They want as many people as possible,” he said of unions. There’s a fourth and less tangible ideological reason for union opposition: Depending on their politics, some people are inherently opposed to the idea of a union and question the legitimacy of the laws that enshrine their rights in the U.S.

“It’s almost like it’s an accepted part of corporate management culture, that this is what you do, this is how you are a good person in your role: You hear the word ‘union’ and you bring in the union-busters,” said Sara Steffens, the secretary-treasurer for the CWA. The CWA has spearheaded the effort to organize white-collar tech sector workers into unions over the last two years through a campaign called CODE-CWA, which has successfully unionized software engineers at Mobilize, Vodeo Games, Glitch, Raven Software and the New York Times tech department, among others.

Liebman agrees. “For some, I think it’s truly ideological; they don’t accept the legitimacy of labor unions or the legitimacy of this law,” she said. Still, about 68% of Americans approved of labor unions in a 2021 Gallup poll, a high not seen since the 1960s and a 20% increase from 2009’s all-time low.

The basic union avoidance playbook

When two-thirds of Mapbox workers announced their intention to unionize in spring 2021, the company quickly launched its opposition campaign, hiring labor consulting firm Lev Labor, LLC. (Lev Labor also consulted for Amazon in its anti-union efforts in the lead-up to the union votes in Staten Island warehouses).

The campaign went as most do: Mapbox management hosted all-hands meetings (known colloquially as “captive audience meetings”) where it suggested union talk was responsible for a lost $150 million investment in the company and could also discourage future investment. Workers were pulled into one-on-one meetings with managers to discuss the union movement. Our main channel just turned into a slag-fest between pro-and anti-union folks.

“One of the things I’d always admired about Mapbox from the outside was just the seemingly hard-to-quantify complete lack of assholes. It was a really good crew of people, everybody super supportive, very open with their own struggles,” one Mapbox employee told Protocol. “Then there was a palpable shift in the tone of any sort of public communications. Just like the general atmosphere, a huge palpable shift. Our main channel just turned into a slag-fest between pro-and anti-union folks.”

“A big part of the leadership strategy in [the] campaign was to pit the U.S.-based workers against the workers abroad who wouldn’t be covered by the collective bargaining group we were pushing for,” Erb said. Company leadership accused the union of making it harder to support the global workforce. “It definitely colored every interaction I had with one of my counterparts who worked in a different country,” he added.

Lev Labor wrote in its mandated disclosure forms that “the engagement was merely to educate, rather than to persuade” and that the roughly $43,000 Mapbox paid it was “just payment for providing education and information to employees.”

By August, the two-thirds union support had vanished, and the union lost its election 123-81. In the months after the defeat, at least three union leaders were fired, let go or agreed to leave, according to the Mapbox Workers Union and posts shared by former union organizers on Twitter.

That mirrors the basic union avoidance playbook, which is governed by one overarching law. “There’s a whole rule of thumb — TIPS,” Gray said. (TIPS means you can’t threaten, interrogate, promise or surveil). “You can’t threaten employees, you can’t influence them, you can’t persuade them, you can’t offer them salary information, you can’t make promises to employees.”

And so union-avoidance consultants have adopted a few central strategies based on what past labor rulings show they can do. Sometimes they make the union leaders managers, because managers can’t join a union and that can effectively suffocate the movement. Amazon, Apple, Mapbox and other tech companies have all used captive-audience meetings, where workers are required to listen to company leaders — without union organizers present — explain why they don’t want a union. When workers don’t appear easily dissuaded, companies deliberately create so much chaos that workers vote against the union just to end the misery.

While it’s a common strategy, Gray advises employers to pursue another popular route: find ways to give employees what they want, but in a way that isn’t technically persuading or influencing, in hopes they drop the union effort. Steffens sees this when the CWA tries to unionize a workplace. Workers will get raises, or the mileage reimbursement will suddenly increase.

The consequences

But in Steffens’ experience, those changes vanish when the union fight ends and the consultants disappear. “The way they see it is if they cause that election to be not held, or scare enough people into voting no, they’ve done their job,” Steffens said. At Mapbox, current employees described a scorched-earth reality after the union lost the election in August. While those that remain are still happy with their individual teams and work, those that spoke with Protocol described trying to avoid thinking about the broader company culture and their relationships with senior management.

Waves of workers have also left the company over the last year, including some of the company’s longest-tenured talent. “It’s the absolute carnage of U.S.-based employees, folks who would have been in the bargaining unit leaving or being forced out,” one employee said. “The shock wave of losing so many creative and contributing employees, there’s certainly a possibility that they don’t immediately emerge from that,” the same employee said.

Erb stayed at Mapbox until January, five months after the failed union vote. “It became kind of like a ghost town in a sense where people were leaving faster than they could hire for roles,” he said. When he’d started working at Mapbox nearly four years earlier, one of Erb’s favorite parts of the job was the ease with which engineers could disagree with their managers when problem-solving. He left the company in part because he felt like that freedom disappeared after the vote. “I had no ability, even in my professional capacity, to be critical of management’s plans for something. The general vibe I got by the end of it is, that was basically just everyone’s experience.”

Source: https://www.protocol.com/

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AI And The Secret To Employee Happiness

When I started working as a mainframe operator in IT in 1988, I felt like I was part of a secret club. None of my family understood what I was doing; my friends would ask, “what’s a mainframe and why do you have to work nights?”

My onboarding took months, and a typical workday began with staring at a blank screen. Since mainframes didn’t come with a mouse, I would enter memorized commands like “=3.4” and “Sys3.AF*” to navigate the data sets I needed to find.I don’t think many workers today would put up with that.

Any manager who has tried to hire an employee today will agree the war for talent is real. Job perks like free lunches and on-site laundry just don’t cut it anymore. To recruit talent today, there’s really one thing that every enterprise needs to do: Make work better.

Make work easy

I’ve found that companies invest in digital transformation for three reasons: To work faster, to work more efficiently, and to change or expand their business models. But the end result of any digital transformation should be a better experience, and leaders often neglect the everyday experience of the workers who actually achieve these goals.

Consider this. Outside of work, most people have grown used to finding a new home, getting pet care, and organizing travel all with just a swipe of their finger on the touchscreen. They expect the same level of ease when it comes to the technologies they use at work. It’s no coincidence that the latest release of the Now Platform invested so heavily in improving user experience.

Sure, the interface looks beautiful. But the experience goes deeper than the surface by making the usage more intuitive. Good user experience is about simplifying and hiding complexity so that using it comes naturally to anyone. Make work easy.

Flex on flexibility

Many workplaces have returned to on-site or hybrid work, but I don’t think we’ll bring back the rigid workday schedule. The last two years have taught us that, while face-to-face and real-time interactions are invaluable, many other tasks can be done just as well, if not better, asynchronously.

Yes, it wasn’t fun to work from a makeshift standing desk in the kitchen while keeping one eye on a freakishly fast toddler. It’s no wonder why some employees have eagerly returned to the ergonomic office stocked with free snacks. But some of us love attending a meeting without sitting in traffic, having lunch without navigating a packed cafeteria, or taking a two-hour afternoon break to compensate for that evening call with Tokyo. You have to accommodate both types—and everyone in between.

Leaders learned the hard way in 2020 that you can’t just flip a switch and change the way a business is run. You have to stay ready with workplace technology that can support various—and changing—work models.

Flexibility, supported with a solid digital foundation, is no longer a choice. Clearly communicate what your employees need to deliver and let them decide where, when, and how. Or you can try to force a rigid work model and watch your talent flock to another employer.

AI and human intelligence aren’t mutually exclusive. They work best when they work together.

Automate the mundane

Automation has freed employees from many repetitive tasks, making work more fulfilling and creative. The digitization of work can go a step further by tapping artificial intelligence that effectively sorts through massive amounts of data and makes prescriptive recommendations. AI can even be used to make it easier for employees to be promoted internally—a huge factor in retaining and rewarding your workforce.

There’s a misconception that AI is designed to replace human workers. But for me, artificial intelligence is actually about the interface between people and machines, making lives more interesting by automating the mundane, removing friction, and presenting the right information and insights.

Better together

Knowledge workers thrive when they can harness technology to make more effective decisions. These decisions aren’t only reactive but also proactive—something that AI enables through its predictive power, which can anticipate and adjust to a world full of constantly changing variables.

When it comes to digital transformation, we think of how it impacts the bottom line by improving speed and efficiency. But how do we improve speed and efficiency? By empowering our talent with the delightful and intuitive experiences they deserve.

AI and human intelligence aren’t mutually exclusive. They work best when they work together.

Dave Wright is ServiceNow’s chief innovation officer and acts as an evangelist for how to improve workplace productivity. He has worked with thousands of

Source: AI And The Secret To Employee Happiness

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More contents:

What is a Digital Transformation Strategy? »

What is a Digital Business? »

How to make a Digital Transformation Strategy? »

Digital Transformation Strategy in 2020 »

Where to Start with a Digital Transformation Strategy »

Who should be involved in creating a Digital Transformation Strategy? »

What happens to businesses that don’t have a Digital Transformation Strategy? »

What are the top 5 Digital Transformation Strategy Frameworks?

How do I measure if my Digital Transformation Strategy is working? »

What is Digital Transformation?

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Workers Facing Inflexible Office Returns Are Stressed Out And Anxious. Their Bosses? Not So Much.

As the pandemic threat recedes and more employers call workers back to the office, new data from a survey of 10,000 workers describes a “troubling double standard” in the realities that employees and their bosses face, with non-executives showing much steeper declines in measures of work-related stress, anxiety and work-life balance.

Future Forum, a research consortium on the future of work launched by Slack and other partners, released on Tuesday its latest Pulse survey of 10,000 knowledge workers globally. The consortium, which also spearheads a working group of executives to discuss future workplace issues, 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. Workers also reported more than twice the level of stress and anxiety as top bosses.

There was also a sharp divide between the employee experience scores of workers who have full-time in-office mandates and those who have hybrid or remote options, with declines twice as steep for full-time office workers when it comes to work-life balance and 1.5 times as steep for scores on stress and anxiety, the survey found.

“Executives are embracing flexibility while they’re telling everybody else to come back to the office,” says Future Forum vice president Sheela Subramanian. “What we’re seeing is just a lot more rigidity, more top down mandates happening and executives are not necessarily setting that model from the top.

Meanwhile, Subramanian says, the overall declines in employee experience scores since its research last quarter come as some companies are requiring workers to revert to pre-pandemic approaches to office attendance. The new survey found that 34% of knowledge workers have gone back to working in the office daily, the largest share since the consortium began its research in June 2020.

Yet recent weeks have seen a wave of companies launch their hybrid returns to office, with many introducing policies that range from a few days a year to a few days a week onsite. At Overstock.com, most workers’ in-office mandates will be limited to a few days in the spring and late summer. Apple is easing workers in with a requirement of one day a week, which will grow to three days a week starting in May. Google has also said it expects workers to be in the office three days a week.

At Hewlett Packard Enterprise, which officially reopened its offices April 4, about 80% of its workforce is designated as hybrid, with no mandate for the number of days they should be in the office. These employees, as HPE CEO Antonio Neri wrote in a recent blog post, will be “working primarily remotely but encouraged to come into the office for collaboration.”

The company’s chief people officer, Alan May, says that HPE is doing more to articulate when those collaboration times might be. For instance, the tech firm asks leaders to meet with their employees every couple of months for targeted career, strategy and performance-metric discussions.

“We’re encouraging all of those to occur face-to-face where possible, in the office,” May tells Forbes. Collaboration events, meetings with customers and meetings designed to recognize workers should also be done in person, he says.

Yet at the same time, there’s “certainly not an edict or a quota on the number of days people have to show up,” he says.

Still, May says, they’re trying to make the office a draw, with a new headquarters in Houston that includes make-at-home meal kits to take home, large outdoor screens for movies, onsite health and fitness facilities and a pop-up “makerspace” with equipment like 3-D printers for workers to dabble in their own projects or attend workshops with peers.

Of the “makerspace,” May says, “it’s an additional amenity that I think, frankly, is a lot more thoughtful than just another foosball table.” People are excited to be back on the new campus together, but that doesn’t mean “they suddenly jumped back in five days a week,” he says. “I think those days are gone.”

“Actually I don’t think you come together to work. You do the work remotely. You come together to build social bonds.”

—Atlassian cofounder Scott Farquhar

Future Forum’s Subramanian agrees being flexible doesn’t necessarily mean there’s no role for the office. Despite all the focus on where people will be working, their new survey showed that when employees are expected to work may be even more important to workers than where. While 79% of respondents say they want location flexibility, 94% say they want to be able to choose the hours they work.

When making plans for coming together in person, she says, companies should create team-level agreements for a set of core hours and be “really intentional about why you’re getting together—rather than ‘you need to come into the office so I know that you’re working and responding to my messages quickly.’”

“Intentional” is exactly the word Scott Farquhar, Atlassian’s cofounder and No. 123 on our 2022 billionaires list, used when describing his software company’s strategy recently. In an interview with Forbes, Farquhar said details are still being hammered out, but he expects the direction to be that employees who don’t live near one of the company’s offices will travel about four times a year for what he calls “intentional togetherness.”

He says he doesn’t call it working together “because actually I don’t think you come together to work. You do the work remotely. You come together to build social bonds.” When people come together, “I think it does look much more like a conference you go to.

At Atlassian, the company allows people to work anywhere as long as three criteria are met: They’re legally allowed to work there, the company is legally allowed to employ them in that location, and the time zone works for their team, wherever people are based. Farquhar said about 10% of the company’s U.S. employees have moved states over the past 18 months, and 44% of its new hires in the U.S. in the past year live two or more hours from one of its main office locations.

Subramanian says it’s critical for companies with hybrid policies to set “behavioral guardrails,” as it’s “very easy for things to become inequitable.” That goes for executives, too. Ben Langis, head of workplace of the future at State Street, which has announced a hybrid work plan, says the giant asset manager has asked senior leaders to model the expectations it has for employees around working hybrid, and offers managers training on this new approach to work. “Everyone has to realize this is a large social experiment,” Langis says.

At Atlassian, where its Trello team has always had a remote-first approach to Zoom calls, if one person is remote, everyone else is join calls that way, too. That includes Farquhar: He once flew in from Australia for a town hall meeting at Trello’s offices but conducted it from a phone-booth sized room since some employees were dialing in remotely.

“I call it the Brady Bunch mentality,” he says. “Everyone has their own little box.”

Jena McGregor

I am in charge of Forbes’ leadership, careers, and workplace coverage.

Source: Workers Facing Inflexible Office Returns Are Stressed Out And Anxious. Their Bosses? Not So Much.

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