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🏢 Return to Office (RTO) Push
Nothing personal, it's just business.
If you missed my last email, I am asking you to share your quick feedback about this newsletter. 2-3 minutes should suffice. I'd appreciate this a lot!
Also, going to switch the frequency of these emails to bi-weekly for the next few months. I want to spend this time creating new content and videos and working through some new ideas.
Let's talk about the recent push to return to the office (RTO). I doubt that people miss their daily commute and the joy of being packed like sardines on a train or bus. Driving? Good luck finding and paying for parking. Back in Canada, my commute was almost 3 hours a day 🤦♂️ Much better in Luxembourg, but still.
Companies are trying to justify their decision with vague reasons like "we need to build culture" or "collaboration is better in-person". While some activities for some people feel more effective in person, setting such strict attendance policies for all is not reasonable. Also, looking at the past two years remote work can be just as effective, if not more so, than in-person work.
I strongly support flexibility and individual choice. Each person should be able to decide for themselves what works for them. There are so many situations and "use cases" that having a strict rule of being in the office at least 3 days per week is not a people-friendly policy. It definitely feels like going backwards.
So, it's no surprise that employees are pushing back against these return-to-office rules. There are petitions demanding the option for continued remote work. People should all have the right to work in a way that's best for them.
"Should" is the keyword here. I am not sure when this transition happened, but employees started feeling like it's a democracy when it's just business. On one hand, I've seen some petitions make a difference. On the other hand, I feel skeptical. The decision was clearly made top-down and doesn't seem to have the option to dispute it.
In conclusion, it seems like a short-term thinking decision to get rid of a few thousand people without having another round of layoffs in public. Looks very capitalistic (and unsurprising) to me. I will be pleasantly shocked if petitions work 😯
🔖 My content
New podcast episode
Personal brand, Networking, and Being Proactive with Mitchell Clements.
Mitch is a Mentor, Speaker, and UX Manager @ SimpleNexus. We talk about:
His career journey;
switching from an Android engineer to UX;
what a personal brand means for an employee;
how you can influence change in a company;
networking by helping design communities;
actionable job search advice;
and much more. Enjoy 👍
Remote Design Teams Directory
I've always respected companies that allow flexible work arrangements. Just out of my own interest, I started compiling a list of remote companies that hire or have designers (both worldwide remote and region-specific remote). Quite a bit of manual data entry now, hoping to finish it in a few weeks.
❤️ My favourite things
🎙️ Podcast: I discovered a new podcast "Business Breakdowns". They dissect successful businesses and explain why they work. The latest 2 episodes (Wise and Ryanair) have been quite insightful, subscribed.
🎞️ Movie: Old-time classic "Office Space". Popped into my mind recently after seeing all the "return-to-office" push and rationale given by management. A must-watch for everyone in the corporate world, and an important part of the North-American pop culture (and work culture =)
🔗 Cool finds
Sound User Researcher portfolio advice (LinkedIn) – sound advice, researchers' portfolio advice is hard to find.
William Addis (entrepreneur) (Wikipedia) – it's believed this person was the inventor of the first mass-produced toothbrush, fascinating story behind this invention.
Darpa dog-robot with a machine gun (Youtube) – even though I am not surprised, this preview of the future gives me chills. It was a matter of time before somebody started adding ammunition to all these robots. I am sure the public hasn't seen even the tip of the iceberg of what military folks do with these.
These 3 Cars Are Same in Size (Mighty Optical Illusions) – cool tricks our brain plays on us. This website has a lot of interesting illusions to explore.
AI reconstructs images from an MRI scan (Stable Diffusion with Brain Activity) – this is some Jedi-level mind-reading magic, and this is just the beginning.
A Book Apart mugs for purchase (A Book Apart) – pretty easy and simple idea for an add-on product for a publishing house. On the other hand, it's just a "tribe-signalling". Is this your "tribe"?
Marc Andreesen's Follow-up on Pausing Alcohol Arguments (Substack) – quite an interesting list of arguments against drinking alcohol from Marc Andreessen.
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