The Never-Ending Quest for Workplace Efficiency

Just the other day I was laying on my couch and generally ignoring the world. The Coronavirus forced me to quarantine in my home but I counted it all joy because I had my DVR and a Netflix account to keep me company. My agenda was pretty much set then, eat, sleep and repeat as necessary. Eventually, I caught up on all the Netflix Marvel shows, Dr. Who episodes and classic Bruce Lee films that I planned on watching since I picked them up in a garage sale. (It’s good to have goals.)

With nothing else to do, I decided to channel surf for new adventures. To my surprise, I stumbled across a new channel on my satellite listings – HR TV, a station devoted solely to content of interest to Human Resources professionals. Imagine my shock! In progress was a show called “HR News” and its topic was “The New Normal.” I watched as they discussed how rapidly the world had changed; seemingly overnight. The Coronavirus debuted, followed by social distancing and the negative effects on some remote workers who found the transition difficult. They went on to detail how civil unrest in major cities were incentivizing millennials to leave the big cities in droves and they speculated on related trends.

I watched in unblinking fascination as they cited the boom in purchasing spy software as bosses try to monitor their workers at home, not realizing the privacy issues that may erupt because of that. They gave a general nod to other forms of technology becoming more pervasive in the workplaces where workers are still interacting. For example, social-distancing bracelets that Ford workers use in their factories and how Amazon was automating recruitment out of the hands of recruiters and the increasing demand for robots in certain industries. Not all of their reporting was alarming to me; I enjoyed the new job report where they shared how new opportunities were abounding due to more adaptable and easier to program robots. So, one can expect jobs like Robot Technician and Robot Operator to become mainstream soon.

But no matter all the changes, one pursuit was constant – the never-ending quest for workplace efficiency. And as they began listing examples of ways companies were leveraging technology to improve their work outcomes I thought, “Well, who can blame companies for wanting to do more with less? We do that at Proactive Talent all the time.”

Some of the examples of workplace efficiency they cited were:

  • According to UPS, their ORION system saved them around 100 million miles per year since its inception, which translates into 10 million gallons of fuel and 100,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions. Moreover, reducing just one mile each day per driver saved the company up to $50 million annually.
  • Another example they reported on was Digital Twins which are virtual replicas of physical devices that data scientists and IT pros can use to run simulations before actual devices are built and deployed. This is trending in manufacturing, automation and construction industries.
  • What I thought was the coolest efficiency tech they shared were generative design tools. You come up with one way to build something based on certain parameters and the machine will take your one idea and come up with multiple variations of your idea. I really liked that because it could really inspire creativity.  

Although I was engrossed in this report on emerging HR technology, I felt myself holding my breath a bit when they veered into the more negative effects of workplace efficiency. I forget exactly how they explained the phenomenon, but its pretty much summed up like this, “When you treat people like machines, they don’t like it.” As an example, they talked about algorithmic management which is basically when a machine manages workers through an app. They cited companies like Uber and Lyft as prime examples. In both cases, instead of conversing with a human being for advice or an assignment, the app guides the gig workers. It’s a great arrangement from a company perspective. However, some of the workers don’t accept the business model and so they push back resulting in unionizing efforts as gig workers lobby for more pay, sick leave and other benefits not associated  with freelance work.

Over at Amazon, in its never ending quest for efficiency, a monitoring device tracks the productivity of its workers. Work too slow and you are notified to speed up your workflow. To prove that, they quoted The Seattle Times.

At the warehouse where he worked, Amazon monitored everbody’s rate through a handheld device — tracking “our every move as if we were convicts out on house arrest,” he writes.

The device carried messages to workers and recorded how quickly they were picking or packing goods. “Your rates are down this hour, please speed up,” a message might say, according to Bloodworth.

If you are slack in your progress for too long, you might be given a warning or terminated without input from a supervisor; a seamless process facilitated by automation. Amazon really, really likes the idea of being efficient to the Nth degree. To support that reporting, they cited “The Verge.”

The documents also show a deeply automated tracking and termination process. “Amazon’s system tracks the rates of each individual associate’s productivity,” according to the letter, “and automatically generates any warnings or terminations regarding quality or productivity without input from supervisors.” (Amazon says supervisors are able to override the process.)

Amazon workers have a different view of the company’s efficiency pursuits. Feeling like robots, they fight back which is why unionization efforts have been ongoing.

As fascinating as the news reports were, I still managed to fall asleep on the couch; which typically happens when I watch TV there. I started dreaming but as I think of it now, I think my subconscious mind was still following the reports on TV and how companies have been pursuing efficiency for decades.





And then I woke up on my living room floor because when I dream about HR technology, I toss and turn a lot. You would be surprised by how often that happens to me. In any regard, as I adjusted to the light, I could not help but ponder all the news reports I watched and the flashbacks in my dream. No doubt there will be new tools and processes invented with the claim that they will make companies more efficient. Some of the tools will deserve the hype while others will cause discord among the rank and file. How can these future companies and the leaders that will manage these technologies, make these tools acceptable for all concerned? A few ideas come to mind.

  • Have employees opt-in to the new efficiency technology. Do not force them to comply or punish them if they opt-out; especially if they have privacy concerns. That could really backfire against you in terms of your Employer Brand.
  • Clearly specify what data is collected when using these efficiency tools and narrowly define its use. This is most concerning when you are microchipping workers. For that matter, when possible, anonymize and aggregate the data for the sake of managers tempted to snoop on workers. You may want to limit who has access to the general data.
  • Employees should always have access to the personal data being collected on them from the next efficiency tool. The tool could be fallible in its data collection and thereby harm the work reputation of the employee. Said employee should have the chance to defend themselves as such tools could hamper their work performance review.
  • Put a time limit on how long the data can be stored and delete it after a predetermined time.
  • Most importantly, use data to inform your decisions but, do not forsake human judgement. No machine, no matter how well built is perfect.

If you have Satellite TV or Cable TV, it may be worth your while to check out HR TV. It is amazing the kind of information you will find there. If it’s not available in your area, sorry for your luck. If you do find it in your TV menu, I suggest the following shows:

  • The Real Recruiters of Atlanta
  • Dancing with the HR Stars
  • Friends with Benefits and Compensation
  • Boolean Bandits
  • The Walking Dead Hiring Managers

All quality shows worth a weekend binge.


FYI: This article was originally posted on the Proactive Talent blog.

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How Politics Can Disrupt the Workplace and What You Can Do About It

These are interesting times.

Politics in society has been polarizing communities, cities, and the world. It is little surprise that it also affects the office. There have been multiple reports of employees using their influence to steer their employers towards some political agenda and I suspect that the trend will intensify as we approach the 2020 presidential election. Here are just a few of the major stories I have noticed recently.

Facebook employees walk out in protest of Donald Trump’s posts

Dozens of Facebook employees staged a virtual walkout on Monday in protest of the company’s decision not to take action against incendiary posts by President Donald Trump last week, according to The New York Times. The virtual walkout comes on the heels of a decision from Facebook not to take any action against a series of controversial posts from Trump last week, including one that seemed to threaten violence against protestors by saying, “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.” Twitter determined that the same message violated its rules against the glorification of violence last week, limiting the ability to view, like, reply, and retweet the post on its platform.

In an article from Motherboard, Timothy J. Aveni explicitly linked his resignation to Facebook’s refusal to act on posts from Trump.

A Facebook software engineer publicly resigned in a LinkedIn note Monday over the company’s handling of President Trump’s calls for violence on Facebook. The resignation letter has since gone viral on LinkedIn, with more than 39,000 reactions. The news is part of a shift at Facebook. Traditionally, employees have voiced their concerns about Mark Zuckerberg’s leadership internally, but they have rarely broadcast those views publicly. That has changed this week, with the public resignation, a “virtual walkout,” and outspoken social media posts from current and recently-departed Facebook employees.

Over at Oracle, employees stop work in protest of their CEO’s politics. To quote Bloomberg…

People left their desks Thursday at Oracle offices around the world to protest Chairman Larry Ellison’s fundraiser a day earlier for President Donald Trump, according to people familiar with the matter. The protest, called No Ethics/No Work, involved about 300 employees walking out of their offices or stopping work at remote locations at noon local time and devoting the rest of the day to volunteering or civic engagement, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified for fear of retribution.

Ellison drew employee ire that most didn’t know existed at Oracle. News of the fundraiser for Trump’s re-election campaign at Ellison’s home in Rancho Mirage, California, spurred a petition at from some of the company’s 136,000 employees. The workers argued the chairman’s public support for Trump violated Oracle’s diversity, inclusion and ethics policies, and harmed the image of the world’s second-largest software maker.

The New York Times reporters staged a walkout in protest over how their paper covered an opinion piece.

New York Times staffers protested a Tom Cotton op-ed they said puts Black Americans in danger. Philadelphia journalists walked off the job after the Inquirer ran the headline “Buildings Matter, Too” in response to protests. Newsrooms appear ready to boil over with continued internal protests.

And while walkouts are trending among tech companies, racial politics are not always the catalyst. Amazon employees have been threatened with termination if they share a contrary opinion on Amazon’s environmental policies. GeekWire reports…

More than 350 workers criticized Amazon’s contribution to climate change Sunday in a Medium post, violating corporate PR rules that prevent employees from discussing company business without approval. It’s the latest example of tech workers leveraging their position as valued assets in a tight labor market to pressure their employers on political issues. Employee activism in the tech industry is creating new challenges for corporations trying to balance business interests with the demands of the employees they’ve invested heavily in recruiting and retaining.

The advocacy group Amazon Employees for Climate Justice published the statements to show solidarity with two employees who say they were threatened with termination. Amazon’s human resources department told the employees their jobs could be in jeopardy if they continued to violate the communications policy by speaking publicly about Amazon’s carbon footprint.

And while these stories have garnered some national attention, they are only the tip of a very large iceberg. A cursory search on DuckDuckGo reveals a plethora of search results pointing to a definite trend. People on both sides of the proverbial aisle are passionate about the politics of the day and are willing to risk their livelihoods to express themselves.

In consideration of all the apparent volatility, one would think that frank discussions in a safe place would do much to quell potential dramas in the workplace. If that is your thinking, consider recent developments at LinkedIn. They held a virtual global town hall meeting to address the protests and civil unrest related to the George Floyd murder. The open discussion did not go as management had hoped.

The Daily Beast reported, “Throughout the meeting, which was conducted by video chat and featured a sidebar where employees could leave comments, several anonymous staffers shared opinions echoing the detractors and skeptics of the Black Lives Matter movement. These commenters criticized LinkedIn’s position on diversity hiring, equating such practices with racism against white people.”

Some of the thoughts expressed included the following:

  •  “As a non-minority, all this talk makes me feel like I am supposed to feel guilty of my skin color. I feel like I should let someone less qualified fill my position. Is that ok? It appears that I am a prisoner of my birth,” one commenter wrote. “This is not what Martin Luther King Jr. would have wanted for anyone.”
  •  “George’s killers need to be tried according to law. But how can hiring more minorities into manager roles and C-suite positions address cop racism? I thought hiring at LinkedIn is based on merit alone.”
  •  “Blacks kill blacks at 50 times the rate that whites kill blacks. Usually, it is the result of gang violence in the inner city. Where is the outcry?” one commenter said, echoing a common anti-BLM talking point deflecting from concerns about state violence against the black community.

Those comments and others similar to them sparked outrage within the company who saw the expression of those feelings as racist and disturbing. Some of the reactions were as follows…

  •  “I do not feel safe working at this company in a place where I was already uncomfortable with the treatment I’ve received on my OWN team since I started,” wrote one employee. “This is so sad.”
  •  “There are some extremely offensive comments here that go completely against the spirit of what this is intended for,” another added. “I am COMPLETELY shocked by some of these racist comments from my fellow employees. I am thoroughly disgusted!”
  •  One employee described the Q&A as a “dumpster fire,” while another called it an “epic fail.” A staffer who identified as black said the comments had “absolutely destroyed me.”

This phenomenon strikes me as especially curious for two reasons. Pre-COVID-19, we had historically low unemployment in the United States. Taking such a stance, especially in the tech industry, was not as risky as it is now when we have unprecedented unemployment. And while recent job numbers suggest a rebounding economy, as a country, we are not out of the woods yet. There is still a fervor for some to put their employment potential at risk. What’s even more disturbing is the likelihood of it impacting hiring practices.

The 2017 Recruiter Nation Report produced by Jobvite, a recruiting software company, breaks down recruiters’ attitudes, behaviors, fears, strategies, and predictions for how to build the best companies possible. Among the survey findings was something I found a bit… startling.

When recruiters are researching candidates for opportunities, 51% of the 831 US recruiters surveyed saw political rants on a candidate’s social media as a red flag. Should someone’s political affiliation be a matter of concern when recruiting talent? Apparently, many US recruiters thought so then, and I think it’s a reasonable assumption that they think so today.  As we draw ever closer to a Presidential campaign, I see the issue being even more pronounced.  

When I initially read that report from Jobvite, I was inspired to conduct my own unscientific poll on Twitter. The question I posed was this, “RECRUITERS, have you ever turned down a candidate based on political beliefs you found on social media?” 21 recruiters responded, and 29% of them said yes, which I thought was pretty high for such a low number of respondents. I also solicited comments from my network of recruiters, and many responded openly, others privately. This is what some had to say:

  • “I interpret political interests much differently than political rants. I think oftentimes people who cross boundaries of what is considered “socially acceptable” social media behavior can be viewed as a liability to corporations. Rants are usually emotionally triggered too”
  • “This is a great illustration of why “cultural fit” should never be in a job description or ad. With all this trying to be politically correct, all the time, otherwise great candidates go unhired. On the other end of that spectrum, the calls for NOT being politically correct yields the same results. Whatever happened to just focusing on human decency and skills? Social media has messed up the hiring process. It’s being abused by everyone. I believe everyone has a right to their own opinions. As long as a person isn’t putting someone else in jeopardy or harm’s way, let them have their views. As long as the work can get done in a manner of excellence, I don’t care what their views are. Work is for work anyway, not a place to argue politics, religion, etc.”
  • “I guess the question Jim Stroud is would you hire someone you knew was a white supremacist [but] otherwise well qualified? I’m struggling with recruiters who regularly post something homophobic or anti-Muslim. Would I hire them? Probably not”

Political sentiment can have a profound effect on hiring practices and the health of an enterprise. Pre-Coronavirus, I would discuss all sorts of matters with business executives I encountered at meetings and conferences. Once they realized that I could be discreet, they would vent about things considered taboo. Case in point, during such a discussion, a televised report of a political protest on a college campus caught our eye. The volume was down, but the headline made it clear that simply wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat was enough for one student to attack another physically.

What happens if I hire one of those students?” the person asked me. “And what if one of my customers is a Trump supporter who likes to wear a MAGA hat or button? Do I have to worry about someone suing my business because one of my workers cannot control themselves? What if they are not violent but decide to engage in political debate and offend my customer, and as a result, I lose business, and now I have to lay people off?”

Although I did my best to comfort him and dissuade his fears, I had to admit that his concerns were totally valid. I remember back in 2016 how Bloomberg reported a significant drop in restaurant receipts, the most since 2016. Some analysts put the blame on hurricanes that happened near that time whereas others pointed the finger at politics. If you do a search on “refused service due to MAGA hat,” you will find a LOT (and I do mean a lot) of search results. 

Here are just a few of the headlines…

  • Three Black GOP Interns: Uber Denied Us a Ride Because of Our Trump Support
  •  Watch: Unhinged Leftist Has Mental Breakdown, Refuses Service To Trump Supporter in Vape Shop
  •  Woman Says Restaurant Threw Her Out Over Trump Hat
  • A Canadian Restaurant Refused to Serve a Man Wearing a MAGA Hat and Now Its Yelp Score is Ruined
  • Restaurant Manager Fired for Refusing Service to Man in MAGA Hat
  •  Man Sues Bar for Refusing Service Over Trump Hat
  •  ‘Latina For Trump’ Kicked Out of Arizona Bar For Wearing Red “MAGA” Hat (VIDEO)
  •  Brandon Straka of WalkAway Says He was Denied Service  

The fact that recruiters deny opportunities to potential candidates, and some customer service personnel (pre-Coronavirus) have refused service to Trump supporters, how long before the violence targeting Trump supporters in the outside world enter the workplace? And although so many of American workers are operating from home, studies have shown that workplace bullying has been on the rise. So, all of this has me wondering, and I hope you as well, is my workplace a “safe space,” free from bullying of all sorts?

As a manager or HR professional, you likely want to ban all political discussion in the workplace to limit a lot of potential headaches; unfortunately, you cannot. My understanding is that employees have the right to engage in political conversations because the National Labor Relations Board classifies such discussion as a “protected concerted activity.” However, you can intervene when discussions become disrespectful or distracting to avoid being construed as a hostile work environment. And nobody wants that. Managers can also step in if political discussions are impeding productivity; so, there’s that. Discussing politics during lunch breaks, sorry managers, your hands are tied; grin and bear it. All that being said, I am not an expert on employment law in your state (or any other state for that matter). So, my suggestions should not be regarded as legal advice.

Now concerning workers, I would offer up three considerations:

  • Don’t discuss politics in the office. Why? Think of your political views the same way you regard your sex life—it’s a personal matter, not a professional one. In a perfect world, your co-workers may know that you vote, but they don’t know how you vote.
  • Don’t discuss politics in the office. Why? It creates bias. You might start to make assumptions and harbor resentment towards your co-workers once you learn their political leanings, and this could lead to a less-than-harmonious working relationship that stifles productivity because you don’t want to be around them anymore.
  •  Don’t discuss politics in the office. Why? It makes workers feel isolated, or it could make them feel bullied. Being the only Republican, the only Democrat, the only Libertarian or Green Party supporter (or fill in the blank) need not be awkward; as long as you veer away from political discussions. In some cases, political discussions intersect with social issues. For example, voicing a strong opinion on such things as same-sex marriage which could lead to some employees feeling discriminated against. Make sense?

In conclusion, I would like to address all political parties consuming this content now and offer this very solid advice. Buckle up, the 2020 Presidential election is coming soon. It will be a bumpy ride.

Jim Stroud


  • All the office talk about politics since Trump’s election is stressing workers out – A new survey by the American Psychological Association found that a significantly higher percentage of workers are feeling burdened or strained because of political discussions in the workplace than during the political campaign. More than a quarter, or 26 percent, said political debates at work had left them feeling tense or stressed, a significant increase from the 17 percent who said the same when the APA last ran the survey, back in August before President Trump’s election in November. 
  •  6 Things You Should Know About Discussing Politics at Work – Your company can’t stop you or your co-workers from discussing politics. Employees have the right to engage in political discussions because the National Labor Relations Board classifies them as a “protected concerted activity,” says Amy Maingault, director of the HR Knowledge Center at the Society for Human Resource Management. “An employer can’t have a policy, and a manager can’t say that employees are not permitted to have that type of discussion.”
  • Should You Talk About Politics at Work? – Recognize the risks. If you decide to speak your mind on a particular hot-button issue, do so knowing that the chances of influencing your colleagues are slim and that you may offend someone.
  •  Politics in the Workplace: What Must Employers Allow? – Employers who institute carefully crafted and uniformly enforced policies that limit political activities can lower the risk of employee claims while increasing worker productivity.
  •  Microsoft employees slam $480M HoloLens military contract, refuse to create tech for ‘warfare and oppression’ – More than 150 Microsoft employees signed a letter demanding the tech giant cancel a $480 million contract to build a HoloLens for the Pentagon, saying they “refuse to create technology for warfare and oppression.” “We are alarmed that Microsoft is working to provide weapons technology to the U.S. military, helping one country’s government ‘increase lethality’ using tools we built. We did not sign up to develop weapons, and we demand a say in how our work is used,” the letter to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and President Brad Smith, which was posted to Twitter, states.


  • How long before a family history of illness is used as a factor? 
  • Illegal in Canada and other jurisdictions btw. We did a protected class legislation analysis globally a while ago for several trainings, and political affiliation is one that I wasn’t aware of being protected legally.
  • Jim Stroud this is happening everywhere. There is a great divide. With the call for the end of being PC, what people say is causing even bigger divides around race and homophobia.
  • This is a great illustration of why “cultural fit” should never be in a job description or ad. With all this trying to be politically correct all the time, otherwise great candidates go unhired. On the other end of that spectrum, the calls for NOT being politically correct yields the same results. Whatever happened to just focusing on human decency and skills? Social media has messed up the hiring process. It’s being abused by everyone. I believe everyone has a right to their own opinions. As long as a person isn’t putting someone else in jeopardy or harm’s way, let them have their views. As long as the work can get done in a manner of excellence, I don’t care what their views are. Work is for work anyway, not a place to argue politics, religion, etc.
  • I guess the question Jim Stroud is would you hire someone you knew was a white supremacist otherwise well qualified? I’m struggling with recruiters who regularly post something homophobic or anti-Muslim. Would I hire them? Probably not.

NOTE: This post was originally published on the Proactive Talent blog.

The Cancel Culture Movement Will Destroy the Workplace (…unless we stop it now!)

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Dave Chappelle is one of the last few great comedians in my opinion because he is anti-PC and willing to offend everyone in order to spark conversation on meaningful topics. At least, some of the time. Case in point, here is a quote from his Netflix special – “Sticks and Stones.” (NSFW) I have censored some of the language, but I think you still get the gist of what he’s saying.

Chappelle: Tonight I’m going to try some impressions out. (crowd cheers) …I want to see if you can guess who it is I’m doing an impression of. All right? Let me get into character. You gotta guess who it is though. (crowd chuckles) Okay, here it goes.

Chappelle: Uh, duh. Hey, durr! If you do anything wrong in your life, duh, and I find out about it, I’m gonna try to take everything away from you and I don’t care when I find out. Could be today, tomorrow, 15, 20 years from now. If I find out, you’re {expletive} —duh-finished.

Chappelle: Who… Who’s that?

Crowd: (yells out) Trump!

Chappelle: That’s you! (crowd laughs) That’s what the audience sounds like to me. (more laughter) That’s why I don’t come out doing comedy all the time ‘cause y’all {expletive} is the worst {expletive} I’ve ever tried to entertain in my {expletive} life!

Chappelle was deftly calling out the cancel culture and how it seeks to erase people from the public square when certain views are expressed. Some see cancel culture as a mob mentality whereas others see it as a long overdue way of speaking truth to power. Politically speaking, both conservatives and liberals have complained that cancel culture has gone too far. And yet, it persists. I am going to explain why I think that is. defines cancel culture as the “popular practice of withdrawing support for public figures and companies after they have done or said something considered objectionable or offensive.”

In other words, someone says or does something that is offensive to someone and this turns into a widespread boycott of that person’s work. Here are 2 recent examples…

Robert Unanue, the CEO of Goya Foods, announced a massive donation of their products to food banks across the country, he also praised President Trump. During his remarks, he noted that “Trump was ‘a builder,’ like his own illustrious grandfather, and called for Americans to pray for their president.” This triggered a boycott initiative by some in the Hispanic community. To quote CNN

In an interview with Fox News Friday, Unanue said he was “not apologizing,” and called the boycott movement “suppression of speech.”

Unanue claimed a double standard in the reaction to his laudatory remarks about Trump, noting he accepted an invitation from Michelle Obama in 2012 to an event in Tampa, Florida, to promote the former first lady’s healthy-eating initiative.

“You’re allowed to talk good or talk praise to one president but you’re not — when I was called to be part of this commission to aid in economic and educational prosperity and you make a positive comment, all the sudden that’s not acceptable,” Unanue told Fox News. “If you’re called by the president of the United States, you’re going to say, ‘No I’m sorry, I’m busy, no thank you?’ I didn’t say that to the Obamas and I didn’t say that to President Trump.”

Saying something offensive to someone can get you canceled just as not saying something can get you canceled. It is the imagined slights that are the most insidious. Consider the controversy over the Young Adult book – “Blood Heir” that attracted a lot of drama because the fantasy novel did not include any racism in it. The website – Reason discussed the issue

Amélie Wen Zhao, a woman of Chinese descent who was born in Paris and raised in Beijing, had won herself an enviable three-book deal for an Anastasia-tinged adventure: “In the Cyrilian Empire,” went the publication materials, “Affinites are reviled and enslaved. Their varied abilities to control the world around them are unnatural—dangerous. And Anastacya Mikhailov, the crown princess, might be the most monstrous of them all. Her deadly Affinity to blood is her curse and the reason she has lived her life hidden behind palace walls.” The adventure kicks off when Ana’s father is murdered and she is framed, forcing her to flee. The first book was due out in June.

At some point in January, though, there emerged a vague Twitter-centered whisper campaign against Zhao….

It was open season from there: People picked over the limited information about the book to find something, anything, to justify being angry. L.L. McKinney, a Y.A. author who recently published her own debut novel and who tends to be an active participant in these pile-ons, noted that some of the publicity material described Blood Heir’s world as one in which “oppression is blind to skin color.” “….someone explain this to me. EXPLAIN IT RIGHT THE FUQ NOW,” she tweeted, accusing the author of “internalized racism and anti-blackness.” (The logic appears to be that because our world has racism, it’s unacceptable to imagine a world that does not.)

Zhao decided not to publish Blood Heir, then announced it would be published after all—pending a thorough review by sensitivity readers.

In true Carson King/Aaron Calvin style, one of Zhao’s main critics, a writer named Kosoko Jackson, himself became a target of the cancelers after his novel foolishly included a Muslim villain. How dare he.

The same cancel culture spirit is also in the workplace. The first time I witnessed it, I was not aware of what I was seeing or if I remembered the incident correctly. Golden Girl Finance helped my memory.

In 2012, Adam Mark Smith, CFO of a medical device manufacturer in Arizona, was fired after this video of him haranguing with a drive thru worker at fast food chain Chick Fil A about the company’s anti-gay bias, went viral. By the following day, his company had received hundreds of messages, including bomb and death threats, from the public demanding his termination. Smith was fired and spent the following two years struggling to find work and living on food stamps and eventually leaving the industry.

Since then, there have been several examples of people losing employment because certain people did not agree with their viewpoints. The website Reason reported on how a museum curator was force to resign over racist remarks that were arguably, nothing of the kind.

Until last week, Gary Garrels was senior curator of painting and sculpture at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA). He resigned his position after museum employees circulated a petition that accused him of racism and demanded his immediate ouster.

“Gary’s removal from SFMOMA is non-negotiable,” read the petition. “Considering his lengthy tenure at this institution, we ask just how long have his toxic white supremacist beliefs regarding race and equity directed his position curating the content of the museum?”

This accusation—that Garrels’ choices as an art curator are guided by white supremacist beliefs—is a very serious one. Unsurprisingly, it does not stand up to even minimal scrutiny.

The petitioners cite few examples of anything even approaching bad behavior from Garrels. Their sole complaint is that he allegedly concluded a presentation on how to diversify the museum’s holdings by saying, “don’t worry, we will definitely still continue to collect white artists.”

Garrels has apparently articulated this sentiment on more than one occasion. According to, he said that it would be impossible to completely shun white artists, because this would constitute “reverse discrimination.” That’s the sum total of his alleged crimes. He made a perfectly benign, wholly inoffensive, obviously true statement that at least some of the museum’s featured artists would continue to be white. The petition lists no other specific grievances.

Sometimes, it is not what you say that offends the cancel culture movement but how you say it; even if you are in agreement with them. Case in point, Reason also reported on the fate of David Shor.

A week ago, as protests over the unjust police killing of George Floyd took place in major cities across the country, Shor—a 28-year-old political scientist at the Democratic consulting firm Civic Analytics—tweeted some observations about the successes and failures of various movements. He shared research by Princeton University’s Omar Wasow, who has found that violent protests often backfire whereas nonviolent protests are far more likely to succeed. The impulse behind Shor’s tweet was a perfectly liberal one: He feels progressive reforms are more palatable to the public when protesters eschew violence.

But many progressive activists on social media didn’t care whether the impulse was liberal, or even whether it reflected reality. They denounced Shor as a racist for daring to scrutinize the protesters, even if his aim was to make them more effective. One activist accused Shor of using his “anxiety and ‘intellect’ as a vehicle for anti-blackness.” Then she tagged Civis Analytics, and invited the company to “come get your boy.”

Get him, they did. Civis Analytics promptly fired Shor.

And one more example, everything old is new again when it comes to being offended. Take for example Niel Golightly he lost his job over sentiments he expressed over 3 decades ago.

Boeing Co’s (BA.N) communications chief Niel Golightly abruptly resigned on Thursday, following an employee’s complaint over an article the former U.S. military pilot wrote 33 years ago arguing women should not serve in combat.

According to an excerpt on the U.S. Naval Institute website, the December 1987 article titled “No Right to Fight” said: “At issue is not whether women can fire M-60s, dogfight MiGs, or drive tanks. Introducing women into combat would destroy the exclusively male intangibles of war fighting and the feminine images of what men fight for – peace, home, family.”

Golightly told staff in an email seen by Reuters on Thursday that the exclusion of women at the time was “government policy and broadly supported in society. It was also wrong.”

To some, these actions are borderline insane in a country where free speech is sacred. I think there are various reasons why this phenomenon is happening and that they can all be boiled down to political and psychological advantages. From a political standpoint, the partisans of cancel culture are using the threat of job loss and other sanctions to bully people into social and political conformity. Why? By blocking the free exchange of ideas, they are able to win ideological arguments by preventing them in the first place. Yet, I see this wave of thought policing as being even more insidious than that. It is also a means of self-gratification at the expense of others. Narcissism at its finest.

Rob Hendeson, a Ph.D student at the University of Cambridge, alludes to this in his Psychology Today article – “5 Reasons Why People Love Cancel Culture.” Here are a couple of points from his piece.

Cancel culture increases social status. The most powerful motive underpinning cancel culture is social status. Research reveals that sociometric status (respect and admiration from our peers) is more important to our sense of well-being than socioeconomic status. Furthermore, a recent study found that a high social class predicts a greater desire for wealth and status than a low social class. Put differently, it is those who already have status and money who have a stronger craving for status and money relative to other people. For many affluent people, that drive is how they got to their lofty positions in the first place. Aggravating this drive is that they are typically surrounded by people just like them—their peers and competitors are also affluent status-maximizers. They are constantly seeking new ways to either move upward or avoid slipping downward. For social strivers, cancel culture has created new opportunities to move up by taking others down.

Cancel culture reduces the social status of enemies. Plainly, if there is an activity that will elevate the status of oneself or one’s group, people will do it. One approach to elevation is to do something good. But doing something good requires effort and the possibility of failure. Fortunately, another option exists: Broadcasting the bad behavior of others. This method works because social status is relative. One person losing social rank is the same as another gaining it. If you’re a 6 on the social-status ladder, working up to a 9 is hard. But scheming to bring a 9 down to a 3 is easier and more thrilling. It is much easier to unite people around bringing a 9 down to a 3 than to lift themselves up from a 6 to a 9. Additionally, people are slow to give moral praise for a good act and quick to assign moral blame for a bad one. The relative difficulty of doing something good and the prolonged waiting period to receive credit for it is why cancel culture has flourished. It offers quicker social rewards. Indeed, research shows that people engage in moral grandstanding to enhance their social rank.

Like so many others, I think the cancel culture movement has gone too far. I look forward to a day where civil debate, a free exchange of ideas and a collective acceptance of diverse thought is the norm. Alas, the cynical side of me agrees with the following quotes from the Daily Wire and Time, respectively.

“Sadly, it’s reasonable to assume that cancel culture and its wild arsenal of accusations of racism, sexism, and privilege will infest the average American workplace wholesale soon. Worse, the massive corporate virtue signaling amid the protests will only enable such accusations. As companies like Apple, Amazon, and Starbucks insist on pursuing their cynical brand of “woke capitalism,” views and opinions that exist outside the tidal progressive narrative will be summarily dismissed. Companies simply don’t want to risk their bottom line over bad PR.”

“In an age when companies have detailed information on customers’ ages, incomes and political persuasions, they’re calculating that these socially aware consumers are more lucrative than those who might be put off by social-justice campaigns.”

In other words, like so many ills of this world, it comes down to money. As soon as supporting Cancel Culture becomes too much of a financial liability to corporate giants then, change will come. Why does it take that to remove this scourge? What happened to principled beliefs? Hmm… I guess they were left at the bank. 

*This article was originally posted on the Proactive Talent blog.

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How Workplace Classism Is Damaging Your Employer Brand

The world is changing right before our very eyes. The Coronavirus Covid-19 Pandemic has wreaked havoc on our way of life and threatens our future in ways we can immediately recognize. The number of people unemployed, the list of businesses closing, and the overall uncertainty being just a few. However, said calamity, is exacting a higher toll on some, more than others. An existing class divide is becoming even more pronounced and the repercussions, of which will be felt in society in general, will make an indelible mark on the workplace. How? Well, I think we will see a rise in classism and that will mean that companies will have to be ever more vigilant in how they protect their employer brand.


If you think about it, the Coronavirus pandemic has rather quickly divided our world into two camps; those who can work remotely and those who cannot. If you are in the camp of people who can work from home then, you are dealing with delayed business plans, travel restrictions, isolation from extended family and friends and as such, your social distancing game is solid. You likely get paid time off and if your job is not endangered, self-isolation is (more or less) an economic luxury for you. Indeed, Gallup found that 71 percent of the people making more than $180K can work from home during the pandemic, compared with just 41 percent of those making $24K annually.  And of course, there is the added perk that you will likely not get sick.

But what about those in the essential workforce? Listen to these quotes from “The Atlantic” article – “How the Coronavirus Could Create a New Working Class.”

The past few weeks have exposed just how much a person’s risk of infection hinges on class. Though people of all incomes are at risk of being laid off, those who can work from home are at least less likely to get sick. The low-income workers who do still have jobs, meanwhile, are likely to be stuck in close quarters with other humans. For example, grocery-store clerks face some of the greatest exposure to the coronavirus, aside from health-care workers. “Essential” businesses—grocery stores, pharmacies—are about the only places Americans are still permitted to go, and their cashiers stand less than an arm’s length from hundreds of people a day.

At the same time, it isn’t as if grocery workers can simply stop coming to work. More self-checkouts could be used and more contact-free deliveries could be made, but someone has to get the Cheerios off the truck and onto the shelves. We are, through this virus, seeing who the truly “essential” workers are. It’s not the people who get paid to write tweets all day, but the people who keep the tweeters in chickpeas and Halo Top.

When I hear about the plight of essential workers, my heart always goes out to them because not only do they have to deal with health concerns for themselves but, they also worry about bringing home illnesses to their family. This is especially true with Nurses. But, you know what else I think about? I think about the negative effects the Coronavirus is having on those who are unemployed, of which there are, at this point – over 20 million. The stress from not knowing how you are going to pay your bills can be unreal and debilitating. Yet, there are other consequences to consider as well, such as drug and alcohol abuse. Check out the video below from CBS New York.

Another negative effect of the Coronavirus, increased suicide. MSNBC reports on the alarming trend.

And another mental health issue related to the Coronavirus pandemic, one I had not considered, was PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). Check out this quote from the CNBC article, “Could you get PTSD from your pandemic experience? The long-term mental health effects of coronavirus

After the SARS outbreak in 2003, both healthcare workers and people who were self-quarantined exhibited symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

The Covid-19 pandemic could have a similar effect, according to experts. Even if you aren’t clinically diagnosed with PTSD, you may have a strong emotional reaction to the trauma of Covid-19 that can last long after an incident.

“When we think about traumatic events, it’s not just what the event is, it’s really your interpretation and what the event causes for you,” Luana Marques, clinical psychologist and associate professor in the department of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and president of the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, tells CNBC Make It.

For example, healthcare workers providing frontline services, as well as people who have lost loved ones or jobs due to the disease may be at greater risk for developing long-term difficulties. Those who struggle with other mental health conditions, such as anxiety or depression, or who have a prior history of trauma, may be at increased risk of more ongoing distress.

When the pandemic resides and the world returns to work, employees will bring with them unresolved mental health issues, potential substance abuse and the attitudes of some people, that they have been inconvenienced for long enough. You put all that together and you have a much different office than before. To put it simply, there will be people who just cannot deal with the changing realities and mentally bail out at work. Some of these people will be easy to identify but, a great many of them will not be. They will suffer in silence, a sort of, quiet rage, I think. How your company identifies, assists and includes them in your overall culture is what will be trumpeted to the masses. 


WHAT HAPPENS WHEN CLASSISM HITS YOUR WORKPLACE? (OH WAIT, IT’S ALREADY THERE.) defines classism this way, “a biased or discriminatory attitude based on distinctions made between social or economic classes.” I agree with that definition and can attest to the impact of classism on society in general as well as the individual. The company – Executive Diversity Services discussed “Why Class is so important” on their website. I quote from it now.

Sometimes described as a “hidden” element that needs to be “uncovered” or made “visible”, a person’s experience of class can impact his or her behavior, value systems, and perceptions of self and others. Here are some ways class can have an impact:

      Affecting one’s relationships and communication with others, i.e. how we treat those around us

      Determining one’s own self-concept, confidence, and perception of ability to take on certain responsibilities, roles, or career goals

      Creating a sense of belonging or exclusion, due to one’s comfort with others or familiarity with professional or social environments

      Creating a sense of exclusion from one’s family or class of origin if one has changed social class through education, employment or life partnerships

      Influencing one’s perception of money, power, status, organizational structure and policies, and management hierarchy.

These impacts can be directly seen in a situation or can indirectly contribute to conflicts or misunderstandings and decreased performance, if not identified, understood, and consciously dealt with.

After reading that, I went down this rabbit hole of research on classism in the workplace and found a few interesting resources that were written years ago but somehow felt timely, as we gradually return to normal. I’ll explain what I mean, after I share three more quotes. This one from the aforementioned company – Executive Diversity Services.

Classism issues can be found not only within academic institutions, but also in corporate settings, in any workplace – and can often go unacknowledged. Patreese D. Ingram, a scholar from Penn State, explains that within almost every organization there exists a hierarchy amongst employees that can create a class system in itself. This hierarchy can be based on a person’s title, role, position, or function, and can cause “ some employees to feel like ‘somebodies’ and others to feel like ‘nobodies’”.

Ingram rationalizes that although rank is necessary within organizations, “rank-based mistreatment can result in lower levels of job satisfaction and performance” and can also lead to “lower levels of loyalty and commitment to the organization.”

The Business Times discussed “Class” in their piece – “Hidden rules of class affect workplace” and therein they said this…

Managers and supervisors must be aware of the hidden rules of their employees and be willing to teach them rules that bolster their success within the organization. For example, do your employees understand the organization’s unspoken rules about money? Those from poverty grew up with the notion that money was to be used, spentMiddle class norms suggest that money is to be budgeted and managed closelyWealth suggests that one should conserve and invest money. What’s right? Each is a viable use for money, but do your employees understand the views of your organization?

The same can be asked of the view of higher education. Middle class norms suggest that education is critical to success and making money. But to those from povertyeducation is more abstract, not a viable reality. For those from wealth, education is a necessary tradition for making and maintaining social connections.

And one more quote, this one from USAonRace.

The motto “rank has its privileges” finds its roots in classism. Your level or rank in an organization can mean that you are subject to different rules, or are offered different perks, and advantages, than those who are over you or under you on the organizational chart.

On its face, levelism does not sound like a bad thing. You earn your way to the top of the organization and each level you attain bears even greater rewards. Unfortunately, if you are thought to be unworthy of promotion due to your appearance, use of language, your sensibilities, or your approach to work, you will never be eligible for the perks given to those at the top. Furthermore, if you find yourself stuck at the bottom of the organization because you don’t have the budget for an impressive wardrobe or nice car, the perks you are offered often do not fit with your needs.

Those quotes really resonated with me because I can easily imagine those same issues being intensified in the post-Coronavirus era. For example, prior to the pandemic, many Americans lived paycheck to paycheck. No doubt, many of those returning to the workforce would have endured financial hardships that will impact their overall career. A few more thoughts…

  •       Returning workers may be disregarded for promotion (or recruitment) because they do not look the part; due to not having an impressive wardrobe or car. Items they may have lost in the carnage caused by the Coronavirus.
  •       Returning Executives might now have a survivalist mentality where their notion is to survive and save for another day rather than take a risk on a new idea. Without an occasional gamble, there are no rewards of upward mobility. So, their career and the company they manage, becomes stagnant.
  •       Labor and management might both have difficulty psychologically adjusting back to normal office operations whereas those who were already accustomed to working from home don’t miss a beat, get noticed and promoted. And the fate of those who have trouble adjusting back begin feeling like nobodies and become less invested in the success of the company, doing just enough to stay employed but no more.

Let’s add more to the story; this time from the quiet worker still recovering from economic hardship.  When it comes to job expenses, they are expected to pay up front and get reimbursed later. All of a sudden, working at that company is something they can’t afford yet at the same timethey cannot afford to quit.

What if there is a formal company gathering to celebrate Coronavirus survival and people are expected to dress up? Evening gowns and tuxedos are expensive, even if you rent them. So, some workers don’t attend which hurts their networking efforts inside the company and their careers are impacted.

And when it comes to recruiting, to quote Executive Diversity Services again, “…do [your] recruitment strategies only focus on Ivy League or private educational institutions? Are graduates from particular universities preferred over those who attend community colleges? Are those who take part in certain extra-curricular activities (i.e. philanthropic organizations) favored over those who had part-time jobs during school?)” I’ll add to those questions, are you ignoring people whose principal experience comes from gig work (like Uber or Instacart?).

It may be weird to ask that recruiting question now, when just a few months ago it was a candidate’s market. Now that the pendulum has swung back to the employer, there is a danger of old classist hiring practices to return as well.  Chief among them, devaluing the expertise of someone who was laid off in favor of someone who was not.  

And regarding that, I would caution companies to retain the practices pioneered and adopted when the unemployment rate was at a historic low. Back then, and it was only a few months ago, great emphasis was placed on the employee experience and how attractive your employer brand was. If you abandon that focus and return to the practice of taking jobseekers for granted then, you will wound your employer brand and make it even more difficult to recruit the best talent. 

All that to say, there are a lot of people hurting for work that can benefit your company; people who might not be able to present themselves as well as they could have pre-Corona. Be careful not to treat them as being in a lower class than you. Of course, you might not think that you do that.  Speaking of which…



Okay, I’m going to just ask a few questions and make a few comments. You can answer or not, either way, I won’t know your answers unless you reach out to me. So, here we go. Just answer, yes or no, and see if you manage to surprise yourself.

  •  Do you know the names of people who “serve” you in your organization? (e.g., the janitor, the security guard, the receptionist?) If you don’t know the names of people who serve you EVERY WORKING DAY, then you might be classist.  If you greet them regularly and have had some conversations with them to the point that you know their children’s namesyou might not be.
  •       Do you speak to people who are higher than you in the organizational structure? (Senior managers, CEO, et cetera) If not, why not? They are people, just like you. If you somehow think that you are not good enough to talk to them, you might be classist. See, it works both ways. And even those who have status and advantages can feel isolated if people treat them like they are “untouchable.”
  •       Do you think that someone who doesn’t eat organically or in a ‘Healthy’ way means they’re lazy or don’t care about their health? If so, you might be classist because all the organic food I’ve seen is expensive compared to other items loaded with preservatives. That’s just how it is. Next time you’re in the grocery store, compare the prices for yourself.
  •       One last question. Do you think all homeless people are that way because they are lazy and/or substance abusers? If you said yes, then you might be classist because sometimes, just sometimes things happen through no fault of our own. Coronavirus for example. If the circumstances of this pandemic were to continue, that could become you or I.

If you had not considered before how Classism could be consciously or unconsciously affecting your employer brand, let’s have a conversation about it. (And by “us,” I mean my employer.) As we return to normal or rather, the new normal, your employer brand is more important than ever and you will need every advantage.

This article was originally posted on the Proactive Talent blog.

Do we need a law to mandate work-life balance?

Do we need a law to mandate work-life balance? In this episode, I discuss the “Right to Disconnect” bill being debated in New York City. Essentially, it says workers should not be required to answer emails or respond to work-related texts after official business hours. I also share insights from similar laws and business processes from around the world. Is this the future of work for the United States? If so, how will reducing work hours affect the bottom line? Tune in for a very interesting episode!


Hi, I’m Jim Stroud and this is my podcast.

Finding a work-life balance, no pun intended, is a work in progress. And in a world where your work can follow you anywhere, finding this balance is becoming increasingly more difficult. Compared to the 38 countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the US comes in at number 30 for work-life balance. A couple of the reasons it is so low is because 11.4 percent of Americans work 50 or more hours per week, while they spend 11.4 hours for leisure and personal care daily. That’s a quote from Small Business Trends which coincides with some data from RescueTime, which is a software solution that helps you find work life balance by blocking distracting sites and giving you in-depth reports on exactly how you spend your time on digital devices. Here are a few of their statistics:

  • 28% of workers start their day before 8:30 AM (and 5% start before 7 AM)
  • 40% of people use their computers after 10 PM
  • 26% of work is done outside of normal working hours
  • 1% of our day is spent multitasking with communication tools

A lot of companies talk about work-life balance but based on the statistics I cited, maybe there should be a law mandating work-life balance. Actually, there is a bill being proposed in congress right now that may do that very thing. If it becomes law, how will that affect the future of work? I debate it after this special message.

According to Wikipedia, “The right to disconnect is a proposed human right regarding the ability of people to disconnect from work and primarily not to engage in work-related electronic communications such as e-mails or messages during non-work hours.” In March 2018, a “right to disconnect bill” was introduced before the New York City Council and is still under consideration at this point. If it were to pass, it would be “the first workers’ rights law of its kind in the United States — and would force many New York City employers to reevaluate their policies and culture.” Here’s a news clip talking about it. {Play the first 45 seconds}

I link to the bill in the show notes, available on But here are some interesting details within the fine print.

  • Employers can’t require employees to “access work-related electronic communications” outside of normal work hours; so when it comes to emails, text messages, or Skype or any type of electronic communications, the boss can send what they want but again, the worker is not required to respond.
  • No retaliation: Employers can’t punish employees for exercising their right to disconnect.
  • Should an employer require an employee to answer an email after hours (or some other electronic communication) they would face a fine of $250.
  • If an employer disciplines an employee—but doesn’t fire the employee—for failing to access off-hours work-related emails or texts, the employee would receive any lost wages and benefits plus $500 and other “equitable relief as appropriate” (in the case of an unlawful termination, that penalty would rise to $2,500).
  • Employers would also be subject to civil penalties payable to the city of New York if they violate the right to disconnect — up to $500 for the first instance and, for subsequent violations that occur within two years of any previous violation, up to $750 for the second and up to $1000 for each additional violation.

I imagine most of the people listening would be in favor of this type of law whereas others, would be curious as to how this affects the bottom line. Well, if hours were reduced, work productivity would likely increase. Case in point, Microsoft Japan generated a lot of buzz recently with one of their experiments. Check out this quote from ThomasNet.

“Japan has long been renowned for its intense work culture that places punishingly high expectations on employees. Extreme levels of work-related stress and exhaustion, which in some cases resulted in suicides, strokes, and heart failure, became so widespread that in the late 1970s a new word, karōshi, was invented – literally translating to “death by overwork.”

This makes it especially interesting that Microsoft recently trialed a four-day workweek in Japan. The summer project, part of Microsoft’s Work-Life Choice Challenge, saw its Japanese offices closing each Friday in August, the implementation of a 30-minute meeting limit, and employees being encouraged to reduce time spent replying to emails.

The experiment aimed to improve work-life balance, boost workplace creativity, and encourage flexible working. Resulting in a 40% productivity boost compared with August 2018, it was considered a huge success; Microsoft has plans to repeat the project in Japan this winter.”

Other countries have been experimenting with “right to disconnect” bills, in one way or another; even making it a law in some instances. I’ll share some examples after this.

City Councilman Rafael Espinal (D), who introduced the “right to disconnect” bill, based it off a similar workers’ rights law in France, which applies to companies with more than 50 employees. To quote from their law, “…the employee is under no obligation either to accept working at home or to bring there his files and working tools”. In 2004 the Supreme Court affirmed this decision and ruled that “the fact that [the employee] was not reachable on his cell phone outside working hours cannot be considered as misconduct.” And FYI, France has had a 35-hour work week since 2000.

Here are a few more examples

In the Philippines, House Bill 4721 was introduced to the Seventeenth Congress of the House of Representatives of the Philippines in January 2017. The long title of the proposed Act is “An act granting employees the right to disconnect from work-related electronic communications after work hours.”

In Italy, Senate Act #2233-B has become law and inside of it is this quote, “The agreement also identifies the worker’s rest periods as well as the technical and organizational measures necessary to ensure that the worker is disconnected from the technological equipment.”

And while Germany does not have any laws related to right to disconnect, German companies have a have a history of implementing policies along these lines.

  • Volkswagen implemented a policy in 2011 stating that it would stop email servers from sending emails to the mobile phones of employees between 6pm and 7am.
  • In 2013 Germany’s employment ministry banned its managers from contacting staff after hours as part of a wider agreement on remote working. It was done in order to protect the mental health of workers.
  • In 2014, automobile company Daimler introduced a software called “Mail on Holiday” that its employees could use to automatically delete incoming emails while they were on vacation.

Okay, in consideration of this trend, I predict that the gig economy will continue to boom. Why not? If companies are going to reduce work hours as a cultural initiative or to be compliant to a law, productivity levels must be maintained. And although I believe productivity would increase as workers embrace more flex time, I must wonder if it will be enough to meet overall company demand. If not, gig workers will be more needed than ever to pick up the slack. Take recruiting for example, how many more HR freelance jobs would post the day after a “right to disconnect” bill becomes law? For that matter, are you familiar with HR Lancers? If not, check it out, as soon as working hours decrease, expect more websites like it.



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