This week in the ‘Deep Dive Careers Weekly Wave’ Newsletter, the ‘new normal’ is great if you like remote work, CEOs take pay cuts, and finding truth isn’t as simple as you might think.
The New Normal
According to a survey on flexible work policies in 2023, 83% of companies now offer hybrid work and 75% have at least some fully remote workers. (XPertHR)
The survey showed that companies are concerned about monitoring remote workers productivity, but only 30% have a method to gauge performance. Instead, many companies are evaluating performance based on the completion and assessment of specific tasks. Despite these concerns, companies are moving forward with offerings of flexible work.
Here are the top reasons companies cited for offering remote work some or all of the time:
- 90% – To recruit talent
- 90% – To increase retention
- 87% – Work-life balance
- 84% – Employee wellness
- 81% – Employee requests
- 75% – To increase engagement
- 70% – To improve performance
Find more on this below in the Deep Dive Section.
In the News
More TikTok Trends: Social media influencers are increasingly only capable of gaining attention from young people if they are on TikTok or Instagram.
- In one case, a job-seeker chronicled her job search and offered followers these 5 interview tips. (CNBC)
- Increasingly, media outlets such as the Wall Street Journal and New York Times continue to use TikTok as an originator of cultural trends. This started with Quiet Quitting and looks poised to continue. (Deep Dive Careers)
CEO Pay Cuts: Several CEOs of large companies have taken pay cuts as high as 40% to demonstrate leadership and help mitigate against layoffs. (Business Insider via Yahoo News)
- Here is a more detailed breakdown on the industries affected and the extent of their sacrifices and whether they will actually mitigate against further layoffs. (Impact International)
- 117K have lost their jobs in the U.K. (U.K. Telegraph)
A Mini Tech Bubble: With constant layoffs in the tech sector dominating the news lately, some have asked if we are in a repeat of the Dot-Com Bubble that was experienced at the turn of the last century? (EvidenceInvestor.com)
- Here is why it might not be. (ofDollarsandData)
- But it could be a mini bubble based on the current performance of the tech sector. (CNBC)
An extensive study suggests that parents’ are more concerned that their child will suffer from anxiety or depression than just about anything else. (Pew Research)
- Their concerns are well founded. (PRBData)
A bill in Maryland with a “good chance” of passing would incentivize large companies to move toward a 4 day work week. (CNBC)
- If passed, companies would receive a state tax credit for moving at least 30 of their employees from a 40 hour week to 32.
The New Normal: For Better or Worse – A Deeper Dive
Since the onset of the Covid-19 era, popular press coverage has almost entirely focused on positive aspects of widespread remote work. Yet, there are some well-founded reasons to push back against this popular narrative, and they are not getting much attention.
This doesn’t mean that flexible work is not a great thing for many workers, it just means that a good ‘deep career diver’ should strive to see the whole picture.
First, let’s start with the familiar. Here are a few positive effects from remote work:
- Better Work-Life Balance: This means different things to different people, but when more time is available in a work day, it can be used for just about anything.
- More Productivity: This is disputed but many folks argue that remote workers are more productive. One reason this may be the case is that there are fewer water cooler chats, coffee breaks, and less office-place chatter.
- Less Commute Time and Distance: With less time driving in traffic, not only is there less stress, but also less carbon emissions.
- More Access to Diverse Talent: When companies expand beyond just their local region, they are able to access more talent. Job candidates also enjoy more diverse opportunities to further their careers.
Here are some potential warning signs:
- Trouble Getting Promoted: Even the most hawkish proponents of work-from-home acknowledge that the arrangement presents challenges for young workers hopes of getting promoted.
- Loneliness: For many, work was the one remaining place where they could enjoy in-person, human-to-human connection. Removal of this social norm could have already escalated a loneliness and mental health epidemic.
- Less Productivity: Studies are mixed on whether people are actually more productive when working remotely.
- Work Culture Suffers: Companies struggle to create a work culture that will retain employees and employees struggle to feel a part of the community.
As mentioned in last week’s newsletter, human beings are increasingly isolated and work-from-home accelerates this trend. The rise in mental health issues, especially among youth is concerning.
Critics and skeptics of work from home will need to see that young people can move forward confidently on a career trajectory without major obstacles and that their mental health starts improving.
What I’m Reading
The Dumbest Generation: How the Digital Age Stupefies Young Americans and Jeopardizes Our Future (Or, Don ‘t Trust Anyone Under 30) – Mark Bauerlein
At times, this book is as condescending and narrow-minded as the title would suggest and many of it’s themes have not aged well (it was written in 2008). I spent 80% of this book despising it, however, the author redeems himself with a fantastic last chapter where he connects the story of Rip Van Winkle’s 20 year nap to the importance of civic engagement in a democratic republic.
If most citizens lack knowledge, or short-circuit their intellectual curiosity, democracy could be in peril. Why? Because voting only works when voters engage in an informed decision-making process.
It begs the question: In 2023, when Americans process information, is the pursuit of truth of primary concern? Or, is the following statement from the book correct?
“Informed rejection of the past became uninformed rejection of the past, and then complete and unworried ignorance of it?”
Hopefully the future is brighter than the grim picture painted by this book. 🤷♂️
Bonus – What I’m Watching: Arguing the World: The New York Intellectual Community
*Get your library card ready and register for Kanopy to view this film at the link above.
This is a 1988 Documentary about 4 college students in New York City who engaged in a level of political, intellectual discourse that is rarely seen amongst the youth today. Movies like this remind contemporary America that the modern political “crises” that captivate mass audiences have already basically been litigated through the public discourse of previous generations. It raises the question of whether modern Americans are making a mistake by forgetting past wisdom that has already been discovered in favor of the panic-prone, hyper-partisan, tribal view of the world that pervades the dissemination of information from our inglorious modern media. (Deep Dive Careers)
The movie takes place in the 1930s and tackles the rise of fascism in Nazi Germany and Communism in Stalin’s Russia. In an era where Communist China is on the rise and concerns of fascism are abundant, does any of this sound familiar?
Quote of the Week:
“Be humble for we are made of dust. Be noble for we are made of stars.” – Serbian Proverb
Articles of the Week
Do you personalize things and try to ‘mind read?’ Here’s how to discontinue this problematic pattern of thinking and get along with people better. (Psyche)
Introverts are famous for not talking much and there is a reason for this: They don’t want you to talk that much either. (Introvert, Dear)
Overcome the often excruciating modern job interview process, or at least make it suck less. (Vox)
Deep Dive Careers Throwback Post: The Complexities of Truth
- Whose truth? Your truth? My truth? The truth? What is truth? A steady mind goes a long way toward a fulfilling life—both professionally and personally.
A Little Fun
Newly released numbers reveal what some of us already knew.
Elton John is King.
- Elton has officially performed the highest-grossing concert tour of all time and he is not done. It undoubtedly helps that his farewell tour has gone on for half a decade (5 years and 278 shows to be exact). (Billboard.com)
The author of this newsletter approves. This was me contributing to the king’s riches this summer in New York City.
Congratulations Elton. You are a legend.
Dad Joke of the Week:
~ I told my doctor that I broke my arm in two places. She told me to stop going to those places. ~
Thanks for reading. I’ll catch you next week.
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