💬 Issue #27: Alliteration
Microsoft and Maybelline market makeup, micromanaging mini-shifts, and the remote rumble rages on...
Microsoft and Maybelline think you aren’t camera-ready, 4-6 p.m. is a no-go for micromanagers, and the remote work debate stays hot. It’s Fry-day.
In yet another article about the return-to-office debate, we're learning that there will be more articles about the return-to-office debate.
For all the talk of productivity and metrics and company culture, a broad spectrum of personal experience seems to drive confirmation bias and generalities about what works and what doesn't, undermining a rational discussion around the dirty little secret no one seems to want to admit.
The secret? Modern work is permanently distributed. Technology has enabled us to work cheaply across geographies, varied schedules, and time zones. So we do. Whether it's remote-first, hybrid, in-office at multiple locations, or fixing a bug from an airbnb, the pandemic let the distributed work genie out of the bottle, and it's not going back in. Every org is distributed to some degree. You must adapt. Or keep wasting ink and energy arguing about where work happens.
The Atlantic (7 min)
The conventional 9-to-5 workday is fading into oblivion, according to a Microsoft study into post-pandemic work culture and this WSJ piece. An increasingly prevalent ‘dead zone’ from 4-6 p.m. leads many employees to clock out early and make up for it later, fostering a “triple peak” work rhythm of morning, afternoon, and late-night surges.
According to the article, the thrice-work practice is causing consternation among managers having trouble scheduling meetings during these times, despite what appears to be an increase in productivity and morale.
May we offer a quick solution to this non-problem? How about no micromanaging between 4-6 p.m.
WSJ (6 min)
MICROSOFT TO ENTERPRISE USERS: YOU NEED A TOUCH-UP
According to Microsoft and Maybelline (and maybe seven other people) there’s a huge demand for TikTok-style beauty filters in Microsoft Teams.
As you might expect, plenty of evidence suggests that social media filters designed to improve or otherwise manipulate your appearance may harm mental health because of the unrealistic expectations they set for our body image.
But that won’t stop the alliterate duo from plowing forward with this dubious partnership: Microsoft announced that the “Maybelline Beauty app” adds 12 AI-powered ‘digital makeup’ looks for Teams Enterprise users to apply during meetings. (The unwashed masses of non-enterprise customers will have to clean themselves up.)
The Verge (5 min)
ELSEWHERE ON THE INTERNETS
Spy Kids (CIA)
NASA is training astronauts to fly to the moon again (Ars Technica)
Human-powered energy storage system (Low-tech Magazine)
The Lost Art of the VHS Box (Cinema Sojourns)
YESTERYEAR TECH OF THE WEEK
This 20” bad boy from 2002 is competitively priced at $9000--there are 37 watchers for this auction at press time. Pick-up only because it’s too heavy to ship. 😬
Until next week,
- The EiT crew at Status Hero