💬 Issue #36 - Wouldn’t It Be Nice
Green WFH dreams, in search of workcation locations, and a crystal ball with humanist tendencies
Happy Friday! At EiT headquarters, we’re mulling over some platitudes with attitudes: green WFH is as green WFH does; have your digital nomad torta and eat it too; and how to prepare for work beyond the binary.
DO ANDROIDS DREAM OF SOLAR-POWERED SHEEP?
Plenty of pixels have blinked as part of the utopian dream of remote work: escape from micromanagement, freedom to travel (more on that below), and the promise of a greener lifestyle. But is remote work actually more climate friendly?
It feels intuitively true that WFH is less carbon-intensive than commuting to an office, but the truth is more complex. When researchers looked at a large anonymized data set from Microsoft to calculate the carbon savings for remote workers, they found that there’s potential for carbon reductions, but it’s not a given: “remote work has the potential to reduce an individual’s carbon emissions by more than half—but only if they take the necessary measures at home.”
To get to green, we need to add variables. Working from home does reduce carbon footprints if it’s paired with turning off unnecessary appliances, driving a low (or no) emissions vehicle, and receiving energy from renewable sources. Essentially, if your home life is minimally impactful on the climate, your WFH life will be too.
Want to really go green? Type your emails on top of this baby.
RUMBA DE BARCELONA
Remote work has liberated knowledge worker travel. Post-pandemic, remote workers are moving abroad, or simply extending regular vacations into “workcations” that let them bookend their workdays with vacation vibes.
MSNBC has generated a ranking of popular workcation spots using inputs from climate to culture to broadband. The top three cities are Barcelona, Toronto, and Beijing. Spain and Canada also have digital nomad programs to entice workers to set up camp in their cities.
All that said, Barcelona is wonderful (and the coffee is cheap), but your workcations are also driving inflation. As you pack your travel adapters, keep in mind the community impact digital nomads often have, and see if you can’t find a way to join the dance without stomping on locals’ toes.
Tamar Cohen, VP of employee experience of Travelers, is looking down the road to 2028, and sharing predictions and advice. As with the stories above, embracing complexity is the way to effectively meet the changes barreling toward us.
Prediction 1: Hybrid office/WFH models reign supreme; organizations can prepare for this by understanding how the money gets made (this might be, uh, relevant in a few different ways) and which style of work supports which goals. “Knowing that the right work is being done will remove the discussion around where that work is done. … When there is clarity on the goals and common alignment to performance, expectations are clear and culture can thrive, regardless of location.”
Prediction 2: AI yi yi yi … it’s coming, both internally and externally; prepare by embracing AI’s strengths (repetitive or predictable tasks), and opening career pathways that move workers into positions that require nuance, creativity, and decision-making.
Prediction 3: Personalized employee well-being; prepare by committing early to employee wellness, with the guiding assumption that one size won’t fit all. This is an area where AI will be able to help tailor plans for employees’ needs and interests.
Prediction 4: Cohen sees continued pendulum swings around diversity and inclusion initiatives. Organizations should set up systems to manage and understand data around the benefits of a diverse workforce: “this is about more than just targets and quotas; it is looking at overall performance and productivity of teams across the workplace.”
Cohen is clear on this final point: “As organizations adapt to these changes, customization, inclusivity, and empathy will be the cornerstones of success.”
ELSEWHERE ON THE INTERNETS
YESTERYEAR TECH OF THE WEEK
“I’m more alive than ever before, my friends are knocking down my door …”
See ya next week,
– The EiT crew at Status Hero