💬 Issue #37 - Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes
Turn and face the strange: work without meetings, TMI on LinkedIn, Gen Z schools their parents on a new way to work
Congratulations, it’s Friday! At EiT headquarters, we’re checking in on Shopify’s attempt to squash meeting culture; considering what counts as professional in the age of oversharing; and appreciating the perspective shift Gen Z brings to their dedicated-to-the-grind parents
LESS IS (WAY) MORE
It’s been nine months since Shopify axed most meetings across the company, and by all accounts this addition (subtraction?) to their “digital-by-design” culture has been a success. They’re forecasting 18% more shipped projects this year than in 2022, and their in-house Meeting Cost Calculator has been requested by many other organizations eager to reduce their own meeting budgets.
Shopify’s VP of employee experience, Michael Merola, stresses that whatever your org does to shape the workplace, it must be done intentionally: “Every organization needs to figure out what is the right ‘future of work’ for them . . . you need to be very intentional about it; you can’t just cross your fingers and hope it works out.”
For Shopify, this has meant creating several different types of in-person opportunities, ranging from regional social events to small-team targeted meetups, to coworking spaces in their former offices. Today more than half of the company’s employees live beyond commuting distance of one of these former offices, which Merola counts as success: “It’s opened us up to hire a much wider talent pool, and it’s opened up our employees to live where they wish to live.” And without a boatload of meetings in their calendars, employees are freed up for deep work, wherever they are.
THAT LIVEJOURNAL TO LINKEDIN PIPELINE
LinkedIn is creeping up on 1 billion users, and things are getting weird: “The number of LinkedIn posts grew 41% from 2021 to 2023. But it's the content of the posts that's shifted the most, turning LinkedIn into one of the world's strangest social networks,” reports Business Insider.
And by weird they mean personal -- though just like with professional, the definition varies, depending on your industry, generation, and style. Is it professional to broadcast your divorce to thousands of LinkedIn connections, have your post picked up by a meme account, and then threaten the owner of the meme account with bodily harm? Who knows! Close to anything goes in the gold rush of delivering your inner life to your professional networks.
As users abandon other social media platforms, will LinkedIn become our new public square? Sarah Frier of Bloomberg thinks it’s possible: "LinkedIn is becoming a site where regular people actually want to hang out and post their thoughts. It might even be cool." Maybe! Then again, coolness itself is in the eye of the beholder.
TALKIN’ ‘BOUT MY GENERATION
This won’t surprise anyone who’s been awake at any point in the last five years, but Gen Z knowledge workers and their parents have very different ideas about work. The WSJ talked to several parent-child pairs about their divergent workplace attitudes and expectations and found that Gen Z is in no hurry to replicate their parents’ professional trajectories.
In general, Gen Z workers aren’t necessarily looking to develop a ✨career✨ and are more focused on finding jobs that allow for workday flexibility. But when that workday is over, they’re not going to lose sleep over workplace stressors. “If work is over, work is over,” says 28-year-old Maaliyah Papillion, whose mother, Kristin Ned, is an HR professional accustomed to putting out fires at all hours of the day.
Gen Z also wants to make sure their parents and older colleagues get the recognition they deserve: “My son is good at reminding me that there’s great value in what I do, and I owe it to myself to get that value,” says Lisbeth Darsh, a marketer who recently received a promotion after heeding her son’s advice to advocate for herself.
She’s not alone: “about three-quarters of nearly 7,000 workers surveyed worldwide this summer said 20-something co-workers had influenced their attitudes toward issues such as work-life boundaries, fair pay and self-advocacy.” Good advice for any generation (just don’t ask this article’s comment section).
ELSEWHERE ON THE INTERNETS
YESTERYEAR TECH OF THE WEEK
See ya next week,
– The EiT crew at Status Hero
P.S. ICYMI, goals are gold in Status Hero, read all about it.