CNBC: Google employees frustrated after office Covid outbreaks, some call to modify vaccine policy

CNBC: Google employees frustrated after office Covid outbreaks, some call to modify vaccine policy. “Google employees are receiving regular notifications from management of Covid-19 infections, causing some to question the company’s return-to-office mandates. The employees, who spoke with CNBC on the condition of anonymity, said since they have been asked to return to offices, infections notifications pop up in their email inboxes regularly. Employees are reacting with frustration and memes.”

Washington Post: Facebook’s workforce grew more diverse when it embraced remote work

Washington Post: Facebook’s workforce grew more diverse when it embraced remote work. “Facebook was one of an array of companies to dramatically restructure remote work during the coronavirus pandemic, allowing employees to continue working from home while they avoided the spread of covid-19. Now, Facebook Chief Diversity Officer Maxine Williams said there was an unexpected benefit to that workplace overhaul: it helped the company recruit and retain workers from underrepresented groups.”

WIRED: The Future of Slack Looks a Lot Like Zoom

WIRED: The Future of Slack Looks a Lot Like Zoom. “Last June, the popular workplace chat app Slack introduced Huddles, an audio-only feature designed to replicate the real-life thing. It was an immediate hang space, launched easily from within a Slack channel or a direct message. And it has been, according to Slack, a hit.”

Harvard Business School: All Those Zoom Meetings May Boost Connection and Curb Loneliness

Harvard Business School: All Those Zoom Meetings May Boost Connection and Curb Loneliness. “Americans are lonelier than ever—a problem the COVID-19 pandemic may have exacerbated. Could interactions on platforms like Zoom and Twitch come close to replicating the real-life contact people crave? New research suggests that’s more likely to happen if the virtual experiences truly engage people on screen.”

CNET: Google Reportedly Backs Down on Office Demands as Contractors Threaten to Strike

CNET: Google Reportedly Backs Down on Office Demands as Contractors Threaten to Strike. “Google Maps contractors were told they had to return to office on June 6, but received a 90-day extension three hours after telling management they were going on strike, according to a tweet Thursday by the Alphabet Workers Union. The 200-plus contractors, working for IT consulting company Cognizant Technology Solutions, say that the current return to office demands by Google are unsafe, according to the AWU.”

Bye, Zoom: This smart new app is the future of online meetings (Fast Company)

Fast Company: Bye, Zoom: This smart new app is the future of online meetings. “Like most people these days, I participate in more than my share of online meetings. And aside from the occasional internal grumbling, I usually don’t give much thought to the way they work or what could make them more effective. But then I ran into a thoughtful new tool called Switchboard. It completely reimagines the way you interact and work with other people online.”

MakeUseOf: How to Record a Google Meet

MakeUseOf: How to Record a Google Meet . “Google Meet is a more business-oriented version of Hangouts, suitable for tasks such as webinars and video conferences. Depending on the service plan selected, you can host video conferences involving up to 150 participants while making use of features like screen sharing and meeting recording. In this guide, we will walk you through the steps of recording a Google Meet on your device in detail. We will also explore the ways to share the recordings with your colleagues or teammates.”

Ideas on mute? Study: Remote meetings dampen brainstorming (Associated Press)

Associated Press: Ideas on mute? Study: Remote meetings dampen brainstorming. “Researchers watched 745 pairs of engineers in five different countries try to come up with creative ideas for using a Frisbee or bubble wrap. Those in the same room generated on average one more idea, which is about 17% more than those in remote meetings. And those in-person ideas were judged by outside experts to be more creative, the study found.”

New York Times: Should a Morning Staff Meeting Feel Like Homeroom?

New York Times: Should a Morning Staff Meeting Feel Like Homeroom?. “When millions of Americans began working from home two years ago because of the pandemic — one-third of the work force, by May 2020 — they benefited from a new degree of autonomy. Their managers, in many cases, saw that tasks were completed, so the assumption was they were putting in full workdays. Now, as businesses call employees back, pushing office occupancy across the country above 42 percent, they’re deciding whether to let workers maintain those freedoms, or to take measures to ensure that people are reporting to their desks.”

New York Times: Welcome Back to the Office. Isn’t This Fun?

New York Times: Welcome Back to the Office. Isn’t This Fun?. “R.T.O., for return to office, is an abbreviation born of the pandemic. It is a recognition of how Covid-19 forced many companies to abandon office buildings and empty cubicles. The pandemic proved that being in the office does not necessarily equal greater productivity, and some firms continued to thrive without meeting in person. Now, after two years of video meetings and Slack chats, many companies are eager to get employees back to their desks. The employees, however, may be not be so eager for a return to morning commutes, communal bathrooms and daytime outfits that are not athletic wear.”

TIME: Back-to-Office Pressure Is Creating a Crisis for Long COVID Patients

TIME: Back-to-Office Pressure Is Creating a Crisis for Long COVID Patients. “Millions of people in the U.S. have chronic illnesses or physical disabilities, and advocates have been calling for better workplace accommodations and federal disability policies since well before the pandemic. But two big changes in the workforce—an alarming number of newly disabled adults in the U.S. (many of them likely long-haulers) and millions of open jobs that need to be filled—may finally force companies to become more accommodating.”

WIRED: Why Is the Internet So Exhausting? Blame Your Crowdsourced Bosses

WIRED: Why Is the Internet So Exhausting? Blame Your Crowdsourced Bosses. “Although the global economy still depends on real, tactile resources and products, the evolution of capitalism has demanded that more solids be invented for the sole purpose of being melted into air. It’s not just that you’re the product. You’re also the laborer, the factory, and the logistician. You’re also the resource. And your boss is crowdsourced.”