Whatever Next #14: Permanent WFH, Boosting Motivation, and Dangerous People.
About WFH extension, Coinbase follow-up, Boosting morale, Uber case from an engineer, Spotify birthday story, Facing Layoffs, an Amazon anecdote, and more.
Hi @ll! Welcome to another issue of the newsletter. This number arrives a day later than usual. Monday is a bank holiday in Spain, so I decided to move it to spend more time with the family. I hope you don't mind.
Last week I set up several goals, and I failed in some of them. I'd been spreading myself too thin, but this made me reconsider how I organized myself and prioritized tasks. When we do too many things simultaneously, we have to differentiate what is important and put them on top to not forget about them.
Always remember that multitasking is the enemy of flow. Researches show that multitask people are considerably less productive than those who focus on one task at a time.
Also, it is a matter of habit. Before April's lockdown, I used to wake up earlier daily. This change allowed me to have time to workout, reading, and meditate. I included these habits in posts about the morning exercise and Robin Sharma's 20/20/20 rule, which I adapted.
Gaining time from the morning will give us more time in the evening for other topics. It worked for me. And I will make it work again.
Following the changes from the last issue, I will continue reducing the number of topics indefinitely. Today I am sharing a wrap-up of the previous week, with topics like working from home, the Coinbase follow-up, dangerous animals from the workplace, motivation, Spotify turning 12, Bezos stories from the early days, and more.
As I always share with you, please, do not hesitate to add your comments or share your feedback. One of my goals is to learn from you. And if you like it, please share it.
🏠 Permanent Work From Home
Last Friday, Microsoft announced an extension of the work from home policy, making it permanent for some staff. Microsoft will be joining Facebook, and probably more companies to come.
Some roles will be impossible to transition to a permanent remote situation, keeping a hybrid workplace solution than less of 50% working week hours at the office. Interestingly, users who decide to move permanently will give up their assigned office space, and the company will give the option to use shared spaces.
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Satya Nadella said, "When people say you're working from home, it sometimes feels like you're sleeping at work". These feelings are real. You have to separate it and master your work-life balance.
IMHO I prefer to go to the office. I live close to it, and I value keeping work at the office, the more expansive space, and a better environment to focus on it. Also, networking and sharing moments with people are gold in these days.
Also, there are more consequences regarding the work from home. People are leaving expensive cities to look for more life quality. As the SF Chronicle asks, will the city be able to lure people back?
😶 Coinbase Policy Follow-up and Exits
In the past issue, I shared a Coinbase blog post asking its employees to leave social activism and politics out of the company or leave the company. They prepared a generous exit package for the people willing to go. This week there was an update from Coinbase’s CEO, again.
Brian Armstrong @brian_armstronghttps://t.co/FudJSuaumB
In this new post, Brian shares that the number of people who left was 60, 5% of the total employees. There have been voices defending that 5% is a low rate. Armstrong also noted how some people worried his stance would push out people of color and other underrepresented minorities. But in his blog post, he said those folks “have not taken the exit package in numbers disproportionate to the overall population.”
Dan Primack @danprimackCoinbase says only 5% of employees took exit package https://t.co/EPM5P3a9xn
This will be the last time I include news related to the Coinbase statement. I don’t want this newsletter to turn into a monographic of it. But before leaving the topic, I wanted to share an article published in medium by Laszlo Bock, named The Fallacy of the Politics-Free Office.
As the article explains, in a year with lockdowns, with several life restrictions, high unemployment, exposed racial injustices, the year of a deadly world pandemic, everyone is processing social and economic turmoil. Ignoring emotions is impossible. Considering all, asking employees to suppress them at work is somehow cruel.
🚷 Beware Of The Dangerous “Animals” From Your Workplace
This is an excellent infographic from Productboard about the dangerous people you could find in your workplace, your teams, and your management, with some insights about how to manage them. You would have probably come across some of them.
🤔 Drivers re Employees or Independent Contractors? Uber Case From a Software Engineer Point of View.
Last week, I shared an article from TechCrunch with an interesting point of view from an Uber software engineer who also had worked as a driver for Lyft about the drivers' rights as employees. He shared why he is voting against Prop 22, a proposition to identify rideshare drivers and delivery workers classified as independent contractors.
After taking publicly, some co-workers reached him out to thank him, but he is still the only one talking against it publicly and on internal slack channels. Uber has created a whole atmosphere around Prop 22. During all-hands meetings, he described how the executive team wears Yes on 22 shirts or has a Yes on 22 Zoom background. Uber has also offered employees free Yes on 22 car decals and shirts.
Something similar happened recently in Spain with Glovo's riders, where the Supreme Court ruled that riders are employees, not self-employed.
🚀 Help Your Team Thrive – Win or Lose
This is an interesting article about boosting your team’s morale using a soccer example. Positive morale leads to an increase in productivity, satisfaction, and retention. Just because your team is winning doesn’t mean they’re enjoying doing it.
The article includes five strategies to improve it, each with psychology studies and researches. These tactics will help elicit enthusiasm, strengthen commitment, and foster a culture where your team can thrive – win or lose.
📝 The Tech Resume Demystified
This is not the first topic that I have shared from Gergely, but his work's publication deserves a section. Lots of insights about building an effective resume backed up by tech recruiters and also managers. Also, it is completely free for any developer who is in search of a job. Check it out!
🎂 Spotify Turning 12, VC Remembering the Early Days
Shakil Khan, VC investor, and Spotify advisor, shared this brief thread, including old articles of the investing process and Spotify's launching. It is interesting how people identified Spotify as Bittorrent-meets-Last.fm service and that Myspace was meant to be its former rival.
Also, in the following tweet, he shares how it was like being the investor in those days, asking media people to try it: “If you don’t like it, I’ll wash your car”.
Rory Cellan-Jones @ruskin147Early in 2009 a guy called Shak came up to me at a London startup event and asked me to try out a service he was involved with - "if you don't like it, I'll wash your car" he said. But I did like it. 9 years later @Spotify is valued at c$30bn and I bet Shak is feeling quite smug
👍 Good and Bad Ways to Face Layoffs
In the following almost five-minute video, you’ll find some recommendations from Heidi Roizen about facing layoffs these days. It feels terrible, but companies who are forced to survive need to move fast, not often, and showing empathy and humanity.
📦 Bezos “Stupid Insights” on Order Preparation
You may love him or hate him, but this is a friendly and fun story from Jeff Bezos about the early days on Amazon. Everybody was preparing orders without clear organization and the necessary tools.
Sharing this anecdote about as he says, “how stupid I can be”, shows humility. And what Jon Erlichman highlights in his tweet, “We were so unprepared, and it is probably one of the luckiest things that ever happened to us”, is a precious lesson.
Suppose you have had the opportunity to run a little business. In that case, there’s no better lesson on customer service than the experience of working with a direct relationship with the end customer, no matter if you are in front of it or at a call center.
That’s it! Thanks for reading. I hope you liked it!
Please, do not hesitate to add any comments. I am open to any suggestions, so if you want to add a comment or contact me, I encourage you to do it.
If you found something interesting, maybe you would like to share it with your colleagues, friends, or family. The more we are, the more we learn from each other.
And if you haven’t subscribed yet, you could do it now. It’s completely free, and you could unsubscribe at any time. You’ll receive as much as an email a week.