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Before the pandemic, the “future of work” was a topic for academics and dreamers. But now it has moved into the C suite. Every company is being forced to make to decisions about how their employees will work in the future. How often will they come to the office? Do they have to live near the office? Will their remote work undermine innovation? With remote work, how do you maintain culture?
The folks at Slack, the communications software company, announced yesterday they are forming a new research consortium—Future Forum—to help companies answer those questions. In a blog post by Brian Elliott, the Slack VP heading the effort, they revealed some intriguing early results from their research. Some findings:
- Only 12% of knowledge workers say they intend to return to work full-time. 72% are looking for a combination of office and remote work.
- “Work-life balance” is the thing they like most about remote work—with 52% saying it is better, and only 18% saying it is worse.
- Stress and anxiety about work also improves—with 42% saying it is better with remote work, and only 20% saying it is worse.
- And many see an improvement in productivity, although the results on this one are surprisingly close: 37% say it is better and 26% worse.
- “My sense of belonging at work” is where remote workers took the biggest hit, with 35% saying it has gotten worse, and only 22% saying it has gotten better.
And here’s an interesting side result: 65% of white knowledge workers agree with the statement “my manager is supportive when I need help,” while only 46% of Black knowledge workers say the same. That’s a disturbing imbalance.
40 Under 40
Fortune's annual 40 Under 40 list is out, and this year there's a change—we’re highlighting 40 influential people in each of five categories: finance, technology, healthcare, government and policy, and media and entertainment. Fortune
The U.S. is refusing to join a global effort to develop and distribute a coronavirus vaccine, partly because the World Health Organization is co-leading it, and partly because it seems to be gambling that it will win the "vaccine race" on its own. The U.S.' traditional allies are backing the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access (Covax) Facility, but the White House said it would "not be constrained by multilateral organizations influenced by the corrupt World Health Organization and China." Washington Post
The chances of TikTok's divesting its U.S. operations anytime soon have been diminished by Beijing's export restrictions on A.I. technology, the Wall Street Journal reports. Both sides are now apparently trying to figure out the implications for the algorithms that TikTok uses—which will ultimately affect what it is that companies such as Microsoft and Oracle are bidding for. WSJ
Amazon vs. workers
Amazon has deleted job listings for intelligence analysts whose duties were to include tracking "labor organizing threats against the company." The deletions followed a massive public outcry and criticism from the likes of Senator Bernie Sanders, who said the ads showed "we must build a powerful trade union movement to stand up to the billionaire class." Amazon told CNBC one of the job posts (it's not clear which) "was not an accurate description of the role"—but didn't say what about it was inaccurate. Fortune
AROUND THE WATER COOLER
India had one of the world's strictest COVID-19 lockdowns, sacrificing its economy to save lives. But now it has its deepest recession in decades, plus the world's fastest-growing coronavirus case count. Fortune's Grady McGregor and Naomi Xu Elegant explain the situation. Fortune
Google will from November 1 start charging new fees for advertisements served in the U.K., Turkey and Austria—countries that are implementing new digital services taxes (DST) on the revenues earned on their turf. This could ultimately lead to an increase in the prices being charged for the advertised goods. The Register
Credit Suisse is now the subject of enforcement proceedings by the Swiss financial regulator, following the spying scandal that ended the CEO-ship of Tidjane Thiam. Switzerland's second-largest bank spied on banker Iqbal Khan, who was heading off to UBS. Now Finma wants to know whether there were violations of supervisory law. Bloomberg
Phones in trees
In Chicago, some people working for Amazon's Flex delivery service are hanging their phones in trees near Amazon warehouses and Whole Foods grocery stores, to trick Amazon's dispatch mechanism into thinking they're closer to those facilities than they are, so they get awarded delivery routes. Entrepreneurial or dystopian? Yes. Fortune
This edition of CEO Daily was edited by David Meyer.