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Exclusive: Redefining how your people work post-pandemic –



Redefining how your people work post-pandemic

#Redefining #people #work #postpandemic

We live in a time of seismic change in the workplace, bringing tough challenges and exciting opportunities for small and medium-sized enterprises (SME).

Remote and hybrid working, fast-moving technologies, and a growing focus on diversity are just three trends spurring SMEs to evolve their employees’ roles quickly and significantly.

As a small business owner battling challenges such as Brexit, runaway inflation, and war in Ukraine, responding to workplace developments might not seem an immediate priority.

But you can’t ignore these changes.

The faster you adapt to and build new structures around these trends the better.

Here’s what we cover in this article:

Impact of the pandemic on working structures

The trend towards more flexible working, accelerated by the pandemic, continues apace.

51% of employees now have flexible working arrangements, according to an April 2022 study by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).

But this looks set to grow further as requests for flexible working have increased at 37% of organisations in recent months.


Meanwhile, the challenge of finding talent continues to grow for many SMEs.

The post-Covid economic rebound pushed UK job vacancies to record levels. People are also changing jobs in record numbers – dubbed the Great Resignation – as they reassess their priorities.

The push towards technological innovation, also accelerated by the pandemic, has fuelled the talent gap even further by prompting a need for ever more experienced and educated staff.

This gap is a particular challenge for SMEs because many restless workers perceive they are more likely to get the flexible and hybrid working they crave at a larger company.

CIPD research confirms that nearly twice as many large organisations (49%) invest in hybrid working compared to SMEs (25%).

As a business owner, you may argue the move towards remote working works in your favour as it enables you to recruit talent from anywhere and tempt potential recruits away from larger firms.

However, it’s a challenge to compete with the brand power and recruiting resources of larger organisations on that stage.

Impact of technological development

Technology will impact many of your workers’ roles even more than the pandemic has.

A 2021 report from the World Economic Forum (WEF) shows an increase in SMEs seeking technology to overcome pandemic-related challenges in areas such as the industrial internet of things, big data, cloud computing, and artificial intelligence (AI).

Technology changing workers’ roles is nothing new but many of these projects will likely accelerate the transformation of the workplace and threaten more traditional roles over the next decade.

A study from Brookings predicts 25% of all jobs now face a high risk from technology, and 36% face a medium risk.


Routine physical and cognitive tasks will be most at risk.

Jobs in office administration, production, transport and food preparation are vulnerable, with more than 70% of their tasks potentially substituted by technology.

But in the three quarters of roles not at high risk, technologies such as AI are more likely to replace tasks within jobs rather than entire occupations.

More secure jobs will not just be in professional and technical roles. They’ll also include low-paying personal care and domestic service work characterised by non-routine, abstract activities, and social and emotional intelligence.

Why businesses can’t stand still

SMEs face imminent threats if they don’t adapt their workforce skills and structure to these sweeping changes.

Even in late 2019, a British Business Bank report highlighted that SMEs risk losing competitiveness if they fail to embrace new technologies.

They also need urgent action to avoid losing out in the talent war.

November 2021 research from insurer MetLife shows 54% of employees were considering leaving their job in the next 18 months. And 59% said they would start looking if employers didn’t accommodate their work values.

Many SMEs will be challenged to find the time and resources to implement the training, support and technologies needed to thrive in this new environment.

The WEF says the biggest danger is that these technologies are critical to long-term competitiveness, but small and medium-sized companies tend to encounter barriers to adopting them.

Only 23% of SMEs could dedicate resources to such digital tools.


Lack of skilled workers is a key adoption barrier, and in AI, it’s the primary obstacle for most SMEs.

These pressures make it even more important to focus on quickly adopting the values, skills, and technologies workers need in the new world of work.

Embracing new ways to work, including flexible and remote working

Financial remuneration will always be important to some, but impatient employees are also looking for companies that offer flexible and hybrid working, wellbeing days, and more holidays and study leave.

According to the latest Future Forum survey, 68% of workers now prefer a hybrid working model, and 95% want flexibility at work.

Small and medium-sized companies are responding.

2022 research by insurer Aston Lark shows more than half of SMEs have enhanced or introduced flexible working hours and other benefits such as mindfulness classes, education, childcare benefits and gym memberships.

They are planning more of these things too.

But to make new structures such as hybrid and flexible working successful, businesses need to listen carefully to workers’ needs and concerns and help them adapt.

Consultant McKinsey surveyed nearly 6,000 employees to understand what is driving the Great Resignation.

It suggests, to attract and retain staff, businesses should improve the transition to remote and hybrid working by including employees in the process.

McKinsey uncovers several disconnects between employees and employers.


One is that workers are far more likely to prioritise relational factors, but employers are more prone to focus on transactional ones.

Resigning employees said they didn’t feel valued by their organisations (54%) or managers (52%), and felt no sense of belonging at work (51%).

Non-white employees felt less sense of belonging compared to white colleagues.

McKinsey suggests addressing this by promoting inspiring, motivating leaders and managers who are experienced and trained in running remote or hybrid models.

“If your only response is to increase compensation, that says to workers your relationship with them is purely transactional,” adds the report.

“Instead, companies should look at the whole person, for example, by aligning benefits more with homeworking and family needs.”

A great example is Californian clothing firm Patagonia, which has retained 100% of employees who are new mothers by providing on-site childcare and other benefits for parents.

Time to experiment

Bruce Daisley, former Twitter vice president and author of Eat Sleep Work Repeat, says employee feedback should be critical to how you structure hybrid working.

This is because some workers don’t need an office; some are happy to work in an office a few days a week; others want to be there most days.

“Also, it doesn’t necessarily split in expected ways,” says Bruce.

“You might think older generations are more prone to like the office, but often they have home offices and are willing to work in a more relaxed way.


“We have already seen companies bringing workers back into the office three days a week. But employees questioned why, especially if they spend most of the day in video meetings.

“So many companies have moved it back to one or two days a week. This may make it inefficient to rent an office, so they may hire meeting rooms instead. So it’s a time for flexibility.”

Steve Cadigan, talent adviser and author of Workquake, says: “Learnings from remote working are still coming in.

“Many firms are recognising their talent is more productive outside the office and they can win with remote and hybrid models.

“But there is no single answer because all SMEs are different, and they have wide variations within them.

“So experimentation has become best practice – with individuals, teams and departments – to determine where and how they work best and how that suits the culture and performance of the organisation.”

The key is to embrace more variety in how and where people work.

Be open to trying new things.

Then measure, assess and empower your leaders to decide what works best for their teams.

Given the difficulty of finding talent, another inevitable change is to consider using more contingent, outsourced, or gig workers.

This will help the structure of your workforce withstand future onslaughts.


“One of the biggest recent changes I have seen is using more temporary workers and contractors as companies are challenged to find people qualified and willing to work full-time,” says Steve.

The rise of globally distributed models

As understanding of remote working matures, companies of all sizes are moving towards a so-called globally distributed model.

‘Globally distributed’ has come to define what many believe is the workforce of the future – mainly remote, straddling many time zones, and available to customers and progressing goals around the clock.

As distributed teams don’t cluster around a specific time zone, they promote asynchronous communication (async).

Async means replacing inefficient real-time meetings with collaboration tools and transparent audio and video recording and documentation.

This enables people in various time zones to work together without having to be “always on”.

Workplace experts expect the trend toward async collaboration will continue and become one of the most impactful changes on workers and employers over the next few years.

But it’s a significant change from traditional structures and requires a huge culture change with lots of support for workers.

How and why you should create a more inclusive workplace

During the Great Resignation, restless employees are also looking to move to companies with shared values such as inclusion and social mobility.

Many SMEs are recognising that a lack of diversity and inclusion (D&I) will limit the talent they can attract and even drive people out.

Promoting D&I is therefore becoming a vital part of the way firms redefine work.


There is copious research showing how D&I benefits companies by, for example, bringing in fresh perspectives and avoiding ‘echo chambers’ of similar views.

According to the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), SMEs who focus on diversity have attracted more clients, and boosted productivity, staff commitment and brand.

These outcomes are essential for resilience in difficult times, says the confederation.

Steve Cadigan says the shift to remote working can help as hiring people from different countries naturally boosts diversity and allows D&I to take root.

So be as open as you can about where you recruit from.

To attract and retain a diverse workforce, the CIPD recommends systemic methods that includes inclusive approaches to culture, employment policies, practices and personal behaviours.

This includes rethinking everything from advertising to minority groups to ensuring offices are easily accessible for disabled people.

It’s also worth using the recruitment section of your website to show how your business promotes D&I. For example, advertise inclusive application routes from different sectors of society such as through school leaver and return to work programmes.

5 ways cloud HR software can help you

The world of work is shifting so quickly we do not yet fully understand all the challenges and opportunities these sweeping changes will bring.

There are no silver bullets or universal answers, but an experimentation mindset can make your restructure even more exciting.

The key is to show your employees you are listening and doing your best to balance the needs of individuals, teams and the business.


So how can you do that?

Cloud HR software can help here, in a number of ways:

1. Measure employee sentiment

How do your employees feel about your organisation?

By using engagement surveys via your software, you can determine how committed and motivated your people are – and you can take the right steps to act on any feedback.

2. Track progress and celebrate excellent employee contributions

Want to congratulate your people on a job well done? You can do this via your HR software.

But that’s not all.

You can use it to track performance and identify where your employees are succeeding or can improve, then take steps to help them thrive.

3. Easy access to employee info

You no longer have to rely on your computer to access employee details.

By using a mobile phone or tablet, you can easily retrieve important HR documents – and your employees can self-serve to view the likes of online payslips and P60s with ease, and book holidays.

This is ideal if people are working remotely or in a hybrid manner.

4. Easily collect signatures from your employees

This no longer needs to be a chore. Now you can do it with a click of a button, due to eSignature functionality that’s present in the HR software.


The days of having to track down your people in person to get important documents signed can be a thing of the past.

5. Streamline your recruitment process

That’s right, it’s not just your current employees that you need to consider. Include your prospective talent too.

A good HR solution will allow you to speed up the time it takes to recruit new employees.

And with automated tracking and on-demand applicant screening, plus the ability to schedule interviews with ease, you can provide the best chance of effectively finding the right people for the business.

Final thoughts on small businesses leading the redefinition of work

To wrap up, the main takeaway is to recognise your employees’ continuing need for new skills, roles and structures to thrive in the new world of work, and help them get there quickly.

Achieving this could give you a fantastic chance to stave off the many threats and realise the benefits for your workers and your business.

The second article in this series looks in detail at how SMEs can train and support workers through all these changes to achieve a future-fit workforce.


Exclusive: Biden opens the possibility of more offshore oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico –




Biden opens the possibility of more offshore oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico

#Biden #opens #possibility #offshore #oil #drilling #Gulf #Mexico

An oil and gas drilling platform stands offshore as waves churned from Tropical Storm Karen come ashore in Dauphin Island, Alabama, October 5, 2013.

Steve Nesius | Reuters

The Biden administration released a five-year offshore oil and gas drilling development plan on Friday that would block all new drilling in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans within U.S. waters, but would allow some lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico and the south coast of Alaska.

The proposed plan, which has not been finalized, could allow up to 11 lease sales over the next five years. It also includes an option for the administration to conduct no sales. The Department of the Interior is inviting the public to comment on the program.

Biden had vowed to suspend all new federal drilling on public lands and waters, but that position resulted in legal challenges from several Republican-led states and the oil sector.

As U.S. energy prices rise, the fossil fuel sector has urged the administration to increase offshore drilling in an effort to lower gas prices at the pump. But climate groups have argued that new lease sales would exacerbate climate change while doing nothing to bring down prices.

A recent report published by Apogee Economics and Policy said that a temporary suspension in new offshore oil and gas sales would have minimal impact on gas prices for consumers — with prices edging up by less than 1 cent per gallon over the next nearly two decades.

“From Day One, President Biden and I have made clear our commitment to transition to a clean energy economy,” Interior Secretary Deb Haaland said in a statement on Friday. “Today, we put forward an opportunity for the American people to consider and provide input on the future of offshore oil and gas leasing.”


The Interior’s most recent offshore oil and gas auction was in November in the Gulf of Mexico. A court order later vacated the sale, arguing the administration didn’t adequately account for the harm to the environment and impact on climate change.

Nearly 95% of U.S. offshore oil production and 71% of offshore natural gas production occurs in the Gulf of Mexico, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council. Roughly 15% of oil production in the U.S. comes from offshore drilling.

Environmental groups on Friday condemned the administration for proposing limited new lease sales instead of announcing a ban on all new drilling.

“The Biden administration had an opportunity to meet the moment on climate and end new offshore oil leasing in Interior’s five-year program,” said Drew Caputo, vice president of litigation at Earthjustice. “Instead, its proposal to serve up a bunch of new offshore oil lease sales is a failure of climate leadership and a breach of their climate promises.”

Environmental groups have also argued that new leasing would impede the White House’s goal to slash carbon emissions by at least 50% by 2030 in an effort to keep global warming under 1.5 degrees Celsius.

“This draft plan falls short of what we desperately need: an end to new oil and gas drilling in federal waters,” Food & Water Watch Executive Director Wenonah Hauter said in a statement. “President Biden has called the climate crisis the existential threat of our time, but the administration continues to pursue policies that will only make it worse.”

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Exclusive: This Simple Exercise Will Help You Turn Failure Into Success –




This Simple Exercise Will Help You Turn Failure Into Success

#Simple #Exercise #Turn #Failure #Success

If you want your business or your career to be a big success, rather than focusing only on the positive, you should also look closely at your failures. In fact, you should write those failures up and create a “rejection resume.” That advice comes from Eli Joseph, Ph.D., faculty member at Columbia University and Queens College and author of The Perfect Rejection Resume.

A rejection resume is straightforward to create, as he explains in his book. Ask yourself the same questions you’d answer in a traditional resume–but in reverse. Instead of saying where you graduated from, list the schools you applied to but didn’t get into, or the ones you dropped out of, or the courses you failed. Instead of listing the jobs you succeeded at, describe the ones you were fired from, the projects that crashed and burned, and the biggest mistakes you made. The result will be a brief document, a few pages long or maybe just one page, that contains a record of your biggest disappointments, and the biggest mistakes you’ve made.

What’s the purpose of the rejection resume? “Most people do not like to talk about their failures and how many organizations rejected them or how many venture capitalists rejected their proposals,” Joseph explains. “So it’s just a conversation starter.” That is, it can help you start a conversation with yourself. “To say, hey I have this document, and I can take advantage of these lessons.”

Here are some ways a rejection resume can benefit you.

1. It can help you turn current failures into future successes.

“As you’re building a business, you can write down, ‘I failed today at this task, and it was partially detrimental for now, but I’ve learned from my mistake.’ And look around as you go along.” With this approach, the rejection resume can become a powerful motivational tool, he says, because if you look at your failure, you may be able to see the mistakes that led you there. And you can choose not to make those mistakes in the future.

2. It can let you see how far you’ve come.

Anytime is a great time to create a rejection resume, Joseph says, but it’s an especially useful thing to do if you’ve suffered a disheartening setback. “It’s the one that stings a little bit, and you know, that’s what we need to harp on and focus on. So we can bookmark that time that we felt down from a particular failure, but we’ve rebounded.”

His comment makes me think about my attempt, decades ago, to work as a business reporter for a daily newspaper, the only job from which I’ve ever been fired. I hated the job and was actually delighted to leave it, but it also felt like a colossal failure. With hindsight I can see that it was completely the wrong fit for me and how losing that job was in many ways a piece of very good luck.


3. It will help you connect with others.

“People always love a comeback story,” Joseph says. You may prefer to focus on your successes, but in fact, you almost certainly have your own comeback story and your own history of failure before success, he says. “And people always love that. They love the underdog.”

This is why, he says, if you share part of your rejection resume story on social media, it’s likely to get a lot of attention. “It’s a good marketing tool,” he says. “People who do speaking engagements and keynotes tend to reel the audience in through their personal endeavors and how they’ve overcome failure.” The rejection resume can help you organize that information so you can help others learn from your experiences, he said.

There’s a growing audience of readers who receive a daily text from me with a self-care or motivational micro-challenge or tip. (Interested in joining? Here’s more information and an invitation to an extended free trial.) Many are entrepreneurs or business leaders and many have told me about how even devastating failures have helped lead them build bigger, more meaningful successes. Seeing your failures as something to be commemorated in a rejection resume can be a great start.

The opinions expressed here by columnists are their own, not those of

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Exclusive: Mystery rocket makes moonfall –




Mystery rocket makes moonfall

#Mystery #rocket #moonfall

Hello and welcome back to Week in Review, where we recap the biggest stories from the week. If you want this in your inbox every Saturday, sign up here.

Greg Kumparak is still on vacation, but not to worry! He’ll be back at the helm next week to bring you our biggest stories. Until then, I’ve got you covered.

First for some quick business. TechCrunch+ is having an Independence Day sale, which gets you 50% off on an annual subscription. Need more? TC+ Editor-in-Chief Alex Wilhelm gives you all the reasons to take the plunge here.

Okay let’s go to the moon! Yes, the moon. Some space junk crashed to the lunar surface this week, causing some enthusiastic observers to scratch their heads. Was it from SpaceX? Was it from a rocket launched in 2014 by the China National Space Administration? We still don’t know, but Devin Coldewey had a chat with Darren McKnight from LeoLabs, which has built a network of debris-tracking radar, to get some more insight.

Image Credits: NASA/Goddard/Arizona State University

other stuff

Speaking of space: Ever want to stare longingly into the depths of the universe and actually have something stare back? This is supposed to happen in two weeks when the James Webb Space Telescope will release its first images. “This is farther than humanity has ever looked before,” NASA administrator Bill Nelson said during a media briefing this week. Maybe the truth is out there.

Tesla Autopilot layoffs: The automaker this week laid off 195 employees across two offices in its Autopilot division. Those who were laid off filled supervisor, labeler and data analyst roles. Questions persist about what impact the layoffs will have on Tesla’s wider advanced driver assistance system. The remaining 81 staffers on the Autopilot team will be relocated to another office, as the San Mateo office will be shuttered.

SPAC subpoenas: A New York-based federal grand jury sent subpoenas to the board of Digital World, which is preparing to acquire Trump Media & Technology Group, Donald Trump’s media group responsible for Truth Social. According to an SEC filing, the subpoenas are an effort to gather more information about “Digital World’s S-1 filings, communications with or about multiple individuals, and information regarding Rocket One Capital.”


Deepfake job apps: The FBI this week issued a warning that deepfakes are being used along with stolen information to apply for jobs. A part of this even involves video interviews. “In these interviews, the actions and lip movement of the person seen interviewed on-camera do not completely coordinate with the audio of the person speaking. At times, actions such as coughing, sneezing, or other auditory actions are not aligned with what is presented visually,” the FBI said in a statement announcing the disturbing news.

Party pooper: Welp, that 2020-era indefinite ban on unauthorized parties at Airbnbs is now permanent. This means no open-invitation parties and no parties whose attendance exceeds 16. The company said in a blog post that since they instituted the ban 2 years ago, there was a 44% year-over-year decrease in the rate of party reports. There will be no partying on, Garth.

Human And Artificial Intelligence Cooperating Concept

Image Credits: DrAfter123 / Getty Images

audio stuff

Over on the TechCrunch Podcast Network, Christine Tao, founder of Sounding Board, joined Darrell and Jordan on Found to talk about difficulties she and her co-founder faced while fundraising and how they established the customer type that made scaling possible.

And on the Wednesday episode of Equity, Natasha Mascarenhas asked a question inspired by a recent post penned by TC’s own Rebecca Szkutak: What’s in the fine print for term sheets these days, and what does that tell us about who is going to be in control during the downturn?

Check out our full roundup.

added stuff

Want even more TechCrunch? Head on over to the aptly named TechCrunch+, where we get to go a bit deeper on the topics our subscribers tell us they care about. Some of the good stuff from this week includes:

The SEC rejected bitcoin spot ETFs again. Now what?
The SEC’s decisions aren’t a first for the industry; the government agency has denied over a dozen bitcoin spot ETFs in the past year alone while approving several bitcoin future-based ETFs, Jacquelyn Melinek reports.

Disclose your Scope 3 emissions, you cowards
Tim De Chant takes on the companies that claim they’re serious about carbon emissions. In short, if they’re serious, then they’ll estimate their Scope 3 emissions and not undermine attempts to make Scope 3 disclosures standard.

Pitch Deck Teardown: Wilco’s $7 million seed deck
Haje’s back with another pitch deck teardown, this week from Wilco, a company whose funding he covered last week. He is pretty excited about Wilco’s deck, as, he says, it’s 19 slides that tick all of the boxes.

Image Credits: Wilco (opens in a new window)


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