Daily Digest News – July 13, 2021


Hand selected flexible workspace news from the most reliable sources to keep you ahead of the pack. We find all the latest news, so you don’t have to. Morning and afternoon updates. Stay in the know.

Here’s what you need to know today:

The Pandemic Has Accelerated Digitization And Productivity

New analysis from Goldman Sachs Group Inc. finds that the pandemic has enhanced productivity levels thanks to the adoption of workplace digitization.

Since the beginning of the health crisis, annual growth output per hour grew by 3.1%, compared to the 1.4% from the previous business cycle. This growth was most notable in industries that were able to utilize virtual meetings, such as IT, professional services and wholesale retail. 

“Stronger productivity growth has been one of the silver linings of the pandemic,” said Goldman economists.

Working from home was viewed as one factor where growth was most obvious due to the time saved during commutes. Still, those gains were mostly seen across highly educated, well-paid jobs that were able to be done remotely, rather than lower-paying jobs that required onsite workers such as food industry positions.

“If gains from workplace digitization are indeed sustainable, the reopening of corporate office buildings and the face-to-face economy should not be associated with a pause or reversal of these trends,” the economists wrote.

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The Best Way To Address Workplace Burnout

Companies have laid out strategies in an effort to combat the increased levels of burnout that workers are experiencing. However, many of these plans forget essential steps that can truly tackle this mental health crisis.

For starters, companies need to create a fully-thought-out plan, rather than just a few strategies to address burnout. These plans should include asking employees specific questions about how their work day looks in order to get a full understanding of their situation.

Avoid relying solely on surveys to get these answers. Using HR data, leaders can gain a complete look into the health of their organization and what needs to change to better support workers.

That’s when companies can make concrete policy changes and create an environment that values the wellbeing of workers, acknowledges their good work and helps them create a reasonable schedule.

The next step is to stay in communication with staff, as they provide the most accurate testimony of the company’s health. Instead of sending out the occasional email about the company’s flexible policies, remind workers that their needs are important to the workplace as a whole.

Lastly, leaders will need to recognize the deep-rooted issues that may masquerade as burnout. Oftentimes, burnout can be mistaken for a poor workplace culture that lacks inclusivity and diversity.

Adopting flexible or remote working policies won’t resolve the microaggressions and discrimination workers with marginalized identities face. In short, leaders need to identify the “why” of workers who are struggling in the workplace, and sometimes that means addressing the company’s own structures.

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TikTok Provides Remote Working Option

Video app TikTok has informed employees that some will have the option to work remotely for two days a week after returning to the office.

Employees will also have the ability to work remotely from a domestic location contingent on manager approval.

At the moment, the company is still operating fully remote and does not have a concrete date of when workers will return to the office.

Currently, the company operates across several countries including France, Germany, Indonesia, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, the U.S. and the U.K.

“There is no substitute for in-person collaboration, and we’re excited to eventually re-open our US offices,” an internal message read. “But it’s clear that many of us have adjusted well to working from home, and value the flexibility and balance.”

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    Venture X Teams Up With Standing Desk Company

    Shared office operator Venture X has partnered with standing desk company Vari to provide more flexible, comfortable solutions to its franchisees.

    The Bureau of Labor Statistics anticipates that freelancers, independent contractors or entrepreneurs will make up a 9% increase in workforce growth by 2026.

    This is why Venture X decided it needed a partner to keep up with demand. Now, Vari aims to help furnish all new Venture X properties, serving as a one-stop-shop for design and installation for new locations that can get running as soon as possible.

    Venture X currently has plans to expand its footprint to locations that offer private offices, meeting rooms, event space and more.

    “We’re excited to be there throughout the journey,” said Jason McCann, CEO and co-founder of Vari. “We can’t wait to watch them scale.”

    Credit: Venture X

    Transforming Underutilized Spaces For Hybrid Working

    Achieving a work-life balance has been a goal for nearly all professionals. Now, as the past year has completely altered the world’s perception of what makes a good workplace, companies are looking for the perfect workplace solution that balances both work culture and individual needs.

    One way of achieving this is by transforming community spaces to workplaces during times when they are underutilized.

    For instance, Salesforce consulting and application development company Traction on Demand believes in inviting smaller businesses into “shops” to collaborate, create a stronger sense of community and bring in more revenue for struggling industries.

    Certain spaces are facing financial challenges at the moment, and Traction on Demand plans to subsidize a part of the rent for partners in exchange for space usage. By doing this, small businesses can help boost income for the space itself, while also offering these companies a hybrid work solution for employees.

    Traction on Demand is focusing on setting up shops in spaces with clusters of 100 or more workers and are within walking or biking distance.

    These alternative workspaces are a great option for companies that are adopting hybrid arrangements and want to provide an office that is close to where employees live.

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    Remote Closes On $150 Million Series B Funding Round

    Remote working services company Remote has raised $150 million, giving the company a valuation of over $1 billion. 

    The Series B funding was led by Accel and saw participants from former investors such as Sequoia, Index Ventures and Two Sigma.

    Remote plans to use the funding across various areas, including expanding its services into more markets. At the moment, Remote owns all of its infrastructure and offers its HR services to 50 countries, which it hopes to grow to 80 by the end of the year.

    “We are doubling down on our approach,” said Job van der Voort, CEO and cofounder of Remote. “We try to fully own the entire stack: entity, operations, experts in house, payroll, benefits and visa and immigration — all of the items that come up most often. We want to build infrastructure products, foundational products because those have a higher level of quality and ultimately a lower price.”

    Additionally, Remote will use the funding to build more tools and create partnerships within the human resources market. For instance, the company recently announced the launch of a Global Employee API, which allows HR platforms to manage domestic payroll. 

    “Their new Global Employee API opens up access to Remote’s robust global employment infrastructure and knowledge map, and will help any HR provider expand internationally at a speed impossible before,” said Miles Clements, a partner at Accel.

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