Future of Work Roundup - Week of August 8, 2022

Future of Work Roundup - Week of August 8, 2022
Photo by Pawel Czerwinski / Unsplash

Welcome to the Future of Work Roundup. Each week, we bring you five top stories—drawing from the latest academic research and industry trends—to give you an easily-digestible snapshot of how work is changing—and why it matters.

Google adopts a “Simplicity Sprint”

Google announced a new initiative called "Simplicity Sprint." Part of a push for greater efficiency in a challenging economy, this new initiative involves soliciting ideas from employees on how to improve the efficiency at the tech giant. Is this a smart move, or is efficiency the right metric for Google to be optimizing right now?

Fancy shorts are infiltrating the office

The Wall Street Journal reported that women’s fancy shorts are now essential workplace attire, as searches for formal shorts have risen 49% over the past year. It’s not likely a coincidence that these “comfortable, breezy and often amply pocketed” shorts bear resemblance to the sweats that have become part of our pandemic wardrobes. Will this be a short-lived trend, or is it indicative of a permanent shift to more casual workplace attire?

The geographic pay gap is closing for senior software engineers

According to new data from compensation data provider Pave, between 2019 and 2021, the pay gap between the most expensive U.S. cities and the least expensive shrank by two-thirds for senior software engineers. This shift was driven by greater adoption of geo-neutral pay—versus the geo-differentiated pay approaches being adopted by Google, Facebook, and some other tech giants right now.

Digital nomads are becoming “digital slomads”

The World Economic Forum reported a shift from digital nomads to "digital slomads." With the rise of remote work, interest in digital nomadism—traveling around the world while working, has increased. But traveling, especially via plane, takes a toll on our environment. We’re seeing a rise in more eco-conscious "digital slomads," who stay in one location for longer periods of time—even opting to stay in sustainable accommodations or contribute to green projects while there.

Job titles are getting weirder

The New York Times reported that "hyper specialized" and "unconventional" job titles are on the rise, especially related to changing workplace dynamics such as those related to the future of work and hybrid work. Titles like "Chief Heart Officer" and "Head of Team Anywhere” are now occupying org charts. Is this an opportunity for job crafting, or are we headed down a path towards devalued job titles?

Thanks for reading. Stay tuned for next week’s Future of Work roundup.