Future of Work Roundup - Week of September 19

Future of Work Roundup - Week of September 19
Photo by Surface / 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.

Free lunch boxes aren’t cutting it

Fortune reported that The New York Times has offered its staff “cute” branded lunch boxes as an incentive to encourage them to come back into the office. Yet over 1,300 employees have refused the company’s return-to-the-office order. It seems unlikely that cute lunch boxes will move the needle.

(Over)communicating as a leader

A new study by Stanford researchers found that leaders do not properly calibrate how much they should be communicating with their employees. Leaders who under-communicated were viewed as lacking empathy and leadership ability. Leaders who miscalibrated their communication were nearly 10 times more likely to be criticized for under-communicating, rather than over-communicating.

Finding jobs through weak ties

A new study published in MIT News finds that weak LinkedIn connections are more likely to help a job seeker land new employment as compared to stronger ties. The reason? People who know you well are less likely to add value to your job-seeking pursuits because they are more likely to have social networks that resemble yours. While research on the “strength of weak ties” is decades old, this research shows that weak ties haven’t lost their value in a digital-first world.  

AI is not ready for prime time

New research published in Harvard Business Review finds that although artificial intelligence offers much promise, it isn’t yet ready to make unsupervised decisions. In particular, the researchers note that AI is not yet ready to exhibit human qualities that emphasize empathy, ethics, and morality.

Job applicants beware

The Wall Street Journal reported that certain phrases included in job postings are turning job seekers off. Citing research by Paychex, the piece notes that the top phrases that turn off job seekers include “willing to wear many hats,” “we’re one big happy family,”’ and “looking for self-starters.”

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