Most Important Developments for 4/2

A belated but growing corporate backlash came too late to halt Georgia’s new election law but voting rights activists are now calling on U.S. CEOs to prove their long-term commitment to the fight against Republican voter suppression. Huge employers in the Atlanta area, including Delta Air Lines and Coca-Cola, on Wednesday steered into a confrontation with Georgia’s Republican Gov. Brian Kemp, who signed the law critics described as a revival of Jim Crow racism. Their shift came after initial and widely criticized silence or ambivalence from powerful corporate leaders following the passage of the law that discriminates against Black voters and is rooted in ex-President Donald Trump’s election fraud lies. CNN

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The U.S. jobs rebound picked up steam last month, fueled by the accelerating pace of vaccinations and a new injection of federal aid. Employers added 916,000 jobs in March, up from 416,000 in February and the most since August, the Labor Department said Friday. The leisure and hospitality sector led the way, adding 280,000 jobs as Americans returned to restaurants and resorts in greater numbers. Construction firms added 110,000 jobs as the housing market stayed strong and activity resumed following winter storms in February. The unemployment rate fell to 6 percent, down from 6.2 percent in February. The New York Times

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The pandemic has scrambled so much of the “normal” professional experience — commutes, workspaces, business hours, childcare, business travel — that it’s also rewiring our concept of professionalism itself. Today, I lead a team of more than 500 designers and researchers creating the next generation of communication and creation experiences for Microsoft 365. As you can imagine, design at Microsoft has changed dramatically over the years, and that includes how people collaborate. When it comes to traditional modes of expression, both Microsofties and our customers typically drew a clear line between work style and personal style. Take emoji or reactions as an example. I use them freely in texts or on social media, but on a productivity platform like Microsoft Teams? As much heart as I put into my work, I never thought I’d “heart” things there. I do that at home, where my guard is down. But now that the office is my home, there are hearts all over the place. I heart everything (unless I’m giving it a thumbs down). Fast Company

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A large number of major corporations in an array of different sectors, such as Goldman Sachs, Facebook, Ford Motors, and Microsoft, have announced plans for dealing with the post-pandemic work life. The consensus of these and other companies all points to a flexible hybrid model championed by Google. This entails offering the option for people to work remotely, in the office or a combination of the two. Outliers, like Spotify and Twitter, are allowing their employees to work remotely or wherever they’d like—forever. If collectively only 20% to 40% of workers elect to completely or partially work from home, there may be life-changing consequences. The biggest change would be the vast improvement of the mental, emotional, and physical health and well-being of workers. Schlepping two hours back and forth to the office takes a toll. You lose hundreds of hours of your life each year. The wear and tear of being stuck in traffic, trapped on trains and buses, inhaling auto emission fumes and stressing out over being late weakens your immune system and makes you irritated, tired, and sick. Without the commute and sitting in the same seat for more than eight hours, people will enjoy a higher quality of life. Forbes

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This week we were joined by Meg Bear and Amy Wilson from SAP SuccessFactors. We talked about Human Experience Management and how people have become the power of a business. We discussed how individuals signal how the business can improve, and what technologies can provide to both the employee and the employer. Lastly, we talked about the move from “self-service” becoming a mutual relationship where both parties have an equal contribution. It was a great show! Thank you to Amy and Meg for joining us! HR Happy Hour

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