T@W Weekly: And We're Back

Let me tell you what I've been up to

The Word: Hello (Again)

So, it’s been a couple of months since I sent Tech@Work out. What was originally meant to be a short holiday break turned into a pretty significant job change over the first month of the new decade.

I took a job as editor of TLNT.

Which means I’ll be writing more publicly-facing material. And now that I’ve settled in, I am bringing a version of Tech@Work to TLNT.

BUT, this newsletter isn’t going away.

If all you want to get is a run down of the news that’s top of mind for me, stay here. You’ll get this newsletter every week. If you want to get it from TLNT, you can do that. Or get both. They’ll be virtually identical, except for notes like this and the fact that the TLNT one publishes first.

Let’s get to it.

Quick Hits

  • Infor got bought by Koch Industries at a deal pegged at $13 billion. Infor is a maker of enterprise software, including HCM and workforce management products. Before the deal, Infor was eyeing going public but now may stay private. Infor will act as a standalone subsidiary with its own management team, which I have to assume is a good thing. [TechCrunch]

  • A new report out from Pew Research shows that women are narrowing the wage gap and some other bits of good news, like the fact that women's earnings are rising faster than men's in high-skill jobs. Like most research on this topic, it shows there's still progress to be made, but this whole thing is very much worth reading. [Pew Research]

  • PayScale released the results of a survey on wage growth trends by metro area. In Q4 of 2019, Nashville led all cities with the strongest wage growth of any city, with 4.7% year-over-year growth. The rest of the top five include Seattle, San Jose, San Francisco, and Denver. [PayScale]

  • ADP shared some research this week about the gig economy, using anonymized data from 75,000 companies and 16,800 survey respondents. According to the research, more than 70% of people are gig workers by choice. In addition to that, more than half work for companies over the long-term and earning potential for those workers are similar to traditional W-2 employees. [ADP]

  • Speaking of the gig economy, Payoneer released their Freelancer Income Report. One interesting finding according to their research: Workers at both the beginning and end of their careers are the most likely groups to be exclusively freelancing. [Payoneer]

  • Tech retail giant Best Buy has decided to keep its CEO after investigating allegations of misconduct. The investigation stemmed from an anonymous letter that alleged an inappropriate romantic relationship with a fellow exec before she took on the CEO role. [CNN]

  • The best and the brightest don't want to work for Google or Amazon? That's what some recent reports are suggesting, leaving open the door for competing firms to get a piece of talent that is drawn to those bigger names. [Inc.]

  • RedThread Research recently released a people analytics technology landscape. The report should be interesting to anyone investigating the competing and complementary approaches in analytics. [RedThread]

  • Fosway Group released its 9-grid on Learning Management Systems. On the top righthand corner where everyone wants to be are Saba and Cornerstone OnDemand. [Fosway]

Happy Trails, Jeff

LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner is moving to an executive chairman role starting in June, with the current head of product Ryan Roslansky taking over. Weiner held the position for eleven years and saw the social network go from venture-backed startup, to publicly-traded company, to eventually being acquired by current owner Microsoft. That acquisition price tag ($26.2B at the end of 2016) looks a lot better in retrospect than it did at the time: LinkedIn's 2019 revenue hit $6.8B, a nearly 3x jump above their 2017 revenue of $2.3B.

Many of the people who work in the SOMA district of San Francisco recognize LinkedIn's ominous black building on Second Street. When I worked down there, I would sometimes see people take selfies in front of the building. It was, let's just say, a little odd.

LinkedIn has kept its nose relatively clean compared to the parade of scandals that have followed other social networks. While there hasn't been a total lack of controversy during Weiner's time at the helm, it's been relatively smooth sailing.

I say happy trails only semi-seriously, though. Weiner will likely be a very active executive chairman, and I look forward to seeing what he'll do to, as he says in his post, "create economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce and closing the Network Gap."

Super Bowl Productivity Dips?

And finally, we're talking dips and not about dips for your next Super Bowl party.

Stories about workforce productivity always surround the Super Bowl. It's an easy story about slacking employees on the company dime and absenteeism. Kronos' Workforce Institute does one of the better surveys, asking actual people whether they'll be heading to work the day after the big game. This year, the Workforce Institute estimated based on their survey that 17.5 million people were going to take off the day after the Super Bowl, with most of those people getting preapproval.

Outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas estimated that the Super Bowl would cost organizations $5.1B in lost productivity. The economic impact on work is an interesting thought exercise, but the firm shared the methodology, and it is, in the most literal sense of the word, an estimate. The number was reached partially on the Department of Labor figures, Workforce Institute figures, and guesses about how much time the average worker spends talking about the Super Bowl.

So, I decided to do some research with my own Twitter followers and found that about seven in 10 respondents believed the day after the Super Bowl was about as productive as any other Monday. That said, I only had 14 respondents.

In all seriousness, even Andrew Challenger, Vice President of Challenger, Gray & Christmas said, "Consumer spending around the Super Bowl, including snacks, drinks, party favors, and fan clothing, will help the economy more than the workers who spend part of their day or the entire day Monday discussing and recovering from the game will hurt it."

Planned absences aren't a significant source of economic pain unless you plan on people not using all of their paid time off. And the ten minutes that people are using to discuss the Super Bowl? They'd probably use that time to talk about something else. When stories like this pop up for March Madness, I hope we'll remember that too.

Cheers, Lance