T@W Weekly: Tech@Work's First Issue

WTF is T@W? A Quick Introduction

The Word: Hello, World!

This is the inaugural issue of Tech@Work. What is it? Well, it’s a new newsletter and blog that will cover trends and topics around technology at work. We’ll be doing one of these each week, covering what I’m seeing. I’ll also share some insights or, at least, a funny GIF or two.

My personal blog will stick around but if you previously got e-mail notifications from me on those posts, you won’t get them anymore—instead, you’ll get it from here. You can still subscribe on Medium, if you like.

If you don’t want to get them from me, you can unsubscribe at anytime. No hard feelings.

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What the Click?

  • John Sumser writes about how latency in AI can create a few issues in the complex world of work. While companies like Google have created tools for evaluating it in consumer apps, it has yet to hit workplace tech.

  • Deloitte is doing research on human resources technology strategy and reinventing the future of work. This is for more than HR leaders—individuals are asked to contribute as well. You can sign up to participate here.

  • George LaRocque gives an update on HR technology venture capital activity. The number? Nearly $1.5B across 56 investments. That’s a lot of donuts—and more money than was being spent over entire years a half decade ago.

  • Speaking of George, he recently launched HRTechBook, along with Aptitude Research, HR Advisors, and Lighthouse Research & Advisory. It’s a directory for HR technology that promises insights. No pay-for-play or featured listings for vendors, yet, but they do promise market maps.

  • Josh Bersin covers how the changing nature of jobs begs organizations to take a more personalized approach to workforce management. HR has spent years talking about the march to a contingent workforce, yet it seems ill-prepared now that the workforce is making that transition.

  • Robotic Process Automation can help more than on-site workers. It also has an opportunity to improve the productivity of remote workers. As a remote worker, maybe it can help with the coffee. Hopefully RPA doesn’t learn to write.

  • Communication overload at work? A blast from the past article shared on Workforce refreshed some interesting research from 2007: 41% of employees were going to reach a breaking point if the volume of communication they had to deal with continued to escalate. Twelve years later, I wonder if they are still managing?

  • Sharlyn Lauby argues for HR departments having better data policies in place. In my experience, most don’t have anything resembling a policy until something bad happens and they—or one of their vendors—loses sensitive data. Not that it ever happens, of course.

The Value of BLS Data: We Now Know Doctors Are Paid Well

It’s good to be a doctor, at least if pay is what you’re after. So says shocking reporting from Quartz that shows that those folks with the abbreviation Dr. in front of their names are probably doing just fine.

Top annual mean wages by job

  1. Anesthesiologists: $267,020

  2. Surgeons, general: $255,110

  3. Oral and maxillofacial surgeons: $242,370

  4. Obstetricians and gynecologists: $238,320

  5. Orthodontists: $225,760

Outside of CEOs, no one outside of doctors crack the top 10. Quartz also covered the fastest growing high paying jobs:

Most of the other jobs that make the list are in science (“natural sciences managers,” “physicists”), health (“physician assistants,” “medical and health services managers”, “biomedical engineers”), and finance (“personal financial advisors”, “actuaries”, “financial analysts”). They all involve intensive education to qualify for positions.

Science, health, and numbers FTW. Or if you’re me, probably a little less win and more existential doom.

T@W Playlist of the Week

This week’s playlist comes from the curators at Spotify. It’s Indie with a side of twang, and yeah, it’ll keep you galloping through the week. Make sure to catch Izabel Crane’s song Creature on there.

And Finally… On Not Knowing Everything and Missteps

Masculinity and vulnerability are crossing paths in remarkable ways—at least at work. That’s what I dug into a few months ago on my blog. In one section, I wrote:

If I’m willing to admit that I don’t know everything (true, unfortunately), it builds credibility. People are more likely to believe me and listen when I do know something to, instead of just assuming that it’s me blowing smoke… yet again.

At times, even if I am unable to utter the words I don’t know, a simple pause of silence and waiting—sometimes very uncomfortably—can help someone else speak up.

Creating something new is something I’ve spent many months thinking about as I’ve also thought about how I could continue to contribute to the conversation happening in the broader technology world. It’s been a pause and listen, and for long-time followers of my blog, that pause has been a long one.

This week, Former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens died. While that may seem unrelated to my own struggle, I found this story about President Gerald Ford’s nomination of Stevens particularly great lesson in showing humility in the face of criticism:

President Gerald Ford appointed Stevens to the court in 1975 and was later sharply criticized by many Republicans when it became clear that Stevens would not be a reliably conservative vote. Not long before his own death, Ford responded to his critics in a letter to Stevens. Ford's words made clear his tremendous pride in Stevens's record as a justice: "I am prepared to allow history's judgment of my term in office to rest (if necessary, exclusively) on my nomination thirty years ago of John Paul Stevens to the U.S. Supreme Court."

Missteps take a variety of forms. Some work out better with the advantage of a little time. Let’s hope all of our missteps look as good as President Ford’s.

Cheers, Lance