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The right skills will be vital in the next decade

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The world of work is rapidly evolving. A lot has changed in the last two years. Many people are adapting to the new normal. The next five years will consolidate work rules for decades. Others are still figuring out how they fit in or stand out.

The uncomfortable truth is, we can’t predict the trajectory of the world of work. But you don’t have to worry about that if you can adequately prepare your mind for the new decade of work.

Change is not in our control, and it’s nothing new– you already know that. The vital question is: what…


How do you draw a line between work and home when your living room is also your workplace?

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In my last post I offered five principles for reframing the way you think about work and home — including the important idea that you can aim for work-life integration rather than work-life balance. Here are 6 tactics for putting that into practice:

1. Ask for help

Look for opportunities to engage your kids, partner, friends or roommates in your working life. (Just take care not to violate any confidentiality agreements!) Maybe your kids can help illustrate your PowerPoint decks, earn extra allowance with a tedious data entry task, or give you a young person’s perspective on a new product or marketing campaign. …


I am not willing to barter away my freedom.

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Despite the pandemic sparking a work-from-home revolution, employees could be forced to return to physical offices in the next two years. According to analysis shared by UK-based think tank Centre for Cities, employers are ‘hopeful’ that staff will return to the office as soon as possible. Businesses reason that this would allow for the return of unscheduled interactions that are, apparently, the key to creativity.

The property industry jumped on the news and added that demand for office space is already on the rise again. It’s important to note that think tanks that aim to boost the economies of large…


Unearthing the root cause behind our collective meeting burnout

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“Too many meetings!”

Whether you’re working from home or from the office, the complaint is the same. It’s not just a matter of Zoom fatigue — though yes, online meetings are more exhausting than in-person meetings. It’s that we’ve taken a business culture that was already overloaded with meetings, and piled on even more, as if a never-ending series of individual and group calls can somehow make up for the loss of conversations that used to happen spontaneously at the office.

This is not a problem we can cure by simply returning to the central workplace, or by paring our…


How working from home aligns your work with what matters most

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How can remote work bring our working lives into alignment with our personal goals, our most important relationships, and our larger sense of purpose?

That’s the question I found myself mulling one year ago, on the eve of my 49th birthday.

I tend to have my major birthday crises a year ahead of schedule, and last year was no different: I was already thinking about where I should focus my energies for the next decade.

I was also mourning the loss of the long-held dream of publishing a book before I turned 50: Since it typically takes a couple of…


Miscommunication and mistrust are common when work is over email, text, and video. We need digital body language to foster understanding.

Image: Klaus Vedfelt/Getty Images

As the youngest child in an immigrant Indian family, I picked up basic English grammar fairly easily. But while English may have felt natural, I still lacked a lot of the contextual cues that came naturally to my American-born peers.

I remember once inviting a school friend to join my family for dinner at a local restaurant. At one point, my friend whispered to me that the waiters thought our party was “rude.” It wasn’t what anyone said; it was our tone and our cadence. You see, in Indian English, when people ask for something, they often use an intonation…


Millennials born between 1980–85 know how to work across generational divides

Photo credit: Klaus Vedfelt via Getty Images

Editor’s note: Read Erica’s follow-up piece in which she responds to the varied reactions to “geriatric millennial” here.

The first time I heard “geriatric millennial” I thought it was an oxymoron. Sarcastic, even. But as I thought more deeply about it, I realized how perfectly it describes so many of us. Geriatric millennials are a special micro-generation born in the early 1980s that are comfortable with both analog and digital forms of communication. They were the first generation to grow up with technology like a PC in their homes.

If they were slightly older, they would have left college to…


Working from home has meant a lot more working from phones. Cell phones are a powerful tool if we can manage them.

Photo by Charles Deluvio on Unsplash

Sometimes when I lie in bed on a weekday morning and am invited to a way too early meeting, I don’t bother to get up and move to my desk just yet. Instead, I reach for my phone, connect my headphones, take a deep breath, and bring my pillow to work.

If the meeting lasts, I can take it with me while I make my bed, get dressed, and begin to go about my day. Then at noon, I dash to the grocery store, finding the fresh air helps me digest the early meeting. All the while, my communication with…


More than a year after the line between work and home blurred, instead of expecting our colleagues to be “professional,” maybe we can allow them to be “human”

A black and white photo of a tuxedo cat sitting at a desktop computer. The cat appears to be on Zoom with six other cats.
A black and white photo of a tuxedo cat sitting at a desktop computer. The cat appears to be on Zoom with six other cats.
Photo by Chris Barbalis on Unsplash

A few weeks ago in one of the many professionally-oriented Facebook groups I’ve joined or been added to over the years, a senior manager at a nonprofit organization posted a question that I’ll paraphrase here to avoid running afoul of the group’s privacy policy:

How do I tell my team to be professional on our calls and keep their pets off Zoom?

Within half an hour, the post had received more than two hundred comments, most of which can be summed up as: “You don’t.”

As anyone who has ever had a pet knows, the moment you vanquish them from…


Along with a few other tips to make video less painful

Screen of multiple work colleagues on video call
Screen of multiple work colleagues on video call
Photo: Alistair Berg/DigitalVision/Getty Images

I clicked on the Zoom invitation and was taken to a black screen. Moments later, I heard a voice: “Michael, what’s up?”

For the next 30 minutes, my friend, Austin Belcak, and I talked in darkness about life and career advice. Prior to wrapping up the call, I asked him about not including the video option. “It doesn’t matter what everyone else is doing. My main priority is to keep my sanity, and video calls steal my energy.” he said.

Austin then went on to explain that instead of giving people an option, on his invitation, he normally just sends…

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Speaking from experience. A publication from Medium about work.

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