I thought this piece was insightful and worth reading: Too Many Jobs Feel Meaningless Because They Are.
One of the examples from the piece was especially insightful:
Consider the case of Eric, a history graduate hired to oversee a software project ostensibly intended to improve the coordination of different groups in a large firm. Eric only discovered after several years on the job that one of the firm’s partners had initiated the project, but that several others were against it and were acting to sabotage its success. His job — and that of a large staff hired beneath him — was a meaningless effort to put into place a change that most of the company didn’t want.
This is not to imply that all companies are like this. Companies can be efficient and well aligned and the vast majority of the people in it can feel like the work they are doing make a difference most of the time. However there are also companies which are not well aligned and there are conflicts within the organization. When that happens, the work being done may be meaningless, despite the fact that someone wants it done.
Work can be hard for a number of reasons: too much of it, difficult people to work with, etc. But it can also be hard if it is meaningless, even if everything else is good.
The nature of work is always changing, and if you want to think about how we work now, I recommend this piece: LARPing your job.
Work has always been performative. With more flexibility and less well defined jobs, this becomes more and more important. How do you show your value? How do you demonstrate you are working hard (or working at all)? That piece addresses that. As for the title, if you want to know what LARPing is, you’ll have to read the piece. 🙂
Slack may not be the end of email, but some version of it is likely going to result in a decline in email. If it won’t be slack, it might be one of the ones mentioned here:
Speaking of Google, the company has a Slack alternative of its own, called Hangouts Chat, as does Facebook, in Workplace. Microsoft has Teams, which is bundled with its Office software and which the company says is being used by more than 500,000 organizations. This multi-front attack on email is just beginning, but a wartime narrative already dominates: The universally despised office culture of replies and forwards and mass CCs and “looping in” and “circling back” is on its way out, and it’s going to be replaced by chat apps.
I doubt email will go away forever: that’ not how tech works. Dominant tech tends to fade away rather than outright collapse. That’s likely what will happen with email.
Will Slack et all be better? Good lord, no. Just different. Some aspects of it are better, and many aspects will be worse than email.
For the curious, here’s more on this idea: Slack Wants to Replace Email. Is That What We Want? – The New York Times
Your home office may never get near to any of the ones in this piece,
25 Home Office Designs & Decorating Ideas — Dwell – Dwell, but it’s nice to dream and get inspiration, and that article can help there. The image above is one of the more modest ones. But hey, go check it out and steal some ideas.
I’m often disappointed by lists of software that supposedly help me work better. This is not one of those lists. I think the tools here are really great, and anyone with a Mac that works remotely should definitely check out this: These Are the 8 Best MacOS Apps for Working Remotely | Inc.com
Microsoft is providing Office for the iPad, starting today (See this for some of the highlights: Microsoft Office For iPad Launches Today).
This is one of those milestone events in the history of Microsoft and Apple, and the computing industry in general. Back in 1997, after Steve Jobs returned to Apple, there was the big news of Microsoft investing $150 million in Apple (CNET News). And not just money…
Microsoft chairman Bill Gates said today that the software giant will invest $150 million in Apple and will develop and ship future versions of its Microsoft Office, Internet Explorer, and development tools for the Macintosh
Back in 1997, Microsoft was dominant and Apple was dramatically regrouping. Apple needed Microsoft, especially their software. Now Microsoft is trying to pivot from the PC market (which is rapidly declining) to the future, which is mobile and cloud based. A future where Apple is currently one of the dominant players, and Microsoft is struggling. Microsoft needs Apple’s hardware, just like once Apple needed Microsoft’s software.
It is hard to say if this is going to change things around for Microsoft. I never count them out, ever. In the meantime, this is another sign that their transition is still a work in progress.
If you want to get it, you can get it here: Buy Office 365 Home Premium – Microsoft Store