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Marker
Pop business for the intelligent reader. A publication from Medium.

Remote Work

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Metropolis

With the rise of remote work, cities like Tulsa and Tucson are offering big bucks to lure talent untethered by an office

Metropolis is a column about the intersection of technology, business, and cities.

It’s not Instagram, but it may as well be. Tucson, Arizona, flaunts its star-filled desert sunset landscapes, taunting you with the thought that this could be your backyard view. Northwest Arkansas sells itself with a thrilling picture of a mountain biker navigating an elevated trail: sparkling water on one side, lush forests on the other, and, one assumes, a bright, adventurous future ahead. Vermont’s photos — small towns, steeples, and all, framed by rolling green mountains — tug at one’s sense of nostalgia. These aren’t ads targeted at…


Number Crunch

A global study conducted by Microsoft’s Work Trend Index found that 41% of respondents were considering leaving their jobs

41%: That’s the share of respondents in a 30,000-person global survey of workers conducted by Microsoft’s Work Trend Index who say they are considering leaving their jobs, as reported by Bloomberg.

The survey found that 54% of workers say they are overworked, and 39% say they are exhausted. Their bosses, meanwhile, seem not to be sharing in their struggles, as a majority of managers and company leaders surveyed reported that they were thriving at work.

Working remotely during the pandemic appears to be a mixed bag for workers — while some employees value the flexibility it provides, others suffer from…


An exploration of the office, work culture, identity, bias, navigating your career—and more

“Index by Marker” in a white logo design on a navy blue background with a pattern of bifurcated blue circles going across the image.
“Index by Marker” in a white logo design on a navy blue background with a pattern of bifurcated blue circles going across the image.

Dear Readers,

At Marker, we’ve chronicled the professional whiplash of the past year. Some people’s careers have soared throughout the pandemic, while others have lost their jobs or businesses. Some started companies or fundraised for the first time, while others struggled to balance working from home while running a homeschool, dealing with mental health issues, or coping with the death of a loved one or co-worker. Some pushed back against institutional racism in their industries as others were awoken to their own biases. …


Number Crunch

Employers are hoping FOMO gets you to come in, too

An illustration with the Number Crunch logo next to an outline of 3 commercial buildings. The illustration appears next to the text “25%: The approximate share of white-collar workers in the U.S. that have resumed going to the office Source: The New York Times”
An illustration with the Number Crunch logo next to an outline of 3 commercial buildings. The illustration appears next to the text “25%: The approximate share of white-collar workers in the U.S. that have resumed going to the office Source: The New York Times”

25%: That’s roughly how many employees in the U.S. are going into the office nowadays, according to data from Kastle Systems, an office security firm, cited by the New York Times.

That said, there are some significant regional differences: More than a third of employees in Texas are back in their offices, while that number is under 20% in the New York, Chicago, and San Francisco areas. As vaccines roll out, and it becomes safer to commute and work in shared spaces, many businesses will expect their employees to return to the office. While technology has made it easier than…


Object of the Week

”My Home Office” for kids lands somewhere between dark satire and a meme

The text “Object of the Week” above  the Fisher-Price My Home Office play set with a fake laptop, headset, latte cup, pretend phone, and “4 fabric ‘apps.’”
The text “Object of the Week” above  the Fisher-Price My Home Office play set with a fake laptop, headset, latte cup, pretend phone, and “4 fabric ‘apps.’”

Object of the Week is a column exploring the objects a culture obsesses over and what that reveals about us.

It looks like a parody, and a rather dark one at that: The Fisher-Price My Home Office play set includes a fake laptop, headset, latte cup, pretend phone, and “4 fabric ‘apps’ that attach to computer screen to ‘work’ on different projects.” It’s intended for preschoolers, ages three and up. The obvious takeaway: Once upon a time, children might pretend to be an astronaut or a superhero before the educational system disabused them of all their dreams. …


Off Brand

When it comes to accidental branding moments, this one will go down in the books

When Slack started 2021 by suffering a mass outage on the very morning most of the remote workforce revved up their computers after a long holiday break, it seemed like the ultimate business nightmare. Twitter went nuts. Virtual teams had barely reunited before being disconnected. The ultimate black eye for a company that had just been acquired for a whopping $27.7 billion, supposedly central to the work-from-home boom.

But actually, maybe Slack’s inept start to the year wasn’t all bad — for Slack, at least.

While the corporate masses dunked on the company in typical Slacklash parlance, the company’s…


Number of the Day

Remote workers are watching more TV during working hours

26 — How many more minutes of TV work-from-home professionals and managers watch daily during work hours this year (Nielsen)
26 — How many more minutes of TV work-from-home professionals and managers watch daily during work hours this year (Nielsen)

26: That’s the increased number of minutes that professionals and managers working from home spent watching TV during work hours, as of October, according to Nielsen. A spike in daytime viewing (defined as 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.) was expected early in the pandemic era when offices closed abruptly and widespread lockdowns stranded a huge chunk of the workforce indoors. But this year-to-year comparison, which cuts across age segments, shows a 21% increase and suggests a more profound shift, Nielsen argues: “daytime has become a second primetime.”

The increased tube attention (which includes streaming video and DVR viewing) works out…


Some words of wisdom from author Susan Orlean who makes the case for looking presentable to enter into productivity mode. “It’s hard enough to delineate home life and work life,” she writes. “I can’t think well unless I’ve showered and put on something decent.” Turns out, Orlean may be onto something. As Marker recently reported, nearly 9% of Americans have been working 24 or more hours a week from their beds since the start of the pandemic, according to a survey by Tuck Sleep. …


That’s what Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky told the New York Times, about the company’s future as it prepares to go public after a whiplash year. Despite laying off a quarter of its workforce in the spring, Chesky told the Times he anticipates strong demand as people flee dense cities and seek respite in more remote areas. The average length of stay at an Airbnb has increased by 58% since May, and more people are working from their home away from home. Digital nomadism — working remotely while traveling — used to be a trend among a certain Millennial work-life-balance influencer…

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