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August 2020
If you define success solely in terms of gaining wealth, achievement, or influence, what you often lose is freedom. One of the greatest accomplishments in life is earning the autonomy to choose how you spend your time. No currency is more valuable—or more scarce—than freedom.
 
Some articles that were well worth my free time last month:
 
1. The Implications of Working Without an Office (Ethan Bernstein, Hayley Blunden, Andrew Brodsky, Wonbin Sohn, and Ben Waber, HBR)
Data on remote work, March thru May:
  • Work days are 10-20% longer
  • The best predictor of adaptation isn't being introverted or extraverted, but being agreeable and emotionally stable
  • Communication went up 40% with strong ties but down 10% with weak ties (which is bad news for creativity… see #5 below) 
2. The Difference Between Worry, Stress, and Anxiety (Emma Pattee, NYT)
Worrying can help us anticipate and avoid negative events. It backfires when it spills over into rumination, leading us to obsess about the same old issues without generating new insights or action plans.
My favorite way to avoid that trap: setting a daily limit on worry time. Once the window is up, move on until tomorrow.
 
3. Salary-History Bans Boost Pay for African-Americans, Women (Amara Omeokwe, WSJ)
Compelling evidence that managers shouldn’t ask people what they earned in their last job: when states prohibited salary history questions, compensation increased 5% for job changers overall, 8% for women, and 13% for African-Americans. We should be paying people what they're worth today, not what they made yesterday.
 
4. COVID-19 Won’t Change Us Forever (Ken Budd, Atlantic)
Crises can break us down, but they can also build us up. Many people experience post-traumatic growth, emerging from adversity with a renewed sense of strength, gratitude, connection, possibility, and purpose. Never underestimate the resilience of the human spirit.

From My Desk:


5. We Don’t Just Need to Connect—We Need to Reconnect (NYT)
I used to think a real friend was someone you talked to every week. Now I see a real friend as someone who’s there for you even if you haven't talked in a year. Deep connection can exist without frequent communication.

Research suggests that rekindling our dormant ties leads us to more novel ideas and more useful advice than reaching out to our current contacts. And although many people are nervous about reconnecting, 90% end up finding it fun and enjoyable.
In solidarity,
Adam
Adam Grant, Ph.D.
Organizational psychologist at Wharton, author of ORIGINALS, GIVE AND TAKE, and OPTION B, and host of WorkLife, a TED original podcast
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