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Using information architecture to make distributed teamwork easier – Productivity Article

The problem starts when a content team, design team, and development team focus only on their piece of the puzzle without thinking about the impact on other teams. Now that so much of the economy relies on how well distributed teams work together, the stakes are even higher.  “The shift to remote work is a big deal for everybody,” she says. “All sorts of things we took for granted that you could figure out sitting in a room together, now…

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Homework: How behaviors and habits change in a fully distributed workforce – Productivity Article

Filed under Work Culture In the four weeks since the COVID-19 crisis compelled our team at Dropbox to leave our offices and become a fully distributed workforce, so much has changed in a short time.  Despite being separated and unable to meet in the same physical space, we’re learning how to carry on the best we can. We wanted to reach out to see how our team is coping with the challenges of being out of the office for an uncertain…

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Amy Edmondson on the power of psychological safety in distributed work – Productivity Article

“Distributed work is making us realize we have to be more deliberately—more proactively—open. We have to be explicit in sharing our ideas, questions, and concerns, because we can’t just overhear what’s happening in the next cubicle,” she says. “We now have to work a little harder to share what we’re thinking, to ask questions. And then I wonder whether we might be able to import this new sense of deliberateness back into our workplaces when we do go back to…

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We’ve all got a bad case of tech reflux – Productivity Article

In the early aughts, I had an English professor a few years shy of retirement who forbade our class from using technology for term papers. It wasn’t just that she mistrusted whatever information we’d gather after typing “Moby Dick albatross” wouldn’t be peer reviewed. “Oh, you’ll go looking for one thing, and then click on another, and then end up playing checkers,” she’d warn and circle her hands over both temples like it all caused her psychic trauma. At the…

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Kickstarter’s co-founder Yancey Strickler on how to build a more generous world – Productivity Article

Strickler argues that the West is trapped by three assumptions: that the point of life is to prioritize your self-interest and wealth; that it’s each of us against the world; and that this system is deeply embedded into individuals, institutions, and society at large.  We need a new system, Strickler argues, calling for a paradigm shift that broadens our best interests from simply present day self-interest to a more holistic view that includes the world around us. To do this,…

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How businesses can benefit from age diversity – Productivity Article

These results support the notion that we prefer younger leaders to guide us into the future, to stimulate innovation, and upend the status quo. But elders help prevent self destruction. In fact, even in the entrepreneurial world, older leaders are more likely to succeed. The probability of extreme start-up success increases with age, at least until the late 50s. Experience pays off. And older workers possess the wisdom, experience, specialized knowledge, and superior ability to council younger Millennial phenoms who…

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The Mind at Work: Kay Tye on unlocking the grip of negative emotions – Productivity Article

Our experience of emotion is mediated, in other words, by many factors besides the stimulus that arouses them. In different strands of her research, Tye has identified both hunger and social status as factors that can cause the same stimuli to evoke very different behaviors. In the case of hunger, Tye has shown that after just one day of fasting mice will shift the balance of their behavior. “If you make an animal really hungry,” she says, “then not getting…

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The Working World: How Estonia’s digital society is creating a haven for startups and entrepreneurs – Productivity Article

Sten says having a technical infrastructure that separates what you do from where you are “creates a fertile ground for operating a team in a mobile and location-independent way. When you’re building a global company from a country which has 1.2 million people, you know from the start you will not have the luxury of having everybody in the same room.” Sten says building a tool like Skype that enabled free calls and video chats definitely encouraged a culture of…

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We build our work lives around time, but doesn’t energy make more sense? – Productivity Article

In her influential essay, Embracing Our Humanness to Increase Productivity, Allison Green Schoop, associate strategy director at strategy firm frog, proposed several ways businesses could implement structures to support such biological rhythms. “[C]alendar tools could align the organization around 90-minute work and rest cycles,” she wrote. “They could even encourage different types of meetings for different times of day, leaving morning hours for demanding cognitive tasks and creative thinking and afternoon hours for administrative staff meetings and client check-ins.” Monitor…

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“Time affluence” is at an all-time low, and it’s making us miserable – Productivity Article

Tension between time and money But striking this balance can be extremely tricky—and often times, the biggest hurdle is financial. Both time and money feel like scarce and precious resources. We often feel like we have to choose between the two. Should you pay for an expensive and expedient Uber ride, or should you take the cheaper, crowded bus that may or may not show up on time? Should you take the promotion with a higher salary even though it…

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The mind is working | Dropbox Blog – Productivity Article

This observation leads to many questions. Can we embrace technology while also being alert to what humans are capable of doing with it? What are the human implications of what we’re doing with technology today? How can we use what we know about the brain to make the human experience of work better? One of the big challenges of our time will be finding ways to reignite the brain plasticity of childhood throughout our lives so we remain agile amid…

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The Mind at Work: Samin Nosrat on cooking as thinking – Productivity Article

Nosrat says mastering the four basic elements of cooking—salt, fat, acid, and heat—can help you become “not only a good cook, but a great one.” What might the equivalent basic elements be for work in general, and 21st century knowledge work in particular? Can we learn, through the equivalent of tasting, to make our working lives calmer, more satisfying and meaningful—even delicious? Let’s map Nosrat’s salt, fat, acid, heat to the work attributes listed above: time, research, thought, and experience.…

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The Mind at Work: Alison Gopnik on learning more like children – Productivity Article

As Gopnik wrote about in her earlier book, The Scientist in the Crib, from the time they are babies, children learn by testing their theories of the world. And there’s evidence from the work in Gopnik’s lab that young children are quite good at calculating statistical likelihood and updating their beliefs like any good Bayesian scientist. They are driven by curiosity to develop a causal theory of the world.  Until recently, both curiosity and causality were curiously left out of…

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Work, simulated – Productivity Article

What the growing popularity of office simulation video games says about modern work Video games allow anyone to escape the mundane and experience something otherworldly. It?s sort of strange, then, that over the last decade or so, games that simulate doing boring office work have become a pretty popular subgenre. Apparently there?s nothing quite like coming home from a long day of work to experience another long day of work. The broader simulation genre started with the Colecovision game Fortune…

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