If the minimum wage were $24 an hour and tied to worker productivity, a long-held trickle-down myth might actually come true.

Fair Wage Demonstration Hiring Washington DC
Activists participate in a “Wage Strike” demonstration in May in Washington, DC.

  • Paul Constant is a writer at Civic Ventures and cohost of the “Pitchfork Economics” podcast.
  • In his latest piece, he discusses the recent 12th anniversary of the last federal minimum wage raise to $7.25.
  • Constant says if the minimum wage were tied to increases in worker productivity, it’d currently be at $24 an hour.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Saturday, July 24, was the 12th anniversary of the last time the federal minimum wage increased, to $7.25 an hour. This is, by far, the longest the nation has gone without an increase to the federal minimum wage since the labor law was first instituted in 1938. While many states and cities have long since raised their minimum wage to more than double the federal standard, $7.25 is still the wage for hundreds of thousands of workers in 20 states around the country.

While the federal minimum wage has stayed frozen in time for the last dozen years, prices have continued to increase. Economist Ben Zipperer reports that anyone who is “paid the federal minimum of $7.25 today effectively earns 21% less than what their counterpart earned 12 years ago, after adjusting for inflation.”

At this point, the $7.25 minimum wage is a national embarrassment.

For decades, opponents claimed that raising the wage would kill jobs, close businesses, and move industries to states with a lower wage. But in cities like Seattle, where the minimum wage is now $16.69 per hour, those claims have been roundly disproven.

Study after study has shown that raising the wage doesn’t kill jobs, raise prices, or shutter businesses because when workers have more money, they spend that money in local businesses, which then hire more workers to meet the increased demand.(You can find links to all those studies in a piece I wrote back in February debunking the five most common minimum wage myths.) Raising the wage is a no-brainer, but our lawmakers haven’t found the political courage to act on it through years of Democratic and Republican leadership alike.

The one truly unanswered question that remains with the minimum wage is what standard should be used to determine the wage moving forward. A listener of the “Pitchfork Economics” podcast recently called in to ask why the minimum wage isn’t tied to cost of living, for instance. Such a policy would have prevented the 21% decline in real spending power that minimum-wage workers are confronting right now.

As the system currently stands, opponents of minimum-wage increases only have to stall the legislative process to erode the strength and importance of the law, as these past twelve years of Congressional inaction have proven. It would make sense to peg the minimum wage to some sort of metric so it increases annually without any intervention from lawmakers.

Many states and cities around the country do this. My home state of Washington, for instance, pegs the minimum wage to inflation, so in January of this year the statewide minimum wage automatically ticked up from $13.50 to $13.69.

You could also argue that the minimum wage should be tied directly to worker productivity.

Virtually every Econ 101 class teaches the trickle-down myth that workers are paid what they are worth, and locking the minimum wage into national productivity numbers would be a way to finally ensure that claim is true.

This is the figure that would do the most for American workers. As a recent Economic Policy Institute paper found, productivity has increased by over 72% from 1979 to 2019, while worker pay has only increased by 17%. The minimum wage largely rose in lockstep with American worker productivity gains for its first three decades. But had the minimum wage kept pace with productivity increases since 1968, the federal minimum wage would be more than $24 per hour right now, according to the Center for Economic and Policy Research.

If we have learned nothing else from this shameful freezing of the federal minimum wage, it should be that the minimum wage is more than a number. No American should put in 40 hours of work only to find themselves trapped below the poverty line. Tying the figure to some kind of metric – be it cost of living, inflation, productivity, median worker pay, or something else entirely – is the only way to prevent 12 straight years of losses from happening to the American worker ever again.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Simone Biles deserves all the praise for prioritizing her mental health. And it’s a good reminder that many Americans can’t afford to take time off when they need it.

Simone Biles looks on during the Tokyo Olympics.
Simone Biles at the Tokyo Games.

  • Simone Biles was rightly praised for prioritizing her mental health during the Olympics.
  • But most people can’t afford to take time off work when their mental health is suffering.
  • Calls for self care mean little if we don’t make systemic changes to reduce economic stressors.
  • Nicole Froio is a freelance journalist and researcher. She writes about pop culture, feminism, queerness, violence against women, digital cultures and much more.
  • This is an opinion column. The thoughts expressed are those of the author.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

This week, four-time Olympic champion Simone Biles withdrew from the 2020 Olympic Games to care for her mental health. After a wobbly vault run where Biles risked serious injury, the athlete admitted that the high stakes of the Olympics felt like too much, and the stress was affecting her performance.

“I have to do what’s right for me and focus on my mental health and not jeopardize my health and my wellbeing,” Biles said. “We’re not just athletes, we’re people at the end of the day, and sometimes you just have to step back.”​

At 24, Biles made the difficult decision to quit and prioritize her own wellbeing over the possibility of winning gold – and the expectations of millions of fans. Her supporters rightfully note the amount of pressure Biles has been under, praising her wisdom to drop out before she hurt herself.

And Biles and her supporters are right: Quitting when your work is harming you takes courage and is an immense burden to parse out. The fact Biles was able to understand her own limitations and communicate her boundaries to the world in such a high-pressure competition is no small feat, and she should be commended for it.

Many people have taken this moment to call on others to also take stock of their mental health and take a rest when they need it. Those of us who have struggled with mental illness for most of our lives are all too familiar with this phenomenon: There’s a cycle of mental health affirmations that circulate on social media everytime a famous person opens up about their mental struggles.

The problem is that these affirmations don’t actually reflect a society where mental self care is truly taken seriously. Particularly after a pandemic where many of us experienced death and trauma, but were barely granted time away from work to process a global disaster, the gap between “it’s okay not to be okay” and actual mental health provisions at work feels enormous.

Everyone should have the right to quit or take paid time off to care for their own wellbeing. But the reality is that many of us can’t afford to take time off or quit, as much as we know our mental health is suffering. It’s a fantasy to keep repeating that mental health is important and we must care for it, without actually looking at the crushing pressures of capitalism and how they manifest in the workplace. The constant grind of working for food and shelter doesn’t allow most workers to take time off for self care and rest.

I can’t afford to pause for my mental wellbeing

By far, one of the hardest parts of being mentally ill is dealing with work stressors and financial responsibilities. I have been semi-public about my struggles with generalized anxiety disorder and depression for almost a decade, and I was recently diagnosed with PTSD. As part of my treatment plan, I’m being encouraged to slow down the pace of my working life, but quitting isn’t simply a matter of choice.

As a freelance journalist, I have to follow the news cycle to make money and be able to pay rent and bills. I wish I could simply drop everything and take extended time off. But I can’t afford to spend a whole month unpaid, nor do I feel like I can risk editors forgetting that I’m available to be commissioned by being on hiatus.

Plus, treating any mental illness is expensive. Though I’d love to only focus on becoming mentally well rather than working, I also need to make enough money to pay for my mental health treatment out of pocket. In addition to paying for food and rent, I also need to pay for my medication, my psychiatrist, and my therapist.

It’s a never ending cycle: I should slow down to take care of myself, but to take care of myself, I need to make money, so I exhaust myself to make money and be able to pay for treatment. The odds are against me, but my situation can illuminate what we should be focusing on when we talk about mental health and wellbeing. There needs to be efforts to care for our mental health that go beyond the rhetorical.

We need systemic changes to truly prioritize mental health

A good place to start would be raising the minimum wage and decreasing job insecurity. A recent study determined that a mere $1 increase in minimum hourly wage can decrease suicide rates. Job insecurity is directly related to higher rates of anxiety and somatic symptoms, so creating jobs where people feel secure is essential to caring for people’s mental health.

Prioritizing mental health has to be a concrete possibility for everyone, even when their wages are high and they have a secure job. This means that employers, institutions, and governments have to prioritize mental health over productivity and profit, rather than sending out memos and social media posts with empty platitudes about taking care of our mental health. Paid time off without consequences and a good healthcare plan are basic mental health provisions any employer should be giving their employees.

Biles is right: Everyone should have the right to quit harmful situations that are detrimental to their mental health. But no matter how many infographics I see on Instagram that tell me my mental health is the most important thing in my life, the rhetorical affirmation that I deserve to be well won’t change my current material inability to slow down and get the treatment I deserve. We need concrete ways to care for ourselves and our minds, and that requires major structural changes in our places of work and in how we make our money.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Some restaurants are temporarily closing because they can’t find enough workers. One said diners have gotten ruder amid the labor shortage and even made staff cry.

server at a restaurant in California
Some restaurants say the worker shortage is making it harder for them to pay rent.

  • Some restaurants are temporarily closing or cutting their hours because of the labor shortage.
  • One opened for an hour less each day after staffing fell by nearly 50% compared with normal years.
  • A third of former hospitality workers said in a Joblist poll that they won’t return to the industry.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Some restaurants are cutting down their opening hours or temporarily closing for days on end because they simply can’t find enough workers to serve diners, amid the huge labor shortage hitting the hospitality industry.

One even shut down for a day after rude diners swore at staff and made them cry.

Central City Tap House in Kalamazoo, Michigan, said it was closing its doors “until we can find a full enough roster in our kitchen to re-open to our customers,” and urged people to apply for jobs at the company, Fox 17 first reported.

Fisher Lake Inn in Three Rivers, Michigan, also shut down Thursday and Friday “due to a staff shortage,” it said on Facebook.

“I’m about 80-85% staffed up for my summer season, so we are making it work,” Jeff Trickey, the restaurant’s owner, told Fox 17. “Periodically though, staff can’t work, and if I don’t have enough staff to operate the business then I can’t open.”

Read more: These 9 food tech startups are capitalizing on the labor crunch with tools that help franchisees hire or automate the restaurant workforce

Restaurants in Astoria, Oregon, were also forced to slash their operating hours after struggling to find enough staff, according to a report by The Astorian. This includes the Bridgewater Bistro, which closed its restaurant Tuesdays and Wednesdays, as well as between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. on other days, to give current staff a break after it couldn’t find enough new cooks, servers, and dishwashers.

In Boothbay Harbor, Maine, Brady’s Pub and Taka Mediterranean Bar and Grill are also closing two days a week at what should be their peak season, while nearby seafood restaurant McSeagull’s shortened operating hours by an hour each day in the spring after its staffing fell by nearly 50% compared to normal years, The Boothbay Register reported.

One restaurant in Brewster, Massachusetts, even shut down for a “day of happiness” last week after rude diners swore at staff and made them cry.

Brandi Felt Castellano, co-owner of Apt Cape Cod, told The New York Times that diners seemed unprepared for the longer wait times and limited menus associated with the current staffing and supply shortages.

But not all the rudeness was caused by the labor shortage, Felt Castellano said. She told The Times that one group of diners threatened to sue the restaurant after they didn’t get the specific table they had requested.

Another customer got angry at a young employee who told him they could not take his breakfast takeout order because the restaurant hadn’t opened yet.

One in 3 former hospitality workers don’t want to return to the industry

The US is suffering from a severe shortage of workers which the US Chamber of Commerce has called a “national economic emergency.”

Joblist CEO Kevin Harrington told Insider that hospitality workers are leaving the industry “in droves,” in search of better pay and benefits. A third of former hospitality workers said in a Joblist poll that they wouldn’t return to the industry, and Harrington said that is primarily driven by people in entry-level, hourly-paid, and customer-facing jobs.

Some are hiking up wages because of the shortage, which is pushing menu prices up. Some restaurants say the worker shortage is making it harder for them to pay rent, too.

The Federal Reserve said the labor squeeze could last months – but Bank of America expects the job market to recover by early 2022.

Read the original article on Business Insider

The exact series of scripts to use when making new LinkedIn connections

Woman sits in front of laptop.
Job seekers are looking for remote opportunities that provide flexibility.

As a solopreneur, I spend a lot of quality time on Linkedin. I enjoy making connections with people in my industry as well as other professionals doing interesting things with their career or businesses.

Whenever I make a new connection, I always send them a message so that the request to become their friend on the platform is more personal and doesn’t seem random.

The art of meeting people on social media has become the number one way I’ve made new friends during the pandemic, as well as business connections that have led to new mentors, partnerships, and even an increase in sales.

So after you connect with someone on Linkedin, what do you say to them and how do you say it? These are the scripts I use to build a genuine online relationship with someone.

Keep the first message concise

The first message you send to a person should be just a few sentences. The goal? For them to know you’re a real person (not spam) and that you’re glad to have virtually met them on the platform.

Begin the message with a quick hello:

Hi _____,

It’s nice to meet you! I look forward to learning more about you and hope we can continue to connect.

You can add on a sentence about anything you have in common (location, industry, mutual friends).

A quick intro: I’m _____(name) and I _____ (job, business, etc.). I connected with you because ____________.

Looking forward to following your adventure here.

Be sure to reach out with value

Over the next few weeks, find a reason to message the person again. This time, provide value. Compliment them on something they’ve done (a job promotion, a post they wrote on the platform, news about them or their company, etc.).

Here’s an example:

Hi ____,

It was great to see _____(news, promotion, post they wrote). I enjoyed learning about _______ and find it useful as I _____(add in a personal detail about you). I look forward to continuing to follow your adventure.

You can also share something with them that you think they would like (an article, podcast, book, conference, etc.).

Here’s an example:

Hi ______,

It’s been a pleasure following you on this platform. I was recently listening to this podcast episode about ____ and thought it might be something you enjoy because you often discuss ______ topic. Give it a listen if you’re interested! I look forward to continuing to stay up to date on your adventure.

Only make an ‘ask’ once there’s a relationship

If the person you’ve connected with has responded to previous messages and you’ve built a genuine relationship with them, it’s OK to take things to the next level with a specific ask from them, such as connecting in person or over the phone.

You can send a message like this:

Hi ___,

It’s been a pleasure chatting with you here over the past few months. If you’re interested, ______ (ex: let’s meet for coffee/jump on a 20-minute call).

I’d be interested in hearing more about ______ (your career journey, business,etc.) and sharing more about ______ (your career journey, business,etc.).

Even though connecting with someone on the internet might feel a little less personal than meeting in-person, you still want to treat the relationship with authenticity and not be in a rush to use it as personal gain or for personal value.

Ease into getting to know the person before asking for anything. That’s the true secret to LinkedIn connections and online networking.

Read the original article on Business Insider

I own 2 Hamptons hot spots that are busier than ever – but the worker shortage is crushing us

Zach Erdem seated at his Southampton restaurant Blu Mar.
Zach Erdem seated at his Southampton restaurant Blu Mar.

  • Zach Erdem is the owner of 75 Main and Blu Mar, two eateries in Southampton, New York.
  • Since reopening in June, Erdem says he’s struggled to find workers despite increasing the hourly pay.
  • Here’s what hiring has been like for him post-pandemic, as told to freelance writer Jenny Powers.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

This summer has been busier than ever, and while it’s wonderful to finally be able to reopen our doors to full capacity and welcome our guests back, there’s a major caveat – it’s been virtually impossible to find enough staff.

Between my two restaurants, I have 87 people on staff. In an ideal situation, that number would be 100. But some of my staff weren’t interested in returning once we reopened – they told me they’d rather stay home on unemployment. I’ve had no choice but to seek out additional help.

I recently spent $2,000 posting job listings on Indeed and only received 10 resumes.

Prior to the pandemic, I never had to post jobs. People would just come in looking for work.

The people of Southampton have long supported me, so I always look to hire from within the community. I’ve also been known to approach customers I think would be a good fit to see if they’re interested.

These days, the tables have been turned and the employees feel like the real bosses, calling the shots in terms of how much they want to get paid and telling me when they want to work. My hands are tied in many instances; I have to do it if I want to keep operating.

In an effort to keep my staff in place and attract more talent, I increased the hourly pay, but I still can’t find enough people.

Last year, our dishwashers made $15 to $16 an hour; now it’s $19 to $22. Busboys, servers, and bartenders make $10 an hour plus tips and hostesses make between $18 to $30 based on their experience. Last week alone, some bussers took home $2,000 while some servers took home $5,000, because we’re busier than ever.

When it comes to hiring hostesses, I have three main criteria.

They must be fluent in English because they are representing our front of house and interfacing with everyone who walks through our doors; they must be familiar with POS (point of sale) systems to handle takeout orders and reservations; and they must be able to smile despite whatever may be going on. That last one is sometimes the hardest part.

Being in a front-of-house role is a tough job, especially these days now.

People are impatient and often it’s the hostess that will get the brunt of it.

Customers will yell and scream and complain, but we have to just grin and bear it. Last week I had a hostess burst out in tears and run into the kitchen. It’s not easy.

I insist on personally interviewing every hire down to the dishwasher.

I ask hypothetical questions that will allow me to get a snapshot of the type of person they are, like if they were free and a manager texted them to come in on their day off, what would they do? Their responses factor into whether I’d hire them, since I want a staff of team players who see this job as more than just a paycheck. At the end of the day, we spend more time at work than at home sometimes, so we have to work as a team.

I live above the restaurant and with the exception of the hour I take to exercise on the beach in the morning, I’m pretty much always at work.

Despite all the craziness, my favorite time in the Hamptons is still between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

I’ve been in the restaurant industry since 2002 when I first walked through the doors of Southampton’s 75 Main at the age of 21 and was hired on the spot as a dishwasher.

I myself rose up the ranks from dishwasher to busboy, then server and bartender to finally, manager. In 2010, I bought 75 Main from the owner who had originally hired me.

Sometimes I still can’t believe it, considering in 1994 I was living in my home city of Erzincan, Turkey, working as a shepherd and had never set foot on American soil.

Although I’m the owner now, I’m still running around, doing whatever needs to get done, including bussing tables. I’m happy if I get four hours of sleep a night.

A long time ago I vowed whatever I did, I would be the best at it, and you don’t become the best by sitting around watching everyone else work.

This month, we’re shooting a TV pilot inside 75 Main so people can see what it’s really like to work inside a restaurant like ours. It was one of our customer’s ideas. This place has all the elements of a movie: comedy, action, entertainment, and plenty of drama.

Read the original article on Business Insider

6 strategies for creating a robust, multifaceted approach to improving diversity at your organization

D&I training
Create opportunities for coworkers of all backgrounds to gather and talk openly to bring about a more inclusive culture.

  • Diversity trainings are only the tip of the iceberg for improving diversity in the workplace.
  • Organizations need to move beyond implicit bias trainings by following up on their trainings.
  • Treat diversity as a real goal, measure it, and create dedicated spaces for underrepresented groups.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

The racial reckoning of spring 2020 prompted much soul-searching at organizations, as companies, nonprofits, and schools realized they could no longer ignore failures of diversity and inclusion. Many quickly rolled out programming aimed at addressing these shortcomings – in particular, diversity trainings.

But training alone can’t address long-standing organizational failings, said Ivuoma N. Onyeador, an assistant professor of management and organizations at the Kellogg School. “It’s fine to have trainings,” she said, “but trainings are only the beginning of the efforts needed to improve diversity in an organization.”

Read more: Inside YouTube VP Malik Ducard’s push to fund Black creators and amplify their voices online

On their own, trainings can’t address systemic problems: pay inequity, leadership that is mostly white and male, failure to hire underrepresented groups. Additionally, some trainings just don’t work or even backfire. For example, research has shown that implicit bias training – a popular approach that seeks to help participants recognize and overcome unconscious prejudices – does not reliably reduce bias in the long term and may reduce participants’ sense of responsibility over their own behavior. Yet some organizations have implemented implicit-bias training and figured that’s enough.

In a new policy paper, Onyeador, along with coauthors Sa-kiera T. J. Hudson of Yale University and Neil A. Lewis Jr. of Cornell University, explores how organizations can move beyond implicit-bias training. The researchers reviewed the existing literature on diversity efforts in organizations and developed a set of evidence-based recommendations for creating a robust, multifaceted approach to achieving diversity goals.

Here, Onyeador highlights six key takeaways.

Prepare for bad reactions

Diversity efforts may be poorly received. The backlash can range from eye-rolling in a training session to a sense of grievance that underrepresented groups get “special treatment” to outright hostility.

Organizations should be realistic about these challenges and have plans to address them.

“We do this in other arenas – we would never launch a product without anticipating potential snags in the process,” Onyeador said.

Organizations can build support for diversity programs by proactively addressing employee concerns. Majority group workers may fear they’ll be passed over for promotions in the name of diversity or punished for “saying the wrong thing,” or they may simply believe that diversity isn’t important – worries that can be allayed before a new program is introduced by addressing them in ways that fit your specific organizations’ culture and context.

Facilitate intergroup contact – but also create dedicated spaces for underrepresented groups

When majority group members interact with underrepresented groups, their attitudes change. One recent study found that interracial interactions help white people perceive and combat inequality; another showed that, after hearing people of color discuss their cultural backgrounds, white people displayed more inclusive behavior toward nonwhite coworkers. By creating lots of opportunities for coworkers of all backgrounds to gather and talk openly, organizations can bring about a more inclusive culture.

But it’s essential to recognize that intergroup contact may also place a burden on underrepresented group members, who may feel exhausted, singled out, or responsible for teaching others. That’s why it’s just as important for organizations to create dedicated structures such as affinity groups that allow underrepresented groups to gather. In addition to providing camaraderie, these spaces can facilitate career networking and advancement.

“People of color, for instance, are having a very different experience in these organizations than white people, and it can be nice to have a space where you meet other people and solve problems, share resources, and find role models,” Onyeador said.

Messaging matters, but action matters more

It’s easy to sing the praises of, say, your company’s family-friendly policies in a job description. But it’s much harder to actually be accommodating when an employee needs several days off to care for a sick child.

In fact, research shows that organizations that include organizational-diversity messages in job descriptions aren’t necessarily better at recruiting a diverse pool of employees or less likely discriminate against them.

“We want to make sure that both of those pieces are in there,” Onyeador said. Including inclusive language “is important to do, because it signals to your potential pool of applicants that the organization could potentially be a supportive place for them. But then it’s really important to follow that up with action.”

Treat diversity as you would any other organizational goal

Action means creating accountability structures – which, according to one 2006 study, is the single most effective way to improve managerial diversity.

Assigning institutional responsibility “can look a number of different ways, like having a chief diversity officer with some sort of oversight role, or diversity officers within units reporting up to a leader who has the power to hold units and managers accountable,” Onyeador said.

Organizations can also create incentives for participating in inclusion efforts, like bonuses or perks for serving on a diversity council.

“People are very motivated by extra money at the end of the year,” she said. “I suspect that if bonuses were tied to diversity metrics, we would see things shift. We would find the Black engineers. They’re there.”

You can’t improve what you don’t measure

Often, organizations are reluctant to collect and analyze data on diversity programming.

But that mentality wouldn’t fly with any other important organizational objective, so it shouldn’t be acceptable for diversity efforts. If a particular program or training didn’t work, “it’s imperative that we know that,” she said, so it can be improved.

There’s a similar hesitance about studying outcomes for the overarching goals of organizational change. All too frequently, companies will set out to improve diversity – but fail to measure the variables of interest.

Onyeador summarizes the attitude this way: “Did we increase the number of women in the C-suite? It’s not clear. Is the climate different? We have no idea. Are we retaining more people? Nobody knows.” Organizations have the data to answer such questions. Deciding to pay attention to it “will go a long way.”

None of this is easy, and that’s OK

Diverse organizations are not built overnight or by accident. But just because the work is challenging doesn’t mean it’s impossible.

In fact, “as organizations, as companies, as universities, we’re used to doing hard things by putting our heads down, figuring it out, being really careful, and thinking through everything,” Onyeador said.

There’s no reason, she said, that the same level of effort can’t be applied to diversity.

Read the original article on Business Insider

How to tell if you’re a geriatric millennial

geriatric millennial
Geriatric millennials are familiar with both old and new forms of communication.

  • The term “geriatric millennial” divided the Internet this spring in a viral Medium article.
  • The author spoke to Insider about why it both resonated with and offended readers.
  • She also shared the hallmarks of a geriatric millennial and how they straddle the workplace’s digital divide.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Author and leadership expert Erika Dhawan never expected the term “geriatric millennial” to go viral.

A self-identified geriatric millennial (which she defines as elder millennials born in the early 1980s), Dhawan told Insider she first heard the term at brunch with friends and related to it. But when she wrote about this micro-generation’s influence in connecting older and younger generations in the workforce for Medium this past spring, it quickly went mainstream and divided the Internet.

While many, like Dhawan, related to the term, others were offended by it.

“I think that the fact that the word ‘geriatric’ carried such a negative connotation really also has the question: What’s wrong with being old?” she said. “The way that individuals reacted, I think should encourage all of us to start a reflection on how we view older members of our society.”

Dhawan said she’s spent a decade investigating, researching, and finding new ways to encourage collaboration and communication in the workplace, which she explores in her new book, “Digital Body Language.” She said that while interviewing American workers, she found that some micro-generations were “impossible to ignore.”

She said that geriatric millennials are unique because they straddle a digital divide between older and younger generations in the workplace, which enables them to bridge communication styles.

The hallmarks of this micro-generation aren’t meant to exclude younger millennials who may have experienced them as well, she added.

“What it’s really meant to do is pinpoint a specific moment in time where the digital tools were primitive and where we were coming of adulthood,” she said. “We can look at all millennials as being the same, but there are differences based on our experiences at different life stages.”

Meet the typical geriatric millennial, according to Dhawan.

You were born in the early 1980s, making you in your mid-to-late 30s or early 40s.

A woman wearing a blue top and white jeans is working on her living room floor with colourful toys next to her.
A mother works remotely in the same room as scattered children’s toys.

Dhawan defines geriatric millennials as those born from 1980 to 1985. That means they’re turning ages 41 to 36 this year. 

But age is just one component. “Micro-generations are not simply just the years you were born, but, the strongest indicator is really how you use and engage with technology,” Dhawan said. 

 

You remember PCs, the days of early dial-up, and MySpace.

classic pc

Whereas younger millennials don’t know a world without digital tools as a primary form of communication, Dhawan said, geriatric millennials remember when they were very primitive.

“They were the first generation to grow up with a PC in their homes. They joined the first social media communities on Facebook and MySpace. They remember dial-up connections, collect calls, and punch cards,” she added.

They also remember things like Napster for burning CDs, as well as the regular flip phone. “Those that are maybe two to five years older than us know truly a world of, you know, mobile phones and never had to memorize people’s phone numbers for landline,” she said.

 

 

But you also feel comfortable on TikTok and Clubhouse.

clubhouse app

While geriatric millennials are fluent in the early days of the internet and digital technology, they’ve also been able to easily adapt to newer forms of digital media, like TikTok, which may be unfamiliar to older generations like baby boomers and commonplace among younger generations like Gen Z.

“This is a unique cohort that straddles digital natives and digital adapters,” Dhawan said, adding that they’ve spent the same amount of years in both analogue and digital forms of communication, making them fluent in both. 

 

 

Despite your digital skills, you’re also aware of the importance of personal communication.

professional woman conversation

Geriatric millennials also remember the importance of traditional body language, Dhawan said. “The lean-in, the direct eye contact … those are critical traits, even in our digital world.”

That means they’re comfortable with communication styles of boomers and Gen Xers, she added, while adapting to the the communication style of younger, digital native millennials and Gen Z.

“It’s critically important to keep adapting to the times while, remembering the importance of physical, face-to-face communication,” she said.

 

You act as a bridge in the workplace.

workplace

Dhawan believes that being skilled in both digital and personal forms of communication enables geriatric millennials to serve in a hybrid role in the workplace.

For example, she said, a geriatric millennial would know to send a Slack message to a Gen Z co-worker instead of calling them out of the blue, which they might find alarming. But they would also know to be mindful of an older co-worker’s video background and help walk them through such technology.

“They can help straddle the divide,” she said. “They can teach traditional communication skills to some of those younger employees and digital body language to older team members.”

She likened the geriatric millennial’s role to being a translator, akin to learning a new language in a new country. “They can cater to the needs of different people and have different degrees of understanding of the digital world, but also they have a patience for the digital world that maybe future generations won’t because they don’t know a world without it.”

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This chart shows the type of jobs that are still working from home

A woman is working in a home office. She is wearing headphones and talking to someone on her laptop
  • The US is looking a lot different than the height of the pandemic, and that includes remote work.
  • Some occupations are seeing fewer people working from home than just a few months ago.
  • The following chart shows the share of employees working from home by occupation.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Americans still want to work from home, even if it’s just part of the week. But some industries are saying it’s time to come back to the office. In other words, the end of working from your couch is nigh.

Data from Gallup updated through April 2021 show that 72% of full-time workers in white-collar jobs were working from home compared to just 14% in blue-collar jobs.

Insider looked at the jobs in which people are still working from home and found that exceptions to this trend include computer and mathematical jobs.

Jed Kolko, the chief economist at Indeed, noted on Twitter that remote work has “fallen dramatically” for education, training, and library jobs as well as community and social services jobs.

“For some sectors, [work from home] looks here to stay,” Kolko wrote on Twitter. “Others, not so much.”

As seen in the following chart, of the 11 occupations that we looked at where at least 30% of employees reported working from home because of the pandemic in May 2020, nine had shares of around 50% or higher in May 2020. This is when companies were telling some workers to work from home amid the pandemic as businesses closed in part to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

However, only one of these 11 occupations had a share of 50% in June 2021, the most recent month with available data. Legal and business occupations still had a relatively high share of people working from because of the pandemic in June 2021, at 40%.

Computer and mathematical occupations also had a high share of people working remotely because of the pandemic in May 2021, at 55.0%. Community and social services occupations had a share of 29.1% in May 2021, much lower than the share during the same month a year ago.

Daniel Zhao, senior economist at Glassdoor, told Insider in an email that there are several types of jobs, including tech, where workers may be especially interested continuing remote work life.

“As COVID-19 cases decline, many employers are planning to reopen offices and are ready to welcome back employees,” Zhao said. “Workers in tech, marketing, HR, finance and others mostly working behind a computer are more likely to want a hybrid or fully remote workflow, if they wish.”

He expects, however, for the share of employees working remotely to continue to drop.

Although the share for computer and mathematical occupations didn’t drop as much as some of the other occupations, some tech workers may need to be coming back to the office soon. Some large tech companies plan to have workers come into the office at least part of the time, such as Google and Apple.

However, some Apple employees aren’t too excited about this plan. Insider’s Sarah Jackson reported that around 90% of roughly 1,700 Apple employees who answered “location-flexible working options are a very important issue to me” said they strongly agreed.

But for some in tech, being fully remote as many were over the past year may still be an option. LinkedIn’s Workforce Confidence of around 8,900 US workers surveyed showed that tech workers were most likely among the industries noted to say their work is allowing them to work from home all the time. Transportation and logistics followed closely behind with 46% of workers in the industry saying this.

According to a survey of 1,000 employees, 39% said they would quit if their bosses weren’t flexible with them working from home. LinkedIn data also shows 87% of over 302,000 employees surveyed said they want to work at least part of the time from home.

“This hybrid workforce is expected to become the norm, and in today’s competitive labor market, employers would be wise to rethink mandatory reentry policies and embrace flexible, hybrid work environments going forward,” Zhao wrote in an email.

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Biden’s executive order aims to stop businesses suppressing workers’ wages

Biden
President Joe Biden.

  • Biden will issue an executive order Friday designed to stop firms collaborating to suppress wages.
  • He will push the FTC and DOJ for tougher guidance to stop companies sharing wage and benefit data.
  • Biden will call on the FTC to ban or limit non-compete agreements, per notes from the White House.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

President Joe Biden is set to crack down on employers who collaborate to suppress workers’ wages in an executive order scheduled for Friday.

The White House published details of the upcoming order Friday morning. Biden will push the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) to “prevent employers from collaborating to suppress wages or reduce benefits” by sharing wage and benefit information with each other.

The executive order will say that workers may be “harmed” by existing DOJ and FTC guidance that allows third parties to make wage data available to employers in certain circumstances without triggering antitrust scrutiny, per the White House’s notes.

Workers’ wages tend to decrease when there are fewer employers competing with each other for their labor, according to research from the University of Pennsylvania.

Read more: 20 sought-after female political strategists to watch as more women in the US enter politics

The order, which focuses on promoting economic competition, will aim to help more businesses break into markets dominated by large employers, which it says should give workers more chance to negotiate higher pay.

The president has urged Congress to pass the Protecting the Right to Organize Act, which would include protections for workers who want to unionize and collectively bargain for better pay.

In Friday’s order, Biden will also call for the FTC to ban or limit non-compete agreements and “unnecessary, cumbersome” occupational licensing restrictions. These would make it easier for workers to change jobs and help raise wages, per the White House’s briefing notes.

Tens of millions of Americans, including people working in construction and retail, have to sign non-compete agreements as a condition of getting a job, which makes it harder for them to switch to better-paying options and “stifles” competition, the order will say, per the White House.

It will also say that nearly 30% of jobs in the US require an occupational license, and that there is huge disparity in license requirements between states, which makes it difficult for people to move between states.

Biden has appointed Lina Khan, a vocal critic of big tech, as FTC chair in a decision widely thought to signal his administration’s desire to bring in strict antitrust rules to prevent tech companies from monopolizing markets.

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I quit my job at a tech startup with no backup plan. Here are 6 things I wish I knew before going solo as an entrepreneur.

Lindsay Yaw Rogers.
Lindsay Yaw Rogers.

  • Lindsay Yaw Rogers is an entrepreneur and leadership coach based in Boulder, Colorado.
  • In the nine years since quitting her job in tech, she says she made plenty of mistakes while becoming an entrepreneur.
  • Rogers says it’s important to have a solid business foundation to enable steady, long-term growth.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

I’m a risk-taker. But leaving my high-paying job at a tech startup in 2012 with a one-week old baby – with no plan – meant my family’s income went from comfortable to zero overnight.

My husband was developing a wind farm in Chile and not getting paid. But I knew I needed to leave the toxic workplace I’d been in for two years.

Nine years into running my business, a brand story and content strategy firm, I’ve had time to look back on the mistakes I made, the stints of success, and the six things I wish I’d known before going out on my own.

1. Nobody is their strongest alone

Early on, a phone call to my old boss landed me multiple massive content projects for several large companies. So in the first few years, I didn’t have to work hard to get clients – which meant I also became overly confident. Eventually I had nothing in place to help me get more work, but I was stubborn, wouldn’t admit that I was frustrated, and didn’t seek out a mentor because I thought I knew everything or could figure it out on my own. This caused me to lose several years of growth and income.

In the past few years, I’ve joined a mastermind group, read and listened to countless business books and podcasts, and have taken close to a dozen online courses – all part of my quest for mentorship.

2. Normalcy isn’t the goal

Fitting in is the best way to be forgotten. After a client chose not to renew my contract because I “wasn’t 100% necessary” for their growth, I took a business course online. It made me realize everything I was not doing – like differentiating myself .

My first task was to define my “Dream 100” – the list of people I really wanted on my client list. Easy. Then I had to define what my secret sauce was that would make me different. It took me six months to nail down the process I’d used with past clients and put it into a legible framework I could sell to a higher number of different clients.

3. Fail quickly, fail often

My dad used to say, “you never learn less” after anything disappointing happened to me, and it would drive me insane.

But after getting humbled several times as an entrepreneur (ie. losing a job bid), I realized he meant that experimenting is how you find your edge, even when some of those experiments completely bomb. Once I accepted that failure was inevitable, I felt less trapped by perfectionism and more free to try new things, create new programs, and go after my “Dream 100.”

4. Be more interested than interesting

Years into my business, I started listening aggressively to my ideal clients, and moved from trying to be interesting myself to being wholly interested in what they needed. This moved my client roster from start-and-stop to a steady stream, and thus recurring revenue.

5. Be prolific

A few years back, I went back to my roots and started writing again – this time with a strategy. I began penning blog and guest posts for brands and entrepreneurial magazines, sending weekly emails, and answering HARO requests. This has allowed others to see how I work and think, what frameworks I use, and how I impact others, which has led to even more opportunities. Just recently, an article I wrote got selected to be in a book being published by Thrive Global.

6. The back of the statue matters

When I first started working solo, I hated all the unsexy stuff that needed to happen on the back end of my business. But when I started to have a referral drought, I admitted that having no system (the back of the statue) was impacting my reputation and positioning (the front of the statue that people could see). It took months of toil, late nights, and a full-time virtual assistant to get my systems dialed, but now I communicate my process with clarity.

Lindsay Yaw Rogers coaches high-achieving entrepreneurs and athletes on how to create powerful brand stories to to stand out, create partnerships, and position themselves as a leader.

Read the original article on Business Insider