One thing that the pandemic could be changing? Meeting lengths

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Researchers looked at the schedules of more than 3.1 million workers and found that their average workday had changed since before the pandemic. As more people work from home, one feature of the typical workday appears to be changing shape: the humble meeting. This essential workday function, once carried out in conference rooms, cafés, or in the office kitchen, is becoming more frequent—and with more meetings comes a longer day overall. Read Full Story

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Why everyone you know is on Zoom

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Zoom has taken over both work and play in the age of COVID-19. Why Zoom? The other night, I had two teleconferences scheduled at the same time. In the work world, this is an entirely normal event. But this wasn’t two business meetings I was juggling; it was the two sides of my family—both of whom wanted to connect on Zoom. Read Full Story

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Working all the time isn’t the same thing as productivity

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As an unrelenting year of round-the-clock teleconferences draws to a close, an editor muses: What would Ruth Bader Ginsburg do? Since 2013, Fast Company has dedicated an issue of the magazine to revealing the habits and schedules of some of the world’s most prolific leaders in business and culture. Each year, there always seems to be one executive who answers emails every day at 4 a.m., or an entrepreneur who schedules a standing staff meeting on Sundays. But our Secrets of the Most Productive People feature is decidedly not a workaholic’s handbook. Yes, it’s fascinating to learn how overachievers get it all done. But we also explore how they clear their heads, recharge, and find inspiration—underappreciated elements of productivity that are increasingly important as the COVID-19 pandemic stretches into 2021, and with it, the challenges of working remotely. Read Full Story

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Why self-isolation is the perfect time to overhaul your ineffective work habits

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Look to this time as a chance to reset unproductive routines. When you upgrade familiar ways of doing things, such as scheduling earlier meetings and choosing healthier snacks, your work will level-up, too. Habits are often deeply entrenched. You greet each day with a bleary-eyed trek to the coffee maker or walk the same neighborhood loop. Then something shifts. Maybe you move, land a new job, adopt a pet—or a global pandemic breaks out. The change immediately disrupts your routines. Read Full Story

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Rebecca Minkoff locks herself in the bathroom so her kids won’t interrupt work calls

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The designer explains how she’s running her $100 million fashion brand from home—as well as a Sunday spent outdoors that felt almost “pre-corona.” Rebecca Minkoff, the doyenne of crossbody bags, has been sheltering in place for weeks, running her $100 million fashion brand from Long Island. Like many working parents, Minkoff now finds herself wrangling three children—including a toddler—while trying to juggle podcast recordings and virtual meetings. So Minkoff has gotten creative with her schedule, carving out time for her kids and exercise. Read Full Story

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Are you guilty of these unexpected productivity killers?

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You may pride yourself on multitasking, but that “skill” could be stopping you from getting more done. Most of us have a general idea of what we should be doing (logging off social media) and what we shouldn’t be doing (scheduling another unnecessary meeting) to get more done. As someone who spends more time talking about productivity than could possibly be productive, I can tell you it’s less about knowing what you need to do and more about finding the motivation to do it. In today’s digital society, and thanks to the ever-changing landscape of business (like the gig economy and the rise of remote work ), the struggle to keep yourself focused is very real. Read Full Story

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The office as you know it is gone

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People like flexible work schedules. Plus, the tangible benefits of contemporary offices—socialization, physical proximity to colleagues—don’t require workers to go to the office every day from 9 to 5. The future of the office has become an open question after the coronavirus lockdown forced tens of millions of Americans to work from home. Will office workers flock back to their cubicles and water coolers when the pandemic ends? Or will employees want to hold on to their newfound freedom and flexibility, while employers eye the lower costs of the lack of a physical footprint? At least a few companies have already answered this question: Twitter, for example, says most of its employees can continue working from home forever, making the office merely a place to meet clients. We asked three scholars to weigh in on the future of the office. Read Full Story

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