Friday Faves is our weekly blog series highlighting a few select pieces from the REG team’s reading lists. You can catch up on past Friday Faves on the archive

The alternative workforce: It’s now mainstream

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Anne says: At first glance, you might expect this article to be about robots – the alternative workforce. But no, not this time! The alternative workforce is already amongst us, you might even be one! According to Deloitte in their recently released 2019 Global Human Capital Trends, they are: contractors, freelancers, or gig workers used as an option to supplement full-time jobs. 

This week’s article is a segment from the report and focuses on how companies are still taking a transactional approach – filling temporary skill gaps, specialist roles, project teams – versus acceptance of the mainstream use and shifting to a strategic management approach. The survey revealed only 8% of organisations have established processes, while most organisations admitted they needed to improve.

Their key finding highlighted a shift from the current transactional approach to managing alternative workers to “optimising” and “leveraging” their contributions to the organisation. In the meantime, we see this transactional approach also reflected in an organisation’s selection and implementation of technology for their workforce. How many organisations plan their digital workplace solutions for only full-time (or permanent part-time) employees? 

The mindset shift from a transactional process-driven digital workplace to a strategically inclusive perspective that enables the alternative workers to be more effective will demand intentional design and architecture – not simply coupling together pieces of technology with limited access. 

How does your organisation approach the digital workplace to be inclusive for alternative workers? There are a number of steps that can be implemented in relatively straightforward ways – we would recommend starting with direct engagement with your alternative workers – try asking them how they could be more effectively integrated into your digital workplace. 


Notre Dame update: How to build and keep building a cathedral like Notre Dame


Anne says: The debate has started – what approach should be taken to rebuild Notre Dame. Try to replicate, as closely as possible, what was lost? Or integrate the old with something completely new while complementary? This article discusses some of the arguments being considered and shows one of the contributions. Some interesting ideas are being proposed – but how the final decision is going to be made has not yet been revealed!


‘We must act now’: Netherlands tries to control tourism boom.


Helen says: While countries like Australia are spending over $100m a year marketing its destination to the world, the Netherlands has the opposite problem – too many visitors! They are trying to stem the flow because tourists are posing a big problem for this small nation. Overcrowding and the quest for the all-important perfect selfie are contributing to their woes. Tulip growers are suffering financial losses from damage caused by selfie-takers traipsing or lying over tulips in pursuit of their ultimate happy snap. In the small village of Kinderdijk, windmill residents complain of people freely walking onto their property, sitting at their garden table for breakfast and even asking residents to move aside so they, the tourists, can get an unencumbered shot of the mill.

Tourists to some degree have always come with a nuisance factor for locals, but at what point did such disregard become the rule rather than the exception? When, and why, has a photo become more important than the moment and the context? I love to travel and call me old fashioned, but to me, travel is about experiencing a place – its people and its culture, but maybe I’m wrong. Could it be that travel is really about that perfect photo shoot for Instagram, WhatsApp or Facebook?


More exclamation points please!!!!!!


Jakkii says: You’ve more than likely heard it before – using exclamation points at work, in any context, “isn’t professional.” Well, if you’ve been reading our blog for a while, I think you’ll appreciate we generally don’t subscribe to this overly stuffy theory in 2019 – at least not for certain types of communications. While a formal report likely won’t be furnished with exclamation points (unless directly quoting someone), communications like emails and blogs may just see an exclamation point – or six – included, depending on who’s doing the writing and what they’re trying to convey.

Enter, this short piece in defence of the exclamation point! 

Adding an exclamation point, or two, or 15, transforms whatever you’re writing, by making it sound enthusiastic and fun. Similarly, omitting an exclamation point also transforms whatever you’re writing, by making it sound like you hate your co-worker’s guts.

Uh, oh! Better break out the exclamation points, stat! While this is light-hearted, I think the point raised about use of exclamation points to vary and convey tone – often positive, though not always! – is an important one. Alongside exclamation points, we also see greater use of emojis (or their emoticon predecessors like : ) ) in the workplace as well, particularly where use of enterprise social networks, social intranets and other communication and collaboration tools are in place. Emoji (and gifs!) are a part of the fabric of language on the internet, and the workplace is no exception. Conveying tone can be difficult in text-based communications, and I’m all for anything that helps send the right messages – in the right contexts.

So let’s hear it – do you use exclamation points in your workplace communications? What about emojis or gifs? Why? I’d love to know so hit me with your thoughts in the comments or on social media. 


Four steps to reclaim your weekend for fun instead of chores


For many, “I’ll do that on the weekend,” has become the answer to solving any apparent time limitation problem. In their weekday minds, the weekend becomes this mythical land where time is infinite and motivation abundant.

Jakkii says: While we wait for the four day work week to kick in and become the norm at workplaces around the country (and the world!), here are four steps from Fast Company to help you reclaim your weekend from all those chores we constantly put off during the week to do “on the weekend”. 

  1. Put in what you need to feel refreshed
  2. Narrow down what you want to accomplish
  3. Prep for success during the week
  4. Know your limits

Sounds pretty straightforward, right? Have a read through the detail then try these steps next week and let me know if helped reclaim your weekend from the seemingly endless list of chores that come with adulthood!


This week in social media

Federal election

Politics, democracy and regulation

Privacy and data

Cybersecurity and safety

Society and culture

Extremism and hate speech

Moderation and misinformation

Marketing, advertising and PR


Sydney Business Insights – The Future This Week Podcast

A big congratulations to our friends at Sydney Business Insights on their 100th podcast!

This week: This week: wonderful country-trap, weird bacteria innovation, and Elon’s leaf-blower. Sandra Peter (Sydney Business Insights) and Kai Riemer (Digital Disruption Research Group) meet once a week to put their own spin on news that is impacting the future of business in The Future, This Week. 

The stories this week:

00:45 – Lil Nas X and country music’s problem 

16:31 – David Whitlock and the good microbes  

It’s a Musk: 

30:27 – Elon Musk says Tesla will make a leaf blower, for some reason  

Other stories we bring up: 

Lil Nas X – Old Town Road   

Lil Nas X – Old Town Road (feat. Billy Ray Cyrus)   

Old Town Road (Tik Tok Compilation)  

Lil Nas X and Twitter before Old Town Road  

NPR’s interview with Lil Nas X  

Our previous discussion of the chicken of tomorrow 

Our previous discussion of TikTok 

AOBiome the company   

The bacterial self-experiment report in NYT Magazine  

Andrea Myles 


Want to see SBI live at VividCheck out the event description and book via Eventbrite – ask us about our discount code! 

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