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

A COVID-19 “exit” strategy to end lockdown and reopen the economy

Anne says: Across the globe people are starting to open their doors and venture outside. Some companies have already restarted their workplaces, others are just not quite sure how to do that. We’ve been discussing some of the challenges and concerns in our Remote Working Coffee Meetup group. This current TED Conversation from 22 May is fascinating. Chris Anderson (TED Founder) talks with Uri Alon, a biologist who studies how cells work to understand the biological circuits that perform the functions of life, to address the question: How do we get back to work without a second wave of infection?

Great question! And the answer is fascinating. Remember, Uri is a biologist, so he’s looking at the virus and what it’s weakness is, then based on identifying that, is there a way to minimise the impact as we return to work (and potential risk of infection)? And, he proposes, there is a way. It’s based on the infection rate and when people who may become infected are contagious. It’s a cyclic strategy: 4 – 10. 4 days at work, 10 days in lockdown. Uri and Chris explore the scenarios, explain the processes, challenge the application, consider essential workers, and discuss effects on productivity.

A couple of aspects stood out for me. The need for community or large scale coordination – for example, schools need to align the 4 days at school with the parents 4 days at work – then they’re all in 10 days of lockdown together. Thinking differently about the work hours – obviously depending on the nature of the business – but how shifts across teams might work. But also, when you’re in the office for your 4 days, the type of work is focused on having groups of people together. Some of the things that have been hard to conduct remotely, focus on these, not just sitting at a desk doing the same work you can do at home. This enables the combined need for social connection with colleagues with ensuring levels of productivity are enhanced.

Is it feasible? Yes!

Countries across Europe are already considering how to apply versions of the strategy. Austria is reopening schools based on 5 days at school a fortnight, with rotating groups of students. Here in Spain, one of the supermarket chains has applied a 4 day a week process (out of 6 working days) to frontline checkout staff. For their remaining 2 days per week, they will not be frontline, thus reducing their exposure to risk.

This cyclic strategy could be workable, but it needs coordination at a minimum of state level, but ideally at a national level. Along with the nature of work that is performed, the hours and mixture of rotation in the office and remote working (most likely at home) are more than feasible. If you’re already doing something like this – or considering it – we’d love to hear from you!

Watch (15 minutes)

Black Lives Matter | Aboriginal Lives Matter


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A post shared by Aboriginal Art & Photography (@bobbilockyer) on

Jakkii says: Like many of you, I’ve been watching the current crisis unfolding in the US. There is lots of excellent reporting available on the protests and riots – not least is this piece in The Atlantic, Resist the urge to simplify the story.

For my part, I don’t want to spend paragraphs ruminating, save to say that all of us everywhere should be speaking up against racism and injustice at a minimum, and taking whatever steps we can to be actively anti-racist and to dismantle systemic and institutionalised racism. Despite what Andrew Bolt might claim, we aren’t “importing” anything from the US when it comes to racism, or that Black Lives Matter – we have a long and shameful history of our own. Like that in 1987, Australia commenced a Royal Commission into Black Deaths in Custody. The findings were handed down in 1991, and in the years since, there have been over 400 more black deaths in custody. And that’s just one part of the picture.

Here are a few things to read, watch and listen to in order to further educate ourselves, learn to be better allies, and to frame our thinking for how we move forward with real, meaningful action and change.

Aside from my usual weekly roundup of things to do at home (below), that’s all from me this week.

Around the house

Jakkii says: If you’re not glued to the news at the moment like I am – or you just desperately need a break from it (I know I do) – here is this week’s roundup of ways to occupy yourself at home as we continue the slow march towards reopening.

Friday Funnies

See more:

Misinformation Friday Five

COVID-19 Friday Five

Work Friday Five

Tech Friday Five

Trump vs Twitter

Social Media Friday Five

Sydney Business Insights – The Future This Week Podcast

This week: will Silicon Valley finally move online? And AI is confused by our weird behaviour. 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

02:18 – Tech companies considering letting employees work from home forever

16:15 – AI gets confused by our weird behaviour during the pandemic

23:11 – Facebook to embrace hiring of remote workers

Other stories we bring up

Even the pandemic can’t kill the open-plan office

Over 25% of tech sector wants permanent work from home

Our previous conversation around office space on Corona Business Insights

Our previous conversation around productivity and remote work on Corona Business Insights

The end of the office as we know it

What will tomorrow’s workplace bring

Facebook predicts that 50% of the company’s employees could be working remotely within the next 5-10 years.

Minimum wage for H-1B visa holders could reach $250,000 a year


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