‘Office culture’ as we know it is dead. Workers have other ideas (Lillian Stone, 3/03/24, BBC)

The world of work looks and feels entirely different than just a few years ago – yet many companies are still intent on recreating the office cultures workers left behind as they abandoned their desks in 2020. While these companies are making some gestures to adapt – for instance, redesigning spaces to accommodate new preferences and hybrid-work habits – many are still set on bringing back what lured in workers before the pandemic.

Yet swaths of employees simply aren’t interested in going backward. Instead of trust-falls and cold brew on tap, employees are demanding flexible work, equitable pay and a focus on humanity in the workplace that transcends the perks they sought years earlier.
Workers’ shifting priorities are a natural consequence of the Covid-19 pandemic, says Georgina Fraser, head of human capital for global commercial real-estate firm CBRE. “The pandemic gave us autonomy in a way that we haven’t had previously,” she says. “It gave us the opportunity to choose how we structured our working days.”


Aging Gracefully, Infinity, and the Oceanic Feeling (John Allen Paulos, Mar. 4th, 2024, 3Quarks)

These metaphors of infinity and aging undermine our exaggerated pretensions and mundane obsessions, and may even force us to view ourselves in something like the way we view the dilapidated statue of the boastful pharaoh Ozymandias.

Of course, I’m getting ahead of myself, perhaps like the woman writing her son a very long letter in the middle of which she congratulates him on taking a speed reading course and adds that because of the course he’s probably already finished reading her letter. Life, like the letter, isn’t over until it’s over.