Good Reads: 3 Things We Learned from The Times’ Take on the Modern Workplace

great teams

Last weekend, The New York Times Magazine tackled the modern workplace. The issue unpacks all things workplace related—from work-life balance to the new dream job to the problems of open workspaces—and it is well worth a read.

Here are three insights that struck us:

  1. Creating the best team comes down to feeling safe.

It turns out the perfect team is more than the sum of elite titles, gold stars and sky-high SAT scores. The article reports on how, after years of careful research, Google discovered that the ideal group is one in which participants feel safe to be open, honest and authentic. To become a dream team, group members need to give everyone space to share equally and also pay attention to how everyone is feeling.

Learn more: What happens when work teams have high emotional intelligence?

  1. Finding the right balance with meetings is crucial—and elusive.

At their worst, meetings are unproductive and unnecessary. But there is hope: According to a piece on the merits and flaws of meetings, companies can reimagine meetings to make them work better for their employees. Fancy a schedule devoid of meetings entirely? Adopt a strict no-meeting policy. Want more interaction? Use the Holacracy method. The world is your oyster, but just remember that your approach really comes down to the needs of your team.

  1. Hiring based on merit is simply good business.

It’s no secret that a more diverse staff is more efficient, successful and creative. Unfortunately, by hiring largely from elite schools or by favoring referrals, many tech companies are still markedly homogenous. One solution to this problem: blind hiring.

Hiring candidates based on merit not only ensures you are getting the best of the best. According to this look into the world of blind hiring, merit-based candidates tend to stick around longer than those who were hired based on more subjective criteria.

As millennials become the majority of the workforce, there is no question that the way we work will only continue to change. After reading through this issue, one thing became clear to us: The workplace is ripe for change and innovation. And, given all of these changes and challenges, effective HR professionals and policies are more important than ever before for today’s companies.