This week, thousands of workers test out the 32-hour work week, digital nomads could soon find a new place to work in Asia, why it’s so hard be a good middle manager, how working from home is dividing some employees, and whether it is ever okay to use exclamation marks and emojis in professional messages.

As the great rethink of work conditions continues, the world’s biggest four-day work week trial has begun in the UK. At the same time working from home is causing divisions in the workplace, especially between bosses and employees, and many workers are still struggling to strike the right tone on work messaging applications – is it ever okay to use exclamation marks?

What else matters this week?

Despite travel chaos due to staff shortages, calls for work visas for travel industry employees has been rejected in the UK.

Wages in the US are rising at their fastest pace in decades but inflation means workers may not feel the benefits of higher salaries.

The World Bank has said a global recession will be hard to avoid.

We’ve got a full breakdown of all the top headlines you can’t miss this week.

#1. The world’s biggest four-day work week trial has begun.

Some 3,300 workers across 70 companies in the UK have begun the biggest ever trial of the 32-hour work week. All workers involved in the trial will work four days, instead of their usual five, but still be paid their usual salary.

At the same time researchers in universities around the UK will monitor the effect on productivity and quality of life, with results to be announced in 2023.

Most companies are hoping to help workers fit five days work into four by cutting back on meetings and making meetings that do happen more efficient.

Read more at The New York Times.

Photo by Dominika Gregušová via Pexels

#2. Bali is developing a new five-year, “digital nomad” visa.

Good news for digital nomads looking for a long-term work destination; Bali is in the process of creating a five-year, tax-free visa for overseas, remote workers. The move comes in a bid to kick-start the Indonesian tourism industry, which has suffered due to the pandemic.

Among the 33 countries that offer such visas the standard is around one or two years, which would make the Bali visa the longest “digital nomad” visa in the world.

Read more at Fortune.

Photo by Oleksandr Pidvalnyi via Pexels

#3. How to be a good middle manager

The switch to remote work has made some top bosses and employees question whether middle managers are necessary at all. Already present before the pandemic years, the lack of love for middle managers may be because their role is unavoidably to be stuck in the middle, caught between the demand of managers above and employees below.

But there is a necessary purpose in this role, and good middle managers can provide a crucial human link between different parts of the company.

Read more at the Financial Times.

Photo by Ono Kosuki via Pexels

#4. Is working from home causing divisions among employees?

Bosses want staff back in the office so they can collaborate and communicate better, workers say they want to stay at home because it’s more productive and they have better life balance. In many companies, the battle lines are being drawn on this issue with executive staff on one side, and employees on the other.

It’s difficult for bosses to claim productivity from home is worse as studies throughout the pandemic have proved the opposite, and for many workers attempts to try and recreate pre-pandemic work habits simply feels jarring. But, in real terms, bosses still hold plenty of power. Could compromise be the best solution?

Read more at The Guardian.

Photo by Alex Padurariu via Unsplash

#5. The new rules for using exclamation marks and emojis at work

The language used in traditional business emails may be somewhat dry, but increased use of work messaging applications is developing new communication styles among colleagues. A recent survey found that 97% of workers feel the need to add a little something extra at the end of work messages to clarify tone and meaning, such as exclamation marks and emojis.

Although this might make reading work messages more fun, striking the right tone can be taxing. Experts have coined the term Slack-splain to explain the challenge workers are facing of trying to get across not just a message, but also tone and personality via messaging apps.

Read more at Insider.

Photo by Ann H via Unsplash

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