The European Parliament has recruited senior executives from Selina, WeWork and Zoom to help it shape policies to address the challenges of remote working.
On February 23, Rafael Museri, CEO and co-founder of the Selina hotel brand, will rub shoulders with European Commission policymakers, politicians and academics at the first in a series of “European Union Policy Roundtables private. Parliament wants to make remote working “healthier” by overcoming obstacles such as isolation and tax complications.
The Council of the European Union, which represents the government ministers of each European Union country, who meet to discuss, change and adopt laws and coordinate policies, also participates.
The first event, titled “The Need for Community in a Remote Work Economy,” will tackle loneliness and alongside Museri, speakers include Constance Hadley, a lecturer and organizational psychologist at Boston University, and Members of the European Parliament. Lidia Pereira and Estrella Dura Ferrandis.
Three roundtables in total are planned, and they are led by former CNN reporter Ben Marks, who launched the #WorkAnywhere campaign in January last year.
This global advocacy movement was created to represent remote and hybrid workers and has so far amassed 1.3 million social media followers. Marks told Skift he wants this to become the ‘Greenpeace’ of the new remote working phenomenon, which is needed given the major societal shift ‘has pushed hundreds of millions of people into a new way of life’ .
The European Union events represent the next phase of the campaign, he added, while a research project will later give policymakers the tools to have a data-driven conversation about the challenges and the opportunities of the remote work economy.
friends in high places
According to #WorkAnywhere, 32% of all employees globally will be working remotely in 2022. He says 65% of those people feel isolated or lonely “at least sometimes” and 17% “all the time”.
“Loneliness can lead to sedentary behavior, relationship damage, depression, substance abuse and more, and is estimated to shorten a person’s life by up to 15 years,” the campaign warns. “Mental health professionals believe that the distress caused by loneliness and isolation can build up over time without us being aware of it.”
Museri is in a good position to contribute, having previously discussed the idea of calculating the number of friendships formed on Selina sites as a business metric. “We believe in one simple thing: the best business strategy in the world…is to be the best place to socialize,” he said at a Skift Live event in March last year. “As a result, revenue will come, occupancy will come, and the higher average daily rate will come. We are targeting programming and content quality to create that experience.
Overall, the roundtable hopes to “unearth new ideas from frontline organizations and experts to tackle loneliness and build communities of remote workers, highlight best practices and explore opportunities for a future healthier work.
Entrepreneur Olumide Gbenro, who recently launched a crowdfunding project to build a digital nomad island, will also speak at the event.
“We don’t want lonely, pandemic lockdown-enforced work from home to become synonymous with remote work,” Marks added. “It is imperative for us to tackle these issues head-on and protect the mental health of workers. That’s what it’s all about, but it’s also about the benefit. The pandemic has unleashed a once-in-a-generation opportunity to fundamentally reinvent the future of work. »
The talks come as Scale-Up Europe, a group of 150 founders, investors, researchers, business leaders and civil servants, proposes that public authorities implement a new digital nomad visa to allow employees to work legally anywhere in the European Union remotely.
After Feb. 23, the next European Union Policy Roundtable will take place on April 1, where WeWork and Zoom executives will share their thoughts on how remote workers can best manage the work-to-work balance. personal life. Marks told Skift that more events and celebrity-endorsed open letters will follow soon.
Corporate travel agencies, understandably, have been beating the drum on the importance of face-to-face meetings since the pandemic began. It makes sense for business. But one Founder upped the ante, taking the story one step further by comparing our need to interact with prehistoric times.
“We’ve evolved over millions of years as a species, and it’s embedded in our biology, in the animal brain that we can’t control, that we’re not aware of, and I find it kind of naive that people think the metaverse is going to replace that and it’ll be fine,” TravelPerk’s Avi Meir said during a LocalGlobe investor presentation earlier this month.
Meir shared his company’s philosophy, which included a “contrary” decision to hire a record number of sales executives during the pandemic, rather than hibernate, at a time when most agencies were downsizing. The move paid off, as he said TravelPerk is now seeing revenue grow four times faster than before the pandemic
Part of the decision to double down on recruiting, as well as investing in the platform, has to do with his belief that humans need social interaction to build trust. “It goes back to the days of the tribes,” he continued. “A tribe would have inherent trust because they are in the same place, there is no other reason. The next tribe they trust a little less, and the tribe on another continent, they don’t understand them and just want to kill them. Everything was based on physical proximity and that has not changed. We sometimes like to pretend we’re a little more sophisticated than caveman, but that’s not the case.
Expect to see this anecdote featured in pitch decks for some time.
10 second catch up on business trips
Who and what Skift has covered over the past week: Accenture, Aeromexico, Allegiant Air, Gatwick Airport, Hertz, MGM Resorts, Omni, Swoop, Travelport, TripActions.
WeWork and Upflex combine their portfolios
Co-working space aggregator Upward bending combined its global network of on-demand workspaces with We work, joining the wallets to create a vast marketplace of options for remote and hybrid workers. Through this partnership, WeWork and its hundreds of thousands of members will have access to Upflex’s portfolio of 4,800 third-party spaces, provided by 700 flexible space operators, including Industrious, in 80 countries. At the same time, all coworking brands in the Upflex network have access to the WeWork community of 28,000 member companies. This is the first time WeWork has enabled reservations from a third-party platform and represents the next phase of its asset-based growth strategy. WeWork will also participate in the Series A financing of Upflex, alongside other investors, as part of the strategic partnership.
CWT Commits Technology Budget to Greener Travel
Corporate travel agency CWT will spend part of the $100 million committed on technology development as part of its recapitalization plan for responsible travel initiatives, helping travel managers achieve “more travel programs targeted”. The agency said 67% of its global clients said their company’s sustainability goals were more important since the pandemic. The first tranche of the investment will also be used to add more supplier content and improve the connectivity of the MyCWT platform, to ensure a “seamless and productive digital experience for travel managers and their travelers”. The new features will be launched within the next six months.
Furnished Finder Expands Network Under Extended Stay America Agreement
Corporate housing market Furnished researcher added Extended stay in America to its network, providing it with 650 hotels, or 71,000 rooms, in 44 American states. Furnished Finder’s portfolio of properties targets traveling healthcare workers and professionals, including traveling nurses. Furnished Finder now has more than 70,000 accommodations, which represents a potential of 20 million bookable nights per month. “Developing partnerships with reputable hotels is key to successfully serving our travelers,” said Brian Payne, co-founder and CEO of Furnished Finder.