WeWork at Staples (Sort Of), Reddit Downvotes Harassment, and Better Parental Leave


My Office Is Right Next to the Inkjet Cartridges
 Wanna work at Staples all day? No, not behind the counter handing out keys to the photocopiers, but as a place you go all the time to do all your work. Those Staples stores are spacious, floor traffic has been decreasing for at least seven years, and Staples can see WeWork’s sky-high valuation just as easily as you can. So the company is teaming with Workbar to carve out some of its space for office-sharing (WSJ). It’s not just Staples: Sears is already subletting space and Macy’s is trying it, too. Retail space is pricey; companies with too much of it have to think outside the big box. (NB: Staples won’t offer free beer, but it is promising bottomless coffee.)

Reddit Downvotes Harassment
 Is Reddit, last seen removing a “canary” notice, trying to be less of an efficient harassment delivery system? It’s now giving people the opportunity to block others, but a brief trip to Reddit.com reveals both outrage over the frankly modest move and its ramifications — and a handful of possible workarounds. There’s a fundamental disconnect between Reddit’s professed core values, which are admirable, and what many of its users are there to do. The very openness that make Reddit a thrilling place is also the thing that makes it scary.

Code Is the New Trade
 It took millennia for mankind to establish transcontinental trade. It took data — software, media, information of all kind captured in code — less than two decades to exceed the economic impact of the global trade of physical goods (McKinsey). Bits now have more value than atoms across borders; somewhere, Nicholas Negroponte is saying, “I told you so.”

What Government Can Do
 New Labor Dept. rules say financial advisors have a fiduciary responsibility to act in the best interests of their clients (Consumer Reports). That’s good news, but how was that not the rule before? Similarly, new Treasury Department guidelines making corporate inversions more expensive have scuttled the Pfizer/Allergan deal (Reuters). Turns out government policy really does impact business — and quickly.

Parental Leave Worth Tweeting About
 Some new parents lucky enough to have a full-time job are getting even luckier. Parental leave measures in competitive industries are getting more competitive, with leading companies treating people as key assets rather than replaceable resources. Twitter, for example. has upped its benefits to 20 weeks of paid leave. But there’s still a long way to go. Key stat from this Fortune report: “88% of private sector employees don’t have access to any kind of paid parental leave through their employers.”

Expecting the Singularity?
 You’re going to be waiting a good long while.

Photo: Michael Senchuk

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