Axios What's Next

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Thinking about quitting your job? Your boss — or your boss' boss — may just beat you to the punch, Jennifer writes today.

Today's Smart Brevity count: 1,114 words ... 4 minutes.

1 big thing: Even your boss wants out

An office nameplate reading 'buh bye.'
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Great Resignation is seeping into the corner office, with 70% of C-level executives telling pollsters that they seriously might resign for a job that better supports their well-being, Jennifer A. Kingson reports.

Why it matters: If the boss who sets the rules is feeling burned out, it's no surprise that many of the rank and file are also restive.

  • 57% of employees surveyed said they were fed up enough to quit too.

Driving the news: A report released today by Deloitte and market research firm Workplace Intelligence found that C-suite executives feel as frazzled and depressed as the workers who report to them. In a poll conducted in February...

  • 76% of higher-ups said the pandemic has negatively affected their overall health.
  • 81% said improving their own equilibrium is more important than advancing their career right now.

Some execs are pushing for changes. 83% said they'll expand their company's well-being benefits over the next 1-2 years, while 77% said companies should be required to publicly report "workforce well-being metrics."

And asked if they'd taken any steps to help staffers mellow out, 20% of C-suiters said they'd banned after-hours emailing, and 35% said they make employees take breaks during the day.

Yes, but: There's a big disconnect between how the higher-ups perceive their efforts and what workers say.

  • 84% of C-suite execs said they thought their workers were thriving from a mental health perspective — but only 59% of employees rated their own mental health as "excellent" or "good."
  • 91% of the honchos said they saw themselves as caring leaders — but just 56% of workers thought their bosses cared about their well-being.

"What we found was that the majority [of C-suite executives] want to do something about it, but they just haven't done something about it," Dan Schawbel, the founder of Workplace Intelligence, told Axios.

Between the lines: The Deloitte findings ring true to executive recruiters. "What we see is that people are resigning to try to find a better place, a better work-life balance, a better culture," Shawn Cole, founder of Cowen Partners, tells Axios.

  • Women executives have been hit particularly hard with job overload during the pandemic, and a disproportionate number are job-hunting — or stepping aside.

But the "C-suite is an island" where corporate wellness policies — like unplugging and ignoring email — don't necessarily apply, Cole said.

  • "[Execs] really need to set boundaries for themselves" to stay happy and focused, Cole said.
  • Finding a new job isn't always the answer: "The grass is not greener," particularly for a CEO.

What's next: C-suite burnout could translate to more enlightened workplace benefits and policies — or not, as an economic downturn puts more focus on the bottom line.

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2. Satellites could prevent the next pandemic

A rendering of the Earth as a giant petri dish.
Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

Better, cheaper, more accessible satellite data is helping researchers see what's happening on Earth during disease outbreaks, Axios' Miriam Kramer reports — with an eye toward preventing future spread.

Why it matters: The COVID-19 pandemic revealed humanity's need to better monitor for tomorrow's outbreaks.

The details: Researchers are piecing together correlations between infectious disease and factors like loss of animal habitat and urbanization.

  • For example, one study found that proximity to dense forests and rope squirrel habitats was a major predictor of human monkeypox cases.

Where it stands: Satellites have been used to learn more about the source of the Ebola virus, track an outbreak of Rift Valley fever and aid in the Zika response.

  • During the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, satellite companies like Planet tracked the virus' economic impacts from orbit, keeping an eye on empty parking lots and traffic levels.
  • NASA also joined other space agencies to create a COVID-19 dashboard, making relevant satellite data available to the public and epidemiologists.

Yes, but: While this type of research holds promise, it's still in the relatively early academic phase.

What's next: Space data could one day be used to aid in a range of public health responses, from monitoring to mitigation.

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3. Remote firings need not be heartless

An illustration showing a box full of computer arrows.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Getting fired used to be an awkward but straightforward affair: A worker gets called into a room, given the reasons for termination, explained the terms of their severance, and has their credentials summarily revoked, Axios' Javier E. David writes.

Yes, but: The work-from-home revolution — with its heavy reliance on messaging, virtual meetings and other impersonal communication — may be changing the rules of the firing game.

Why it matters: In a world where knowledge workers don’t come into the office as frequently, workplaces may need new rules of etiquette.

Driving the news: Recent virtual firings at places like Carvana and Coinbase have been characterized by their abruptness and insensitivity.

Telecommuting has the upper hand, but human resources pros tell Axios that remote work is no reason to abandon professionalism and fairness.

  • Virtual firings should be conducted just like their in-person counterpart, these experts say. Employers should offer ample documentation, adhere to legal and industry guidelines, and arrange for the return of any company-owned property.

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4. Pressure on the presses

Data: PwC; Chart: Axios Visuals

U.S. newspapers will make more money from digital ads than print by 2026, according to a new PwC report — but digital revenue won't grow quickly enough to stem papers' overall bleeding, Axios' Sara Fischer reports.

Why it matters: Newspapers serve an essential role in their local communities but have struggled to thrive in the digital era.

By the numbers: Newspaper publishers are expected to lose $2.4 billion in ad revenue between 2021 and 2026, per PwC.

  • Print advertising will shrink from $7 billion in 2021 to $4.9 billion by 2026.
  • Digital advertising will expand just 1%, adding only $251 million from 2022 to 2026.

The big picture: Local businesses that previously relied on newspapers to target local readers have found more cost-efficient options on big tech platforms, like Facebook and Google.

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5. A turning point for America's national parks

The sun sets over Monument Valley in the distance as seen from the Bears Ears National Monument.
The sun sets over Monument Valley as seen from the Bears Ears National Monument. Photo: George Frey/Getty Images

Five Native American tribes are getting more say in day-to-day management of Utah's Bears Ears National Monument, following a historic agreement with the Biden administration, Axios' Herb Scribner reports.

Why it matters: The arrangement comes amid calls to return national parkland to local indigenous groups.

Details: The Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service signed the agreement with the Hopi Tribe, Navajo Nation, the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe, the Ute Indian Tribe of the Uintah and Ouray Reservation, and the Pueblo of Zuni.

  • Each tribe will have one elected officer on the Bears Ears Commission.
  • The commission and the federal agencies will be in charge of "planning, management, conservation, restoration and protection of the sacred lands" within Bears Ears, according to the agreement.
  • They will also be tasked with protecting "ceremonies, rituals and traditional uses that are part of the tribal nations' way of life."

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