5 min read

Weekend Briefing No. 13

...higher education taught me to think critically, and build the confidence in myself that "yes, you can make it happen."
Weekend Briefing No. 13
Photo by David Martin / Unsplash

Good Saturday morning! Is our infrastructure resilient enough against climate change? What should you do to add up to 24 more years of life to your life? Are Return to Office policies working? Find out in this weekend's briefing!

Interesting data points

  • Hurricane Hilary is the first tropical storm to hit SoCal in 84 years
  • India dominates greater than 35% of all global rice exports, Thailand and Vietnam round out second and third at roughly 14%
  • Berkshire Hathaway's cash hoard swells to nearly $150 billion
  • The 2-year/10-year US Treasury Yield curve remains inverted (currently -0.75 as of this post)

Return To Office (RTO) Is A Regret For Managers

Coming on the heels of "I told you so," the labor market continues to undergo a structural change concerning Work From Home (WFH). In other words, Return To Office (RTO) isn't working well, and over 80% of managers regret their initial decision.

80% of bosses say they regret earlier return-to-office plans: ‘A lot of executives have egg on their faces’
As some business leaders accept hybrid work as a permanent reality, others are backtracking on earlier pledges to let employees work from home.
A whopping 80% of bosses regret their initial return-to-office decisions and say they would have approached their plans differently if they had a better understanding of employees’ office attendance, their usage of office amenities and other related factors, according to new research from Envoy. 

Who would've thought that workers don't like the idea of losing hours of their day commuting, sitting in a cubicle, and having their productivity reduced through constant interruptions in an office? My advice to upper level management considering RTO, look at the data.

If your workers are more productive and you operate a Results Oriented Work (ROW) environment then jettison that costly office building and let your employees work where ever they want.

WFH is here to stay, leverage it instead of trying to quash it.

Want To Live 24 More Years? Do These Eight Things

I believe that keeping healthy is often more about what you don't do than do. For example, don't sit around all day and get up and move. Additionally, don't abuse drugs or alcohol. Simple stuff. This article goes into 8 habits that you need to start or break if you want to add an additional 24 years to your life.

These 8 habits could add up to 24 years to your life, study finds
Want to add years to your life? Following these healthy habits could do just that, according to a study presented by the American Society for Nutrition.

The habits are quite simple but bear repeating:

  1. Being physically active
  2. Being free from opioid addiction
  3. Not smoking
  4. Managing stress
  5. Having a good diet
  6. Not regularly binge drinking
  7. Having good sleep hygiene
  8. Having positive social relationships

Infrastructure & Climate Change

Is our infrastructure resilient enough in the face of climate change? No, it's not. One can look to Texas's performance, with it's overburdened electrical grid, during extreme heat events. Will we be able to cool our houses when extreme heat domes become the norm?

On the Highway to Climate Hell
The world’s infrastructure was built for a climate that no longer exists.
Countries have spent decades building critical infrastructure that is now buckling under extreme heat, wildfires, and floods, laying bare just how unprepared the world’s energy and transportation systems are to withstand the volatility of climate change.

I worry about our infrastructure when I put on my retired civil engineering hat. Our country, and the world, is not ready for rising waters, more destructive flooding, bigger storms, and extreme heat. We're going to need stronger electrical grids, better storm water systems, and flood mitigation.

As I wrote in my End Notes No. 10, we need to be prepared because if we don't nip human induced climate change in the bud, we're going to be paying for it with lives and property damage.

End Notes

I was in upstate New York last weekend dropping off my oldest for college. It was a bittersweet moment of emotions; on one hand I was really happy for her and her new journey, but on the other hand I was feeling sad and anxious. As parents we do our best to prepare our children when they "fly the nest" but we're never 100% ready when that day comes.

I take a deep breath and tell myself that "everything is going to be ok." Despite all the ills of modern technology and social media, I am comforted by looking at her college's Instagram account and the texts we get from her. It's never been easier to communicate these days, whether it's an actual phone call or a "Miss you Dad" text. I can feel my old college spirit rise when I see all the all the fun they're having during orientation week.

I remember telling my oldest that the friends she'll make during her college days will last a lifetime, as mine are. I tell her that she will take classes and learn new things that will make an impact on her for life. She will grow and be a different person when she graduates, just like I was when I graduated with my BS in Civil Engineering all those years ago.

College and my graduate studies were an amazing time in my life. Juggling work, home life, and my studies turned me into the man I am today. Yes, I made mistakes, but the one crucial thing that higher education taught me was to think critically and build the confidence in myself by believing that "yes, I can make it happen."

"I guess this is it Mom and Dad," she said standing outside her dorm room. We dropped her off right after our "last meal" together at a local Chinese restaurant. We hugged, with tears in our eyes, and said our goodbye. She smiled as we waved goodbye. She's ready. She's ready to find her way on her journey.

I start the car and we drive for over 100 miles before my partner says she already misses her. The miles add up between us as I drive through the night. It's after midnight when I merge on I-80 and head toward New Jersey. As I cross the state line I realize my partner and I have started a new journey, one without our oldest next to us; we just have to find our way now.

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