🐤 Going green

What is the green status effect? We'll dig into the latest workplace trend.

Tuesday | June 11th, 2024
Early Chirp
Together With 1440

Happy Tuesday, chirpers! For many of you, the hot weather is here and you’ve already begun cranking up the air conditioning. But before you send the thermostat down too far, here’s some advice from the experts.

While 70 degrees is a good year-round goal, setting it a few degrees higher during the summer can save big bucks on your energy bills and repairs for overworked HVAC systems.

If you’ll be away from home for a while, turn up the thermostat even higher — but reducing the temperature at bedtime can result in better sleep.

-Chris Agee

$59.40 (0.35%)
Dow Jones
$69.05 (0.18%)
S&P 500
$13.80 (0.26%)
-$0.00 (-0.09%)
-$70.62 (-0.10%)
-$3.39 (-12.01%)
*Market data for this issue is from June 10th, 2024 at 5:27pm EST

🏦 Markets: It was a strong start to the week on Wall Street yesterday. Both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite posted sufficient gains to close at new all-time highs while the Dow Jones Industrial Average also ticked up a fraction of a percent.

The tech sector helped lead the rally, particularly AI chipmaker Nvidia, which implemented its 10-for-1 stock split and saw its shares jump by about 0.8% on Monday.


The Breakdown

A quick look around the world.

The Breakdown Giphy

📱 Transactional touches: Apple unveiled its latest tech updates at its Worldwide Developers Conference on Monday. As in previous years, there was a lot of interest in new features being offered on iPhones and other devices — and one capability in particular attracted a significant amount of buzz. It’s called Tap to Pay and essentially gives any two iPhone users the ability to exchange money by simply tapping their phones together. Other iPhone highlights from the conference include a new app to manage passwords and the capability to customize icons.

Connecting the dots: Economies around the world have been under intense pressure for months amid high interest rates while investors anticipate a series of cuts that have taken longer than anticipated to begin. But there will be some clues presented this week in the form of a quarterly report called the “dot plot.” These figures represent the current outlook of the U.S. Federal Reserve as seen by 19 of the central bank’s leading policymakers. The forecast will come on Wednesday and some believe it will predict just one interest rate cut this year.

🧾 A direct approach: Although only a small number of taxpayers were eligible to participate in the pilot program for the 2023 tax year, the IRS recently confirmed that its Direct File option will be made permanent beginning next year. Feedback from the agency and customers who used the program was generally positive, with many taxpayers indicating that they saved time and money when filing their returns. From the perspective of the IRS, the program is being hailed as a way to embrace the digital age while providing better service to taxpayers.

💰 Labor dispute: California has a novel law on the books that provides for a fund specifically earmarked to help fund the enforcement of existing labor laws. But with millions of dollars left unspent and millions more fueling loans for other aspects of the state’s budget, lobbyists are demanding change. Labor reps recently met with Gov. Gavin Newsom to express their concerns, most notably the claim that the fund could be used to address a backlog of worker claims. Some business leaders want the law to be fundamentally changed or repealed.

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work life

Research Shows The ‘Green Status Effect’ Is Real For In-Person And Remote Workers Alike

Employees are feeling pressure to always appear as if they're working hard.

Research Shows The ‘Green Status Effect’ Is Real For In-Person And Remote Workers Alike Giphy

With many major companies calling workers back to the office (and many smaller employers following suit), it seems clear that the age of peak remote work is over.

That might be frustrating for those who became accustomed to the freedom afforded by the pandemic-era work-from-home revolution. But even if you’re still able to telecommute, researchers say there’s growing pressure to appear busy.

What the numbers reveal

It’s easier than ever for employers to keep tabs on the actions of employees, which means workers feel the need to prove they’re constantly being productive.

A phenomenon called “green status effect” gets its name from the “active” status on many office management apps. In addition to refreshing computers to maintain that status, some of the other ways it manifests in the modern workplace include:

  • Scheduling emails to send at strategic times to indicate longer working hours
  • Chiming in on messaging app threads of social or non-work-related topics
  • Arriving earlier and/or staying later than the boss

These strategies impact both remote and in-office workers. And the growing number of hybrid workers are facing pressure at home and in the office.

Employers’ hidden agenda

Many companies have made headlines for calling many remote workers back to the office, but that doesn’t mean they’ll be working in-person full-time. In fact, 82% of Fortune 500 firms are allowing for some form of hybrid work environment.

But the evidence suggests that remote work hasn’t really had a negative impact on productivity, so why are companies pushing for a return to the office in the first place? In addition to trying to fill unused buildings and stoke in-person collaboration, there’s a more sinister motive at play.

Some employers have admitted that their return-to-office policies were designed to make workers quit, thus avoiding the negative press surrounding layoffs.

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How A Sick And Aging Homeless Population Is Fueling New Forms Of Healthcare

One Phoenix man's story is representative of many others across the country.

How A Sick And Aging Homeless Population Is Fueling New Forms Of Healthcare Giphy

The American healthcare system has long been plagued with problems from soaring costs to the denial of treatment for pre-existing conditions. But there’s one group of people particularly hard hit by the limitations of the status quo.

Vance’s story

For one Phoenix man, homelessness has been a way of life for five years. In addition to the stigma and various daily challenges Vance Blair has faced over that period, he’s also seen his health decline in a number of ways.

But when it comes to finding treatment for ailments and chronic conditions, Blair is just one of a growing number of homeless individuals who find frustrating roadblocks at every turn.

Even if Medicaid would provide coverage for a particular procedure, without a permanent residence in which to recover, healthcare providers often will not approve them.

In his case, a new type of facility has been offering assistance. It’s called Circle the City and provides something akin to nursing home care to Blair and others experiencing both homelessness and health problems.

He said the staff has addressed not only his physical needs, but also his emotional ones.

“After a while of being outside, I was having thoughts of not wanting to live anymore,” Blair explained. “This place has been a great help.”

The rise of respite care

Circle the City, which currently has room for about 50 patients, is not alone. It’s just one of the so-called “respite care” facilities that have been established in recent years.

Although Medicaid, the Affordable Care Act, and in some cases local hospitals have provided some of the funding needed to keep such organizations in operation, they also rely on donations from the public.

And as the homeless population becomes increasingly elderly and infirm, the need for respite care is likely to accelerate.

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Tallying Up The True Cost Of America’s Increasingly Frequent Floods

The toll on communities nationwide is more extensive than you might think.

Tallying Up The True Cost Of America’s Increasingly Frequent Floods Giphy

There have always been areas of the United States that are prone to flooding … but in recent years, we’ve seen a growing number of other regions experience the devastation associated with these natural disasters.

And while the causes of this spike (both in number and severity) in flooding are certainly worth exploring, it’s also important to focus on the huge economic and humanitarian costs associated with the trend.

Experts weigh in

A new report compiled by Democrats serving on the Senate Joint Economic Committee laid out the staggering impact that floods currently have on the nation’s economy. One estimate indicated that the combined national cost is nearly half a trillion dollars each year.

That amounts to roughly 1% of the entire U.S. gross domestic product — and some Americans are bearing a disproportionate share of the burden.

In states like Louisiana and Florida, the issue has gotten so bad that many insurance providers are no longer offering flood insurance to residents. And projections indicate that the problem will only become worse as the impact of climate change causes more extreme weather and a rise of the sea level.

Damage being done

As leaders at the local, state, and federal level consider ways to address the current need and prepare for the future, analysts say we should prepare for an astronomical amount of loss — as well as substantial investments in improvements and repairs.

Flood protection efforts could require as much as $345 billion to upgrade infrastructure. Breaking down the estimated annual costs further, experts say:

  • The commercial impact of flooding could reach as much as $40 billion.
  • More than $15 billion could be required to address damage to homes with federally backed mortgages.
  • Sea level rise is linked to nearly $11 billion in residential losses.
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Early Chirp

Written by Chris Agee

90 N Church St, The Strathvale House
Grand Cayman KY1, 9006, Cayman Islands

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