Tag: Arent

Bill Gates says in-person meetings aren’t the ‘gold standard’ anymore and that 50% of business travel will go away even after pandemic

Bill Gates wearing a suit and tie talking on a cell phone: Bill Gates. Hou Yu/China News Service/VCG via Getty Images

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Bill Gates. Hou Yu/China News Service/VCG via Getty Images

  • Bill Gates is predicting that business travel and office work won’t return to pre-pandemic levels in the future. 
  • “My prediction would be that over 50% of business travel and over 30% of days in the office will go away,” Gates said at The New York Times DealBook conference on Tuesday. 
  • In-person business meetings won’t be the “gold standard” anymore, Gates said, predicting that most companies will have a “very high threshold” for doing those types of business trips. 
  • Many major tech companies, particularly in the tech realm, are reconsidering the future of work. Some, like Twitter and Slack, have said employees may work remotely forever. Others, like Microsoft, after planning to implement hybrid models of work. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The sweeping changes we’ve seen this year to office work and business travel won’t go away, even after the pandemic subsides, according to Bill Gates. 


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Gates described how he envisions the future of work during an interview with Andrew Ross Sorkin at The New York Times DealBook conference on Tuesday. According to Gates, one of the biggest changes to how business is conducted will have to do with work-related travel. 

“My prediction would be that over 50% of business travel and over 30% of days in the office will go away,” Gates said.

The type of business travel where it’s important to fly somewhere to physically sit in front of someone else to discuss something in person won’t be the “gold standard” anymore, Gates said. He predicts most companies will have a “very high threshold” for doing those types of business trips. 

When it comes to working from home, “some companies will be extreme on one end or the other,” Gates said, likely alluding to companies like Twitter, who have said their employees may work remotely forever, from anywhere. 

Gates did reveal one downside of virtual meetings versus in-person events: the inability to meet new people. He told Sorkin that he hasn’t made new friends this year because he never meets people at random.

“More could be done on the software side to allow for serendipitous run-ins after meetings,” Gates said. 

Many companies, particularly those in the tech world, from which Gates hails, are reconsidering the future of work now the the pandemic has shut down the majority of travel and in-office work this year. Twitter isn’t the only company who has said employees never need to return to the office: Slack, Stripe, and Facebook have all said employees may relocate away from company headquarters, though in some cases, they’ll take pay cuts.

At Microsoft, the company Gates founded with Paul Allen in 1975, employees will shift to a “hybrid workplace” where they’ll only report to the office for half the workweek. 

Gates’ predictions on business travel line up with research from industry experts, who have estimated that it will likely take several years to return to pre-pandemic levels. According to

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Outdoor recreation is popular in Connecticut, but enthusiasts aren’t spending much, US statistics say

Perhaps it’s the state parks that are available for free or Connecticut’s cramped geography, but whatever the reason, residents and visitors didn’t spend much money last year on outdoor recreation.

The outdoor recreation economy in Connecticut accounted for 1.3% of the state’s economy in 2019, last in the nation, according to recent statistics from the U.S. Department of Commerce. Leading the way were boating and fishing and golf and tennis.

Not surprisingly, Hawaii with its abundant beaches and verdant forests was No. 1, accounting for 5.8% of its economy.

Outdoor recreation includes conventional activities such as bicycling, boating, hiking and hunting; gardening and outdoor concerts; and travel and tourism, local trips and government spending.

Connecticut’s outdoor recreation value last year was about $3.7 billion. For the U.S., it was nearly $460 billion.

Northern New England — Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont — posted greater shares of New England’s economy spent on outdoor recreation, particularly snow-related activities such as skiing in Vermont.

Western states such as Alaska, Colorado, Montana, Utah and Wyoming with their vistas, canyons and popular national parks accounted for the highest shares of the outdoor recreation economy. So did Florida, a major tourist destination.

The spread of COVID-19 has prompted a boom in outdoor activities in response to stay-at-home orders.

“The BEA release of economic data comes at a time when the health and wellness benefits of recreation cannot be overstated,” the Outdoor Industry Association said. “People want to get outside for their physical and mental health.”

The crush of people in parks, hiking trails and other outdoor places could be creating problems.

“We remain troubled by the evidence that popular outdoor locations continue to suffer from overcrowding by visitors, defeating the purpose of physical distancing protocols meant to minimize coronavirus-related health risks,” the Connecticut Chapter of the Appalachian Mountain Club says.

Stress on state and federal recreation areas in the Northeast “may have consequences far outlasting the current quarantine,” the club says. It recommends limited outdoor activities such as brief outings.

Trails and grounds of Connecticut’s state parks and forests are open for solitary recreation, not group activities, the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection says.

Growth in the outdoor recreation economy was slower last year than the overall economy: up 1.3% increase vs. 2.2% growth of the U.S. economy.

Stephen Singer can be reached at [email protected]


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Being outdoors has so many benefits. So why aren’t Black

Nature is for everyone. And the social, emotional, and physical benefits of being outside are too valuable to keep from people of color.

CLEVELAND — Erika Hood knows a little something about Black joy.

On a bright afternoon in late September, she found it in a pair of roller skates.

A dozen kids sat cross-legged on a basketball court in Southeast Cleveland, waiting for directions. After months of social distancing, the kids were restless, and eager to lace up their skates.

Erika’s sister, Ebony, crouched to help a kid fasten his helmet.

“There are cultural barriers that we deal with within our own community that’s, ‘Oh, that’s not for us. That’s for those other people. We don’t do that,’” said Ebony. “And we’re here to show them that’s not true.”

Black Americans have long faced barriers when it comes to recreating in natural spaces and deep, generational fears that contribute to a gap in access, causing many to miss out on the benefits linked to spending time outdoors.

Ebony Hood shows off a Cuyahoga Valley National Park T-shirt before cycling 12 miles of the Ohio and Erie Towpath Trail, which follows the historic Ohio and Erie Canal in September 2020. (Photo: Family handout)

Growing up in Southeast Cleveland, Erika and Ebony didn’t often see other Black people recreating in natural spaces, even as their mother, Marcia, prioritized spending time outdoors. Growing up, the sisters said they felt connected to nature, but saw other Black Americans struggle to access those same healing, joyful experiences.

So in 2009, the mother-daughter trio founded Syatt — an acronym for “See You At The Top” — with a grant from the Cleveland Foundation’s Neighborhood Connections program, and set out on a mission to not only increase access to natural spaces for Black youth, but to produce and encourage Black joy in places that haven’t always been safe or welcoming of people of color.

Inequality outdoors

According to a 2017 report by The Outdoor Foundation,  just 9% of the 144.4 million Americans who participated in outdoor recreation over the previous year were Black.

For the Hoods, those numbers aren’t surprising.

Black people often find power, confidence and healing in returning to natural spaces they were once harmed by or excluded from, said Marcia. But making that first trip can be difficult — especially for young people.

Report for America: Vulnerable Kansas bird populations are a canary in a coal mine for climate change

“We have to make them feel comfortable through our confidence,” said Marcia, who gave her own daughters the confidence to be present and joyful in natural spaces. “It’s like, ‘Yes, you do have a right to be here.’”

And to prove it, the Hoods lace up right alongside their participants.

“They see my hair all messed up and crazy looking after we kayak. If I got splashed or wet, or if we decide to swim, then you’re going to see Miss Erika wear her hair in an afro,” Erika said. “We’re going to

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Family Vacation’ Is Premiering in November but Some Fans Aren’t Excited

Jersey Shore: Family Vacation will officially return with new episodes beginning Nov. 19. Season 4 is already guaranteed to be a lot different than previous seasons of the MTV reality series. After all, what does Jersey Shore look like without Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi? Regardless of the exciting news, some fans aren’t too happy about the upcoming season of Jersey Shore: Family Vacation. 

‘Jersey Shore Family Vacation’ Logo | MTV

‘Snooki’ won’t be back for season 4 of ‘Jersey Shore: Family Vacation’ 

Despite the rumors circulating amongst fans, Polizzi won’t be back for JSFV Season 4. Instead, she has been busy working on a secret project with her friend and podcast co-star, Joey Camasta. Plus, Polizzi owns and operates the Snooki Shop and raises her three children with her husband Jionni LaValle — that’s plenty to keep her busy. 

All of the other roommates, including Deena Cortese, Pauly Delvecchio, Jenni “JWoww” Farley, Vinny Guadagnino, Ronnie Ortiz-Magro, and Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino will be back in the new season. Angelina Pivarnick is returning, too. Will there be leftover tension from the wedding? Only time will tell.

This season is being teased as ‘Jersey Shore: Bring the Family Vacation’ 

Fans might get to see some of the Double Shot at Love cast during season 4. Considering DelVecchio is in a relationship with Nikki Hall, she’ll likely be joining the family on their vacation this time around. 

MTV teased how the Jersey Shore men will also be bringing in “the extended family to distract them from drama and hope for the best.” Sorrentino and his wife, Lauren, were traveling together recently, so she’ll also likely be part of season 4. Like Sorrentino, Cortese was traveling with family and shooting for the new season. 

Did the ‘Jersey Shore’ family gather for a proposal? 

Since DelVecchio and Hall revealed their relationship status at the reunion special of Double Shot at Love, many fans think their engagement is coming soon. 

Nikki Hall and Pauly DelVecchio
Nikki Hall and Pauly DelVecchio on ‘Double Shot at Love’ Season 2 | MTV

RELATED: ‘Double Shot at Love’ Fans Think Pauly DelVecchio Is Proposing to Nikki Hall Because of Something Nicole ‘Snooki’ Polizzi Said

“What if Pauly and Nikki are getting married and they are filming the weeks leading up to it?” a fan posted on Reddit. “This would be the reason why the DSAL crew went to Vegas?? They could have Nikki ask the DSAL girls to be in her wedding party because MTV is paying for it. Pauly’s 40 so I can see him wanting to get married now.”

Most fans are skeptical about the idea, but the truth is anything can happen during a family vacation! 

‘Jersey Shore: Family Vacation’ might lose some viewers this season

Regardless of what has been teased about Jersey Shore: Family Vacation Season 4, some fans aren’t as excited as they have been in the past. 

“I just think they need to stop making new seasons and leave it as is right now and find a new

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Why Americans Aren’t Taking Half Of Their Vacation Days

Only 23% of employees are taking all of their eligible time off, according to a recent survey by job site Glassdoor. In fact, the average employee takes about half (54%) of his or her vacation time—a number that hasn’t changed much since Glassdoor asked the question in 2014.

And when people do take their vacation days, they aren’t 100% vacationing. Two-thirds (66%) report working when they take vacation, which is higher than the number in 2014 (61%).

The folks at Glassdoor weren’t surprised by the first number, which has remained fairly consistent. But the second number raised some red flags. “More employees are doing work and thinking about work while on vacation,” says Scott Dobroski, Glassdoor community expert. “Technology is a blessing and a curse. It’s a blessing because it can allow parents to take off at 3 p.m. and see their child’s soccer game during the week. But it’s a curse because you can take off for vacation time and be sitting on a beautiful beach and log into your inbox.”

With all that technology available, it might seem like it would be easier than ever to take time off. After all, if you’re always reachable, aren’t you reachable from anywhere?

“When we look at the top reasons why people are not taking vacation time, it boils down to fear,” Dobroski says. “The number one reason is that people fear getting behind, or that no one else at their company can do the work, or they feel they can never be disconnected.”

Fear is a factor for Mitch, who is a white collar technical worker. “Even with the economy going well, I still fear a layoff,” says Mitch, 49, who lives in Phoenix. “I want to have all my vacation in the bank so I can get a payout to help cushion the job loss.”

For Jake Tully, who heads up his company’s creative department, vacation brings significant feelings of guilt. “I would feel bad leaving my post for too long and opening the possibility of my team feeling lost or overwhelmed,” says Tully, 25, who lives in Woodland Hills, CA. “I feel incredibly lucky to lead excellent and competent groups of people, but I don’t ever want to put those I manage in a position where my prolonged absence hinders their day-to-day or makes their lives more difficult.”

For others, vacation is a source of income. “Some companies offer their employees the opportunity to cash out their unused vacation days at year end, especially if there is a cap on how many—if any—can be carried over to the next year,” says Roy Cohen, career coach and author of The Wall Street Professional’s Survival Guide. “For my clients who prefer the money, and don’t see time off as essential, this is a nice incentive.”

It can also be tricky to take a vacation at a firm where the culture doesn’t push workers to take a break. “Two-thirds of employees say they hear very little about vacation time from

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