In Brief: Rise of the Chief Hybrid Work Officer; Concern for Misinformation on Cancer

September 2021
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Pandemic Brings New Executive Title: Chief Hybrid Work Officer

As more companies adopt post-pandemic hybrid-work models — in which some employees work in the office while others work from home — organizations are hiring “hybrid-work managers” and even “chief hybrid work officers.” 

As HR Dive reports, GitLab, a software company, has a “head of remote.” Facebook, meanwhile, has hired a “director of remote work.”

Lars Schmidt, founder of Amplify Talent, a search firm for HR executives, said hybrid-work managers will be responsible for optimizing organizational processes so that remote workers have the technology they need to complete tasks on their own schedules. In most organizations, a hybrid-work manager would likely report to the chief human resources officer or chief people officer, he said.

Alexia Cambon, research director at the consulting firm Gartner, said hybrid-work managers must be comfortable communicating with and coordinating between different types of work teams to ensure their members collaborate. “Anyone in that role,” she said, “is essentially asked to shed the assumptions of the past and rethink work altogether.”


Report: Nearly a Third of Online Cancer Articles Contain Misinformation

Nearly a third of online articles about cancer contain misinformation, much of which is potentially harmful, a new study finds.

Scientists from the University of Utah used a web-scraping software to gather 200 articles — including those shared on Facebook, Reddit, Twitter and Pinterest — about each of the four most common cancers: breast, prostate, colorectal and lung.

Seventy-five of the articles were from traditional news outlets; 83 from nontraditional digital outlets; two from personal blogs; six from crowd-funding sites; and 34 from medical journals. Some 32.5 percent misused evidence, cited unproven therapies or had misleading headlines.

Further, 30.5 percent of the 200 articles studied urged people to delay or not seek medical attention for curable conditions; to pay for expensive therapies; to self-medicate with potentially toxic substances; or to use alternative therapies that could interact adversely with other treatments, as reported by Medical News Today.

Articles containing harmful information received an average of 2,300 shares, while safe articles received 1,500 shares, the scientists found. 

Study Examines Why Executives Dodge Reporters’ Questions

In January, when a reporter asked Delta Airlines’ then-interim co-CFO Gary Chase how many passengers the carrier had banned the previous week for not following the company’s face-mask mandate, the executive answered: “Not a huge number, but a number.”

As the Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business reports, journalists who cover corporate-earnings calls often hear executives give indirect, evasive and even false answers to direct questions. A new paper co-authored by David F. Larcker, professor of accounting at the school, finds that roughly 11 percent of questions posed by analysts and journalists during these conference calls yield “non-answers” from corporate managers.

The study used linguistic analysis and machine learning to measure the executives’ non-answers, which fell into three categories: “refuse” (“We don’t disclose those numbers”), “unable” (“I don’t have that information”) and “after-call” (“Let’s take that discussion offline”). 

Executives tend to give non-answers when asked about company performance (especially when it’s been poor) and proprietary information, the study found. 


Young Adults Bypassed TV to Watch Olympic Moments on TikTok

In late July, when NBC’s “Today Show” told viewers that U.S. gymnast Simone Biles would withdraw from the Tokyo Olympics, footage of the shaky performance that preceded her decision didn’t air on the network until that night. But as The Washington Post reported, homemade videos of Biles’ performance began circulating that morning on TikTok.

The Tokyo Games were the first since TikTok debuted in September 2016. Half of TikTok’s users are younger than 25, according to eMarketer. And videos from the athletes about the Olympics were thriving on the platform.

“In this day and age, the average Olympic viewer is not loyal to a TV network or station, but they are loyal to people,” said Ali Fazal of influencer-marketing company Grin. 

While broadcasters owned the rights to all the sporting action, TikTok offered a different viewing experience, from behind-the-scenes tours of the facilities to snippets of everyday life during the games to what it was like to win a Gold Medal. In one viral clip, U.S. diver Tyler Downs filmed himself being starstruck at his first sighting of Simone Biles. 

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