NY Times reporter Goldberg on covering the changing workplace culture

Emma Goldberg

New York Times business reporter Emma Goldberg writes about her workplace culture beat has changed during the past few years.

Goldberg writes, “I started my beat by reading writers who have detailed the day-to-day rhythm of workers’ lives. I read “Nickel and Dimed,” in which Barbara Ehrenreich tries to experience firsthand what it’s like to work as a waitress taking meatloaf orders or a housekeeper scrubbing kitchen floors. I read Angela Garbes, who wrote about the underpaid and sacred work of child care. I read Studs Terkel, who showed the unexpected profundity that emerged when you ask people about their workdays.

“This is an especially dramatic period to be asking people how they occupy their time. There’s a reason that my slippery, somewhat amorphous beat came into being in 2021. Many reporters at The Times do the relentless and essential work of tracking particular industries and companies — retail and media, TikTok and Amazon. My beat cuts across these areas to examine the ways the workplace is changing, a shift that has ratcheted up to a breathless pace during the pandemic.

“When the whole world tipped sideways — cities in lockdown, hospitals jammed — workplaces went with it. Over the last three and a half years, record numbers of people quit their jobs, many of them to pursue positions that were more highly paid. Thousands of people went on strike, including automobile makers, Hollywood writers and health care professionals. Unions reached their highest approval rating since 1965. Some 50 million people started working from home at one point, and now, many of them are fighting with managers to keep some of that flexibility.”

Read more here.

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