Good afternoon, readers.

Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th President of the United States on Wednesday. It’s safe to say he has his work cut out for him.

Well before his inauguration, Biden had made it clear that he would take an aggressive approach to tackling the COVID pandemic.

Just today, his first full day in office, the president announced more details on how the administration hopes to secure more protective equipment for health care workers, encourage reluctant Americans to get a COVID vaccine (to the tune of 100 million doses delivered in 100 days), and build out the necessary infrastructure to achieve all of those lofty goals. If you’re really bored, you can wade through the nearly-200 page plan here.

Of course, plans such as these are meant to set goals and shape agendas. Delivering a policy message during an outbreak is undoubtedly important, but whether … Read more

President Trump has left. A new administration is beginning. But if you’re a leader struggling with the backlash from the “candid conversations” you may have had about the January 6 riots at the U.S. Capitol and the events that led up to them, you may still be in the thick of things.

You’re not alone. 

“We have hit a nerve here,” says Michael Bush, CEO of Great Place To Work, and the author of a blog post about the riots called Don’t Call Yourself A For-All Leader if You Don’t Do These Things Today. In it, he offered good advice about how to discuss the riot with employees with an important framing: “To be honest, I’m still processing what I saw, but I’m certain of one thing: Now is not the time for leaders to be silent.” 

Evidently, people spoke right up.

His blog post saw record traffic, but … Read more

If you’ve visited social media lately—and surely you haven’t because we’re all keeping good on our New Year’s resolutions—you’ve probably encountered a sea shanty.

For those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about, a quick recap. The sea shanty arose midway through the last millennium as a breed of work-song for sailors to while away the time, forge communal bonds, and generally keep from going insane. Then a couple months ago, a 26-year-old Scottish postman named Nathan Evans sang a rendition on TikTok that made the world become re-obsessed.

The sea shanty form is particularly suited to TikTok. The youth-craze app lets people create “duets,” a feature that adjoins a video post to one already playing. In Sept., TikTok revamped the feature, leading to a renaissance of collaborative creativity. Soon after, Evans posted his performance of “Soon May the Wellerman Come,” which promptly went viralRead more

Health authorities in Norway say there’s no evidence of a direct link between the recent string of deaths among elderly people inoculated against COVID-19, and the vaccine they received.

The Norwegian Medicines Agency is seeking to address fears that taking the vaccine might be too risky, after 33 people in the country aged 75 and over died following immunization, according to the agency’s latest figures. All were already seriously ill, it said.

“Clearly, Covid-19 is far more dangerous to most patients than vaccination,” Steinar Madsen, medical director at the Norwegian Medicines Agency, said by phone on Monday. “We are not alarmed.”

The initial reports from Norway made international headlines as the world looks for early signs of potential side effects from the vaccines. Until Friday, Norway had only used the vaccine provided by Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE, and the companies are now working with the Nordic country to look into the … Read more

Automation is hardly a new threat to workers. Long before the arrival of COVID-19 disrupted businesses, many manufacturing executives were already changing how their companies assembled products, and other industries were considering following suit.

But as the global crisis has dragged on, the pandemic could be accelerating that shift.

“Every time there’s a disruption it forces people to make decisions,” says Tom Smith, an associate professor of finance at Emory University’s Goizueta Business School. “I would put money on the fact that this has sped up at least the decision-making process. When, all of a sudden, you’re in a crisis, smart and creative people find solutions. Creative people don’t let the crisis take everything down if they can help it.”

Just under 40{429fc2506e610357e12b2a5665db82631200a2e00b3a1d8839077d76f18e2e8b} of U.S. jobs are at significant risk of being automated, according to the World Economic Forum (WEF). More than 10{429fc2506e610357e12b2a5665db82631200a2e00b3a1d8839077d76f18e2e8b} of the country’s jobs are at high … Read more