Jen's Workplace News


We are back with a workplace trend, news snippets and sage advice in the “Dear Jen” column.

And of course, I share my recommendations for your viewing pleasure.

I hope this newsletter brings you some wisdom and joy!

Cheers, Jen


Jens Lens

What trend am I seeing out there in the workplace world?

Zoom fatigue. And I get it.

I don’t mind talking on the phone instead – especially on those days when I haven’t “put my face on”.

But, if we’re not going into a workplace, and not eyeballing people on Zoom, is this having an impact on our mental health?

Take Out Point: Yes, I am talking to Oscar and Floyd more. Call me a crazy cat lady at your own risk.



Job Of the Week

I love Canva as much as the next person, but can someone please explain the role of “Head of Vibe” and whether I need to hire one of those in my business?

If so, do I need to follow Canva’s lead and have a dedicated choc chip cookie chef, gym classes, cooked meals, rooftop beehives and annual ‘vibe allowance’?

Hollywood Is On Strike!

On 13 July, the Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists voted to go on strike. This action has been taken to protect the jobs of the 95% of Hollywood who aren’t Meryl Streep or Matt Damon, you know, waiters. As my favourite Tweet said “You do NOT wanna mess with actors, we’re the ones handling your food”. (@GianmarcoSoresi)

Woolies Apologises For Employees’ Sheep Noises Stunt

A woman informed Woolworths via a Tweet that their store employees taunted her for wearing a face mask by making “sheep noises” at her. The sheep noises may relate to the woman’s decision to wear a face mask. Apparently, people who oppose Covid-19 protection measures make the noises as an insult to those they regard as being in “a flock of sheep” following public health orders.

See: Woollies Apologises for Staff Sheep Noises

Is Canva Channelling A George Clooney Movie?

According to the AFR, the number of people being “performance managed-out” of Canva has noticeably increased. One Canva employee described the process as “being like a scene in the George Clooney movie ‘Up in the Air’, where corporate downsizers travel the country, sacking workers with cut-throat efficiency”. Canva insists staff were only let go “after regular feedback and support”. The company has increased its headcount from 2700 to 3700 in the past year.

Take Out Point: Canva’s approach is consistent with what I am seeing elsewhere in the market. Companies are letting go of people who are “not the right fit” or “toxic” but star performers have nothing to worry about.

See: Canva Lets Staff Go

Work From Home – New Commonwealth Public Service Deal

The Community and Public Sector Union and the Australian Public Service Commission have reached a deal covering 174,000 employees. According to the AFR, “all APS employees will be able to make a flexible work request, including to work from home, and agencies cannot impose limits on the number of days employees can work from home in a week”. There will be a presumption that working from home requests will be approved unless there are reasonable business grounds not to approve.

See: Public Sector Agrees to Uncapped WFH Days

Thumbs Up Emoji Costs $92,000

A Canadian judge has ruled that a “thumbs up emoji” used by a farmer in a text message exchange was just as valid as a signature. The farmer said the emoji meant he had just received the contract, not that he agreed to its terms. The Judge didn’t agree. That emoji cost the farmer AUD$92,000.

Take Out Point: Australian courts are not there yet, but is it only a matter of time until we all need to read and write fluent emoji?


Jen's Difficult Conversations in the Workplace

Difficult Conversations – Strategy + Scripts + Documentation

Important conversations require planning. Often we know they need to have a conversation but can’t find the right words.

That’s  where I come into it. I have a knack for preparing strategies, scripts and documents for:

  • Performance management conversations
  • Redundancy consultations
  • Managing toxic employees
  • Addressing bullying and harassment claims
  • Managing requests to Work From Home and Flexible Work Arrangements.

Let me take the stress out of handling these workplace issues…

Or grab the most practical online course in town. Run, don’t walk to my website for my highly informative and entertaining online course – “Difficult Conversations In The Workplace: A Lawyer’s Guide to Not Needing a Lawyer”. Spend an hour with your favourite unlawyerly lawyer for just $149 plus GST, or organise a workshop or coaching.


Jen's Mailbox

Dear Jen

Over the years I’ve been an astronaut, life guard, ballerina, surgeon, fashion model and so much more.

From now on, I don’t want to be tied to a workplace. I want to be able to travel and work from anywhere with my friend Ken.

What do you suggest I do?

Busy B

Dear Busy B

Given your patchy work history, maybe you should consider working for yourself.

If you became an influencer, you could create content from anywhere, even on the road in a camper van.

It’s a competitive market, so you might want to consider wearing a bright colour.

Good luck!



Jen's After Work



What I Inhaled (on Netflix)

The “Wham!” doco is brilliant. Andrew Ridgeley – I take it all back. You were not just a punchline. There would be no Wham without you. [On a separate note, I remain utterly convinced that George Michael and Princess Diana share a bloodline. The hair. The doe-y eyes. Am I wrong?]

What I’m Loving (on Netflix)

“The Lincoln Lawyer” doesn’t suffer from second season syndrome. Loving the first 5 eps. Now drop the next 5 please!

What I Inhaled (on SBS Online)

“Limbo” is a brilliant 6 ep Swedish drama based on a true story about the impact on 3 close knit families after teenagers are involved in a car accident. Sounds off-putting, but trust me, this is (literally) car crash tv. You won’t be able to look away. A must watch (even if you are not fluent in Swedish like me).

What I’m Loving (on Apple)

Last year’s surprise hit drama “The Bear” (which is about a Chicago chef, not a bear) is back. (Go back and watch season 1 if you haven’t).

What I “Escape Watched” (on Netflix)

Need a lifestyle program to watch whilst Insta-scrolling or Candy Crushing? “Hack My Home” features 4 “design wizards” who use space-maximizing solutions to transform really nice, deserving people’s homes. (I may have cried in episode 3).

What I’ve Seen With All The Cool Kids (at the Movies)

“Barbie”.  (Be warned, you won’t be able to get the “I’m Just Ken” song out of your head).


Jen's Last Word

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