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Rethinking the post-pandemic workplace

While the pandemic continues to ravage much of the world, the rich world is opening back for business and companies are preparing to bring their employees back to the office. But quite a few of those workers don't seem thrilled about a return to pre-COVID workplace norms. A recent survey of 30,000 Americans found that three in ten never want to return to the office again. Another poll found that one in three US workers wouldn't want to work for an employer who requires them to be on site full time. But Wall Street's impatience is starting to show. Take Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman, who effectively told his New York City employees that they should expect to be back in their cubicles by September, or else. If employers are going to require that their workers return to the office, what should those workers expect in return?

Watch the episode: Adam Grant reimagines work after COVID

Adam Grant reimagines work after COVID

As the pandemic recedes in some parts of the world, many employers—from Fortune 500 CEOs to small business owners—are bringing their workers back to the office full time. The thing is, not all of those employees want to go back. On GZERO World, Ian Bremmer speaks with renowned organizational psychologist Adam Grant about how to reimagine "work" in a post-pandemic world. Plus, a look at how the paid family leave benefits in the United States stack up to other developed nations (hint: not so great).

Adam Grant on post-pandemic WFH: CEOs still don’t get it

Where does US organizational psychologist Adam Grant stand on the raging debate on post-pandemic work from home? His message is clear: CEOs demanding everyone return to the office like COVID never happened simply don't get it. "Productivity is about the purpose and the process that you bring to your job (...) not about the place you happen to be doing it in." Catch his interview with Ian Bremmer on the Season 4 premiere of GZERO World, which begins airing on US public television Friday, July 9. Check local listings.

Biden infrastructure plan would boost jobs; Georgia voter law tensions

Jon Lieber, Managing Director of the United States for the Eurasia Group, shares his insights on US politics:

What specifics do you expect to be in Biden's "build back better" infrastructure plan?

Well, this is really a two-part plan. The first part Biden's rolling out this week, and it's focused mainly on infrastructure. Bridges, roads, tunnels, transit, the whole infrastructure smorgasbord, including on broadband deployment, as well as investing in things like rural hospitals, schools and upgrading buildings to be more energy efficient. Biden's proposed between $2 and $2.5 trillion depending on how you do the math, paid for by tax increases primarily falling on the corporate sector that actually spread out over 15 years, as opposed to the bill's spending, which spreads out over 10. That means the bill will be mildly stimulative to the economy on top of creating potentially new jobs through the direct spending that's going to happen.

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No, Joe Biden, America is not back. It will take time.

Ian Bremmer's Quick Take:

Hi everybody, Ian Bremmer here, kicking off the week as we head into spring. And I thought I'd talk a little bit about where US foreign policy is and is not heading.

We keep hearing from President Biden and the Biden administration that the United States is back. And certainly when you talk about the fact that the United States is rejoining and recommitting to a lot of institutions like the nuclear agreement on START, five-year extension, trying to get back into the Iranian nuclear deal, Paris Climate Accord, World Health Organization, where there's been a lot of criticism of late from Secretary of State Blinken saying the Chinese are all over that, and were writing basically the report that came out from the WHO, my God, that's a hit, but they're still engaging with WHO as they should. Internationally, that means that the level of diplomacy looks a little bit more normal than it did under the Trump administration, but that's not the United States is back.

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Biden's massive, historic stimulus relief bill passes

Jon Lieber, Managing Director of the United States for the Eurasia Group, shares his perspective on the historic American Relief Act:

The American Relief Act just passed. Joe Biden's big $1.9 trillion stimulus has now passed the Senate and the House of Representatives and is on its way to the president's desk to be signed into law. This is a massive, historic piece of legislation on top of already $3 trillion in stimulus that Congress has provided to respond to the novel coronavirus. Here's another almost $2 trillion, that two thirds of which will be spent in this calendar year.

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Minimum wage won't go up for now; Texas sets reopening example

Jon Lieber, Managing Director of the United States for the Eurasia Group, shares his insights on US politics in Washington, DC:

Another stimulus bill is about to pass the Senate. Why won't the minimum wage be going up?

Well, the problem with the minimum wage is it didn't have the 50 votes it needed to overcome the procedural hurdles that prevent the minimum wage when traveling with the stimulus bill. Clearly support for $15 an hour minimum wage in the House of Representatives, but there's probably somewhere between 41 and 45 votes for it in the Senate. There may be a compromise level that emerges later in the year as some Republicans have indicated, they'd be willing to support a lower-level minimum wage increase. But typically, those proposals come along with policies that Democrats find unacceptable, such as an employment verification program for any new hire in the country. Labor unions have been really, really fixated on getting a $15 an hour minimum wage. They may not be up for a compromise. So, we'll see what happens.

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Texas grid shows need to fix infrastructure in US; RIP Rush Limbaugh

Ian Bremmer discusses the World In (more than) 60 Seconds:

What's happening in Texas?

Speaking of weird weather, my goodness yeah, I didn't know this was coming up here. Yeah, it's cold, right? There's snow. It looks horrible and millions of people without energy and of course that is because the level of infrastructure investment into the Texas grid is well below what it needs to be. There's a lack of integration. Texas' grid largely stands by itself. It is not under the authority of or coordinated multilaterally with broader energy infrastructure. And there has been a lot of investment into renewables in Texas. It is certainly true. They've been very interested in that. Sped up under former Governor Perry but still the vast majority of electricity is coming from fossil fuels. It's coming from coal and mostly oil and gas.

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