In Brief: CEO Activists; Millennial Laundry Habits

October 2, 2018

U.S. Adults Are Changing Their Relationship With Facebook

When news broke that Facebook exposed raw data on up to 87 million accounts to political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica, CNET writer Mark Serrels issued a prediction regarding the angry, impassioned responses from users: “There’s a big difference between saying you’re going to delete Facebook and actually deleting Facebook.”

Yet, a new Pew Research Center study — which polled U.S. adults between May 29 and June 11, less than three months after the scandal was exposed in The New York Times — shows that significant shares of Facebook users are changing their relationship to the embattled platform. Forty-two percent of respondents admit to taking a break from checking Facebook for several weeks or more, with 26 percent saying they’ve deleted the Facebook app from their phone.

The survey also reveals that younger users (ages 18 to 29) are the demographic most likely to take action; 64 percent of these individuals say they’ve adjusted their privacy settings on Facebook, compared with only a third of users 65 and older.

Learning Can Be a Helpful Antidote to Work Stress

When work gets too stressful, our natural response is to either opt for a day off to clear the head or just buckle down and work through the pain. While these both have their merits, Harvard Business Review suggests a third option: approaching the stressor as an opportunity to learn. 

In a study of more than 300 U.S. employees, HBR discovered that employees experienced fewer negative emotions (like anxiety or distress) and were less likely to engage in unethical behavior (such as being mean to co-workers) on days of learning activities at work.

And it doesn’t take much for a task to qualify as a learning activity, either. While collaborating with peers on difficult projects can be informative and insightful, sometimes all it takes is internal message-shifting. Writes HBR, “Reframing stressful tasks as learning possibilities shifts your mindset and better prepares you to approach the task with an orientation toward growth and longer-term gains.”

Survey: Americans Believe CEO Activism Can Influence the Government

An annual survey from Weber Shandwick and KRC Research on CEO activism revealed that nearly half of U.S. adults believe business leaders at top companies possess the power to influence the government.

However, Americans are divided on what CEOs should do with this power. When asked whether business leaders have a responsibility to speak out on key issues, 42 percent of respondents say they don’t while 39 percent say they do. And while 64 percent of Democrats think companies should take positions on social matters, 68 percent of Republicans side with the contrary.

When it comes to specific activist issues, though, there is a greater sense of agreement. If CEOs were to voice their opinions, then most respondents feel it should be about topics related to business and the workplace; for instance, 79 and 77 percent of Americans, respectively, believe CEOs should speak out about equal pay and sexual harassment in the office.

How Unilever Is Responding to Millennial Laundry Habits

According to a recent Reuters story, millennials are doing their laundry less frequently than older generations, forcing consumer goods corporations like Unilever to alter their product strategies.

Unilever research revealed that nearly 60 percent of millennials would prefer to reuse their lightly-worn clothes instead of washing them again to save time and be environmentally sustainable. In response, Unilever has begun selling Day 2, an aerosol spray of fabric-stiffening molecules that refreshes and de-wrinkles clothes so users can wear them again without having to make a trip to the laundromat.

Unilever is also trying their hand at the gig economy; the company’s detergent Skip has partnered with the mobile app Cowash to connect people with neighbors willing to wash and iron their laundry for a fee. It is currently being tested in Paris.

Cowash founder Adrien Hugon insists that most of his customers have the tools to wash their own clothes but choose to use the service for convenience purposes. “They don’t do it because they don’t have washing machines, they do it because they don’t have time,” he says.


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