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America This Week: Robot Cats, Retirement Reinvented, Offices Are Like Typewriters and the Hidden Ri


The latest trends in culture and society from The Harris Poll

Good morning from New York. If you were wondering how many rounds the House Speaker fight would go last week, you were not alone. In the Harris Poll, America This Week survey fielded from January 6th to 8th among 2,002 US adults, (77%) of Americans are concerned about political divisiveness in the country, with (80%) of Democrats, (75%) of Republicans, and (74%) of independents. A complete trend line of the most important issues to Americans this week is below: (download this chart here for your ppts) Harris Poll America This Week Trended Survey: John Gerzema January 8-9, 2023 Here's what else you need to know this week:

  • The Harris Poll headed to The Consumer Electronics Show (CES), and I found some great tech, the best of which seemed to be in transportation, the home, and health. (See the videos from my floor tour below).

  • With Edward Jones and Age Wave, we find that retirement is changing from a destination to a journey. We’ll explain.

  • And in a USA Today-Harris Poll, we find that traditional offices are fast becoming a relic of the past, just like typewriters.

  • And with BD, we identify a significant and preventable gap in Women’s Health: Cervical Cancer screening.

I've included the full stories below. Also, the America This Week monthly summary slide deck and tabs on inflation and worker sentiment can be downloaded here. Thanks and have a great rest of the week. John. jgerzema@harrispoll.com 1. What Tech Dazzled Us? The Report From The CES Floor Last week, Harris Poll headed to Las Vegas for CES (Consumer Electronic Show), where we saw some fascinating tech, from robot lawnmowers to smart pee strips. (You didn't know you needed both, right?) Let's take a look at some things that caught our attention on the floor: Jackery Solar’s recharging panels for EVs (who needs a recharging station?) Delorean's forward (instead of back) to the future electric concept car Candela’s EV hydrofoil speedboat - sustainable and Tesla-fast Ottonomy.IO autonomous delivery robots Richtech Robotics robot baristas/bartenders Italdesign’s horizontal/vertical mobility housing/car pods Yarbo autonomous lawnmower and snowblower Tech Pets: Robot cats and an AI Aquarium Also, one of my favorite start-ups is Vivoo, an at-home urine test kit/app. Its machine learning technology remotely analyzes a user’s peed-on test strip to serve up custom ‘wellness’ insights then and there, offering recommendations across a range of areas such as nutrition and biological function. And extending beyond convenience into health, Watchmaker Citizen, BHeart, and Nowatch all announced new health wearables that claim to pay close attention to one’s mental well-being. As a Harris Poll/APA study details, an essential endeavor is that stress has been rising in the US due to political divisiveness, inflation, and the lingering pandemic. Takeaway: The best tech was focused on home, transportation, and health and wellness. And robots are going from theoretical to practical. Great to see Stagwell and The Harris Poll team doing such a great job on the ground! If you're interested, we’ll host a virtual edition of our popular floor tours on 1/18 from 12:30-1:30 PM ET. RSVP here. 2. Retirement is a Journey, Not a Destination: Edward Jones-Age Wave-Harris Poll In partnership with Edward Jones and Age Wave, as covered by Market Watch, we find that retirement today is no longer a destination; it’s a new journey, a whole new chapter of life.

  • Not your parents’ retirement: Over half of pre-retirees and retirees ages 45 and older say that retirement today is best described as “a new chapter in life,” more so than “a time for relaxation,” which they tell their parents’ retirement as:

Edward Jones/Age Wave/Harris Poll Survey January 2023

  • Today’s retirees are reengaging with life, not retreating: Half of the retirees surveyed say they are actually “reinviting themselves in their retirement,” particularly women (53% v. men: 47%), and nearly three-quarters (72%) say they are now “able to realize their hopes and dreams.”

  • The new work rules of retirement: It appears that in the future, retirement activities will increasingly include work, be it part-time, cyclical, or even full-time:


  • Retirement isn’t without some worries, as numbers of pre-retirees and retirees ages 45+ are worried about their physical health, healthcare costs, unexpected expenses, and economic conditions in retirement (49%, 34%, 32%, 32%, respectively).

Takeaway: There is a warning here for younger Americans, as the retirees surveyed started saving at an average age of 38, but in retrospect, they say they should have started saving nearly a decade earlier, at 29. 3. Traditional Offices/Worklife Are As Outdated As Typewriters: In an op-ed for USA Today, Rich Barton, the CEO and co-founder of Zillow, featured Harris Poll data to detail how workers don’t want to return to the office, leaving the traditional offices as anachronistic as the “mad men” of a bygone era.

  • Nearly three-quarters (73%) of remote and hybrid workers say they would probably find another remote or hybrid job if their company forced them to work from the office full-time.

  • Hiring managers agree that remote work is staying: In a recent survey with Express Employment Professionals, as covered by HR Dive, over 8 in 10 (82%) hiring managers at companies that worked remotely during the pandemic had plans to continue to allow staff to perform their duties offsite – in part as 6 in 10 (59%) said remote work had a positive impact on their organizations.

  • So what else is outdated? Five-day work weeks: In a poll with Grid, we found that three-quarters of Americans (73%) believe they’d be more productive in their job if they worked four days instead of five (v. less effective: 27%).

Takeaway: The traditional office, in three words, is pale, stale, and male. Over half (52%) of Black and (50%) Women professionals say working from home is better for advancing their careers than the office (vs. 42% of Men). Home is where they feel more ambitious (Black 63%, Women 58%), and (72%) can speak their minds more freely. But last Summer, (55%) of America’s interns (Gen Z) said being in often empty spaces and supervised at a distance by largely remote manatees left them feeling they’d missed out on an adulting rite of passage. Instead of abandoning it, reinvent it as continuing education, crowd-sourcing ideas, and mentoring. Make the office a destination-driven event space with goals and purpose, not a place to waste time and money doing email. 4. The Screening Gap in Women’s Health: BD-Harris Poll A BD-Harris Poll covered by Politico reveals a significant gap in women’s knowledge of cervical cancer causes and means of prevention.

  • Background: Despite being one of the few cancers almost entirely preventable, according to the American Cancer Society (ACS), every year in the United States, 14,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer, and more than 4,000 women die from it.

  • While 9 in 10 women (91%) feel knowledgeable about women's health in general, fewer report being knowledgeable about what ages women should get a pap test (unaware: 81%) or HPV test (unaware: 51%).

  • And the study found that two-thirds (67%) were unaware that almost all cervical cancers are caused by HPV.

  • Women are delaying screenings: Of women ages, 18 to 64, 7 in 10 (71%) have delayed getting a pap test – the screening that looks for cervical precancers/cell changes.

Takeaway: "Racial and ethnic minorities, rural residents, sexual and gender minorities, and those with limited English proficiency often face cultural, economic, and geographical factors that preclude them from obtaining critical health screenings, including Pap and HPV tests," said Brooke Story, worldwide president of Integrated Diagnostic Solutions for BD. "Since January is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month, there is no better time to analyze women's sentiment around such screenings. The survey results underscore that lack of knowledge is one of the biggest barriers to receiving timely screening. We need more patient-centered communications to educate everyone, especially marginalized and underserved groups, and provide greater access to critical diagnostic tools and services."

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