Why Your Return to the Office Requires Two Workplace Safety Policies

Operating amid the pandemic has entered a new phase of difficulty–particularly for employers of both vaccinated and unvaccinated workers. Shortly after the CDC updated its guidelines on May 13, noting that vaccinated individuals no longer needed to wear facemasks indoors, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), a federal agency that oversees workplace health and safety, updated its Covid-19 guidance.

On June 26, OSHA updated guidance in compliance with the CDC to help employers protect workers who are still not vaccinated, with a special emphasis on industries with prolonged close-contacts such as meat processing, manufacturing, seafood, and grocery and high-volume retail. The guidance includes protocols for social distancing, mask wearing, and other health procedures meant to keep both parties safe.

Considering that just 52 percent of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, chances are some of your employees have yet to get a jab. That means if you’re planning a return to the office, you’ll also need to create two separate workplace health policies.

These policies will be different from business to business, depending on the level of community spread in a given location and the level of contact employees have with the public. But acting is a must, says David Barron, labor and employment attorney at Cozen O’Connor. Failing to address a stratified workplace–or even just relying on the honor system–could lead to legal trouble, a loss of morale, turnover, and employees falling sick.

Founders like Dominique Kemps aren’t taking any chances. Her business, GlassExpertsFL, a commercial glass repair company, is located in Miami. Florida overall has been particularly hard hit by the Delta variant, a more contagious strain of the coronavirus. Daily, about 10 in 100,000 people are contracting the coronavirus by way of the Delta variant. As of July 2, only 46 percent of the population of Florida was fully vaccinated, according to the CDC.

Kemps has devised two separate physical workspaces: one for vaccinated employees and another for those who remain unvaccinated. Also for unvaccinated employees, meetings are held virtually, while vaccinated employees can wear a mask and attend if desired. Vaccinated employees can also eat lunch together, while Kemps has asked unvaccinated employees to eat in a designated area. “Frankly,” she says, “it hasn’t been easy.”

Here’s how to ease the transition:

1. Request vaccination information.

Before you make any decisions regarding which policies to enact, first ask and keep track of who is vaccinated and who isn’t, says Dr. Shantanu Nundy, chief medical officer at Accolade, a benefit provider for health care workers. An employer can request a copy of an employee’s vaccination card or other proof, which should help you determine how much of your workforce falls under one policy or another.

If you opt to review vaccination information, note that anything you collect must be considered confidential information that has to be kept private in files that are separate from personnel files. A failure to do so may result in anti-discrimination violations under the Americans With Disabilities Act and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act, two laws that protect workers from health status discrimination.

2. Overcommunicate any policy changes.

It’s also crucial to communicate any change in policy openly. Robert Johnson, founder of Sawinery, a Windsor, Connecticut-based creator of woodworking projects, divided workers into two shifts, the first for vaccinated individuals, and another for unvaccinated workers. He’s made it clear to his staff that he’s waiting until everyone is vaccinated before returning to the original schedule.

“The structure won’t compromise anyone’s safety and everyone can work without any worries in mind,” says Johnson.

3. Stay flexible.

If anything has been true about the pandemic, it’s that things can change rapidly. As such, Nundy recommends clarifying that policies are flexible and may be subject to change. Some unvaccinated folks may want to leave if they feel they’re being treated differently, such as not being allowed into the office. Some smart wording can easily allay these concerns, he says. Instead of telling unvaccinated employees that they’re not welcome in the office again, make it clear that the policies are temporary–if that’s the case, of course–and that you’re open to feedback, adds Nundy.

The occupational safety and health policy defines the goals for the occupational health and safety work in the workplace and for activities that promote the working capacity of the staff. The policy also describes occupational health and safety responsibilities and the way of organizing the cooperation measures. The preparation of the occupational safety and health policy is based on the Occupational Safety and Health Act. The policy is employer-specific and applies to all employers.

By: Brit Morse, Assistant editor, Inc.@britnmorse

Source: Why Your Return to the Office Requires Two Workplace Safety Policies | Inc.com

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Critics:

Workplace wellness is any workplace health promotion activity or organizational policy designed to support healthy behavior in the workplace and to improve health outcomes. Known as ‘corporate wellbeing’ outside the US, workplace wellness often comprises activities such as health education, medical screenings, weight management programs, on-site fitness programs or facilities.

Workplace wellness programs can be categorized as primary, secondary, or tertiary prevention efforts, or an employer can implement programs that have elements of multiple types of prevention. Primary prevention programs usually target a fairly healthy employee population, and encourage them to more frequently engage in health behaviors that will encourage ongoing good health (such as stress management, exercise and healthy eating).

Secondary prevention programs are targeted at reducing behavior that is considered a risk factor for poor health (such as smoking cessation programs and screenings for high blood pressure). Tertiary health programs address existing health problems (for example, by encouraging employees to better adhere to specific medication or self-managed care guidelines).

References:

Return to Office: Employees Are Quitting Instead of Giving Up Work From Home

A six-minute meeting drove Portia Twidt to quit her job. She’d taken the position as a research compliance specialist in February, enticed by promises of remote work. Then came the prodding to go into the office. Meeting invites piled up.

The final straw came a few weeks ago: the request for an in-person gathering, scheduled for all of 360 seconds. Twidt got dressed, dropped her two kids at daycare, drove to the office, had the brief chat and decided she was done.

“I had just had it,” said Twidt, 33, who lives in Marietta, Georgia.

With the coronavirus pandemic receding for every vaccine that reaches an arm, the push by some employers to get people back into offices is clashing with workers who’ve embraced remote work as the new normal.

While companies from Google to Ford Motor Co. and Citigroup Inc. have promised greater flexibility, many chief executives have publicly extolled the importance of being in offices. Some have lamented the perils of remote work, saying it diminishes collaboration and company culture. JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s Jamie Dimon said at a recent conference that it doesn’t work “for those who want to hustle.”

But legions of employees aren’t so sure. If anything, the past year has proved that lots of work can be done from anywhere, sans lengthy commutes on crowded trains or highways. Some people have moved. Others have lingering worries about the virus and vaccine-hesitant colleagues.

And for Twidt, there’s also the notion that some bosses, particularly those of a generation less familiar to remote work, are eager to regain tight control of their minions.

“They feel like we’re not working if they can’t see us,” she said. “It’s a boomer power-play.”

It’s still early to say how the post-pandemic work environment will look. Only about 28% of U.S. office workers are back at their buildings, according to an index of 10 metro areas compiled by security company Kastle Systems. Many employers are still being lenient with policies as the virus lingers, vaccinations continue to roll out and childcare situations remain erratic.

But as office returns accelerate, some employees may want different options. A May survey of 1,000 U.S. adults showed that 39% would consider quitting if their employers weren’t flexible about remote work. The generational difference is clear: Among millennials and Gen Z, that figure was 49%, according to the poll by Morning Consult on behalf of Bloomberg News.

“High-five to them,” said Sara Sutton, the CEO of FlexJobs, a job-service platform focused on flexible employment. “Remote work and hybrid are here to stay.”

The lack of commutes and cost savings are the top benefits of remote work, according to a FlexJobs survey of 2,100 people released in April. More than a third of the respondents said they save at least $5,000 per year by working remotely.

Jimme Hendrix, a 30-year-old software developer in the Netherlands, quit his job in December as the web-application company he worked for was gearing up to bring employees back to the office in February.

“During Covid I really started to see how much I enjoyed working from home,” Hendrix said.

Now he does freelance work and helps his girlfriend grow her art business. He used to spend two hours each day commuting; now the couple is considering selling their car and instead relying on bikes.

One of the main benefits, he says, is more control over his own time: “I can just do whatever I want around the house, like a quick chore didn’t have to wait until like 8 p.m. anymore, or I can go for a quick walk.”

Of course, not everyone has the flexibility to choose. For the millions of frontline workers who stock the shelves of grocery stores, care for patients in hospitals and nursing homes, or drop off packages at people’s doors, there are scant alternative options to showing up in person.

But among those who can, many are weighing their alternatives, said Anthony Klotz, an associate professor of management at Texas A&M University, who’s researched why people quit jobs. Bosses taking a hard stance should beware, particularly given labor shortages in the economy, he said.

“If you’re a company that thinks everything’s going back to normal, you may be right but it’s pretty risky to hope that’s the case,” he said.

At least some atop the corporate ladder seem to be paying attention. In a Jan. 12 PwC survey of 133 executives, fewer than one in five said they want to go back to pre-pandemic routines. But only 13% were prepared to let go of the office for good.

Alison Green, founder of workplace-advice website Ask a Manager, said she’s been contacted by many people with qualms about going back, citing concerns about unvaccinated colleagues and Covid precautions. Some have said they’re looking for jobs at companies they feel take the virus seriously, or will let them work from anywhere.

Some things are indeed lost with remote work, Green said, like opportunities for collaboration or learning for junior employees. But, she added: “I think we need to have a more nuanced discussion than: hustlers only do well in the office.”

For Sarah-Marie Martin, who lived in Manhattan and worked as a partner at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. when the pandemic struck, the months at home gave her time to redraw the blueprint of her life.

“When you have this existential experience, you have time to step back and think,” Martin said. “In my previous life, I didn’t have time to get super deep and philosophical.”

The mother of five moved her family to the New Jersey shore. And once the push to get back to offices picked up, the idea of commuting hardly seemed alluring. This spring, Martin accepted a fully remote position as chief financial officer of Yumi, a Los Angeles-based maker of baby food.

Gene Garland, 24, unknowingly opened the floodgates to people’s frustrations about office returns. After his employer, an IT company, in April told people they needed to start coming in, two of his close colleagues handed in their resignation letters. Garland, who lives in Hampton, Virginia, tapped out a tweet:

Hundreds of people responded, with many outlining plans, or at least hopes, to leave their own jobs. Garland says he himself has no plans to quit, but empathizes with those who do.

“Working inside of a building really does restrict time a lot more than you think,” he said. “A lot of people are afraid of the cycle where you work and work and work — and then you die.”

Twidt, the compliance specialist in Georgia, had already lined up a new job by the time she handed in her resignation letter: a role at a Washington-based company.

The recruiter that approached her, Twidt said, asked what it would take to get her on board. She replied that she would prefer something 100% remote. Some employees have enjoyed working from home so much that they’d rather quit their jobs than go back to the office full time, a new survey found.

Out of 1,000 US adults polled in May, 39% said they’d consider quitting if their bosses weren’t flexible about them working from home. The Morning Consult survey was first reported by Bloomberg. The survey showed that 49% of the respondents who said they’d consider quitting were millennials and Gen Z — i.e., adults born after 1980.

Many global companies are embracing a hybrid work model as staff start to return to offices post-pandemic. Finance giants, who were known for having a strict work culture, are now adopting more flexible work models. Some have decided to redesign the workplace for more collaboration, and keep solo tasks for remote working. Others plan to cut back on office space entirely.

But some firms, such as JPMorgan, are not won over by the idea of remote work and want to see the majority of their workforce in the office. Jamie Dimon, the company’s CEO, said on May 4 that remote work “does not work for young people” and “those who want to hustle.” Chris Biggs, a partner at the consultancy firm Theta Global Advisors, told Insider that employers need to be “tuned into people’s mental health” as staff return to the office.

“You could do a lot of damage to those who don’t want to go into the office,” he said, adding that employers shouldn’t force people to come into the office.

— With assistance by Sridhar Natarajan

By: and

Source: Return to Office: Employees Are Quitting Instead of Giving Up Work From Home – Bloomberg

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Critics:

Refusal of work is behavior in which a person refuses regular employment. As actual behavior, with or without a political or philosophical program, it has been practiced by various subcultures and individuals. Radical political positions have openly advocated refusal of work. From within Marxism it has been advocated by Paul Lafargue and the Italian workerist/autonomists (e.g. Antonio Negri, Mario Tronti), the French ultra-left (e.g. Échanges et Mouvement); and within anarchism (especially Bob Black and the post-left anarchy tendency).

In employment law, constructive dismissal, also called constructive discharge or constructive termination, occurs when an employee resigns as a result of the employer creating a hostile work environment. Since the resignation was not truly voluntary, it is, in effect, a termination. For example, when an employer places extraordinary and unreasonable work demands on an employee to obtain their resignation, this can constitute a constructive dismissal.

The exact legal consequences differ between different countries, but generally a constructive dismissal leads to the employee’s obligations ending and the employee acquiring the right to make claims against the employer. The employee may resign over a single serious incident or over a pattern of incidents. Generally, a party seeking relief must have resigned soon after one of the constructive acts.

Notes

Iceland Cuts Working Hours With No Productivity Loss, Same Pay

Iceland has achieved the holy grail for working stiffs: same pay for shorter hours.Results from two trials of reduced hours showed no productivity loss or decline in service levels, while employees reported less stress and an improved work-life balance, researchers at U.K.-based think tank Autonomy and Iceland’s Association for Sustainable Democracy said in a report.

Achieving shorter hours with sustained productivity and service levels involved rethinking how tasks were completed, according to the report. That included shortening meetings or replacing them with emails, cutting out unnecessary tasks, and rearranging shifts.

The trials, conducted from 2015 to 2019, cut hours to about 35 a week from 40 with no reduction in pay. Involving about 2,500 workers, equivalent to more than 1% of the Nordic country’s working population, results showed their “wellbeing dramatically increased,” the researchers said. Since then, 86% of Iceland’s entire working population have either moved to shorter hours or can negotiate to do so.

In Nordic peer Finland, Prime Minister Sanna Marin, 35, has suggested a four-day work week is worth looking into, saying employees deserve some of the trickle-down benefits of improved productivity. Even so, her government is currently not working on such policy.

Workers went from a 40-hour weekly schedule to 35- or 36-hour weekly schedules without a reduction in pay. The trials were launched after agitation from labor unions and grassroots organizations that pointed to Iceland’s low rankings among its Nordic neighbors when it comes to work-life balance.

Workers across a variety of public- and private-sector jobs participated in the trials. They included people working in day cares, assisted living facilities, hospitals, museums, police stations and Reykjavik government offices.

Participants reported back on how they reduced their hours. A common approach was to make meetings shorter and more focused. One workplace decided that meetings could be scheduled only before 3 p.m. Others replaced them altogether with email or other electronic correspondence.

Some workers started their shifts earlier or later, depending on demand. For example, at a day care, staff took turns leaving early as children went home. Offices with regular business hours shortened those hours, while some services were moved online.

Some coffee breaks were shortened or eliminated. The promise of a shorter workweek led people to organize their time and delegate tasks more efficiently, the study found.

Working fewer hours resulted in people feeling more energized and less stressed. They spent more time exercising and seeing friends, which then had a positive effect on their work, they said.

By:

Source: Iceland Cuts Working Hours With No Productivity Loss, Same Pay – Bloomberg

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Critics:

Many countries regulate the work week by law, such as stipulating minimum daily rest periods, annual holidays, and a maximum number of working hours per week. Working time may vary from person to person, often depending on economic conditions, location, culture, lifestyle choice, and the profitability of the individual’s livelihood.

For example, someone who is supporting children and paying a large mortgage might need to work more hours to meet basic costs of living than someone of the same earning power with lower housing costs. In developed countries like the United Kingdom, some workers are part-time because they are unable to find full-time work, but many choose reduced work hours to care for children or other family; some choose it simply to increase leisure time.

Standard working hours (or normal working hours) refers to the legislation to limit the working hours per day, per week, per month or per year. The employer pays higher rates for overtime hours as required in the law. Standard working hours of countries worldwide are around 40 to 44 hours per week (but not everywhere: from 35 hours per week in France to up to 112 hours per week in North Korean labor camps) and the additional overtime payments are around 25% to 50% above the normal hourly payments. Maximum working hours refers to the maximum working hours of an employee. The employee cannot work more than the level specified in the maximum working hours law.

References

A Critical Piece Of The Machine Economy: The People

Over the shoulder view of young Asian businesswoman using AI assistant on smartphone

70% of GDP growth in the global economy between now and 2030 will be driven by the machines, according to PwC. This is a near $7 trillion dollar contribution to U.S. GDP based around the combined production from artificial intelligence, machine learning, robotics, and embedded devices. This is the rise of a new machine economy.

For those not familiar with the machine economy, it’s where the smart, connected, autonomous, and economically independent machines or devices carry out the necessary activities of production, distribution, and operations with little or no human intervention. The development of this economy is how Industry 4.0 becomes a reality.

Visionary leaders will implement new technologies and combine them with capital investments in ways that help them grow, expand, diversify, and actually improve lives. These machine economy leaders will operate in a new intelligent systems world in thousands of companies that will drive new economic models globally.

Sounds good so far, but all of that autonomous machinery isn’t going to build and operate itself.

Not enough people to do the work

While most people would agree that manufacturing is an important part of our economy, they aren’t recommending their children pursue that line of work. It’s expected that 4.6 million manufacturing jobs created between now and 2028 will go unfilled. Key drivers for this change include the fact that 10,000 baby boomers retire every day without people to replace them.

The workforce is quickly losing the second-largest age group, and millennials (the largest group) have so far not been attracted to manufacturing jobs at large. Instead they tend to be drawn toward technology, engineering, finance. The underlying issue may be one of perception, as the future of manufacturing will in fact include a much higher degree of technology, engineering, and finance in order to function.

Different skills are needed

Manufacturing jobs are changing. The number of purely manual, repetitive tasks are shrinking as technology advances to handle those jobs with robots and automation. Fifty percent of manufacturers have already adopted some form of automation, and now they need people with critical thinking, programming, and digital skills. Tomorrow’s jobs have titles such as Digital Twin Engineer, Robot Teaming Coordinator, Drone Data Coordinator, Smart Scheduler, Factory Manager, Safety Supervisor, and so on.

The shifts in productivity are happening so quickly, humans can’t keep up with them

An unskilled position can be filled relatively quickly as the prerequisite qualifications are limited. It typically takes months to fill a skilled position, and in most cases much longer for an individual to develop the requisite skills before they even think to apply. One alternative is to lower requirements in terms of education, skill, and experience in order to get someone new in the position, but then companies have to absorb the entire expense of training them.

Meanwhile there is increased pressure to utilize existing people’s and teams’ times and skills as much as possible, which can lead to burnout. This is a tenuous cycle that needs to be fortified by making sure our workforce has the skills training they need, when and where they need it.

In order to thrive in the machine economy, we need to invest significantly in people as well as in infrastructure. Focusing purely on infrastructure might lead to short-term and maybe mid-term profits, but ultimately it is not sustainable, and everyone loses. One can’t simply say, “We couldn’t fill the positions,” while there are people who need work.

Level-up our workforce

The human capacity to learn is basically limitless when individuals are motivated and have access to something to learn. There are several ways to tap into that capacity. First, we need to capture the knowledge and experience of the employees we have, so that those relevant skills can be passed on to the next wave of workers. We also need to ensure relevant training is available for people at every level of the company so that new people get up to speed and tenured employees don’t get left behind.

While some technologies need to be learned on the job, there is a level of foundational skill to understand in the machine economy, in addition to the technical and vocational skills required within a given field. An investment in, and possibly partnerships with, local schools could be a wise move for many companies. Lastly, while college is a great path for many people, it’s not the only form of higher education. Investments in vocational training and apprenticeship programs will be critical for our society to thrive in the machine economy.

Just as workers need to rethink and develop new skills, employers need to rethink and develop new ways of nurturing and attracting talent. To fully realize the promise of the machine economy, it is incumbent upon us to ensure people have access to the training and the tools they need in order to not only be successful but thrive. After all, what’s the point of all this technology if it doesn’t make life better for everyone?

PRESIDENT AND CEO

With more than 25 years of experience driving digital innovation and growth at technology companies, Kevin Dallas is responsible for all aspects of the Wind River business globally. He joined Wind River from Microsoft, where he most recently served as the corporate vice president for cloud and AI business development. At Microsoft, he led a team creating partnerships that enable the digital transformation of customers and partners across a range of industries including: connected/autonomous vehicles, industrial IoT, discrete manufacturing, retail, financial services, media and entertainment, and healthcare.

Prior to joining Microsoft in 1996, he held roles at NVIDIA Corporation and National Semiconductor (now Texas Instruments Inc.) in the U.S., Europe, and the Middle East in roles that included microprocessor design, systems engineering, product management, and end-to-end business leadership. He currently serves as a director on the board of Align Technology, Inc. He holds a B.S.c. degree in electrical and electronic engineering from Staffordshire University, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, England.

Source: A Critical Piece Of The Machine Economy: The People

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Critics:

Digital economy refers to an economy that is based on digital computing technologies, although we increasingly perceive this as conducting business through markets based on the internet and the World Wide Web. The digital economy is also referred to as the Internet Economy, New Economy, or Web Economy.

Increasingly, the digital economy is intertwined with the traditional economy, making a clear delineation harder. It results from billions of everyday online connections among people, businesses, devices, data, and processes. It is based on the interconnectedness of people, organizations, and machines that results from the Internet, mobile technology and the internet of things (IoT).

Digital economy is underpinned by the spread of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) across all business sectors to enhance its productivity.Digital transformation of the economy is undermining conventional notions about how businesses are structured, how consumers obtain services, informations and goods and how states need to adapt to these new regulatory challenges.

Intensification of the global competition for human resources

Digital platforms rely on ‘deep learning‘ to scale up their algorithm’s capacity. The human-powered content labeling industry is constantly growing as companies seek to harness data for AI training. These practices have raised concerns concerning the low-income revenue and health-related issues of these independent workers. For instance, digital companies such as Facebook or YouTube use ‘content monitor’-contractors who work as outside monitors hired by a professional services company subcontractor- to monitor social media to remove any inappropriate content.

Thus, the job consists of watching and listening to disturbing posts that can be violent or sexual. In January 2020, through its subcontractor services society, Facebook and YouTube have asked the ‘content moderators’ to sign a PTSD (Posttraumatic Stress Disorder) disclosure after alleged cases of mental disorders witnessed on workers.

See also

References

5 Myths About Flexible Work

Flexibility might be great in theory, but it just doesn’t work for us. We have literally heard this statement hundreds of times over the years. It doesn’t matter what industry we’re talking about — whether it’s tech, government, finance, healthcare, or small business, we’ve heard it. There’s always someone who works from the premise that “there’s no way flexible work policies can work in our organization.”

In reality, flexible work policies can work in any industry. The last twelve months of the pandemic have proven this. In fact, a recent Harvard Business School Online study showed that most professionals have excelled in their jobs while working from home, and 81% either don’t want to go back to the office or would choose a hybrid schedule post-pandemic. It’s important to recognize, however, that flexibility doesn’t always look the same — one size definitely does not fit all.

The Myth of the Five C’s

You may be wondering, “If you can recruit the best candidates, increase your retention rates, improve your profits, and advance innovation by incorporating a relatively simple and inexpensive initiative, then why haven’t more organizations developed flex policies?” This question will be even harder for organizations to ignore after we’ve experienced such a critical test case during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Insight Center Collection

Building Tomorrow’s Workforce

How the best companies identify and manage talent. We believe fear has created stumbling blocks for many organizations when it comes to flexibility. Companies either become frozen by fear or they become focused by fear. It is focus that can help companies pivot during challenging times. In the years that we’ve been working with companies on flexibility, we’ve heard countless excuses and myths for why they have not implemented a flex policy. In fact, the Diversity & Flexibility Alliance has boiled these myths down to the fear of losing the 5 C’s:
  1. Loss of control
  2. Loss of culture
  3. Loss of collaboration
  4. Loss of contribution
  5. Loss of connection

Addressing the Fears

Myth #1: Loss of Control

Executives are often worried that they’ll open Pandora’s box and set a dangerous precedent if they allow some employees to work flexibly. They worry that if they let a few employees work from home, then the office will always be empty and no one will be working. The answer to this is structure and clarity. We can virtually guarantee that any organization that correctly designs and implements their flexibility policy will not lose anything.

To maintain control and smooth operation of your organization, it’s imperative that you set standards and clearly communicate them. Organizations should provide clear guidelines on the types of flexibility offered (for example, remote work, reduced hours, asynchronous schedules, job sharing and/or compressed work weeks) and create a centralized approval process for flexibility to ensure that the system is equitable. It is also helpful to have a calendar system for tracking when and where each team member is working.

You must also commit to training everyone on these standards — from those working a flexible schedule, to those supervising them, to all other coworkers. Education and training will help your team avoid “flex stigma,” where employees are disadvantaged or viewed as less committed due to their flexibility. Training can also help organizations to ensure that successful systems and structures that support flexibility are maintained.

Myth #2: Loss of Culture

While you may not see every employee every day, and you may not be able to have lunch with people every day, culture does not have to suffer with a flexible work initiative. However, it is essential that teams meet either in person or via video conference on a regular basis. At the Alliance, we recommend that companies and firms first define what culture means to their individual organization and then determine how they might maintain this culture in a hybrid or virtual environment.

Many organizations with whom we’ve worked reported that they found creative ways to maintain culture during months of remote working during the pandemic. Many Alliance members organized social functions like virtual exercise classes, cooking classes, happy hours, and team-building exercises to maintain community. Additionally, it’s important to take advantage of the days when everyone is physically present to develop relationships, participate in events, and spend one-to-one time with colleagues.

Myth # 3: Loss of Collaboration

As long as teams that are working a flexible schedule commit to regular meetings and consistent communication, then collaboration will not be compromised. It’s important for all team members to maintain contact (even if it’s online), keep tabs on all projects, and be responsive to emails and phone calls. We always recommend that remote teams also meet in person occasionally to maintain personal contact and relationships.

For collaboration to be successful, remote employees must not be held to a higher standard that those working in the office. Additionally, technology should be used to enhance collaboration. For example, when companies are bringing teams together for brainstorming sessions, virtual breakout rooms can facilitate small group collaboration and help to ensure that all voices are heard. Some organizational leaders have also incorporated regular virtual office hours for unscheduled feedback and informal collaboration.

Myth #4: Loss of Contribution

We have often heard leaders say: “If employees are not physically at their desks in the office, then how will we know that they’re actually working?” But with endless distractions available on computers these days (from online shopping, to Instagram, to Facebook, etc.) you really don’t know what your employees are doing at their desks, even if they are in the office.

In fact, they could be searching for a new job (that offers flexibility!) right before your eyes. It’s important to clearly communicate what is expected of each individual and trust that they will complete the job within the expected timeframe. All employees should be evaluated on the quality of their work and their ability to meet clearly defined performance objectives, rather than on time spent in the office.

Myth #5: Loss of Connection

Technology now enables people to connect at any time of the day in almost any locationMeetings can be held through a myriad of video conferencing applications. Additionally, calendar-sharing apps can help to coordinate team schedules and assist with knowing the availability of team members. Even networking events can now be done virtually. For example, one of our team members created a system for scheduling informal virtual coffee chats between partners and associates to maintain opportunities for networking and mentoring during the pandemic.

It’s important to know what your employees and stakeholders prefer in terms of in-person, hybrid, or virtual-only connection. In a recent survey conducted by BNI of over 2,300 people from around the world, the networking organization asked the participants if they would like their meetings to be: 1) in-person only, 2) online only, or 3) a blend of online and in-person meetings.

One third of the participants surveyed said that they wanted to go back completely to in-person meetings. However, 16% wanted to stick with online meetings only, and almost 51% of the survey respondents were in favor of a blend of meeting both in-person and online. This is a substantial transition from the organizational practice prior to the pandemic, with a full two-thirds of the organization saying that they would prefer some aspect of online meetings to be the norm in the future.

A recent 2021 KPMG CEO Outlook Pulse Survey found that almost half of the CEOs of major corporations around the world do not expect to see a return to “normal” this year. Perhaps a silver lining of the pandemic will be that corporate leaders have overcome their fears of the 5C’s and will now understand how flexibility can benefit their recruitment and retention efforts — not to mention productivity and profitability.

By:Manar Morales & Ivan Misner

Source: 5 Myths About Flexible Work

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Critics:

A flexible work arrangement (FWA) empowers an employee to choose what time they begin to work, where to work, and when they will stop work. The idea is to help manage work-life balance and benefits of FWA can include reduced employee stress and increased overall job satisfaction. On the contrary, some refrain from using their FWA as they fear the lack of visibility can negatively affect their career.

Overall, this type of arrangement has a positive effect on incompatible work/family responsibilities, which can be seen as work affecting family responsibilities or family affecting work responsibilities. FWA is also helpful to those who have a medical condition or an intensive care-giving responsibility, where without FWA, part-time work would be the only option.

Types of flexible work arrangements

References

How To Embrace The Post-Pandemic, Digital-Driven Future Of Work

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Digital will separate the winners from the laggards in the hypercompetitive, post-pandemic business landscape, says Ben Pring, Managing Director of Cognizant’s Center for the Future of Work. We undertook a global, multi-industry study to understand how businesses are preparing for this future and here’s what we found.

COVID-19 changed digital from a nice-to-have adjunct to a must-have tool at the core of the enterprise. The pandemic forced businesses to reassess how they strategize and execute their digital ambitions in a world that has migrated online, possibly for good in many areas. Those that did not prioritize digital prior to the pandemic found that procrastination was no longer an option — the digital landscape is hypercompetitive.

The Cognizant Center for the Future of Work (CFoW), working with Oxford Economics, recently surveyed 4,000 C-level executives globally to understand how they are putting digital to use and what they hope to achieve in the coming years.

The CFoW found that digital technologies are key to success in the coming years and uncovered six key steps that all organizations can take to more fruitfully apply to gear-up for the fast unfolding digital future:

  • Scrutinize everything because it’s going to change. From how and where employees work, to how customers are engaged, and which products and services are now viable as customer needs and behaviors evolve rapidly.
  • Make technology a partner in work. Innovations in AI, blockchain, natural language processing, IoT and 5G communications are ushering in decades of change ahead and will drive new levels of functionality and performance.
  • Build new workflows to reach new performance thresholds. The most predictable, rote and repetitive activities need to be handed off to software, while humans specialize in using judgment, creativity and language.
  • Make digital competency the prime competency for everyone. No matter what type of work needs to be done, it must have a digital component. Levels of digital literacy need to be built out even among non-technologists, including specialized skills.
  • Begin a skills renaissance. Digital skills such as big data specialists, process automation experts, security analysts, etc. aren’t easy to acquire. To overcome skills shortages, organizations will need to work harder to retain and engage workers.
  • Employees want jobs, but they also want meaning from jobs. How can businesses use intelligent algorithms to take increasing proportions of tasks off workers’ plates, allowing them to spend their time creating value? This search for meaning stretches beyond the individual tasks of the job to what the organization itself stands for.

Here are a few key findings from our research:

Redesigning the workplace is just the beginning: The virus will force enterprises to ask more strategic questions.

A mesh of machine emerges: While IoT is beginning to take hold, few respondents have piloted 5G projects. But over time , the mesh of machines created by IoT and 5G will serve as the foundation for news levels of functionality and possibility.

The 3As-AI , automation and analytics are the engines of digitization: To make the future of work happen, the 3As are emerging as a sophisticated and complex set of tools more deeply embedded in processes.

To learn more, read our whitepaper “The Work Ahead: Digital First (to Last)” or see the full Work Ahead study series.

Ben Pring leads Cognizant’s Center for the Future of Work and is a coauthor of the books Monster: A Tough Love Letter On Taming The Machines That Rule Our Jobs, Lives, and Future, What To Do When Machines Do Everything and Code Halos: How the Digital Lives of People, Things, and Organizations Are Changing the Rules of Business. In 2018, he was a Bilderberg Meeting participant. He previously spent 15 years with Gartner as a senior industry analyst, researching and advising on areas such as cloud computing and global sourcing. He can be reached at Benjamin.Pring@cognizant.com

Source: How To Embrace The Post-Pandemic, Digital-Driven Future Of Work

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Critics:

Digitalization  is the adoption of digital technology to transform services or businesses, through replacing non-digital or manual processes with digital processes or replacing older digital technology with newer digital technology. Digital solutions may enable – in addition to efficiency via automation – new types of innovation and creativity, rather than simply enhancing and supporting traditional methods.

One aspect of digital transformation is the concept of ‘going paperless‘ or reaching a ‘digital business maturity’ affecting both individual businesses and whole segments of society, such as government,mass communications,art, health care, and science.

Digital transformation is not proceeding at the same pace everywhere. According to the McKinsey Global Institute‘s 2016 Industry Digitization Index, Europe is currently operating at 12% of its digital potential, while the United States is operating at 18%. Within Europe, Germany operates at 10% of its digital potential, while the United Kingdom is almost on par with the United States at 17%.

One example of digital transformation is the use of cloud computing. This reduces reliance on user-owned hardware and increases reliance on subscription-based cloud services. Some of these digital solutions enhance capabilities of traditional software products (e.g. Microsoft Office compared to Office 365) while others are entirely cloud based (e.g. Google Docs).

As the companies providing the services are guaranteed of regular (usually monthly) recurring revenue from subscriptions, they are able to finance ongoing development with reduced risk (historically most software companies derived the majority of their revenue from users upgrading, and had to invest upfront in developing sufficient new features and benefits to encourage users to upgrade), and delivering more frequent updates often using forms of agile software development internally. This subscription model also reduces software piracy, which is a major benefit to the vendor.

Unlike digitization, digitalization is the ‘organizational process’ or ‘business process’ of the technologically-induced change within industries, organizations, markets and branches. Digitalization of manufacturing industries has enabled new production processes and much of the phenomena today known as the Internet of Things, Industrial Internet, Industry 4.0, machine to machine communication, artificial intelligence and machine vision.

Digitalization of business and organizations has induced new business models (such as freemium), new eGovernment services, electronic payment, office automation and paperless office processes, using technologies such as smart phones, web applications, cloud services, electronic identification, blockchain, smart contracts and cryptocurrencies, and also business intelligence using Big Data. Digitalization of education has induced e-learning and Mooc courses.

See also

 

Married to the Job: How a Long-Hours Working Culture Keeps People Single and Lonely

illustration of person with head on their desk at work, unable to think clearly

Laura Hancock started practising yoga when she worked for a charity. It was a job that involved long hours and caused a lot of anxiety. Yoga was her counterbalance. “It saved my life, in a way,” she says.

Yoga brought her a sense of peace and started her journey of self-inquiry; eventually, she decided to bring those benefits to others by becoming a yoga teacher. She studied for more than eight years before qualifying. That was about 10 years ago; since then, she has been teaching in Oxford, her home town.

At first, the work felt like a privilege, even though she was working a lot and not earning much. “There was a sense that, if you gave it your all and you did it with integrity and love and all those things, then it would eventually work out for you.”

But recently she had a moment of realisation. “I can’t afford my rent, I have no savings, I have no partner, I have no family. I’m 38 and most of my friends have families; they’re buying houses,” she says. “There is a lot of grief around that. I feel like I’ve just landed on Earth, like a hard crash on to the ground, and am looking around and feeling quite lonely.”

Hancock is one of the many people in recent years to recognise that they have devoted themselves to their work and neglected everything else that might give their life meaning. For workers across many sectors, long, irregular hours, emotional demands and sometimes low rates of pay mean it is increasingly hard to have a life outside of work – and particularly hard to sustain relationships.

Long before Covid locked us all in our homes, alone or otherwise, the evidence was pointing out repeatedly that loneliness and singledom are endemic in this phase of capitalism. Fewer people are marrying and those who are are doing so later; we are having less sex. A 2018 study found that 2.4 million adults in Britain “suffer from chronic loneliness”. Another projection found that nearly one in seven people in the UK could be living alone by 2039 and that those living alone are less financially secure.

For Hancock, turning her yoga practice into her career meant giving up much of her social life. She was “knackered” at the end of a long day of practice and teaching – and the expectation that she would continue her education through pricey retreats meant, at times, that she was spending more than she was making. It was at the end of a four-hour workshop in a local church in 2018 that the penny dropped. A student came up to her and said: “You are not well. We need to go to the doctor.”

Her GP found infections in her ear and her chest. She spent seven weeks recovering in bed, which gave her a lot of time, alone at home, to reconsider her career and face the reality of exactly how vulnerable she was.

Lauren Smith*, 34, a teacher in the west of England, was given a warning by a colleague before she applied for her postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE). “It’s going to be the most intense year of your life,” they said. At the time, she thought she was ready for it, but it took its toll on her relationship. “I remember coming home and just … not even being able to talk to him.”

Things did not improve when she started working as a teacher. “There’s this culture in education where it’s almost competitive about how much you work,” she says. The social relationships at school become almost a substitute for a personal life; she briefly dated another teacher. However, apart from “the odd fling here or there”, she says, “in terms of actually dating, I find that my enthusiasm or my energy for it …” She trails off.

The strain on their personal lives has made Smith and Hancock look much more closely at the sustainability of their working lives. Hancock is one of the founding members of the new yoga teachers’ union, a branch of the Independent Workers of Great Britain (IWGB), the union representing gig economy workers and those in traditionally non-unionised workplaces. Smith is active in the National Education Union, but is considering a career change. “The demands on teachers have just increased so much and, with the funding cuts, I’m now doing the job of three people,” she says.

“Everything else you love about your job has been pushed to the wayside and it’s all about those exam results,” says Smith. The number one thing she would like “would be more planning time in my job. Maybe I could have one less class, which is 30 kids’ worth of data that I don’t have to do and it means I can put my mental energy into the students themselves and have the time and the headspace to do other things.”

It is not that she is hanging everything on the hope of a romantic relationship – and she does not want children – but nevertheless Smith longs for time and energy to devote to the people she cares about, rather than her job. “In the nine years that I have been a teacher, it has got harder and harder. If things don’t change, I can’t see myself staying in this job beyond two years from now.”

If work is getting in the way of our relationships, it is not an equally distributed problem. The decline in marriage rates “is a class-based affair”, say the law professors Naomi Cahn and June Carbone, the authors of the book Marriage Markets: How Inequality Is Remaking the American Family. The well-off are more likely to marry and have more stable families – and the advantages of this family structure are conferred on their offspring. For those in a more precarious financial situation, it can often be easier to stay single.

Economic stability provides “a better foundation for loyalty, one based on relationship satisfaction and happiness rather than economic dependency or need”, found the academics Pilar Gonalons-Pons and David Calnitsky when they studied the impact of an experiment with universal basic income in Canada. If we were not so worried about paying the bills, perhaps we would have the time and mental space for better relationships.

In an increasingly atomised world, being in a couple is how most people have access to care and love. The status of being partnerless, or, as the writer Caleb Luna has put it, being “singled” – an active process that means single people are denied affection or care because they are reserved for people in couples – can leave many people without life-sustaining care. As Luna writes, the culture of “self-love”, in which we are encouraged to love, support and sustain ourselves, leaves out those for whom this is not a choice.

Care is overwhelmingly still provided by partners in a romantic couple or other family members: in the UK, 6.5 million people – one in eight adults – provide care for a sick or disabled family member or partner. The charity Carers UK estimates that, during the pandemic in 2020, 13.6 million people were carers. What happens to those, however, without partners or family members to provide care? It becomes someone’s job – a job that can end up placing enormous stress on the personal life of whoever is doing it.

Care is often outsourced to paid workers – many of whom are immigrants – some of whom have left their own partners and children behind in order to go elsewhere for work, says Prof Laura Briggs, of the women, gender and sexuality studies department at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

The harsh crackdowns on migration to the US and the UK have left these workers in a uniquely vulnerable position. They would “work for almost any wage, no matter how low, to support family and household members back home, without the entanglements that come with dependents who are physically present, such as being late to work after a child’s doctor’s appointment, say, or the sick days that children or elders have so many of,” wrote Briggs in her 2017 book How All Politics Became Reproductive Politics. In other words, with their family far away, the worker is free to devote all their time – and their care – to their employer.

It is not just care work that is blending the boundaries between people’s work lives and personal lives. In many sectors, offices have been designed to look, feel and act like a home, to keep employees there for longer – with free food available 24/7, areas to rest and play with Lego, office pets, informal dress codes and even showers to create a feeling that work is a “family”.

When I met Karn Bianco while I was researching my book on how work is increasingly taking over our lives, he was a freelance computer game programmer who had tired of the long hours. “Your life became just work,” he said. “You would go in at 9am and would work through until 10 or 11 at night sometimes – you could get an evening meal there.” It was fine for a while, he said. “When I was an intern, I was single, I knew I was only in that desk for a year. I had no responsibilities, no dependents.”

But as Bianco, who is now 31 and living in Glasgow, got older and entered into a relationship, it became impossible to deal with. “I even tried to start coups of sorts,” he said, trying to convince his colleagues to walk out en masse at 5pm on the dot. But it did not take, so he was stuck trying to improve his own conditions, going home at 5pm on his own – something that was possible, he noted, only because he had worked his way up the ladder. Eventually, Bianco went freelance, then left the industry entirely.

Bianco is one of the founding members of the gaming industry branch of the IWGB, which is fighting the long hours in the sector. Traditionally, there was a crunch time, when, just before a product launch, programmers were expected to put in 100-hour weeks with no extra pay. Now, as games are connected to the internet and consumers expect constant updates, crunch time is pretty much all the time. “They try to instil that feeling of: ‘You have to do this for the family [company],’ rather than: ‘This is a transaction. You pay me and I work,’” said Austin Kelmore, 40, when I met him along with Bianco.

But what happens when the “family” is gone and the workers are left on their own? Layoffs are common in the games industry – so common that one observer created a website to track them. (In 2020, there were an estimated 2,090 job losses as part of mass redundancies in the gaming industry.) When Kelmore was laid off, his partner’s income was a lifesaver, but it made him think: ‘Do I want to do games any more?’ He is still in the industry and active in the union working against what he says is a systematic issue with work-life balance. “Without unions, we had no idea what our rights were,” Bianco says. “We were working illegal hours and didn’t even know it. Most of my time at home during some of those weeks was just sleeping.”

The pandemic, of course, has made many people face up to loneliness in a way they would not have done in the pre-lockdown world. One-third of women and one-fifth of men report feeling lonely or isolated in this period.

Ruth Jones* trained as a librarian in Canada and moved around from job to job – nearly once a year for 14 years. “Finding work, and especially having to take whatever work I can get, has definitely been a factor in why I haven’t dated much at 31,” she says via email. “How do you date someone wholeheartedly knowing that, at some point in a year, max, you’re going to have to make a decision about someone taking or not taking a job, being split up, doing long distance?”

A chronic illness means that, recently, she has been out of the workplace, stuck at home. She has realised the way in which our obsession with work is entangled with our romantic relationships. On dating apps and sites, “most people identify strongly with their jobs”, she says. Where does this leave someone who is unable to work long-term? “At a minimum, I am supposed to feel guilty for being unproductive, useless – and live a frugal, monk-like life,” she says.

She does not mind that she might not be able physically to do the same things as a potential partner, but she often finds that they do, especially as the apps are designed to pass judgment on people immediately. All of this means it feels impossible to find someone with whom to connect. “I feel like I’m not looking for a unicorn, I’m looking for a gold Pegasus.”

The apps often feel like another job to take on, says Smith. She will click on the dating site, flick through some profiles, maybe match with someone and exchange a couple of messages. Then a week of teaching goes by in a blur and, she says: “You have a look and you’ve missed the boat.” She often ends up deciding to spend her spare time with friends, or catching up on rest. “It just feels like another admin task: ‘Ugh, I’ve got to reply to another email now. I’ve got to put some data into a form.’” And, of course, those dating apps are big business, profiting from workers being kept single by their jobs. In 2021, the founder of the dating app Bumble was lauded as the “world’s youngest self-made woman billionaire”.

Hancock, who works in a deeply solitary industry, has found the process of organising with her union enormously helpful. “I remember being in this room and hearing so many different people from different industries talking and realising that we shared so much,” she says. “I wasn’t alone.”

It is through the union that she hopes to be able to change not just her own situation, but also the industry. After all, as the games workers learned, going home early by yourself – or leaving the industry – might be a temporary solution, but the real challenge is ending the culture of overwork. Perhaps it is time to revisit the original wants of International Workers’ Day, which called for the day to be split into eight-hour chunks: for work, for rest and time for “what we will”, whether that is romance, family, friends or otherwise.

By: Sarah Jaffe

Source: Married to the Job: How a Long-Hours Working Culture Keeps People Single and Lonely

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References

Kivimäki, Mika; Virtanen, Marianna; Kawachi, Ichiro; Nyberg, Solja T; Alfredsson, Lars; Batty, G David; Bjorner, Jakob B; Borritz, Marianne; Brunner, Eric J; Burr, Hermann; Dragano, Nico; Ferrie, Jane E; Fransson, Eleonor I; Hamer, Mark; Heikkilä, Katriina; Knutsson, Anders; Koskenvuo, Markku; Madsen, Ida E H; Nielsen, Martin L; Nordin, Maria; Oksanen, Tuula; Pejtersen, Jan H; Pentti, Jaana; Rugulies, Reiner; Salo, Paula; Siegrist, Johannes; Steptoe, Andrew; Suominen, Sakari; Theorell, Töres; Vahtera, Jussi; Westerholm, Peter J M; Westerlund, Hugo; Singh-Manoux, Archana; Jokela, Markus (January 2015). “Long working hours, socioeconomic status, and the risk of incident type 2 diabetes: a meta-analysis of published and unpublished data from 222 120 individuals”. The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology. 3 (1): 27–34. doi:10.1016/S2213-8587(14)70178-0. PMC 4286814. PMID 25262544.

We Need to Reimagine a More Family-Friendly Workplace

I started five businesses from scratch, and I can tell you the quality of talent that I was able to recruit early on made all the difference in whether I succeeded or stumbled.

What I’ve learned over the years is that recruiting the best and brightest isn’t just about cushy office furniture or amenities like free coffee, a stocked fridge or a downstairs gym. Today’s talent are seeking employers who offer a education fund or even a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) account to help pay for support services.

I see a small number of big businesses, such as and , incorporating child care into their list of employee perks. But, smaller businesses can also up their perks game by offering child care as a benefit. This creates a where parents feel supported and encouraged to advance in their careers.

Lifting the constant financial and emotional burden of working parents will no doubt raise the bar on the caliber of employees you attract and retain.

Family benefits not only foster loyalty, but these pro-family policies can also be profitable by boosting productivity.  The availability of paid child care plays a key role in allowing parents with children to remain in the labor force.  In each year from 2016 to 2018, more than 2 million parents of children age 5 and younger had to quit a job, not take a job, or change their job because of child care challenges — disproportionately affecting women. American businesses, meanwhile, lose an estimated $12.7 billion annually because of their employees’ child care challenges. Nationally, the cost of lost earnings, productivity, and revenue due to the child care crisis is estimated at $57 billion annually.

Lack of child care is also one of the primary factors that prevent us from creating an equitable workforce and eliminating the wage and gender gap. Just take a look at the millions of mothers who have lost or left their jobs due to child care burdens caused by the pandemic.

Since March 2020, Black and Latina moms have stopped working, either voluntarily or due to layoffs, at higher rates than white moms. Many are single moms who need child care but haven’t been able to access it during the pandemic. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, single moms had higher rates of than their childless counterparts in the second and third quarters of 2020.

Experts forecast that loss of skills, tenure and income among women of color will shape the future U.S. . One reason is that insufficient child care could impact their ability to re-enter the workforce, their wages, their long-term economic outcomes and the overall economic recovery.

Like many single mom of color, I also struggled with chasing the “American Dream” due to child care challenges. In fact, my success as a C-level executive was slowed due to lack of adequate child care for my son. In 2004, for example, I was passed for a vice president of sales position because I couldn’t make it to work at the required 6:30 a.m. time due to lack of before-school care for my son. I struggled throughout much of my career with this challenge, especially being in technology, a primarily male-dominted industry.

Related: 4 Ways Your Company Can Radically Help Working Mothers

In an era where women are projected to make up 60% of the workforce in the next five years, employers can leverage existing technology to provide fully managed child care benefits, giving their workforce the flexibility and family support needed to gain employee productivity and increase ROI.

As entrepreneurs and company leaders, we can do better. We have the power to completely change the course of child care in the US while dramatically transforming our company cultures by redesigning the workplace to be more family friendly. This is the future of work.

By: Alessandra Lezama / Entrepreneur Leadership Network Writer

Source: We Need to Reimagine a More Family-Friendly Workplace

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Critics:

Work–family balance in the United States refers to the specific issues that arise when men and women in the United States attempt to balance their occupational lives with their family lives. This differs from work–life balance in the United States: while work–life balance may refer to the health and living issues that arise from work, work–family balance refers specifically to how work and families intersect and influence each other. Work–family balance in the U.S. differs significantly for families of different social class.

Middle-class family issues center on dual-earner spouses and parents while lower class issues center on problems that arise due to single parenting. Work–family balance issues also differ by class, since middle class occupations provide more benefits and family support while low-wage jobs are less flexible with benefits. Solutions for helping individuals manage work–family balance in the U.S. include legislation, workplace policies, and the marketization of care work.

References

Dillaway, Heather and Elizabeth Pare. 2008. “Locating Mothers How Cultural Debates About Stay-at-Home Versus Working Mothers Define Women and Home.” Journal of Family Issues 29(4): 437-464.

How To Embrace The Post-Pandemic, Digital-Driven Future Of Work

Digital will separate the winners from the laggards in the hypercompetitive, post-pandemic business landscape, says Ben Pring, Managing Director of Cognizant’s Center for the Future of Work. We undertook a global, multi-industry study to understand how businesses are preparing for this future and here’s what we found.

COVID-19 changed digital from a nice-to-have adjunct to a must-have tool at the core of the enterprise. The pandemic forced businesses to reassess how they strategize and execute their digital ambitions in a world that has migrated online, possibly for good in many areas. Those that did not prioritize digital prior to the pandemic found that procrastination was no longer an option — the digital landscape is hypercompetitive.

The Cognizant Center for the Future of Work (CFoW), working with Oxford Economics, recently surveyed 4,000 C-level executives globally to understand how they are putting digital to use and what they hope to achieve in the coming years. The CFoW found that digital technologies are key to success in the coming years and uncovered six key steps that all organizations can take to more fruitfully apply to gear-up for the fast unfolding digital future:

  • Scrutinize everything because it’s going to change. From how and where employees work, to how customers are engaged, and which products and services are now viable as customer needs and behaviors evolve rapidly.
  • Make technology a partner in work. Innovations in AI, blockchain, natural language processing, IoT and 5G communications are ushering in decades of change ahead and will drive new levels of functionality and performance.
  • Build new workflows to reach new performance thresholds. The most predictable, rote and repetitive activities need to be handed off to software, while humans specialize in using judgment, creativity and language.
  • Make digital competency the prime competency for everyone. No matter what type of work needs to be done, it must have a digital component. Levels of digital literacy need to be built out even among non-technologists, including specialized skills.
  • Begin a skills renaissance. Digital skills such as big data specialists, process automation experts, security analysts, etc. aren’t easy to acquire. To overcome skills shortages, organizations will need to work harder to retain and engage workers.
  • Employees want jobs, but they also want meaning from jobs. How can businesses use intelligent algorithms to take increasing proportions of tasks off workers’ plates, allowing them to spend their time creating value? This search for meaning stretches beyond the individual tasks of the job to what the organization itself stands for.…Read More……

Ben Pring leads Cognizant’s Center for the Future of Work and is a coauthor of the books Monster: A Tough Love Letter On Taming The Machines That Rule Our Jobs, Lives, and Future, What To Do When Machines Do Everything and Code Halos: How the Digital Lives of People, Things, and Organizations Are Changing the Rules of Business. In 2018, he was a Bilderberg Meeting participant. He previously spent 15 years with Gartner as a senior industry analyst, researching and advising on areas such as cloud computing and global sourcing. He can be reached at Benjamin.Pring@cognizant.com.

Source: How To Embrace The Post-Pandemic, Digital-Driven Future Of Work

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Critics:

One of the biggest misconceptions about digital transformation is that it is all about technological change. With companies feeling an urgent need to transform digitally, technology is considered to be the panacea for business problems and a way to speed up transformation.

But while technology is an important part of digital transformation, it can only deliver benefits if it is procured as part of a wider plan.

The issue is that those making the decisions to implement technology for the sake of technology may be focusing on the process of changing their business, rather than targeting their ultimate goals.

In fact, the majority (71 per cent) of IT leaders say their business is so fixated on digital transformation that the projects may not deliver tangible benefits, according to 2019 research from database company Couchbase.

Caroline Carruthers, former chief data officer at Network Rail and Lowell, believes that understanding the problems the business is trying to solve or the value it is aiming to generate is crucial.

“Otherwise, how do we know we’re not cutting a square hole [with technology] rather than a circular one? People hear buzzwords and want a quick fix; it’s engrained that we want things faster, while advances in consumer technology have meant people expect the same from business technology. However, the problems are far more complex,” she says.

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50 Work-From-Home Jobs Paying as Much or a Lot More Than the Average American Salary

50 Work-From-Home Jobs Paying as Much or a Lot More Than the Average American Salary

There was a time when working from home was a pipe dream, but recently, there’s been a surge of jobs you can do from your own place.

Whether that’s working remotely for a company or starting your own , there’s no shortage of work-from-home opportunities. Here are 50 options, many of which can generate annual earnings that equate to more than the average American salary.

1. Affiliate Marketer

For those unfamiliar with , it’s simply referral marketing where you earn a commission. Let’s say that you have a website and refer a book on . When the visitor clicks the affiliate link and buys the book, Amazon will pay you a percentage of the sale. People love affiliate marketing because they can start earning money passively with few startup costs.

Related: 5 Ways to Ensure Remote Employees Feel Part of the Team

2. Animator

Are you an artistic and creative individual who is able to create animation and visual effects for television, movies, video games and other types of media? Then you can work at home as freelance animator. (Personally, I’ve seen animators make between $25 to $106 an hour on sites like Upwork.)

3. Baker/Caterer/Chef

If you have a knack for baking or cooking, then turn your passion into a side business. From your own kitchen, you could start a catering business or become a personal chef. If you’re a baker, you could sell you goods to friends, neighbors, online or at local farmer’s markets.

4. Blogger

Blogging is inexpensive and easy to start doing. It could be as simple as you just writing about your favorite music or food, and eventually, you can start generating money from your site. Just keep in mind that you need to pay patient when it comes to cashing in on your . If this is something you want to pursue, check out this guide.

5. Bookkeeper

Believe it or not, you don’t have to be a CPA to start . Just sign up for a bookkeeping course at a community college or even online (such as this course from The Accounting Coach). Once you complete a course, you can start earning, and the median salary is reportedly $34,000. (Some stay-at-home bookkeepers I’ve spoken with personally make more than $70,000.)

6. Child Caregiver

Whether if it’s just for a couple of hours or for the entire day, running a childcare business from your home can be lucrative. Just make sure that you obtain the correct licenses and permits.

7. Clinical Research Coordinator

Clinical research coordinators help manage operations for clinical trials. You could make more than $48,000 with this job, and you don’t need a bachelor’s degree.

Related: Bashing the Stereotypes: What You Need to Know About Gen Z

8. Consulting

If you have experience and knowledge in a specific area, then consider sharing it with others. For example, if you’re an accountant or lawyer, then you can provide advice to for a pretty penny. You could also consult businesses on how to use a new software program or how to become more environmentally friendly. (If you’re interested, my company offers a consulting guide to get started.)

9. Customer Service Representative

Do you possess excellent communication skills? Do you also have a landline and reliable ? Then you can earn between $8 and $15 per hour as a customer service representative.

10. Data Entry

Inputting data for businesses isn’t the most of exciting of jobs. However, you don’t need any previous experience, and you can start at $10 per hour.

11. Copy Writing

You can write copy for businesses from your home and, in some cases, earn up to six figures. Try Fiverr or Upwork to find gigs.

12. E-commerce Store Owner

There are five types of e-commerce business models: dropshipping, wholesaling, manufacturing, white-labeling and subscriptions. Thanks to sites like Shopify, and WooCommerce, you can quickly launch your own ecommerce store.

13. Editing and Proofreading

Companies like Book in a Box pay around $20 per hour to editors, book jacket designers and proofreaders.

14. Event Planner

Whether if it’s planning a wedding, birthday party or corporate event, people are looking for organized individuals to do most of the event planning for them.

Related: Learn the 4 Principles That Helped This Virtual Company Become One of the Best Cultures in America

15. Film and Post Instructional Videos

Are you really good at something? Try creating a YouTube account and filming yourself instructing others on how to do what you’re skilled at. To start earning some cash, enroll in YouTube’s partner program so that you can make $1 to $2 per 1,000 views.

16. Grant Writer

Universities, hospitals, and nonprofit organizations often need to apply for grant money. Since these applications can be difficult to write, these businesses often turn to talented grant writers. As a grant writer, you can make between $40,300 and $67,000 per year.

17. Graphic Designer

Many businesses are in need of someone to design their logos, websites or visual ads. If you have a degree or certification in this area, you can make a comfortable salary annually (reportedly $45,000 and up). The more skilled you are, the more clients you’ll likely get through word of mouth. Here’s a guide on how to build a website that can help you get started.

18. Handmade Crafter

Do you make handmade products like jewelry or furniture? If so, try setting up an Etsy shop and selling your handmade crafts online.

19. Instructor

Do you know how to play a musical instrument? Can you get people into shape? Whatever your knowledge or experience, some people will pay you to share that information with them, whether in person or online.

20. Internet Security Specialist

As an internet security specialist, you monitor networks for security threats and implement security standards. You may also install data protection systems as well. Given the attention that online security has been receiving, this job is expected to grow steadily over the next several years.

Related: How to Stay Motivated Working From Home

21. Online Juror

When attorneys prepare for a trial, they often seek feedback on their case. Depending on the mock jury website you choose, you can make between $5 to $150 for your opinion.

22. Online Teacher

Are you a teacher who’s looking for a more flexible schedule? Then consider teaching via Skype or via a pre-recorded session through organizations like K12 and Connections Academy.

23. Patent or Intellectual Property Lawyer

Applying for a patent or protecting intellectual property are both areas where expert advice is needed. As such, if this is your area of the law, you could reportedly make between $112 and $121 per hour.

24. Peer-to-Peer Lender

Thanks to sites like Lending Club and Prosper, you can easily lend money to a business or individual. As an investor, you’d make money on the paid interest of the note.

25. Pet Groomer

Do you love being around animals? Are you also patient enough to clean and style pets? If so, this could be a great home-based business.

Related: The Biggest Do’s and Don’ts of Video Conferencing

26. Photographer/Videographer

Even though everyone has a camera on their phone these days, there’s still a need for these types of professionals like for events like weddings. You can also sell your images on sites like Foap.

27. Product Reviewer

You can make a decent living (reportedly between $20,000 and $95,000) just by reviewing the products that you use daily.

28. Programmer

Learn a programming language, such as Ruby, and you could end up making around $61 per hour for programming. If you’re interested, here’s a handy programmer guide to get you on your way.

29. Realtor

While you can run a reality business from your home, as long as you have your state’s real estate license, you still need to show potential buyers the home. But don’t forget that you also have to prepare the home for showing. Thanks to technology, you can become a virtual realtor where you can show a property without having to be there in person.

30. Renter

Do you have an extra bedroom? How about a car you don’t drive everyday? Are there household items laying around collecting dust? If so, try renting them out to people who could use them. (I personally made over $50,000 renting out my basement in 2017.)

31. Repairer

If you have a knack for fixing things, like bicycles, cars or computers, then consider launching your own repair business. It probably doesn’t cost more than a little marketing to get started since you probably already have the tools and resources.

Related: 3 Ways to Keep Employees Productive at Home

32. Short Tasks

A short task is a job or assignment that can be completed quickly. Examples include writing a review, taking a survey, or watching a video. They may not pay much, but it’s a fast and easy way to make money from home. Here’s a list of short task sites you can check out if interested.

33. Social Media Manager

There are a lot of organizations who need someone to manage their social media accounts, and some may even want you to completely develop a social media strategy for them.

34. Stylist

If you love fashion and want to work from home, then you can become an online stylist. Some reportedly make up to $15 an hour.

35. Survey Taker

This won’t make you a millionaire, but you can be paid between $1 and $50 each time you take an opinion poll, answer questions about your shopping habits or review a product. You’re usually paid by check, PayPal or points that can later be redeemed for gift cards.

36. Tax Preparer

Even though this is a seasonal gig, you can make a salary of over $30,000. Don’t forget to register with the IRS before you start this home-based business.

37. Become an Expert

Nowadays, people are going online to find experts at things they themselves may be struglging with. A growing trend is hiring an expert versus hiring a large company to come in and help fix problems. One resource is Catalant, which hires out experts from $15 an hour to $280 an hour. That’s one option if you’re looking to help others with your knowledge.

Related: How This Mom Grew Multiple 6-Figure Businesses From Home

38. Telephone Nurse

If you’re a registered nurse, then you could work for health insurers or health management companies like Humana, Aetna and UnitedHealth Group. They hire nurses remotely to handle case management, treatment authorization and patient education.

39. Transcriber/Transcriptionist

This job essentially means listening to audio files, such as lectures or doctors’ medical dictations, and then typing out what you hear. It’s an entry-level gig that can pay up to $25 an hour.

40. Translator

Are you fluent in another language? Start earning a living off of this skill by translating documents or becoming an interpreter.

41. Travel Agent

Despite the fact that there are numerous travel sites that make planning a trip a breeze, it can still be time-consuming. What’s more, there may be certain travel conditions that you are not aware of. That’s why there’s still a market for travel agents to scour the web for the best deals, share advice or plan itineraries.

42. Virtual Assistant

If you’re organized and can handle office duties like replying to emails, calendar management, entering data and assisting with social media, then this job is perfect for you. And you can make between $10 and $15 per hour.

Related: 4 Reasons Not to Be a Stiff About Employees Working From Home

43. Virtual Public Relations Representative

Some small- to medium-sized businesses don’t have the budget for a dedicated chief marketing officer, a vice president of marketing or even a public relations firm. But they may have the funds to hire a virtual public relations representative to take care of duties like promoting a business or managing a crisis.

44. Virtual Recruiter

This is pretty much the same position as an in-house recruiter except you get to work wherever you want. The other major difference is that you search the web to find the right employee for the right position. You’re also responsible for screening the applicant and being a part of the interviewing and negotiation process. Some recruiters are paid upward of $125 an hour for building resume templates.

45. Virtual Tutor

If you have extensive knowledge in a specific area, then you could earn between $12 to $35 per hour by tutoring students either over the phone or on Skype.

46. Voice Acting

If you have a golden voice, you can make somewhere between $56 and $72 per hour.

47. Web Developer

Depending on the specific job, as well as your expertise, you could bring in between $55,000 and $175,000 per year building websites from scratch.

Related: The Legal Implications of Expecting Employees to Work After Hours

48. Web Search Evaluator

In order to deliver the most accurate service to customers, search engines pay individuals to analyze search results. You don’t need to have much experience, and you can haul in $12 to $15 an hour.

49. Website Tester

Businesses want to make sure that their websites are intuitive and easy to navigate. As such, they’ll assign instructions for people to follow to check out their site. Each test usually takes around 15 to 20 minutes. In return, you’ll often be paid $10 to $15 per test.

50. Writing Gigs

Businesses of all sizes need written content, like blog posts, website copy or eBooks. As a result, there are thousands of writing gigs available that pay anywhere between $10 to $100 per hour.

John Rampton

 

By: John Rampton / Entrepreneur Leadership Network VIP

Source: 50 Work-From-Home Jobs Paying as Much or a Lot More Than the Average American Salary

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More Contents:

50 Companies Hiring for Remote Jobs

To view more information about the company and to see past job openings, click the company name. If you’re a FlexJobs member, log in to see job descriptions for current positions.

  1. Robert Half International
  2. Kelly
  3. Randstad
  4. Kforce
  5. UnitedHealth Group
  6. Supporting Strategies
  7. Ajilon
  8. Twilio
  9. CVS Health
  10. K12
  11. Aerotek
  12. Thermo Fisher Scientific
  13. Adecco
  14. Accounting Principals
  15. Aquent
  16. Anthem, Inc.
  17. Beacon Hill Staffing Group
  18. NTT Group
  19. Pearson
  20. eXp Realty
  21. HubSpot
  22. Toast
  23. Alight Solutions
  24. SPECTRAFORCE
  25. Citizens Bank
  26. GitHub
  27. Wells Fargo
  28. Parexel
  29. Vistaprint
  30. PRA Health Sciences
  31. CSI Companies
  32. Capital Group Companies
  33. Tava Health
  34. Bilingual Therapies
  35. Solomon Page
  36. Profit Factory
  37. Lincoln Financial Group
  38. Chime Financial, Inc.
  39. LanguageLine Solutions
  40. GoHealth LLC
  41. Welocalize
  42. American Express
  43. Cerebral Care
  44. Alorica
  45. Coalition Technologies
  46. Paylocity
  47. Russell Tobin
  48. Chainlink Labs
  49. Doctor On Demand
  50. SAP

Career Fields and Jobs That Hire Remote Workers

Although companies have expanded their views on what types of roles can be done remotely, these career fields generally post the most remote jobs:

  1. Computer & IT
  2. Medical & Health
  3. Project Management
  4. Sales
  5. Accounting & Finance
  6. Customer Service
  7. Marketing

And while you can do a wide variety of jobs from home, some of the most popular remote job titles include:

Use FlexJobs to Find Remote-Friendly Jobs

Remote work stands to play a major role in the future of work for many years to come. Staying informed about which companies are hiring for work-from-home jobs can help you find the exact remote opportunity you’re looking for.

 

Since 2007, FlexJobs has helped job seekers find flexible jobs with thousands of remote-friendly employers and job postings in more than 50 categories. Take the tour and find out how a membership can help you connect with legitimate, professional remote jobs.

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