At 1MFWF, we always want to highlight work that’s happening around the country and across the globe pertaining to work flexibility. While our own blog features regular contributions from experts on this topic, we also keep an eye out for great articles elsewhere on the web. Here are some recent news items not to miss, including the future of work trends after COVID-19.
Gartner.com, RJ Cheremond
Thanks to the pandemic, hiring managers will have to re-imagine workplace policies in nine areas. To help their organizations thrive in a post COVID-19 world, managers need to be ready for changes like an overall expansion of remote working; an increase in the number of “contingent” workers (versus full-time employees); a shift from working for efficiency to working for resilience; more complex organizational structures; and an expanded role as a safety net for employees. Strong leaders will make an effort to assess whether their organization’s goals before the pandemic line up with any changes they must make to stay successful moving forward.
The New York Times, Clive Thompson
The higher productivity levels of remote workers is raising questions about whether they really need to bring employees back to the office. Although some home-based workers experience issues like isolation and the potential of work encroaching on leisure time. Increased productivity aside, the coronavirus pandemic has pushed many white-collar employers to re-evaluate all aspects of the work dynamic at their companies. Even before COVID-19, thanks to technology, workers were dealing with the blurred lines between home and office. Now, with many workers grappling with at-home schooling and other personal and family concerns, more and more companies have moved to permanently increase the number of employees who are home-based.
LinkedIn Talent Blog, Bruce Anderson
There’s an intriguing satisfaction gap between remote workers across all job categories versus job remote HR professionals, a survey found. While some 66 percent of home-based workers generally said they could be effectively working remotely, some 85 percent of HR workers said they could be effective working from home. The latest LinkedIn Workforce Confidence Index survey also found that a higher percentage of remote HR employees wanted online support to help boost their emotional well-being. As the coronavirus pandemic has unfolded, many HR managers are coping with stress from managing layoffs and hiring freezing, and helping employees deal with their own pandemic-related family and career-related issues.
The Detroit News, Jordyn Grzelewski
Salaried employees at Ford Motor Co. are being given the option to continue working from home at least through the end of 2020. The move supersedes a previous plan to extend the pandemic-related work-from-option through early July. Now, Ford plans to survey more than 30,000 salaried employees to determine how workers whose jobs are not location-specific can continue to work remotely. The survey aims to find out whether affected workers would prefer to work from home permanently, or opt for a blended or hybrid approach, spending some working remotely and the balance in the office.
Harvard Business Review, Laura Morgan Roberts and Courtney L. McCluney
Black people who work remotely often face unique authenticity challenges, particularly in organizations where they are underrepresented, the author of this Harvard Business Review article found. The increased numbers of all people working from home has highlighted those challenges, as black home-based workers often resort to “code-switching” (adjusting speech, appearance, and behavior) in an effort to fit in. Making such adjustments may improve the prospects of black workers for getting hired and advancing in their careers, but the cost can be increased stress levels in an already-challenging virtual work environment.
A survey of Canadian employers found that 90 percent of hiring managers would prefer that workers who are feeling sick stay home rather than come to work. That statistic represents a significant cultural shift in how the managers surveyed view sick employees–a shift that looks to be a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Forty-three percent of survey respondents said that, because of coronavirus, they are now more open to letting an unwell employee work remotely–and it’s a change in thinking that may be permanent. Managers acknowledged one of the advantages of letting an unwell employee work from home is that it minimizes disruptions to workflow, versus having the worker in a shared environment, potentially spreading illness to others.