At 1MFWF, we always want to highlight what’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 job market projections for 2021 that include more remote work and more flexible work policies.
PitchBook, Priyamvada Mathur
A spate of company and employee surveys unveiled optimistic predictions about remote work and work flexibility in general. One survey of more than 200 privately-owned companies found that more than 90% of them will be hiring for both work-from-home jobs and on-site positions in 2021. According to the survey, a driving factor in the hiring spree, especially for home-based workers, is the shift in attitudes toward remote and flexible work schedules. A separate survey found that the transition to working from home, brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, was successful for more than 80% of employers surveyed. In more tempered results, yet another study predicted that startups may face some hiring upheaval later in the year as workers look to jump to organizations with better remote and flexible work policies.
The approach of International Women’s Day on March 8 provides an opportunity to examine how coronavirus has changed the work landscape for women, many of whom have struggled with additional burdens the pandemic has placed on them as caregivers. Spelling out 10 areas for improvement, the authors highlight specifics like flexible working hours, parity in pay and status, fostering inclusivity, and making sure women’s voices are heard. There’s also a five-point actionable plan for organizations looking to seize this moment to address issues for working women, highlighting efforts like closing the gender pay gap, embracing flexible work policies, and speaking out about bias and discrimination. Organizations that understand that gender equality is not just a “women’s issue” can act to draw men into the conversation and make them active participants in pushing for positive change.
Fortune, Drew Houston
The new work-from-home dynamic is a long-game proposition for employers and workers alike, and as the trend continues, the benefits and opportunities will become more clear in the coming months. Making full use of this seismic shift in the workplace will take some reimagining of work spaces, the work week, and how organizations operate in general. As workers continue to benefit from the advantages of working flexibly and remotely, the demand to work from home will grow, and companies must remain nimble to retain top employees. While a new study shows some remote workers are feeling stressed and working more as a result of the changes wrought by COVID-19, this is also a moment to re-configure when, how, and where we do our jobs, as a way to transform the workplace for the better.
Fast Company, Frank Weishaupt
Remote and hybrid work arrangements offer organizations the opportunity to hold team meetings that are more democratic than traditional in-person meetings. Remote meetings can break down communication barriers and create more opportunities to participate for team members who otherwise may be shy or hesitant about speaking up. While an organization’s leaders are more likely to dominate “center stage” during in-person meetings, a properly run conference or video call with a designated leader who solicits opinions and cedes the floor to others can provide more opportunities to share ideas and collaborate. Meetings of hybrid teams present other challenges and opportunities for inclusivity for people of different personality types and work styles.
Bloomberg.com, Rebecca Greenfield
COVID-19 lockdowns have accelerated the remote work revolution, with major companies nationwide allowing employees to work from home permanently. But while remote work has the potential to make job opportunities more widely available to more workers, figures show that people who work in remote-friendly fields are more likely to be White or Asian, more educated, and better paid. That means that, along with the many benefits employers can reap from remote-friendly policies, there are pitfalls as well. These include unintended biases in hiring and in the workplace that could impede diversity and inclusion initiatives—and even open the way to lawsuits. Employers should also be wary of “flexibility stigma,” where people with flexible work arrangements face stereotypes, career penalties, and the potential for long-lasting inequalities, especially for women and working parents.
Stay on Top of Work Flexibility News
Workplace trends affecting remote and flexible work can have a significant impact on your company’s plans for implementing sound guidelines for your employees. Join the efforts of 1 Million for Work Flexibility and stay abreast of best practices for work flexibility that can help you retain workers and attract top-tier job candidates.