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 research showing that three times as many mothers than fathers lost their jobs in the COVID-19 pandemic.
Stateline, The Pew Charitable Trusts, Tim Henderson
Mothers of children 12 years and younger lost 2.2 million jobs during the pandemic, compared to fathers of young children, who lost 870,000 jobs. The University of Minnesota data, gathered between February and August, showed even more devastating figures for single mothers, who suffered a 16 percent loss of jobs they held in February, compared to a 6 percent drop for single fathers during the same period. The job losses were expected to continue with the beginning of the school year, as many working parents juggle online learning with keeping up with their jobs. Experts say the discrepancies pose a big threat to the gains women have made in the workplace in recent years.
A recent survey measuring the impact of COVID-19 on remote work projected that the rate of people continuing to work from home after the pandemic will nearly triple to 30 percent, compared to about 12 percent before the pandemic. The survey of 835 U.S. employees by XpertHR, conducted from late July to mid-August, concluded that the ripple effect of the pandemic on the workplace will continue for years, but maintaining morale will be an ongoing issue. Some 76 percent of respondents said keeping employee morale up has been either “somewhat” or “very” challenging.
Journal of Accountancy, Sara Silver
Companies of all sizes and industries used an array of financial tools to stave off the downturn that came with the COVID-19 crisis. Faced with lockdown measures, falling sales, supply chain instability, and the cost of implementing social distancing and other health safety measures, many organizations turned to issuing debt to stay solvent. CFOs and other company leaders at many businesses also took steps like reducing and furloughing staff, expanding credit lines, conserving cash to increase liquidity, and speeding up efforts already underway to transition to digital platforms. Financial prudency remained the watchword for many managers as the uncertainty of the pandemic continued to play out.
Open Access Government, William Copley
With a second COVID-19 wave looming in the U.K., it’s more important than ever for companies to keep flexible policies in place as the prospect of further lockdowns increase. Beginning in August, U.K. employers have had the right to request that employees return to offices, but the continuing pandemic has made flexible options like remote work feasible not only in the short term, but for long-term operations as well. The downsides of the pandemic aside, one of the biggest upsides of COVID-19 has been showing business and government leaders the many positive benefits of work flexibility.
ZDNet, Vala Afshar
Since the pandemic began, small and medium businesses have been embracing digital technologies at unprecedented levels. A global survey of more than 2,300 businesses by Salesforce Research found that digital transformation has emerged as a top priority for many organizations, due not only to the pandemic, but to a combination of factors such as climate change, the economy, and systemic racial injustice. Businesses are also grappling with a significant shift in brand loyalty, with 75 percent of consumers switching brands during the pandemic. Post-pandemic, small and medium enterprises are making increased use of technology a big part of their plans for recovery and growth.