Top 5 trends from the world of work


The pandemic has left many workers feeling disenchanted and burned out. Now, employers are unveiling a new benefit to help workers: paid sabbaticals. One UK company is now giving its 2,200 staff the right to take a three-month sabbatical for every four years they work at the firm.

The move is part of the global shift towards a more flexible way of working. Would you take a sabbatical from work, if your company offered it?

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The world of work is constantly changing. One of the big trends taking hold? The different types of benefits offered by companies. From sabbaticals to bereavement policies, organizations are reconsidering how to best help their workers in this day and age. In the UK, for example, one company is offering its employees several months of sabbaticals to allow them time to relax, learn new skills, or spend more time with family. From the burnout risk with remote working to "bleisure," here are some of the top trends from the world of work this month.

Here are the latest 5 trends from the world of work

#1. Sabbaticals are on the rise.

#2. “Bleisure” is here.

#3. Companies rethink bereavement policies.

#4. Companies need to manage remote work or risk burnout, WHO warns

#5. Your next job interview could be with a robot.

Monzo, a fintech company in the UK, is now giving its 2,200 staff the right to take a three-month sabbatical for every four years they work at the firm. The move is part of the global shift towards a more flexible way of working. It comes as several companies in the UK, US, and Ireland have announced four-day work week trials.

Previously, employees at Monzo could only take one month of holiday every year. However, research by the Sabbatical Project suggests a rise in people taking an extended break from work, especially during the pandemic: mid-career sabbaticals have tripled in the past four years. It’s prompted many to reassess their priorities.

The lines between business and leisure are being blurred as people work from home.

And now there’s a name for those looking to mix business and leisure: “bleisure.”

It’s been a huge saving grace for the travel industry amid flight cancellations and staffing shortages. The technology enabling more remote work is disrupting the travel industry.

What does it mean, in practice?

  • More trips
  • More business travel
  • More long-term accommodations
  • Less true rest and relaxation

Planning more trips (where you work) inevitably presents new challenges. These blurred lines may lead to increased burnout, and employees may lose the ability to truly disconnect from work Read more here.

Around the world, millions of people are struggling to cope with waves of grief over the past two years. Since the start of the pandemic, more than 5.85 million people have died from COVID. That’s on top of other tragedies, which continue to march on: accidents, illnesses, chronic illness, and more.

Conversations about grief are increasingly becoming more common and socially acceptable. Those conversations are also seeping into work.

Jess Mah, an executive at software firm inDinero Inc. in the U.S., experienced her own loss during the pandemic. At the time, when her boyfriend died of suicide, she logged onto Slack and told everyone she would take two days off. In hindsight, she told the Wall Street Journal, it was “ridiculous.”

She ended up canceling weeks of meetings. In the end, she took three months off.
“Until it hit me directly, I didn’t think, ‘OK, wow this needs to be a bigger conversation,’” she said. “Bereavement is a part-time job in and of itself.”

Organizations around the globe are rethinking their bereavement policies in light of COVID, expanding their grief policies. For some, that means allowing people to take time off following a miscarriage or failed infertility treatment. For others, it means expanding the definition of family. If a cousin, or even a pet, was close to them, shouldn’t they be able to take time to grieve? Read more.

We’re approaching the two-year anniversary of the first Covid-19 lockdowns – and the start of a new era for the world of work. Many people with desk jobs have been working remotely for almost two years, on and off, now. These workers are worn out, physically and mentally.

Work-from-home burnout is a global phenomenon, so much so that the World Health Organization (WHO) has issued a new warning for companies, lawmakers, and employees this month. If companies and employees don’t collectively manage remote working, a work-from-home model can create hazardous conditions, putting employees’ health at risk.

“Which way the pendulum swings depends entirely on whether governments, employers, and workers work together,” Maria Neira, director of the department of environment, climate change and health at the WHO, said. Read more here.

Chat bots and AI-led video interviews are coming onto the scene to help employers assess job candidates – before a human recruiter even meets them. For years now, recruiters have been relying on AI to automate candidate searches and screen resumes.

But AI-led video interviews take the process a step further. Automated interviews will vastly expand the job candidate pool, Axios argues, and recruiters hope they can ensure consistent hiring practices by rooting out the ways bias seeps into interviews.

Candidates, on the other hand, say that these AI-led video interviews and chat bots make the process stressful, dehumanizing, and impersonal.

"You're at a tremendous disadvantage as a candidate when it's a one-way street," one candidate said. "I'm used to reading people, and there was nothing there for me to read." Read more here.

What else made headlines this month?

The high-tech nanotechnology revolution is already here – we just haven’t noticed.

Meet the CEO taking action on workplace policies for women.

By 2030, the world could be short of 13 million nurses.

Major firms like Amazon, Ikea, and Unilever may be overstating their climate efforts, according to a new watchdog report.

Nissan Motor will gradually sunset their development of combustion engines in all major markets except the U.S., another green-fueled move in the shifting automotive industry.

Eurozone inflation reached a record 5.1% inflation in January, fueled by the rising cost of energy and food.

German automotive supplier Bosch is spending 2 billion Euros on reskilling and upskilling programs as the electric car revolution powers on.

Nestle, the company behind countless pantry items around the world is opening their Institute of Agricultural Sciences in Switzerland. It aims to decrease environmental footprints of farmers across the globe.