This week, how managers can work with their employees to introduce a sustainable re-entry to the office. Plus, how the permanent switch to home office might impact gender equality; five questions boards should be asking about digital transformations; a new law that might change how Americans can be fired; and the proposed stricter rules for the gig economy. Read this week’s trends from the world of work.

#1. Four ways managers can negotiate a sustainable office re-entry.

 

 

There’s no denying it: some companies have signaled that it’s time to get back to work. On Wall Street, major banks like Morgan Stanley and Bank of America have all told their employers that they need to come back to the office this summer. But this ultimatum might not be the best way for managers to handle the delicate post-pandemic future. Forcing a quick transition may compromise productivity and psychological safety.

 

Transforming the situation into a more collaborative one could reduce the number of employees who plan to quit – and it can become a moment where you affirm and depend the psychological safety of your time. Consider initiating the conversation about a return to work as soon as possible, determine a simple timeline, set up one-on-one conversations, and allow staff to customize the plan as necessary. Read more on Forbes.  

Photo: Marvin Meyer via Unsplash

#2. Switching to more work from home jobs will only make gender equality worse.

 

 

A permanent switch to more home office work in a post-pandemic future will only exacerbate gender equality in the workplace, unless employers carefully monitor new working policies, experts told The Guardian. Traditionally, more women – especially those with children – have requested flexible working. But ever since the pandemic, a growing number of companies are giving their workforce the option to work from home entirely.

 

Experts are warning that a hybrid working model which allows staff to split time between their home office and their desks, could have unintended consequences. As the new normal continues, men might increasingly come back to the office – while women remain at home, adversely affecting their career. Those caring for children, people with disabilities, and other caregivers will tend to stay home as well. Read more on The Guardian.

Photo: Tanaphong Toochinda via Unsplash

#3. Five key questions boards should be asking about digital transformations.

 

 

Digital transformations are top priorities for many corporate boards, and that means a whole new level of risk and competition. How can boards be prepared? By asking themselves whether they understand the implications of digital and technology well enough to provide guidance, and whether it will change how the business creates value. In addition, board members should be asking themselves if they have an expansive view of talent and emerging threats. Read more on Harvard Business Review.  


Photo: ZSun Fu via Unsplash

#4. Most Americans can be fired at any time, for no reason at all. A new law would change that.

 

 

In the U.S., many employers work under at-will employment, a legal standard that allows companies to fire people for almost any reason – including for no reason at all. These types of positions account for most jobs in the U.S., meaning that most white-collar and professional workers have little legal protection. Lawmakers are lobbying for an executive order for a just-cause mandate for federal contractors, which make up one fifth of the national labor pool. A national just-cause standard would lead to a big shift in power from bosses to employees. Read more on Bloomberg.

Photo: Ahmer Kalam via Unsplash

#5. G20 labor ministers looking to protect gig workers.

 

 

Labor ministers from many of the world’s biggest economies said they plan to pursue tougher rules to protect the gig economy. Following the G20 summit, officials said they want to avoid misclassifications of employment status for gig workers that might “prevent them from accessing the same protections and rights of employees.” The news comes as the EU plans to propose a bloc-wide framework by the end of the year. The G20 ministers also committed to promoting employment for women beyond the current goal of reducing labor market participation gaps by 25% by 2025. Read more here.


Photo: Guillaume Périgois via Unsplash

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