This week, the power of paternity leave, how Google banned some meetings and unexpectedly reinvented remote work, and the way some workers are allowing themselves to take a step back from work. Read this week’s trends from the world of work. 

 

Welcome to this week’s edition of Top 5, our round-up of weekly trends in the world of work. Before we dive into this week’s trends, we want to take a moment to address the unfolding humanitarian crisis in Ukraine. Ever since the crisis happened last week, we’ve been keeping a close eye on the unfolding events. Our immediate thoughts and concerns are with our colleagues and associates who have family and friends in the region. We have established a core crisis team who are analysing how we can best direct our resources.

In this week’s edition of Top 5, we’re looking at the power of paternity leave, the workers deciding to start coasting for a bit at their jobs, rising wages in Japan, and the French company offering a mid-career break to its workers.

Other headlines in the world of work


Construction needs half a million workers to meet demand in 2022 in the U.S.

Will staff ever return to the office full-time?

More on the metaverse and the future of work: the CEOs experimenting with a new virtual working world.

Is the four-day work week a silver bullet for burnout?

We’ve got a full breakdown of all the top headlines in the world of work that you can’t miss this week.


#1. Is paternity leave the key to workplace equality?


For decades, mothers have traditionally been the ones who left work to look after children.

But the pandemic has accelerated a new shift: fathers wanting to take more of an active role in family life. Fast-moving changes in the workplace parental leave world have resulted in big shifts for mothers and fathers alike, as well as the co-workers who pick up the slack.

If older, male leaders within an organization look down on younger colleagues taking time off to spend with their families, they might be risking losing those employees to different companies with more forward-thinking policies.

Are we still thinking of fathers as the breadwinners in the family, and the women as breadwinners? Read more here.

Photo: Dominika Roseclay from Pexels

 

#2. “My company is not my family.”


The Great Resignation opened up a dramatic shift in the world of work for so many companies and employees alike. Some workers in the U.S. took advantage of their newfound options by quitting their toxic jobs, others negotiated for a raise, and some…some decided to slowly scale back their working hours.

Some workers saw this as their chance to work less. U.S.-based recruiter Justin, for example, had spent much of his working life putting in 10- to 12-hour days. He didn’t want to keep spending so much of his life dedicated to work, especially after the birth of his first child. So he decided to very slowly scale back.

"I was sweating bullets, but I was like, look, they're not going to fire me," Justin told Insider. "It would take them months to find someone new and train them up. My lessened productivity is better than zero productivity."

For many lifelong overachievers, work has become just that: work. For the first time ever, these professionals are seeing their jobs as a simple source of income to support their families instead of some higher calling that demands all their time and dedication.
“These companies just see you as a resource, not as a person," one IT worker told Insider.

The pandemic has only made it easier for these professionals to put their jobs in perspective, too. Amid a tumultuous labour market and talent shortages, workers feel like they have job security. It’s the perfect time to be a recovering overachiever.

Many people around the globe would call these employees lazy, unambitious, or shiftless. But name calling misses the point. Instead, these workers say they are making a considered, educated decision. They are done letting companies squeeze out extra hours of overtime. Is this the end of hustle culture? Read the full piece at Insider.

Photo: alleksana from Pexels

 

#3. How Google unexpectedly reinvented remote work by banning meetings


At the end of 2020, Google made a bold move: they banned (nearly all) meetings, temporarily, for one week. As a growing number of employers shift towards remote work, true geographic freedom from time zones will come to be highly respected. That’s because current remote work standards? They’re more like teleworking guidelines. Working remotely might not give workers all the independence and autonomy that they need.

Fewer meetings can help foster a happier and more productive workforce – and free up much more time. The Google meeting policy still lives on, in a way. From time to time, some teams at Google still have no-meeting weeks "to create space for Googlers to either focus on independent work, or make it easier to switch off entirely and take a vacation," according to an internal memo. Read more at INC.

Photo: Pixabay

 

#4. French telecoms operator offering employees a mid-career break



French company Orange is experimenting with a new concept that would allow employees who have spent 10 years with the organization to take a break from their jobs. During this so-called “breathing space,” employees can opt to pursue professional and personal development opportunities unrelated to their work. The break can last up to 12 months, all while employees will continue to receive their salary and remain employed with Orange. Read more at Planet Labor.

Photo: Alexandr Podvalny from Pexels

 

#5. After decades of flat pay, some Japanese firms boost salaries to retain top talent

Yokohama-based Lasertec Corp has delivered something unique in Japan over the past five years: big pay raises. The company has boosted employee salaries by a third overall since 2016.

Employees at the company’s main unit - many of them engineers – take home on average just under 14 million yen ($121,000) That’s more than three times the national average of 4.3 million yen.

In Japan, a growing number of companies are opting for performance-based pay, a change that speaks to a wider shift slowly gaining ground in Japan.

"For companies like us, employees are valuable assets, not costs," said Yutaro Misawa, a senior executive at Lasertec. Read more at Reuters.

Photo: Aleksandar Pasaric from Pexels

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