This week, stories about paid sabbaticals, salary transparency, the right to disconnect from work, and supply chain chaos as the new normal. Read this week’s 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?

What else matters this week?

Exciting news: we’ve launched the first-ever issue of our digital magazine, Insights. Take a look here!

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.

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


#1. UK Company Monzo offers sabbaticals to its staff


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.

Photo: Taylor Simpson from Unsplash

 

#2. Momentum is building for salary transparency.


In the U.S., New York City will soon require employers to supply to salary range on job postings. It’s the biggest step yet in a growing, but controversial, movement for pay transparency.

This new law aims to give workers – especially women and people of color – more power in job negotiations. It can be hard for candidates to find out salary information up front. One of the goals of this new law: ensure that women and people of color don’t get offered substantially lower salaries.

"I’d say it’s a game changer," Tauseef Rahman, a partner at the Mercer consulting firm who specializes in pay equity and transparency, tells Axios.

Pay discrimination is illegal in the U.S. and many other countries, but in the U.S., a growing number of states are taking additional action. Some places, for example, are banning the practice of asking candidates’ salary history. Read more at Axios.

Photo: Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

 

#3. Belgians gain the right to disconnect from work.


Starting on February 1, more than 65,000 government civil servants will get the right to disconnect. That means that they cannot be contacted outside normal working hours with a few exceptions – by agreement, or if something can’t wait.

Staff will be on call, too. But it means that workers cannot be disadvantages by not answering the phone or picking up emails outside of working hours.

"Because when you begin a new job, you want to be perfect and you think: 'If I don't answer that email at 10 o'clock at night maybe my boss will not like it,’” Delphine, a civil servant in Belgium, told the BBC. "So now I think it's going to be a cultural change."
A plan to extend this practice to the private sector is expected to meet more resistance. Read more at the BBC.

Photo: Pelargoniums for Europe from Unsplash

 

#4. Supply chain chaos just might be the “new normal.”


The world is coming to a surprising and troubling realization: the supply chain disruption may be here to stay for a few years. The chaos at ports shows no sign of abating, and prices for several goods continue to rise.

It may be months, or years, before the chaos subsides, experts say.

“It’s unlikely to happen in 2022,” Phil Levy, chief economist at Flexport, a freight forwarding company based in San Francisco, told the New York Times. “My crystal ball gets murky further out.”

The return to normalcy might require more than just time, too. It will require an investment, technology, and refashioning of incentives across global businesses. We’ll need more ships, more warehouses, and more truck drivers – none of which can be acquired quickly or cheaply. Read more at the New York Times.

Photo: Boris Dunand from Unsplash

 

#5. Teachers move into new careers as school-job departures rise.


In the U.S., thousands of long-time teachers are walking away from their full-time jobs. Despite their love for teaching, teachers are moving to healthcare or software engineering, looking for a fresh start.

The career changes have taken a few years to fully play out. During the first year of the pandemic, most U.S. teachers stayed put. But then something snapped: in November 2021, K-12 teachers’ separation rates surged to 66% higher than in previous years. Read more at LinkedIn.

Photo: LinkedIn News

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