Pre-Covid data indicate that renters spend up to 7.4% more of their income a month than those who work from the office. Other trends of this week include stories on how companies are rethinking their pay and benefits packages due to remote working, how the UK government will offer ‘help to grow’ training for SME managers and why women’s rights must be central to the global recovery.

#1. Remote workers spend more on rent and housing costs than those who stay in the office

 

A new working paper of the USA's National Bureau of Economic Research highlights by just how much more remote workers have to spend on their rent and housing costs compared to those working in the office. While the study is a snapshot of the pre-coronavirus world, analysing data between 2013 and 2017, it shows that remote renters spent between 6.5% and 7.4% more of their income a month. The margins are even more significant for homeowners who worked remotely (8.4% to 9.8%). During the first wave of COVID-19, more than a third of US workers who once commuted were forced to work remotely, and according to a Pew Research Center survey, more than half of workers who can do their jobs remotely say they will want to continue doing so after the pandemic ends, reports Bloomberg CityLab. Read more here.

 

Photo by Smartworks Coworking on Unsplash

#2. Pay cuts, taxes, childcare: what another year of remote work will look like

 

For workers of many of the US Fortune 500 companies, their salaries have a 'cost of living' element in their pay. And “as businesses reflect on this future of work which may involve more remote working, which may involve talent in places they didn’t necessarily have before, they will be looking to make adjustments,” says Jimmy Etheredge, North America general manager of consulting firm Accenture PLC. While companies such as Spotify continue to pay their workers the same regardless of their zip code, others, including Facebook, Lyft, Stripe or Microsoft, have indicated that benefits and compensation would change based on the current location of their workers. Beyond their employees’ pay, companies are adjusting in other ways as well. For instance, to help workers remain productive while juggling job and family responsibilities, businesses such as Bank of America have decided to offer eligible employees a stipend for childcare expenses. To learn more on what another year of remote work might mean for employers and employees, read this Wall Street Journal article.

 

Photo by Joshua Sortino on Unsplash

#3. 3,000 CEOs from around the world surveyed on the post-pandemic future of work

 

According to a survey of 3,000 global CEOs launched by IBM, the key priorities for chief executives post-pandemic are: agility, technology and regulation. 56% of those surveyed emphasize the need to "aggressively pursue operational agility and flexibility". They say that agile ways of working need to be more purposeful and should include a clear focus on business outcomes and guidelines that indicate where innovation will lead to have a real-world impact. According to Piyush Gupta, CEO of DBS Bank, "if you can embrace agile setups and experiments, and constantly nurture a learning culture, then you become adaptive and nimble." To read more on what the world's chief executives are grappling with right now and how they see the challenges and opportunities ahead, click here.

 

Photo by IBM

#4. UK government to offer 'help to grow' training for SME managers

 

The UK government announced this week a new initiative that will help small and medium-sized businesses across the country learn new skills, reach new customers and boost profits. The so-called Help to Grow scheme is a 12 week-programme delivered by leading business schools across the UK combining a practical curriculum with 1:1 support from a business mentor, peer-learning sessions and an alumni network. This MBA-style management training will benefit up to 130,000 SMEs and is estimated to cost £520 million. According to the Guardian, the scheme aims to build more profitable, resilient and productive businesses, given that the UK lags behind other G7 nations in terms of its output per hour worked productivity.

Photo by IBM

#5. Women’s rights must be central to the global recovery. Here’s why

 

Ahead of next week's International Women's Day, the World Economic Forum looks at the current state of women's rights across the globe. Women are more likely to work in health care, unpaid care, and domestic work, making them more susceptible to the consequences of the pandemic. According to the World Bank's 'Women, Business and the Law 2021' report, globally, women have only three-quarters of men's legal rights, on average. While reforms aimed at equality of opportunity have been introduced in many of the OECD high-income and the Middle East and North Africa regions, the progress toward equality is uneven worldwide even though women's rights play a central role in the global recovery.

Photo by WEF

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