Women Spend Hundreds of Hours on ‘Office Housework’ and Should Remote Workers be Paid Less? : TOP 5 Trends From The World Of Work 

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This week, one company gives remote workers a 20% pay cut, a new book encourages women to say no to work tasks that won’t lead to promotion, how leaders can help create psychologically safe workspaces, and why working in the metaverse might be further away than first thought. Read this week’s trends from the world of work.
May 16, 2022
Future of Work
Inclusive Futures

What else matters this week?

Spain is to become the first European country to offer menstrual leave, granting up to three days off each month

As potential changes to abortion laws dominate the news in the US, major companies are taking a stand on reproductive rights.

Apple’s director of machine learning has quit over the tech company’s return to the office policy.

Cryptocurrencies are rapidly losing value and are now at their lowest levels since July 2021.

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

#1. Work from home, get paid less?

One London law firm has said employees can keep working remotely, but there’s a catch: full-time remote workers have to accept a 20% pay cut. The idea came as the company recruited remote employees located outside London during the pandemic with reduced pay packages as they did not need to pay transport fees to commute into the capital. Employees who take the pay cut but have to come in to the office occasionally would be able to claim transport as an expense. However, the company does not expect many people will take it up on the offer.

Is it right to make employees lose out financially for the convenience of working at home? Read more on The BBC.

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#2. How leaders can create psychologically safe workspaces.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month and in the workplace, leaders have a crucial role to play in creating a sense of psychological safety for employees. Fundamentally, this means enabling a workspace where workers feel able to discuss mental health (if they want to) knowing they will be given non-judgemental, confidential support, with solutions that are suitable for their needs. Three ways leaders can start to build such a workspace are:

  • Leading with empathy
  • Showing vulnerability
  • Staying up-to-date with best practice by through management training

Read more at Inc.

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#3. Research reveals women spend hundreds of hours on ‘office housework’.

In 2010 four professional women started regularly meeting in a Pittsburgh restaurant to gripe about work, and a common theme emerged. All of them were being overburdened with “non-promotable” tasks that put them at a disadvantage to their male counterparts. Planning the office party, for example, can be time-consuming and is unlikely to lead to a salary boost, especially when male workers are able dedicate that time to chasing deals or writing research papers. The women formed The No Club to discuss ways to refuse such tasks. Their discussions led to research, which revealed the average female worker spends up to 200 hours a year on such “office housework”. Their discussions and solutions for the problem are detailed in a new book, also called The No Club. Read more at The Financial Times.

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#4. Work in the metaverse might be further away than first thought.

News that Facebook’s parent company Meta has implemented a hiring freeze for engineers has raised questions about whether or not workers will be working in the metaverse anytime soon. The metaverse refers to a virtual reality work environment that could revolutionise the world of remote word. While the technology is not in use yet, Meta is one of its most vocal supporters. In 2021 the company released a two-hour explainer detailing how the metaverse could change work habits, presented in part by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. However, the company now believes its “aggressive growth targets” for 2022 need a rethink, due to a general downturn across tech companies. How will this affect plans for virtual reality work spaces? Read more at Insider.

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#5. US apprenticeship program aims to open up jobs for disabled employees.

The Covid pandemic had a dramatic impact on how many workers with disabilities were able to stay in the workforce. Between March and April 2020, numbers of employees disabled workers fell by 20% in the US, compared with 14% for workers overall. Two executives from the Institute for Workplace Skills & Innovation America are trialling a two-year apprenticeship program to bring disabled workers back. In Orange County, California, the Ready, Willing and Able program will enable 100 locals with a disability to work as registered apprentices in the healthcare sector. The scheme aims to rebuild worker’s confidence and get businesses to reflect on ways they can better include people with disabilities. Read more at HR Drive.