Spain will become one of the first countries in the world to test out a four-day working week. Plus, more than half of U.S. employees plan to find a new job post-pandemic; corporate boards are slow to diversify; Uber makes all U.K. drivers employees with some benefits; and most employees concerned about health and safety when returning to the office. Read this week’s trends from the world of work.

#1. Spain becomes one of the first countries in the world to launch a trial of the four-day working week

Spain will become one of the first countries in the world to test out a four-day working week, according to a report in The Guardian. The government will launch the pilot project for a handful of companies interested in the idea later this year, though the exact details have yet to be hashed out. The idea of a four-day working week has been gaining traction around the world in the past few years, but the proposal took on new meaning amid the pandemic, when workers globally struggled with wellbeing, burnout, and a work-life balance. Read more here.

Photo: Florian Wehde via Unsplash

#2. More than half of U.S. employees plan to find new job once the pandemic ends, according to survey.

It’s being called a turnover tsunami. In 2021, as the pandemic winds down, more than half of U.S. workers plan to look for a new job, according to a report in SHRM. That same survey shows that a quarter of U.S. workers plan to just outright quit their jobs when the pandemic ends. During the pandemic, turnover rates reached their lowest levels in nine years. But that’s due to change as employees plan to search for new jobs, something they put off in the past year. The reason for the changes? Respondents said disengagement and burnout were big contributing factors, as well as the desire for a promotion or raise. Read more here.

Photo: Hunters Race via Unsplash

#3. Only 6% of Russell 3000 Company boards have no women directors. Boards are slow to diversify, but here’s what we can do. 

Women’s board seats continue remain low, according to a report in Forbes. In the fourth quarter of 2020, just 23% of all board seats of companies in the Russell 3000 belonged to women. What might it take to change such low numbers? Leaders who look to new places for talent, leaders who do not use a resume and personal network as a proxy for capability, and leaders who seek out intelligence, strategic thinking, and business acumen, regardless of gender, ethnicity, or background. In addition, consider thinking about who you might add to a board, instead of replacing someone already there. Read more here.

Photo: Austin Disel via Unsplash

#4. Uber makes all U.K. drivers employees after court battle

More than 70,000 Uber drivers in the U.K. will be reclassified as workers following a major labor battle. The reclassification means that drivers will now have some benefits, according to a report in CNBC, including minimum wage, holiday time, and pension contributions. However, the workers will not get full employee benefits. The move is expected to cost the company more than its past expenditures. Uber, and the gig economy as a whole, is facing regulatory challenges across the globe. Read more here.

Photo: Austin Disel via Unsplash

#5. Most employees remain concerned about coming back to the office as the pandemic stretches on

More than 66% of U.S. employees are worried about their health and safety when returning back to the office, according to a new survey. The workers, many of whom support mandatory vaccine requirements at work, fear that their employers may relax health and safety measures too early, according to the report in Forbes. Of those surveyed, 26% of workers believe that any employee who violates COVID-safety rules should be demoted or fired as a result. Many of the same employees surveyed said they would likely leave their job if it did not offer a hybrid working model in a post-pandemic future. Read more here.

Photo: Envoy Inc


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