This week, tech firms have begun to implement tools to help employees grapple with digital exhaustion and burnout; plus, the argument for why job ads should include a salary range; an analysis shows that women face significant job risks during the pandemic; Google is saving $1 billion a year with work from home; and how companies can prepare for the proposed new AI regulations. Read this week’s trends from the world of work.

#1. Tech firms tweak work tools to grapple with digital exhaustion.

Big tech companies like Microsoft, Google, and Adobe are adding new features to their work from home tools to better combat burnout and isolation, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal. As remote working stretches into the second year, Microsoft has introduced a calendar feature that prevents back-to-back video meetings. Instead, you can program downtime for 5, 10, or 15 minute intervals. Adobe, on the other hand, is using AI to help reorganize workers’ days based on priorities and last-minute changes to personal schedules. Read more here.

Photo: Freddie Marriage via Unsplash

#2. Publishing job offers with a salary range might help close the pay gap, study shows.

Many start-up companies and other up-and-coming companies will list positions online with “competitive salaries.” But studies have shown that being transparent with salary ranges for specific positions can help close the pay gap for women, people of color, LGBTQ+, and disabled people. Without public salary information, the salary negotiation process will remain private – and that means that some candidates will end up earning far less than their counterparts, who may be more motivated to negotiate. Read more here.


Photo: Luis Villasmil via Unsplash

#3. Women face significant job risks during the COVID-19 pandemic, analysis shows.

 

Women are facing significant risks in the labour market, and will be made redundant in far greater numbers than their male counterparts, according to an analysis by The Guardian. In the UK, female redundancies hit 178,000 between September and November 2020, according to an analysis by the Trades Union Congress. That number is 76% higher than the 2007 financial crisis. During that same period, 217,000 men were made redundant. Read more here.

Photo: CoWomen via Unsplash

#4. Google is saving $1 billion a year with work from home.

 

It turns out working from home can be advantageous for the bottom line. Google’s parent company, Alphabet Inc., reported saving more than $268 million in its first quarter as its employees work from home. That means the company is not spending money on company promotions, travel, and entertainment, compared to the same time last year, primarily as a result of the pandemic. If you add that up, those savings come to more than $1 billion for the year. The company is notorious for their work perks, like catered cuisine and corporate retreats. But since the pandemic, many of their employees have gone without any perks. Read more here.

Photo: Kai Wenzel via Unsplash

#5. New AI regulations are coming. Is your organization ready?

 

Government bodies in both the U.S. and the EU have announced guidelines or proposals for regulating artificial intelligence in recent weeks. Is your organization ready? It’s clear that rapidly evolving AI regulations will impact how businesses can use the technology. Instead of waiting, companies can start to take actions now to prepare for these new rules. Based on recent proposals and legislation, it’s clear that accountability, independence, and assessments of risks are just three of the ways companies can begin to prepare. Read more here.

Photo: Markus Winkler via Unplash

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