Tech Workers Flee Russia: TOP 5 Trends From The World Of Work

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This week, the tech workers fleeing Russia, the corporate nomad, popular brands lean into wellness, and new EU rules on sustainability. Read this week’s trends from the world of work.
April 1, 2022
Future of Work
Future of Skills

The first tech workers left Russia back in February, seeing the warning signs ahead of the country’s invasion of Ukraine. But since then, hundreds of tech workers have fled the country, afraid that their wellbeing, career prospects and freedom are on the line.

What else matters this week?

Russia’s war on Ukraine is further disrupting the supply-chain crisis.

Can remote work reverse brain drain?

How one military spouse escaped the underemployment trap.

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

#1. Say hello to the corporate nomad.

One lasting affect from the pandemic is becoming increasingly clear: the rise of the corporate nomad.

What, exactly, is a corporate nomad?

A corporate nomad is someone who works full-time, yet will participate part-time in geographically dispersed initiatives and projects within their employer’s global organization.

There are many benefits, including financial stability, exposure to new people and new geographics as well as working on new projects without leaving the organization. Read more at Harvard Business Review.

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#2. Russia facing tech worker exodus.

Aleks, a software developer working remotely for a European tech firm, bought a one-way ticket out of Russia back in February. When Vladimir Putin recognized the breakaway Ukrainian territories of Donetsk and Luhansk as independent states, Aleks saw the warning signs.

“I thought, Putin won't stop there,” he told Wired. “He'd probably try to take Ukraine by force. Which is, well, basically what happened.”

Aleks hopped on a plane with his family and flew to Georgia, where he had some relatives. He was among the first tech workers that left Russia at the outset of the war, but he was not the last. In the weeks since, hundreds of workers have left Russia and headed to Georgia, worried that the wartime regime will destroy their livelihoods, freedoms, and career prospects. It’s part of a larger humanitarian crisis; more than 10 million Ukrainians alone have fled their country. Read more at Wired.

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#3. To retain employees, try supporting their passions outside of work.

It’s no secret that a growing number of employees across the world are re-evaluating their careers and work-life balance. How can leaders retain top talent? One under-recognized way to keep employees engaged is to give them the flexibility and resources they need to pursue their passions outside of work. In addition, it’s key to empower your employees and make it clear that they should pursue their passions.

There’s a long-standing ideal about what constitutes an “ideal worker: - someone who is dedicated to their job and spends long hours working. But by embracing non-work passions, workers feel trusted and valued by their leaders. And in turn, leaders have a responsibility to ensure their employees feel comfortable using their flexibility. Read more at the Harvard Business Review.
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#4. Popular brands lean into wellness to woo new customers.

Wellness and managing your mental health are all the rage, and brands are noticing. A growing number of brands – from car companies to meal-kit providers – are putting wellness front and center in an effort to woo new customers.

Hotel chain Kimpton Hotels, for example, is testing a new incentive for their customers: help with their mental health. The boutique hotel is offering 1,000 of its guests free access to a video-therapy session from teletherapy company Talkspace.

Mental health is increasingly becoming destigmatized, thanks in part to celebrities and athletes (like Simone Biles) openly discussing their own mental health. Companies are now jumping on board, seeing a new potential to sell to clients. Read more in the Wall Street Journal.
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#5. EU’s green regulations target fast fashion industry.

The EU wants to stop fast fashion. The European Commission proposed a new set of green regulations this week aimed to return textile waste and counter the destruction of unsold clothing, according to the BBC.

The moves come as part of a broader push towards a more sustainable future in the EU, particularly when it comes to products. The proposed regulations would also affect everyday products like smartphones, furniture, TVs and more.

The initiative will also crack down on misleading claims made by companies looking to promote false environmental claims, or greenwashing.

According to the European Environment Agency, clothes use in Europe has the fourth highest impact on the climate and the environment. Only housing, food and transport exceed clothing.
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