This week, the benefits and the case for a shorter workweek; plus, why leaders shouldn’t be afraid to talk about their feelings; the upcoming age of digital transformation and the digital customer; the cost of cyber attacks during work from home; and the progress made – and still to make – on transgender equality in the workplace. Read this week’s trends from the world of work.

#1. The case for a shorter workweek.

 

Workers want to work fewer hours now more than ever, saying they can be just as effective at their jobs in less time. The pandemic has brought along a radical transformation in the workplace, opening up a number of new working models. Remote work or hybrid working models – completely unthinkable years ago – are now becoming mainstream. One of those options gaining traction is the four-day workweek. There are a variety of different models for how this could make sense, but the commonality is that workers will instead be removing some of their total work time for the week – all while their salary stays the same. Should companies really pay the same for fewer working hours? Well, employers could see greater productivity, boosts to health and wellbeing, and more. Read more at BBC.

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#2. Leaders: don’t be afraid to talk about your feelings.

 

Leaders are struggling with anxieties, fears, and all sorts of complex emotions – just like their employees. In an analysis of different leadership styles, a report in the Harvard Business Review found that “sharers” were most effective when it came to building cohesive and high-performing teams. These teams were better at facing challenges posed by the pandemic. How can leaders become more comfortable with sharing their emotions in a helpful and appropriate manner? Self-reflect, start small, and plan your disclosures in advance – to start. Read more at Harvard Business Review.

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#3. The next boom: the year of the digital customer.

 

Thanks to the pandemic, digital transformation has been put front and center for CEOs and boards alike. But what exactly is a digital transformation? According to John Rossman, former Amazon executive, founder of Rossman Partners, and author of The Amazon Way, it comes down to speed and agility.

 

Speed is about world-class operations,” he told Forbes. “Agility is the ability to sense and make change – both big and small, happen. Coming out of the pandemic, more leadership teams now truly respect and recognize that their biggest risk is not innovating, not forcing faster evolution. So we are going to see more innovation. Some will be fantastic, some will be either misguided or poorly executed.” Read more at Forbes.

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Why The Great Remote Work Experiment Might Have Been Flawed

Why the Great Remote Work Experiment may have been flaws; the worst parts of work may be difficult to change; talent shortages show that we need to pay more attention to the employee experience; and how to manage star performers in high-pressure situations.

#4. Cyber attacks are making work from home expensive for employers.

 

Working from home is costly for some employers who have to deal with the damages from cyber attacks. According to a report in Bloomberg, work from home cost German companies around 53 billion Euros worth of damages from cyber attacks. “Too often there were no company laptops, no training courses and no security concepts,” said Barbara Engels, a researcher with the Cologne Institute for Economic Research. The actual number of damages might be even higher, as survey data did not include smaller companies that often struggle more with IT infrastructure. Home WiFi connections can be much easier to hack than company networks – and during the pandemic, only 16% of German companies ramped up their IT security budgets. Read more in Bloomberg.

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#5. The first step in transgender equality in the workplace.

 

Over the past decade, there’s been a significant shift in the way transgender issues are treated. In the world of work, major corporations have begun to offer help and services to transitioning employees – but there’s still much to do done to ensure their equality. According to a survey conducted by National Public Radio (NPR) in the U.S., more than half of transgender teachers face harassment and discrimination at work. There’s been more progress than you might think for big U.S. corporations when supporting transgender employees. “The first and most fundamental thing to put in place is a non-discrimination, anti-harassment policy.” Beck Bailey of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) in the US , says. “From there, they want to build up things like equal benefits." Read more at the BBC.

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