This week, the CEO of WeWork shares the key difference between your most and least engaged employees; plus, the potentially deadly side effect of longer working hours; the disconnect between the U.S. education system and the job market; behind Prudential’s internal push for reskilling and upward mobility; and business leaders from 500 of the world’s largest companies are putting disability inclusion front and center. Read this week’s trends from the world of work.

#1. WeWork CEO says least engaged employees enjoy working from home.

 

 

There’s one easy way for companies to spot their most engaged employees, according to the CEO of WeWork: they are the ones who want to come back to the office. The company’s least engaged employees, in turn, enjoy working from home. Sandeep Mathrani, CEO of WeWork, told the Wall Street Journal that while many employees hoped for a hybrid post-pandemic world of work, time in the office is essential for efficiency and collaboration. In addition, coming into the office will help reinstate boundaries between work life and home life – and fight off the so-called Zoom fatigue.

 

“People are happier when they come to work,” said Mr. Mathrani, a veteran of the commercial real-estate industry. “The bigger issue is do you come to work five days a week or do you come to work three days a week? There’s no issue of not coming to a common place.” Read more here.

Photo: Annie Spratt via Unsplash

#2. Longer working hours are killer, WHO study shows.

 

 

Longer working hours are killing hundreds of thousands of people a year, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), and that trend may worsen due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In the first global study of the loss of life associated with longer working hours, published in the journal Environment International, statistics shows nearly 800,000 people died from stroke or heart disease – directly associated with longer working hours. That marks a staggering increase of nearly 30% from 2000. Most of the victims were men, middle aged or older.

 

"Working 55 hours or more per week is a serious health hazard," said Maria Neira, director of the WHO's Department of Environment, Climate Change and Health. Read more here.

Photo: Jonas Leupe via Unsplash

#3. The U.S. education system isn’t giving students what employers need.

 

 

There’s a significant disconnect in the U.S. between education and employability, according to a report in the Harvard Business Review. Many employers see universities and colleges as the gatekeepers of workforce talent, but those universities are failing to prioritize job skills and career readiness. That disconnect has a negative impact on employers, and it also sets up the average American for failure well before they even start their careers. That’s because new employees have been hired based off their degrees, while lacking actual skills to perform their roles. One way to fix this? Greater acceptance of alternative education paths to acquire actual employable skills. Removing stigmas surrounding vocational education is key. Read more here.

Photo: Mikeal Kristenson via Unsplash

#4. Behind Prudential’s internal push for reskilling and upward mobility.

 

 

Financial-services giant Prudential is looking to better retain its talent during the pandemic. Company officials told Forbes that their top challenges include preparing their employees for the jobs of the future, effectively rewarding and retaining top talent, and operating effectively. Prudential has spent the past two years upskilling and reskilling its employees for different jobs, and this year, the company launched an interactive and innovative platform that helps them better develop their skills and plan their careers. In turn, the company has found a higher number of employees willing to transfer to different jobs internally– instead of leaving. Read more here.

Photo: Hari Nandakumar via Unsplash

#5. 500 Global firms put disability inclusion on the global agenda.

 

Business leaders from 500 of the world’s largest companies have agreed to put disability inclusion front and center, according to a report in the UK’s The Guardian. The Valuable 500 global disability network will publish quarterly reports into disability representation, amid evidence of a lack in progress tackling diversity among multinational firms. The leaders, who represented companies ranging from Microsoft and Coca-Cola, Google to Unilever, also plan to put disability inclusion on their boardroom agendas. Read more here.

Photo: Sigmund via Unsplash

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