This week we look at how young people’s careers have been affected by COVID, why faking your commute makes sense, whether we’re obsessed with productivity, how to prepare for the hybrid office and why CEOs are happy they don’t have to fly for business.

#1. These are LinkedIn’s 20 most popular online courses of the year


Time spent learning on LinkedIn has tripled over the past year, writes Dan Brodnitz, Head of Global Content Strategy at LinkedIn Learning. According to the latest LinkedIn report, the 20 most popular courses watched by more than 3 million professionals include ‘Time Management: Working from Home,’ ‘Remote Work Foundations,’ and ‘Developing Your Emotional Intelligence.’ Unsurprisingly, most of the courses relate to skills needed to overcome the coronavirus pandemic and meet the challenges of the future of work. Furthermore, and in light of social unrest in countries such as the US, courses on effective listening and critical thinking have helped people challenge the status quo.

Most of the courses relate to skills needed to overcome the coronavirus pandemic. Photo by inlytics

#2. ILO predicts significant job losses in tourism


The International Labour Organization (ILO) is warning that because of COVID-19, almost half a million of Caribbean tourism workers face losing their jobs or having their incomes slashed. The report that focused on the tourism sector in the English-and Dutch-speaking Caribbean notes that, on average, the tourism industry directly accounts for as much as a third of the region’s GDP and employs 18% of the total population. Moreover, the crisis is expected to disproportionately affect young and unskilled workers, women, and migrants, who are more likely to work in the tourism industry.

Because of COVID-19, almost half a million of Caribbean tourism workers face losing their jobs. Photo by Cédric Frixon on Unsplash.

#3. Scotland unveils ‘youth guarantee’ initiative


While young people in France and around the globe fear for future jobs amid COVID-19, in Scotland, the local government has unveiled plans to guarantee everyone between 16 and 24 a job, education, or formal training. The so-called ‘youth guarantee’ would cost £60 million and be accompanied by additional funds for apprenticeships. It includes a £25 million fund to provide retraining opportunities for 10,000 people who have lost their jobs or are at risk of doing so. Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced the measure on Tuesday by saying that the guarantee “signals our absolute determination that youth unemployment will not be a legacy of this pandemic”. BBC reports that Scotland has been hit hard by the coronavirus lockdown, seeing more than 700,000 people placed on furlough.

#4. Hybrid teams: how to set them up for success


The future of work is hybrid, and according to our own research, 77% of executive managers believe their business will benefit from increased flexibility around office and remote working. So how exactly can we set up hybrid teams to make the most of this new era? HR Zone lists ten ideas, tips, and points for business leaders to consider. Among those, we find the need for employers and companies to invest in getting to know their workers’ expectations; they should also encourage shared goals and measure output and results. Finally, companies should recognise, celebrate, and capture everything the organisation has achieved over the past few challenging months.

77% of executive managers believe their business will benefit from increased flexibility. Photo by Zan on Unsplash

#5. Four-day working week could create 500,000 new jobs in the UK and avert mass layoffs in Germany


After previous reports of Finland’s PM suggesting shortening working hours, other countries are joining the debate. This week, a report published by the British thinktank Autonomy claims that a four-day week in the public sector would create up to half a million new jobs in the UK. Public sector workers would be expected to work no more than 32 hours a week but would not lose any pay. The cost of such a measure is estimated to be somewhere between £5.4 billion and £9 billion per year. In Germany, in the meantime, the largest trade union, IG Metall, has urged its members to call for a four-day week to offset economic pressures heightened by the pandemic. While the German labour minister is not opposed to the idea, the Confederation of German Employers’ Associations claims such a measure would only make the current economic crisis worse.

More and more countries are joining the debate on a four-day week. Photo by Eurostat

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