More and more companies are shifting to a work-from-anywhere strategy and reducing their office spaces. Plus, what Zoom usage in New Zealand tells us about the rest of the world returning to the office; Canadian government makes a lifelong commitment to upskilling workers; the environmental implications of returning to the office; and more elderly workers appear to be retiring as the pandemic stretches on. Read this week’s trends from the world of work.

#1. Nationwide becomes latest company to tell employees to work from anywhere

Nationwide has become the latest company to tell their more than 13,000 staff members to work from anywhere in the world. The company plans to close three offices and encourage people to stay home instead, according to a report in BBC. Nationwide is just the most recent employer to allow their employees a more flexible future. Santander announced plans to reduce their London office space and ask staff to work from home more often. Big banks HSBC and Lloyds are among the many other companies looking to split working arrangements as well. British Airways plans to sell off their headquarters at Heathrow and move to more flexible arrangements for thousands of staff members. Read more here.  

Photo: Israel Andrade via Unsplash

#2. What Zoom usage in New Zealand tells us about the rest of the world returning to the office

 Zoom, and other cloud-based, work-from-home companies, logged record numbers of users as millions of people shifted to working from home during the pandemic. But as more and more vaccines roll out, data shows those companies are losing ground, according to a report in Bloomberg. In New Zealand, where society has begun to reopen, Zoom users have already begun to drop off, especially as employees and students return to offices and schools. Read more here.

Photo: Bloomberg, Apptopia

#3. Canadian government makes commitment to lifelong learning for workers; Microsoft plans to reskill workers

The Canadian government has announced the largest investment in the country’s history to reskill and upskill their population for 2030, and beyond. To prepare for the future of work, the country plans to give the workforce better skills to compete in the labor market in a lifelong training effort, according to a report in SHRM. The announcement comes as Microsoft has announced their plans to place 50,000 people in jobs that require tech skills. It’s part of a larger move with LinkedIn to reskill those affected by the pandemic and help workers move into new fields, according to the report in Reuters. Read more here and here.

Photo: James Thomas via Unsplash

#4. Telecommuting saves energy and reduce emissions. Returning to the office has environmental implications.

Returning to the office may have a significant impact on the environment. Remote working can have several positive implications, like saving energy and reducing emissions for companies. But it comes at a cost: increasing an individual’s own carbon footprint, according to a report in Bloomberg City Lab. A new calculator shows companies their expected carbon emissions depending on the type of working environment, whether that be fully remote or a hybrid model. “Many people think the climate-conscious choice is to keep as much of the team working remotely for as long as possible,” reads an explanation on Watershed’s site, the company that makes the calculator. “The reality is more complicated. Remote work shifts carbon: Emissions from energy and food still exist, but at employees’ homes, where they may be better or worse than in the office.” Read more here.

Photo: Christin Hume via Unsplash

#5. More and more people are retiring, thanks to the pandemic, which may have stark implications for the economy

Nearly 1.5 million people over the age of 55 in the U.S. opted to leave the job market over the course of the pandemic, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal. The number of senior workers in the U.S. participating in the labor force reached its lowest level since the pandemic started, raising the concern that many of these workers opted to retire early and may not return when the pandemic is over. Experts say that the unique health risk to older workers may have deterred them from rejoining the work force in a post-pandemic world. The move may hamper future economic growth for the U.S. Read more here.

Photo: Kraken Images via Unsplash

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