From new ways of working remotely, lofty-sounding job titles, measuring people’s work effectively to the EU’s Vocational Skills week – read this week’s five stories trending in the world of work.

#1. WFH is old news. The ‘near home’ office is the next big thing

The emerging markets bank Standard Chartered Plc is pushing the boundaries of remote work. Moving beyond the work-from-home vs. work-from-the-office dichotomy, the company has decided that starting early next year, it will offer half of its 85,000 employees the ability to work from a “near home” location that it will rent from an office-sharing company. But is this taking remote work a little too far? This Bloomberg opinion piece argues that while a few companies have tested this new approach, it might give employees the option of recreating the community aspects of office life closer to home. That said, whether this approach will work remains to be seen, and Standard Chartered has done well by not setting any specific targets because “once reality kicks in, it may have to dial back its aspirations.”

Photo by Helena Lopes on Unsplash

#2. Job titles are going offbeat

To appear cool and hip, many startups created trendy titles like fun officers and ninjas. Now, there’s a new wave of offbeat and often lofty-sounding designations, writes The Times Of India. Among those, we find titles such as ‘masters of disasters’ (i.e. crisis managers) or ‘digital prophets’ (i.e. someone who predicts tech trends). While such creativity might raise many eyebrows, if you dig deeper, you will see that positions such as ‘inclusivity specialist’ or ‘digital futurist’ might reflect the changing nature of the world of work – not least due to COVID-19 and the tech-savvy Gen Z’ers entering the workforce.

Photo by Isabell Winter on Unsplash

#3. The most desirable cities in a post-COVID world

We’ve all recently heard stories about cities becoming ghost towns due to COVID-19. Many cities, including London, New York, and Dublin, have seen a drop in their property value and are losing their expat communities. Yet, as Forbes’ Ollie Williams argues, some cities are bucking the trend. Cities such as Auckland, New Zealand, and Manila in the Philippines have seen their property prices rise in the past months. In the US, cities that remain popular include Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Miami, and in Europe, Swiss cities of Zurich and Geneva are seeing prices rise higher than they already are.

Photo by Kirsten Drew on Unsplash

#4. How to measure your workforce effectively in 2021

As many companies have switched from on-site teams to remote teams due to COVID-19, managers and business leaders have been trying to answer the million-dollar question: how can I effectively measure my employees’ work? While some have opted for employee monitoring metrics to count the hours people spend sitting in front of their computer screens, others have instead focused on measuring people’s output and outcomes. In this article, Isaac Kohen lists five areas in which companies should focus on to measure people’s work effectively.

Photo by John Schnobrich on Unsplash

#5. Commission targets EU skills boost for green and digital transitions

This week marks the EU’s Vocational Education and Training (VET) week. The European Commission has used this opportunity to highlight its ambition to foster Europe’s green and digital transition. The Commission’s flagship initiative, the Pact for Skills, that was launched on 10 November, will mobilize and incentivise private and public stakeholders to take concrete action for the upskilling and reskilling of people of working age. To read more about the Pact, check out this Euractive article.

Photo by Guillaume Périgois on Unsplash


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