This week, why fewer women will regain jobs lost to the COVID-19 pandemic during the recovery period, than men. Plus, why Americans are taking more holidays this year; the great resignation stampede that’s worrying employers; the impact of the Delta variant on plans to return to the office; and why a surge in remote roles signals new ways of working are taking root. Read this week’s trends from the world of work.

#1. Fewer women will regain jobs lost to COVID-19 during the pandemic recovery period

 

When it comes to regaining jobs lost to Covid-19 during the pandemic recovery period, women will not fare as well as men. Research from the International Labour Organisation (ILO) predicts that there will be 13 million fewer women in employment this year compared to 2019, while the number of men in work will likely recover to 2019 levels. In 2021, only 43% of the world’s working-age women will be employed, compared to 69% of men.

 

Women’s over-representation in sectors hit hardest by lockdowns, such as food services and manufacturing, put them at an early disadvantage. The introduction of mitigation measures in some countries, such as wage subsidies and public employment programmes, helped to protect women’s jobs and support their return to the workforce. However, tackling the gender imbalance needs effective gender-responsive strategies, including gender pay parity, better care leave and flexible working policies, and more investment in the health, social work and education sectors, key generators of jobs for women. Read more on UN News.

#2. Vacations are back on the cards, with Americans planning to take an extra week away from work

 

After a year of lockdowns and tough restrictions on travel, it’s no surprise that Americans are more vacation-deprived than ever. But as a new study by Expedia reveals, they are determined to leave no annual leave unused and planning to take an extra week of vacation in 2021. The survey revealed that vacation deprivation is on the increase in most nations, with the U.S. reporting the fewest number of vacation days taken in 2020, and U.S. employees receiving the fewest number of vacation days.

 

The health and wellbeing benefits of quality downtime and regular unplugging from work are well documented. With Americans now planning to take 13 vacation days this year, up from the eight days taken in 2020, work-life balance could be about to improve. Read more on Cision.

#3. What’s behind the great resignation getaway?

 

In the wake of Covid-19, the number of people quitting their jobs has soared, forcing employers to offer higher pay and bonuses to attract and retain the talent needed to recover from the pandemic. Dubbed the ‘Great Resignation’, the number of Americans leaving their jobs reached 4 million in April this year, almost double the 2.1 million per month in April 2020, at the peak of the crisis.

 

In a labour market where employers have historically dictated terms to their workers, employees now have more bargaining power as they seek better opportunities, and are demanding higher wages, more flexible schedules, and skills training. There are concerns that this heightened bargaining power could raise costs for businesses still recovering from the pandemic and ultimately result in slower economic growth and the loss of further jobs. Meanwhile the impact of high inflation could mean any wage gains are offset by higher prices. Read more on the Washington Examiner and FT.com.

#4. Apple Delays Office Return as Covid-19 Delta Variant Spreads

 

Plans for the return of staff to the office have been thrown into disarray as a spike in Covid-19 cases, fuelled by the dominant Delta variant, has led to a rise in infections and hospitalisations across the U.S. Apple has pushed its planned office return back by at least a month. In June, its office-based employees learned that they were expected to return to their workspaces three days a week beginning in September.

 

Tech companies were among the first to embrace remote working, and other organisations followed their lead. But with the success of the vaccine rollout, many companies were keen to see employees back at their desks at least some of the time, with some, like Apple, exploring a hybrid approach. Meanwhile Amazon and Google are still aiming to have staff back on site, under flexible or hybrid work plans, in September, but say they are monitoring the Delta variant situation closely. Read more on the Wall Street Journal.

#5. Why a surge in remote roles is a sign that new ways of working are taking root

 

The growing number of remote roles being advertised is seen as evidence that the new world of remote working is here to stay, even in sectors where home working was once a rarity. Transport and logistics saw the highest proportional increase in remote roles advertised, up from 0.3% in June last year to 5.6% in the same month this year, according to figures from LinkedIn. The highest proportion of remote roles can now be found in IT and software, where a quarter (23%) of advertised jobs can now be done from home, up from 4.2% last year.

 

However, a permanent shift to remote or hybrid working requires good support from employers around mental wellbeing, communication and collaboration and training. This involves creating an inspiring workplace culture that exists online as well as offline, an online onboarding experience for new recruits, and maintaining a culture of inclusion. Read more on Forbes.

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