Do you struggle to disconnect from work outside of working hours? What workers were impacted the most by the coronavirus pandemic, how can CEOs help improve mental health in the workplace, and will Brexit lead to a reverse brain drain? Read this week’s trends from the world of work.

#1. More than 250 million full-time jobs were lost in 2020


Nearly 9% of global working hours were lost in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic – the equivalent to 255 million full-time jobs, according to the International Labour Organization. That number includes the 114 million workers who became unemployed or whose working hours were restricted due to COVID-19. Women and younger workers were most affected by unemployment; food services, retail and manufacturing were the hardest-hit sectors. Experts predict that more hours of work will be lost in 2021, and possibly even in 2022. Read more here.

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#2. MEPs call for workers to have 'right to disconnect'


Struggling to disconnect? The European Parliament is asking the EU Commission to work on a proposal to guarantee that workers can disconnect outside of working hours. As the world of work moves increasingly online, workers are struggling with the “always on” culture: always being available to answer questions and complete tasks, no matter the time of day. It’s part of a much larger discussion highlighted in our 2020 Resetting Normal study, which found in part that the 9-to-5 era may soon be a thing of the past. As hours become more flexible and workers gain more autonomy, our 2020 study found that we soon may need to rethink how we measure productivity. Read more here.

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#3. Business leaders back push to improve workplace mental health


A new collaborative of global CEOs is urging other business leaders to invest in employee mental health as they start to rebuild from the COVID-19 pandemic. The Global Business Collaboration for Better Workplace Mental Health, which launched this week, hopes to raise awareness about the importance of mental health in the workplace – and build best practices. As the COVID-19 pandemic enters its second year, CEOs say, there’s a clear and present need to address mental health in the workplace, and break down the stigma associated with mental health, to ensure all workers can thrive. The group hopes to encourage other CEOs sign a pledge and join them in starting a conversation around mental health and making their workplace a supportive and welcoming environment for all employees. Read more here.

Photo: Luca Bravo on Unsplash

#4. European firms improve diversity scores in pandemic year, study finds


The number of European companies with many women in leadership positions has doubled in 2020, according to a study by an EU-sponsored non-profit organisation. In an analysis of Europe’s nearly 700 top-listed companies, officials found that women made up more than a third of the companies’ boards. However, only 14% held C-suite jobs, and only 6% had female CEOs. That’s nearly a 3% rise from 2019, when just 4.7% of companies had female CEOs. One of the reasons for the low numbers? During the pandemic, officials who authored the study said, women were hit harder by unemployment and stress as they juggled work and family. Companies from Norway, France, Britain, Finland and Sweden topped the rankings, while companies from Poland and Switzerland were at the bottom of the rankings. Read more here.

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#5. 40% of Londoners would consider moving to Europe, according to a survey


Around 40% of workers would be open to leaving London to work in another European country, according to a survey, underscoring the idea that the UK capital may now be a less attractive spot for workers following Brexit and the COVID-19 pandemic. The findings of the September survey by the Adecco Group and YouGov suggest that London and other major UK cities may face a reverse brain drain as workers head to more regional areas – or abroad. Read more here.

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