Posts tagged remote work

    Opinion: Liberate markets to help workers succeed

    January 10, 2023 // From educational services and child care to transportation, housing, and health care, the Cato team offers sensible reforms that either eliminate barriers to opportunity or make it easier for individuals to spend public dollars in the way most likely to meet their particular needs. As Lincicome observes in the book’s conclusion, our political debate is filled with supposedly “pro-worker” proposals that are based on faulty assumptions about the past, present, and future of the American workplace. Far too many politicians think of workers as “helpless and in need of government protection from cradle to grave, despite the long‐​term harms that such policies inflict on these very same workers and the economy more broadly,” he writes. “By contrast, pro‐​market policies that respect the individual agency and ability of all workers would allow them to pursue their unique hopes and dreams in a more dynamic, diverse, and high‐​wage economy—and to adjust to whatever comes next.”

    Freelance Forward 2022

    December 29, 2022 // Upwork's 2022 Freelance Forward survey, a representative study of 3,000 professionals, reveals a staggering 39% of the U.S. workforce, or 60 million Americans, performed freelance work in the past year, an increase from the year prior. At a time of economic and labor market uncertainty, Upwork’s study found American freelancers contributed approximately $1.35 trillion in annual earnings to the U.S. economy, $50 billion more than in 2021. This growth was driven in large part to professionals seeking alternatives to the traditional model of a full time, 9-to-5 job. The data shows that increasingly, professionals are exploring the benefits of freelancing, whether for extra income, autonomy or as a way to find more meaningful work.

    More than 1,000 New York Times union employees plan walkout over wages

    December 5, 2022 // More than 1,000 union employees at the New York Times Co (NYT.N) have pledged to walk out if the news publisher does not agree to a "complete and equitable contract" by Dec. 8, according to a tweet by the union on Friday. The NYT NewsGuild has sought wages that "keep up with inflation" as well as to preserve and enhance health insurance and retirement benefits that were promised during hiring, according to a letter signed by 1,036 members.

    Environmental Protection Agency Workers File Suit Over Remote Work Policies

    November 1, 2022 // “Other EPA offices across the country have not been denying remote work requests like we’ve been seeing here in the Midwest,” Cantello said. “The union originally bargained the right to remote work with EPA to protect members and their families during this pandemic, so we need to understand why the Region 5 management is denying applications and withholding documents that the union needs to examine EPA decision-making on remote work under FOIA.” The union is being represented in the lawsuit by Hudson B. Kingston, a litigation and policy attorney at Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility.

    The dark side of remote work shows it’s not as great as it appears

    October 10, 2022 // More than half (55%) of remote employees are highly anxious about their finances, according to a recent survey conducted by MetLife, which interviewed 1,000 full-time workers. That’s more than fully in-person or hybrid employees, 46% of whom feel similarly. For remote workers, the stress is becoming too much to handle. A slight majority (53%) predicted they’ll be at a financial “breaking point” soon. Only 41% of hybrid and in-person workers say the same. Part of the issue is benefit selection, when employees are deciding headache-inducing things like how much to contribute to their 401(k) plan and what health insurance plan has the best deductible. MetLife found that remote workers spend more time stressing about their benefits than their on-site or hybrid peers.

    Media employees face no consequences for ignoring return-to-office requests — yet

    October 7, 2022 // The rigidity of media companies’ return-to-office policies range from encouragement to straight-up mandates. But across the board, employees and union members Digiday spoke with at Dotdash Meredith, Hearst, NBC News, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal said they have not heard of anyone who has had to deal with disciplinary actions for continuing to work from home. (Notably, all of these newsrooms are unionized.)

    Geico workers organizing in Amherst

    September 12, 2022 // For years, employees said, those jobs were good jobs. Geico today pays a minimum of $16.84 per hour for entry-level employees and as much as $91.70 per hour for upper management, according to records reviewed by Investigative Post. The employees who spoke with Investigative Post said they make between $20 and $30 per hour, or between $40,000 and $60,000 per year. But the COVID-19 pandemic, they said, rocked Geico’s business, causing the company to make a number of adjustments in short succession that changed employees’ jobs. Because many Geico employees are still working from home, organizers have been knocking on doors and visiting their coworkers at home to ask them to sign a union petition.

    Understanding America’s Labor Shortage: The Most Impacted Industries

    September 9, 2022 // For example, durable goods manufacturing, wholesale and retail trade, and education and health services have a labor shortage—these industries have more unfilled job openings than unemployed workers with experience in their respective industry. Even if every unemployed person with experience in the durable goods manufacturing industry were employed, the industry would only fill 65% of the vacant jobs. Conversely, in the transportation, construction, and mining industries, there is a labor surplus. There are more unemployed workers with experience in their respective industry than there are open jobs.

    Another Weirdness of the COVID Labor Market

    September 2, 2022 // The early retirements problem came into view as pandemic unemployment “cleared” and the labor market returned to status quo ante. The 65-plus group accounts for between 50 percent and 100 percent of the decline in the population-to-employment ratio, amounting to .7 percent of the entire workforce, perhaps a million or so workers, and about half that number were among those who chose to hang up their cleats ahead of time. These early retirements are interacting with the overall market in some unique ways. In a normal recession, businesses tend to cut labor costs through automation. As the old jobs are eliminated, workers are “reallocated,” meaning they move into new occupations. The NBER study finds that the COVID-19 recession saw almost no reallocation except in low-skill leisure and hospitality occupations. In the meantime, the number of workers in professional occupations grew as a share of the labor market. This relative expansion of professional jobs was also accompanied by “downskilling” (i.e., the relaxation of educational and experience requirements reflected in help-wanted ads) as firms responded to the tight labor market by making it easier for less credentialed workers to qualify for openings further up the value chain.

    Quiet quitting: Employees suffering pandemic burnout say they’ve just stopped working as hard

    August 20, 2022 // Millions of Americans are taking a similar approach. Burned out after logging excessive hours or duties during COVID-19, they’re resolving to meet their job requirements but not go beyond. No toiling late into the night. No calls on weekends. And no pushing themselves to the brink even during regular business hours. Korn Ferry, Harris Poll, Cali Williams Yost, CEO of Flex + Strategy Group, Michelle Reisdorf, Andrew Challenger, Joe Galvin, Jonathan Millar,