Jobs and the Future of Work

‘Bleisure’ the new trend in flexible work: Top 5 trends from the world of work

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Bleisure: for those looking to mix business and leisure. Image: Pexels.

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Future of Work

  • In this week's Top 5 trends from the world of work, we reflect on the WHO’s formal warning to companies and employees to manage their remote working policies – or risk burnout.
  • We examine salary ignorance and overwork as a creativity killer.
  • Plus, we look at the innovative new campaign that IKEA hopes will attract tech talent.

The lines between leisure travel and business are increasingly becoming blurred. Workers are booking flights for working getaways, which has been a big boost for the travel industry.

But blurring these lines has consequences, too. What if you never truly unplug from work?

What else matters this week?

The Sabbatical is taking on a new meaning: a power move to fight burnout.

Meta is threatening to unfriend Europe as talks on user privacy rules stall.

A major breakthrough on nuclear fusion which could have a big impact on the energy sectors in the long term.

Apple has bought London-based AI Music, which uses artificial intelligence to create tailor-made music from royalty-free music.

Major firms like Amazon, IKEA, and Unilever may be overstating their climate efforts, according to a new watchdog report.

Nissan Motor will gradually sunset their development of combustion engines in all major markets except the US, another green-fueled move in the shifting automotive industry.

Eurozone inflation reached a record 5.1% inflation in January, fueled by the rising cost of energy and food.

Next generation COVID-19 boosters could be inhaled.

We’ve got a full breakdown of all the top headlines you can’t miss this week.

#1. Companies need to manage remote work or risk burnout, WHO warns

We’re approaching the two-year anniversary of the first COVID-19 lockdowns – and the start of a new era for the world of work. Many people with desk jobs have been working remotely for almost two years, on and off, now. These workers are worn out, physically and mentally.

Work-from-home burnout is a global phenomenon, so much so that the World Health Organization (WHO) has issued a new warning for companies, lawmakers, and employees this month. If companies and employees don’t collectively manage remote working, a work-from-home model can create hazardous conditions, putting employees’ health at risk.

“Which way the pendulum swings depends entirely on whether governments, employers, and workers work together,” Maria Neira, director of the department of environment, climate change and health at the WHO, said.

Read more at Quartz at Work.

Work-from-home burnout is a global phenomenon.
Work-from-home burnout is a global phenomenon. Image: Kristin Wilson via Unsplash.

#2. Salary ignorance keeps workers underpaid

Many people will switch jobs in search of a higher salary.

But one recent study found that people significantly underestimate what other people make for the same work, which keeps them earning less for much longer. It’s especially a disadvantage for the lowest earners. Berkeley researchers suggest that if workers were aware of salary disparities, at least 10% of low-paying jobs would simply not be viable.

Though the gender pay gap has been an important topic of discussion in recent years, most workers still remain weary to talk about pay openly. However, developing a little more salary curiosity could pay dividends.

Past research has shown that most workers believe they earn roughly the median salary for their occupation. The reality is much starker: only about 20% of people earn the median salary.

“That really self-fulfils the prophecy of low-paying firms being able to further lower wages to people that are misinformed about the job market,” Nina Roussille, an economist at the London School of Economics, told the BBC. She was part of a team from US, UK and German universities who set out to explore how workers view their “outside options” when it comes to pay in 2019 and 2020.

If those workers knew they were being underpaid so dramatically, she said, “they would decide potentially to start looking elsewhere.”

Read more at BBC.

Only about 20% of people earn the median salary.
Only about 20% of people earn the median salary. Image: Jp Valery via Unsplash

#3. The real creativity killer: overwork

Employees want flexible working schedules. Their bosses? They can’t wait to get back to the office.

Knowledge workers around the globe have learned to love some of the benefits of remote work, especially the flexibility and freedom. Companies, however, have argued that remote work stifles collaboration and innovation.

Is that really the case? In one Vox piece, another argument is made: overwork is killing creativity.

As more and more people quit their jobs, the workers left behind have had to pick up the slack. That’s after a growing amount of workers have already witnessed “significantly” more work due to remote working.

Read more at Vox.

Overwork is killing creativity.
Overwork is killing creativity. Image: Andrea Piacquadio via Pexels.

#4. “Bleisure” is here

The lines between business and leisure are being blurred as people work from home.

And now there’s a name for those looking to mix business and leisure: “bleisure.”

It’s been a huge saving grace for the travel industry amid flight cancellations and staffing shortages. The technology enabling more remote work is disrupting the travel industry.

What does it mean, in practice?

  • More trips
  • More business travel
  • More long-term accommodations
  • Less true rest and relaxation

Planning more trips (where you work) inevitably presents new challenges. These blurred lines may lead to increased burnout, and employees may lose the ability to truly disconnect from work.

Read more at Bloomberg.

Have you read?

#5. The 3D printed “meetballs” fueling IKEA’s new creative recruitment strategy

For so many IKEA shoppers, their trip ends with a dish of their famous Swedish meatballs, which shoppers can eat on the spot or pick up to go.

Their legendary meatballs are taking on a new life now: recruitment.

IKEA introduced a 3D-printed version of their meatballs, dubbed “meetballs,” hoping to attract data and tech nerds. The company hopes to lure talent for more than 150 tech and innovation roles across Europe. Part of their pitch? Come try out never-before-served “Huvudroll.”

These meatballs are just one of the retailer’s efforts to become more sustainable with the help of technology. The company has committed to offering 50% plant-based meals at its restaurants by 2025, for example.

“Ikea is at the start of a journey to embrace data and technology to become more affordable, accessible and sustainable in an omnichannel environment,” said Inter Ikea Group CIO Pascal Pauwels in a statement. “Naturally people with imagination will play a big role in that quest. So here we’re looking for people who want to create a better everyday life with us.”

Read more at AdAge.

IKEA has introduced a 3D-printed version of their meatballs, dubbed “meetballs
IKEA has introduced a 3D-printed version of their meatballs, dubbed “meetballs Image: Alexander Isreb via Pexels.
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