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Accenture: Smart Work Anywhere

Accenture debunks myths around hybrid work and explains why it's not all about floorplans and location, and why pandemic work challenges are likely here to stay.

"At Accenture, we’ve stopped looking for the hybrid model and are focusing on how we create experiences that give employees autonomy, support and purpose wherever they are. Reshaping the employee experience is fundamental to becoming a Business of Experience, which is the key to success. Our research shows that Business of Experience leaders outperform their competitors in year-on-year profitability growth by more than six times."

Image: Accenture

Cognizant's crystal ball reveals the future

A new whitepaper by Cognizant reveals what's next for, " education, work, economies and life itself".

"To prepare for what’s ahead, we must consider not just the changes we see now but also the new realities these changes will spawn further out into the future. How will working from home recast the restaurant industry? Real estate? Transportation? The design of cities? How will a year of homeschooling reshape the feelings of this generation and the next about red-throated capitalism?"

Read the full report here.

American Heart Association CEO Roundtable: Health Equity paper

The American Heart Association’s CEO Roundtable is working to eliminate workplace inequities that harm the health and well-being of employees, businesses and communities.

The Roundtable’s new report, developed by business leaders and health experts, provides actionable strategies and principles employers can use to build toward health equity.

The report gives agency to organizations to build a more equitable workplace that ultimately leads to better health for all.

Learn more and access the downloadable report here.

Walmart tackles the national labour crunch

Consumer demand is soaring as the US economy reopens from the COVID-19 pandemic, deepening a national labour crunch. Employers are adding benefits and boosting wages as they struggle to find and keep enough workers, particularly in retail and restaurants.

Walmart Inc has said it will pay the full cost of college tuition and books for its roughly 1.5 million full and part-time employees, effective Aug. 16.

Nearly 28,000 employees have been active in Walmart's educational programs this summer alone and 8,000 have graduated since it began in 2018 to offer college degrees, skills training and other certificate programs, the company said.

The company also said Tuesday its educational offerings are tied to its growth areas, and that it will add programs in business administration, supply chain and cybersecurity.

Read the full article here.

Johnson & Johnson's tech transformation: How did they do it?

McKinsey analysis of Johnson & Johnson's remodeled technology–business partnership shows how to elevate the employee experience with three "unlocks".

"Johnson & Johnson’s Corporate Business Technology (CBT) team, which serves all Johnson & Johnson employees, set out to transform the employee experience through the company’s technology and how that technology partners with the business to deliver what it needs. Previously, CBT operated in a silo from the business and was oriented to delivering “projects”—tools and services that did not fully take into account the nearly 140,000 employees across 60 countries who would actually use them.

"The transformation was a complex series of initiatives, but three decisions mattered most in making it successful."

Read the analysis here.

DP World: Attracting a young, diverse and ambitious workforce in the supply chain

Companies looking to build their logistical resilience have responded by investing heavily in technology to create and manage supply chains with greater visibility. Machine learning, artificial intelligence (AI), and the internet of things (IoT) have been a giant leap forward for the industry.

If the industry wants to keep up pace with these emerging technologies, it is crucial to build a young, diverse, and ambitious workforce, with the capacity to respond and handle the evolution afoot in supply chain management.

For this reason, DP World has created a Global Education Programme designed to educate children on the world trade economy and the inner workings of global logistics.

This programme is designed to instil awareness about the port operations and the value of trade while also addressing the school’s regular curriculum. It is delivered by employee volunteers, as it tends to enhance their skills and allows them to share their experience with students.

Since its launch, more than 26,000 students globally in 40 business units where DP World operates have had the opportunity to take part in the programme.

Read more about this initiative here

The work-from-home divide: global banks diverge

With UBS' recent announcement that it will let staff mix working from home and office permanently, the FT highlights an emerging trend, with European banks taking a softer line on flexible working relative to their US counterparts.

The Swiss bank plans to allow up to two thirds of its 72,000-strong global workforce to follow a "hybrid working" model.

This is in contrast to a number of Wall Street banks - such as Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan and Morgan Stanley - which have ordered staff to return to offices, sometimes luring them back with live music and food and requiring them to be vaccinated.

UBS is hoping the policy will give it an edge over Wall Street in attracting talent. Only time will tell.

Image: Photo by Claudio Schwarz | @purzlbaum on Unsplash

Vaccine-only offices? Morgan Stanley says yes

Morgan Stanley has announced that employees and clients who have not received their Covid-19 vaccination will be barred from entering the bank's New York offices.

The FT reports, "Morgan Stanley’s vaccination policy is the strictest yet among large Wall Street banks, which have been at the forefront of the push to convince workers to return to the office. Earlier this month, rival Goldman Sachs made it compulsory for staff to disclose their vaccination status, but unvaccinated staff are permitted in buildings as long as they wear masks and practice social distancing. At JPMorgan Chase, vaccine disclosure is still voluntary."

Black Rock has also said its offices will be vaccine-only.

To return or not to return? Tech giants grapple with the future of the office

Facebook embraces flexible working, Apple and Google less so

Facebook has said all employees at all levels can request permanent, full-time remote work.

Employees who convert to a permanently remote role and end up moving to a different location can expect a pay adjustment based on market rates.

And for those interested in moving to live and work abroad, the company will expand remote work across international borders over time.

All of this depends, of course, on the role and the particular team strategy. The company has used “data-driven and research-informed approaches” to inform the new policies.

In contrast, Apple has said it will require workers to be on site three days a week.

The announcement from CEO Tim Cook, received some pushback from employees, who have reservations about a one-size-fits-all policy. It resembles a plan outlined by Google, with employees typically coming in to the office three days per week.

Labour market paradox plays out for Uber

Uber's rides business has rebounded to pre-pandemic levels in the UK and other parts of Europe. "Across Europe for the week commencing May 17, Uber’s total gross bookings recovered to more than 80 per cent of the level reported in the same period in 2019", reports the Financial Times, which cites the development as a "striking recovery".

Passenger demand is so high in some cities, that it is beginning to outstrip the supply of drivers. Uber has said it will need an additional 20,000 drivers for growth in the UK. Now classified as "workers", this shortfall in Uber drivers comes amid a wider labour shortage. It also mirrors the global driver shortage affecting road transport more generally, with European companies expecting a 17% shortfall in drivers this year.

Image: Photo by Dan Gold on Unsplash

Partnership for New Work Standards

14 companies have joined the Partnership for New Work Standards to establish a healthy, resilient and equitable future of work.

Participating companies will co-create a framework for good work standards, with input from trade unions and independent experts, make commitments to raise the bar on good work for their sectors, and put a clearly defined future of work strategy on their boards' agendas.

The founding companies are: Agility, Bank of America, Koç Holding, Novo Nordisk, Naspers, Randstad, Schneider Electric, Standard Chartered Bank, Stanley Black and Decker, The Coca-Cola Company, Tata Steel, Unilever, Wipro and Zurich Insurance Group.

What are participating chief people officers saying?

The pandemic challenges the business ecosystem in all aspects: the work itself, the way we work and where we work. The need for an effective personalized workplace, agile workforce and digital work is inevitable. We need to set new work standards to go beyond the pandemic.

—Özgür Burak Akkol, President, Human Resources and Industrial Relations, Koç Holding

We are committed to being a sustainable employer and workplace. Coming out of Covid-19 the world of work has changed and we are keen to ensure we capture the learning and prepare our organization to be fit for the future.

—Monique Carter, Executive Vice President, People & Organization, Novo Nordisk

We look forward to being part of the World Economic Forum Partnership to drive progress on relevant topics, including agility and flexibility in the world of work.

—Karen Fichuk, CEO, Randstad North America

We embrace agile and flexible ways of working for our people to support high performance, greater inclusion, well-being and stronger resiliency. We’re delighted to discuss the ever-changing global digital environment. Our new ways of working need to reflect broader shifts and our diverse employees’ needs to live their unique life and work.

—Charise Le, Chief Human Resources Officer, Schneider Electric

The future of work is no longer a distant proposition. By embracing the opportunities, and adapting and responding quickly to the change, we have the potential to rewire how we think about work and the workplace – ultimately driving innovation, inclusion and high-performance. By offering choice, flexibility and supporting colleagues to learn, develop and grow, we see an immense opportunity to provide the optimal experience for the workforce of the future.

—Tanuj Kapilashrami, Group Head of Human Resources, Standard Chartered Bank

Shaping people-centric standards for the future of work will be critical to attracting the best talent, driving innovation, demonstrating empathy and meeting the expectations of our people and communities. We look forward to establishing these standards to benefit workers across the globe.

—Stephen Subasic, Chief Human Resources Officer, Stanley Black & Decker

There comes a time for major breakthroughs in the way work, workforce and workplace undergoes a threshold change. I think the time is now, with the pandemic and Industry 4.0 giving us the opportunity to reorganize ourselves. We will need to realign our strategy, systems and structures with changing realities. The new work philosophy will be embedded in agility and flexibility together with empathy.

—Atrayee Sarkar , Vice-President, Human Resource Management, Tata Steel

We must imagine not just what the world of work is going to look like in 10, 15, 20 years, but what we want it to look like. We must imagine what it will look like if human beings are thriving. We are a strong supporter of the Partnership to pave the way for us to work together to build better businesses in a better world.

—Leena Nair, Chief Human Resource Officer, Unilever

Companies are reinventing themselves so they can offer better employee flexibility, stability and security. We are committed to improving job quality, employee safety, and overall well-being. We hope to contribute to global discussions and behaviour change around work equity and better employee experience for an inclusive and equitable future. This demonstrates our willingness to contribute to collective action that helps build a sustainable and resilient Future of Work that truly works for everyone.

—Saurabh Govil, Chief Human Resources Officer, Wipro

We’re excited to join the Partnership, creating the best working environment that meets changing employee needs within the ‘new normal’.

—Sarah Kirby, Head of Organization Design and HR Strategy, Zurich Insurance Group

Growing with Age

The #futureofwork is living, learning and earning longer.

AARP, OECD and the Forum have partnered to launch a digital learning platform “Growing with Age”, which was selected this month as a Fast Company 2021 World Changing Idea.

A key takeaway: There is a global economic necessity for greater employment of workers over age 50.

According to AARP, discrimination against workers over age 50 cost the US economy $850 billion in 2018. Raising the employment levels of workers over age 50 to match countries with the highest participation of 50+ workers will increase GDP across OECD countries by $10.3 trillion—offsetting the economic loss if older workers’ employment levels were to remain stagnant.

Image: Growing with Age

Bank of America raises minimum wage

Bank of America plans to raise its minimum wage for U.S. workers to $25 an hour by 2025, the latest among major firms promising to pay employees more after a year of pandemic risks and government subsidies that fueled conversations on whether companies pay their workers enough.

Bank of America’s announcement goes further than other companies with large U.S. workforces in the retail space. The figure was higher than at competitors, and the second-largest U.S. bank is also requiring its vendors to set a minimum wage of $15 an hour.

That could help spread the influence of higher wages to smaller companies that have lucrative contracts to provide services like marketing, technology services and maintenance. Bank of America deals with more than 2,000 U.S. vendors and 43,000 vendor employees.

Original Reuters article published here.

Microsoft's 'accessibility by design'

These short videos from Microsoft can help you learn how to create an inclusive digital experience for people with disabilities.

Microsoft has launched a commitment to a more accessible workplace, with a slew of tips on how to use tech to ensure you provide a more accessible digital experience for everything from having captions on videos and meetings to taking accessibility into consideration during the interview process.

Microsoft CEO, Brad Smith, said,

"We can’t create the next generation of accessible technology unless we attract more people with disabilities to play a bigger role in helping to develop it. And we need to create an inclusive workplace that nurtures this talent. This stronger foundation will allow us to implement an 'accessibility by design' philosophy not only for Microsoft’s products, but for our tools and services that support software developers and suppliers everywhere."

Read more here.

Accenture: A manifesto for a new world of working

For ten weeks in 2020, Accenture, Vitra, external experts, and 15 selected companies worked together to form a vision for a new future.

The result is a manifesto for a new world of working and concrete scenarios that describe it: #preferredfuture. Accenture summarized the results in a report that explains the background and provides context.

"COVID-19 has changed our working life radically, offering a unique chance to completely redefine how we want to work in the future. Which skills will be obsolete, which will be more important than ever? How should the collaboration between humans and machines work? How do we lead and how do we learn? Do we still actually need office spaces or is home office sufficient? What function will our work spaces have? And: Are next-generation talents still looking for one long-term employer at all?"

Wellcome Trust: Workplace mental health

A new report from the Wellcome Trust on workplace mental health summarizes promising approaches to addressing workplace mental health. It also sets out why businesses and researchers need to work together to take a more scientific approach to supporting mental health at work.

Mental health has never been higher on the agenda for businesses. It is easy to see why, as even prior to COVID-19, anxiety and depression were estimated to cost the global economy over $1 trillion every year in lost productivity. The exodus from offices in 2020 has presented further challenges and raised big questions about future ways of working.

—Miranda Wolpert, Director, Mental Health, Wellcome Trust

Heidrick & Struggles: Digital inclusion in the hybrid world of work

Amid the myriad uncertainties of returning to offices, it is clear that the future of work is hybrid; some people will remain remote while others will return to the office full or part time. This ongoing state of hybrid work will unlock opportunities to bolster inclusion as well as create new threats to it.

To retain the flexibility and inclusion many organizations have gained in the past year and avoid the pitfalls of a hybrid workplace, leaders must plan carefully how they use digital tools and how technologies are deployed across their organizations.

Heidrick & Struggles has published Digital inclusion: Five considerations for leaders to build on gains and avoid pitfalls in the hybrid world of work. In this paper, they analyse how or putting inclusion at the core of decisions about technologies will help ensure not only that companies are using their tools effectively and inclusively, but also that companies are able to rally everyone behind a collective purpose and cultivate a sense of belonging.

Digital inclusion: Five considerations for leaders to build on gains and avoid pitfalls in the hybrid world of work

Read more here

Adecco: Future of talent in the automotive industry

From electric vehicles to autonomous cars, the future of the automotive industry will look vastly different from today’s industry. The automotive industry is shifting to more technology-driven and technology-connected platforms, kick starting the next generation of vehicle services.

The Adecco Group has launched its Future of Talent in the Automotive & Mobility Industry report in which it analyses the way technology is reshaping the industry, and the ways in which companies can recalibrate their talent strategy priorities to build a technology-first future.

Key trends for the automotive industry

Read the full report here

Google: Doing our best work

Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google and Alphabet, has outlined the company's approach to a hybrid future of work.

He shared a range of ways it will experiment with flexible work after the pandemic, including 'campfire' work spaces allowing remote and in-person collaboration, reset days to recharge from the pandemic and remote work options (including working from one of the company's many locations or four 'work from anywhere' weeks).

JPMorgan one of the first to outline post pandemic work plan

JPMorgan, the largest US bank, is the first major Wall Street firm to outline a detailed schedule for a rotating return to the office from July.

Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan, in a memo to employees said, "We are welcoming more of you back next month so that you can get comfortable with being back in an office environment.” He added, “This may take some time [and] we would fully expect that by early July, all US-based employees will be in the office on a consistent rotational schedule."

McKinsey: What are employees saying about remote work?

McKinsey reveals research into what employees want when it comes to post pandemic working arrangements. The message is clear - employees want flexibility, but lack of consistency and policy vagaries are contributing to stress. It's time for employers to decide the path ahead and communicate clearly.

"Our survey results make the source of anxiety clear: employees feel they’ve yet to hear enough about their employers’ plans for post-COVID-19 working arrangements. Organizations may have announced a general intent to embrace hybrid virtual work going forward, but too few of them, employees say, have shared detailed guidelines, policies, expectations, and approaches. And the lack of remote-relevant specifics is leaving employees anxious."

BP shifts to flexible working patterns

BP has told 25,000 office-based staff that they will be expected to work from home for two days a week as part of a post-pandemic shift to flexible working patterns.

The global oil company introduced the new hybrid model of working to staff last month, and expects the 60-40 split between office and home working to take effect from this summer as Covid-19 restrictions begin to ease.

Image: Photo by Jack B on Unsplash

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