News Scan for April 30: hybrid work, remote meetings, and unions

By Wojciech Gryc on April 30, 2021

Summary: Employer issues, employee sentiment, and HR trends are in the news. Today's focus is on unions, the post-pandemic workplace, and remote meetings.

Hybrid Work Prototype

The image above is a capture from the NY Times' profile of Google's hybrid workplace prototype. View the source here.

As countries open up post-COVID, we are beginning to see how employers and employees alike respond to the "new normal" of work, jobs, and employment issues. Today has been an active day in the news, so we figured we'd share a brief overview.

Planning for Hybrid Workplaces and Interviews

Google's hybrid workplace plans are being profiled in the NY Times. This includes:

  • Meeting rooms that enable a mix of remote and in-person participants (pictured above).
  • Outdoor meeting spaces and work areas.
  • Moveable walls and furniture to make spaces flexible and modular.

The above will have a major impact on employee experience, but don't forget the underlying infrastructure. Ventilation is critical in schools -- and workplaces too.

Remote Meetings and Interviews are Productive

Hybrid work may be awkward, but it's clear that it could be more productive if you selectively skip the unnecessary travel, hotel stays, and other logistics. The Economist argues for exactly this with diplomats. In their words: "Virtual diplomacy has proved that it can be highly efficient. Mr Biden, for example, has been able to zip around the world without leaving the White House."

Remote technologies can also make meetings and events more productive and inclusive, if done correctly. Let's just remember that these hybrid environments also bring new logistical and ethical challenges. The Washington Post advises disabled job seekers on how to share news of their mobility challenges, for example.

Unions and Labor

This topic promises to be an active one in the coming months and years. The Washington Post shares a text analysis of President Biden's speeches -- and how he has discussed unions more than any other President in recent memory. Just yesterday, Labor Secretary Marty Walsh discussed how gig workers should be classified as employees.

Have any news to share? Feel free to reach out.

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