Tag Archives: News

Remote Work Is It, As New COVID-19 Wave Hits

As a new wave COVID-19 cases hits, remote work becomes the norm

image: Andrew James/ Remote Work Is It, As New COVID-19 Wave Hits

Millions of United States parents have been working from home since the coronavirus pandemic hit in March. And since then, they have been attempting to strike a balance between work, school and family time.

Gina DeRosa was thrilled when her year-long internship at the Department of Education in Pennsylvania in the United States turned into her first full-time job out of college.

But two months into her role, DeRosa has never met her colleagues in person. Trained entirely online by her supervisor, who she had met prior to Philadelphia’s COVID-19 lockdown, DeRosa interacts with her coworkers exclusively over Zoom.

“When you work with your colleagues right there, you can just ask them a question and walk [over] to them,” DeRosa, 22, told Al Jazeera. “It was definitely an adjustment.”

Remote work has also been a challenge for many. This is so especially for workers juggling caring for babies or managing remote learning for school-aged children. Young people eager to go out into the world and build a name for themselves are also finding it tough.

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“For young people, you just wanted to go out there – you want to meet people. You’re graduating from college, you want to extend your social circle. This is a time when you were going to do that,” Lynn Berger, a New York City-based career coach, told Al Jazeera. “If you’re young and you’re living by yourself, you might really [be] missing that.”

Remote Work Is It And Working From Anywhere Is Okay

When workers were first sent home from the office in the early days of the pandemic, some found silver linings.

Andrew James, 47, a senior account executive for an enterprise software firm, flew from New York City to Miami, Florida. That was in March, to be with his long-distance girlfriend of three years.

“This pandemic, weirdly, has made me a father,” James told Al Jazeera of his new living arrangement with his partner and her three children.

James said not having to take the subway every morning, wear a button-down shirt every day and pick up the dry cleaning every week has freed up time for other things. And this is leading to a new work-life balance that he is enjoying.

Click to read: Remote Work Is It, As New COVID-19 Wave Hits

Source: Aljazeera

Germany to give people the legal right to work from home

Germany To Give People The Legal Right To Work From Home

Click to read: Germany To Give People The Legal Right To Work From Home

Image: Unsplash/Mikey Harris

Source: World Economic Forum

Snippet: Germany has said that it wants to give its citizens the legal right to work from home. Workers in many parts of the globe are now much more familiar with the ins and outs of the remote office than they were at the start of this year. In Germany, about 40% of people wanted to work from home at least some of the time even before the pandemic struck.

And the country has been looking at initiatives to get companies to allow employees to work from home since early 2019. Now, as the pandemic has given a glimpse of what’s possible, it’s looking to make it official. The draft law will be published in a few weeks’ time, the country’s labour minister told the Financial Times.

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German Labor and Social Affairs Minister Hubertus Heil said he plans to present a bill this autumn in a bid to see this enshrined in law. “Anyone who wants to, and whose workplace allows it, should be able to work at home — even when the coronavirus pandemic is over,” he said.

And, crucially, there’s a plan to reinforce workers’ rights and set clearer boundaries between personal and work lives.

The work from home till forever movement – an unending global trend

Google, Salesforce and Facebook are among businesses that have said employees can work from home until at least next summer. Microsoft and Twitter have said some staff can do so forever. And in the US, 69% of financial services companies surveyed by PwC said they expect almost two-thirds of their workforce to be working from home once a week in the future. Pre-pandemic, this figure was 29%.

Welcome to Worklife Feed articles and site-files indexing and adaptation series.


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Do Overseas Remote Working In Dubai With Residency

Do Overseas Remote Working In Dubai With Residency

image/David Rodrigo/unsplash/Do Overseas Remote Working In Dubai With Residency

Dubai has launched a new residency programme that allows overseas remote working professionals to relocate and live in the emirate. They will be allowed to come along with their families while continuing to work remotely for their overseas employer.

Individuals and their families can apply for the relocation programme, subject to renewal every year.

The relocation programme will be valid for a year. Thereafter, it can be renewed successively for a similar duration each time.

The programme costs $287 plus medical insurance with valid UAE coverage and processing fee per person.

Once in Dubai, the remote working professional and the family will be able to enjoy benefits similar to that of other residents. The benefits available includes access to local telecoms, utilities services, and schooling options for their children.

Applicants also stand to benefit from the UAE’s zero income tax policy.

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Who can apply?

To be eligible for the programme, individuals must fulfil the following conditions:
– Possess a passport with a minimum validity of six months.
– Have health insurance with UAE coverage validity.
– Show proof of employment from their current employer with a one-year contract validity. Have a minimum of $5,000 monthly salary, and must furnish the previous months’ payslip as well as three months of bank statements.
– If the applicant is a company owner, then they must show proof of ownership of the company for at least a year. They must also show proof of an average monthly income of $5,000 supported by three months of bank statements.

How to apply?

Applicants can apply directly online via www.visitdubai.com/en/sc7/travel-planning/travel-tools/work-remotely-in-dubai.

“The global pandemic has changed how we live and work. As multinationals and leading start-ups across the world accelerate their rates of digital adoption, the need to be physically present to fulfil professional responsibilities has been redefined,” said Helal Saeed Almarri, director general of Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing.

Helal continues, “Dubai is uniquely positioned to offer a safe, dynamic lifestyle opportunity to these digitally savvy workers and their families. This is possible while they continue to work remotely, whether it is for a couple of months or an entire year.”

In September, Dubai also launched a new five-year renewable Retirement Visa. This allows resident expatriates and foreigners aged 55 and over to live within the emirate.

What are you waiting for, do you want to take action?

In August 2020, Dubai government introduced flexible working for all departments, across all government departments.

Ellen Degeneres Addresses ‘Toxic Work Environment’

ELLEN DEGENERES ADDRESSES 'TOXIC WORK ENVIRONMENT'

Ellen DeGeneres came out to start Season 18 of her show addressing the accusations of a toxic work environment. She had earlier offered staff some perks in the wake of the ‘toxic workplace claim.’ Ellen DeGeneres addresses the rumors of workplace toxicity, and about her personal behavior.

In her monologue, DeGeneres, took responsibility for the scandal.

“As you may have heard, this summer there were allegations of a toxic work environment at our show. And then there was an investigation. I learned that things happened here that never should have happened.” Ellen began.

DeGeneres continued: “I take that very seriously and I want to say I am so sorry to the people who were affected. I know that I’m in a position of privilege and power and I realized that with that comes responsibility, and I take responsibility for what happens at my show.”

“We are living, breathing role models – not just in what we say, but what we do”

Former First Lady Michelle Obama, The Michelle Obama Podcast

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This Is ‘The Ellen DeGeneres Show.’ I Am Ellen DeGeneres. My Name Is There. This Is Me

“This is ‘The Ellen DeGeneres Show.’ I am Ellen DeGeneres. My name is there, my name is there, my name is on underwear,” she joked. “We have had a lot of conversations over the last few weeks about the show, our workplace and what we want for the future. We have made the necessary changes and today we are starting a new chapter,” she promised.

“Sometimes I get sad, I get mad, I get anxious, I get frustrated, I get impatient. I am working on all of that. I am a work in progress”

Ellen DeGeneres

Ellen’s tone became more serious as she said, “There were also articles in the press and on social media that said who I am not who I appear to be on TV … Being known as the ‘Be Kind’ lady is a tricky position to be in. The truth is, I am that person that you see on TV. I am also a lot of other things. Sometimes I get sad, I get mad, I get anxious, I get frustrated, I get impatient. I am working on all of that. I am a work in progress,” she added. “I’m especially working on the impatience thing, and it’s not going well because it’s not happening fast enough, I’ll tell you that.”

She continued, “I don’t think I’m that good [of an actress] that I could come out here every day for 17 years and fool you. This is me. And my intention is to always be the best person I can be. And if I’ve ever let someone down, if I’ve ever hurt their feelings, I am so sorry for that.”

Ellen DeGeneres Addresses ‘Toxic Work Environment Rumors

Netflix Boss Says Remote Working Has Negative Effects

NETFLIX BOSS SAYS REMOTE WORKING HAS NEGATIVE EFFECTS

image: Reuters/BBC/ Reed Hastings (L) with co-chief executive Ted Sarandos (R)/ Netflix boss says remote working has negative effects

(BBC) Netflix’s chairman has said working from home has no positive effects and makes debating ideas harder.

But Reed Hastings, who founded the platform, also said its 8,600 employees would not have to return to the office until most of them had received an approved coronavirus vaccine. He predicted that most people would continue to work from home on one day a week, even after the pandemic was over.

A new UK government ad campaign is now asking workers to return to workplaces.

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‘People’s sacrifices’

The Wall Street Journal newspaper asked Mr Hastings if he had seen any benefits from staff working from home.

“No. I don’t see any positives,” he replied. “Not being able to get together in person, particularly internationally, is a pure negative,” Mr Hastings told the Wall Street Journal.

“I’ve been super-impressed at people’s sacrifices.”

Netflix is used by almost 200 million households worldwide. And it has already resumed producing its own series, documentaries and films.

‘Proper testing’

“We’re up and running in much of Europe and much of Asia,” Mr Hastings said. “And we’ve got a few things going on already in [Los Angeles],” he added. “The hope is that, through September and October, we can really get – with proper testing – a lot more running.

”Other leading technology companies, however, have suggested employees may never return to the office.

In May, Twitter said staff could work from home “for ever”.

Fujitsu has also made plans to allow staff to work from home permanently.

And Facebook and Google have said employees can work remotely until at least the end of the year.

Myfwl/Work Life Feed news reportClick here to view the full original write up at BBC.

Experts Predicted A Coronavirus Pandemic

EXPERTS PREDICTED A CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

(CNN) In 2017, a team of experts at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security published a scenario as part of a training exercise that they believed could happen in the not-so-distant future. If experts predicted a coronavirus pandemic, or performed scenario training exercise, how should that be interpreted?

The SPARS Pandemic Scenario

The year is 2025. A few American travelers returning from Asia die of an unknown, influenza-like illness. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirms the victims were infected with a novel coronavirus, SPARS-CoV. Nothing is known about this novel coronavirus. There is no rapid diagnostic test. There are no known treatments. And there is no vaccine.

Reading the SPARS Pandemic Scenario is like reading an account of the Covid-19 pandemic. But the scenario wasn’t an attempt to predict the future.

It’s not long before the SPARS outbreak erupts into a global pandemic. The CDC finds SPARS is transmitted through respiratory droplets and recommends that everyone practice hand hygiene and frequently disinfect surfaces.

Experts learn that SPARS has a long incubation period– 7 to 10 days– and that it can be spread by asymptomatic carriers. Pregnant women and those with underlying conditions like asthma and emphysema are at a higher risk for complications and death.

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Social distancing, isolation, narratives in experts predicted pandemic

The WHO begins to recommend social distancing and isolation of suspected cases. There is hope that an existing antiviral drug could help treat SPARS, but there have been no randomized controlled trials. The US Food and Drug Administration issues an Emergency Use Authorization for this drug to treat SPARS patients.

Soon, there is high public demand for the drug and millions of doses are dispensed from the Strategic National Stockpile. However, it soon becomes apparent that the drug can cause serious side effects.

Things become political. Republicans voice their support of the drug while Democrats express doubt. America is more connected yet more divided than ever. Rumors and misinformation regarding the virus and potential treatments circulate on social media.

The economy takes a hit as the pandemic drags on. Within a year, a potential vaccine begins expedited review. And, there are promises that tens of millions of doses will be available within a few months. But of the hundreds of millions of people living in the US, who will get the vaccine first?

Communication in the time of Covid-19

Reading the SPARS Pandemic Scenario is like reading an account of the Covid-19 pandemic. But the scenario wasn’t an attempt to predict the future.

Rather, it was meant to illustrate a broad range of serious challenges that public health communicators might face. The hope was that by working through these challenges as part of a training exercise, federal, state and local agencies would be well prepared to respond to a similar scenario in the future.

If experts predicted a coronavirus pandemic years ago, as something that can happen in the future. That future is now. But many of the public health pitfalls meant to serve as teaching tools seem to have played out before our eyes.

Myfwl/Work Life Feed has shortened the write up for our readersClick here to view the full original write up at CNN.

Life Must Continue Even If Chickens Have To Take Maths

LIFE MUST CONTINUE EVEN IF CHICKENS HAVE TO TAKE MATHS

Chickens in class: Private school owner uses building as poultry farm since life must continue even if the work is redefined. What is work, and what is life? How do work-life integrate so that in living life, we know the difference between work to live and live to work.

“I hope even my teachers are still doing something because life must continue,”

Source AP (KIRINYAGA, Kenya) — Chickens have replaced students in one Kenyan school as struggling educators make what money they can after the country’s studies were called off until January.

Private schools in the East African nation say they are hit especially hard. More than 300,000 staff are mostly on unpaid leave until classes resume, said Peter Ndoro, CEO of Kenya’s Private Schools Association.

Life must continue, and with Kenyan schools closed, one turns to raising chickens

In the classroom-turned-poultry farm, owner Beatrice Maina called the situation “a disaster as far as academics is concerned.” Her Mwea Brethren School is normally attended by over 300 children and has 20 full-time teachers. But all have been sent home.

As the economy sputters, Maina is raising a different flock altogether in the empty classrooms.

“Blackboards now display her notes on chicken rearing. Dates of deworming and data for feed have long replaced multiplication tables.”

Maina’s not alone. Some colleagues have ventured into other businesses.

“I hope even my teachers are still doing something because life must continue,” she said.

Schools in Kenya have been closed since March. Public schools are in a slightly better state because the government is paying some salaries for teachers and staff, Ndoro said.

He worries about the spirits of his colleagues.

“This has really affected our teachers and we do not know if they will have the … morale to come back,” he said.

Interesting response to AP Twitter post on the subject:

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McDonald’s Says Terms Of Former CEO’s Separation Based On Fraudulent Statements

MCDONALD'S SAYS TERMS OF FORMER CEO'S SEPARATION BASED ON FRAUDULENT STATEMENTS

FILE PHOTO: The logo of a McDonald’s Corp restaurant is seen in Los Angeles, California, U.S. October 24, 2017. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

(Reuters) – McDonald’s Corp said on Monday former Chief Executive Steve Easterbrook’s motion against the company should be dismissed, reiterating that the terms of his separation from the company were based on fraudulent statements.

Easterbrook responded on Aug. 14 to McDonald’s lawsuit, which claimed that the former CEO had covered up and lied about sexual relationships with at least three employees while negotiating his severance package.

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McDonald’s said in a filing on Monday that it had dismissed Easterbrook based on his denial of having had a sexual relationship with any other employee and the absence of contradictory evidence on his phone.

In his response to McDonald’s lawsuit, Easterbrook had claimed that the company had information about his relationships when it negotiated his severance package, adding that he deleted evidence from his company phone, but the evidence remained in the company e-mail account stored on the firm’s servers.

“When McDonald’s investigated, Steve Easterbrook lied. He violated the company’s policies, disrespected its values, and abused the trust of his co-workers, the Board, our franchisees, and our shareholders,” a company spokesman said on Monday.

Chinese 14th National Healthy Lifestyle Day—Sept. 1

CHINESE 14TH NATIONAL HEALTHY LIFESTYLE DAY

Photos: cardiosmart, deseret, shutterstock/Chinese 14th national healthy lifestyle day September-1-2020

When it comes to the ‘how to’ of healthy living, it can be ‘made’ from anywhere. Healthy living is not limited by franchise, or copyright unless it is for a particular lifestyle/healthy living product. You do not require any hacking or spying expertise to be involved. Set the day aside, join the Chinese 14th national healthy lifestyle day celebration, on September 1st, 2020 and live healthy.

The Chinese government is encouraging its residents to stop unhealthy habits and become practitioners and beneficiaries of healthy lifestyles. The government started the China Healthy Lifestyle for All (CHLA) initiative in 2007. It is celebrated annually on September 1st, and named the National Healthy Lifestyle Day.

The theme for this year is, “Increase Health Promotion, Decrease Oil Consumption”.

The world is still trying to recover from the burden of COVID-19 pandemic. The risk of communicable disease will not be a strange concept to anyone. We are encouraged to wear our face mask and maintain social distance, especially when in public spaces.

The person that is obese from wrong diet, and the employee that is using bad ergonomic systems, working from home may need a little more convincing. While individual views matter, we all need to agree that the burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) is real and hard. And it continues to be a major public health challenge globally and in China.

Chinese 14th National Healthy Lifestyle Day – Local Solution For a Global Problem

Globally, physical inactivity was responsible for 9% of premature mortality. Insufficient fruits and vegetables consumption for 11.3%, and harmful alcohol consumption for another 5.3%.

Scientific evidence supports the notion that changing dietary habits and getting involved in physical activities are good habits to be nurtured. Both can positively influence several of these risk factors at the population level.

Since the initiation of CHLA in 2007, the atmosphere of “Health for all, participation for all” has been gradually formed. By the end of 2018, 2,627 counties/districts in China have carried out the action. This accounted for 88.78% of all counties/districts.

The content of CHLA was further expanded in 2016 to include promotions on the use of less salt, less oil, less sugar, oral health, healthy weight, and healthy bones.

The drive is for the Chinese nation people’s health to improve in the next decade. To achieve this, there will be continuous focus on the construction of a healthy environment, dissemination of health knowledge, and promotion of a healthy lifestyle.

You may also like, WORK-FAMILY BALANCE WAS TOUGH. THEN THE PANDEMIC HIT.

The above is not the full story, there are references that are not included. Myfwl/Work Life Feed re-adapted the write up for our readers. Click here to view the full original write up at weekly.chinacdc.

City Centres ‘Risk’ Becoming ‘Ghost Towns’

Dame Carolyn Fairbairn_City Centres Risk Becoming 'Ghost Towns' If Staff Do Not Return To The Office

Dame Carolyn Fairbairn/BBC/ Warnings – City Centres ‘Risk’ Becoming ‘Ghost Towns’ If Staff Do Not Return To The Office

City centres could become “ghost towns” if the prime minister does not to do more to encourage workers to go back to the office, the head of the CBI says. Dame Carolyn Fairbairn said allowing staff to work from home had helped keep firms afloat during the pandemic.

Carolyn Fairbairn, the director-general of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), said getting staff back into offices and workplaces is as important as pupils returning to school in September.

“Remote working has been a resounding success for many firms and employees. None of these benefits should be lost.”

Check this related posts, Missing School Is Greater Risk To Kids Than COVID, Health Advisers. Or, Boris Johnson Urges Parents To Send Kids back To School.

Boris Johnson signalled an end to stay at home guidance in July as he gave employers the green light to get staff back to work. But Dame Carolyn called for the Prime Minister to do more, to get office workers back at their desks.

“Flexible working is here to stay and needs to remain an option for many. But there are serious downsides too.” 

‘Escape’ From City Centres, ‘Refuge’ Working From Home

Her plea came as a survey from University College London found, almost a third of younger workers intend to carry on working from home, the Telegraph reports.

But as offices stood empty, thousands of local businesses that relied on the passing trade were suffering, she said.

“Not everyone has the space to work effectively at home. An ironing board in the bedroom does not make a great workspace. And the mental health challenges triggered by isolation are all too real for many.”

A separate survey by the BBC found that 50 of the UK’s biggest employers have no plans to return staff to the office full-time.

However, a increasing number of employers say that home working could become a more permanent state of affairs. Though this was initially brought in as a temporary measure in the lockdown.

The law firm, Linklaters said all of its 5,300 staff could spend up to 50% of their time working remotely from now on.

Lloyds Banking Group is reviewing its office space needs and working practices. This is after concluding that most of its 65,000 staff have worked effectively from home during the crisis.

Others, including NatWest, Fujitsu, Facebook, Twitter and HSBC have also said they plan to allow much more flexible working in future.

Experts say it could allow firms to cut their rent and utilities costs, while offering employees a better work-life balance.

Can Inherent City Centres ‘Risk’ Be Causing ‘Communities Harm?’

“The UK’s offices are vital drivers of our economy,” she wrote in the Daily Mail. “They support thousands of local firms, from dry cleaners to sandwich bars. They help train and develop young people. And they foster better work and productivity for many kinds of business.”

“The costs of office closure are becoming clearer by the day. Some of our busiest city centres resemble ghost towns, missing the usual bustle of passing trade. This comes at a high price for local businesses, jobs and communities,” she said.

There is also the question of fairness. Many employees, from barbers to brewers, have no option to work from home.

The impact on local businesses has also been stark. Sandwich chain, Pret a Manger – which relies on a lunchtime work crowd – said in June it was shutting 30 outlets. It will also be cutting 1,000 jobs amid a slump in demand. It has also cut its staff’s hours.

City Centers Impact On Driving The Economy of The Future

Dame Carolyn acknowledged home working had worked well for many, and was likely to remain “an option”.

But she warned of “serious downsides,” including, a lack of opportunities to train young people, foster better work and productivity in certain types of business.

More flexible working is indisputably a good thing for our economy and quality of life, but we must have a balance.

“It’s time for the UK to bring its workplaces back to life or we will look back with regret at the jobs lost, training missed and communities harmed,” Dame Carolyn said.

In a final plea, Dame Carolyn “ask the Government to work with business to build confidence in returning to offices, starting now.”

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Where we are following the story, Daily Mail, Evening Standard and BBC

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