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Why focus on the workers and new models of work matters – 17.9%.

New survey from Indeed on job seekers – only about 10% are actively and urgently looking for work.   45% are passively looking.     Most open jobs are in low-wage sectors, and when asked here’s why workers aren’t coming back.    About 25% are afraid of COVID-19 and are waiting for vaccination rates to climb before getting back to work.  More than 20% say they have a financial cushion and about 12% say their unemployment insurance is the reason they’re not rushing to get a job. Child care is also a major factor, with 20% of lower-wage workers saying they are staying home due to care responsibilities.

Apple is not changing their stance on hybrid work, it seems – despite pushes from employees, the company has indicated that their stated plans for hybrid work are going to stand.     Google, meanwhile, is restarting bus networks around its Mountain View headquarters, as other large firms like Adobe and Facebook move slower.

In that context, there’s data from Gartner about that return to work. 

48% or large global organizations aren’t tracking the vaccination status of employees, and only 8% are requiring proof of vaccination before employees come back to the office.   36% of organizations plan to have employees self-report vaccination status, but won’t require proof.

9% of organizations will let employees work remote on certain days, and 32% will let employees work remote all of the time.

Wondering why we spend time here?  Gartner’s data says the future of work spending will increase 17.4% on last year.  

The Washington Post digs into worker’s burnout – which is seemingly a recurring theme.    Gallup polls have found that workers’ life evaluations have declined during the pandemic (regardless of remote/in-person work), and that 61 percent of women and 52 percent of men feel stressed on a typical day, both up from before the pandemic.  Different companies are experimenting with time off and additional benefits, and some companies are experimenting with the 4 day work week.  

The collision of laws and work.    Colorado’s Equal Pay for Equal work Act is a set of laws designed to end wage discrimination.   Some companies are now excluding Colorado based remote employees in job listings – to avoid disclosing salary ranges and benefits, as required by the law.   It’s a law that may be backfiring.  

Why do we care?

There’s debate about IF this is a turning point for American workers.   Some are skeptical.   Schools reopening will matter for that portion of the workforce.  

Workers have a lot of power right now.    How long they will have it is the open question.    My take is that most analysts are under estimating the impact of emotion on the decisions.  That burnout and stress data is the indicator.      Are people working to live or living to work… and now they’re questioning their decisions.  Times of great trauma are known for that.     

My prediction is that a lot of these plans by employers to go “back” will be derailed by employees who quietly say “no thanks”.