COVID research reveals a ‘new Millennial’

Research from Trinity Business School has revealed that lockdown has “changed the way Millennials work”. In a series of semi-structured interviews, Millennials revealed their change in approaches to mediation, taking into account remote collaboration and the enhanced emphasis on technology. They were said to have adjusted to social distancing well, and in doing so uncovered new efficiencies for managing work performance that will be “challenging to undo”. The results also a revealed a change in organisational models, this time to the Lewin model.  

Best remote working locations revealed

Separate studies have revealed the best remote working locations in the world. In the UK, research carried out by Zoopla unveiled Birmingham as the best city to work outside of the office. The stats were based on average internet speed, number of people working from home, number of cafés, and average property price. On the world stage, it was Austin, Texas, that took the gong – a study by Carphone Warehouse concluded that Austin offered the best salaries, internet speeds and general quality of life.

Freelancer websites “thriving” through the crisis

The ongoing pandemic has led to an exponential rise in the use of freelance sites, according to reports from Bloomberg. Upwork noted a 50 per cent increase in user registrations since mid-March, while saw a 30 per cent increase in sign-ups for US freelancers. In addition, more than 24,000 people are on the waiting list to join Braintrust, which offers projects for large companies such as Nestle.  

Major research project will scrutinise working hours

Freelancer working hours are set to come under scrutiny as part of The Time Project. With funding from the University of York’s Screen Industries Network, the study will aim to uncover patterns of behaviour and look for any signs of ‘overwork’ which could impact staff mental health and wellbeing. The study is set to start in September and will examine 20,000 participants.  

Quarter of a million “giving up the dream”

While freelancer sites may be thriving, new research shows that more than a quarter of a million of the UK’s self-employed workforce are considering returning to the office. Freelance numbers have fallen by 15 per cent since the end of June, with official statistics suggesting there are 238,000 fewer freelancers today than there were prior to the crisis. Andrew Chamberlain, of freelancing trade body IPSE, said the results were “concerning”, while another spokesperson called the pandemic the “perfect storm”.

Harvard shares tips for ‘crisis collaboration’

Diverse, cross-functional perspectives are the best way to collaborate during a crisis, according to the Harvard Business Review. Studies show that crisis makes people more risk-averse, which means they may be hesitant to make changes. Researchers are calling this ‘threat rigidity’ and suggest that companies ask questions, reinforce goals and play to their strengths. They also noted that collaboration had a positive effect on company bottom lines.  

UK government criticised for unclear messaging

The UK government has come under further scrutiny as a result of mixed messaging over safe working from home policies. In an interview with ITV, Justice Secretary Robert Buckland said workers should “work from home if they can”, contradicting a previous statement from Boris Johnson that they should return to work. It comes as one of many confusing messages, including the new guidelines on face masks in shops from 24th July.

Fujitsu joins the ranks of permanent home working

Following in the footsteps of Slack and Twitter, Japanese technology organisation Fujitsu has introduced a permanent remote working initiative. The scheme, called ‘Work Life Shift’, will allow staff members to adjust their working patterns to create their desired work/life balance. A spokesperson said: “Work Life Shift is not only a concept of ‘work’, but represents a comprehensive initiative to realise employee wellbeing by shifting pre-existing notions of life and work through digital innovation.”

UK residents offered working getaway to Barbados

The Bajan government has revealed a new incentive for UK residents. Officials are offering British nationals the chance to work in Barbados for a year, in a scheme dubbed the ‘Barbados Welcome Stamp’. The move comes as an effort to boost tourism and increase the country’s GDP. All applicants will have to undergo COVID-19 testing, but the country has opened up its doors to international travellers as of 12th July.  

Apple captures WFH spirit in light-hearted, honest campaign

Tech giants Apple have produced a heart-warming video campaign that captures the essence of the move to working from home. Apple at Work – The Underdogs shows the frustrations with video conferencing, countless emails and short deadlines. While the campaign was designed to sell Apple devices, it also highlights the need to have one simple project management system for easy collaboration.