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Work from home on the shoulders of employees, for now [TUPdate]
Are you reading this from home? That makes you one of the 391 million of online adults working remotely we found in our TUP/Technology User Profile survey across 6 countries. If you are like the average employee around the world, you also reading this on your own PC, tablet, or smartphone, and not one provided by your employer. Home PCs are the new work PC.
Insights professionals in the tech industry already know from personal experience about working remotely. It was not too long ago that many researchers would be balancing notebooks on their knees in darkened focus group viewing rooms while reaching for another M&M or two. (Not that there’s anything wrong with M&M’s). However, most of the world’s employees do not have experience as remote workers, nor are they set up properly.
Working from home and working remotely have already been part of a long-term trend towards digital transformation. From the multi-decades-long move from desktop to mobile PCs, to the decade of rapid smartphone penetration and home Wi-Fi, consumers have more access than ever before. Terms like digital nomads and road warriors have lent a sense of panache to a lifestyle that has a certain effectiveness, if not comfort. However, in many cases, technology products and services have been pushing to generate demand rather than meet it. Many occupations, from factory work and food preparation to restaurant service, are best done in a fixed location away from home. Without question, digital transformation has been sped up in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Those fortunate enough to have jobs that can be done in whole or part from home have continued employment and income where others may not. As reported in an earlier TUPdate, working from home is for the socioeconomically privileged. (https://technologyuser.com/2020/05/22/the-work-from-home-privilege-tupdate/)
Employees that had not been exclusively working from home are now doing so. From our TUP/Technology User Profile 2020 wave (fielded in August 2020), we found that over half of employed online adults in the US and UK work exclusively from home. In Germany, Japan, and China, this rate is nearer to one-third or one-fourth. In India, 87% of online respondents who are still employed full-time or part-time work exclusively from home.
Working from home governmental mandates and choices by employers and employees have affected employers of all size and types, although unequally.
From February 2020 and before, remote working has been a feature of smaller US and German employers before the lockdowns. Even in Germany, the UK and China, while rates are relatively low, the rates among smaller employers are higher than among larger employers.
After February 2020, working from home is new to employees among employers of all sizes. However, working from home is especially new for employees of large employers. That is the case among all the countries we surveyed and for those employers with 500 to 999, or 1,000 or more employees.
A small number of nimble, enlightened, or forward-thinking employers have risen to the COVID-19 challenge and are providing PCs and other technology to their employees working at home. The number is small, ten percent or less across multiple countries. Employees using an employer-provided work PC that they use at home and not in the workplace number 10% in the US, 9% in the UK, and 8% in India. These are the top countries among those surveyed.
Employees have borne the brunt of supporting their ability to work from home, with roughly half of employed adults working exclusively from home using their home PCs for any of a long list of work-related activities.
While the year 2020 has certainly been singular in the worldwide response to COVID-19, this support by employees has been a long-term trend. What has changed is the intensity of work using home PCs, which has become the hub for many employees.
Currently employed online adults have been resourceful using their home PCs for getting work done. Communication is key, with home PCs being used for everyday work email to web-based chats and meetings. Furthermore, employees are using their home PCs to tap into cloud services for storing files and collaborating on documents.
Whether or not having meetings follow employees home is more productive or less so is still open to confirmation. Employees working from home reported major productivity benefits including in their top five: less time commuting, money savings on gas and work clothes, and more flexibility. Also in their top five were human issues: being able to spend more time with family and pets, and being able to minimize the impact of COVID-19, whether by not getting infected themselves or not risking spreading it to others.
The current situation is unlikely to persist as it is very long for many reasons, many of which are beyond the scope of the TUP/Technology User Profile survey. It is economically unsustainable to have so many employees not employed, underemployed, or doing work that is not part of their main occupation. Many occupations and industries simply do not lend themselves to remote work, such as manufacturing and service jobs. As fun as VR headsets can be, current technology can only support so much. While the current situation may spur stepped up innovation, and that is certainly happening in some sectors, it seems unlikely that changes will come rapidly enough for more than only a few sectors.
Beyond that, employers, many of whom are already fiscally challenged, may be hard-pressed to come to the table with even basic personal computers, printers, and internet connections. Employers certainly have not shown precedent. Historically, most employees have paid for their own technology to do work outside of the workplace, from their personal home PCs, home printers, and smartphones purchased personally. That is especially true for U.S. employees. In TUPdates to come, we will be analyzing more of the TUP results with a focus on those working from home. We will be looking more deeply into the technology they are using for work and play, what they are planning to buy, the brands they are using, and profiling who they are. We will be especially drilling down in the TUP datasets to look more closely at parents, industries, the self-employed, and students.
The information referred to in this TUPdate is based on the results gathered in TUP/Technology User Profile 2020, its 38th annual wave, and based on surveys in to the US, UK, Germany, Japan, China, and India.
Current subscribers to TUP/Technology User Profile will be receiving a full report on working from home and remote work as part of TUP and its Work/Life Balance section. Also, clients with inquiry privileges may request more detailed analysis into their own choice of market segments, technology products and services.
Author: by metafacts |
The Woodlands Township Arts in the Park features dance work highlighting pandemic
THE WOODLANDS, TX — The Woodlands Township Parks and Recreation Department will host Arts in the Park featuring â€œThoughts Had On The Waterwayâ€ on Saturday, September 26, 2020, at 3 and 6 p.m. at Waterway Square, 31 Waterway Square Place, The Woodlands, TX 77380.
‘Thoughts Had On The Waterway’ is an original dance work created by Nicola Bennett, Adam Castaneda and Tory Pierce. Created specifically for The Woodlands Waterway, this 20-minute performance is an exploration of the collective sense of loss the world has experienced as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The work explores the importance of maintaining a sense of connection with the people that matter to us most, even as we find ourselves separated by 6 feet from the nearest person.
The event is presented free of charge to the public with support from The Pilot Dance Project. Performances, approximately 20 minutes, will take place at 3 and 6 p.m.
Coolers, picnic baskets, blankets and lawn chairs are permitted. Glass is prohibited. Those planning to attend the performance should practice social distancing, refrain from gathering in large groups and continue following all guidelines established by the CDC when in public spaces and around others outside of your household. Please note all information is subject to change, pending local, state and federal Orders or Declarations.
For the most up-to-date information on the day of the event, including weather updates or postponement of any kind, please follow The Woodlands Township Parks and Recreation Facebook page at www.facebook.com/townshipparksandrec.
For more information about The Woodlands Township, please call 281-210-3800 or visit www.thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov.
Author: By: The Woodlands Township
Putting The ‘I’ In Immigrant: Now more than ever, immigrant work is essential work
Among the day-to-day changes that this year has brought, when I now video call my parents, they are practically indiscernible. Under the disposable surgical gowns and the extensive layers of facial coverings, they resemble not themselves but the millions of health care professionals around the nation, searching within themselves daily for the Herculean effort necessary to help those in need.
The price is high, but the reward is worth their while, I am told.
The development of this pandemic has placed inordinate amounts of stress upon the nation’s workforce, but immigrant workers have always been “essential” to the livelihood of our communities. From the immigrant farm workers travailing through hot days in the sun to my parents’ promoting United States health as a personal mission, it’s almost paradoxical to entertain the negative stereotyping of immigrants in the United States.
This past week, I saw a series of images in The Guardian of farmers in California, and they only served to solidify the essential nature of immigrant work. Against a backdrop of orange-tinted skies, farm workers picked fresh produce as ash was carried down by the scorching late-summer air. The world as we know it today relies on the more than 381,000 farmworkers yielding the produce we use in our daily meals.
The recent wildfires brushing up and down the West Coast have been devastating for us all, but for those whose day jobs ensure their communities have food on the table, the situation becomes a double-edged sword: choosing between their health and their paycheck, along with the fate of the U.S. food supply.
My own job as a restaurant host became an essential service in March, though it remains a humble entry-level position. The hour requirements and precautionary measures involved with my two part-time gigs changed drastically in the spring and have remained this way ever since.
The changing landscape of the U.S. workforce relies so heavily on immigrant labor and we would be remiss as a country and as a community to dismiss this demographic so easily. Immigrant work is essential work, no matter how small or large the task at hand.
In seeing the news clips and knowing what it is to be an immigrant worker in the United States, it gave me pause — why did I feel the need to emphasize and defend this idea? The idea of an immigrant worker in the United States has long held a negative connotation.
I know this because I’ve heard it said to me, and I’ve heard it said about others like me. The rhetoric that immigrant laborers rob the born-and-bred U.S. citizen of job opportunities is one that has held a lot of weight with me.
I have heard countless iterations of this sentiment, of the many subtle microaggressions toward immigrants that stand on shaky, emotion-driven bases. As a natural-born citizen who came to the United States as a young girl, I was grateful to have the background to see both sides.
In sitting with this thought and reading what I could about it, what I found was that the harmful dialogue directed toward immigrants stems from a fear of the unknown. Masked under the guise of nationalism and spurred by provocative speech in the media, this current of thought is unfounded and lacks factual evidence.
The popular talking points have all but been debunked in recent years. In a Public Broadcasting Service article I read, writer Gretchen Frazee brought together a culmination of resources that explore the most widely circulated myths about immigration. From the words of high-ranking university professors and bipartisan research organizations, the evidence depicted a very different scenario than what was being presented in media sources.
The article reported that immigrant workers were more likely to take up professions not largely desired by natural-born citizens. Additionally, the New American Economy found a 15% higher likelihood that immigrant laborers would work unusual hours as compared to their natural-born U.S. counterparts. The figurative theft of U.S. jobs is a tactic intended to divide, because immigrants actually complement their natural-born colleagues by filling in gaps in the workforce.
Now more than ever, immigrant work is vital to the health of our economy and our communities. Immigrant laborers make up a very large part of our communities’ unsung heroes, and their work is undoubtedly significant in the adjustment from our pre-pandemic lives to society as it operates today.
While denigrating comments might be said here and there about those who carry out the work, it is unarguable that immigrants are essential to how this country runs. Whether you hold those sentiments or not, it would be worth our while to consider the sacrifices people of our communities make with us in mind.
The individual who picked the food you eat, the one who manufactured the clothes you wear and the health care worker who carried out your coronavirus test may very well be immigrant workers. An adjective shouldn’t change the value of essential work and essential people.
Noelle Natividad is a sophomore writing about the immigrant experience in America. Her column, “Putting The ‘I’ In Immigrant,” runs every other Friday.
Author: By NOELLE NATIVIDAD
SRU, city police pair with social work intern
Slippery Rock University graduate students are breaking the mold of stereotypical internship chores by embedding themselves with law enforcement operations as police social workers.
Three students in the Master of Social Work program are helping de-escalate situations and applying their area of expertise.
Haylee Zinn, a graduate student majoring in social work from Westland, is fulfilling her internship requirement working 16 hours a week with the New Castle Police Department. Zinn has a background with domestic violence victims.
The work the SRU students are doing is part of an emerging profession in an area called forensic social work, a specialized area of practice where social services are offered within the criminal justice system. They interact and help victims of abuse, people suffering from mental illness and criminals after they are charged with a crime.
“Police social workers can perform a variety of duties,” said Yvonne Eaton-Stull, associate professor of public health and social work. “They accompany police and assist in actual crisis intervention once a scene is secure. Once police do their job first, then the social workers can lend their expertise, especially in areas like domestic violence, mental health and substance abuse.”
Chris Frye, the mayor of New Castle, helped create community-based initiatives after he was elected the city’s mayor in November.
“For many years, the New Castle Police Department, under the direction of Chief Robert Salem, has made community relations a priority,” said Frye, who is also an SRU part-time instructor of public health and social work. “Recently, Chief Salem and I created a Community Affairs Bureau to identify and address problems within the community. The CAB will focus on untapped demographics and solicit interaction to achieve goals and resolve issues. By partnering with SRU’s Social Work Master’s program, the CAB now has the opportunity to include forensic social work frameworks into it mission and effectively assess people in their environments.”
While their work does include going out on police calls, they also perform outreach to connect resources with residents and they are available for counseling appointments at the police station.