Thursday, August 26, 2021

Why Are So Many Knowledge Workers Quitting?

I once asked my friends if they'd ever held things that gave them a spooky sense of history. Ancient pots with three-thousand-year-old thumbprints in the clay, said one. Antique keys, another. Clay pipes. Dancing shoes from WWII. Roman coins I found in a field. Old bus tickets in second-hand books. Everyone agreed that what these small things did was strangely intimate; they gave them the sense, as they picked them up and turned them in their fingers, of another person, an unknown person a long time ago, who had held that object in their hands. You don't know anything about them, but you feel the other person's there,one friend told me. It's like all the years between you and them disappear. Like you become them, somehow.

Helen Macdonald, H is for Hawk

An exclusive interview with auditing whistleblower Mauro Botta Francine McKenna, The Dig

The Coronavirus Could Get Worse

Delta is far from the last variant. But what shape the virus takes next depends on us.

Afghanistan needs a functioning currency and tax system – and like it or not the West has to help it create both if a humanitarian disaster is to be avoided

It all comes down to money at some point. Astonishingly, the Taliban might be able to sweep across Afghanistan in days and take Kabul without
Read the full article…

The zoom where it happens: Draft law for NSW Parliament to vote virtually in lockdown

  • Lucy Cormack

Why Are So Many Knowledge Workers Quitting? 

The New Yorker – The coronavirus pandemic threw everyone into Walden Pond. “Last spring, a friend of mine, a writer and executive coach named Brad Stulberg, received a troubling call from one of his clients. The client, an executive, had suddenly started losing many of his best employees, and he couldn’t really explain why. “This was the canary in the coal mine,” Stulberg said. In the weeks that followed, more clients began sharing stories of unusually high staff attrition. “They were asking me, ‘Am I doing something wrong?’ …In early June, the Labor Department released a report that revealed a record four million Americans had quit their jobs in April alone—part of a phenomenon that news outlets called “The Great Resignation.” The Great Resignation is complicated: it affects different groups of workers in many different ways, and its explanations are myriad. Intertwined in this complexity, however, is the thread that unifies Stulberg and the unexpected departure of employees from the mainly small to midsize knowledge-work companies whose executives he coaches. These people are generally well-educated workers who are leaving their jobs not because the pandemic created obstacles to their employment but, at least in part, because it nudged them to rethink the role of work in their lives altogether. Many are embracing career downsizing, voluntarily reducing their work hours to emphasize other aspects of life….Stulberg notes that many of his clients who started losing employees this summer are receiving new applicants at similarly high rates

“There’s a whole number of reasons [why],” she told Yahoo Finance. “One of them is culture; the culture in my [workplace] isn’t very supportive for junior solicitors.

“I wasn’t getting a lot of support whether it be my mental health or the workload. And there just wasn’t a lot of consideration for how I wanted to develop.”

Career progression in the government agency is “particularly slow”, she added. A previous supervisor was so difficult to work with, Ana had to switch teams.

The new team is much better, but hasn’t solved the issue of career progression – or lack thereof. “I’m still not able to have much say in the kinds of work I want to do, how I want to develop. That’s more of an organisation-wide issue.”

Here are all the ways your boss can legally monitor you

As remote work gets prolonged because of the delta variant, more companies are tracking what employees do at home: “…Business is booming for companies that make software analyzing the data employees generate during the workday. These programs present reports to superiors on how often employees are typing, when they log off and on, and what social media sites they look at. When the pandemic began last spring, 30 percent of large employers — defined as companies with several thousand workers — adopted employee-tracking software for the first time, says Brian Kropp, chief of HR research for the research and advisory firm Gartner. Now, 60 percent use it in general, he said. Some states — such as Delaware and Connecticut — require employers to provide written notice to workers if their electronic activity is being monitored. If your company gave notice, it probably came in one of the many forms you signed when you accepted the job, Kropp said. But if you get in trouble for something your employer catches you doing while monitoring you remotely, you probably don’t have recourse. Almost all types of employee surveillance are entirely legal, according to Emory Roane, privacy counsel at the nonprofit organization Privacy Rights Clearinghouse. “In general, you have very, very, very light protections, if any, for employee privacy,” says Roane…”

Epic Labor Battle At Sydney Bookstore

Such disputes reflect a growing recognition across the publishing industry that the prestige and attractiveness of working in and adjacent to creative and cultural sectors – and the passion of its workers – can also form the preconditions for low wages and insecure work. - The Guardian

“The World Happiness Report 2021 focuses on the effects of COVID-19 and how people all over the world have fared. Our aim was two-fold, first to focus on the effects of COVID-19 on the structure and quality of people’s lives, and second to describe and evaluate how governments all over the world have dealt with the pandemic. In particular, we try to explain why some countries have done so much better than others…”

How Chinese pressure on covid origins probe shocked WHO — and led Tedros to push back Washington Post (furzy). The US never would have allowed an investigation of the sort the WHO proposed had the shoe been on the other foot. What is also forgotten in that China has invested a lot, propaganda-wise, in blaming Covid on the US and is continuing in this vein. Seen this August 6 CNN story: China doubles down on baseless ‘US origins’ Covid conspiracy as Delta outbreak worsens. So proving ANY Chinese origin, whether zoonotic or lab leak, would be decidedly unwelcome.