July 27, 2018

The Roundup: Employers respond to pay gap issues, the gig economy boom, and digital detox with JOMO

In this week’s Roundup, how employers in Europe and the U.S. are making strides to address pay equity. Plus, it’s a good time to be a gig worker, and if you’re burned out from FOMO, try JOMO.

Employers taking action on the pay gap

A recent Bloomberg article outlines how employers in Europe and the U.S. are responding to pay equity issues.

As we’ve previously covered, U.K.employers of 250 people or more must report: the mean and median gender pay gaps, the gaps in bonuses, the number of both men and women receiving said bonuses, among other salary statistics.  Data from this initial reporting year showed that 78% of companies possess a pay gap favoring men, 14% favoring women, and only 8% of companies had no gap.

Following in their European neighbors’ footsteps, France will implement its own gender pay gap reporting program as well. It’s reported that the French government plans on implementing a system of monitoring companies of over 250 employees starting in January of 2019. In 2020, companies of 50 to 250 employees will be asked to participate.

While the U.S and Canada still lack federally-implemented pay equity policies, local governments have varying codes and rules (which we covered in a previous post here). When it comes to navigating the complex system of local and state policies, the Bloomberg article suggests that employers think holistically by considering “a single policy that meets requirements for all the laws rather than having different policies for the various jurisdictions in which the employer operates.”

It's a good time to be a gig worker

Good news for those craving flexible and adaptable careers; it’s the best time in history to be a temporary employee. HR Dive recently highlighted the current popularity of temp and contract work, reporting thatin 2017, independent contractors added over $1 trillion to the American economy. And the gig economy is only expected to grow even more this year; the third quarter of 2018 is expected to see a 3.4% demand increase in the temporary work force.

So why is the temp industry doing so well right now? The answer is likely twofold. First, employment in general is thriving in America – there’s a surplus of jobs available, about six million going unfilled every month. This paired with fewer government restrictions under the current administration, creates a perfect storm for those temporary workers craving flexibility. In a world with so many options at our fingertips, it’s clear why temp work is booming right now.

In a recent survey, it was revealed that more than half of employers intend to increase their use of temporary and contract workers. However, full-time employees need not worry – temporary employees are not going to replace them. Traditional as well as temporary work has grown this year, both groups of workers thriving alongside one another rather than competing. Even nurses are benefitting from the boom of temp work.

For tips on engaging your gig and temporary workers, check out this article.

Taking time off tech

We live in a world of instant messaging and one-day shipping,with everything we could ever need to know, buy or do at our fingertips, it can be difficult to focus on one thing at a time. This is becoming increasingly obvious in the workplace, where in a new survey, 40% of employees admit to being unable to focus on one task for more than 30 minutes, uninterrupted. It’s clear that regardless of how plugged-in and interconnected we might seem, we’re becoming less and less connected to our actual work.

By now you’re likely familiar with the cultural phenomenon of FOMO, or fear of missing out. It’s how you feel when you can’t make a friend’s birthday party and wonder what you missed, but it also applies to the feeling of not checking Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Slack. Which photos, posts or emails could you be missing in a five-minute span?

This tech FOMO is extremely common: The average adult spends four hours a day refreshing their social media, or roughly a quarter of their day. While this might seem like a harmless pass-time, multi-tasking is proven to affect work performance. On average, it takes people nine minutes to return to a task following an interruption. It’s obvious with all this information and sensory overload why many are choosing an alternate approach to FOMO, known as JOMO. The joy of missing out – finding peace and comfort in stepping back from emails, and Slack and Linkedin.

Though it can be very difficult to do, digital detoxes and embracing JOMO are becoming increasingly valuable in the workplace. Employers must begin stepping into their role of encouraging focus more and more, as statistics show that though 69% of employees self-identify as distracted at work, 66% won’t ask for help. With an employer-down shift in culture, from constant connectivity to focused communication, productivity can greatly increase.

Related: Four ways to prevent employee burnout

Kelsey McGillis

Kelsey McGillis is a writer at Ceridian's Toronto office. An avid reader and writer, she studies English and Communications at the University of Toronto.

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