October 2021 Newsletter

Job Vacancies Up, the Length of Hiring Expands!
 Now that we have all settled back to as close a “normal” working life as modern times allow us with various hybrid working models in place, experienced IT professionals (Cyber, Software Development & IT Sales) are really evaluating what they want out of their work/life balance & with Reed Recruitment announcing at the end of September that they have registered a record number of job vacancies, it is a clear indication that the job market is extremely vibrant.

Team Proxime have seen a mirror image of this. During September the team engaged with an increased number of companies looking for IT skills, both on a permanent & contract basis (as well as FTC) & in turn, we have engaged with a large number of IT professionals across all skill sets looking for their next career challenge.

With the “talent war” being so obvious, the firms who are reducing the length of their hiring process are winning and bringing top talent onboard. The firms who have an elongated hiring process are losing out and surprisingly, the industry are seeing that many firms are still deliberating and expecting to see a large number of quality candidates!

At Team Proxime, we would be delighted to work with you on your challenging Cyber, Software Development &/or IT sales roles, working within an Agile® project management framework, to ensure we win the “talent war” together.
Have a great October & we look forward to hearing from you.

David Gadd
Director of Talent Acquisition. Providing: Cyber, Software Development & IT Professionals – Linkedin Profile

The Case for a Shorter Work Week

The Idea
A shorter workweek could take various forms. There’s the four-day week, where you reduce your working hours by 20%. There are different models; everyone at a company might take the same day off, or people chose the structure that works for them, like taking two afternoons off. Or you might just reduce the workweek by a certain number of hours, from 40 down to 36, for example. A commonality across all models is that you’re not cramming your previous work span into a shorter timeframe, like working 40 hours in four days; you are removing a portion of your total work time for the week. Most importantly, salaries remain the same.Experts and workers alike are debating the idea, because the pandemic has forced us to take a long, hard look at the modern workplace, and associated themes like work-life balance, mental health and worker flexibility. Proponents argue that a reduced-hours working model can help address many current work negatives, making employees more productive, healthier and happier.

The Productivity Boost
Evidence suggests that one of the biggest advantages of working fewer weekly hours is that it makes people better workers. Research shows people get more done when they work fewer hours, and less done when they work more hours. For example, a 2014 study from Stanford University suggested that productivity plummets after working 50 hours a week; other experts suggest 35 hours as the optimal work time before productivity begins to decline, while one school of thought says we should only work six hours per day.  John Trougakos, associate professor of organisational behavior at the University of Toronto, says that’s because a typical day during a standard workweek of 40 hours just isn’t set up for efficiency. “Your energy cannot be sustained for eight hours straight. You’re stretching people’s attention over a long period of time, which is hard for them to do,” he says. “Thus, they’re going to be less effective.” To compensate, many workers spend chunks of time in an eight-hour workday scrolling through social media, shopping online or sending texts.
 How it boosts health and wellbeingThe productivity boost derived from shorter working hours is about more than streamlining processes and incentivising employees with days off, however. A key factor, say experts, is that working fewer hours leads to happier, healthier, more engaged workforces.We know that working long hours takes a toll on wellbeing. But shorter hours, that allow people to feel more rested, better able to juggle complex caring needs or even just spend less time distracted by personal tasks at work, come with a health and wellbeing boost as well as keeping workplace maladies like burnout, boreout and depression at bay. “There is absolutely no doubt that when people have a good work-life balance and get enough sleep, time with their family and leisure time, they work much more productively and effectively,” says Jim Stanford, an economist and a director at the Centre for Future Work at the Australia Institute.

The futureOf course, there are multiple reasons why shorter working hours are not the silver bullet. It won’t work for every role in every industry, particularly in client-focused jobs, potentially deepening inequalities. Streamlining working practices may also require significant up-front organisation.Yet Stronge says the Icelandic experiment helps demonstrate that removing a few hours from the workweek “does seem to really make a difference”. Right now, companies in Spain are rolling out trials that either shave a day or a few hours off the workweek (not all of them are keeping salaries the same, though), and US-based Kickstarter has said it’s going to try a four-day week in 2022.The experts urge exercise caution and thoughtfulness when implementing these models of work, but they think now could be the time to try. “We’ve basically come to an inflection point as a society that allows us to do this. People’s minds are more open,” says Trougakos. “We’re already in upheaval and change.”

Full article from BBC here.

Rethinking Return to Work Plans

Apple and others are pushing back return-to-office timelines

In June, Apple CEO Tim Cook told employeeshe expected them back in the office at least three days a week, starting in September. But the tech giant changed course in mid-July, pushing that date to October at the earliest. Apple was one of the first big tech companies to do so. 

Other companies quickly did the same. Lyft announced that it will hold off asking employees to return until February. Twitter just closed its newly reopened offices in San Francisco and New York, putting in-office plans on hold indefinitely. Google pushed back its return-to-office date by a month. And LinkedIn recently announced that it would allow employees to work fully remote indefinitely, removing any in-office expectation for most of its 16,000 workers. 

Employees worldwide may be breathing a sigh of relief. At Apple, employees were critical of the June decision to reopen because they thought it was too early — and too inflexible. In a recent letter to Tim, they cited an informal survey of 1,000 Apple employees, which found that about two-thirds would reconsider their future at the company if they were required to return to an office.  

That’s in line with a survey by The Conference Board, which found that 43% of workers questioned the wisdom of returning to the workplace at all. Interestingly, that view broke down along generational lines. Thirty-six percent of baby boomers questioned the need to return to the workplace, as did 45% of Gen Xers. But among millennials, the number was a whopping 55%. 

The big financial companies, though, seem more inclined to reopen offices. Morgan Stanley is requiring its employees to return to the office by Labor Day — and insisting the law firms they work with do the same. JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs are also asking employees to return. And the insurance giant AIG told employees on July 21 that September 14 will be its “official global reentry date.”  

But workers — whether they’re in finance, tech, or other fields — have been resistant to returning. They’re concerned about childcare issues, the possibility that public schools may not reopen, commutes on public transit, and mental health issues. 

If your company is facing a talent shortage, keep in mind that most current and future employees are looking for flexible work and scheduling options. By offering these, you’ll stay competitive in your recruiting.  

Full article from Fast Company here