As women leave pandemic economy, returning to work, higher wages will be a struggle
DETROIT — Tanisha Loyd, a Detroit mom of two, has been on leave from her job in customer service since mid-September, without pay or benefits.Loyd, 29, remains at home full time with her children — keeping her kindergartner on track with online school and caring for her 1-year-old. She doesn’t have the option to work from home and doesn’t expect to return to work until Jan. 4. But even that depends on if her child’s school is in person or remains virtual.Loyd says the pandemic is a “battle” for working moms, forcing her to choose between a job to help sustain her household or being there for h...
Detroit Free Press
Time to relive the garage parties of your youth. Chicagoans are remodeling outdoor spaces to socialize safely as winter approaches.
CHICAGO — After spending months working from home in tight quarters with her two college-aged children, Katie Wrobel began to worry about how the three would make it through winter confined in the same living space.That’s when Wrobel began to see potential in a neglected part of her Evanston property: a 100-year-old detached garage.“I was inspired by the garage parties of my youth," said Wrobel, who’s in her 50s. “I had to do something because if they were home for extended periods of time during the winter and had no access to outdoor socializing … Well, then, it was going to be bad for every...
Are Americans actually more productive working from home?
Americans might be working more at home because they don’t have to commute, said a recent study published by the Becker Friedman Institute for Economics at the University of Chicago.The institute’s report — based on surveys and other data — said extra time not driving was mainly given to extra work. It said even if people are working less at home, they are still more productive not spending time in their cars.Nicholas Bloom, an economist at Stanford University who worked on the study, said his conclusion was Americans were too hard on themselves with their work-from-home productivity.Still, ma...
The San Diego Union-Tribune
What will 9 more months without Amazon workers mean for Seattle's downtown?
SEATTLE — For many business owners struggling to survive the pandemic’s upending of office work, news that downtown Seattle’s biggest employer had extended its work-from-home policy by six months is yet another blow.Many small businesses have already adjusted to the absence of Amazon workers — along with those of many other downtown companies — and their appetites for coffee, food, an after-work drink and other services. But scores of others have succumbed, and business leaders said that without help, more will fail in the coming months.“We’ve already endured six months, with some help from th...
The Seattle Times
Microsoft planning 'hybrid workplace' to expand work from home policy
Microsoft has become one of the largest companies that will expand its work from home policy, including making it permanent for some workers.The company said it plans to adopt a “hybrid workplace” environment that will give workers greater flexibility in the future after the coronavirus pandemic ends.“Flexibility can mean different things to each of us, and we recognize there is no one-size-fits-all solution given the variety of roles, work requirements and business needs we have at Microsoft,” Microsoft Executive Vice President Kathleen Hogan wrote in a blog post. “To address this, we have pr...
New York Daily News
From speedier Wi-Fi to new bikes: As the pandemic drags on, companies paying for work-from-home perks beyond the basics
CHICAGO — When Ben Meeder bought a new ride from a bicycle shop earlier this summer, his employer footed the bill.The purchase was part of a $700 stipend software company ServiceNow gave its employees to improve their well-being during the isolating and seemingly unending pandemic.ServiceNow’s stipend increased from $500 in July, right around the time it became clear to many companies that employees would remain remote until at least 2021. ServiceNow is not alone.Six months into the coronavirus pandemic and with no return to the office in sight, employers are realizing that working remotely th...
What will happen to Seattle's empty office towers when COVID-19 ends?
SEATTLE — As many white-collar employers extend into next year the work-from-home policies they instituted in response to the coronavirus pandemic, a vast amount of vertical space in downtown Seattle is leased but empty.The vacant space amounts to more than 700 football fields, by one estimate — acres of desks, with knickknacks and mementos that few but cleaning staff, maintenance crews and interior landscapers have seen for nigh on six months.It’s not clear when workers might begin trickling back into that space or what could become of it in the meantime. “If anyone tells you they know what’s...
The Seattle Times
Fearing COVID-19, educators go up against colleges to teach remotely
ATLANTA — Crystal Robinson and Vanessa Williams aren’t teaching at Athens Technical College this semester because of a dispute that highlights the ongoing battle in Georgia and other states between educators and administrators over allowances for employees who are worried about being infected with COVID-19 to work remotely.Both instructors submitted letters several months ago from their physicians saying they had medical conditions that could increase their chances of being infected with the disease if they were on campus.The college says the instructors were slow or didn’t respond to informat...
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution