Explora Signals of the future Signals of the future of work (Mar. 2024)

Signals of the future

April 2, 2024 9 min

Signals of the future of work (Mar. 2024)

Número 81 - marzo 2024


A content by FFWi


In this issue…

–Young people prefer career advice from ChatGPT over their bosses.

–Work absenteeism due to medical leave skyrockets in Spain.

–Will mandatory military service return across Europe?

–Accenture expands its offering with the acquisition of Udacity.

–Labor exploitation generates $236 billion in illegal profits per year.

Young people prefer career advice from ChatGPT over their bosses.

In March, a study conducted by INTOO and the research firm Workplace Intelligence revealed that 47% of Generation Z employees consider that they get better professional development advice from ChatGPT than from their human bosses, while 44% expect to leave their job in the next six months. Faced with these results, Mira Greenland, director of INTOO, emphasized the importance of companies ensuring that their managers have the right skills to contribute to the development of their collaborators. According to Greenland, professional development does not need to be a complicated process, as simple actions such as recommending a podcast or a Slack channel can have a positive impact. Likewise, she recommended that managers hold, at a minimum, quarterly individual development meetings with the people on their teams to strengthen the connection and show care and interest towards them. For her part, Amanda Haddaway, director of HR Answerbox, highlighted the importance of training the next generation of leaders and ensuring that managers are not only competent in communication and feedback but also in handling difficult conversations and performance issues, emphasizing the value of teaching managers to address these situations themselves since AI, at least for the moment, is unable to handle the subtleties of human behavior in these cases.

Work absenteeism due to medical leave skyrockets in Spain.

Last month, we also learned about the results of a study conducted by Umivale Activa and the Valencian Institute of Economic Research (Ivie) which indicated that in 2023, Spain set a worrying record with more than 450 work absences due to temporary disability for every thousand workers, resulting in the loss of 396 million workdays, an increase of 62% compared to the year 2018. This increase in work absenteeism, which resulted in 1.1 million workers not attending their job not even a single day last year, has been accompanied by a slight decrease in the average duration of leave. However, this moderating effect has not managed to offset the sharp increase in the incidence of leave. The average duration of leave for common contingencies, which constitute 91% of the total, was 34.4 days, while the average duration of leave for occupational contingencies rose to 37.3 days. Significant differences are observed between regions such as Melilla, the Canary Islands, Galicia, and the Basque Country, with close to 7% of lost workdays, and others like Madrid, La Rioja, and the Balearic Islands, which present the lowest percentages, around 4.5%.

Will mandatory military service return across Europe?

Denmark has announced plans to extend mandatory military service to women for the first time, increase the duration of standard military service, and boost its defense budget by nearly $6 billion over the next five years. “We are not rearming because we want war. We are rearming because we want to prevent it,” stated Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, at a time when tensions in Europe have risen since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. Denmark plans to introduce female conscription starting in 2026, joining Norway and Sweden as the only European nations that require women to serve in the armed forces, while extending military service from four to 11 months for both sexes. Meanwhile, in Germany, amid the growing military threat from Russia, the debate over reintroducing mandatory military service, in this case for men only, has been reignited with the hope of implementing a new conscription model in the short term to address personnel shortages in the German armed forces. The parliamentary commissioner for the Armed Forces has expressed support for revitalizing the discussion on mandatory military service in Germany, also suggesting opening its armed forces to citizens from other EU countries.

Accenture expands its offering with the acquisition of Udacity.

In a strategic move aimed at strengthening its new LearnVantage training platform, Accenture has confirmed an agreement to acquire Udacity, a renowned digital education platform specializing in technological courses. With this deal, more than 230 Udacity professionals will be integrated into Accenture LearnVantage, the platform through which Accenture offers comprehensive technological learning and training services for its clients. This includes highly personalized learning experiences for a wide range of technical and business users, from specialized training in artificial intelligence, data science, cloud, and cybersecurity for information technology professionals to generative AI training for team members, executives, and other business leaders. Kishore Durg, the global leader of Accenture LearnVantage, highlighted the growing need for companies to train and update their workers’ skills in cloud, data, and artificial intelligence, while Kai Roemmelt, CEO of Udacity, expressed his excitement about joining forces with Accenture.

Labor exploitation generates $236 billion in illegal profits per year.

Finally, a report by the International Labour Organization (ILO) revealed that globally, labor exploitation generates some $236 billion in illegal profits every year, representing an increase of 37% ($64 billion) since 2014. This increase is due both to the growth in the number of people forced to work and to the higher profits obtained from their exploitation. The report, Profits and Poverty: The Economics of Forced Labour, estimates that those who benefit from forced labor generate about $10,000 per year per victim, an increase from $8,269 (adjusted for inflation) a decade ago. Europe and Central Asia top the list of annual illegal earnings from forced labor, followed by Asia and the Pacific, the Americas, Africa, and the Arab States. By sectors, forced sexual exploitation accounts for more than two-thirds (73%) of the total illegal profits, despite only making up 27% of the total number of victims, while the second sector with the highest annual illegal profits from forced labor is the industry, followed by services, agriculture, and domestic work. The report underscores the need to invest in measures to curb the flow of illegal profits and hold perpetrators accountable, proposing a comprehensive approach that addresses the root causes and protects victims.

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