To fight burnout, workers can’t allow well-being to feel like another to-do

In her book ‘The Burnout Epidemic,’ author Jennifer Moss describes a crisis in well-being as a result of workers being stretched to their limits

. . . . What did we learn, in a nutshell? Burnout is a global problem. Some statistics:

  • 67% of respondents worked at or above a supervisor level.
  • 89% of respondents said their work life was getting worse.
  • 85% said their well-being had declined.
  • 56% said their job demands had increased.
  • 62% of the people who were struggling to manage their workloads had experienced burnout “often” or “extremely often” in the previous three months.
  • 57% of employees felt that the pandemic had a “large effect on” or “completely dominated” their work.
  • 55% of all respondents didn’t feel that they had been able to balance their home and work life—with 53% specifically citing homeschooling as the reason.
  • 25% felt unable to maintain a strong connection with family, 39% with colleagues, and 50% with friends.
  • Only 21% rated their well-being as “good,” and a mere 2% rated it as “excellent.”

Yet, there’s good news: Some people I spoke to were grateful for their employers’ interest in helping them work through their stress. Despite the cornucopia of wellness offerings, it was “the thought that counts” that reminded me why some companies do alright in these moments of crisis and some don’t. . . . . full story at Fast Company here

LAEDC Future Forum Online 9-29-21: The Future of Transportation: Revolutionizing the EV Industry

The Future of Transportation: Revolutionizing the EV Industry 
September 29, 2021 I 11:00AM – 12:15PM

The Future of Transportation: Revolutionizing the EV Industry will provide regional insights to inform the electric vehicle (EV) ecosystem’s decision-makers about the state of the electric vehicle industry. During this virtual event, we’ll discuss where the opportunities exist, not just for technology and innovation but also for workforce development and what that means for the local economy.

More information and registration click here

CARES Act Unemployment Benefits Expire Sept 4, 2021 – What you need to know

September 4, 2021, federal unemployment insurance (UI) benefit programs created under the CARES Act will expire in California and across the states.

Three million+ California workers impacted by expiration of these critical federal programs were notified by the Employment Development Department (EDD). In an effort to support these Californians, EDD is partnering with Covered California, the Department of Housing and Community Development, and the Department of Social Services to promote other vital state-run benefit programs and that can help Californians in need. These include low-cost health care, rent relief and utility aid, and access to food assistance, which have been significantly expanded by the American Rescue Plan and California Comeback Plan

For example, these workers are entitled to over $234 per person per month for food via CalFresh (GetCalFresh.org). They are also eligible for 100 percent rent and utilities via Housing is Key (HousingIsKey.com), as well as free or low-cost coverage for as low as $1 per month for workers who received unemployment benefits through Covered California and Medi-Cal (coveredca.com). EDD recently posted links to these benefits to the on-line accounts of UI recipients, including to GetCalFresh.org, which boosted CalFresh (i.e., SNAP) applications by 108,000 people this summer.

EDD Fact Sheet

Emerging Tech: Technology Entrepreneurs Address Plastics Pollution & Recycling

High-Tech In-Store Machine developed by an entrepreneur from Apple and an aerospace engineer Incentivizes Recycling. Being introduced in Northern California Safeway Stores First.

What if recycling of plastic, glass, and metal beverage containers was done at supermarket to make it convenient?  And what if the recycling machine was so easy to use and loaded with high-tech components so that it was more like a large, attractive device?

Who knew recycling could be so simple and look so sleek? It really should encourage people to recycle more. Such an elegant solution was engineered by Olyns, a leader in technology-centric recycling solutions, which announced July 28 the launch of its new bottle collection machine designed for high-traffic, indoor locations. To increase recycling of plastics, the innovative solution provides a convenient way for consumers to redeem bottle deposits while earning rewards through a mobile app. The approach also helps break down barriers surrounding the collection and transportation of recyclables. A single Olyns machine can deliver more than one and a half metric tons of clean recycled PET per year.

click here for full article

Hollywood studios can require COVID vaccines for actors, crews under new union pact

A new pact between Hollywood unions and studios allows producers to require that actors and crews on some sets be required to have a COVID-19 vaccination.

The deal comes as cases again begin to spiral upward in Los Angeles and across the nation as the highly contagious delta coronavirus variant spreads.

The agreement, reached between the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers and several Hollywood unions including those representing actors and directors, expires Oct. 1 unless extended, The Wrap said.

It allows producers to mandate COVID vaccines for actors and crew who work on sets with the most close contact, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

But the new rules also . . . . full story here

Iceland ran the world’s largest trial of a shorter work week. The results will (not) shock you.

Why aren’t we doing this already?

From 2015 to 2019, Iceland ran the world’s largest trial of a shorter working week. An analysis of the results was finally published this week, and surprise! Everyone was happier, healthier, and more productive. Please pretend to be surprised. . . . “This study shows that the world’s largest ever trial of a shorter working week in the public sector was by all measures an overwhelming success,” said Will Stronge, Autonomy’s director of research. “It shows that the public sector is ripe for being a pioneer of shorter working weeks — and lessons can be learned for other governments.” . . . . Productivity either remained the same or actually increased, and worker wellbeing was considerably improved. Perceived stress and burnout went down, while health and work-life balance went up, as employees were given more time for housekeeping, hobbies, and their families. Both managers and staff considered the trials a major success . . . . full story at Mashable here

Ohio GOP ends attempt to ban municipal broadband after protest from residents

Axed plan’s 10Mbps standard could have banned public networks in 98% of Ohio

After coming close to imposing a near-total ban on municipal broadband networks, Ohio’s Republican-controlled legislature has reportedly dropped the proposed law in final negotiations over the state budget. The final budget agreement “axed a proposal to limit local governments from offering broadband services,” The Columbus Dispatch wrote. With a June 30 deadline looming, Ohio’s House and Senate approved the budget and sent it to Gov. Mike DeWine for final approval on Monday night.

As we wrote earlier this month, the Ohio Senate approved a version of the budget containing an amendment that would have forced existing municipal broadband services to shut down and prevented the formation of new public networks. The proposed law was reportedly “inserted without prior public discussion,” and no state senator publicly sponsored the amendment. It was approved in a party-line vote as Democrats opposed the restrictions in municipal broadband. The House version did not contain the amendment, and it was dropped during negotiations between the House and Senate.

“Real grassroots movement”

Lawmakers apparently relented to public pressure from supporters of municipal broadband and cities and towns that operate the networks. People and businesses from Fairlawn, where the city-run FairlawnGig network offers fiber Internet, played a significant role in the protests. FairlawnGig itself asked users  to put pressure on lawmakers, and the subscribers did so in great numbers. . . . . full story here at Ars Technica

And here is a website that lists the Municipal Broadband providing cities in California (hint: Burbank is one of them.)

LinkedIn’s job-matching AI was biased. The company’s solution? More AI.

ZipRecruiter, CareerBuilder, LinkedIn—most of the world’s biggest job search sites use AI to match people with job openings. But the algorithms don’t always play fair.

excerpt: For example, while men are more likely to apply for jobs that require work experience beyond their qualifications, women tend to only go for jobs in which their qualifications match the position’s requirements. The algorithm interprets this variation in behavior and adjusts its recommendations in a way that inadvertently disadvantages women.

“You might be recommending, for example, more senior jobs to one group of people than another, even if they’re qualified at the same level,” Jersin says. “Those people might not get exposed to the same opportunities. And that’s really the impact that we’re talking about here.”

Men also include more skills on their résumés at a lower degree of proficiency than women, and they often engage more aggressively with recruiters on the platform.

To address such issues, Jersin and his team at LinkedIn built a new Ai designed to produce more representative results and deployed it in 2018. It was essentially a separate algorithm designed to counteract recommendations skewed toward a particular group. The new AI ensures that before referring the matches curated by the original engine, the recommendation system includes a representative distribution of users across gender. 

Kan says Monster, which lists 5 to 6 million jobs at any given time, also incorporates behavioral data into its recommendations but doesn’t correct for bias in the same way that LinkedIn does. Instead, the marketing team focuses on getting users from diverse backgrounds signed up for the service, and the company then relies on employers to report back and tell Monster whether or not it passed on a representative set of candidates. . . . full story here

Fierce Cyber Attacks Demand Enhanced IoT Security. But how to Best Prepare?

With all the ongoing ransomware and cyber-attacks, connected IoT devices need an extra layer of security. New legislation in both Europe and the US are mandating such strengthened security. But what tools are available for embedded IoT engineers to meet these new requirements?

To learn more about providing enhanced protection of connected devices, Design News reached out to Haydn Povey, CEO of Secure Thingz and General Manager for the division Embedded Security Solutions at IAR Systems. What follows is a portion of that discussion.

“The requirements of new legislation for security in IoT devices are impacting us now. With the advent of EN 303 645 and the US IoT, Cyber Security Act signed into law last year, there is now mounting pressure on the Consumer IoT market to meet security standards. However, this is not just limited to Consumer IoT, with regulationsevolving quickly in other markets, such as the IEC 62443 requirement for Industrial IoT (Industry 4.0) and similar requirements in medical and automotive.” . . . full story here

The seven industries most desperate for workers

Sawmills, veterinary clinics and psychologists’ offices are among the businesses gripped by escalating worker shortages, as employers in a few pockets of the economy step up competition for workers and sharply increase wages. . . . Compare restaurant and hotel openings to a sector such as manufacturing of nondurable goods — things that don’t last — such as pants and pancake mix. Before the novel coronavirus hit, those manufacturers sometimes drew a new worker for every job opening posted, similar to what restaurants are seeing now, meaning their labor market was tight but there was no shortage. As of April, the same companies were able to hire only one worker for every two job openings, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a strong sign that workers are in short supply. . . . full story at Washington Post