January 19, 2021

Politics and Commentary News Aggregator

Should you get paid based on where you work?

5 min read

At some businesses, moving to a lower-cost-of-living area means you’ll likely see your pay reduced. That’s not the case at Reddit, however. US employees will get to keep their current salaries if they relocate.

“Because we learned that their impact isn’t differentiated based on their location… we eliminated geographical zones from our compensation structure and now all employees in the US are paid within the same range,” Reddit’s Chief People Officer Nellie Peshkov told me.

The company is also offering a company-wide day off every month and fewer restrictions on what can be expensed. For example: a tutor or an extra laptop to help kids with distanced learning.

Free money

Support in Europe for progressive policies like universal basic income and job guarantee programs has been growing since the pandemic took hold.

While such policies were dismissed by many mainstream politicians in the past, recent job losses are encouraging more lawmakers to back formal trials, reports CNN Business’ Julia Horowitz.

Millions of people in Germany applied for a study on universal basic income that will provide participants with €1,200 (or about $1,423 US) a month. And a pilot program in Austria will guarantee paying jobs for residents in one town who are suffering from chronic unemployment.

Read more about the trend here.

Forget the baby boom, this is the startup boom

For many, working from home has also meant launching from home.

Government data shows that more than 3 million new business applications have been filed so far this year, writes Gene Marks for The Guardian. This time last year, there were about 2.6 million applications filed.

So what’s behind the surge? Corporate workers have been relatively safe from the pandemic’s layoffs. Many are saving more, interest rates on loans are low, and venture capital investments are up 22% year-over-year, Marks explains.

Working from home has also given some workers time they didn’t have before to invest in starting a business.

WFH tip: Making video meetings less painful

Video calls can be awkward: Whose turn is it to speak? Do I really look like that? Shari Santoriello, a career specialist at Ama La Vida, a career and leadership coaching company, offered the following advice:

Many of us who are working from home are experiencing video meeting fatigue and seem to be more interested in our video presence and our surroundings rather than the content of the meeting. There are a couple of things that you can do to ease this video discomfort. One of the easiest things to do is to purchase a ring light. This gives you the ability to light your working space to optimize your video presence. The shadows on your face go away, the squinty-eyes-because-the-sun-is-glaring-through-your-window disappear! The second easiest thing to do is to set up your “home office” in a place where your camera is facing a fairly blank wall, or put up a sheet. Keeping your background uncluttered and clean eliminates extra stimuli for yourself and other participants on the call. Happy video meeting!

Not sure which ring light is best for you? My colleagues at Underscored, a product reviews and recommendations guide owned by CNN, did a roundup of the best ones of 2020. Check it out here.

HSBC pushes remote work

Banking giant HSBC is offering eligible staff in Hong Kong the ability to work at home for up to four days a week, reports Denise Wee for Bloomberg.

Along with greater flexibility, the bank is offering a HK$2,500 (about $322) one-time allowance to employees who are working from home at least two days a week to create an ergonomic home office, Wee reported.

A database for job seekers

With millions of Americans currently unemployed, finding work is a challenge. But a university in California is looking to help.

California State University, East Bay, published a public database of remote job vacancies across the US, reports CNN’s Marika Gerken.

The big picture

The national unemployment rate was 6.9% last month, but the rates swing wildly depending on which state you live in. Here are the states with the lowest and highest unemployment rates for October, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics:


  • Nebraska: 3%
  • Vermont: 3.2%
  • Iowa: 3.6%
  • South Dakota: 3.6%
  • Utah: 4.1%
  • New Hampshire: 4.2%
  • South Carolina: 4.2%


  • Hawaii: 14.3%
  • Nevada: 12%
  • New York: 9.6%
  • Louisiana: 9.4%
  • California: 9.3%

Business leaders give thanks

I checked in with some business leaders about what they are thankful for at work after this especially trying year. Here’s what they said:

“I am especially thankful for the new perspective that 2020 has brought to my personal and professional life. I am thankful for the technology that keeps us safe and physically distant but socially connected to each other. Without this, I can’t even imagine how much harder the last year might have been. It has been a bit bumpy, but we are adapting brilliantly to a new way of working and living and finding the silver lining whenever possible.” —Jen Saenz, president, global foods, PepsiCo

“I’m thankful for our ability to evolve under duress. As a leader, I learned so many invaluable lessons that have helped me intentionally show up for my employees, and I’ve learned so much about each of them. The blurred lines between work life and personal life have helped people show up as their authentic selves every day — and that’s been one of my favorite things about this year.” Christal Bemont, CEO, Talend

“I’m thankful that very quickly, the priority of our team members became our overall health and well-being. People are now openly talking about their meditation schedules and we’re making it a priority to step away from our home offices for a bit to take a walk or practice yoga. It is considered wise to be focused on yourself right now. Working in the corporate world for over 20 years, I can tell you that’s not always been the case,” Jennifer Newbill, director of university recruitment, Dell Technologies

Coffee break

Tulsa, Oklahoma, is looking for some new residents. And it’s willing to pay $10,000 for eligible workers to relocate.

Applicants have to be full-time remote workers or self-employed outside of the state and eligible to work in the US. You must be at least 18 years old and move to Tulsa within six months.

The money comes in the form of a grant and is distributed to the new residents over the course of a year, reports CNN’s Alaa Elassar.

Click here to read more about the program.

2020-11-24 15:38:30

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