Category: remote jobs

Remote Work Isn’t Just for White-Collar Jobs Anymore – The Wall Street Journal

A remote operator controls a Telexistence Model T robot as it stacks shelves in a convenience store in Tokyo.

Photo: Telexistence

On the ground floor of a towering office building overlooking Tokyo Bay, in a space intended to resemble the interior of a moon base, a convenience store is tended by a humanoid robot.

This robot isn’t out front, wowing customers. No, it is in the back, doing the unglamorous job of keeping shelves stocked. It has broad shoulders, wide eyes, a boomerang-shaped head and strange hands, capable of grabbing objects with both suction and a trio of opposable thumbs.

But the machine isn’t acting on a set of preprogrammed instructions. Like a marionette on invisible, miles-long strings, the robot at the Lawson convenience store is controlled remotely, by a person elsewhere in the city wearing a virtual-reality headset.

Built by Tokyo-based Telexistence, a three-year-old startup, this system is the culmination of nearly 40 years of research, and is the world’s first commercial realization of an audacious goal: to enable a person to do any job on Earth from anywhere else.

Just as Slack, Zoom and countless other tools have made it possible for the world’s white-collar workers to work from home during the pandemic, a second wave of remote-work technology is coming. In many industries, it is already here. This technology—known as telepresence—goes well beyond mere communications and pixel-pushing.

A broad term, telepresence includes any technology that allows a person to interact with a different place as if they are there—whether that means controlling robots or drones remotely, or holding virtual meetings with workers in the field. The result is that a host of jobs, including storekeeper and field engineer, that seemed out of reach of remote work are likely to be firmly in the remote-work orbit within the next 10 years.

A lone robot

Today, there is only one Telexistence robot outside the company’s laboratories, says Yuichiro Hikosaka, a board member who helped launch the company. Solving Japan’s chronic labor shortage was a driving force, but Telexistence’s goals are much bigger than keeping the corner konbini stocked with rice balls and cold drinks. “We want to be a platform on which people will be released from any restriction of distance and time,” Mr. Hikosaka says.

Telexistence’s first commercial robot, the Model T, is a far cry from fully realizing that dream. One challenge for teleoperated robots is economic: The combination of the system and a remote worker must be cheaper than an equivalent physically present human. As a result, while the Model T might look sleek, Telexistence had to build it from relatively inexpensive parts. The Model T can lift only 2 kilograms (4.4 pounds) with each of its arms.

A Telexistence Model T robot gets a checkup.

Photo: issei kato/Reuters

And while it is piloted by a human, it is still not as dexterous or as fast as one. Where an experienced human stocker might be able to get a bottle onto a shelf in a second, a human-guided Model T might take eight or nine seconds, says Mr. Hikosaka.

Eventually, making a robot like the Model T both fast and affordable will require that some of its tasks be at least partly automated, he adds. Telexistence is betting that by starting with a system that is entirely puppeted by humans, it can gather enough training data to eventually teach an artificial intelligence to take over at least some of the robot’s tasks. It is the modern-day equivalent of training your replacement—only your replacement is a cloud-based AI.

Telexistence’s robot represents a type of telepresence called telerobotics. And while it is still in the research-and-development phase, there are already many real-world examples, including Air Force drones, doctors using robots to operate remotely, and startups that use humans to remotely control delivery and security robots.

Experts at a distance

Another form of telepresence, which we might call remote expertise, allows front-line workers in jobs as varied as data-center maintenance, pharmaceutical production and petroleum engineering to use smart glasses to share what they are seeing with an expert sitting at a desk somewhere far away. The expert, in turn, can speak to them and send images helping them to handle whatever problems they face. In a way, remote expertise is like screen-sharing the real world.

Robotic Skies, a drone-maintenance company, overnights Google Glass Enterprise Edition 2 headsets to aircraft mechanics at any of the more than 200 repair stations in its network. Donning the headsets, those mechanics stream what they are seeing to a remote expert and receive instruction on how to accomplish a repair.

Technicians at Robotic Skies, a drone-maintenance company, work together remotely using Google Glass technology to make a repair.

Photo: Robotic Skies

That is as good as having an expert over a mechanic’s shoulder, says Brad Hayden, chief executive of Robotic Skies. It has also been essential during the pandemic. Before Covid-19 hit, his technicians would frequently travel to where they were needed, but now they do their work remotely, sitting at desks, connecting to headsets from their PCs. And while the shift to this way of working was accelerated by the pandemic, it is one that he plans to continue in the future, regardless of the progress of the disease.

“We’ve been able to continue working and implement technology that will allow us to scale that much faster in this global market as [drone repair] starts to ramp up,” Mr. Hayden says.

Share Your Thoughts

What jobs do you think will go remote over the next decade? Join the conversation below.

Brian Ballard, chief executive of remote-expertise company Upskill, says, “If your job is to train people, but you spend half your time on a plane, you’re really only doing your job half the time.” Based in Austin, Texas, and Washington, D.C., Upskill sells systems built around smart glasses from the likes of Vuzix VUZI 0.41% and Alphabet Inc.’s GOOG 1.44% Google to customers including Boeing and Accenture.

The pandemic and the resulting travel restrictions mean customer use is exploding, says Mr. Ballard. One of his customers, a pharmaceutical manufacturer, went from an average of 15 uses a month of smart-glasses-powered remote expertise to over 600 a month, as technicians on the production line used it to reach remote experts. A second pharmaceutical company went from 1,100 calls a month before the pandemic to more than three times as many after lockdowns commenced.

Seeds of tomorrow

But telepresence doesn’t have to be as complex as the Model T or Google Glasses to affect an industry. Sometimes, even relatively simple technology—such as drones—can be used to extend somebody’s reach to a distant place.

Dendra Systems uses drones to evaluate wild ecosystems and restore them, shooting seeds into the ground from the air.

Photo: David Gray/Bloomberg News

For example, Dendra Systems, based in Oxford, England, uses drones to both evaluate degraded wild ecosystems and restore them, shooting seeds into the ground from the air.

Traditionally, planting seeds is done by hand, since there are many locations in Earth’s wild places that are impassable for tractors. A person can seed about half a hectare of land per hour, says Dendra co-founder and CEO Susan Graham . Put that same person behind the controls of a drone modified to seed from the air, however, and they can cover 10 times as much land per hour, she says.

Nearly every company across every industry is looking for new ways to minimize human contact, cut costs and address the labor crunch in repetitive and dangerous jobs. WSJ explores why many are looking to robots as the solution for all three. Photo: FedEx

Systems that allow for remote control but still require a human to be present for some functions point to what will be, for the foreseeable future, the reality of telepresence: Even if it manages to make more jobs remote and outsourceable, humans will still have to be present for some roles.

In the case of a store like the one run by Lawson and Telexistence in Tokyo, Amazon Go-style cashierless checkout can eliminate about 30% of the labor required to run it, and a robot like the Model T that can stock shelves can allow for the outsourcing of another 30%, says Mr. Hikosaka. That still leaves room for some employment in even the most automated stores, and creates a demand for new kinds of roles, like robot designers, manufacturers and technicians.

There is a potential downside to transforming ever more jobs into remote ones, though, especially jobs that already require relatively little skill and training, as in some parts of the service industry. A service job that can be done remotely is, after all, one that can be outsourced to anyplace there is a sufficiently fast internet connection. Two out of every three American workers are currently employed in the service sector. What happens to them if and when their job can be outsourced to a virtual-reality-headset-equipped, telepresent equivalent of a call center, in a country where wages are significantly lower?

While telepresence could spell more pain for rich countries’ blue-collar workers in the short term, its effects on white-collar workers might be the opposite, continuing the trend of making their labor and expertise that much more valuable. Overall, as a rule economies suck up all the increases in productivity they can get, and the result is an ever more complicated technological civilization with more diverse and specialized jobs for a wider array of people.

In any event, it seems likely that more jobs than ever—including those historically “physical” jobs that were deemed essential during the pandemic—will be done by someone sitting in an ergonomic chair, their face obscured by a widescreen monitor or VR headset.

Mr. Mims writes The Wall Street Journal’s Keywords column. He can be reached at christopher.mims@wsj.com.

Copyright ©2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8

Read More

How COVID-19 has affected the jobs of offshore freelancers – World Economic Forum

  • In the short term, foreign freelancers have been among those hit hardest by the economic challenges of COVID-19, as jobs have disappeared.
  • In the long term, more remote working could also bring opportunities to developing countries.
  • But only if policymakers overcome key challenges to cross-border remote work.

COVID-19 has accelerated the trend toward remote work, as organizations adapted quickly to lockdowns by asking those employees able to do so to work home. Consequently, nearly 40% of employees have been working remotely in OECD member countries during the pandemic, an unprecedented shift in labour dynamics.

Removing the physical need for employees to be in the office has raised a number of questions about how the workforce will look like in the future. From the point of view of international trade, one of the most pressing questions is, could more remote working lead to a rise in the use of offshore freelancers?

Hiring people from other countries for short-term projects can often be cheaper or provide access to a wider variety of skills than hiring employees from the local workforce. Internet connectivity and increased speed have allowed for increased trade in services across borders.

Online labour platforms, including Freelancer, Guru, Peopleperhour and Upwork, have magnified the opportunities created by increased connectivity. They have gathered the enormous supply of freelance workers into virtual hubs and provided workers and employers with tools to enhance trust and make remote work possible. For example, these websites feature rating systems that allow freelancers and clients to choose each other based on the ratings and comments left by previous partners. Online labour platforms also provide reliable payments methods, even though substantial challenges remain to be tackled.

Freelancers from developing countries have been especially well-positioned to benefit from these tools, as their services are comparatively cheaper. Economist Richard Baldwin calls this phenomenon “telemigration.”

Data gathered by the Oxford Internet Institute’s Online Labour Index, an economic indicator that measures the supply and demand of online freelance labour across countries and occupations in real time, finds that the number of tasks posted on online work platforms increased from 2016 to 2019. With the onset of COVID-19, the number of projects first increased and then sharply decreased.

"lazy", :class=>"", :alt=>""}” use_picture=”true”>

Image: Oxford Internet Institute’s Online Labour Index.

According to a recent paper analyzing US online workers during the pandemic, the increase could be explained by a rise in the use of online labour as a substitute for on-site jobs. The following decrease occurred as businesses affected by the pandemic had to cut many tasks considered non-essential.

As the effects of the pandemic are still being felt, there is no clear evidence yet on how the demand for freelancers will fluctuate in the short term. But the recent loss of jobs makes clear that, despite being a relatively new form of job provision, online freelance work still depends on a resilient non-digital economy.

Yet it’s likely that freelance remote work continues to rise in the long-term. A recent Deloitte survey showed that the pandemic can cause a long-term boost in remote working. In addition, businesses offering innovative freelance activities or increasing freelancer productivity (for example, technology company TransparentBusiness) are thriving and showing promising avenues for the activity in the future.

To realize the opportunities of remote foreign freelance work, we first must address three main challenges.

First, there are growing demands for fair labour conditions, as freelancers have been largely excluded from social protection schemes.

Second, there is a need to calibrate foreign freelancers’ income tax systems in a predictable and fair way for all the parties involved. So far, EU countries have been leading these initiatives by proposing innovative ways to obtain income data directly from platform companies.

Third, all stakeholders have work to do to ensure that foreign freelance activities translate into broader development gains to the countries where the workers are located. By investing in strategic digital skills training, countries have the opportunity to both place their workers in the most capital-intensive freelance activities and to attract the digital foreign direct investments (FDI) needed to succeed in the digital era.

A forthcoming white paper developed by the World Economic Forum on digital FDI found, through a survey with more than 300 companies, that the level of digital skills in the economy is the most important factor motivating investments abroad in the digital economy.

It is up to governments, businesses, social partners, and other relevant stakeholders to come together to develop solutions that ensure fair labour conditions, social protections, innovative taxation schemes, and broader societal gains in the post-COVID-19 era.

One possible solution is to move towards universal social protection that is neutral with regards to forms of employment and self-employment. This could involve portable benefits attached to the worker rather than to the job, and ‘underemployment insurance’ or social insurance that addresses fluctuating and episodic income.

Developing ‘government APIs’ or digital reporting windows that platforms could use to report income data directly to tax and social insurance institutions would increase coverage and cut red tape for platform workers.

Finally, fostering new forms of ‘social dialogue’, in which workers voices find expression via social media and other digital channels, could reinvigorate social dialogue and help policymakers and other stakeholders find collective solutions that ensure broad social gains.

Read More

11 Companies That Hire for Remote Nursing Jobs – Money Talks News

Nurse using tablet
Minerva Studio / Shutterstock.com

This story originally appeared on FlexJobs.

Working remotely as a nurse may have been more of a pipe dream in the past. But because of technology and the quickly growing acceptance of virtual work in many industries — along with the global pandemic highlighting the vital importance of health care positions — work-from-home nursing jobs are much more prevalent than ever.

Remote nurses provide telephone support, advice and follow-up services to patients, and they can also work in case management and recruiting. Remote nurses help make it easier for elderly and immunocompromised patients, as well as patients living in rural areas far from health care facilities, to access care.

The majority of remote nursing positions on FlexJobs, a subscription service for job seekers that features flexible and remote jobs, are a combination of remote work and travel and may have location requirements.

Following are several companies that hire for remote and work-from-home nursing jobs.

Read More

How much does remote working impact on productivity? – World Economic Forum

  • Employers expect to move about 44% of workers to work from home during the pandemic, according to the World Economic Forum Future of Jobs Report 2020.
  • But 78% of business leaders think hybrid and home-working will have a negative impact on productivity.
  • Those working from home face mental health and well-being challenges, including childcare pressures and digital connectivity.

On average, 44% of workers could work remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a survey of Chief Human Resource Officers for the World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs Report.

In May 2020, 42% of Americans aged 20-64 earning more than $20,000 were working from home full-time, according to a Stanford University survey – which equates to more than two-thirds of US economic activity. That’s compared to just 2% working full-time from home before the pandemic.

There are huge disparities between countries and sectors, the Future of Jobs Report found. Around 60% of workers in high-income countries such as the US and Switzerland are unable to fully work from home. This figure rises to more than 80-90% for economies such as Egypt and Bangladesh – mostly due to digital connectivity and the sectors common to those economies.

"lazy", :class=>"", :alt=>""}” use_picture=”true”>

Those who are able to work remotely are more likely to keep their jobs than displaced workers in the sectors most impacted by the pandemic, including retail, travel and tourism, and hospitality.

But most employers are uncertain how home-working and hybrid working (coming into the office a few days a week) will pan out in the long term, according to the Future of Jobs Report.

Impact on productivity

The majority of business leaders surveyed (78%) expect some negative impact of the current way of working on productivity, with 22% expecting a strong negative impact and only 15% believing that it will have no impact or a positive impact on productivity.

Three likely reasons for this scepticism were identified in the report:

1. The switch to remote working is occurring during a period of additional stress caused by the risks associated with the COVID-19 virus.

2. Those looking after children are faced with additional pressures – needing to take on more unpaid care work due to changeable school and nursery arrangements.

3. Newly remote-working companies are still establishing a sense of community and ensuring a flow of communication in the post-lockdown world of work.

Supporting mental health at home

The report says: “Remote workers are faced with potential well-being and mental health challenges due to extensive changes to working practices as well as new areas of exclusion such as access to digital connectivity, living circumstances and the additional care responsibilities faced by parents or those looking after elderly relatives.”

A longitudinal study in the UK found levels of stress, anxiety and depression were all higher than expected between March and April 2020, when the country first went into lockdown. Mental distress was 8.1% higher in April 2020 than it was between 2017 and 2019.

Adults living with children were more likely to report worse mental health than adults living without children, two studies showed.

Business leaders are prioritizing the mental health of employees. The Future of Jobs Report found ensuring employee well-being was among the key measures being undertaken by leaders looking to effectively shift to remote work.

In particular, more than a third (34%) of leaders said they were taking steps to create a sense of community among employees online; they were also looking to tackle the well-being challenges posed by the shift to remote working.

The first global pandemic in more than 100 years, COVID-19 has spread throughout the world at an unprecedented speed. At the time of writing, 4.5 million cases have been confirmed and more than 300,000 people have died due to the virus.

As countries seek to recover, some of the more long-term economic, business, environmental, societal and technological challenges and opportunities are just beginning to become visible.

To help all stakeholders – communities, governments, businesses and individuals understand the emerging risks and follow-on effects generated by the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, the World Economic Forum, in collaboration with Marsh and McLennan and Zurich Insurance Group, has launched its COVID-19 Risks Outlook: A Preliminary Mapping and its Implications – a companion for decision-makers, building on the Forum’s annual Global Risks Report.

"lazy", :class=>"", :alt=>""}” use_picture=”true”>

The report reveals that the economic impact of COVID-19 is dominating companies’ risks perceptions.

Companies are invited to join the Forum’s work to help manage the identified emerging risks of COVID-19 across industries to shape a better future. Read the full COVID-19 Risks Outlook: A Preliminary Mapping and its Implications report here, and our impact story with further information.

Read More

These organizations can transform Latin America’s jobs market. But they need investment now – World Economic Forum

  • Connectivity: as the internet becomes ever more integrated into our daily lives, those who are unconnected fall further behind just by standing where they are.
  • Skills: over 60% of companies in Latin America now have remote-working structures, and collectively they rank low digital skills among workers as the number one obstacle.
  • The challenge of meeting the needs of post-COVID Latin America is systemic, so the solutions must be holistic and future-proof. Civil society organizations can help drive this effort.

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the rate at which society is embracing digital technologies. While those who have been furloughed or lost their jobs are using the internet to communicate with loved ones and get information on supportive services, those still employed are bringing the office into their homes through Zoom, Slack, and other collaborative workplace technologies. We’re seeing whole companies shift to remote work, schools move to remote learning, and ecommerce potentially leading the way for retail sales.

The immense human toll and projected economic contraction across Latin America expose the consequences of how ill-prepared so many countries are for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and how inequitably its benefits are experienced. As the internet becomes ever more integrated into our daily lives, those who are unconnected fall further behind just by standing where they are.

In the Ecuadorian Amazon, rural internet usage is only 3% due to low-connectivity. During this global crisis, access to information and means of communication is key to keeping isolated communities safe, so civil society organizations like Rhizomatica have stepped up. Now, remote communities across the Amazon are protecting themselves from outbreaks of COVID-19 by staying connected via satellite and innovative radio technologies that can carry digital data.

Since the 1990s organizations like Colnodo, Rhizomatica, and Redes AC have connected people across Latin America to the internet through alternative telecommunications infrastructure. They build technological capacity in rural communities by training community members, co-designing innovative technology to meet real needs, and educating policy-makers to ensure a regulatory environment conducive to serving the interests of the people, not just profit. They work outside of the box to bring real solutions to those ignored by others.

In the urban centres, recent industry research shows that in our pre-COVID world only 24% of companies in the region supported telecommuting on a regular basis, and ranked corporate taxes as the number 1 obstacle (out of 7) to growth and profit. Today, over 60% of companies in Latin America have remote-working structures, and collectively they rank low digital skills among workers as the number one obstacle – corporate taxes having now fallen to number seven. This indicates not only a shift in urgency for employees to be digitally savvy, but also a reprioritization and a reinvestment in employees as the number one resource for any business.

Civil society has long been a champion of the underserved, and organizations like Laboratoria, ComunidadIT, and the International Youth Foundation transform how people work, and ensure women and young people have access to digital skills training and jobs. More than 70% of their graduates land technical jobs. We need these types of programmes to reach more people to bring this talent into the mainstream, and to help shape the future of digital-first workplaces.

Despite largescale COVID-19 response efforts, too many people face great economic insecurity. Imagine what would happen if we had a rapid investment in civil society: more homes would be connected where students could continue their schooling, companies could support their employees through retraining programmes, and the newly unemployed would have the opportunity to be reskilled for new careers.

If more of today’s technologies had been co-designed with these communities, we‘d also have more technologies that serve different realities.

The future of work in post-COVID Latin America should be designed now so the economy can start growing again from within the home.

"lazy", :class=>"", :alt=>""}” use_picture=”true”>

Image: Statista

The challenge of meeting the needs of post-COVID Latin America is systemic, so the solutions must be holistic and future-proof. We need to invest in people through capacity building efforts; we need a legislative environment that promotes innovative tactics and doesn’t depend on traditional infrastructure or thinking; and we need new business models that drive profit without exploiting people. Key considerations include:

  • Civil society must have a seat at the table when designing national action plans.
  • Invest in civil society programmes to scale-up local capacity building efforts that are focused on the benefits for the community and designed for long-term sustainability.
  • Allow for non-profit telecommunications operators to conduct business and give them access to shared (or free) wireless spectrum usage.
  • Co-design future technologies with different communities so that they might serve and uplift humankind.

We’ve heard many times about how trust in institutions is at an all-time low. If true, there’s never been a better time to invest in civil society. These organizations have strong relationships of trust with the people they serve built over decades of collaboration, and they are nimble. With the resources and breadth of access that industry and government have, together they can work to scale-up the successful programmes and build back better. And with a well-resourced civil society that is more integrated with industry and government plans, the dream of the Fourth Industrial Revolution serving everyone equally becomes one step closer to reality.

The Forum’s Technology and Social Justice Initiative is a multi-stakeholder platform for driving stakeholder responsibility for social justice — in partnering with civil society in the design, deployment and use of technology; evidence of where technologies impact inequality; and investment needed for long-term change.

Read More

Losing control? Norway’s oil workers face jobs threat as rigs go remote – Arab News

OSLO: A shift to operating oil rigs remotely from land, which has been accelerated by lower crude prices, has rekindled concerns among Norwegian unions over the impact on the safety of offshore workers and the loss of well-paid jobs.

These fears were highlighted by Lederne, one of three unions representing offshore workers, which this month shut six fields in a strike that threatened a quarter of Norway’s oil and gas output, rattling global oil markets.

“The strike was not against moving controls onshore. But we needed to get the deal for our members to also be a part of the discussions about moving controls onshore and their safety,” Lederne leader Audun Ingvartsen said.

Lederne, whose strike ended on Oct. 9, is the only Norwegian oil and gas workers union which did not have an agreement for its members at onshore control rooms. Oil companies started experimenting with remote controls about seven years ago, first with smaller, unmanned installations off the coast of Norway.

Europe’s largest oil and gas producer has since become a testing ground for industry attempts to turn this technology to larger, manned platforms.

Lower oil prices and the coronavirus crisis are accelerating this shift, prompting concerns about the safety of staff still working offshore on rigs.

“Our members still wonder whether this (onshore controls) is good enough, whether it is safe enough,” Ingvartsen said.

Both Ingvartsen and Hilde-Marit Rysst, head of another union, Safe, said their member concerns relate to situational awareness of those working offshore and on land.

“When you sit on the bomb, you will react differently than when you are far away from it,” Rysst said.

About 160 km from land, Equinor’s Valemon oil and gas field became the first in Norway to be operated entirely onshore in 2017. It has living quarters and a control room, but most of the time has no crew.

Production is managed in a control room in Bergen, but its operators have to spend two weeks offshore every year to make sure they are familiar with the rig.

Jarle Eide, a representative of the Industri Energi union at Equinor, said workers were more confident than before in the use of remote controls.

“People were initially skeptical, but gradually you get used to it. I don’t think anybody feels uneasy about it today,” Eide said, speaking by phone from the Valemon platform where he is part of a 19-member crew deployed there for a two-week shift.


A technician at Equinor’s Johan Sverdrup field uses a tablet to inspect platform equipment. (Reuters)

“Of course, there is always a risk and things can go wrong, so you have to be focused on safety even during your spare time,” he added.

Aker BP took a step further last year when its Ivar Aasen field became the first manned offshore platform to be managed remotely. There are, on average, about 50 people working on the rig, which is operated on land by about 14 people.

While Ingard Haugeberg, the Industri Energi union’s representative at Aker BP, said there were no indications that workers at Ivar Aasen felt unsafe, there were concerns about fully-automated platforms in the future.

“When the technology takes over 100 percent control, we have to rethink the way forward,” he said. “There will be fewer offshore jobs available in the future, and we, as union, don’t like it.”

Aker BP and Equinor both said they have been seeking to address concerns by moving controls onshore gradually and by ensuring that workers on the platforms can take over control if needed, with emergency response available nearby. “The combination of human competence and technology provide the best solutions also as we see it with regards to maintaining safety and reducing risks,” a spokesman for Equinor, Norway’s largest oil and gas firm, said.

Meanwhile, Norway’s Petroleum Safety Authority (PSA), which has to approve new ways of controlling offshore operations, said there had been no incidents related to remote controls.

“So far, we have found no reason to raise any objections to remote control technology,” PSA spokeswoman Inger Anda said, adding that ultimate responsibility rested with the companies.

Moving workers from offshore installations allows oil companies to save on helicopter transport and the extra payments workers receive for being offshore, which could account to nearly 50 percent of a total salary, Rysst said.

Other technical innovations, such as pooling data from various sensors on an offshore platform and using machine learning to alert maintenance requirements, also help to reduce costs.

Equinor said digital solutions helped to boost earnings at its flagship Johan Sverdrup oilfield by 2 billion Norwegian crowns ($213 million) since it started production a year ago.

Sverdrup does not have an onshore control room, but Equinor has created a “digital twin” which allows engineers onshore to explore for potential improvements, while offshore workers navigate around its platforms using tablets.

Aker BP, which says on its website it sees “considerable potential for increased revenues after start-up of the onshore control room,” told Reuters it planned to remotely control more offshore platforms in the future, including at the NOAKA development, in the Norwegian North Sea.

And Equinor, which will have an onshore control room for its Martin Linge field expected to start in 2021, has said it would consider using remote control options for small and medium-sized platforms, but that the largest platforms will still be staffed.

“This is the future and we can not stop it, but we need to ensure that offshore workers have at least minimum controls and they feel safe,” Lederne’s Ingvartsen said.

Read More

Cella’s Salary Guide Reveals Hottest Creative, Marketing and Digital Jobs and Impact of Remote Work – PR Web

Cella logo

“While COVID’s overall impact on the economy has been rough, the fact remains that there is still a need for quality digital talent and the proven success of remote working in 2020 will likely influence how organizations fill those positions in the future.” Conor Smith, co-CEO, Cella.

Marketers are shifting more of their budgets and staffing to digital which is having an impact on creative, marketing and digital staffing, according to new research from Cella, a nationwide staffing, consulting and managed solutions firm. The Cella 2021 Salary Guide provides median salaries for 75 creative, marketing, digital, video and other positions, and found that remote work has not had an effort on the quality and productivity of digital teams during the pandemic.

“At Cella, our passion is to match the right people with the right roles in the right places, and we use these reports to help companies validate staffing strategies and bring in the best creative, marketing and digital rock stars,” said Conor Smith, co-CEO, Cella. “While COVID’s overall impact on the economy has been rough, the fact remains that there is still a need for quality digital talent and the proven success of remote working in 2020 will likely influence how organizations fill those positions in the future. Recruiting will be less restricted by local boundaries, and salaries will be less affected by local averages.”

Cella’s salary data comes from both internal and external sources of compensation data and includes current geographical adjustments. In-demand positions include content developers, digital strategy and video managers, UX and CX designers, SEO analysts and marketing analytics specialists.

Additional findings include:
●    90% of in-house agencies and digital teams found that their work quality is better or remains the same since transitioning to working remotely

●    80% say that remote working has led to good or better productivity

The guide is available for download here, along with additional resources like Cella’s 2020 Digital Marketing Operations Benchmarking Insights and the 2020 COVID-19 Impact Report.

About Cella

Cella is an award-winning leader in consulting, staffing and managed solutions for creative, marketing, digital and proposal development teams. We help people build meaningful careers and partner with companies to help them win. Our secret sauce? The Cella Trifecta: we have the right people, we understand our clients and we deliver results. Success requires a partner who offers all three. Together, we put passion to work. Cella is the only creative staffing firm to win the Best of Staffing® Client and Talent Awards 10 years running and is a Certified Women’s Business Enterprise. For more information, please visit cellainc.com or contact info@cellainc.com.

Share article on social media or email:

Read More

This Week in Jobs DMV: Final Destination Edition – Technical.ly DC

Editor’s note: Every week we ship an email newsletter featuring the region’s most exciting career opportunities. We’ve lovingly called it This Week in Jobs (aka TWIJ — “twidge.”). Below is this week’s edition. Here’s the last one we published; it’s meant to live in your inbox. Sign up for the newsletter here.


Dumps Like a Truck

That backscratcher you just couldn’t live without, that ice cream maker you and your partner each ordered separately, that sudden urge to learn the banjo or fly fishing or crocheting that later died — those Amazon returns are almost all heading to the trash.

A CBC Marketplace investigation found truckloads of brand-new returns being brought to the dump. The good news is there’s a D.C. logistics firm working to fix this problem (oh, and it’s hiring). Shopping discretion can help, too. Let’s just hope your latest job applications don’t go the way of returned basketballs and alarm clocks.

The News

Technical.ly’s Off the Sidelines podcast is back for Season 2. The investor education series is exploring how systems and institutions are evolving — and how to make sure those shifts are moving in a positive direction. First up: VC Nasir Qadree and author Kelly Hoey joined OTS for this season’s first episode.

Advertisement

Speaking of networks, what does it take to build your professional community on — yes — LinkedIn? Consultant Eva Reid, a senior analyst in D.C’s Office of the Chief Technology Officer, gives the rundown on what you can do — and why it’s absolutely worth it.

Put your money where your mouth is: The Baltimore digital services firm Fearless is matching donations to six local nonprofits in support of racial equality, plus another three groups in Montgomery, Alabama.

Are you launching a startup in need of local funding? Technical.ly compiled a list of 65 VCs in the DMV. They invested more than $1 billion in 2016, so start polishing off those pitch decks.

The Jobs

D.C.

Maryland

Virginia

Remote

The End

In more positive environmental news, cycling in the DMV is soaring. Whether it’s commuters avoiding mass transit, families finding new ways to spend time together, or casual riders simply taking advantage of more empty streets, bicycle sales this spring were up 75% compared to last year.

Whether on wheels or your two legs, here’s hoping you make time to enjoy the fresh air. Good luck on the job hunt — and if you’re cycling, stay upright!

Check the Technical.ly Jobs Board for new opportunities -30-

Read More

5 remote-working myths under the microscope: Slack survey – World Economic Forum

  • Avoiding commutes, saving money and an improved work-life balance are the most popular benefits of remote working, according to Slack’s ‘Remote Employee Experience Index’.
  • Just 11.6% of people surveyed for the report say they want to return to full-time office work.
  • 72.2% want a hybrid remote-office model.
  • The report also looks at five myths about remote working.

No commuting, saving money and an improved work-life balance are the most popular benefits of remote working, according to a new study.

A survey of more than 9,000 knowledge workers in the US, UK, France, Germany, Japan and Australia by Slack – the California-based collaboration tool – found most were happier working remotely than they were in the office.

Only 11.6% say they want to return to full-time office work, while 72.2% want a hybrid remote-office model.

Slack’s Remote Employee Experience Index also gives its take on five commonly held beliefs about remote working. Here’s what it found.

"lazy", :class=>"", :alt=>"Remote employee experience working life"}” use_picture=”true”>Remote employee experience working life

The index is based on data from a survey of 9,032 knowledge workers who identify as “skilled office workers”.

Image: Slack

1. Workers aren’t missing the 9-to-5 routine of working in the office

One of the single biggest factors that influences a positive remote experience is the ability to break free of the 9-to-5 and instead work a flexible schedule, according to the index.

“Those with flexible schedules score nearly twice as high on productivity compared with those working 9-to-5 and significantly better when it comes to sense of belonging,” says Slack vice president Brian Elliott.

"lazy", :class=>"", :alt=>"Home office global breakdown UK U.S. Germany"}” use_picture=”true”>Home office global breakdown UK U.S. Germany

Most respondents to the Slack survey want a mix of home and office working.

Image: Slack

2. Regular meetings aren’t the key to keeping employees aligned

While many of us are used to going in and out of meetings in the office, this kind of schedule might not be so effective in the remote world. “For example, workers who attend weekly status meetings actually feel worse about their sense of belonging than workers who receive status updates asynchronously through digital channels,” Elliott says.

The interactions found to have the most significant impact on workers’ sense of belonging are:

· Bi-weekly team celebrations to recognize team members or achievements.

· Monthly team-building activities.

· Monthly games or unstructured group social activities.

3. Not all workers with children are facing the same challenge

Women with children in the US face a disproportionate challenge in balancing work and childcare, the study found. “The evidence clearly points to the lack of a strong social safety net, including publicly funded childcare,” says Elliott. “It’s unlikely that the government will take decisive action to meet this need, so it is up to companies to step up and fill the void.”

"lazy", :class=>"", :alt=>"Remote employee experience index gender household composition"}” use_picture=”true”>Remote employee experience index gender household composition

It’s harder for women with children to balance work and childcare, the study says.

Image: Slack

4. The remote-work experience isn’t worse for underrepresented groups

Black, Asian and Hispanic workers rate remote working more highly than their white colleagues, according to the index.

“It’s not clear what combination of factors creates this difference,” Elliott says. “Why is remote work helping level the experience? Have white employees always felt more of a sense of community in majority-white workplaces? Do members of minority groups feel a better sense of community because they are at home?”

The opportunity for remote work to be “a great equalizing force” is clear and unmistakable, he adds.

5. Executives and managers don’t find adapting to remote work easier

People managers, especially middle managers, were actually found to face some of the most acute challenges in adapting to remote work. These include a sense of belonging, productivity and managing stress and anxiety.

“In the remote work world, the role of the manager has shifted from gatekeeper to coach and social connector,” Elliott says. “Social ties are more difficult to build and maintain in a digital-first workplace.”

Organizations need to devote time and resources to providing people managers with new tools to enable them to coach and connect with their teams, he adds.

"lazy", :class=>"", :alt=>"Employee experience index work-life balance productivity stress "}” use_picture=”true”>Employee experience index work-life balance productivity stress

Individual employees and middle managers say they feel the lowest sense of belonging.

Image: Slack

The World Economic Forum’s virtual Jobs Reset Summit, held between 20-23 October 2020, brings together leaders from business, government, civil society, media and the broader public to shape a new agenda around the four core areas of growth, jobs, skills and equity.

The Work, Wages and Job Creation sessions will explore topics such as what investments are required to create new jobs, support living wages, and develop new standards in digital, physical and hybrid workplaces.

The four-day programme includes sessions on Setting New Standards for the Future of Work; A New Vision for Health at Work and Valuing Frontline Work and Workers.

The summit will also address education, skills and life-long learning amid increasing digitalization, and explore how economic and jobs disruption might be leveraged to create greater social justice and opportunity for all.

Read More

Vacancies for remote jobs increased by 22% in Ukraine – Remote job vacancies in Ukraine increase by 22% – 112 International

Number of officially registered unemployed people in Ukraine exceeds 500,000

Ukrainians have become more interested in remote jobs. Coronavirus_info Telegram channel reports.

“The number of remote job vacancies has increased by 22%, as Ukrainians are three times more interested in it. Young people are most often looking for jobs at the start of their careers: an average of 21 job seekers respond to one remote vacancy with general income – $ 440,” the message informs.

Related: More than 500,000 people registered as unemployed in Ukraine

As we reported earlier, the number of unemployed have increased thrice in Kyiv since start of lockdown

“Since the beginning of the year, the capital employment service, 32,600 people were registered, particularly, from March 12 up to September 9, when the government imposed the quarantine, due to the spread of the coronavirus – 28,200. At the beginning of September, 25,196 unemployed were registered at the service – 3.1 more than on the same date last year (8,046),”  Kyiv City Employment Centre stated.

It is noted that the peak of the load was in April when 9,400 unemployed were registered. Meanwhile, only 3,000 unemployed were registered in August.

The service noted that the volumes of employment increased as for today: from 305 people were provided with a job in April; from 1,432 in August.

Related: Ukraine’s Economy Minister opens up on program set to combat unemployment

Read More