“Building trust has never been a more important imperative for resilient leaders. Trust fosters positive outcomes for organizations, including economic growth, innovation and stability. But to instill trust, leaders must first consider the needs of all of their circle: their team members, their client partners and their communities. What does each group need? What concerns them most? Do they all have diverse perspectives that require individual solutions? Developing the right strategies (including team input) and communicating them often and honestly is critical to gaining their trust.” – Bert Miller, President & CEO, MRINetwork
As reported in Dublin by CNBC, with more people working from home than ever before, it’s time for a European-wide rule on the “right to disconnect,” according to Alex Agius Saliba, a Maltese lawmaker at the European Parliament, who is leading efforts on this issue. The right to disconnect refers to rules that say an employee should not be expected to field work calls and emails outside of working hours.
Recently a majority of EU politicians backed a legislative initiative to call on the European Commission, the executive arm of the EU, to develop a bloc-wide directive on the issue. The idea has gathered steam since the beginning of the pandemic as vast numbers of employees worked from home, and an always-on culture around smart phones and constant access to work emails muddled the divide between work time and home life.
Companies and individual countries have sought ways to address this issue over the years:
- In 2012, Volkswagen blocked certain staff from accessing emails from the evening time until the morning.
- In 2017, France introduced regulations that set tighter boundaries around when a remote worker’s obligations begin and end.
- In 2018, pest control firm Rentokil was ordered to pay 60,000 euros ($71,000) for violating those rules.
Read the full story at Right to disconnect could become the norm in Europe | CNBC.com.
As 2021 started, hopes were high that GDP growth would pick up sharply in Asia, according to analysts at Deloitte. Data reveals that consumers have been resilient, and spending has gone up since the initial shock of the pandemic. But COVID is still a force, and many countries are facing a renewed surge in cases this year after managing to keep a tab on the virus in 2020. Economic activity has suffered as fears about catching the virus, air travel restrictions, and social distancing measures continue to affect key services sectors, such as tourism, aviation, hospitality, entertainment, and food services. Labor markets have also been hit hard due to weak economic conditions, and unemployment remains high relative to pre-pandemic levels.
Not all is gloom and doom, though, according to the Deloitte report. If the pace of vaccination increases and virus cases decline, consumer sentiment and spending will likely improve. That consumers and economies in Asia will recover from this downturn is certain. However, the nature of the recovery may turn out to be different compared to previous ones. Rising poverty and setbacks to the middle class may well foment an uneven economic recovery, and the post-COVID-19 world may turn out to be different from the one we lived in before the pandemic. The way we work, for example, may change and that will likely bring about changes in the patterns of consumers’ purchases of goods and service.
Read the full story at Effect of the pandemic on Asian consumers | Deloitte Insights.
Thousands of small- and medium-sized Cuban businesses will be allowed to incorporate in the coming months, in one of the most important economic reforms taken by the island’s Communist government since it nationalized all enterprises in the 1960s, as reported by Reuters. The reform will put an end to the legal limbo in which many of these businesses have existed for years in the Soviet-style economy. The law will also apply to small and medium-sized state firms, paving the way for an important decentralization of some activities and forcing subsidized operations to become profitable or fold, according to Cuban economists.
Economy Minister Alejandro Gil said that the measures would put state and private business on an equal footing to compete, work together and create joint companies, much as in capitalist countries, adding that the reform would boost employment and allow the economy to rebound more strongly as the pandemic eases.
In terms of employment, Cuba is seen to be moving towards a mixed economic model. It is predicted that, with this opening, in a few years the non-state sector will represent more than 50% of total employment in the economy.
Read the full story at Cuba dips toe in market economy with legalization of small businesses | Reuters.