Tag: pandemic (page 1 of 13)

WFH from anywhere

Winter in the UK isn’t much fun, so if we didn’t have kids I would absolutely be working from a different country for part of it. Why not?

This is not a new thing: when I worked at Mozilla (2012-15) I almost moved to Gozo, a little island off Malta, as I could work from anywhere. So long as people are productive, and you can interact with them at times that work for everyone, what’s the problem?

Two-plus years into the pandemic, companies all around the world are starting to ask—and sometimes demand—that their employees return to the office. In response, many employees have resisted, citing reduced commute times, better work-life balance, and a greater ability to concentrate at home.

But for an unknown number of people, there is another reason as well: They can’t come in, because they secretly don’t live in the same state or even country anymore.

The issue is larger than it may seem, and many companies are struggling to deal with “employees relocating themselves to ‘nicer’ places to work without letting the business know,” said Robby Wogan, the CEO of global mobility company MoveAssist. One survey performed on behalf of the HR company Topia found that as many as 40 percent of HR professionals had recently discovered that employees were working outside their home state or country, and that only 46 percent were “very confident” they know where most of their workers are, down from 60 percent just last year.

That uncertainty appears justified. In the same survey, 66 percent of the 1,500 full-time employees surveyed in the U.S. and U.S. said they did not tell human resources about all the dates they worked outside of their state or country, and 94 percent said they believe they should be able to work wherever they want if their work gets done.

Source: Some WFH Employees Have a Secret: They Now Live in Another Country | VICE

Declining trust in society isn’t just a ‘vibe shift’

This is a wide-ranging and somewhat jumbled article which nevertheless has at its core a key point about the decline in trust in society. That’s not just a ‘vibe shift’ but a more permanent and worrying state of affairs.

Consider the Edelman Trust Barometer. The public relations firm has been conducting an annual global survey measuring public confidence in institutions since 2000. Its 2022 report, which found that distrust is now “society’s default emotion,” recorded a trend of collapsing faith in institutions such as government or media.


It’s difficult to imagine how trust in national governments can be repaired. This is not, on the face of it, apocalyptic. The lights are on and the trains run on time, for the most part. But civic trust, the stuff of nation-building, believing that governments are capable of improving one’s life, seems to have dimmed.

Source: What You’re Feeling Isn’t A Vibe Shift. It’s Permanent Change. | BuzzFeed News

Health surveillance

It’s possible to be entirely in favour mass vaccination (as I am) while also concerned about the over-reach of states with our personal health data.

As this article discusses, based on a report from an German non-profit called AlgorithmWatch, such health surveillance is being normalised due to the requirements of responding to a global pandemic.

The idea that technology can be used to solve complex social issues, including public health, is not a new one. But the pandemic strongly influenced how technology is applied, with much of the push coming from public health policymaking and public perceptions, said the report.

The report also highlighted the growing divide between people who fervently defend the schemes and those who staunchly oppose them – and how fear and misinformation have influenced both sides.

Source: Pandemic Exploited To Normalise Mass Surveillance? | The ASEAN Post