“Pretty much we are all back at work, because I think that’s what we need to be in our particular industry,” he says. “Obviously it varies from industry to industry, but in financial services it’s more important to be in the office because its a very live industry”.
Lockdowns and reduced hours for Aussie Millennials and Gen Zs have forced many to freelance their way to an income using online platforms such as Fiverr and Airtasker.
Australia-based talent platform Airtasker reported a revenue increase of 38% for the 2020-21 financial year.
In May this year, freelance platform Fiverr announced that internationally, freelancers selling digital services collectively earned more than USD $2 billion.
YouGov research revealed that Gen Z led the charge embracing the ‘flexible economy’ in Australia.
The report found 42% of Zoomers have made money on platforms such as Airtasker or Fiverr, and 28% plan to in the future.
Emilie Pomeroy, 21, found herself out of work during lockdowns over the past year, but turned to online freelance platform Fiverr, to turn her video editing skills into a steady income stream.
“I started doing fiverr in February 2021 so it was still during Covid but not during lockdown. Every time Brisbane has snap lockdowns now I can still continue on working,” Ms Pomeroy told Savings.com.au.
“I create video and photo content for businesses to use for their marketing. This can be businesses selling products or services.”
Ms Pomeroy said that not only did her freelance work help her earn money during lockdowns, but it also helped progress her career.
“It’s let me work for myself and control my earnings, all from home,” she said.
“It has helped me grow my resume and experience with content creation too which helped me get a professional job in the marketing industry. It’s also just a fun and enjoyable side hustle that I like to do.”
She also said that she isn’t surprised young Aussies have turned to freelance work to turn their skillset into income.
“Covid has shown how it’s important to have multiple streams of income, since you could lose your job at any time,” Ms Pomeroy said.
“So freelance platforms like Fiverr are great as they allow you to easily build up a side hustle and extra income stream on the side.
“I think a lot of young Australians are financially savvy and want to build up multiple streams of income.”
Airtasker CEO Tim Fung said that Airtasker allows Gen Z and Millennials to monetise their skills.
“As work life balance becomes more of a priority, and Gen Z have had the opportunity to experience flexible working, it’s not surprising that we’re seeing this shift in the way they view work.”
The report found that some of the most successful individuals on the platform specialised in App and Web design.
Youth unemployment and underemployment (15 to 24 year olds) is generally much higher and more volatile and seasonal than the general population (chart below).
ABS data shows the overall unemployment skyrocketed to 7.4% during the pandemic.
In seasonally adjusted terms, in August 2021, monthly hours worked in all jobs:
Decreased by 66.0 million hours (3.7%) to 1,714 million hours
Decreased by 51.0 million hours (2.9%) from March 2020
This shows that although unemployment is improving, those with a job are not necessarily working the same number of hours as pre-pandemic, reflected in underemployment and participation rates.
In seasonally adjusted terms, in August 2021:
The underemployment rate increased by 1.0 pts to 9.3%
The underemployment rate was 0.5 pts higher than March 2020
The underutilisation rate increased by 0.9 pts to 13.8%
Youth employment expert Zoe Piper explained how the rise of flexible hours and the pandemic has influenced a generation of workers using freelance work to make money.
“Put that in the COVID-context, where Gen Z were amongst the hardest hit during lockdowns, there is also a desire to take control of their finances and monetise their skills in other ways,” Ms Piper said.
“The passion project holy grail is not a distant reality, saved for retirement, but a genuine employment preference.”
During the pandemic, jobs such as bicycle repairs, home office IT support and virtual fitness trainers also emerged as popular tasks on Airtasker.
This, along with more mainstream tasks like feature writing, data, IT and App design, provided many out of work Millennials and Gen Z with an income stream.
Australian startup Canva recently published a report analysing freelance work in Australia, estimating freelancers have earned $139,458 on Fiverr.
Canva calculated the top ten side hustles for making money in Australia.
Average cost per job
Proofreading and editing
3D and 2D modelling
Blog post services
Social media advertising
According to the report, the average cost per side hustle-type job, 3D and 2D modeling is the most lucrative service advertised by part-time freelancers in Australia.
Side hustle sellers on average charge $126 for each 3D and 2D modeling job on the website, exceeding other high-earning services like proofreading and editing.
According to Canva’s report, freelance job completions increased by 6.5% from pre-pandemic lockdowns to during pandemic lockdowns.
“I’m really stoked to see the Airtasker marketplace create more job and income opportunities than ever,” Airtasker Co-founder and CEO Tim Fung said.
Image by Mylene Tremoy via Unsplash
SDI Productions / Getty Images
The hybrid workplace model seems like it’s here to stay, despite the brief “great office return,” which has been placed on pause due to the Delta variant surge. While it has been praised as a great benefactor to work-life balance, now some experts argue that the hybrid model might not be what employees want and that this is not a “one size fits all” situation.
Instead, employees would rather have flexibility, or “agility,” and choose on their own terms where and when they want to work. Some employees feel there are adverse consequences to the hybrid model due to the lack of human interaction from working from home. The BBC noted that these include a perception from those who often work from home that it could have a negative impact on their career, linked to a lack of interaction with colleagues and managers.
Ashley Paterson, founder and CEO of Healthy Hippo Naturals, agrees. She told GOBankingRates that while she feels like WFH seems like a more desirable option at times, “in all reality, nothing beats being face to face with management and working in an environment where you can bounce ideas off each other, oversee what everyone is doing and build stronger relationships.”
Other potential negative consequences of the hybrid model include “those who want to climb the ladder could feel compelled to spend more time in the office, so they’re visible to the powers that be,” according to the BBC. “Some people, meanwhile, could experience difficulties switching seamlessly between home and office work environments.”
Gen Z: The Future of Finances: 42% of Gen Z Prioritize Work-Life Balance Over Other Job Perks, Survey Says
Paris Riha, associate wealth advisor at Arch Global Advisors, says that while some see the idea of juggling two workplaces as frustrating, “it’s hard to believe that after a year and a half into the pandemic individuals don’t have a seamless work area set up at home in addition to the office.”
“I can almost guarantee that if individuals truly work hard, that work will be noticed whether you are present in the office or not,” Riha told GOBankingRates. “The one downside is that you are not able to communicate as easily among teams in the office — which can negatively affect how quickly you learn and grow.”
In addition, flexibility, or the ability to choose the location of the workplace, is becoming more of a crucial factor. A survey by Mercer and AECOM found that when asked whether flexibility is of importance once the pandemic has passed, 56% of respondents said they would “consider switching employers if it wasn’t an option.”
Credit Karma, for example, isn’t asking workers to return to its offices in Oakland, California and Charlotte, North Carolina until January. When they do, however, the in-office schedule will be flexible and determined by the employee and manager instead of set company-wide, Colleen McCreary, chief people officer at Credit Karma, told CNBC. She added that over the past several months, she has had to remind leaders at her company that hybrid is not the arrangement they’re offering to workers.
“A few of them have spoken on panels and used that word and I had to tell them not to,” she stated. “If my kid has soccer on Thursdays and I have to be in the office all day on Thursday and can’t get him there, that may be hybrid, but it’s not flexible and isn’t working for me,” McCreary clarified to CNBC. “We’re trying to empower employees and teams to take responsibility for what works for them rather than wait for us to set it.”
Best of Both Worlds: These 8 Careers Fields Are Now Hiring for More Hybrid Positions
Deloitte, a professional services network, announced a similar effort in the U.K., calling it “agile working.” This model highlights how its employees “will be able to choose when, where and how they work in the future, once it is safe to do so.”
“The impact of the pandemic has profoundly changed our way of life, not least in the way we work,” CEO Richard Houston said in the announcement. “The last year has really shown that one size does not fit all when it comes to balancing work and personal lives. It has also shown that we can trust our people to make the right choice in when, how and where they work.”
Dimitris Tsingos, cofounder and president of eLearning company Epignosis, told GOBankingRates that the future of work will remain flexible. “Over the past 18 months, flexible work has given people a taste of how they can achieve a strong work-life balance, allowing them to more effectively manage their home responsibilities — time with family, the ability to pursue hobbies and the opportunity to focus on their wellness — with their professional obligations,” he said. “To make a workplace culture future-proof, workers must have freedom of choice. Companies that require in-person attendance five days a week will lose talent who want more autonomy, and those that don’t have an office space may turn off employees who benefit from in-person face-time.”
More From GOBankingRates
Last updated: September 22, 2021
When Sarah Brown started her job search in February 2019, she had plenty to contend with, including changing her career from teaching to technical editing.
But the hardest part of the process was finding out if potential employers would offer what she wanted—flexibility.
If you’re retired and want to start working again or earn cash on the side, a quick online search might bring up a plethora of job search websites. Some sites and apps cater directly to older workers who are searching for a retirement job.
Some of the best job search websites and apps for retirees are:
Here’s an overview of each place, including what to expect and how to find a job that’s right for you.
Since 2003, this website has focused on providing retirement resources and advice. It offers listings of work-from-home jobs, full-time positions, part-time opportunities, seasonal jobs and information for those interested in starting their own business. You can search for work based on your location, along with keywords or the job title. You don’t need an account to access information about the jobs listed.
Specializing in jobs for people over age 50, this site helps you get started on your search by indicating your location. You can also peruse job offerings by state. The listings range from retail to caregiving, banking, transportation, sales, insurance and more. The site also indicates which employers are certified as age-friendly, meaning that they see the value in maintaining an age-friendly workplace and are interested in mature workers. These places are marked with a RetirementJobs.com seal as you search. The job search service is free, and a premium one-year membership for $99 is available for access to personalized services.
Rent A Grandma
Available as a website and app, Rent A Grandma specializes in work for nannies, caregivers, chefs, house care helpers, pet sitters, tutors and personal assistants. Start by setting up a profile and uploading your resume, and then you will be eligible to receive information about potential job offers. If you are in a non-franchised location, you’ll need to pay an initial $25 fee to cover expenses related to your background check and membership.
As an advocate for individuals 50 and older who are seeking employment, Seniors4Hire strives to connect job candidates with companies looking for mature employees. After registering, you’ll be able to search jobs and post your resume for free. Recruiters looking for older workers use the site to find job candidates, and you may be asked to give permission to have your profile, resume or both submitted to be considered for certain job positions.
Catering to individuals who are 50 or older, this site offers an exclusive job board. Companies post directly to the job board and the site also lists employers who have been recognized as age-friendly in their hiring and employment practices. You can search online jobs, work-from-home opportunities, entry level jobs and more. Searches by state are also available.
Started by a former financial advisor, this site offers retirement and investment advice. It has a Jobs for Retired section which features articles to help you determine which type of job you want and where to find it. If you’re looking to think creatively about job opportunities, such as serving on a board or finding work at a national park, the site offers information to help you get started.
National Older Worker Career Center
This site lists full-time and part-time opportunities at government agencies for experienced workers who are 55 and older. Positions include administrative, technical, professional and scientific opportunities. To find listings, you can click on states pictured that have opportunities or search by keywords. Once you spot an opening that might be a good fit, you can begin the application process.
AARP Job Board
Designed for workers who are 50 and older, this career center lets you search for jobs by the job title, keyword, company or location. It also lists an AARP Employer Pledge Program badge alongside employers that are committed to hiring workers who are 50 and older. If you’re a veteran, you can filter your search to find employers who are specifically looking to hire veterans. A wide range of job opportunities are available, including accounting, design, publishing, quality control, restaurant, warehouse and travel.
LinkedIn: Network & Job Finder
If you have a LinkedIn profile, the LinkedIn site and app can be used to search job listings easily, as your professional profile will serve as your resume. You can expect to see job positions based on the experiences listed in your profile and the companies with which you have connections. If you find a position that interests you, you can apply online or through the app. You can also set up job alerts to be notified when new positions that might be a good fit become available.
Fill out a profile at Snagajob and the site will analyze it to help you find matches that fit your lifestyle. You can expect emails with opportunities based on your zip code and site activity. You’ll be notified about hourly jobs and full-time and part-time shifts. You can also search the site or app for possibilities in your area.
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Getting a remote position has long been the goal for many seeking a more flexible work environment, but even more so since the start of the pandemic. A study by Owl Labs called State of Remote Work found that because of COVID-19, close to 70 percent of full-time employees were working from home in 2020. But now, with vaccination rates increasing, some companies have started to call their employees back to the office—however, not everyone wants to return.
A FlexJobs survey taken by over 4,600 people between July and August of this year found that almost half of the respondents said they knew someone who has quit or is planning on quitting their job because they were asked to return to the office. Of those surveyed, 58 percent said they want a fully remote job post-pandemic—only 3 percent said they wanted to return to the office full-time.
“As more companies start to determine their flexibility and willingness to allow employees to work remote, flexible, or hybrid schedules, candidates can be pickier in seeking out companies that fit their specific needs,” says Brie Weiler Reynolds, career development manager and coach at FlexJobs and Remote.co. For those currently on the job hunt, Reynolds advises targeting your job search to roles that you are most interested in, and using keywords from the posting in your application to increase the chance of it getting noticed by hiring managers.
While more companies are offering remote options, the fields that are offering the most remote positions right now are in IT, healthcare, and eduction. Whether you’re looking for a job that offers you more flexibility, or looking to make a total career change, here is a list of companies that are hiring remote employees—and offering competitive benefits, too.
Included in FlexJobs’ recently released list of the top 30 companies with the most fully-remote listings on their site this year, 90 percent of CVS Health‘s listings on the site are for remote work options. CVS Health offers positions in medical and health, account management, sales, insurance, and customer service. Benefits include medical coverage, PTO, and tuition assistance programs for those eligible.
Healthcare benefits company Aetna, one of the divisions of CVS Health, is hiring for remote jobs as well, and offers competitive benefits such as student loan repayment, adoption assistance, and a host of “well-being” programs that support financial, physical, and mental wellness.
CyraCom offers language interpretation services to healthcare organizations through phone, video, text, and app. It is included in FlexJob’s 100 Top Companies with Remote Jobs list, and is one of the largest language service providers in the world. All interpreters work remotely with flexible schedule options, and are trained in medical terminology. In addition to healthcare benefits, the company offers pre-paid legal services, pet insurance, 401(K), and tuition reimbursement.
Cannibis technology and software provider Weedmaps strives for work-life balance for it’s employees, and has a “Weedmaps from Anywhere” approach that allows its employees to choose where they work.
The company currently has 40 remote positions open across departments such as engineering, marketing, legal, and government relations. They offer benefits such as 401(K) matching, family planning and fertility coverage, student loan repayment, and even send their employees curated snack boxes.
Personalized learning platform Stride, Inc is currently hiring remote educators for various subjects and grade levels across the country. In addition to positions in teaching and academic support, the company also has openings for roles in marketing and sales, IT, finance, and HR, among others. Stride, Inc offers benefits such as disability insurance that is fully paid for by the company, and offers a Master’s in Education in Online Instruction program for eligible employees, geared towards online teachers and administrators.
Home products retailer Williams-Sonoma is currently hiring 7,000 seasonal, fully remote customer service representative positions. Perks include a 40 percent discount on most merchandise, monthly performance bonuses, paid training, and lots of overtime. Compensation is $14 per hour for customer service representatives.
Being in a difficult financial situation can be really tough on both your mental and physical health. It can cause you to end up unable to afford food, medications, and toiletries, among other things.
Fortunately, there are plenty of ways in which you can earn money on the side. In fact, you do not have to leave your house to start earning money. Would you like to know how to go about doing it? In that case, this article is definitely for you!
Here, you will find a list of surefire ways to start earning money from your couch, including playing in an online casino, investing in stocks, taking online surveys, starting a blog, freelance writing, and becoming a virtual assistant. Take a look!
Play in an Online Casino
If you like playing games and making money, you should think about playing in an online casino. If you know what you are doing and play by the rules, there is always a chance that you will win money. Also, you can play from the comfort of your home.
If you would like to play in an online casino, make sure that you choose a reputable one that offers fair terms and conditions. There are casinos out there that will try to scam you out of your hard-earned money, so take care! If you want to learn more about how to pick a safe and reliable online casino, look for a proper guide online.
Other than that, you can also consider betting online – this way, you utilize your knowledge in a certain niche and increase your chances of winning some money. And today, there are many websites and apps available that allow you to place bets whenever and wherever you want. How do betting apps work? Most of them provide you with match results, enable you to buy tickets, and receive your winnings – so you have all the necessary tools in one place.
Invest in Stocks
Would you like to invest in stocks but cannot afford to buy real stocks? In this case, consider virtual stocks. They allow you to figure out how investing in stocks works without the fear of losing your hard-earned money. And when you know everything, you can go ahead and start investing in real stocks.
Take Online Surveys
Have you ever taken an online survey to earn extra cash? If not, it is time for you to get started! There are plenty of websites out there that will pay you for taking surveys. That being said, it is important for you to know that not all of these sites are reputable and safe for your privacy.
Before signing up with a survey site, make sure that it is legitimate and secure. The most popular places where you can take surveys include Swagbucks, Survey Junkie, Pinecone Research, Toluna, Cash Crate, American Consumer Opinion, and Harris Poll Online.
Keep in mind that most survey sites will not allow minors to join their site unless they are allowed to do so by their parents. If this applies to your situation, but you are still interested in joining survey sites, you might want to ask your parents for advice and look for trustworthy websites together.
Start a Blog
Do you often come up with interesting ideas? Do you constantly jot down things in your notebooks? If so, then starting a blog might just be the perfect solution for earning extra cash. In fact, many people are making thousands of dollars each month through this activity.
The great news is that it shouldn’t take you much money and time to get started. You just need to register a domain name, create an account with WordPress (or another blogging platform), choose a theme, get your hands on text editing software, and you are great to go!
If this sounds interesting enough for you, but you are still not sure where to start, look for helpful guides online. Many people and companies share useful tips and free resources for starting a blog that you could potentially make use of.
Do you enjoy writing? Are you interested in writing professionally? If so, then freelance writing might be exactly what you need. There are many different types of freelance writing jobs available, including copywriting jobs, proofreading jobs, and editing jobs.
If you enjoy writing and can create engaging content, then you should have no problem with starting a freelance writing business. Just make sure that you read the fine print in the contract before getting started.
Become a Virtual Assistant
Are you able to perform a range of tasks on your computer, including scheduling appointments and writing emails? If so, then becoming a virtual assistant might be the perfect solution for you!
If you decide to work as a virtual assistant, your duties might include taking care of your boss’s social media accounts, booking travel arrangements, sending emails and messages on their behalf, and scheduling appointments and meetings, among other things.
Earning money doesn’t have to be boring and challenging – at least if you’re performing simple and engaging tasks from the comfort of your own home. To help you find something like that, we have written about a few of the many different ways in which you can earn money from your couch.
If you want to get a side gig but do not want to leave your house, it is recommended that you look into one of the options mentioned in this article. They are almost guaranteed to help you earn extra cash quickly and easily – and we hope that in your case, they work perfectly.
Day after day, they went to work.
While white-collar America largely worked from the cocoons of their homes, these workers left for jobs elsewhere. Most had no choice.
For many workers around the country, the Delta variant’s surge this summer upended long-awaited plans to return to the office this fall. But millions more — including nurses, cashiers, restaurant and grocery workers, delivery drivers, factory workers, janitors and housekeepers — never worked from home in the first place.
“They’re the people who often are working around the public, often working in jobs that are requiring them to be at particular risk from the virus,” said Eliza Forsythe, an economist at the University of Illinois. “All of these types of jobs where you’re not sitting at a computer — that’s what’s really been the backbone for allowing the rest of the economy to go remote.”
More than a year and a half after the pandemic disrupted nearly all aspects of everyday life, one of the starkest economic divides to emerge has been between workers who can work from home and those who cannot.
We asked six never-remote workers about their experiences and they shared their stories below.
Just 35 percent of Americans — fewer than 50 million people out of 137 million — worked from home at some point in May 2020 because of the pandemic, when remote work was at its peak, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Those who could not work from home were employed in a wide array of industries, including health care, agriculture, leisure and hospitality, retail, transportation, construction and manufacturing. Many were considered part of the army of frontline and essential workers, with jobs that were considered so critical that they could not be put on hold even during a public health crisis. They were typically lower-wage, less educated and disproportionately people of color.
During a time when millions of Americans lost their jobs, a portion of these workers — those who worked throughout the pandemic or who were only unable to work in the early days of the virus — could be considered relatively lucky.
At the same time, many of these never-remote workers could not afford, or did not have the necessary skills, to find other jobs despite the fear of contagion. And a large share also lost their jobs completely, in part because they were unable to work remotely when their businesses temporarily or permanently closed during the pandemic. Many of these workers had jobs in the service industry.
Perhaps most importantly, the pandemic has shed more light on how grueling and thankless many of these never-remote jobs are — a parallel universe of work in which millions of employees did not have the luxury of thinking about returning to the office at all.
(The workers’ interviews have been edited for length and clarity.)
Anjannette Reyes, 54, Orlando, Fla.
Airport wheelchair attendant
So many didn’t come back to work. People are afraid to work at the airport. We push more than one wheelchair at the same time because we don’t have manpower. Sometimes for international flights, we have 17 wheelchairs and only two of us. We take them through security and run to get the others. People miss flights. People cry. We’re constantly apologizing.
I was recently hurt from pushing too many wheelchairs. My whole arm felt like needles and pounding. The doctor said I had a tear. I was off for two weeks. I didn’t get paid for that.
I earn $7.58 an hour plus tips. You don’t get sick pay. You don’t get vacation pay. There’s no retirement pay. There are other people who are injured and still pushing chairs. There’s people with back ulcers and shoulder pain. Co-workers are getting sick. I tell them, “Go home.” But they don’t. They rely on the tips to survive.
Even though I’m going through this, I don’t feel safe getting another job out there. If there’s another breakout, we’ll feel safer at the airport. This is the only place that kept on going because they needed to move people around — people who were sick, doctors, lawyers. We needed to keep the airport open.
Avelina Mendes, 63, Brockton, Mass.
At first, I didn’t know how serious the virus was. I mean, I protected myself, but I didn’t pay that much attention to it until my sister got Covid. It was Dec. 27.
She had the symptoms. She’s 75. She decided to go to the emergency room so she took a shower and then, all of a sudden, she collapsed. She hurt her back. She’s been paralyzed since.
She’s in a nursing home now. I used to go and see her from the window and we would talk on the phone. She would tell me what she wants and I would bring it. She likes to eat Cape Verdean food.
Every time I think about it, I cry. Then I wipe my tears, put my mask on and go to work.
I clock in. I put all the trash outside. After I disinfect the bathroom, I vacuum the lobby. As long as it’s not that many cases on campus, I feel pretty good about it.
But if it goes up, that’s when the fear comes. I panic. I lose sleep. When I think about my sister, that could be me. I am out all the time, doing the work.
Kim Ducote, 42, St. George, Utah
Restaurant server and homeless shelter case manager
I was jobless from March 15 to August of 2020, and I had $200 left in my bank account. And some friends of mine opened a restaurant and they offered me a serving position there. I was the only server. And I thought ‘Oh my god, this was a godsend.’ Like, I had no idea what I was going to do. I’m down to $200 in my bank, no options. I didn’t really want to go back into the service industry but this was the only opportunity that presented itself.
I went back, and things were starting to look up and go well. And I started making money again and people were loving this food and we were really quickly building a name for ourselves. And in October, all three of us got Covid so we had to shut down for I think it was just over six weeks.
The husband-and-wife chef team — they got Covid really bad. Their symptoms were pretty severe. And for me, I just had a terrible headache, a very slight cough and severe exhaustion for about three days, and then I bounced right back. And they were unsure how long it was going to take them to reopen.
So during that time, I decided ‘Well, I can’t be jobless again for an indefinite period of time. I have to look for something else.’ So I applied at a local homeless shelter and I got a job there.
Juan Sanchez Bernal, 62, Harrison, N.J.
Commuter rail custodian
When the pandemic began, the number of people we saw in the offices, it almost dropped to half. It created panic. Many of us would have loved to work from home, but sadly, because we are cleaning people, how can we?
One employee from our group got sick and died. I felt sad. We were a team, you know? We talked about baseball, basketball, about the countries we came from.
This is the country that chose us. If in a moment of crisis, we got to choose between the things we like and the things we don’t like, what’s the contribution we are making? We have all done the essential work required — we have all contributed our grain of sand.
We didn’t stop working. I arrive at 6 in the morning. We take out the trash. We are always disinfecting. We always use masks.
My youngest daughter studied from home because her university was closed. She was watching over me. When I came back from work, she was all over me: Did you wash your hands? Take off your clothes! Take a shower right now! My other daughter called all the time.
I would tell them, ‘Remember that everybody who was born has to die, so calm down.’ They laughed. If you get more stressed, you’ll die faster. So, you better laugh.
I don’t want people to be treated the same way that I have been and to feel that loneliness and fear that I felt.
I started working at a major pet store in late September last year. I made $10.50 an hour. For the first five months of my job, I was just a cashier. One day, a tall, bulky man leaned around my Plexiglas shield and purposely coughed. I think we were out of the dog food that he needed or something.
My brother passed on May 22. He was my little buddy. He had a stroke that crushed his brain stem. He couldn’t keep going, so we decided it would be best if we took him off life support. My manager was not empathetic or compassionate. She even told me to just get over it, that my feelings from home didn’t transfer over to work. It was traumatic. I was not comfortable working in that store anymore. I transferred in mid-June.
My new store is short staffed. We’re all being wrung dry. You’ll be trying to unload inventory from a truck shipment and then there will be someone needing fish or four different phone calls. Sometimes someone will forget to give the birds more millet.
I’m worried about the weather getting cold again, if the cases will spike and whether my family and co-workers will be safe. I’ve already had one loss this year.
April Fitch, 58, Newark, N.J.
Airport security guard
More people would have preferred to stay home or work from home. If I had that opportunity, I would have, most definitely.
I caught Covid at the end of March. I was not feeling well. My mom was in a nursing home. I called her on April 6 and told her that my birthday was soon. I told her, “I’m coming to break you out of the house.” She laughed. On April 8, the nursing home called me and told me she was taken to the hospital. A week later she passed away due to Covid.
I ended up using two weeks of vacation days, all of my sick days and they gave me my three days for bereavement. There was no time to even deal with the fact that I lost my mom while I was dealing with Covid myself.
The first day going back to work was scary. I’m still scared. It’s very crowded now. I try to stay six feet apart. If someone asks me a question, I try to keep them at a distance.
Aidan Gardiner contributed reporting on the worker interviews. Eduardo Varas translated Juan Sanchez’s interview from Spanish.
Employees will reportedly be able to put in a request to work from home from their first day in a job under plans due to be announced later this week.
If a request for flexible working is turned down then companies will have to explain the reasons for the refusal, a government consultation document will propose this week.
The plan is being mooted as a considerable reshaping of the way people work post-pandemic, with people increasingly working at home more frequently due to Covid lockdowns.
The consultation document is due to be published by by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (Beis) on Thursday, as reported by The Guardian.
The proposal will also reportedly say that businesses will have to respond to flexible working requests faster than the current three month maximum.
The current rules mean employees have to accrue half a year of continuous service before they have a legal right to request flexible working which employers are able to decline on business grounds.
The suggested proposal means anyone can make a request from the start of their job, with the move aimed at enabling women, disabled people and carers to balance their work and life commitments.
Labour has criticised the plans as not going far enough, with its deputy leader Angela Rayner saying: “Labour will give workers the right to flexible working – not just the right to request it – and give all workers full rights from day one on the job.
“This is a U-turn from the Conservative manifesto which promised to make flexible working the default and once again the Conservatives have sold out working people.
“The ‘new normal’ after this pandemic must mean a new deal for all working people based on flexibility, security and strengthened rights at work.”
Additional reporting by PA