When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

Work In Progress

Work → In Progress: Why 'Financial Wellness' Is Not Just About A Raise

The workplace wellness trend now includes the very practical questions about how, when and how much we get paid, and is shaping up to be the next step in blurring the lines between personal and professional that were once so neatly divided.

Work → In Progress: Why 'Financial Wellness' Is Not Just About A Raise
Rozena Crossman

We’re approaching the end of Q1 of 2022 and the “wellness” trend that’s usually reserved for millennials’ yoga mats has officially made its way into the professional world. After two years of realizing that job setups don’t always favor employees’ health, the call for sweeping workplace changes — ranging from more medical access to an HR focus on mental well-being — is in full swing.

But wouldn't you know: the latest professional self-care trend carries a notably practical air: financial wellness.

Bank of America’s 2021 Workplace Benefits Report mentioned “financial wellness” 43 times, which it defined as “the type of support employers are offering to address financial needs.” But is making money not the point of work? It seems this new rebranding of how work relates to cash is indicative of how differently we now view employment.

The financial wellness movement doesn’t want companies to just fairly compensate employees but instead to teach them how to manage their salaries, be it saving for retirement, navigating debt or budgeting.


Following in the footsteps of remote work, this trend is shaping up to be the next step in blurring the lines between personal and professional that were once so neatly divided. But it’s just one of many factors at play. From spying on employees’ online activity and rejecting telework to consolidating a labor market by using a common language, this edition of Work → In Progress gives you the good, the bad and the ugly of the latest news in work:

WATCHING YOU

Mere months after China’s Personal Information Protection Law was implemented, controversy stirred when a company found out their employee was searching for other jobs by spying on his internet activity… and fired him. South China Morning Post reports the company allegedly used a system that tracked if an employee had checked job sites, sent applications, and then ranked “employees by the level of perceived resignation risk.” The information, however, was apparently tracked on the company’s own computers. How private is employee data if they’re using their employer’s devices?

REMOTE CONTROL

While some countries are pulling out all the stops to attract remote workers, others want to put a lid on it. According to French media Welcome To The Jungle, Japanese employee productivity was reported to have dropped 20% due to a corporate culture that favors teamwork. Meanwhile, the Czech Republic remains the only country that hasn’t given telework a legal status, in part due to their strong culture of hierarchy. Angola scored 0 in all of the three criteria used by LGMB Worklabs to assess a location’s “teleworkability”: legal, cultural and technical.

STAT DU JOUR

LINGUA KISWAHILI 

The African Union recently decided to adopt Swahili (known as Kiswahili to native speakers) as an official language recognized for work. According to Actu Cameroun, the language is spoken in 14 countries on a continent that is rapidly drawing international investors. Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia has announced the launch of a Kiswahili language education program. The university’s president explained, “Having a common language has wider importance on the development of culture, politics and economy as well as for the welfare of the society in the region.”

LUCKY NUMBER 4

Following a similar trend to countries like Spain, Iceland and Japan, the Belgian government has approved a plan that will allow workers to choose a 4-day work week and enforces their right not to respond to messages after office hours. According to La Voix Du Nord, the measure still needs to be put before parliament, but its proponents hope these more flexible ways of working will raise the country’s employment rate to 80% by 2030 (currently at 71%).

NO DAYS OFF

Meanwhile, Mexico has some of the shortest legal paid vacation time in the entire world, thanks to a law that hasn’t changed in 50 years. With only 6 days off per year, available only after having completed one year of work at the company, Mexico was deemed as having some of the most precarious work regulations in Latin America by El País México. Yet two reform proposals were presented to parliament early this year, keeping the country in step with the international worklife revolution currently taking place.

You've reached your monthly limit of free articles.
To read the full article, please subscribe.
Get unlimited access. Support Worldcrunch's unique mission:
  • Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.
  • Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries
  • Affordable monthly / yearly plans. Cancel anytime.
Already a subscriber? Log in

When the world gets closer, we help you see farther

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!
LGBTQ Plus

For LGBTQ+ Who Fled Bolsonaro’s Brazil, The Fear Of “Homophobe President” Winning Again

Portugal became a refuge for the Brazilian LGBTQ+ community who faced real danger following Jair Bolsonaro's victory four years ago. Some of those who left say that if Lula beats the right-wing incumbent in Sunday's presidential election, they would move back home.

People during the Gay Pride Parade in Lisbon, Portugal.

João Damião

LISBON — Nanny Aguiar sought in Lisbon the security that Jair Bolsonaro took away. Whenever she plays the violin or performs at Palácio do Grilo, in Xabregas, a neighborhood in the east of the city centre, Aguiar is reminded of everything she felt that October night five years ago. That night she lit candles in her house and made the decision to leave behind Recife the coastal Brazilian city where she was born 30 years earlier, and move to Lisbon.

That night of Oct. 22, 2018, Jair Bolsonaro emerged victorious in the presidential elections, with 64% of the votes in the second round. The life of Aguiar and Brazil’s entire LGBTQ+ community would never be the same.

Despite living in a different city, Aguiar never changed her polling station, in the extreme south of Recife, near her mother’s house away. “It was an excuse to spend another Sunday with her”, She says, laughing. “That day, I voted, had lunch with my mother and only came home that night.”

It was on the return journey, by car, that reality hit her. “This guy did not appear from nowhere in 2018, we had known for a long time who Bolsonaro was: a racist and homophobe. The problem is, he was a joke. No one ten years ago thought that someone like that could legitimately be in power.”

For nearly four years, the man residing in the presidential palace in Brasilia makes statements like “having a gay child is a lack of beating” or “I would be incapable of loving a homosexual child. I'd rather my child die in an accident.”

Keep reading...Show less

When the world gets closer, we help you see farther

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!
You've reached your monthly limit of free articles.
To read the full article, please subscribe.
Get unlimited access. Support Worldcrunch's unique mission:
  • Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.
  • Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries
  • Affordable monthly / yearly plans. Cancel anytime.
Already a subscriber? Log in
THE LATEST
FOCUS
TRENDING TOPICS

Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

Watch VideoShow less
MOST READ