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On Wednesday, April 14, Axios national technology correspondent Kim Hart and managing editor Aja Whitaker-Moore unpacked how employers are rapidly reimagining their workforce for a post-COVID-19 world, featuring Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Twitch chief people officer Lenke Taylor.

Sen. Gillibrand discussed the impact of the pandemic on the workforce, highlighting the economic case for paid leave and supporting the workforce as a key piece of American infrastructure.

  • On the Family Act in Congress, which calls for 12 weeks of paid family leave for any family member: “If we had had national paid leave in place, this pandemic would not have been so disastrous for working families. It would not have upended the careers of caregivers, resulting in over 2.5 women no longer employed."
  • On the economic impact of paid leave: "We are the only industrialized country in the world that doesn't have paid leave, and it's a real drag on our economy because it means too many people have to leave the workforce to meet an urgent family need."

Lenke Taylor unpacked how Twitch has adjusted its work to the constraints of the pandemic and discussed the trends that will remain as businesses and offices reopen.

  • How the pandemic has shifted norms around working from home: "Employees really value the flexibility that they've gotten during this period and they're looking for ways to continue to have that as we come out of the pandemic."
  • On offices of the future: They will be places "for employees to connect face-to-face...[then] work remotely or flexibly from home to complete their work."

Axios' Chief People Officer Dominique Taylor hosted a View from the Top segment with Density co-founder and CEO Andrew Farah who discussed how to understand the utilization of space in offices and buildings, and how to maintain privacy.

  • "We're talking about essentially laying new infrastructure that the pandemic has sort of mandated that will either serve us or serve to undermine us. I think that we ought to be very conscious about the type of technology we decide to deploy and under what conditions."

Thank you Density for sponsoring this event.

Go deeper

Apr 14, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Sen. Gillibrand: National paid parental leave would boost small businesses

Axios' Kim Hart and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand. Photo: Axios

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) said that federally funded paid parental leave could boost small businesses who would otherwise be unable to offer the benefit to employees, while speaking at an Axios virtual event on Wednesday.

Why it matters: Nearly a million American mothers have left the workforce during the pandemic and women's labor force participation is at a 33-year low. Some of the decline has been attributed to more women quitting their jobs, at least temporarily, to take care of their children.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
Apr 14, 2021 - Economy & Business

Companies struggle to manage on-demand workforces

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

A new report explores the challenges of managing "workforce ecosystems" increasingly made up of non-permanent employees.

The big picture: The emergence of new labor-sharing platforms, the push to cut costs, and workers' own preferences all drive the emergence of a distributed workforce — and companies need to adjust their management strategies.

44 mins ago - Technology

Scoop: Facebook exec warns of "more bad headlines"

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

In a post to staffers Saturday obtained by Axios, Facebook VP of global affairs Nick Clegg warned the company that worse coverage could be on the way: “We need to steel ourselves for more bad headlines in the coming days, I’m afraid.”

Catch up quick: Roughly two dozen news outlets had agreed to hold stories based on leaked materials from Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen for Monday publication — but the embargo fell apart Friday night as participating newsrooms posted a batch of articles ahead of the weekend.

You’ve caught up. Now what?

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