2020 Workforce news roundup

One in Three U.S. Workers Is a Freelancer (Wall Street Journal): A new report from the Freelancers Union and Elance-oDesk reports that 34% of US workers qualify as freelancers. Our own 2020 Workforce survey shows that well over three-quarters of executives are increasingly using non-payroll workers, including freelancers. The labor market is changing significantly in the US and across the globe.

Apple supplier based in China accused of labour violations by US watchdogs (South China Morning Post): After scrutiny for past labor violations, Apple is again under fire for a recent report published by China Labor Watch and Green America claiming an electronics firm that supplies parts to Apple has employees—including some as young as 16—working 100 hours of overtime a month.

What employers really want? Workers they don’t have to train. (Washington Post): In this blog on executive expectations, Peter Cappelli argues that the problem with finding skilled labor is not a skills gap—it’s that employers’ expectations “have grown increasingly out of step with reality.”

How People Feel About Their Employer-Sponsored Health Plans (The New York Times): When the Urban Institute’s Health Reform Monitoring survey asked people how they feel about their company’s health plans, they found that, while a majority of respondents are satisfied with the range of services they can get on their plan, fewer are satisfied with premiums, deductibles, and protection.

Richard Branson on leadership

Our huge global survey shows that leadership is lackluster at most companies—not only are employee satisfaction rates low, but executives are not offering the feedback and development opportunities that their employees want and need.

Richard Branson, famed British entrepreneur and investor, has recently released a book on management. In The Virgin Way: How to Listen, Learn, Laugh and Lead, Branson shares what he has learned about being a leader from over 40 years in business.

 In an interview with The New York Times, Branson expands on a few of his approaches to management, including his companies’ occasional hiring of ex-convicts and his opinion on how unhappiness at work begins. While Branson may not have every answer, his success in business—and his likeliness to be named an ideal boss by British respondents to a Reed poll—suggest he may have some pointers.