Office Worker – Servers Under The Sun Tue, 21 Jun 2022 14:30:51 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Office Worker – Servers Under The Sun 32 32 Brightly Worker-Owned Cleaning Co-op Arrives in Philadelphia Tue, 21 Jun 2022 14:30:51 +0000

When people think of franchises, the big chains – McDonalds, Starbucks – are usually the first to think.

Large franchises operate by licensing the rights to their brands and designs to individual franchisees, who pay them a percentage of their revenue – and usually pay their workers minimum wage. Unsurprisingly, large corporations benefit the most.

Juan Cuautle and Amalia de la Iglesia want you to think of something different when you hear the word “franchise”.

Cuautle and de la Iglesia work for a Brooklyn-based nonprofit family and social service organization family life center (CFL), where they helped launch Strongly, the nation’s first cooperative and environmentally responsible cleaning services franchise. The franchise focuses on creating worker-owner jobs for immigrants, allowing them to share in the profits and earn a living wage – to pave the way for a better life.

“It’s usually, like, a few people at the top or one person at the top with all the money and power, and then the workers get exploited,” de la Iglesia says. “We looked to social franchises to kind of build a much more fair and democratic mode.”

What is Brightly?

Brightly was formed as part of CFL’s cooperative development initiative. The nearly five-year franchise quickly expanded to five locations serving residential and commercial customers in New York City.

Now they’re partnering with the nonprofit The reception center to add a sixth Brightly, here in Philadelphia. They are planning a local launch by May 2023 and have already begun recruiting and training potential worker-owners in the Bok Building in South Philadelphia. The Goal: To build a better life by creating stable jobs and lifelong agency among hard-working immigrants in Philadelphia as well.

Immigrants make up 14% of the population in Philadelphia, which largely explains the city’s growth over the past decade. In 2018, immigrants also made up about 14% of people living in poverty in Philadelphia, the nation’s poorest major city. It’s not for lack of work – about 67% of the city’s immigrants participate in the labor force, according to a report from the Vera Institute of Justice, based on census data. But many of those jobs — like many held by U.S.-born residents — pay too little to support a family, with the minimum wage hovering at $7.25 for private companies. In 2020, immigrants represented 24% of Philadelphians 16 or older earn minimum wage.

Brightly aims to change that, changing who owns – and benefits from – a cleaning business. Prior to starting Brightly, CFL worked to develop more than 20 co-operative businesses in industries ranging from childcare to DIY services. As program director, Cuautle found that working in multiple industries made it difficult to develop successful co-ops, as they had to spend a lot of time learning the ins and outs of new professions.

“We are not experts in everything,” explains Cuautle.

So he decided to learn a lesson from the Arizmendi Association, a group of co-op-owned bakeries, landscapers, and construction companies that uses a trustmark to help multiple co-ops in similar industries thrive. Unlike the Arizmendi Association, Brightly is a franchise registered in New York, making it the nation’s franchise. first cooperative franchise owned by legal workers, USA Today reported this year. In 2018, CFL created Brightly as a pilot project in which individual green cleaning co-ops would use franchise branding and a single web platform to book appointments.

Cuautle says they focused on the cleaning industry because the profession has few licensing requirements, making it easier to start new businesses, and because many of the immigrants CFL primarily serves in the neighborhood from Sunset Park in Brooklyn have work experience in the industry. The Economic Policy Institute reports that 18.5% of housekeepers in the United States are immigrants. The industry is also ripe for exploitation: compensation violations, harassment and abuse by customers are commonplace, The Guardian reports.

CFL’s goal for Brightly: to create a franchise that would pay high, reliable wages and provide security and stability to its workers through a cooperative model where workers are their own bosses. Brilliant cleaners earn an average of $31 per hour; the typical salary for a house cleaner in New York is $19.77 per hour and $16.86 per hour for office cleaners, by Indeed. In Philadelphia, the average salary is $18.54 per hour for a housekeeper and $15.20 per hour for a cleaning officer.

Almost all members of the cooperative are women. All are immigrants. None are required to provide documentation status.

Brightly also aims to remove the financial barriers that workers face when starting a franchise. Most cleaning franchises in New York charge an upfront fee of “over $60,000“, according to data from Brightly’s website. There is no cost to become a Brightly franchisee, just a 5% monthly royalty on each location’s revenue. This royalty is used to fund customer service, marketing , technology, training, and other efforts to make Brightly self-sufficient for the long term.

Most franchises charge monthly fees ranging from 4 percent to 12 percent sales, reports the US Small Business Administration; some charge extra. McDonalds, for example, charges a franchise fee of about five percent plus advertising costs, plus, in most cases, rent, reports The Guardian.

For now, the CFL continues to fund the program through its other fundraising efforts. Currently, there are five Brightly co-ops serving over 1,000 customers, in Washington Heights, Carroll Gardens, East Harlem, Tribeca and Staten Island. The franchise has approximately 40 worker-owners. (The number fluctuates as people leave and join cooperatives). Cooperatives are limited to 25 members. Many set aside up to 15% of each month’s earnings for individual management fees.

Brightly Coop employees also share in the benefits of their individual franchise and have a say in making decisions, such as what rates to set for services. If a franchise-wide decision needs to be made, members from all locations come together. This is how they decided to require their workers to be vaccinated against Covid.

“One worker, one vote,” says Cuautle. “They discuss any subject concerning business and decide together what they are going to do.”

CFL partners with community organizations to launch new Brightly Co-ops and provide job opportunities for locals looking for work. When they started the Tribeca Co-op, for example, they partnered with a shelter for victims of domestic violence. Here in Philadelphia, they worked with The Welcoming Center, a non-profit organization that creates local economic opportunities for people from other countries.

Each Brightly Co-op begins with an incubation period during which CFL teaches members about co-op governance, clarifies legal issues and management strategies, and trains them in their cleaning procedures.

How Brightly came to Philadelphia

For Nicole Marcote, program manager for the Welcome Center’s entrepreneurship programs, Brightly’s franchise model addresses some of the challenges she’s seen immigrant entrepreneurs face. “I’ve always been very interested in cooperatives,” says Marcote. “What we realized – perhaps very similar to what Juan realized – is that supporting a collective of entrepreneurs who share an industry is much easier than providing individual technical assistance.”

In 2019, the Visitor Center helped a dozen artists sell their wares at local craft and farmer’s markets. For Marcote, starting a co-op business, even if it was in a different industry, seemed like a logical next step. The model will help immigrants to the city and women doing unskilled work build equity by creating stable, well-paying jobs – and convey a sense of pride in belonging.

“It’s not really just a job, it’s your business,” she says. “There is always an entrepreneur in everyone, but not everyone is lucky enough to realize those dreams. So we hope this is an opportunity.

The Philadelphia Co-op will also share Get on and go, Brightly’s member-owned online scheduling system and app. Cuautle says the platform helps Brightly compete with apps like TaskRabbit, which takes 15 percent the cost of each job of its workers. Up & Go also prioritizes worker flexibility, allowing cleaners to choose the days that work best for them. The workers set the rates upon arrival based on the condition of the house. “The goal is to give workers a little more power,” says de la Iglesia.

If the initial launch is successful, Marcote plans to add more sites in Philadelphia. “We’re not as big as New York,” she says, “but I think there are definitely areas [to expand]. In the Northeast there is also a large immigrant population, so we can see how this model could work there as well.

As for the bigger franchise, Cuautle says they will continue to expand to other cities. They received requests from organizations in Colorado, Florida, Michigan and California.

Currently, Marcote expects the co-op to be able to establish its headquarters in South Philly; this is where most of the people who came to the briefings live. She expects them to serve commercial spaces in the city center. But that decision – and any decisions about profit sharing and hourly wages – will ultimately be made by local Brightly worker-owners. Because that’s how co-ops thrive.


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askST Jobs: I am a recent graduate starting an office job. How do I survive my first day on the job? Sun, 19 Jun 2022 21:00:00 +0000

In this series, workforce correspondent Calvin Yang offers practical answers to candid questions about how to meet workplace challenges and move forward in your career.

Q: I’m a new graduate and will be starting a desk job next week. How do I survive my first day on the job?

A: The first day at a new job can be scary.

Don’t worry if you lose sleep the night before and have butterflies in your stomach when you leave the house. It’s probably normal!

That said, you may not want to show up at the office unprepared. Try to find out as much as you can about the work culture, dress code, and co-workers you’re likely to work with.

It is obvious that you must be punctual.

Even better if you can arrive 15-30 minutes early. This gives you more time to familiarize yourself with your new work environment and set up your workstation.

Relax, smile and be friendly, even if you’re not a morning person and don’t feel like socializing.

Introduce yourself to your colleagues, including the office cleaner. A simple introduction will include your name, job title, and work experience.

Mr. Adrian Tan from the Singapore Institute of Human Resources advises beginners to talk less and listen more.

As National University of Singapore sociologist Tan Ern Ser suggests, “If I was assigned a buddy, I would let them introduce me to the team, observe and use whatever information I have to navigate the landscape. social.

“I would be nice and friendly, but look authentic, and show that I’m a team player and ready to learn and put on my weight.”

Once you’ve settled in and finished the introductions, do some groundwork.

That includes knowing what you’re supposed to do and reading past correspondence, says Paul Heng, managing director of NeXT Career Consulting Group, but “nothing serious because you’re still new.”

Also, if you are asked to join your supervisor or coworkers for lunch, don’t turn them down. You probably won’t have much to do on the first day anyway.

HIMSS22 EUROPE: “We need to co-create and work with patients.” Sat, 18 Jun 2022 05:27:23 +0000

“I want to convince you in the next few minutes that I am part of the solution, not necessarily just a problem,” Graham Prestwich, head of public and patient engagement, Yorkshire and Humber Academic Health Science Network, told delegates. from HIMSS22 European Conference.

He represented the voice of the patients during the session “From Patient Engagement to Patient Empowerment” during which a panel of experts discussed how citizens could be more included in the digital transformation of health.

The speakers were: Dr. Kaveh Safevi, Senior Managing Director, Global Health Consulting, Accenture, USA; Begoña Nafria, Head of Patient Engagement in Research and Innovation Group, San Joan de Deu Children’s Hospital, Barcelona, ​​Spain; Graham Prestwich, Head of Public and Patient Engagement, Yorkshire and Humber Academic Health Science Network, UK; Dr. Anne Snowdon, Director of Clinical Research, HIMSS Analytics, Canada.

“The current situation makes people feel like things are getting worse rather than better,” Prestwick added. “For people with disabilities, things are not going well and the chances of them being able to contribute to their own well-being seem to be receding, not progressing.”

When it comes to designing healthcare solutions, Prestwick said it was important to involve patients who represent the target audience and to ensure they were involved in creating a clear definition of the Problem to solve.

“A lot of people use patients rather than working with patients,” he concluded. “If I’m there, I feel like you’re doing things with me instead of me.”

Gain someone’s trust

Although telehealth exploded during the pandemic, adoption of other forms of digital tools plummeted after 2018, according to research conducted by Accenture in eight countries.

“As we watch citizen adoption of the technology over the years, starting in 2018, we find that the pace of adoption – which had progressed well and brought a lot of money and innovation – had in fact started to plateau,” explained Dr. Kaveh Safevi, Senior Managing Director, Global Health Consulting, Accenture.

Virtual health visits were the only exception to this, due to forced adoption during the pandemic when seeing doctors face-to-face was impossible.

“It was striking for us to see a uniform deceleration in the adoption of digital technologies, wearables and apps over the period,” Dr Safevi said.

Research has shown that this is partly due to a lack of patient confidence. Although healthcare providers have been ranked as the most trusted entities people can give their data to, trust in all stakeholders has declined since the pandemic.

“If they don’t trust, they are unwilling to engage with the system,” Dr Safevi continued. “You could argue that the pandemic has done nothing more to make people aware that their health data is available and could be used by others.”

To overcome this problem, Dr Safevi said it was important for innovators to consider more than the functionality and efficiency of digital tools.

“We see a lot of innovation around the value of the digital tool as measured by its primary purpose, which is engagement or effectiveness,” Dr. Safevi said. “But if we want our investments to be worthwhile, we need to include in our goal not just whether it works, but will anyone care?”

To restore public trust, he said it was necessary “to establish clear transparency around information associated with behavior that might be consistent with how you place yourself.”

Involve the younger generation

A remarkable example of patient empowerment comes from San Joan de Deu Children’s Hospital in Barcelona, ​​Spain. Begoña Nafria, head of the patient engagement in research and innovation group, described an ongoing initiative to involve children and young people in decision-making at the hospital.

The youth advisory group, Kids Barcelona, ​​was established in 2015 and currently has 20 members of which 80% are patients and 20% are from the local community. Every month, meetings are organized during which the members can give their opinion on the projects at the hospital.

“We are a patient-centered institution because we believe the only way for our health care services is to work with patients and their families,” Nafria said. “We include them in research and innovation because we want them to be partners.”

Children and young people are also involved in the co-design of medical devices, receive training on their data rights through games and are educated in the development of clinical trials.

“We have to completely change the mindset of solutions because we are so based on the fact that the experts are the doctors and the medical staff, and the children and their families are not on the same level,” Nafria said. . “We have to co-create and work with patients.”

Israeli court finds Gaza aid worker guilty of financing terrorism | Gaza Wed, 15 Jun 2022 20:45:00 +0000

An Israeli court has returned a guilty verdict to a Gaza aid worker accused of funneling relief funds to Hamas, despite international outcry over the lack of evidence in the high-profile case that has dragged on for years.

Mohammad El Halabi, the former head of the Gaza office of the US charity World Vision, was arrested in 2016 after being accused by Israel’s Shin Bet security service of transferring tens of millions of dollars to the Hamas, the Palestinian militant group that controls the interior of the Gaza Strip. Undress. He has since been in pre-trial detention.

He and World Vision have denied any wrongdoing. On Wednesday — more than 160 hearings and six years later — the District Court in the southern Israeli city of Beersheba found Halabi guilty of all but one of the terrorism charges against him, including membership in a terrorist organization, financing of terrorist activities, having “transmitted information to the enemy” and possession of a weapon.

Sentencing is expected in the coming weeks. World Vision said Halabi would appeal the decision.

After Halabi’s arrest, her employer, independent auditors and the Australian government, one of World Vision’s major donors, found no evidence of wrongdoing or embezzlement.

The charity said the alleged embezzlement of $50 million [£41m] far exceeded its operating budget in Gaza for the previous decade, which amounted to $22.5 million [£19m]. The independent forensic audit conducted by international accounting firm Deloitte and DLA Piper, a global law firm, revealed that instead of helping Hamas, Halabi had actively worked to prevent funds from falling between the hands of the Islamist group.

Much of the evidence against Halabi has been kept secret over the years, due to “security concerns” cited by Israeli prosecutors. UN human rights experts, diplomats and NGOs have repeatedly called on Israel to grant Halabi immediate access to a fair trial or release him.

The day before the verdict, the UN Human Rights Office had expressed “serious concerns” about the proceedings, in particular regarding the “lack of evidence”.

Palestinians demonstrate in Gaza City in solidarity with Mohammad El Halabi. Photography: APAImages/Rex/Shutterstock

Sharon Marshall, a World Vision spokeswoman who has followed the case closely, said in a statement after the decision: “In our opinion, there were irregularities in the trial process” and that the verdict was based on “a lack of background and publicly available evidence”.

“We support Mohammad’s intention to appeal the decision and call for a fair and transparent appeal process based on the facts of the case,” she said.

Halabi’s lawyer, Maher Hanna, called the judgment “totally political”, saying it had “nothing to do with the facts”.

The court ruling did not describe the diversion of any financial aid to Hamas, but rejected the charity’s argument that it had strong controls in place that prevented it.

He also referred to an alleged confession by Halabi which has not been made public. Hanna said the confession was based on notes taken by an investigator, who spoke to another prisoner who overheard them, and should not have been admitted as evidence as it was given under duress.

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According to prisoners’ rights group Addameer, ‘many Palestinian detainees plead guilty to offenses they did not commit and waive their right to pursue legal proceedings’, often due to a lack of trust in the Israeli civilian and military justice systems to render verdicts in a timely manner.

With legal support from World Vision, however, Halabi was able to adopt what his father, Khalil, described as a “principled position”, refusing to admit to crimes he says he did not commit and avoiding further harm. to the reputation of World Vision.

The charity suspended operations in Gaza following Halabi’s arrest, ending psychosocial support for 40,000 children, as well as the provision of medical supplies and food aid.

The 15-year-old Israeli-Egyptian blockade of the Gaza Strip has severely restricted the freedom of movement of the enclave’s 2 million residents and left them struggling with a collapsed health system, power outages electricity and very little drinking water.

Israel says it supports the work of aid organizations but is obliged to take steps to prevent donor funds from falling into the hands of armed groups like Hamas that do not recognize its existence and attack its citizens.

Call centers face mass resignation over wage growth as Qantas and passport office battle delays Tue, 14 Jun 2022 05:39:44 +0000

Australia’s cost of living crisis is hitting call center workers hard, with a third threatening to quit in search of higher pay.

An Australian Services Union (ASU) survey of private sector call center workers found that 70% felt financially ‘worse’ or ‘much worse’ than they did a year ago, prompting the union to warn that “thousands of people could leave”.

Call center woes are plaguing many top companies, with Qantas making headlines recently over inflated wait times.

The Australian Passport Office, despite being a government organisation, has also come under fire this year due to understaffing, leaving thousands of desperate Australians on hold for hours and without their travel documents.

Of call center workers surveyed, nearly half, 48%, said they lived paycheck to paycheck, but 43% said they even struggled to do so .

Call center staff are threatening to look for other work because their salaries are not keeping pace with Australia’s runaway inflation, leaving it hard to make ends meet

Wage struggles threaten to trigger a mass exodus in the sector, with 30% of employees saying they are ready to leave their jobs in search of a higher salary.

The survey of Australian Services Union (ASU) call center workers also included receptionists and administrative assistants, and was commissioned by the union.

ASU Deputy National Secretary Emeline Gaske said the results represented “a big flashing light for the whole economy.”

“Private sector wages just aren’t keeping up,” she said.

“The call center workforce is growing, but those jobs aren’t paying the bills.”

A union survey found that 70% of call center staff felt worse off financially than a year ago, with almost half living paycheck to paycheck and many hard to do.

A union survey found that 70% of call center staff felt worse off financially than a year ago, with almost half living paycheck to paycheck and many hard to do.

The survey found that 61% of call center workers said it was becoming increasingly difficult to cover basic needs such as groceries.

This led 11% of respondents to skip meals or pawn assets to supplement their income.

Another 30 percent of respondents said they had given up on health care in the past year because of the cost.

In contrast, only 7% said they were living comfortably on their current income.

Australian Services Union deputy national secretary Emeline Gaske has said private sector lagging wages for call center workers could see thousands leave the sector

Australian Services Union deputy national secretary Emeline Gaske has said private sector lagging wages for call center workers could see thousands leave the sector

“The result of this wage crisis is that families are left without essentials like food and health care, with workers selling their belongings to get by,” Ms Gaske said.

“If nothing changes, we will also see businesses suffer as thousands of people leave their employers.”

The average salary for a call center employee in Australia is $59,502 a year, or just over $30 an hour, according to the website.

The majority of people who responded to the ASU survey earned between $500 and $1,499 per week, before taxes.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, inflation has outpaced wage growth for six consecutive quarters for the first time since the late 1990s.

Qantas has suffered bad publicity over the long delays people are experiencing contacting their call centers with a petition claiming the average wait is five and a half hours.

Qantas has suffered bad publicity over the long delays people are experiencing contacting their call centers with a petition claiming the average wait is five and a half hours.

Qantas has been plagued by call center delays for months, with the national carrier in the spotlight when international borders opened in November last year.

Frustrated Qantas passengers continue to take to social media under the hashtag #qantasfail to complain about long waits or not being able to get through at all.

‘Hey @Qantas instead of running those wellness adverts how about spending that money employing staff to answer phone calls and emails and look after your long-suffering customers? I would love to have a solution to my problems from two months ago. Thanks. #qantasfail,’ Twitter user Sandy Horne wrote on Tuesday.

‘@Qantas still no response from you as to where my luggage is. It’s the third day. #qantasfail #qantas,’ another Monday wrote.

After the Easter holiday caused travel chaos, the Australian Services Union asked Qantas in April to add at least 50 staff to its Hobart call centre.

However, the airline denied that the center in Hobart, which is reserved for premium calls and frequent flyers, was understaffed.

CEO Alan Joyce issued a public apology but denied the center was understaffed.

“I apologize to anyone trying to reach our call center at this time,” Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said last month.

“But that’s because our call center, with these boundary changes, went from 5,000 calls a day to 15,000 calls a day.

“And every time there’s a change, like the New Zealand opening, it skyrockets.”

Mr Joyce said call centers were the ‘one area’ where the airline did not cut staff during Covid, but still promised centers would have triple the capacity they had during the Covid period by the middle of this year.

Qantas CEO Alan Joyce has apologized for long call center delays suffered by his airline's customers, but blamed the surge in travel resulting from the lifting of Covid restrictions

Qantas CEO Alan Joyce has apologized for long call center delays suffered by his airline’s customers, but blamed the surge in travel resulting from the lifting of Covid restrictions

Colombia Passes Remote Work Law, Paving the Way for Hybrid Offices Sat, 11 Jun 2022 20:53:13 +0000

Colombia has removed legal obstacles that stood in the way of companies wishing to extend remote work for an indefinite period.

The Colombian government has approved a new law that requires companies to bear the operational costs of remote desktops. This means that they have to pay for the electricity, internet and water spent by their home workers.

However, not all is bad news for businesses. Unlike the Philippines, Colombian law does not deny incentives to companies operating in special economic zones (SEZs) to move IT equipment out of their workplace.

Companies in the SEZ will retain the right to financial incentives as long as they do not hire anyone outside their zone, said Fabio Andres Osorio Salgadotax director at JA Del Río, a Latin American audit firm in Colombia.

“The goal of creating SEZs is to create jobs for the local community,” he said in a conversation with Nearshore Americas.

Now, says Salgado, things are much more flexible. You can either have remote work agreements with all employees or adopt a hybrid work model, where employees work partly onsite and partly remote.

However, not everyone buys this argument. Labor law expert Adriana Escobar, partner at CMS Rodríguez-Azuero, told the local Spanish publication El Nuevo Siglo that “the appearance [of the hybrid work model] is mentioned with ambiguity.

The new law complicates the adoption of a hybrid working model, she said, pointing to its headline clause that requires employers to fund the operational cost of remote workers. According to his analysis, the new law makes no mention of a hybrid working model.

However, the order clarifies that no employee can work in the office once they are registered as a remote worker. For employers, it makes no sense to pay for the employee’s remote desktop while the office infrastructure is still in use.

Salgado says employers can modify the agreement in consultation with the employee, rolling out a hybrid model for as many employees as they want.

The rise of WeWork in Colombia

A large majority of the Colombian workforce worked remotely until mid-2021. As the intensity of the pandemic lessened, they began to return to the office.

Today, almost 50% of them work in an office full-time, according to the latest study from Citrix and Onepoll.

Perhaps the biggest beneficiary of the pandemic and its impact on the job market is WeWork, a New York-based coworking space provider with a huge investment from Japanese conglomerate Softbank.

The office-sharing company’s occupancy has increased by more than 40% in Colombia since the start of 2020, according to Company officials said they were seeing an increase of almost 350% in the number of workers using their facilities.

Additionally, the demand for desktop computing devices has also increased significantly. Sales of new desktops have increased by more than 150% since January 2021, almost triple compared to the first three months of the pandemic.

Chair Stalking Returns To Bryant Park As Midtown Begins To Liven Up Fri, 10 Jun 2022 04:14:38 +0000

Hello. It’s Friday. Today we’ll look at RTO inequality – the return to the office – and what it means for New York.