For anyone returning to their usual place of work, being consulted about whether or not to return, or with questions about safety we recommend watching this video from the multi-disciplinary group of scientists Independent SAGE. Their weekly briefings feature questions from the public. It’s up to us to be informed, in case our employers aren’t.
Many employers are normalising homeworking arrangements for their entire or a portion of their workforce. This is clearly necessary in order to minimise the potential for Covid-19 to spread, but it should not be at the cost of employees’ physical or mental wellbeing.
Here is a great interview with author Wendy Liu discussing her book Abolish Silicon Valley, in which she investigates the role of tech firms within capitalism. Wendy memorably describes startups which build things like call-centre automation as producing “worker immiseration as a Service”.
Abolish Silicon Valley is available from Repeater books.
Millions of us are now working from home. If WordPress and Tumblr CEO Matt Mullenweg is to be believed, this is a great thing: “Millions of people will get the chance to experience days without long commutes, or the harsh inflexibility of not being able to stay close to home when a family member is sick… This might be a chance for a great reset in terms of how we work”.
The latest booklet from the Labour Research Department (LRD) is “Monitoring and surveillance at work – a practical guide for trade union reps”.