Global HR headlines: Google, Somfy and UK jobs in the news

Somfy creates work-from-home playlists, Google reopens offices, and permanent UK jobs are on the rise.

This week in the news, research finds that music really can change the world, even in the new normal of WFH, while UK recruitment firms report a sharp increase in permanent job placements, as pandemic restrictions ease and vaccines are rolled out.

Tune in
Music has made its presence felt in the new normal of work from home with people creating home playlists of hundreds of thousands of songs.

According to smart home specialist Somfy, which looked into data from Spotify, people have created more than 1,000 dedicated work from home playlists, covering 187,450 songs throughout 2020.

Some of the top tunes include Shape of You by Ed Sheeran, Dance Monkey (Tones and I), Blinding Lights (The Weekend) and Closer (The Chainsmokers).

The findings put paid to previous research that indicated mellow music increases concentration when working, with the top 10 list featuring fairly fast-paced pop music.

Google offices are open
Google has rearranged its office to accommodate a hybrid model for employees to return to work, giving them more flexibility to work from different locations or entirely from home.

The influential Silicon Valley giant, one of the first to send employees home in 2020, has slowly opened its offices, but said its employees can work remotely until September, according to Bloomberg.

This was announced by its CEO, Sundar Pichai, who indicated that he expects about 60 percent of Google’s estimated 140, 000 employees will work in the office “a few days a week”.

The remaining 20 percent will be able to relocate to other company sites, while the rest are expected to apply for permanent WFH status.

Rise in UK job market
The latest KPMG and REC, UK Report on Jobs survey shows the steepest rise in permanent positions in nearly six years. This is attributed to the UK government’s plan to ease lockdown measures and vaccine progress.

Reports suggest that pandemic related job losses have led to high level of available candidates, however it also indicated that people were cautious about taking on new roles amid concerns about job security.

The report is compiled by IHS Markit from responses to questionnaires sent to a panel of around 400 UK recruitment and employment consultancies.