Global HR headlines: Russia jobless rate increases, edtech startup downsizes

Microsoft report shows that flexibility and wellbeing are ‘non-negotiables’ for employees.

With more than 600 companies announcing their withdrawal from Russia, unemployment is on the rise in the country. Meanwhile, as the global energy transition takes shape, industry bodies start mapping out workforce training needs to meet future job demands, and a Microsoft report shows that the pandemic has resulted in a shift in the power dynamic, with people no longer valuing perks like free food and a corner office.

Mapping workforce needs for global energy transition

International trade association the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) and nonprofit industry body the Global Wind Organisation (GWO) have signed a new two-year agreement to map out workforce training needs.

This is being done to support the demand to fill an increasing number of jobs that will be being created during the global energy transition.

The next output of the collaboration will result in GWO and GWEC producing their third yearly report on job creation and workforce training needs in global offshore wind markets, which will be released in the third quarter.

Russia’s jobless expected to swell as companies pull out

The ranks of Russia’s jobless could swell by as much as two million by year-end, according to the Centre for Strategic Research in Moscow. In the worst-case scenario, unemployment could approach eight percent.

“We are going to see an uptick in white collar unemployment as foreign companies and banks are leaving, but companies are also withdrawing from sectors such as retail that employed cheap labour,” says Tatiana Orlova at Oxford Economics.

More than 600 companies have announced their withdrawal from Russia since the invasion hit, according to the Yale School of Management, though many will pay employees for a few months, reports Reuters.

Tight economic environment affects edtech startup

Edtech startup Unacademy has laid off around 1,000 employees, including on-roll and contractual staff, in the past few weeks, said people with knowledge of the development. The Economic Times reports that this includes employees at Unacademy group firm Prepladder, which it acquired in 2020. The group comprises Unacademy, PrepLadder, CodeChef, Graphy and Relevel.

About 600 of the staff were asked to leave last week as the Bengaluru-based company looks to cut costs amid an impending slowdown in venture funding and tightening of the overall economic environment.

Flexibility and wellbeing are ‘non-negotiables’

The last two years of the pandemic have fundamentally changed the definition of work, as per the new Microsoft Work Trends Index. The great reshuffle is here to stay, as – for instance – a staggering 41 percent of Indian employees left their jobs during the past year, reports Edex Live.

As the power dynamic is shifting, people are no longer valuing the perks like free food and a corner office.

“Flexibility and wellbeing are non-negotiables that companies can't afford to ignore. The best leaders will create a culture that embraces flexibility and prioritises employee wellbeing,” the report noted.