Editor’s Note: A version of this story appeared in CNN’s Work Transformed newsletter. To get it in your inbox, sign up for free here.
A summer internship provides a chance to learn the inner workings of a company and gain real-world experience. Communication skills are honed and mentor relationships are forged.
But what happens when an internship takes place during a pandemic?
Many companies had to quickly shift gears on their summer internship programs when their employees started working remotely earlier this year.
Laptops had to be shipped. Orientations happened over Zoom. And happy hours and other fun events (including talent shows, baking competitions and 5K runs) all had to go virtual as well.
But there are some major upsides to being a remote intern.
“We have more exposure to upper level VPs and senior VPs that I probably wouldn’t have in the office,” one Dell intern told me. “I am sure they would have been traveling and busy, but now they are sitting in their living rooms or at their kitchen tables and I get to sit down and speak with a lot of those people as well and really learn about their careers.”
Communication can be a challenge even for seasoned employees when it comes to working from home, so many companies have taken added steps to make sure interns feel supported and know where to go for help.
At MassMutual, interns were connected with a manager, a coordinator and a buddy to help them navigate their summer experience.
Check out the full story on what it’s like to be an intern during a pandemic.
The workers most at risk
Not everyone can work from home. And those that can’t face a higher risk of being laid off, furloughed or having their hours or pay cut.
The most vulnerable are the workers who are least able to bear the loss: the poor and the young workers in the lowest-paying jobs, writes International Monetary Fund economists Mariya Brussevich, Era Dabla-Norris and Salma Khalid for CNN Business’ Perspectives.
Workers in food and accommodation, and wholesale and retail trade, have the least ability to work from home, they found. More than 20 million people in their sample who work in these sectors are at the highest risk of losing their jobs, they reported.
The pandemic could also reverse some of the gains we’ve made in gender equality since women disproportionately work in sectors like food service and accommodation.
But what can be done? The trio writes that governments can broaden social insurance and safety nets to help lessen the blow of unemployment and loss of income for affected workers. Creating wage subsidies and public-works programs can also help.
Read more about the jobs that are most at risk here.
Verizon’s pledge to retrain workers
Millions of Americans have lost their jobs, but Verizon hasn’t laid off any of its 135,000 employees during the pandemic.
Instead, it’s retraining them, reports CNN Business’ Matt Egan.
As part of a plan called Citizen Verizon that was announced earlier this week, the company said it has trained around 20,000 of its own workers for new careers and pledges to reskill 500,000 mostly lower-wage workers around the world, including those who work in factories, restaurants and as drivers, by 2030.
Teaching workers new skills isn’t cheap, and Verizon is doing it at a time when other companies are looking for ways to cut costs.
“Many of the decisions you’re taking in a crisis like this, they will follow you for years because this is when people, customers, employees will remember how we acted,” CEO Hans Vestberg told Egan.
Click here to learn more about the program.
Your new office look
Remember dress pants? Or how about skirts? Or having to worry about putting together a complete outfit — not just from the waist up?
The work-from-home wardrobe is much more relaxed than what many of us wore to the office. And while that’s good news for your morning routine, it’s bad news for retailers selling formal office attire.
Brooks Brothers filed for bankruptcy last week. And Tailored Brands, which owns Men’s Wearhouse, Jos. A. Bank and K&G, could also be in trouble.
In addition, Ascena Retail Group, the owner of Ann Taylor and Lane Bryant, has said it’s evaluating all options available to protect the business.
While the pandemic has certainly played a major role, work apparel was already becoming less fussy pre-Covid, reports CNN Business’ Parija Kavilanz. Even Wall Street stalwart Goldman Sachs relaxed its dress code in 2019.
Read more about the shift and why sometimes getting a little dressed up at home can be helpful.
WFH with a view
Looking for a change of scenery from your current work-from-home setup?
How about powdery sand beaches, crystal blue waters and jagged cliffs?
Barbados could soon announce a 12-month Welcome Stamp for visitors working remotely, reports CNN’s Madeline Holcombe.
I am a big fan of to-do lists.
It’s the only way to keep myself somewhat organized and to feel the slightest bit productive on days when I feel like I am just spinning my wheels (which is most days recently).
I’ve even been known to add completed tasks to my lists just to check them off.
And it turns out, making these lists can be good for our mental health — especially during these uncertain times.
To-do lists can help reduce anxiety, provide structure and keep a record of everything we’ve accomplished in a day, reports CNN’s Lauren Kent.
But in order to be most effective, the list needs to be well-defined. It’s also important to prioritize your to-do items so you better direct your time.
Learn more about the psychology of to-do lists and how to create a useful one here.