Return to Office or Quit

On Episode 518 of the Waves of Tech, we are behind the mics talking about work assignments, GDPR regulation, and rocket launches. As tech companies begin to get anxious about calling employees back into their offices after vaccinations, about a third of polled employees are saying they would rather quit than return to the office. In Germany, the local GDPR agency issued a multi-million dollar fine to a local laptop retail for retaining and utilizing forms of intensive video surveillance on workers and customers. And in aeronautical news, Virgin successfully completed their final test of LauncherOne which sent a rocket into low Earth orbit making it one of the few corporations to do so and paving the way for work with NASA.

Return to Office or Quit

At the start of this global health pandemic, all the major tech companies shifted from in-office work assignments to at-home placements. This has been embraced by so many in the industry, where some have resorted to permanent home jobs. Well now, as vaccines begin to roll out, many employers may be asking workers to head back. But, some would rather quit.

  • 29% of working professionals say they would quit & find another job than return
  • Many cite their concerns that corporations would not adhere to health guidelines
  • The work-life balance has shifted and is now favoring the employee, not the company
  • Honestly, most tech companies are still productive and profitable with at-home workers

GDPR Fine for Video Surveillance

We often do not report on the European Union’s GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation). After the passage in 2018, many countries have enforced the privacy protection rules and issued millions in fines for non-compliance. A recent case found that a laptop retailer used and retained video surveillance for a three-year period without disclosure and reporting.

  • The $12.5M (10.4M euros) fine ranks one of the highest in the EU and in Germany
  • One issue is the intensive of the surveillance throughout the entire infrastructure
  • NBB (retailer) calls the fine disappropriate to the size of the company and revenue
  • GDPR continues to demonstrate the growing need for protection in the United States

Virgin Orbit’s Rocket Launch Successful

It’s official! There is now another company that can successfully launch rockets into low Earth orbit. Virgin Orbit, after 5 years of testing, made history as LauncherOne was released from a customized Boeing 747 jet and reached the entry point. The next steps are to continue to work on the diagnostics of the launch and run satellites into space on behalf of NASA. Exciting!

  • Testing took place at the Mojave Air & Space Port campus in the Mojave Desert
  • Original final launch test was due in December but delayed due to quarantine needs
  • Virgin is so unique to others as they have such a variation on their launch approach
  • They will be looking to capitalize on the growing small satellite market

Resources & Links

Return to the office or quit?

GDPR Fine of $12.5M

Enforcement Tracker (GDPR)

Virgin’s rocket reaches orbit

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