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Monday, 9 January 2023

Get yourself a funky job title + Are we ever going to say goodbye to supply chain snarls?

Fitness fanatics are taking their workouts to the next level with whole-body electrical muscle stimulation suits: The leotard-like EMS suit is meant to work the muscles in much less time than a regular workout through direct skin contact, with some supporters saying the suits can yield the same results in a much shorter time per workout, according to the Wall Street Journal. The suits actually aren’t a new invention — EMS suits were developed some 20 years ago, but companies are now starting to provide the devices for home use, according to sports scientists and entrepreneurs.

So far, research results on EMS workouts are mixed: Although some research suggested that workouts conducted with an EMS suit led to better results in “waist and hip measurements, cholesterol levels, aerobic capacity and other indicators of cardiac health” than those done without stimulation, some scientists still argue that it could lead to muscle damage and burns. Some studies claim that it has a greater positive impact on body composition and reducing fat, while others fought the notion saying that more research is needed to affirm the benefits, according to the WSJ. Moreover, in Europe, many studies have tracked traces of “serious medical conditions, including at least seven cases of rhabdomyolysis, and worn out muscles that have released damaging substances to the heart and kidneys.”

Say hello to the latest work trend: Fun, unconventional job titles. Traditional job titles are evolving with the times in many industries — especially creative ones — as companies look to broaden some roles while portraying a modern, progressive company culture, BBC reports. New titles like “chief visionary officer,” “chief innovation evangelist” and “business development guru” have been cropping up across sectors, as recruiters look to rebrand jobs in hopes of attracting fresh talent, especially during a tight labor market, Pawel Adrjan, director of EMEA economic research at hiring platform Indeed, tells BBC. The new, flashy job titles can also help make employees feel more valued due to their specificity, Adrjan said. Some aspects of job titles also reflect the evolving nature of work, as in the case of “people” replacing “human resources,” and “talent acquisition” replacing “recruitment” — which are all signs of work lingo becoming more sensitive and respectful of workers.

But some say these new titles can be dangerous: Nontraditional titles can be vague and ambiguous, which can offer little guidance into what employees’ roles entail, Adrjan said. They can also hinder workers’ ability to find new roles that suit them, and can prevent recruiters — who are usually searching for specific titles — from finding them, he adds. This could, in the long run, affect equity and diversity in recruitment, which needs “clear career ladders, pathways and salaries,” Adrjan warned.

It’s shaping up to be another year of supply chain bottlenecks: Port workers all over the world have been speaking out against their unchanging wages despite rising inflation hitting food and fuel prices — hurting already fragile global supply chains, Bloomberg writes. Most recently, there was a nationwide strike of port administration employees in Portugal, which is set to last until the end of the month. Last year saw over 38 port disturbances on the back of employee protests or strikes, up four times from the 2021 figure, according to maritime security consultancy Crisis24. “Labor unrest is unlikely to decrease going into 2023, and may in fact worsen in the likely event that global economic conditions do not improve,” Bloomberg quotes a Crisis24 spokesman as saying. This comes as global supply chains continue to feel the heat from covid-19 and its new variants, which is giving employees the upper hand when negotiating their contracts.

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