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Five Priorities for HR Leaders on the Way to Recovery

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The following content is sponsored by PwC

Workforce of the Future Workforce of the Future Workforce of the Future

Five Priorities for HR Leaders on the Way to Recovery

The future of the workplace remains uncertain, with business leaders facing unique hurdles heading into 2021. To help set the course, recent PwC reports reveal five key takeaways for Chief Human Resource Officers (CHROs) as businesses refine their recovery strategies and transition plans.

With polling data from thousands of U.S.-based employees and executives throughout 2020, the above graphic uncovers critical priorities to help HR leaders navigate 2021—from fostering workplace safety and well-being to implementing technology that promotes engagement.

Priority 1: Physical Safety, Comfort, Health & Performance

Employee anxiety is running high, with polls revealing that employees are concerned about getting sick—and the risk discourages them from returning to the workplace.

  • 51% of employees fear getting sick from returning to the workplace
  • 50% would like workplace safety measures established, to feel comfortable returning
  • 45% would like safety and hygiene requirements implemented for customers
  • 35% would like contact tracing to be used, with realtime notifications if a coworker is diagnosed with COVID-19

By implementing measures to keep employees healthy, employees may feel more confident as companies transition back into the workplace.

Priority 2: Supporting Mental Health & Wellness

Studies show that employees perform better when they have workplace flexibility—and they can thrive when leaders support their well-being. The importance of mental health and wellness at work has increased under the weight of the pandemic.

Polling found that:

  • 36% of employees would like to see more humility, compassion, and empathic behaviors from their leadership
  • 33% would like to to see corporate investment in wellbeing programs, which would make them more confident in their ability to do their job
  • 72% would like to work remotely to some extent after the pandemic
  • 84% of CHROs intend to increase support for wellbeing and mental health

Investing in mental health can pay dividends, with the World Health Organization reporting that for every dollar spent on mental health treatment, $4 is gained in productivity.

Priority 3: Enable Remote Work with the Right Tools & Training

As employees continue to work remotely, there’s a pressing need to upgrade technology and resources required to be productive, collaborative, and create.

  • 55% of HR leaders were planning to implement hardware and equipment upgrades to help employees stay productive when working remotely
  • 53% were planning for improved mobile experiences for applications and data, as well as security policies to support remote work
  • Upwards of 36% of employees believed their organization was already very effective at collaboration and communication

With many organizations planning to incorporate some form of remote work into their long-term strategies, technology continues to be integral to support working remotely.

Priority 4: Maintain Organizational Culture for a Hybrid Workforce

Culture and engagement looked very different in the shifting landscape of 2020, and that will likely continue to evolve in 2021.

  • 41% of CHROs worry about weakened work culture in the virtual world
  • Nearly 50% have focused on employee productivity efforts on new virtual tools and training
  • 80% are planning for new employee benefits
  • 75% are planning for employee upskilling

While many remote employees report they may be more productive during the pandemic, CHROs should help confirm it’s sustainable in the long-term.

Priority 5: Leveraging Data Analytics

Studies show that better employee experiences can contribute to improved revenue growth, and PwC polls indicate that:

  • 42% of CFOs are optimizing their approach to data analytics to improve revenue
  • 35% are moving their applications and/or to the cloud
  • 40% of workplace leaders are concerned about workplace safety

As executives experience concern over whether long-term remote work could impact engagement and productivity—focus has been placed on leveraging data analytics and digital assets to quantify and help inform corporate strategies.

Opportunities on the Road to Recovery

Even with COVID-19 vaccines on the horizon, uncertainty about the future of our work environments is high, posing unique challenges ahead for CHROs. However, those challenges can present strategic opportunities for work improvements—from digital assets and productivity, to mental health and well-being.

Note: All statistics are from the same PwC U.S. CFO Pulse survey unless otherwise stated. PwC surveyed 330 US CFOs and finance leaders between June 8-11, 2020. 88% percent of the respondents were from public and private companies in these top five sectors: health industries (9%), consumer markets (13%), financial services (23%), industrial products (23%), and technology, media and telecommunications (20%). Twenty-nine percent of respondents were from Fortune 1000 companies. The PwC CFO Pulse Survey is conducted on a periodic basis to track changing sentiment and priorities. Now in its sixth installment, the inaugural survey was conducted March 9-11, 2020.

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The Golden State: A Closer Look at Mining in California

California is known as the Golden State for its rich history of gold mining. Today, it remains one of the largest states for mining in the U.S.

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mining in california

The Golden State: A Closer Look at Mining in California

California is known as the Golden State for its history of gold production in the 19th and 20th centuries, and the mining industry continues to build on its rich history to this day.

With roughly $4.7 billion worth of non-fuel minerals produced in 2020, the Golden State is one of the largest states for mining and the sole source of rare earth elements in the United States.

The above infographic from KORE Mining highlights how California earned its famous nickname, and how its mining industry continues to shine today, just like its gold.

How the Golden State Found its Name

Back in the late 1770s, during the period of Spanish colonization in California, a group of Spaniards discovered gold in Imperial County, and small-scale mining began. However, it was not until 1848 that gold mining really kicked off.

In 1848, James Marshall—a carpenter and sawmill operator—went down to the American River in Coloma to inspect progress on a sawmill under construction, and saw something that defined the future of California’s economy.

“My eye was caught by something shining in the bottom of the ditch. . . . I reached my hand down and picked it up; it made my heart thump, for I was certain it was gold. . . Then I saw another.”

— James Marshall via Library of Congress.

As word spread, thousands of prospectors and gold-seekers made their way to California in search of their own shiny nuggets in an event now known as the Gold Rush. In fact, the influx of migrants was so large that they came to be known as the “forty-niners”, named after the year they started arriving. By 1855, miners had extracted over 12 million ounces of gold, and the Gold Rush neared its end.

Over a century later, in 1968, “the Golden State” became California’s official nickname for both its prolific gold discoveries and golden poppy fields. By this time, most historical gold mines had ceased operations, but for California’s mining industry, it was just the beginning.

Mining in California Today

Although California is well-known for Hollywood and Silicon Valley, it remains one of the most important states for mining in the country.

As of 2018, there were 739 mines in California producing 23 different commodities, from gold and rare earths to boron and construction minerals. Due to the industry’s size and significance, mining plays an important role in the Golden State’s economy.

In 2020, California’s mining industry generated:

  • $7.3 billion in labor income
  • $13.6 billion in GDP
  • 99,120 direct and indirect jobs

Mining companies in California benefit from access to clean energy, infrastructure, and well-established transport networks. Additionally, the Golden State is also known for its high reclamation standards, which ensure that mining sites are returned to their original undisturbed states, reducing the environmental impact of mines.

The Future of Gold in California: Imperial County

Imperial County has a place in history with California’s first known gold discovery in the 1770s. Its golden history continues today with KORE’s Imperial Project, one of the largest gold discoveries in California, and the Mesquite Mine—California’s largest gold mine—which has been producing gold since 1985.

With its rich history, active mining industry, and up-and-coming gold discoveries, California will always remain the Golden State, and Imperial County has the potential to carry forward its legacy.

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Investing in Core Cybersecurity Technology

How is the growing cybersecurity market evolving? This graphic highlights the core technology developments and market growth underway.

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eToro Cybersecurity Investing Share

Investing in Core Cybersecurity Technology

The world has become increasingly more digital—with everything from customer data and employee services to entire businesses living on servers—and in recent years cybercrime has become a constant threat.

After large-scale breaches in government organisations around the world and huge public companies like Sony, cybersecurity is being taken more seriously. And since 2016, the U.S. has seen at least 1,000 data breaches every single year, exposing billions more records.

But in a field where new exploits are just around the corner, and with COVID-19 driving more employees and services remote than ever before, the need for better cybersecurity technology and investment has reached critical importance.

This infographic from eToro highlights developments in the cybersecurity market and how they affect companies, consumers, and investors.

The Cybersecurity Landscape

No person or organisation is immune to cybercrime, but some are targeted more frequently.

Across businesses, cybercriminals look for exploits in sectors with either the most to lose in terms of financials or data, or they target sectors with the least protection.

Unsurprisingly, the top industry targeted by cybercrime in 2020 was financial services. But cybercriminals also focused on manufacturing, energy, and retail—industries forced to quickly shift to digital channels because of the pandemic, but without the time to adapt and safeguard.

Top Industries Targeted by Cybercrime% Targeted (2020)
Financial Services23.0%
Manufacturing17.7%
Energy11.1%
Retail10.2%
Professional Services8.7%
Government7.9%
Healthcare6.6%
Media5.7%
Transportation5.1%
Education4.0%

Though targeting is inconsistent across industries, financial impact is significant across the board.

In Europe, the average annual cost inflicted by cybercrime for affected organisations in 2019 ranged from $8 million in Italy to $13 million in Germany. In the U.S., the average annual cost of cybercrime was over $27 million.

Organisation Base CountryAverage Annual Cost of Cybercrime (2019)
U.S.$27.37M
Japan$13.57M
Germany$13.12M
UK$11.46M
France$9.72M
Singapore$9.32M
Canada$9.25M
Spain$8.16M
Italy$8.01M
Brazil$7.24M
Australia$6.79M

But in terms of volume, the most common cybersecurity threat is faced by individuals instead of companies. In addition to being a common target for cybercriminals attempting to access company data, consumers faced four times as many attacks as enterprises in 2019.

The Future Cybersecurity Need

The growth of cybercrime activity and adjacent cybersecurity investment over the last few decades was already impressive, but a post-COVID world puts the digital market front and center.

In the U.S., the cybersecurity market was valued at $156.5 billion in 2019, with more than half of the market focused on services over software and hardware. In 2027, the market is estimated to be worth $326.4 billion, a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10%, with the focus remaining the same.

The driver of software and hardware usage is consistent with more aspects of business and personal life digitising, but growth in services is aligned with the uncertainty of future cybersecurity issues.

Winning the Fight Against Cybercrime

Cybersecurity and cybercrime grow and build off each other in a never-ending cycle, driving a need for increased investment alongside them.

The Cybersecurity Technology Cycle:

  1. Increased cyber operations incidents: Cybersecurity operations incidents increase as a result of the overwhelming burden of complexity.
  2. Add technology: Vendors pitch new technology as the solution to cyber operations incidents.
  3. Add people and process: New technology requires more people and processes.
  4. Operational complexity increases: Interactions between technology, processes and people increase geometrically.
  5. Loss of process visibility and control: Fog of uncertainty develops, old management systems are overwhelmed.
  6. Poor human performance: Technology and process complexity decrease cybersecurity effectiveness.
  7. Repeat 1)

As new devices and software come online, old methods used by cybercriminals for infiltration or data gathering are replaced with new ones.

In 2019, the most commonly used initial access methods were phishing (31%), scan & exploit (30%) and unauthorised credential usage (29%), with compromise of mobile devices only accounting for 2%. With more work going offline and onto personal devices post-pandemic, and increasingly so post-digitisation, those numbers are likely to fluctuate.

That’s why the cybersecurity market is expected to keep growing in importance and size over the coming decade. An increasingly digital world is putting more risk online as well, and as many companies have learned the hard way, cybersecurity is a core technology worth investing in.

How Can Investors Take Part?

eToro’s CyberSecurity CopyPortfolio* gives investors direct access to the growing cybersecurity market.

Curated by experienced and proven investment teams, the thematic portfolio offers exposure to a broad range of developers and companies invested in cybersecurity, with no management fees.

*Your capital is at risk.
CopyPortfolios is a portfolio management product, provided by eToro Europe Ltd., which is authorised and regulated by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission.

CopyPortfolios should not be considered as exchange traded funds, nor as hedge funds.

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