Photo: Spenser Sembrat

10/2/2020

 

The deluge of bad news related to COVID can be overwhelming.  However, as a glass-half-full start-up, today we’d like to offer some hope. This hope is predicated on some sobering facts on the adverse effects COVID has had certain segments of the workforce, namely women. 

According to a report from the US Department of Labor, women left the workforce in September 2020 at four times the rate of men: 865,000 women 20 and older dropped out of the American workforce compared to 216,000 men in the same age group.  In addition to lower workforce demand, many of these work departures are to return home for childcare as childcare facilities are shuttered and older children are now home from school.  One survey found 63% of households were having difficulty finding childcare, and “13.3 percent of working parents had lost a job or reduced their hours because of a lack of child care.” (Washington Post)  With online schooling a new normal for the majority of households in the year of COVID, mothers have taken on more work to ensure their kids on time, fed, and logged into their virtual classrooms. And there is an inverse proportion between children’s ages and parenting efforts; the younger the kids, the more the work.  We haven’t even mentioned Zoom fatigue! 

Enter Ourglass. We’ve created an app designed for anyone who wants to earn money as an independent professional.  Ourglass simply combines video calls with billing so that pros get paid more money with less time and no hassle.  Time on paid video calls is tracked precisely, clients are required to have a valid payment method before the video call starts, and you are paid immediately at the end of the call. Ourglass lets you work at your own pace and earn income on your own terms. Terms that can be very attractive for the large number of women leaving the workforce and balancing the demands of households in 2020.  Ourglass supports any kind of fee-for-hire expertise you can offer: from certified professionals in business consulting, legal counsel, and healthcare, to experience-based expertise such as singing and dancing lessons, arts and crafts, yoga, etc…   

With Ourglass, you create as many services as you want — perhaps an hour long consulting session, a 30 minute lesson, or a free 15 minute consultation.  If your video call goes long, Ourglass give you the option to charge your client on a prorated basis. Or you can optionally charge less if the video call is short; Ourglass is perfect for clients who have a question that might take only 7 minutes to answer.  No more monkey math, awkward billing conversations, or chasing clients down for payment!

Ourglass is a perfect tool for anyone with expertise to offer, and provides the flexibility in schedule and location.  This may not be a silver bullet for all situations, but with the disproportionately large number of women leaving the workforce in 2020, Ourglass is a tool for women to still earn money for their expertise while juggling the demands of our new normal.  Perhaps the employment implosion of 2020 can become an expertise explosion with Ourglass. 

#zoomdoom #zoomfatigue

 

Source: NPR: Multiple Demands Causing Women to Abandon Workforce

Source: Bloomberg: Women drop out of workforce at fastest pace since pandemic peak

 

 

 

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