With files from Tom Li

Remote work is prolonging our work days, Saskatchewan calls on the federal government to connect rural areas, and TikTok releases new mental health features.

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It’s all the tech news that’s trending right now, welcome to Hashtag Trending! It’s Thursday, September 16, and I’m your host, Jori Negin-Shecter.

Microsoft remote work study: Average length of workweek has increased 10% during pandemic from technology

A new study from Microsoft has revealed that the length of the average workweek within the company has increased by around 10 per cent. Some have concluded this to mean that remote work is pushing employees to work longer, however, researchers disagree with that sentiment. They argue that the increased length doesn’t necessarily equate to higher productivity, and that employees are potentially less productive. This means that employees have to extend their work days in order to get the same amount of work completed. The findings also signal that employees are taking longer or more frequent breaks. The study ultimately predicts that prolonged work-from-home could hamper productivity and innovation, though consensus is mixed on that prognosis.

With Canada’s federal election less than a week away, Saskatchewan is once again making a push for faster broadband internet for its small towns. The Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities has called upon each of the federal parties to focus on bridging the connectivity gap between rural and urban Canadians. Though the federal government has announced several funding initiatives, as well as setting deployment schedules for the auctioned 5G wireless spectrums, network development in rural areas is still lacking and in need of attention in a big way from both the public and private sectors. [MSN]

Finally, TikTok has announced a slew of new features in support of teen’s mental health. The announcement comes mere days after a Facebook study revealed that Instagram had significantly detrimental effects on the mental health of teens, particularly teen girls. It is believed that TikTok’s newly added features are at least partially a response to the heat Instagram has received in the wake of the study. Some of Tik Tok’s newly added efforts include well-being guides, support guides for those struggling with mental health, and new initiaitves directing users to resources when its detects sensitive phrases such as suicide. [CNBC]

That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now. Hashtag Trending is a part of the ITWC Podcast network. Add us to your Alexa Flash Briefing or your Google Home daily briefing. Make sure to sign up for our Daily IT Wire Newsletter to get all the news that matters directly in your inbox every day. Also, catch the next episode of Hashtag Tendances, our weekly Hashtag Trending episode in French, which drops every Friday at 3 pm. If you have a suggestion or tip, please drop us a line in the comments or via email. Thanks for listening, I’m Jori Negin-Shecter.

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