Regular exercise doesn’t reduce the risks of prolonged sedentary work 0

sedentary workAnybody who thinks that regular gym visits mitigate the ill effects of prolonged sitting at work is likely to be dead wrong. That is the key finding of a new study published in The Annals of Internal Medicine last week. The meta-analysis of 47 studies set out to explore the possible correlation between physical activity and the conditions most commonly associated with sedentary lifestyles including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer. The results of the analysis showed that the crucial factor was not the level of physical activity away from the workplace but rather the length of time spent sitting at work. The Canadian academics behind the study are calling for more research to establish just how much sedentary work is too much as a way of reducing the associated risks which they identify as a 15 to 20 percent higher risk of heart disease and cancer and as much as a 90 percent increased risk of developing diabetes.

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Good communication is essential to ensure workplace health and safety 0

health and safetyLast week the HSE marked its 40th anniversary with a series of warnings about the continuing importance of maintaining health and safety. While the number of people killed at work has fallen dramatically since the HSE was launched, it’s important employers don’t get complacent. A lack of education among the workforce about the adequate measures to take when considering health and safety can still make a huge difference. Good communication is vital, so provide in depth, yet cohesive and easy to follow Health and Safety guides, including useful information like fire blanket locations, fire exits, what to do in an emergency and emergency phone numbers which are handed out to all employees. Regular talks about the importance of health and safety should be conducted every few months to reiterate health and safety messages.

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The new weekly issue of Insight is now available to view online 0

workplace insightIn this week’s issue: Colin Watson looks back on yet another year of dramatic workplace change and predicts we ain’t seen nothin’ yet; Mark Eltringham explores the complex nature of happiness and motivation; the BBC gets a shoeing from MPs for the running costs of its estate; the world’s taste for skyscrapers shows no signs of abating; bullying at work remains a blind spot for many managers; Paul Goodchild calls for more human centred design in office receptions; London’s thriving property market means available space comes at a premium and Sara Bean finds how flexible working is increasingly important for an aging workforce. Sign up to the newsletter via the subscription form in the right hand sidebar and follow us on Twitter and join our LinkedIn Group to discuss these and other stories.

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Study reveals grassroots appeal of flexible working and BYOD 0

Flexible working techThe grassroots nature of flexible working and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) practices is revealed in a new study from Intel Security which found that over three quarters (78 percent) of employees use their own electronic devices to work while a similar proportion (79 percent) use their company-issued devices for their personal activities. The survey of 2,500 professionals worldwide also found that 40 percent of people are happy to work ‘wherever’. While firms continue to have concerns about the security implications of BYOD and an itinerant workforce, their employees are rather more confident with the overwhelming majority (77 percent) confident that their employers have taken all appropriate security measures to protect data, even though a third (35 percent) admit that they log onto unsecured public wireless networks.

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Firms are wary of BYOD but confident they can deliver flexible working 1

Invisible BYODDespite greater awareness of the potential benefits of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), especially as a way of supporting flexible workers, a large number of European firms remain concerned about the security implications of the practice, according to a new study by HP of their attitudes to workplace technology. The study of 1,130 organisations in eight European countries found half believe that BYOD was likely to compromise their organisation and of those firms who had already implemented the practice, a fifth had experienced at least one security breach in the preceding year. In addition, fewer than half (43 percent) are confident that personal devices are properly secure, with a third (36 percent) expressing specific concerns about the contamination of networks with malware and viruses.

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MPs call on BBC to cut ‘staggering’ running costs of its estate 0

BBC television centre redesign plans confirmedThe body which oversees UK public spending has criticised the way the BBC is running its estate following the publication of a National Audit Office (NAO) report. While the report praises certain aspects of the way the estate is managed, especially its strategy of rationalising space, the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) is heavily critical of the BBC’s failure to meet its target of costs capped at 6 percent of licence fee income and the way the costs of some buildings are unacceptably high, including at the revamped Broadcasting House in London (above). According to the PAC, the running cost of the building is significantly more than others in the same area and around three times higher than a UK average. The BBC defended itself, highlighting progress in many parts of its estate and claiming that such comparisons did not stand up to scrutiny.

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How can we leave the open plan behind while desktop work endures? 0

open plan office cubicleWith all the chatter regarding BYOD and wearable tech, you’d think that the average worker must roam free. Yet worldwide, over three quarters (79 percent) of office workers still use a desktop computer; just over a third (36 percent) have devices that allow for mobility and only 39 percent of office workers can work from alternative places at least once a week. Those were just some of the results of a global survey carried out by Steelcase into levels of satisfaction amongst office workers. And far from encouraging mobile working the survey found that well over half (57 percent) of companies do not have facilities for mobile workers and external suppliers. Such low levels of mobility had led a significant proportion (41 percent) of the 7324 participants from 10 countries, to say they were “not satisfied” with their work environment.

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Unhappy Gen Y talent will move on this year, if you fail to keep them engaged 0

Uunhappy Gen Y talent will move on this year if you're not carefulThe January Blues can be a major headache for employers, as it tends to be a time when staff consider moving on. In fact, more than a third of UK workers are already planning to change jobs at some point in 2015.[1] Factors including low motivational levels and the feeling of a need to take action combine to provide favourable conditions for job movement among employees. Keeping Generation Y talent is a particular area of concern for management, with a recent study revealing over half of these employees will expect to have moved on from their current employer within two years.[2] The fact is that Gen Y employees are simply not prepared to stay in jobs that make them unhappy.

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Reports highlight the UK economy’s geographical and digital divides 0

Publication1The divides in the UK economy are not only geographical, but also technological. That is the conclusion of two new reports into the country’s economic makeup and the differences that mark out the North and South of the UK as well as its rural and urban economies. While the Centre for Cities 2015 Outlook report has focused attention on the North South divide with widespread media coverage, the Federation of Small Business (FSB) has also identified a second split between the digital economies of urban and rural areas. The former report paints a picture of a two-speed economy and a widening gap between South-East England and the rest of the UK while the latter highlights the damage done to businesses in rural areas as they struggle to cope with sub-par broadband.

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New Hammersmith mixed-use scheme to accommodate 2,000 workers 0

mixed-use schemeLegal & General has appointed Land Lease Property to develop a £75 million mixed-use scheme on London’s Hammersmith Road. The development, designed by Sheppard Robson, will feature 242,000 sq ft of Grade-A office space over 10-storeys, which can house up to 2,000 workers. The office space has been designed to maximise natural daylight and features outdoor roof terraces. The entire 350,000 sq ft site retail frontage will be stepped back from Hammersmith Road, with a new landscaped plaza at the front that leads through to a podium garden. A business lounge and café will form part of the retail element, which totals 13,000 sq ft, to help enhance the public areas and encourage social interaction for workers. Construction is set to start in early January 2015 with completion expected in summer 2017.

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