Property and workplace experts have their say on the Brexit outcome

brexitWell, the results are in and the UK’s electorate has voted by a narrow margin for the country to leave the EU. There are likely to be other developments but whatever you make of the UK’s decision to vote to leave the EU – and I think it’s fair to say most independent people think it’s inexplicable – there’s no doubt that it will have a profound impact on the UK’s economy, relationship with the world, culture, working conditions and markets. What it will mean in practice won’t be apparent for months or years, of course, but that hasn’t stopped experts who work in the property, workplace, design, legal, HR and architecture sectors having their say on its potential implications. We’ll look at these specific issues in more detail going forward but for now, here’s a round-up of those we have so far, which we’ll keep updated throughout the day as the dust settles on what will prove to be a momentous decision for the UK, Europe and rest of the world.

more…

Share Button

Small businesses outpace larger firms in adoption of virtual working

{9f354208-5623-47fc-9edf-1efb90f919df}_V9_launch_LP_lrg_1Around two thirds (60 percent) of knowledge workers in small and medium sized businesses in the US, UK and Germany now use virtual working technology that is internet or cloud-based in their professional roles. This figure is higher than in companies with 500 or more employees (53 percent). These are the findings claimed by the Way We Work Study commissioned by unified comms firm Unify. Surveying 5,000 British, American and German knowledge workers, it explores people’s attitudes and expectations about their workplace. Knowledge workers at SMBs expect to see large changes in their jobs over the next five years. More than a third (38 percent) believe their roles will not exist after this period, and almost two-thirds (64 percent) thinking they will be substantially different. On the subject of trust, 76 percent of SMB knowledge workers feel they are listened to in their organisation, compared to 71 percent in larger companies.

more…

Share Button

UK and US staff skip holidays and work beyond contracted hours

PresenteeismFlexible working doesn’t necessarily translate to spending less time at work, as the prediction that technology will enable workers to enjoy more leisure time fails to materialise. A new survey has revealed that nearly nine out of ten British workers failed to take all of their holiday allowance last year, with almost one in 200 missing out on more than ten days of paid leave. In some cases, that meant workers missing out on as much as £675 of annual leave, according to Voucherbox. Meanwhile, a survey commissioned by The Workforce Institute at Kronos has revealed that the practice of working outside standard contracted hours is so ingrained in American culture that a majority of full-time salaried employees in the US would work off-the-clock even if it was against company policy. As the line between work and life continues to blur, 81 percent of US salaried employees report that they conduct work outside of their standard hours.

more…

Share Button

New proposals to create legal status for robots as ‘electronic persons’

robots in the workplaceOne of the main side issues in the generally unpleasant debate about the UK’s referendum on EU membership has been that about worker’s rights. Whatever the outcome of today’s vote, the EU is already exploring ways in which legislation should address the challenges created by the modern world. These now include, for the first time, a look at the implications of automation including the drawing up of a new set of rules about the rights and responsibilities of robots and other automated workers. A draft report from the European Parliament’s Committee on Legal Affairs sets out to address the main issues associated with the creation of a widespread automated workforce and its impact on both people and machines, including looking at the impact on the social security and pensions budget (because robots don’t pay into the system), the legal rights of robots and new liability rules for the automated workforce of sophisticated ‘smart’ robots.

more…

Share Button

How could UK employment laws be affected by the outcome of the Brexit vote?

BrexitThe result of yesterday’s EU referendum vote will dominate the UK’s political scene for months now and the outcomes will be followed with particular interest by business owners, who currently have to adhere to a range of employment laws that either originate from the EU itself or have been developed within the context of our membership of the organisation. Therefore, a vote for Brexit today could fundamentally change the way businesses operate in the UK. This is particularly true given that a large amount of the UK’s employment law has its roots in Brussels. Article 153 of The Lisbon Treaty set the precedent for this. It allowed the EU to create a base level of legislation that applies to all facets of the workplace. This includes working hours, workers’ rights, and health and safety. Individual nations are free to supplement this with their own legislation. For example, the minimum wage is an example of employment legislation that is independent of the EU.

more…

Share Button

Demand for professionals to fill London’s creative hub remains high

Commercial Property LondonAs we reported last week, the success of the tech and media sector in London is driving the Capital’s offices market. Now new research has shown that demand for professionals in London’s creative occupations remains high, with over a third of jobs in the sector found within the UK’s main creative hub. The latest Professional Recruitment Trends report from the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo) based on data provided by Burning Glass, claims that 33.5 percent of all creative occupation postings were found in Greater London. The South East ranks second with 16.1 percent of creative roles followed by the West Midlands in third with an 8.1 percent share of total job postings. The list of ‘in demand’ skills for creative roles is mostly dominated by coding and programming languages. However the report suggests that the skills in the highest demand, excluding those specific to IT based roles, are communication, creativity and writing.

more…

Share Button

One in six business leaders don’t link staff wellbeing with organisational success

Wellbeing glassYou can take this story however you like, but a new YouGov survey of attitudes amongst British business leaders claims that just one in six (17 percent) believe that fostering a healthy work-life balance for employees is not important for their organisation.  The research also found that 15 percent of organisations in the UK don’t place any focus on the mental health and wellbeing of employees. Furthermore, three in ten (31 percent) say that their company does not do anything to actively promote mental well-being in the workplace. However, there is a clear difference in approach based on size of the organisation involved. Small businesses (44 percent) surveyed are far more likely to admit they don’t do anything, compared to medium (29 percent) and large (15 percent) businesses. This all still means that the majority of firms are actively interested in their employees’ wellbeing, but the proportion of those who aren’t may raise an eyebrow.

more…

Share Button

Brexit uncertainty leads to drop in cost of living rankings for UK cities

Moving to BirminghamUK cities have dropped down the ranking in Mercer’s annual Cost of Living Survey this year as Brexit fears weaken the value of the Pound, whilst the Euro stays strong against the Dollar. Although the UK’s capital remains in the top 20 costliest cities worldwide, London (17) has dropped five places, whereas Aberdeen (85) and Birmingham (96) have fallen seven and 16 places respectively. Further down the list, (119) has dropped 10 places and Belfast (134) three. The survey finds that factors including currency fluctuations, cost inflation for goods and services, and instability of accommodation prices, have all contributed to the cost of expatriate packages for employees on international assignments. Mercer’s survey covers 209 cities across five continents with Hong Kong ranking highest, pushing Luanda to second place. Ranking 3rd, Zurich is the most expensive European city, followed by Singapore (4) and Tokyo (5).

more…

Share Button

Employees unconvinced about using wearables in the workplace

Google_Glass_Explorer_EditionA lack of trust is stalling the use of wearables in the workplace as people worry that their employer may use the data against them and not for their benefit.  According to new PwC research, despite an estimated 3 million people in the UK buying a wearable device in 2015 – a 118 percent increase from the previous year –employees are still unconvinced about using wearables in the workplace. The research also found that two thirds (65 percent) want their employer to take an active role in their health and wellbeing, and feel that technology should be used to help them do this. But only 46 percent of people surveyed say they would accept a free piece of wearable technology if their employers had access to the data recorded. This is broadly in line with last year’s research, when 44 percent said they would take up this offer.

more…

Share Button

Tech unicorns thrive in Europe and UK leads the way, claims report

Spotify officesFortune magazine begs to differ, but Europe as a whole is a seemingly fertile breeding ground for ‘tech unicorns’, according to a new report from technology investment bank GP Bullhound. Defined as technology startups with a market valuation of more than $1 billion, the report claims that there are now 47 so-called unicorns in Europe, up by 10 from last year. The report also claims that the UK is leading the way within Europe, with 18 out of the 47 based in the country with new entries such as Blippar and Anaplan. The European firms have a combined value of  $130bn,  and ‘have demonstrated resilience in the face of turbulent global markets and heightened scrutiny of fast-growth tech’. Sweden is the country with the second highest number of billion-dollar tech companies (7), including Spotify (pictured), Europe’s most valuable Unicorn. Germany is third with six and France with three. Oddly, the report also includes Israel which has three unicorns.

more…

Share Button
Translate »