Female bosses enhance workforce engagement and motivation

Female bossesAs businesses begin to ease out of recession they are starting to feel more confident in the economy and look at how they can increase spend. But while companies adjust to their new found growth they must ensure that their employees are reassured that they have a voice and, more importantly, are listened to. At Pure, we’ve recently taken a look at the wider impact which employee engagement can have on businesses big and small using an analysis of some key research. This included some illuminating data on gender roles, which included the fact that employees who work for a female manager are 6 percent more engaged, on average, than those who work for a male manager; female employees who work for a female manager are the most engaged, at 35 percent and male employees who work for a male manager are the least engaged, at 25 percent.

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Insight Weekly on GenY, digital workplaces, productivity and more

Insight_twitter_logo_2In this week’s issue; three new studies have joined the already extensive body of work linking workplace design and productivity; how business practices and the way people use technology vary across sectors; and over half of US workers say the 9 to 5 day is an outmoded concept. Amanda Sterling argues social media at work can help shift the power dynamic from the few to the many; Gary Chandler explains how workplace design can express a firm’s culture and Mark Eltringham explores what the Midwich Cuckoos can tell us about Generation Y. The Government challenges businesses to consider the boost untapped disabled talent could bring to their workforce and CoWorking giant WeWork looks to acquire over 1 million sq. ft. of space in London. Subscribe for free quarterly issues of Work&Place and weekly news herefollow us on Twitter and join our LinkedIn Group to discuss these and other stories.

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Proofs of the link between workplace design and productivity? Here are three

workplace design and productivityThree new studies have joined the already extensive body of work linking workplace design and productivity. The most extensive is the research carried out by communications consultancy Lansons which looks at every aspect of the British workplace to uncover the experiences and most commonly held perceptions of around 4,500 workers nationwide. The study is broken down into a number of sections which examine topics such as workplace design, wellbeing, job satisfaction, personal development and leadership. The second is a study from the Property Directors Forum which explores the experiences of occupiers and finds a shift in focus away from cost reduction and towards investing to foster employee productivity. The final showcases the results of a post occupancy survey conducted by National Grid following the refurbishment of the firm’s Warwick headquarters by AECOM.

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The latest type of space adopted as a workplace by British workers? The pub

pub workplace

We’re used to the sight of workers colonising coffee shops, parks and hotels as ad hoc workplaces. Now, a growing number of British workers are firing up their laptops in pubs, and are demanding free WiFi and (apparently) a cup of decent coffee while they do so. According to the latest Greene King Leisure Spend Tracker, over a quarter of Brits would like to log on to get some work done from the pub. According to the report, the findings reaffirm the pivotal role pubs continue to play at the heart of the community and their ability to adapt to the changing needs of customers, including those who see the whole world as an untapped place of work. Fiona Gunn, Greene King’s marketing director, said: “With flexible working on the rise, increasing numbers of people are now using the pub as a ‘third space’ establishing the pub as not just a second home but a place of work as well.”

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Over half of employees believe 9 to 5 work is an outmoded concept

Time business concept.We’ve heard a lot lately about the plight of workers to take their work home, but according to new research by CareerBuilder.com, for a majority of workers, checking emails from home is their own choice. Well over half (63 percent) believe that working 9 to 5 is an outdated concept, with nearly 1 in 4 (24 percent) checking work emails during activities with family and friends. Half of these workers (50 percent) check or respond to work emails outside of work, and nearly 2 in 5 (38 percent) say they continue to work outside of office hours. Though staying connected to the office outside of required office hours may seem like a burden, most of these workers (62 percent) perceive it as a choice rather than an obligation. Interestingly, 50 percent of those aged 45 – 54 compared to 31 percent of 18- to 24-year-old are willing to work outside of office hours.

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Far from dying out, the office is becoming more essential than ever

Sit-stand_desk_in_officeSamsung recently released a new report which explores how our offices might look in the year 2025. The death of the office has been predicted over and over again, however the Samsung Smarter Futures Report goes against the grain and predicts that the office could actually become more important than ever. Driven by the adoption of smart technology the report claims that offices will become hubs for productivity and collaboration and what Samsung calls ‘Creative Villages’. Smart technology will create devices and systems that take notes, automate admin tasks, organise meetings and deliver information as you need it. This will mean employees have more time for face to face communication and collaborative work. As a consequence, current trends such as flexible working and agile workspace could actually become less of an issue than they are currently.

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What The Midwich Cuckoos can teach us about Generation Y

Children of the damned

John Wyndham’s 1957 novel The Midwich Cuckoos is the story of a fictional English village in which, following an unexplained event that causes everybody within Midwich to fall unconscious, all of the women in the village fall pregnant and 61 children are subsequently born at the same time. The children bear no physical resemblance  to their parents, with pale skin, blond hair and piercing eyes. As they grow older it also becomes apparent that they are strange, emotionless and have a telepathic bond with each other. It’s not much of a spoiler to tell you that things don’t go well. The only rationale for what had happened to create the children in the first place is an unexplained incident of xenogenesis – the birth of offspring unlike their parents. Something similar must have happened on a global scale from the beginning of the 1980s onwards, at least based on what we are told about Generation Y.

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Public sector lagging behind in use of technology and flexible working

Flexible workingAs we reported last week, the UK public sector is embracing some interesting new ideas in the way it uses real estate, especially its commitment to get rid of some of it by adopting flexible working and shared space. However, it’s one thing looking to use space in more flexible ways but without the technological infrastructure, it’s hard to see how they will be able to achieve as much as they could. It is in this regard that they are lagging behind their contemporaries in the private sector, according to a new report from O2 and YouGov. While the report, Redefining selling, serving and working, offers up the usual appeals for us all to make more use of the sorts of things O2 wants us to buy, there is plenty of interesting detail to tease out once the pinch of salt has been applied, not least how business practices and the way people use technology vary across sectors.

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City firms adopt more flexible working, but it starts from the top

Flexible workingEmployers in the City of London are increasingly open to the idea of flexible working, claims a study of 1,000 workers by recruitment firm Astbury Marsden. According to the study, a third of men working in the City (34 percent) say they now have some flexibility over the hours they work, whether through flexi-time, working a certain number of hours annually or compressed hours. This is up from 28 percent last year. Meanwhile a smaller proportion of female City workers (30 percent) claim they now have the option of flexible working, up from 23 percent in 2014. The research indicates that although women in the City are more likely than men to work part-time or term-time hours or job-share, with over a quarter being able to do so (26 percent), almost one in five men (18 percent) say they also have this option available to them.

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Beyond branding – how workplace design can express a firm’s culture

ODD-05-highres-sRGBWhen it comes to the incorporation of branding and identity into a workplace, there is a simple option, which is to produce a design that faithfully incorporates the firm’s logos, colours and straplines in the interior. There’s nothing wrong with this, except for the fact that it is literally superficial and so may miss the opportunity to create an office design that scratches beneath the surface to reveal what lies beneath. When you get past the layers of branding and identity, you uncover something that we call culture. This can take things to a whole new level because the challenge becomes how to create a workplace design that communicates and fosters both the identity and the culture of the organisation. The benefits to the organisation can be enormous, not least because this approach bridges a number of disciplines such as human resources and office design and so drives a number of strategic objectives.

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