March 24, 2017
A review of the state pension age (SPA) led by former Confederation of British Industry (CBI) director general John Cridland has recommended that the State Pension age shouldn’t rise to 68 until between 2037 and 2039 and should not increase more than 1 year in any 10 year period. The report has also advised that all employers should have elder care policies in place which set out a basic care offer and that people should be able to access a mid-life career MOT and review which should be facilitated by employers and by the government using online support and through the National Careers Service. Commenting on the report, which will be considered before any decision is made on changes to the State Pension age timetable after 2028, the Centre for Ageing Better has welcomed its recommendations on wider actions to mitigate the impact of bringing the timetable forward for increases to the State Pension Age.
March 21, 2017
Productivity and teamwork are both significantly improved when employees can choose where they work, a global survey of on global flexible working trends claims. The survey commissioned by Polycom, Inc. a global leader in enabling organisations new levels of teamwork, efficiency and productivity by unleashing the power of human collaboration. The survey of over 24,000 people found that 62 percent of the global working population now take advantage of flexible working practices. Nearly all respondents (98 percent) state that flexible working has a positive impact on productivity. Although many remain concerned that their absence from the office may have a negative effect on their careers, they are drawn to flexible working to increase their productivity, achieve a better work life balance and avoid the problem of commuting.
March 20, 2017
Nearly two thirds (63 percent) of UK employees experience stress in their jobs, according to a new study of workplace wellbeing by Happiness Works on behalf of Robert Half UK. Of those who find their roles demanding, nearly one in 10 said their job was very stressful. To address the high-levels of stress and other issues among employees, organisations are introducing wellbeing initiatives to support the physical and mental health of employees at work. Nearly half (48 percent) of businesses offer tools designed to promote wellbeing in the workplace, with one in seven providing stress management seminars or training and annual leave for personal and mental wellbeing. Other initiatives being introduced include counselling (17 percent), leaving work early on a Friday (17 percent) and limiting the amount of overtime that employees can do (11 percent).
March 17, 2017
Gig economy workers are as likely to be satisfied with their work as workers in traditional employment, according to a major new survey published today by the CIPD which provides the first robust estimate of the size of the gig economy. Currently, 4 percent of UK working adults aged between 18 and 70 are working in the ‘gig economy’, which means approximately 1.3 million people are engaged in ‘gig work’ according to ‘To gig or not to gig: Stories from the modern. The report, which is based on a survey of 400 gig economy workers and more than 2,000 other workers, as well as 15 in-depth interviews with gig economy workers found that nearly two-thirds (63 percent) believe the Government should regulate to guarantee them basic employment rights and benefits such as holiday pay. But the research also found that, contrary to much of the rhetoric, just 14 percent of respondents said they did gig work because they could not find alternative employment.
March 16, 2017
Almost a third (28 percent) of those working from home have been distracted by a crying child whilst on a work call, reports Morgan Lovell. In solidarity with Robert E. Kelly, a professor of political science whose Skype interview by the BBC was unexpectedly interrupted by his children, workplace design, fit out and refurbishment specialist Morgan Lovell commissioned a OnePulse poll to find out the biggest disruptions when working from home.
In the survey, a third (33 percent) of respondents working from home stated that the biggest distraction was their children. Other interruptions that featured highly were: pestering pets (18 percent), flatmates (18 percent) and noisy neighbours (16 percent). Of those unable to work from home, 9 percent opted not to because of distractions and a further 44 percent were not allowed to by their bosses.
March 13, 2017
Corporate real estate occupiers must do more to embrace flexible working and identify the sources of competitive advantage offered by their workplaces, according to the newly published Corporate Real Estate (CRE) 2017 trends report from JLL. The study highlights the key issues affecting corporate property needs and requirements this year, and offers occupiers some advice on how to deal with them, including how real estate strategy affects organisational perfomance. As well as flexible working and real estate strategy, the report also considers the consequences of automation, which it suggests will have a significant impact on the way workplaces are designed, occupied and managed within just a few years,
March 10, 2017
The number of days taken as sick leave in the UK has fallen to the lowest rate since records began, according to the latest release of data from the Office for National Statistics. In 2016, about 137 million working days were lost to illness, equivalent to 4.3 days per worker. The latest figures represent the lowest number of days lost since reporting began in 1993. Days lost have been falling since 2003 and particularly since the economic downturn of 2007-8, notes the ONS. This might suggest people are struggling in to work when ill out of fear, but that may be only part of the story as the growth in flexible working will also have had a significant impact. As always, the data throws up some interesting comparisons between demographic groups and sectors although the context is not always as clear or as straightforward as is commonly supposed.
March 9, 2017
As has been the case with recent UK Government Budget announcements, Chancellor Philip Hammond’s first Budget addressed a number of issues related to the workplace, technology and infrastructure. It was the first Budget delivered in the post Brexit era and this clearly informed many of the announcements made. While most of the headlines over the past 24 hours have related to the changes to the tax status of the self-employed as a way of raising around £2 billion, the announcements also covered a broad range of topics related to the workplace, HR, technology and property sectors and have drawn an immediate response from key figures in the sector. These include nearly half a billion pounds relief on the vexed question of business rates reforms, a new focus on technical qualifications and a greater investment in 5G and other forms of digital infrastructure. We’ll be having our own say about the implications of the Budget in the near future, but in the meantime, here’s a rundown of the key announcements and the reaction of industry experts.
March 6, 2017
Younger workers are less and less loyal to employers, which is driving firms to place greater emphasis on benefits, empowerment and a better working environment, according to a study from ReportLinker. The small scale online study of 500 people found that Millennials are less likely than older generations to say they’re highly committed to their employer, with just 40 percent saying they somewhat agree with this statement compared to 66 percent of older workers say they’re highly committed to their organisation. The report concludes that this is encouraging employers to introduce new ways of winning the loyalty of employees. For example, 87 percent of employees who are more involved in decision-making are also more likely to say they are committed to their employers although, as always, we should be wary of the distinction between correlation and causation.
March 3, 2017
The Institute for Employment Studies (IES) has published its annual collection of articles addressing today’s pressing issues for organisations. In acknowledgement of current turbulent times, the team of researchers and consultants have pulled together existing research and their own insights from working with organisations, offering their reflections on how leaders and HR practitioners can successfully navigate the imminent challenges. The collection, Darkening Skies? IES Perspectives on HR 2017, reflects the current sense of uncertainty around what future awaits. The shift towards new and more precarious forms of work, made possible by the growth in digital platforms and solutions, is a recurring topic appearing in many of the articles. They also explore the possible effects and mitigations of known issues such as the ageing workforce and its associated health implications; the growing need to support employee financial wellbeing; and the dangers of ignoring the employee voice.
March 3, 2017
The average amount of overtime workers put in equates to around 68 working days a year and the fact that only one third are paid for this means the majority of people are essentially working for free until the 9th of March each year, claims a new study. The research by TotallyMoney.com with OnePoll, which looked into overtime in the UK in 2017 found that unsurprisingly 60 percent of British workers say they don’t have a good work-life balance. Common reasons given for working overtime were pressures from colleague and excessive workloads; with almost 65 percent of people surveyed not being paid for overtime worked. Only a third of British workers say they typically leave work on time; which ties in with recent TUC analysis which revealed that the number of employees working longer hours grew by 15 percent over the last five years. Working longer hours, warns the union, not only has negative impacts on health, but can actually lead to workers being less productive.
March 1, 2017
Workplace wellbeing strategies are being implemented by employers at an unprecedented rate, with 45 percent of UK companies now having a clearly-defined wellbeing strategy in place, compared to less than a third (30 percent) in 2016, claims a new report. According to ‘Employee Wellbeing Research 2017: The evolution of workplace wellbeing in the UK’ from Reward & Employee Benefits Association (REBA), in association with Punter Southall Health & Protection, of those that don’t, virtually all plan or wish to implement one – with 46 percent planning on implementing one this year, 24 percent in the next few years and a quarter (25 percent) having it on their ‘wish list’. Over a third (37 percent) launched their wellbeing strategy to improve employee engagement, and just over a quarter (26 percent) to improve organisational culture. Other drivers included improving productivity levels (11 percent), reducing long and short-term sickness absence (6 percent & 5 percent) and retaining talent (5 percent).