April 13, 2017
Much has been written about the inexorable rise of the gig economy. However, a new survey from jobsite Glassdoor, claims that only 13 per cent of workers across all employment types would even consider this route for future employment, and the vast majority of employees (76 percent) feel more secure sticking to permanent employment in 2017. As with any work arrangement, using temporary or “gig” workers has both benefits and drawbacks when set against traditional employment. The survey suggests that the major perceived benefit is flexibility, both for job seekers and employers. When asked the question, “What do you think would be the biggest advantage of working in the gig economy?”, most (35 percent) of employees selected “flexible working”, followed by “better work-life balance” (11 per cent) and the ability to “be my own boss” (10 percent). Furthermore, 39 percent of female employees feel that the biggest advantage of working in the gig economy would be the flexible working, compared to just 31 percent of men. However, 73 percent of women also reported they already enjoy a good work-life balance in their current roles.
April 12, 2017
A new piece of academic research provides more evidence that the underlying reason for the gender pay gap is the discrepancy between the way women with children are treated compared to men, and other women without children. According to new research from Université Paris-Saclay, mothers are paid 3 percent less for every child they have compared to their female colleagues who do not have children, while fathers suffer no such penalty at all. The figures were compiled from a 16-year study of data from organisations in the French private sector between 1995 and 2011 by Lionel Wilner, Director of Graduate Studies at engineering and statistics school ENSAE, a founding member of Université Paris-Saclay. He separated the effect of childbirth from other firm-specific wage determinants, and accounted for full-time and part-time work, to find that the difference between mothers and non-mothers is approximated a 3 percent lower hourly wage. The effect was found to be more pronounced after the birth of the first child. more…
April 11, 2017
London’s office workers are looking for shorter commutes, demanding more collaborative and networking opportunities while at work and better access to green space, retail, leisure and wellness; all of which could present a huge opportunity for the less congested outer London boroughs, a new report suggests. According to Savills latest London Mixed Use Development Spotlight, as employers and employees alike demand more from their workplace and their work- life balance, London’s outer boroughs could reap the benefits by providing greater flexible office space and affordable homes at a variety of price points. According to Oxford Economics, employment in sectors that tend to occupy co-working spaces is set to rise by 20,000 people in the outer London boroughs over the next five years, which equates to a gross additional need of 1.6 million sq ft (148,644 sq m) of office space.
April 7, 2017
According to Oxford Dictionaries the word of the year for 2016 is post-truth. This is a slippery little adjective because while some things are pretty much objectively true, the use of post-truth in many contexts is merely a way of shutting down opinion. It’s especially pernicious when it comes to ideas and philosophy because it assumes that the person using it knows what the truth is, yet the world’s sharpest minds can’t always agree on that As the great Ambrose Bierce defied truth in his caustic Devil’s Dictionary: ‘Discovery of truth is the sole purpose of philosophy, which is the most ancient occupation of the human mind and has a fair prospect of existing with increasing activity to the end of time’. And there’s a good reason why in the Bible Pilate’s question ‘What is truth?’ is met with silence.
April 5, 2017
It is two years since the introduction of Shared Parental Leave (SPL), where couples were given the ability to share leave surrounding the arrival of a new addition to their family; and while sharing leave is seen to have a profound beneficial impact for the family, there are still plenty of barriers. According to research from My Family Care, one of the largest is that there is a sense that it involves a big risk with real concerns around the impact on a father’s career if they were to take more than two or three months off. A second report from the charity Working Families found that despite the initial slow take up of new rights, more than half of fathers would use Shared Parental Leave. However, snapshot figures for the first three months of 2016 showed that 3,000 new parents were taking up the new right. If the maternity leave figure is taken as indicative of the number of couples with new babies at the time the new figures are in line with the bottom of the government’s 2013 estimated take-up range – between two and eight per cent of fathers.
April 4, 2017
European employees appear ready to embrace the ‘ gig economy ‘, according to research by ADP. The study of nearly 10,000 European working adults claims to reveal how employees across Europe feel about the future of work. As many as 63 percent of UK employees and 68 percent of European employees are interested in, or would consider self-employment or freelancing although the desire for this style of working does vary drastically across regions. According to the report a third (33 percent) of UK employees say work-life balance is a key motivating factor although pay is still the ultimate driver for all European employees.
April 3, 2017
IBM recently announced that it was going to consolidate its 2,600 marketing department in six locations around the US. Nothing wrong with that you may say, but as part of the consolidation it has to told people to relocate so they can attend the office every day and workers that had been part of IBM’s home working initiative for decades told to turn up at the office every day or find another job. The reason for this radical and trauma creating shift for IBM’s people causing increased commute times, social upheaval and increased carbon emissions is ‘innovation’. IBM needs to transform itself, move faster and come up with new ideas faster. All makes sense…..or does it?
March 29, 2017
Flexible working can increase employee job satisfaction and organisational commitment, but staff who work flexibly under an ad hoc arrangement appear to perform better than those who go through a more formal process, according to research from Cass Business School and Cranfield School of Management. The research focused on the relationship between flexible working arrangements designed to accommodate employees’ needs (e.g. remote working, flexitime, compressed working) and performance appraisals and considered the indirect effects of employee performance via job satisfaction and organisational commitment. An analysis of whether the associations varied according to whether the flexible working arrangement was set up via a formal policy or informal negotiation between the employee and line manager revealed that employees who established flexible working arrangements through informal discussion with their line manager were judged to perform much better than those who use formal flexible working arrangements.
March 28, 2017
The number of new leases taken up by the largest law firms in London fell by more than 50 percent last year, claims a new report from CBRE. The study of the 100 largest firms in the capital found that the firms are rethinking their real estate strategy in the light of new developments in flexible working, technology and the result of the Brexit referendum. According to the report, the total space taken through new leases in 2016 was just under 500,000 sq ft – 55 percent down on 2015 and 36 percent below the 10-year average. The report found that no law firms had signed deals for more than 90,000 sq ft last year. The largest deal of 2016 was CMS’ leasing of 84,199 sq ft at Cannon Place ahead of its merger with Nabarro and Olswang, with lawyers from the three firms set to consolidate into one building.
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).