April 27, 2017
Employees are divided on whether remote access to the workplace is really a positive or negative development, with almost a third of UK workers (32 percent) feeling that having remote access to the workplace means they can’t switch off in their personal time. According to the latest CIPD/Halogen Employee Outlook report, two-fifths of UK workers (40 percent) admit to actively checking their work mobile or emails at least five times a day outside of working hours. Nearly a fifth (18 percent) feel as though they are under surveillance with remote access to work, and 17 percent say it makes them feel anxious or even impacts their quality of sleep. However, almost a third (30 percent) of employees say they feel empowered by having remote access to the workplace, showing a divide in opinion. Indeed, more than half of employees (53 percent) say it helps them to work flexibly and more than a third (37 percent) say it makes them more productive.
April 26, 2017
A majority of workers (65 percent) now feel comfortable requesting to work from home, while a third (33 percent) of UK employees would decline a job offer if they weren’t able to work flexibly. This is according to a new study from Maintel which claims that today’s multi-generational workforce prefers flexible working to traditional office hours and location; with flexible work policies perceived as an important workplace benefit. Nearly three quarters (73 percent) of respondents say the company they work for has good flexible work policies in place, 64 percent of remote workers don’t feel micromanaged, and 58 percent would take the opportunity to spend even less time in an office, if it were available. Well over half (60 percent) of respondents believe technology can replace in-person interaction in the workplace. Yet there remain challenges with flexible work, including indifference regarding the security of company data (66 percent) and distractions at home (31 percent).
April 24, 2017
A new study from Adecco suggests that a large number of employees have a generally positive attitude towards technology in the workplace with many seeing it as increasing employment opportunities and nearly half believing that the advent of artificial intelligence and automation will enable a greater uptake in levels of flexible working. According to the Humans vs Robots report, two-thirds (65 percent) of employees believe that overall, technology has actually increased the number of jobs available to them, 54 percent believe that advances in technology will continue to create more jobs than it destroys over the next decade, 48 percent think AI will positively benefit them, by helping them to work more flexibly and a large majority of workers (87 percent) think that computers will make their role easier within the next ten years
April 21, 2017
Anybody who has ever felt any degree of scepticism at the idea of Bond villains maintaining secret lairs employing hundreds of workers that manage to keep their secrets to themselves may have suspended disbelief when news leaked this week of Apple’s plans for driverless cars, something the firm has largely managed to keep to itself for at least two years despite having a 1,000 people working on the project in a dedicated location. Facebook has its own secrets, by all accounts many of them the product of something called Building 8, which is a sinister idea in itself, until you hear what they have just announced. The head of the department that occupies building is a woman called Regina Dugan who has just revealed some details of the department’s work on an interface that will allow people to communicate with computers using only their minds.
April 21, 2017
Governments need to act now to address issues such as productivity, automation and stagnating or falling wages, according to two new reports from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). In both its Spring global policy agenda and world economic outlook, the IMF claims that workers are subject to a perfect storm of factors that will destabilise their jobs and lives unless governments implement robust policies to help them work more flexibly, acquire new skills and work alongside the new generation of automated technologies instead of in competition with them. Addressing the issues in a speech last week, IMF managing director Christine Lagarde said that governments need to create a new economic and social architecture that allows everybody to take advantage of the opportunities offered by technology and the current growth in the world economy.
April 20, 2017
Advances in tech have boosted Data Scientist roles by 57 percent globally in one year, according to a Big Data Analytics and Business Intelligence Observatory run by Politecnico di Milano School of Management. Advances in big data analytics are encouraging increasing numbers of industries – including banking, media and big pharma – to maximise this tool by employing more data scientists. The research, which surveyed 280 international data scientists, revealed the 57 percent annual increase in positions allocated, as well as role availability in nearly a third of companies. The research suggests that international businesses will increasingly be looking to integrate Data Scientist roles into their hiring strategies.
April 20, 2017
Apple has been given permission to test a range of driverless cars in California. The state’s Department of Motor Vehicles has awarded a permit for the company to start testing its self-driving car technology on public roads, ending a period of speculation about its plans for the autonomous technology. The permit covers three vehicles, which will be 2015 Lexus RX 450h hybrid SUVs, and six individual drivers. However, the plan does not seem to suggest that Apple will become a car maker any time soon and instead will focus on the development of the technology itself rather than the hardware.
April 14, 2017
Of all the memes and narratives that corrupt public discourse about workplace design, the most pernicious is the one that suggests there is a linear evolution to some grand end point called the Office of the Future. There is a natural human inclination to buy this sort of idea, fed by an assumption that what we find most interesting, aspirational and hence what we read and talk about forms a goal. Read any style magazine and you’ll see the same process at work in every facet of our lives. This is why so many people are quick to consume and then regurgitate the idea that what we see happening in the world’s great tech palaces and creative offices represents the apogees of design to which the rest of us must one day succumb. It rests on misguided assumptions about what really goes on in such offices and what these assumptions mean for firms in other sectors. It is the great apex fallacy of workplace design and it is one we must constantly challenge.
April 13, 2017
The City of London Corporation has announced a deal that will deliver a free, public access WiFi network, offering internet access anywhere within the Square Mile. The multi million pound project is one of the largest investments in wireless infrastructure ever seen in London. Cornerstone Telecommunications Infrastructure Ltd (CTIL) has been awarded a major 15-year contract to roll-out and manage the City of London’s new wireless network in conjunction with O2. The new network will deliver wireless services across all mobile networks for City businesses, residents and visitors.
April 11, 2017
The amount of data humans and their devices create will rise to 163 zettabytes over the next eight years, according to a new report from data firm Seagate. That is ten times as much as we created last year. As usual, the amount of data described in the report is inconceivable. A linguist called Mark Liberman once estimated that every word ever uttered by human beings would create around 42ZB of stored data. So if I were to make up a fact such as that a printout of 163ZB of data could create a planet the size of Neptune, you’d have to believe it. It’s a lot and it’s rising exponentially, that’s all we need to know. The interesting thing apart from the scale of the storage issue, is that the major source of the increase will be businesses not humans and that by 2025, we will be interacting with an Internet of Things connected device an average of 4,800 times a day.
April 6, 2017
Working with colleagues across different geographies and time zones has become the norm since an increasing number of organisations now integrate and seek collaboration at a global level. Interestingly, according to Cisco, 62 percent of workers now regularly collaborate with people in other countries. These globally integrated enterprises (GIE) aim to draw in the best talent from across the world, delivering maximum innovation and efficiency. The rise of global and distributed teams has been further encouraged by the popularity of remote working, with 71 percent of office workers now choosing greater flexibility to work from various locations instead of travelling to the office everyday . And the trend only looks set to gain pace, with 56 percent of senior leaders in large global companies expecting global teams to increase in the next one to three years.
April 5, 2017
The rise of robots and automation in the workplace will lead to drastic changes to laws across the world, a new report suggests. The present wave of automation, driven by artificial intelligence (AI) – the development of computer systems able to perform tasks normally requiring human intelligence – is creating a gap between current legislation and new laws necessary for an emerging workplace reality, states a report published by the International Bar Association Global Employment Institute (IBA GEI). Artificial Intelligence and Robotics and Their Impact on the Workplace focuses on potential future trends in AI, and the likely impact intelligent systems will have on the labour market, companies, employees’ working time, remuneration and the workplace environment.