February 14, 2017
The UK ‘cyber workforce’ has grown by 160 percent in the five years to 2016, according to new Tech Partnership research. Around 58,000 people now work in cyber security, up from 22,000 in 2011, and they command an average salary of over £57,000 a year – 15 percent higher than tech specialists as a whole, and up 7 percent on last year. Just under half of the cyber workforce is employed in the digital industries, while banking accounts for one in five, and the public sector for 12 percent. The figures, derived from analysis of bespoke data from IT Jobs Watch and supporting information from the Office of National Statistics’ Quarterly Labour Force Survey, are published in the Tech Partnership’s most recent Fact Sheet, Cyber Security Specialists in the UK.
February 10, 2017
This is the first of two responses to an excellent article by Antony Slumbers, in this instance offering that his views offer too conservative a view of how technology will shape the future of work. Dr Pangloss, the teacher of metaphysics in Candide, Voltaire’s hilariously sarcastic attack on Leibnizian optimism, offered a timeless and universal explanation of the most cruel and tragic events as “the best of all possible worlds”. I would argue however that far from creating a landscape of optimism, it facilitates a dismissal of all significant change as an irrelevance given that effectively we have no option other than to happily accept it. For example, whether property transitions to a service or remains locked in its existing institutional quagmire, it doesn’t matter. Either way its fine as it’s the best we can hope for. Accept it, happily. A Panglossian future only looks appealing if you’re –well, Dr Pangloss.
February 10, 2017
Sodexo has published its 2017 Global Workplace Trends report, which claims to define the most critical factors affecting the world’s workers and employers. According to the report, the trends portray a workplace that blends work life with outside life, catering to employee needs through improvements in wellness, space design and learning programs. “With this piece, we’ve distilled key findings from different sectors, generations and countries to produce a report that provides a holistic view of the global workplace,” said Sylvia Metayer, CEO, Worldwide Corporate Services segment, Sodexo. “It’s critical for business leaders to recognise the underlying trends driving change, to evaluate their significance and stay ahead of—rather than follow—them.”
February 9, 2017
Over a third (35 percent) of businesses targeted in a cyber-attack in the past 12 months have taken no extra measures to protect themselves in the future, claims a new report. The study of 3,000 companies in the UK, US and Germany, conducted for Hiscox says that more than half (53 percent) of businesses in the three countries are ill-prepared to deal with cyber-attacks. It also found that more than half (57 percent) of companies surveyed admit they have been the target of at least one cyber-attack in the past 12 months, while one in four (26 percent) companies has been targeted three times or more with the average cost per incident to UK businesses estimated to be £42,779. Although three out of five businesses (62 percent) took less than 24 hours to uncover their biggest cyber incident in the past 12 months, and a quarter (26 percent) did so within an hour of its occurrence, nearly half (46 percent) of businesses took two days or more to get back to business as usual.
February 7, 2017
With the UK facing at best, very slow growth, or even shrinkage, of the working population, future changes to migration levels into the UK due to Brexit could exacerbate the financial stresses and strains caused by the UK’s aging workforce. This is according to the Mercer Workforce Monitor™ which claims that companies will need to invest heavily in automation, sectors of society historically under-represented in the workforce and look at ways of increasing productivity. According to the analysis, since 2013, the levels of EU and non-EU born immigration into the UK workforce has filled a gap left by the aging of the nation’s UK-born workforce which sees more in this group leave the workforce – through retirement, emigration or death – than enter it. National growth is closely linked to workforce growth; so reducing its future size would create major headwinds for the UK economy and since another 3.4 million people will reach the age of 65 in 2030; unless the UK decides to make drastic changes to the funding of pensions, health and social care, this smaller working population will be required to proportionally spend more of their income to care for their older citizens.
February 6, 2017
Two new reports have highlighted the ways in which a new generation of robots could transform the workforce, opening up opportunities while also threatening existing jobs. A study from Oxford Martin School claims that 35 percent of jobs in the UK are at risk of automation, and not necessarily those of the low skilled and unskilled. The study analyses which jobs commanding a salary of more than £40,000 are most at threat. It found that top of the “at risk” ranking are insurance underwriters, with a rating of 98.9 percent, followed by loan officers at 98.4 percent, motor insurance assessors (98.3 percent) and credit analysts (97.9 percent). A second report from think tank Reform suggests that robots should be proactively brought in to the workplace to replace 90 per cent of Whitehall’s 137,000 administrative staff with “artificially intelligent chatbots” by 2030, saving £2.6 billion a year.
February 3, 2017
We are all futurologists now. We all have our 2020 visions. But there was a time, not so long ago, when the title was reserved for a few people who would be able to shake and shape the world with a single idea and a book. Yes, a book. Nowadays a book has to go hand in hand with a Ted Talk, blogs on the Huff Post and a speaking tour to get you anywhere at all. But within living memory it was possible to shift the thinking of the planet with a book. This is a past just as exotic as the future once described by the likes of Charles Handy, James Gleick and Alvin Toffler who died on Wednesday in Los Angeles at the age of 87. Toffler’s 1970 blockbuster Future Shock created not just an enduring expression of an idea but also set the standard for all subsequent futurologists. His ideas and the terms he used to encapsulate them continue to resonate as we now understand how the future world he described so memorably has come to pass.
February 2, 2017
It’s no surprise to say that technology is having a significant impact on the workplace and the use of corporate real estate. The fast pace of change has seen technology impact all aspects of business, government and culture, as well as personal life, with a constant flow of new innovations and solutions helping us to do things more quickly and efficiently. Equally, technology also provides a challenge to business and, more specifically, corporate operations, with a whole array of disruptive technologies. Disruption is indeed now running a swathe through a whole spectrum of industries. CoreNet Global’s recent report, The Bigger Picture: The Future of Corporate Real Estate, attempts to capture the impact of technological change, and a variety of other factors, that will influence, disrupt and transform the corporate real estate (CRE) profession. As business strategy and operations are reshaped and consumer preferences change, we will find that the ‘how’ and ‘where’ people want to work will transform.
January 26, 2017
Workers across the globe are excited by the potential for technology to enhance their work lives and create new career opportunities, but over a third (40 percent) fear that they won’t be able to keep up with the rate of change required by digital business, claims a new survey. Across Europe 77 percent of workers acknowledge that disruption and increased competition will require more people with digital skills in order to compete on a global scale; however, the level of encouragement employees believe they are currently receiving to drive change in the workplace varies greatly throughout the world. Only 64 percent of respondents in the US saying they feel empowered by their company culture to lead innovation, whereas 90 percent of employees in Mexico feel their workplaces encourages them to drive change. The BMC study of over 3,200 office workers in 12 countries worldwide found that 88 percent of office workers across the world strongly believe that employers must create an innovative culture to retain staff and enable them to be successful with increasingly digital roles and responsibilities.
January 25, 2017
In an era in which the digital workplace is just as prevalent as the physical office, organisations that create spaces, technologies and social networks specifically focused on enabling more collaborative work, perform above their direct competitors in their respective industries – in employee connectedness and responsive leadership. This is according to research conducted by Nick van der Meulen of Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) and MIT’s Center for Information Systems Research (CISR). The report assessed on a basis of five indicators, including growth in market share, profit growth and employee satisfaction, and found that trusting employees by giving them autonomy is the key to making a success of the digital workplace. The survey of 313 organisations showed that the high-performing organisations have an integrated and company-wide approach to greater employee connectedness.
January 24, 2017
Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman introduced the concept of Loss Aversion in 1984, highlighting people’s tendency to strongly prefer avoiding losses to acquiring gains. Most studies suggest that losses are twice as powerful, psychologically, as gains. Lose £100 and we will feel a remorse that easily outweighs winning £100. In a similar fashion we find it very hard to see future positives when confronted with short term loses. We understand easily what we have lost but cannot imagine what there is to be gained. Furthermore, as Frederic Bastiat wrote in an 1850 paper, “That Which is Seen, and That Which is Not Seen”, man has a tendency to “pursue a small present good, which will be followed by a great evil to come, rather than a great good to come, at the risk of a small present evil”. Put these together and it is no wonder that, by and large, the future of work, corporate real estate and the workplace is so widely misunderstood.
January 17, 2017
The debate around designing a workplace that works for millennials and now Gen Z is a public one. Every week a new article highlights what is required to create a workplace that millennials want. However for large companies with a diverse workforce, more than the desires of just one generation must be considered to make the workforce effective. Is it possible to create a universal workforce that can work across generations to serve the needs of all employees, and should that be the goal for workplace design? Right now, we know that tech firms are drawing more top talent than they did before. It can be seen in the a comparison of Harvard MBAs in 2007 and again in 2014 that went into banking (13 percent down to 5 percent) vs tech (up from 7 percent to 17 percent). Following their lead, broader design has shifted to adopt a tech feel in their own offices, with open layouts trending upwards. Office amenities from ping pong tables to slides are also rising as companies try to bring a fresh approach to the workplace.