April 4, 2017
Nearly half (46 percent) of employees questioned in a new survey feel more stressed at work than they did a year ago and 17 percent feel their work stress levels are ‘much higher,’ new research has claimed. The data, from Specialists4Protection.co.uk also suggests that 16 percent of people in work claim to have taken medical advice to help them cope with work-related stress, and 13 percent are on medication partly because of this. Just 12 percent say they feel less stressed than they were 12 months ago. The impact of this is not just felt at work. Fifty five percent of those suffering from work related stress say it has adversely affected their sleep, and 19 percent claim it’s contributed towards a decline in their relationship with their partner. Four out of ten (40 percent) say work-related stress means they are not eating properly and 42 percent are doing less exercise.
April 1, 2017
The overwhelming majority of UK workers don’t do anything productive at all, according to a new report published today. The study of available research into the illnesses, injuries, distractions, wastes of time, procrastinations, productivity drains and paralyses that afflict British workers found that the annual cost to the British economy is around £1.8 trillion, equivalent to 98.9 percent of GDP. The analysis was carried out by a team at the University of Salford led by Dr April Fullstay and Dr Juan Bjorn Avery-Minid drawing on five years of research and surveys across a range of issues to create the ‘most comprehensive overview of UK absenteeism and unproductive behaviours, their causes and consequences yet published’. The researchers suggest that the era of robotic workers can’t come soon enough although the recent example of Microsoft’s Twitterbot Tay that was taught to be a bigot suggests even that may prove to be a complete waste of everybody’s time.
March 31, 2017
Just one bad night of sleep makes it more likely that employees who already displayed unwanted behaviour one day at work will display a similar type of behaviour the following day, according to a study at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM). Once an employee engages in unwanted behaviour in the workplace, such as taking longer breaks than allowed, leaving early without permission, or even stealing, it might be hard to step away from it. And that is a costly affair: such behaviour is estimated to cause companies up to $200 billion per year in the USA alone.
March 28, 2017
The number of British people working past 70 years old has increased markedly over the past four years. Poor pensions, personal choice, greater life expectancy and changes to pension laws have all been highlighted as factors behind the increase in the latest report on demographic trends from the Office of National Statistics (ONS). The largest increase was seen amongst women, with the proportion of women working into their seventies doubling from 5.6 percent in 2012 to 11.3 percent last year. Around 150,000 women over seventy are now thought to be working. Meanwhile, the number of men working past the official state pension age has also increased, but at a slower rate, from 10 percent in 2012 to 15.5 percent last year.
March 28, 2017
Just over half (53 per cent) of staff who had disclosed poor mental health at work said they felt supported, and 72 per cent said they’d been made aware of the support tools such as Employee Assistance Programmes (EAPs), counselling, staff support network or informal buddying systems, a new piece of research has disclosed. The data has been gathered by mental health charity Mind to give an insight into the mental health of 15,000 employees participating in Mind’s first ever Workplace Wellbeing Index, a brand new benchmark of best policy and practice when it comes to staff mental health. Thirty organisations participated in Mind’s first ever Workplace Wellbeing Index, including Deloitte, HMRC, the Environment Agency, Jaguar Land Rover and PepsiCo. Over half (56 per cent) of employees who reported mental ill health were offered reasonable adjustments or support measures, such as changes to hours worked or the nature of some of their duties.
March 28, 2017
Long working hours are embedded into Small and medium sized firm’s (SME) culture, new research by AXA PPP healthcare has claimed, with 47 percent of employees in SMEs across the UK regularly working four or more hours of overtime per week, 27 percent of these putting in seven or more hours and for half (52 percent), the extra hours are unpaid. In addition, 22 percent of employees take fewer than 30 minutes for lunch, 19 percent have cancelled family time and 19 percent have missed a child’s event such as a school play due to working over and above their contracted hours. Over half (54 percent) of employees have continued to work after putting children to bed. With Britain’s small and medium sized firms making up 99.9 percent of the UK’s private sector businesses, employing nearly 3/5 of its workforce and accounting for 48 percent of the turnover this accounts for a lot of workers.
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
Junior members of the workforce are most likely to be disengaged, demotivated and lacklustre about work according to a survey on happiness in the UK workplace from HR consultancy Personal Group. Based on a survey of 800 people benchmarked against a larger database of 41,000 from the University of Warwick, the survey claims that 48 percent of employees are not often happy at work and that almost one in five are rarely or never happy at work. The report suggests that it is more junior employees who are not only less keen to get to work in the morning but are also unhappier at work when compared to senior managers, directors and those who are self-employed. Similarly, when asked whether they feel enthusiastic about their job, directors and self-employed are the most passionate, reporting 70 percent and 76 percent respectively. Team leaders and frontline employees are significantly less enthusiastic, with 30 percent of the latter saying that they never feel enthusiastic at work.
March 20, 2017
Losing a job creates a ‘new normal’ for personal wellbeing that never goes back to previous levels, a new international study claims. Unemployment is damaging to people’s wellbeing regardless of their age, gender, level of education, ethnicity or region. The new study, co-authored by the What Works Centre for Wellbeing and the University of East Anglia, looked at the impact of unemployment across a number of countries and found that joblessness tops even divorce or widowhood in its impact on our life satisfaction. The evidence also suggests people never adapt fully to unemployment. The longitudinal study of 24,000 people found on average that individuals had lower life satisfaction following unemployment and this never recovered to the pre-unemployment levels. These results applied to men and women, but the effects were found to be stronger for men. Men also were found to be happier than women once in a new job. The type of work is also important with temporary jobs proving worse than permanent work.
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 8, 2017
Employees aged 35 and under lose the highest average amount of productive time due to absenteeism and presenteeism, are the least physically active in the workforce, have a high proportion of smokers and eat the least fruit and vegetables each day. This is according to data from Britain’s Healthiest Workplace (BHW) which claims that these same employees, many of whom entered the workforce following the recent global financial crisis, already suffer from social mobility challenges and tough economic conditions, which is having a considerable impact on their health and wellbeing. Data from BHW shows that high stress levels can have major impacts on employee productivity at work, which in turn has cost implications for the employer. Almost 35 percent of 26-30 year old employees are physically inactive, completing less than 150 minutes of exercise a week, and on top of this nearly 14 percent of this age group smoke. Comparatively, the same data shows that older employees have healthier habits, with 22.5 percent of 56-60 year olds being physically inactive and only a small proportion (6.1 percent) smoking.
March 7, 2017
A survey of more than 423,000 NHS staff has shown their experience of the workplace is improving, despite the huge financial pressures and public demand on healthcare in the UK. Responding anonymously to the annual NHS Staff Survey, staff reported small but measurable improvements in 26 of the 32 key workplace categories, including having confidence to raise concerns about clinical practice, feeling supported by managers and recommending their workplace for employment or receiving care. The report is published by the national NHS Staff Survey Co-ordination Centre on behalf of NHS England and was carried out in October and November 2016.