March 2, 2017
Fostering behavioural change among employees to encourage them to make healthier lifestyle choices could deliver both productivity gains and economic growth, a new report claims. According to Human-Centric Health: Behaviour Change and the Prevention of Non-Communicable Diseases, by the World Economic Forum in collaboration with Willis Towers Watson, behavioural economics will be critical to encourage healthier lifestyles and reduce the burden of non-communicable diseases (cardiovascular disease, mental illness, cancer, chronic respiratory disease and diabetes) that account for approximately 16 million premature deaths annually and will cost an estimated cumulative loss of $47 trillion in economic activity worldwide over the next two decades. According to the analysis, technology such as mobile phones with accelerometers that make activity challenges easier and engage individuals in a community of supportive peers will improve people’s understanding of health-related knowledge and encourage them to reshape their behaviour. Linking individuals to ‘commitment contracts’ to exercise, quit smoking, or adhere to medicine prescription schedules will also be easier to monitor using sensors and mobile technology.
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).
February 28, 2017
Levels of job satisfaction vary significantly across Europe, with Dutch, Polish and Swiss employees being the most satisfied, according to research by HR software firm ADP. The new study of nearly 10,000 European working adults explores how employees across Europe feel about the future of work. According to the research, Dutch, Polish and Swiss employees are the most satisfied, whilst the UK comes joint fifth. In the UK, satisfaction levels also differ greatly across regions; three quarters of those based in the East are satisfied (75 percent), whilst only 59 percent of employees in Northern Ireland are satisfied. In the UK, those working in Architecture, Engineering and Building are the most satisfied (84 percent), whilst IT & Telecoms workers fare well across Europe and the UK. In the UK, those working in financial services are the least satisfied (57 percent) – the lowest level of job satisfaction overall. In contrast, 71 percent of financial services employees in other European countries are satisfied.
February 28, 2017
A majority of older workers (55+) in the UK are bracing themselves to continue working until they are 70 years old, but three quarters of employees don’t think employers are doing enough to support them, according to new research by the CIPD. In a survey of more than 1,600 UK employees, more than a third (37 percent) believed that they will have to work past the widely accepted retirement age of 65, a figure which jumps to 49 percent among workers over 55 years old. Among those who predict they will work past 65, the average age they expect to actually retire is 70. The most common reasons for employees wanting to work past 65 the belief it will keep them mentally fit (32 percent), followed by a desire to be able to earn enough money to continue to enjoy themselves. However, the research has also found that many employers aren’t doing enough to support older workers in the workplace. Just one in four (25 percent) employees believe that their employer is prepared to meet the needs of workers aged 65 and over, demonstrating how much work organisations need to do in order to prepare for the increased numbers of older workers in the workplace.
February 28, 2017
Working significantly past the state retirement age is a threat to recruitment and retention, claims study
Rising numbers of employees working past traditional retirement ages is a potential threat to recruitment and retention, new research from employee benefits consultancy Portus claims. Its study of 103 HR executives and 1,043 employees claims 41 percent of HR managers believe they face looming problems in retaining and recruiting new staff if existing employees are unwilling to retire or can’t afford to. Employment data shows 1.19 million over-65s are still working – slightly down on the 1.202 million peak at the start of 2015 – but still nearly double the 635,000 over-65s in the workforce in 2006. Working past 65 is increasingly seen as an option by employees, the study claims. It found just 29 percent of employees have ruled out working past 65. Younger workers – who face higher state pension ages – are the most likely to work past 65 with just 23 percent of those aged 25 to 34 saying they will definitely stop work by 65.
February 21, 2017
Older workers are at risk of being marginalised in the workplace according to a new survey of office workers from workplace consultants Peldon Rose, which claims that there are significant differences in the wellbeing, attitudes and motivations of the workplace’s oldest and youngest employees. The over 50s now account for more than 30 percent of the UK’s working population (9.4million people), but according to the study older workers are the least content of all employees with less than a quarter (23 percent) of the 55+ age group feeling appreciated by their company and 80 percent suffering from or having suffered from workplace stress. In contrast, the workplace’s newest recruits, the under 25 year olds, are the office’s most positive employees with over half (55 percent) feeling appreciated by their company and 60 percent – the lowest of all age groups – suffering or having suffered from workplace stress.
February 20, 2017
Workers in the City of London are often more stressed about work when at home than in the office, claims a new peer reviewed study published in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. The study of workers at some of London’s major banks suggests that more than half find they are more stressed when trying to balance their home and professional lives with the result that they are more at risk of cardiovascular disease. The stress levels of participants were measured using wrist monitors and found that there are significant spikes in heart rates when people interrupt their domestic lives with work. The authors conclude that the culture of always on working is literally killing people.
February 16, 2017
Nearly three quarters of European employees would consider career opportunities abroad, with Germany voted the most desirable place to work claims a new study of nearly 10,000 working adults across Europe. According to research by ADP which looked at how employees feel about the future of work, international competitiveness and talent management, European employees have a strong appetite for international work, as almost three quarters (74 percent) would consider other countries for career opportunities. At 21 percent, Germany tops the list of most popular places to relocate, with the United Kingdom (15 percent) and France (12 percent) in second and third place; with North America surprisingly coming in much further down the list in 12th place. Despite their popularity, Germany, the UK and France aren’t particularly strong in any of the areas measured in the survey, such as skills and development, flexible working options and stress in the workplace.
February 15, 2017
Demanding bosses and increased work pressures are turning up the pressure and stress levels for City workers with staff expected to be always available, new research from MetLife claims. Its study of 104 senior decision makers from financial institutions and investment banks found 95 percent say they are expected to be always available for work with weekends seen as a continuation of the normal working week. They work on average 23 weekends a year, with 50 percent of executives saying weekends have been disturbed by work at least 25 times in the past year. Complaining about stress makes no difference – just one in seven (14 percent) of those questioned say bosses have taken action when they have complained about pressure at work.
February 15, 2017
Millennials are less likely to leave the security of their jobs this year as the events of 2016; terror attacks in Europe, Brexit, and a contentious US presidential election appear to have rattled their confidence. This is according to Deloitte’s sixth annual Millennial Survey of nearly 8,000 millennials from 30 countries, which found that the “loyalty gap” between those who saw themselves leaving their companies within two years and those who anticipated staying beyond five years has moved from 17 percentage points last year to seven points. The desire for security is also apparent in the finding that, while millennials perceive across-the-board advantages of working as freelancers or consultants, nearly two-thirds said they prefer full-time employment. Those in highly flexible organizations appear to be much more loyal to their employers and are two-and-a-half times more likely to believe that flexible working practices have a positive impact on financial performance than those in more restrictive organizations. Three-quarters of those offered flexible working opportunities say they trust colleagues to respect it, and 78 percent feel trusted by their line managers.
February 14, 2017
New research into the effect of retirement on wellbeing commissioned by The What Works Centre for Wellbeing claims that those who gradually reduce their working time with more flexible hours improve their levels of wellbeing. The study looked at all existing research and found that part-time working towards the end of our careers improves life satisfaction. It advises that employers should support older workers to ‘wind-down’ into retirement with bridging jobs or reduce their working hours to avoid poor wellbeing, a new international study reveals. However, the research highlights that this depends on whether employees had control over when they retired, rather than being forced out through ill health or restructuring. If people take up bridging jobs because of financial strain, their wellbeing drops. Even after accounting for income and health, wellbeing is higher for those who have control over the timing or plan for their retirement, and voluntary retirees derive greater pleasure from free time in retirement. On the contrary, wellbeing is lower for those who are involuntarily retired, especially due to health reasons.
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.”