About Neil Franklin

Neil Franklin is Insight's news editor

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Climate change demands a rethink for our economic models

Climate change demands a rethink for our economic models 0

Swift and effective action is needed to create new, sustainable economic models to mitigate the adverse effects of climate change on the world’s working population, claims a report published by the International Bar Association Global Employment Institute (IBA GEI). The Climate Change and Human Resources Policies Report focuses on the relationship between climate change and employment, and aims to contribute to nascent discussions anticipating structural changes to business and the training needs of workforces transitioning to low-carbon economies. The report also highlights potential issues in relation to employment policies, labour law, ‘weak’ jobs, ‘expanding’ jobs and new jobs. Further, it draws attention to what some countries are doing to help their nations’ employees adjust to industrial change, and how trade unions, employers and educators are working together to deliver green skills training.

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Workers spend less time on social media and non-work technology in a bid to restore work life balance

Workers spend less time on social media and non-work technology in a bid to restore work life balance 0

According to a new survey by job site CV-Library, over two thirds of workers (67.4 percent) don’t use social media whilst at work, and of those that do, the majority (45 percent) will only do so for up to 15 minutes. The study surveyed 1,200 workers on their opinions around technology in the workplace, and whether it is a distraction or an enabler to professionals. Interestingly, the survey claims that despite 56.1 percent admitting that they use smart phones while they’re at work, the majority (79.8 percent) do not use technology to do personal tasks during work hours. Many 0f the respondents cite the desire for a better work life balance as the main reason for their behaviour.

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Bisley’s classic MultiDrawer recognised with a Design Guild Mark

Bisley’s classic MultiDrawer recognised with a Design Guild Mark 0

Bisley’s iconic MultiDrawer, one of the office’s most recognisable products for 60 years, has been awarded a Design Guild Mark, recognising its timeless qualities in design, functionality and quality. Now approaching six decades from its launch, the MultiDrawer has never lost its appeal, becoming an icon in storage. Almost 2 million of the diminutive cabinets have been sold, helping the brand name Bisley become part of the lexicon in the German language to describe storage cabinets, such is the reach of this British born icon. Created by Freddy Brown, founder of Bisley and an experienced metal worker, the MultiDrawer was first made in 1958. The Bisley factory was expert in metalwork having evolved from car body repairs, then making metal waste paper bins and, during the war, designing and making the large metal containers that were dropped by parachute into war zones to deliver supplies. The Design Guild Mark is awarded by The Furniture Makers’ Company, the furnishing industry’s charity, in order to drive excellence and raise the profile of British design and innovation.  The award recognises the highest standards in the design of furniture in volume production, by the best designers working in Britain or British designers working abroad.

UK businesses still breaking the most basic health and safety laws

UK businesses still breaking the most basic health and safety laws 0

health and safetyAlmost two thirds of UK businesses are failing to meet basic health and safety laws and are putting their employees in danger, according to new research. A survey of 2,000 employees, working for businesses that have over five employees, found that 65 percent have not received any information on their company’s health and safety policies. This is despite it being a basic legal requirement for all companies with five employees or more. The research, which was conducted by data capture app provider WorkMobile, also revealed that even when workers were provided with written health and safety guidance, the information didn’t explain the risks of the job properly.

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Bored and distracted employees are biggest data security risk

Bored and distracted employees are biggest data security risk 0

Employees who become distracted at work are more likely to be the cause of human error and a potential security risk, according to a snapshot poll conducted by Centrify at Infosec Europe in London this week. While more than a third of survey respondents cite distraction and boredom as the main cause of human error, other causes include heavy workloads, excessive policies and compliance regulations, social media and password sharing. Poor management is also highlighted by 11 percent of security professionals, while 8 per cent believe human error is caused by not recognising their data security responsibilities at work.

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Three quarters of HR professionals expect Brexit to escalate the war for talent

Three quarters of HR professionals expect Brexit to escalate the war for talent 0

New research claims that, as a result of the UK’s decision to leave the EU, nearly three-quarters of HR professionals (72 percent) expect the war for talent to intensify, and nearly two-thirds (61 percent) predict further difficulty recruiting senior and skilled employees over the next three years. The latest CIPD/Hays Resourcing and Talent Planning Survey of more than 1,000 HR professionals found that recruitment difficulties are already being reported by three quarters of HR professionals (75 percent), and nearly two-thirds (65 percent) agree that the skills needed for jobs in their organisation are changing. Professionals with leadership (58 percent), digital (54 percent) and commercial awareness skills (51 percent) are most likely to increase in demand over the next 12 months.

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FIS publishes new guide to office fit out

FIS publishes new guide to office fit out 0

The Finishes and Interiors Sector (FIS) trade association has published a new guide to help occupiers and others apply best practice in the creation of an office fit-out. The publication, A Client’s Guide: Office Fit-Out and Refurbishment, was launched at this year’s Clerkenwell Design Week and is available free to read or download. They do want your email details however. Image: Claremont

Every building on the planet must be net zero carbon by 2050 claims World Green Building Council

Every building on the planet must be net zero carbon by 2050 claims World Green Building Council 0

The building sector, which is responsible for global emissions roughly equivalent to those of the whole of China, must operate at “net zero carbon” by 2050 if global warming is to remain under two degrees Celsius, the limit enshrined in the Paris Agreement. According to a new report from the World Green Building Council (WorldGBC), there are currently 500 net zero commercial buildings and 2,000 net zero homes around the globe (well under 1 per cent of all buildings worldwide), requiring a monumental and coordinated effort by businesses, governments and nongovernmental organisations to bring the building sector within striking distance of Paris Agreement targets. The report defines ‘net zero buildings’ as highly energy-efficient buildings which generate or supply the energy they need to operate from renewable sources to achieve net zero carbon emissions, and lays out specific actions that the private sector, governments and NGOs can take to ensure all new buildings operate at net zero carbon by 2030 and that all existing buildings are renovated to operate at net zero carbon by 2050.

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Pressure group calls on incoming UK government to create a new contract with the self employed

Pressure group calls on incoming UK government to create a new contract with the self employed 0

IPSE, the association set up to represent the needs of the UK’s self employed and freelance workforce, has released a manifesto ahead of the general election. In A Contract with the Self-Employed, IPSE details all the policies it wants to see the incoming government implement for the 4.8 million people currently defined as self employed or freelance. In conjunction with the ongoing Taylor Review into modern employment practices, the manifesto calls for a statutory definition of self-employment to end widespread confusion and ensure self employment remains an attractive and attainable career choice. The manifesto calls for a strategic review of the tax system – which, in its current state, is based upon the traditional employer/employee model. As self-employment continues to boom, the government needs to supplement this 21st century way of working with a fairer, more efficient, 21st century tax system.  Included in the review, it has asked the government to make careful considerations before rolling out IR35 measures in the private sector, create a bespoke tax system for freelancers, simplify Making Tax Digital and maintain the current rate of NICs.

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Facilities managers should become “gardeners” rather than architects, claims report

Facilities managers should become “gardeners” rather than architects, claims report 0

A new white paper from ’boutique’ facilities management firm Anabas. It claims that the proliferation of diverse office environments and agile working means that facilities managers must develop a greater insight into the behaviour of people to help them deliver. The report, What Type of Office Worker Are you?, claims that it ‘helps to rediscover what it means to be human in the workplace and takes us back to the beginning by focusing on understanding individual behaviours, work styles and how they influence interaction within the workplace itself. It examines the importance of people in the workplace and discusses the ‘work style formula’ of – Culture + Mobility + Temperament – demonstrating how this can guide behaviours. It also claims to identify four main types of worker based on brain chemistry; Pioneers, Guardians, Drivers and Integrators and how despite the differences, each is driven in the same way, by the environment.

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Suppressed global productivity levels weigh down on personal wealth

Suppressed global productivity levels weigh down on personal wealth 0

productivityThe slowdown in global productivity – already underway before the last economic crisis – combined with sluggish investment, continued to undermine rises in economic output and material living standards in recent years in many of the world’s economies, according to a new report released by the OECD. In its latest Compendium of Productivity Indicators, the OECD also highlights a decoupling between productivity growth and higher real average wages in many countries, resulting in continued  declines in labour’s share of national income. The report claims that the contribution of labour utilisation (hours worked per capita) to GDP growth has risen markedly in a number of countries, notably in the United Kingdom and the United States. However, rises in labour utilisation reflect two opposing effects: higher employment rates but lower average hours per worker, which points to more part-time working, often in low productivity jobs.

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British Council for Offices launches competition to imagine the office of 2035

British Council for Offices launches competition to imagine the office of 2035 0

Participants in a new competition to define the ‘office of the future’ will be asked to consider ‘what it will look like, and how it will support the way we will work’ by the British Council for Offices (BCO). The free-to-enter competition is seeking ‘forward-thinking and innovative responses, challenging the conventionalities of today’s workplaces and anticipating future needs’. The BCO hopes that the NextGen programme will allow it to ‘mentor the next generation of professionals – designers, agents, developers, consultants and others – and provides a platform for emerging talent to share their ideas’. The announcement cites social, economic, cultural and technological factors as the main agents of change, leading to changes in the expectations of employers and workers. It suggests that ‘ubiquitous and instantaneous technology; a growing interest in health and wellbeing; a greater desire for organisational flexibility; and an increased awareness of individual’s needs are now all competing factors within the workplace’.

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