About Neil Franklin

Neil Franklin is Insight's news editor

Posts by Neil Franklin:

Four day working week could become a reality soon, claims report

Four day working week could become a reality soon, claims report

A four-day working week could become a reality this century, according to the general secretary of the Trade Union Congress and a new TUC report. In a key speech to the TUC’s annual congress set to be delivered later today, Frances O’Grady will call for firms to use technology in a way to improve the lives of workers and cut the number of hours they spend working. However, the union also concedes that it may take government intervention for this to happen, given the way technology has encouraged the extension of working time over past few decades.

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Firms need to distinguish between job and organisation when it comes to employee engagement

Firms need to distinguish between job and organisation when it comes to employee engagement

Organisations need to distinguish between employee engagement with a job and engagement with the organisation if they are to improve the employee experience and their overall competitive advantage, a new research paper claims. Published by the Institute for Employment Studies (IES), the paper claims to highlight how traditional, one-dimensional views of engagement fail to make a distinction between job and organisational engagement, viewing employee engagement as a single concept. However, employees can be highly engaged with the organisation but have low levels of job engagement, or vice versa. The research paper, Bridging the gap: an evidence-based approach to employee engagement, suggests that this lack of understanding about what engagement really is and how it influences organisational success can lead to inefficient and ineffective strategies to improve employee engagement.

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Many UK freelancers feel lonely and isolated following leap to self-employment

Many UK freelancers feel lonely and isolated following leap to self-employment

The solo self-employed are now a vital element of the UK economy, contributing around £271 billion to the government’s coffers in 2017, of which around £125–140 billion came from freelancers. But with some predicting that by 2020, half of the workforce will be freelancing, we need to take an objective look at the world of self-employment and tackle its challenges head-on, giving freelancers the tools and skills they need to work effectively — and happily.

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BRE announces plans for £10m innovation hub building

BRE announces plans for £10m innovation hub building

UK based building research body BRE has announced plans for a new research centre building at its campus in Hertfordshire. The new Open Innovation Hub will be built on the current site of a redundant and soon to be demolished 1960’s office block, known as Building 4, at the organisation’s Garston base. BRE says the new building, designed by architects AHMM will create a national and international centre for research and innovation in emerging sectors such as digital, connected and smart built environment. The four-floor 35,000 sq ft building will offer high-quality incubation and SME acceleration space to facilitate collaboration between the research base, large firms and knowledge-intensive SMEs. BRE aims to see the £10m build project achieve a BREEAM outstanding environmental accreditation. Once finished it will create 150 jobs and BRE also hopes to attract as many as 25 new firms to its Enterprise Zone.

Workplace wellness programmes may be a waste of time and money, study concludes

Workplace wellness programmes may be a waste of time and money, study concludes

workplace wellnessThe $8 billion dollar wellness industry in the US may not be achieving very much, according to a new analysis from academics at Chicago University and the University of Illinois published by the National Bureau of Economic Research. While the researchers concede that the difficulties of measuring the impact of such programmes depends very much on the characteristics of the people who enter them voluntarily, their study of 5,000 people found that the effects of a wellness programme were non-existent to negligible across a range of metrics.

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More flexibility needed to attract non EU migrants, as UK faces skills shortage

More flexibility needed to attract non EU migrants, as UK faces skills shortage

The CIPD is calling on the government to ease restriction on immigrants from non EU countries, in the wake of the publication of new official figures which show how the number of EU citizens moving to the UK has decreased over the last year. Earlier this month, the CBI issued a similar plea as fears mount over the impact of Brexit on the UK’s skills base.

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Finance professionals prioritise protection of employment rights in Brexit deal

Finance professionals prioritise protection of employment rights in Brexit deal

Securing employment rights for workers must be one of the key priorities of any Brexit deal, according to a fifth of finance professionals surveyed by REED. The recruitment agency asked almost 800 senior finance professionals about company preparations for leaving the EU, finding that only prioritising a free trade deal for the UK (31 per cent) received more votes than securing employment rights (20 per cent). Finance professionals gave considerably less backing for prioritising membership of the single market (18 per cent), self-determined UK law (10 per cent), the customs union (10 per cent) and border controls (10 per cent).

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Workers are focused on shorter hours and more flexible working

Workers are focused on shorter hours and more flexible working

New research released today by McDonald’s UK, reveals more than half of UK adults want to move away from traditional working patterns, choosing jobs that enable them to enjoy more flexible working and prioritise commitments outside of work. This study was conducted in July and August, with YouGov as well as with McDonald’s employees. Its key finding is that Jobs that offer earlier starts and a shorter working week most appealing to job seekers; with only 6 percent of people working the traditional ‘9-5’

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Employees reveal truth about company culture

Employees reveal truth about company culture

Organisations must do more to engage with their people and meet their personal expectations if they want a positive work culture, highlights a new research white paper by leading HR and payroll supplier, MHR.  ‘Company Culture: Don’t Just Throw Money at The Issue’ explores the real experience of UK employees and their true thoughts about their employers. The paper, based on findings from a survey of 1174 UK employees by YouGov on behalf of MHR, reveals that 49% of employees believe the portrayed public image of the company they work for matches the actual experience of working there. The research shows that employees are generally happy with the culture at their workplace, with 70% of people agreeing their company’s ethos is well communicated to staff, and 61% saying they would feel comfortable speaking to their manager if they felt the company wasn’t delivering on its aims.

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Facilities managers are smarter and more data driven than ever

Facilities managers are smarter and more data driven than ever

Facilities managers are responding to a range of macro influences such as changing demographics, the uptake of flexible working, new technology and social change by adopting a new way of looking at the workplace, claims a new report from CBRE.  The report claims to identify the major trends in facilities management, most important that people increasingly want to choose where and when they work and the effect this has on the physical workplace and its features, services and technology.

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Older workers need more support in the workplace, claims report

Older workers need more support in the workplace, claims report

Longer working lives have become a reality for millions, yet a significant number of older workers feel unsupported in the workplace, according to new findings from Aviva which claim to highlight the need for UK businesses to boost support for their older workforce. Almost two thirds (63 percent) of the 10.2 million over-50s in work – equivalent to 6.4 million people – are planning to retire later than they thought they would 10 years ago. Many of them are extending their working lives due to the rising cost of living (40 percent) and insufficient pension savings (38 percent).

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Working while on holiday is the new normal, claims study

Two thirds of business leaders have admitted that they check their work emails while on holiday and three quarters have taken or made a work call, according to a new survey into summer working habits by The Institute of Leadership & Management. The Institute’s new research found that 65 per cent of respondents check their work emails at some point while on holiday, and 75 per cent have said they’ve taken or made a work call while on leave. Unsurprisingly, most senior leadership teams check their emails on holiday (81 per cent).

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