About Neil Franklin

Neil Franklin is Insight's news editor

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US employers turn to perks and office design to increase employee retention

US employers turn to perks and office design to increase employee retention 0

Younger workers are less and less loyal to employers, which is driving firms to place greater emphasis on benefits, empowerment and a better working environment, according to a study from ReportLinker. The small scale online study of 500 people found that Millennials are less likely than older generations to say they’re highly committed to their employer, with just 40 percent saying they somewhat agree with this statement compared to 66 percent of older workers say they’re highly committed to their organisation. The report concludes that this is encouraging employers to introduce new ways of winning the loyalty of employees. For example, 87 percent of employees who are more involved in decision-making are also more likely to say they are committed to their employers although, as always, we should be wary of the distinction between correlation and causation.

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Over two thirds of people now use a smartphone, but sales are stalling

Over two thirds of people now use a smartphone, but sales are stalling 0

Google smartphone

Over two thirds of people in developed markets worldwide now own a smartphone, according to a study of 625,000 people by Google and researchers Kantar. But sales in major markets fell 2 percent last year as the market reached full maturity with consumers reluctant to change brands and vendors increasingly focussed on selling upgrades and replacing existing devices. The five-year study found that 70 percent now use a smartphone, up from 51 percent in 2012. Dependence on the devices is also growing with 54 percent preferring to carry out a task digitally, two-thirds (65 percent) use the smartphone to go online ‘at least as much’ as a computer, and 76 percent using their smartphones or other connected devices while watching TV.

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Europe’s happiest workers revealed in new report

Europe’s happiest workers revealed in new report 0

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.

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Working significantly past the state retirement age is a threat to recruitment and retention, claims study

Working significantly past the state retirement age is a threat to recruitment and retention, claims study 0

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.

New book offers a roadmap for workers in the age of smart machines

New book offers a roadmap for workers in the age of smart machines 0

University of Virginia Darden School of Business Professor Ed Hess and Katherine Ludwig have released a new book, Humility Is the New Smart: Rethinking Human Excellence in the Smart Machine Age (Berrett-Koehler, January 2017), where they wrestle with the defining workplace question of our era and offer workable solutions for employees to stay relevant. In the book, Hess and Ludwig argue that workers of the world stand at the brink of an unprecedented transformation, as a coming age of smart machines promises to eliminate tens of millions of jobs across the socioeconomic spectrum. The transition to an era of widespread automation will be tumultuous for both companies and employees, and its effects on the fabric of society have not yet been fully considered by workers, government entities or global corporations.

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Older workers increasingly marginalised at work despite their growing numbers

Older workers increasingly marginalised at work despite their growing numbers 0

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.

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Managers waste three days a year in unnecessary and unproductive meetings

Managers waste three days a year in unnecessary and unproductive meetings 0

Badly prepared, unnecessary and over-running meetings are harming businesses while directors and managers waste almost three days on average a year in them, according to a survey from technology firm Perivan. Over a half (51 percent) of UK business managers say they have been to a meeting where documents were found to be missing or else incorrect or out-of-date papers were presented. Close to a third (31 percent) said they are aware of erroneous decisions having been made as a direct result. On average, respondents said they participate in three meetings each week, though a quarter stated more than five per week. Around 42 percent said they believe they are attending too many, while 47 percent pointed out that the number they are being asked to attend has increased in the last three years.

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HR set to be the powerhouse of business in the open economy of 2020

HR set to be the powerhouse of business in the open economy of 2020 0

A new report commissioned by Samsung claims that by 2020, the impact that changes in society and technology will have upon the future of the workplace will elevate Human Resources (HR) to a powerful new role. The arrival of what Samsung calls the open economy will create a new environment in which a breed of ultra-flexible freelancers will prosper. Their arrival will present great opportunities for those organisations that embrace them but there will be significant challenges as well. Automation will be increasingly prevalent, but human skills will also rise in value as whole new job categories will be created around creativity, human judgement and intuition capabilities –positioning HR at the forefront of dealing with the significant industry changes. Emerging technology and artificial intelligence will undoubtedly create great change in many industries but it will also release human workers from mundane and repetitive tasks, liberating a workforce where human judgement and expertise becomes the centre of any organisation’s human resources.

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Demanding working culture in City of London creates ticking stress timebomb

Demanding working culture in City of London creates ticking stress timebomb 0

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.

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UK workers not significantly concerned about robots taking their jobs

UK workers not significantly concerned about robots taking their jobs 0

Despite recent research suggesting that no job is safe from the introduction of robots to the workplace, the majority of British workers don’t seem to be overly concerned about the impact of new technology on their roles. In fact, more than two thirds (68 percent) are positive about the possible impacts of technology at work over the next ten years. This is according to a survey from Epson, which takes a closer look at UK workers’ attitudes. More than three quarters (76 percent) believe technology will open new possibilities for growth, and three quarters (75 percent) think it will increase organisations’ profits. Another 77 percent thinks new technologies will kill certain jobs, but more than half (55 percent) are ready to learn new skills and adapt. Just 16 percent of UK workers think companies are ‘excellent’ at monitoring technology advancements, and 12 percent think their companies are excellent at engaging with employees in the process of making decisions.

More people will have smartphones than running water or bank accounts by 2021, claims report

More people will have smartphones than running water or bank accounts by 2021, claims report 0

By 2021, more members of the global population will be using mobile phones (5.5 billion) than bank accounts (5.4 billion), running water (5.3 billion), or landlines (2.9 billion), according to the 11th annual Cisco Visual Networking Index (VNI) Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast for 2016 to 2021. Strong growth in mobile users, smartphones and Internet of Things connections as well as network speed improvements and mobile video consumption are projected to increase mobile data traffic seven-fold over the next five years.

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UK cyber workforce grows 160 percent in five years, new report claims

UK cyber workforce grows 160 percent in five years, new report claims 0

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.

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