About Neil Franklin

Neil Franklin is Insight's news editor

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The Work Foundation launches Commission on Good Work

The Work Foundation launches Commission on Good Work 0

reward-gateway-offices-by-area-sq-london-ukThe Work Foundation, part of Lancaster University, has launched a new Commission on Good Work. The commission will seek answers to key questions such as ‘why is a focus on good work so important now?’,  ‘what does good work mean in a modern economy?’ and ‘how do we achieve good work?’ The initiative was launched by Work Foundation Director Lesley Giles who invited stakeholders from businesses, trade unions, professional bodies, and the public and voluntary sectors to be part of a ‘Good Work Taskforce.’ Supporting the launch were Sir Charlie Mayfield (John Lewis Partnership), Dame Fiona Kendrick (Nestle),Douglas McCormick (Sweett Group), Mark Keese (OECD), Gail Cartmail (Unite), Peter Cheese CIPD, Scott Johnson (a small business owner) and Professor Paul Sparrow (Lancaster University Management School).

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Study highlights the main causes of workplace disruption and irritation

Study highlights the main causes of workplace disruption and irritation 0

istock_22099178_medium-1280x640New research released by Samsung Electronics claims that UK small business workers are losing 5.5 hours a week because of workplace disruptions and irritations. Unsurprisingly, technology issues caused the most lost time, at an average of 27 minutes a day (or just over two hours per week). Crashing computers (92 percent) and slow internet (92 percent) were the two biggest technology factors annoying small business workers, closely followed by no access to emails (85 percent). Distractions caused by co-workers caused 22 minutes a day of downtime (just under two hours per week). Moaning (which annoys 84 percent of small business workers), eating loudly or messily (83 percent) and interruptions while talking (80 percent) were the biggest irritations. General office issues contributed 19 minutes a day (1.5 hours a week) in lost time. Being too hot or too cold (82 percent), uncomfortable seating (81 percent) and a messy workplace (80 percent) were the top frustrations.

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Staples reveals winners of Tomorrow’s Workplace design competition

Staples reveals winners of Tomorrow’s Workplace design competition 0

twc_-_runner_up_1According to the winning entries of the Tomorrow’s Workplace design competition from Staples Business Advantage and Metropolis magazine, in 2021 the workplace may include inflatable pods set up in urban parks, or young professionals working alongside active retirees in a setting that resembles a small town more than an office building. The contest was hosted by Staples Business Advantage, the business-to-business division of Staples, and architecture magazine Metropolis. “The massive corporate office tower, usually a glass box with central air pumped in, is turning into the dinosaur from the 20th century,” said Susan S. Szenasy, publisher and editor in chief, Metropolis. “Workplaces will become more multi-generational and multi-functional, fostering communities in the process. With the many changes in how and where we work, one thing is sure—today’s office is not your father’s or mother’s office.”

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Nearly half of HR professionals don’t feel up-to-speed with new workplace legislation

Nearly half of HR professionals don’t feel up-to-speed with new workplace legislation 0

homepage-insideNew research from identity data intelligence firm GBG claims there are a startling number of HR professionals (41 percent) who are struggling to keep up with new and changing workplace legislation. Recent changes to UK law, such as those made to the Right To Work in the Immigration Act and Modern Day Slavery Act are met with anxiety by 34 percent of respondents. Only 26 percent feel prepared and just 4 percent feel optimistic that the changes will be advantageous for their organisation. Despite half of HR professionals not feeling prepared to handle legislation changes, 62 percent believe it’s their primary responsibility. Almost one in five (18 percent) said it was their manager’s obligation and 9 percent believed the Board should be in charge of monitoring for change.

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UK cities now outperforming pre-crisis peak on key socio-economic indicators 0

The majority of UK cities and Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) areas are now outperforming their pre-financial crisis peak, according to the latest 2016 Good Growth for Cities index, produced by PwC and the think-tank, Demos. However, a number of cities that have previously scored highly terms of jobs, incomes and business start-ups are beginning to experience growing pressures on housing affordability, transportation and work-life balance. The report also warns that the elements of the Good Growth index could be impacted by Brexit, with housing, jobs and income potentially seeing the largest effects.  However, it also points to post-Brexit opportunities including revised trade relations and regulations and the potential of new markets beyond the EU. Published today, the fifth annual Good Growth for Cities index measures the performance of 42 of the UK’s largest cities, England’s Local Enterprise Partnerships LEPs  and the new Combined Authorities against a basket of categories defined by the public and business as key to local socio-economic success.

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A quarter of UK workers have complained of stress at work but received no support

A quarter of UK workers have complained of stress at work but received no support 0

StressFigures released in the fourth annual Employee Insight Report from Capita claim that one in four UK workers (26 percent) say they have complained to their employers about feeling stressed but have received no support. With the new statistics released on National Stress Awareness Day, the report suggests that stress is prevalent among the vast majority of UK workers, with three quarters (75 percent) saying they have felt stressed at some point over the past 12 months – more than a quarter (28 percent) say they feel stressed on and off throughout the year, while 5 percent say they feel stressed ‘all the time’. The report also shows most people (56 percent) would not feel comfortable talking about taking time off for issues such as depression or stress with their fellow workers, suggesting stigmas remain around mental health concerns.

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One in six public sector jobs to be lost to automation, claims report

One in six public sector jobs to be lost to automation, claims report 0

public-sector-automationUp to 861,000 public sector jobs in the UK – around 16 percent of the overall workforce – could be automated by 2030 according to research by Deloitte. The research builds on Deloitte’s work with Oxford University on job automation and is included in the firm’s The State of the State report for 2016-17 – its annual analysis of the state of public finances and the challenges facing public services. Deloitte’s previous work has shown that all sectors of the UK economy will be affected by automation in the next two decades, with 74 percent of jobs in transportation and storage, 59 percent of jobs in wholesale and retail and 56 percent of jobs in manufacturing having a high chance of being automated. The public sector includes higher numbers of roles in areas such as education and caring, as well as jobs requiring public interaction, all of which are at lower risk of automation. However, Deloitte calculates that automation could still lead to a reduction of up to £17 billion in public sector wage costs by 2030.

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Majority of freelancers don’t want more employment rights

Majority of freelancers don’t want more employment rights 0

freelancersAlthough British Prime Minister PM Theresa May has recently, announced a Government review into how employment rights can be extended to freelancers, a new survey claims that the vast majority of the self-employed don’t really want them. The admittedly small scale study of 250 freelancers from ContractorCalculator claims that 80 percent aren’t interested in them anyway and a mere 7 percent think they would be of benefit.

Key findings from the survey include:

  • 88 percent of freelancers don’t want maternity/paternity rights
  • 82 percent do not want paid sick leave
  • 85 percent say no to holiday rights and pay
  • 80 percent shun extra rights to help with grievances or disciplinary matters
  • 94 percent don’t want restrictions on the amount of hours they can work
  • 74 percent believe more employment rights would compromise their tax status and complicate their tax affairs.
  • More than half of respondents also raised concern that the provision of such rights would both restrict their flexibility and result in lower earnings.

“These results are not surprising,” claims CEO Dave Chaplin. “The Government needs to understand that the negative reports associated with self-employed couriers and drivers are woefully unrepresentative of all of the self-employed. There are several million self-employed businesspeople working on a business to business basis with their customers who are very happy with the way they work and the last thing they want is further legislative burdens.”

Older job seekers believe age discrimination remains rife in the workplace

Older job seekers believe age discrimination remains rife in the workplace 0

older workersResearch released by recruitment website totaljobs claims that almost two-thirds (63 percent) of 55-64 year olds have said they have felt discriminated against by a prospective employer because of their age and only 6percent of the same age group see their age as an advantage when applying for a job. The research from totaljobs, based on responses from over 4,000 job seekers, also claims that 72 percent of 55-64 year olds spend over an hour preparing for an interview compared with just 62 percent of 16-24 year olds. The study also claims that young people are much less likely to feel discriminated against because of their age. Just 33 percent of 16-24 year had felt age discrimination, with this number falling to 21 percent for 25-34 year olds and 22 percent for 35-44 year olds – a stark contrast to the 63 percent of 55-64 year olds. Whereas 82 percent of 55-64 year olds and 62 percent of 45-54 year olds see their age as a disadvantage when applying for a job, only 31 percent of 16-24 year olds and 16 percent of 25-34 years olds feel the same.


UK marketers suffering from tech-induced anxiety, survey claims 0

More than half (55 percent) of marketers in the UK are struggling to cope with the accelerated pace of digital transformation – up 7 percent since 2015, Adobe’s annual Digital Roadblock study claims. The report – which surveyed 450 marketers in the UK– found that Brits suffer from more tech-induced anxiety than their peers across the region: an average of 44 percent of marketers in Europe worry about their technology-based skill sets, 11 percent lower than the UK. Of the marketers surveyed, three-quarters (74 percent) feel that they need to implement new technologies within their marketing strategies in order to succeed, but just over half (54 percent) feel that they actually have the skills to do so. When it comes to technology skills, there’s an obvious gap between demand and reality: while 41 percent of respondents cited being a ‘tech-savvy’ early adopter of new technologies as the top attribute of being a marketer, only 15 percent actually identify as ‘tech-savvy’ themselves. In fact, more UK marketers identify as ‘tech challenged’ (20 percent) than ‘tech savvy’, and the number of ‘tech-savvy’ marketers has dropped since last year, when nearly one in five (19 percent) identified as so.

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UK large businesses are failing to create a culture of creativity and innovation

UK large businesses are failing to create a culture of creativity and innovation 0

suggestion_boxA new study claims that the UK lags behind other European countries when it comes to fostering a culture of innovation at creativity at work. Whilst 63 percent of French employees and 57 percent of Spanish employees feel empowered to lead innovation and drive change, less than half (47 percent) of employees surveyed across the UK agree. In turn, this appears to be impacting morale; just 54 percent of employees in the UK said they feel inspired in the workplace compared to 74 percent in Spain, 73 percent in France and 66 percent in Germany.  As businesses strive to stay ahead of the competition, making innovative use of technology is a top priority. However, the research commissioned by BMC and conducted by Opinion Life, suggests that businesses across the UK are struggling to foster an innovative culture fast enough and failing to capitalise on the creativity of their staff.

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London needs to adapt to the changing world of work, claims think tank

London needs to adapt to the changing world of work, claims think tank 0

changing-world-of-workThink Tank New London Architecture (NLA) which creates a forum for debate on the built environment, has launched its findings and recommendations from its landmark WRK / LDN Insight study on work and workplaces in London. NLA calls on central government, the Mayor of London and other stakeholders in the capital to act to maintain the capital’s position as a preeminent commercial centre. The report claims that, as the digital economy continues to expand, new suppliers of workspace are rapidly emerging – from co-working providers to ‘fab labs’, makerspaces, incubators and innovation centres. The insight study concludes that the affordable business space that currently supports these industries is at risk. London needs new innovative mixed-use models of city planning to support these changes and adapt to the changing world of work.

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