About Neil Franklin

Neil Franklin is Insight's news editor

Posts by Neil Franklin:

The future of public services will be built on engagement with AI

The future of public services will be built on engagement with AI

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RSA AI reportA new report from the RSA, Democratising Decisions About Technology, considers how citizens can have agency over new technologies, such as AI, which are entering their workplaces, homes and lives. This report reveals  the desire and capability of ordinary citizens to engage with sometimes complex technology-related questions, and presents a toolkit for organisations looking to engage ordinary people on AI. The NHS, criminal justice system and employers will face a backlash against ‘tech creep’ unless they commit to ensure a role for citizens in designing and deploying tech, the report warns.  More →

IPSE launches manifesto for the self-employed

IPSE launches manifesto for the self-employed

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a self-employed man sits at a computerIPSE (the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed) has launched #5millionvotes, a manifesto for the 2019 General Election. The manifesto claims to highlight the size and influence of the self-employed sector in the election, as well as outlining the policies parties should adopt to secure the support of freelancers. The number of self-employed has grown enormously in the last ten years to almost 5 million. They are now 15 per cent of the workforce – almost as much as the entire public sector. Collectively, they contribute £305bn to the economy every year, which is enough to fund the NHS twice over. More →

Brexit uncertainty yet to affect UK jobs market

Brexit uncertainty yet to affect UK jobs market

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BrexitMore news on the patchy effects of Brexit on the UK economy comes in the latest Labour Market Outlook from the CIPD. The report claims that Brexit uncertainty has yet to take its toll on employers’ hiring expectations, with both public and private sector employers expecting staff numbers to increase in the final quarter of 2019. There has been a surge of confidence among public sector employers on increasing both pay and staff numbers in the next quarter. Although still positive, private sector pay award expectations have decreased, narrowing the gap between the public and private sector. The forward-looking indicator surveyed 1,016 UK employers in September 2019 on their recruitment, redundancy and pay intentions. More →

Smart cities must develop in surprising ways to meet new challenges

Smart cities must develop in surprising ways to meet new challenges

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Siemenstadt in Berlin is one of a new generation of smart citiesThe new generation of smart cities should embrace new technologies and fresh approaches to combat their growing list of challenges, claims a new report from ABI Research. In its new whitepaper, 5 Ways Smart Cities Are Getting Smarter (registration), ABI suggests that digital twins and urban modeling, resilient cities, circular cities, micro-mobility, and smart spaces as the five new urban strategy shifts that will make smart cities smarter in the new ways they need. More →

Largest commercial property firm in UK to be carbon neutral by 2030

Largest commercial property firm in UK to be carbon neutral by 2030

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The UK’s largest commercial property company, Landsec, has announced that it plans for its 24 million square feet portfolio to achieve net zero emissions by 2030 in line with the Paris Agreement on climate change. Landsec, which has a £13.8 billion portfolio of office, retail and leisure property in the UK, including its flexible office arm Myo (pictured), has had its updated greenhouse gas reduction target approved by the Science-Based Target Initiative (SBTI). More →

Lack of leadership stifles workplace creativity

Lack of leadership stifles workplace creativity

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the spotlight on leadershipThe UK’s workforces are being creatively stifled because of high pressure and a lack of leadership skills, a new study claims. A study of 1,000 workplaces published in Thinking On Your Feet, a report by the commercial arm of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, RADA Business, has found that almost half (41 percent) of UK workplaces implement practises that have a detrimental effect on employee empowerment and their ability to think creatively. The study also reveals that 75 percent of workplaces lack the right environment to enable improvisation to thrive, leaving workers feeling unsupported and stressed. More →

More active lifestyles would have far reaching economic impact

More active lifestyles would have far reaching economic impact

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activeThe results of a new academic study on the relationship between global economic growth and physical activity, carried out by Vitality and RAND Europe, reveal significant benefits to the economy and life expectancy if people adopted a more active lifestyle. The study suggests that the world’s GDP would gain more than $100bn (£80bn) each year until 2050 if people adopted a more active daily routine that could involve simple choices such as walking 15 minutes more a day, jogging slowly for half a mile a day, or walking 1,500 extra steps a day. More →

Short term spike in absence rates but long term trend remains downward

Short term spike in absence rates but long term trend remains downward

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absenceAbsence rates dues to illness or injury for UK workers rose by 7 percent in 2018 to an average of 4.4 working days according to new figures, published by the Office for National Statistics. During the full year, people took 141.4 million sick days compared with 131.5 million in 2017, when the figure reached its lowest since records began. The long term trend remains positive despite last year’s spike.The rate of absence from work due to sickness in people in the UK with no long-term health problems has halved in the past two decades according to the government data. More →

Real estate set to remain an attractive investment despite challenging environment

Real estate set to remain an attractive investment despite challenging environment

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ULI PWC real estate reportEurope’s property leaders continue to have faith in real estate as an attractive option for investments, despite a number of significant political and economic challenges, according to the latest Emerging Trends in Real Estate Europe 2020 report. With interest rates set to stay lower for longer and bond yields in many European countries in negative territory, real estate income retains its broad appeal to investors, especially in comparison to other asset classes. Equity and debt are expected to remain plentiful for most real estate sectors. The report, published annually by the Urban Land Institute (ULI) and PwC, is based on the opinions of over 900 real estate professionals across Europe, including investors, developers, lenders, and advisers. More →

Open plan offices might improve performance of high status workers

Open plan offices might improve performance of high status workers

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open plan working at the Epicenter Coworking Space in StockholmManagers may believe their star performers don’t need monitoring when working on a team and may reason that leaving the most high status workers alone in their efforts frees up more time to work closely with other team members. But research coauthored by Sebastien Brion of IESE Business School and published in Management Science Journal claims that this may be a mistake and so counterproductive and that the performance of high status workers might improve with greater visibility including that offered by open plan offices. More →

Cyber security remains a key tech priority for businesses

Cyber security remains a key tech priority for businesses

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cyber securityOrganisations are prioritising investment in cyber security to strengthen their defences against their perceptions of a growing threat, according to a new survey of its customers to gauge their technological priorities by Softcat. According to a BBC report, 55 percent of UK firms have experienced a cyber-attack in 2019, up 15 percent compared to last year, signifying a growing threat so their fears may be well-founded. Softcat’s survey claims that 83 percent of industries ranking cyber security as their biggest technology priority for the year ahead. More →

Over half of employers are ignorant of the Good Work Plan

Over half of employers are ignorant of the Good Work Plan

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good workIn five months’ time, employers will have to adhere to new employment laws proposed in the government’s Good Work Plan. However, the majority of UK businesses are completely unaware that these laws are due to come into effect. A survey by Citation, conducted via OnePoll, has found that 59 percent of British employers do not even know about the Good Work Plan, which proposes a variety of law changes that will come into effect in April 2020. More →

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