About Neil Franklin

Neil Franklin is Insight's news editor

Posts by Neil Franklin:

AI will be commonplace in the working lives of staff very soon

AI will be commonplace in the working lives of staff very soon

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Experts at Henley Business School have announced that the majority of the graduate workforce in the UK will be working with artificial intelligence on a daily basis by 2030, with technology such as ‘AI assistants’ expected to be commonplace in the next decade. New research released at the Henley annual World of Work 2030 conference, claims that a third (35 percent) of UK workers are excited about the prospect of their own personal AI assistant. With the average worker currently spending 3.5 hours a week on admin tasks, assistants’ could give workers back 12 working days a year (over two working weeks) by taking on these activities and freeing up time for more productive tasks.

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Nearly half of employees worldwide could do their jobs in 5 hours or fewer each day

Nearly half of employees worldwide could do their jobs in 5 hours or fewer each day

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According to a global survey of nearly 3,000 employees across eight countries conducted by The Workforce Institute at Kronos Incorporated, nearly half (45 percent) of full-time workers say it should take less than five hours each day to do their job if they worked uninterrupted, while three out of four employees (72 percent) would work four days or less per week if pay remained constant. Yet, 71 percent of employees also say work interferes with their personal life.

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Call for employers to do more for older workers

Call for employers to do more for older workers

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A new report from the charity and lobbying group the Centre for Ageing Better has called for employers to be more age-friendly and inclusive of those over 50, including doing more to tackle age discrimination in the workplace. According to the study, significant numbers of older workers feel they are being discriminated against at work because of their age, including believing they have been turned down for jobs (9 percent) and being offered fewer opportunities for training and progression (32 percent).

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A new era of technology could resolve UK low productivity at last

A new era of technology could resolve UK low productivity at last

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A new McKinsey study sets out to address the reasons why the United Kingdom experiences chronically low productivity and what can be done to use technology to improve its performance. In the report, Solving the UK’s productivity puzzle in the digital age, the authors argue that “Britain stands out as one of the worst productivity performers among its peers”. They argue that there are four distinct reasons for the weakness since the economic crisis: “boom and bust” in the financial sector, the strength of employment growth, weak investment and uneven “digitisation”.  It claims that the UK is operating at only 17 per cent of its digitisation potential, indicating how much scope for improvement there is.

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Half of workers have experienced poor mental health in their current job

Half of workers have experienced poor mental health in their current job

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A new and major study into workplace wellbeing by the the charity Mind claims that poor mental health at work is widespread, with half (48 per cent) of all people surveyed saying they have experienced a mental health problem in their current job. The survey of more than 44,000 employees also revealed that only half of those who had experienced poor mental health had talked to their employer about it, suggesting that as many as one in four UK workers is struggling in silence. These findings are revealed as a new online Mental Health at Work ‘gateway’ is launched today by HRH the Duke of Cambridge. Mind, with support from The Royal Foundation, Heads Together and 11 other organisations, has created the UK-wide portal as a free resource for both employers and employees.

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Time for employers to place workplace health and wellbeing front of mind, claims CBI

Time for employers to place workplace health and wellbeing front of mind, claims CBI

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With the average number of days lost to ill health per employee at 5.2 days, there’s a clear impact on business, which is why firms must better prioritise the health & wellbeing of their staff. That’s according to new survey results from the CBI, in partnership with Bupa and HCA Healthcare. In a new guide, Front of Mind: Prioritising workplace health & wellbeing347 businesses – employing nearly 1.7 million people – of all sizes across the UK were surveyed or interviewed to understand what steps they are taking to improve workplace health & wellbeing.

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

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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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