About Neil Franklin

Neil Franklin is Insight's news editor

Posts by Neil Franklin:

Businesses lost an estimated £20.2 bn from data breaches last year

Businesses lost an estimated £20.2 bn from data breaches last year

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Hackers stole or compromised an estimated £20.2bn worth of records from businesses in 2017, new research claims. After news that Uber failed to disclose a massive hack in 2016, VPN (Virtual Private Network) comparison site BestVPN.com analysed more than 200 data breaches dating back to 2004, looking at the number of records compromised, the industries most likely to be affected and the value of those breaches. Late last year Equifax became the victim of one of the most high profile hacks in history, with 143m records stolen, equating to an estimated £15bn worth of data lost*. While there have previously been attacks where more records were compromised, such as Yahoo’s 1bn back in December 2016, the Equifax breach was notable because the data stolen included social Security numbers and personal identification. IBM revealed in its Cost of a Data Breach Study 2017 that the average cost of a stolen record was £104.25, or £2.7m per hack.

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European commercial property market in good health as coworking phenomenon takes hold

European commercial property market in good health as coworking phenomenon takes hold

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European commercial property markets have started 2018 in a positive way, with provisional data for 2017 from Knight Frank suggesting that investment volumes were higher than in 2016. If 2017 beats 2016’s total of €216 billion it will still remain well below the market peak of 2015 when over €250 billion was invested, according to the latest commercial property outlook report from Knight Frank. The real estate firm expects 2018 transaction volumes to be similar to those of 2017 and the report says that significant amounts of capital continue will be allocated to real estate.  The report also highlights how flexible workspace and coworking is now a Europe-wide phenomenon, with London, Berlin and Paris witnessing the strongest growth. The sector will continue to expand, as new styles of workspace are developed to service a growing variety of occupier needs, says the report. Last year Baptiste Broughton reported for us on the state of the coworking market in France.

Promotion: Humanscale launch Quickstand Eco to lead next generation of sit/stand workstations

Promotion: Humanscale launch Quickstand Eco to lead next generation of sit/stand workstations

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Humanscale, has launched its next generation of portable sit/stand products. The QuickStand Eco claims to unite function and sustainability at an accessible price point to improve employee performance and encourage a more active workplace. This new height-adjustable solution is sleeker, easier to install and comprises more sustainable materials than ever before. QuickStand Eco utilises minimal parts and pieces, limiting it’s environmental footprint and maintaining a minimal, clean aesthetic. It features simple setup and is easy to transport, making it a flexible option for both corporate and home offices. The instant height adjustability encourages users to sit and stand more often and the product can also be integrated with Humanscale’s OfficeIQ software, which sends periodic alerts when it is time to adjust one’s position.

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Employee engagement tops poll as biggest human resources challenge for 2018

Employee engagement tops poll as biggest human resources challenge for 2018

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Human resources forecastA study commissioned by Cascade HR claims to reveal the topics most likely to keep Human Resources professionals awake at night in 2018. Employee engagement topped the list of upcoming challenges for 44 percent of the 447 participants, followed by staff retention (36 percent). Absence management and recruitment came in as the joint third biggest worry for 33 percent of respondents, with succession planning in fifth place (26 percent). And it appears the same themes have posed the biggest headache for HR in 2017. When asked to reflect on their toughest encounters from the past 12 months, professionals ranked recruitment as the clear front-runner (52 percent), followed by absence management, (43 percent), employee engagement (39 percent), and retention (37 percent), with learning and development the only difference(20 percent).

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Companies must reveal gender pay gaps or face unlimited fines

Companies must reveal gender pay gaps or face unlimited fines

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Businesses failing to comply with gender pay gap reporting regulations could face unlimited fines and convictions, the Equality and Human Rights Commission has warned as it published its enforcement strategy. As the regulatory body responsible for ensuring that all employers with over 250 employees report their gender pay gap statistics, the Commission has set out its enforcement policy for consultation. Although it will take steps to encourage compliance and engage informally with employers who are in breach of the regulations as a first port of call, it will ultimately enforce against all employers who do not publish their gender pay gap information. The Commission’s policy – which is open for consultation from today until 2 February 2018 – explains how the Commission will use a range of its powers.

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City of London on track for record levels of office investment

City of London on track for record levels of office investment

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The City of London is defying the doomsday Brexit scenario and on track to reach record levels of office investment in 2017, as Savills anticipates total turnover will hit £12.5 billion – subject to a number of deals currently under offer exchanging or completing before 31st December. This sees total transactions in 2017 doubling the 10-year average (£6.259 billion), in line with the all-time record volume seen in 2014 (£12.6 billion). The real estate advisor suggests the West End market will see £7.155 billion transacted in 2017 bringing total turnover in central London for the year £19.6 billion. Savills says that the weakness of sterling since the EU referendum has boosted the city’s attractions to overseas capital.  This has happened in tandem with a return of UK buyers to the London market. Figures from the firm show office take-up in the City and West End are both above the long-term average while more than a third of the city’s developments are pre-let.

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Many UK workers believe the time has come to ditch the 9 to 5

Many UK workers believe the time has come to ditch the 9 to 5

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Over half (58.6 percent) of UK workers believe that the traditional 9 to 5 is an outdated concept, with three quarters (77.2 percent) admitting that they work better at certain times of day, according to a recent study from CV-Library.  The survey of 1,200 professionals explored how the nation’s workers feel about 9-5 working hours, and whether these are still fit for purpose. The data claims that two thirds (67.6 percent) would prefer to work hours that suited their natural pattern and when they work best. What’s more, the majority (86.5 percent) of professionals believe that all businesses should offer flexible working, and yet only one quarter (27.3 percent) have the opportunity to work from home when they want to. Those who do have the option to work from home were asked where they felt they worked best and interestingly, 17.1 percent said they work better in the office. A further25 percent said they work best at home and the remaining 57.9 percent said they work just as well in either location.

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Just five coworkers are the source of all workplace irritations for most people at work, claims study

Just five coworkers are the source of all workplace irritations for most people at work, claims study

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A survey of 2,000 US workers carried out by researchers at Olivet Nazarene University in Illinois claims that while everybody get irritated at work at times, for most people the source of those irritations is just a handful of their colleagues. Only 2 percent of respondents claim to find 10 or more of their coworkers irritating.  The healthcare and insurance industries have the highest number of annoying coworkers and 40 percent of the respondents who work in fashion/art and retail claim to be the most annoyed on a regular basis. 48 percent of respondents claim general loudness and complaining, followed by 31 percent who said gossiping and bullying behaviour was most annoying about their colleagues. Respondents in communications and journalism have the most gossipy workplaces, and because those industries are people-centric, discussing others’ business becomes a workplace side effect.

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Two thirds of workers too embarrassed to tell boss about mental health issues

Two thirds of workers too embarrassed to tell boss about mental health issues

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New research from job site CV-Library claims that nearly two thirds (60.2 percent) of employees feel embarrassed about disclosing information on the state of their mental health with their employer. What’s more, 60.8 percent feel they cannot talk about it with their boss. The report explored the views of 1,200 UK workers and found that a third of professionals (31.7 percent) feel that their workplace is not supportive of mental health, with a further 77.8 percent believing that the majority of workplaces in the UK are unsupportive. Other key findings from the research include: Nearly two thirds (64.2 percent) of workers fear their employer would judge them if they spoke about their health issues, with a further 46.8 percent worrying that doing so will make them look weak; one third (36.7 percent) fear that they would get fired if they told their boss about their mental health issues; and 63 percent said that they would feel guilty taking time off work for mental health reasons.

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Average worker now spends 27 working days a year commuting, finds TUC

Average worker now spends 27 working days a year commuting, finds TUC

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Commuters are now facing an average 58-minute daily journey – the equivalent of 27 working days a year, according to a TUC analysis. Getting to and from work now takes an extra 5 minutes a day compared with a decade ago – the equivalent of an extra 20 hours a year spent on congested roads and packed trains. The number of workers facing very long commuting times (over 2 hours) has gone up by 34 percent over the last 10 years, with 3,291,012 now facing very long journeys. Rail commuters face the longest journeys, taking an average of 2 hours and 12 minutes every day – an increase of 4 minutes on the last decade. Drivers spend 52 minutes on the road to work and back (up by 4 minutes), while bus commuters must set aside 39 minutes a day (up by 7 minutes). Cyclists (43 minutes) and walkers (30 minutes) have the quickest daily journeys.

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Businesses exploring potential of AI to improve customer experience and the bottom line

Businesses exploring potential of AI to improve customer experience and the bottom line

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Despite the growing interest in the potential of artificial intelligence, there is a sense of confusion amongst business leaders about how it is being used and how to take advantage of its potential. Independent research from SAS claims that while nearly two-thirds (65 percent) of business leaders are convinced AI can generate value for their business, nearly half (46 percent) are being held back by concerns around AI still being in its infancy. Nearly a third (30 percent) of companies are not sure if they are ready for the technology, citing concerns over a lack of required skills (66 percent), ROI (55 percent) and fears over stories of AI malfunctioning (38 percent). Many also expressed reservations over the cost of solutions (39 percent) and lack of trust in the technology (36 percent), reinforcing fears that AI would not deliver sufficient ROI.

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Overwhelming majority of employees see link between wellbeing and performance

Overwhelming majority of employees see link between wellbeing and performance

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According to its 2017 Health Survey (registration required), Aon Employee Benefits claims that 96 percent of employers see a direct correlation between employee health, wellbeing and performance. The survey of 200 UK organisations also suggests that health and wellbeing is rising up the corporate agenda, with 96 percent of employers either agreeing or strongly agreeing that they are responsible for improving employee health behaviours. Indeed, 77 percent are looking to improve on their existing health and wellbeing programmes in the next 12 months. In addition, although employee physical health is important to employers, they are also looking to strike a balance between what are becoming the four widely accepted core pillars of health and wellbeing – Emotional, Physical, Social and Financial.

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