About Neil Franklin

Neil Franklin is Insight's news editor

Posts by Neil Franklin:

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Over half (58.6 percent) of UK workers believe that the traditional 9 to 5 is an outdated concept, with three quarters (77.2 percent) admitting that they work better at certain times of day, according to a recent study from CV-Library.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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Only one fifth of workers see AI as a threat to their jobs

Only one fifth of workers see AI as a threat to their jobs

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Only a fifth of workers see artificial intelligence as a threat to their jobs according to a new report. Over a third of male workers (39 percent) feel artificial intelligence (AI) and automation will make them better at tackling day-to-day tasks, in contrast to less than a quarter of female workers (24 percent). This gender gap in attitudes and expectations towards AI in the workplace is revealed in a report released by TalkTalk Business with research conducted by YouGov. This stands in stark contrast to a recent prediction by thinktank, Reform, which said that 250,000 public sector administrative jobs could be at risk by 2030 because of automation. Key decision makers surveyed were alert to the sweeping changes ahead, with 47 percent explaining that their companies intend to upskill their workforces to understand and utilise these newer technologies.

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Two thirds of UK employees have taken a day off work in the last year as a result of stress, depression or anxiety

Two thirds of UK employees have taken a day off work in the last year as a result of stress, depression or anxiety

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New survey results suggest mental health issues are having a significant impact on productivity in the workplace. Events company Wildgoose surveyed employees at 250 businesses across the UK and found there remains a stigma surrounding mental health at work. Of those surveyed who have taken a day off work, just under half admitted to calling in sick with a different complaint to the one from which they were actually suffering. Two thirds of respondents (62 percent) said they had taken a day off work as a result of stress, depression or anxiety.

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Best practice in flexible working and gender diversity honoured at awards presentation

Best practice in flexible working and gender diversity honoured at awards presentation

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Workingmums.co.uk has announced the winners of its eighth annual Top Employer Awards, celebrating the leading companies in gender diversity and flexible working. The Awards were presented at a ceremony at London’s Soho Hotel on 7th November where the keynote speaker was Ann Francke, CEO of the Chartered Management Institute. Winner of the Overall Top Employer Award was Lloyds Banking Group. The judges felt it was ‘a beacon for other employers with regard to its agile hiring programme which was a root and branch attempt to normalise different ways of working from recruitment onwards. It was a strong performer across all the categories and had made a major step forward in embedding a flexible culture.’

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Gig economy workers need more workplace protection claims report

Gig economy workers need more workplace protection claims report

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Businesses and employees are calling on the UK Government to provide more protection for those who work in the gig economy. In a survey of nearly 5,000 workers and over 100 businesses by jobs site  totaljobs, 90 percent of employees and 87 percent of employers said that more regulations were needed to protect the rights of gig workers. In addition, 64 percent of employers believe the gig economy’s importance will only continue to grow in the next year, as individuals turn to self-employment in favour of more flexible working arrangements.

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UK offices lack the features needed to boost productivity and wellbeing of introverts

UK offices lack the features needed to boost productivity and wellbeing of introverts

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A poll from Office Genie claims that Britain’s workplaces are in need of a makeover, with many not catering to employees’ needs. According to the survey of around 1,500 people, workspaces are lacking distinct, tailor-made areas that could enable employees to work more effectively, particularly introverted workers. After surveying 1,456 British office workers, the poll suggests the majority of workplaces do not have areas that aid lone-working (67 percent), offer privacy (54 percent), or opportunities for quiet work (58 percent). They also do not have spaces that promote collaboration (45 percent) or provide chill-out areas for staff (74 percent). Respondents were asked if their workplace allows them to carry out their work comfortably and 20 percent stated it does not. Worryingly, of that number, 70 percent claim it affects their desire to come to work. In terms of improved wellbeing and productivity, chill-out areas, quiet areas, and private spaces are top of workers’ lists.

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The working week now starts on Sunday afternoon for the average British worker

The working week now starts on Sunday afternoon for the average British worker

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The average British employee now starts their working week at 16:22 on Sunday, according to a study from investment firm Bestinvest. According to the survey of 1,000 people, 76 percent of people admit that they have previously experienced the Mondays blues. Those working in accountancy and banking were seen to be the least inspired about going to work on Monday mornings, with 83 percent stating that they find it difficult to pull themselves out of bed on the first day of the week.

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