About Neil Franklin

Neil Franklin is Insight's news editor

Posts by Neil Franklin:

Extreme dedication to work and career could damage long-term success, study claims

Extreme dedication to work and career could damage long-term success, study claims

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People who feel their work is integral to their lives and identity and so exhibit extreme dedication to work may actually find it difficult to sustain productivity over long periods of time, new research from King’s Business School suggests. According to Dr Michael Clinton, who studied the working lives of 193 Church of England ministers, people who view their career as an intense calling are less able to successfully disengage from work in the evenings which limits their energy levels the following morning. One would assume that these people would dedicate more energy to their work. However, Clinton claims that having an intense career calling motivates people to work longer hours which directly limits their psychological detachment from work, in turn reducing sleep quality and their ability to focus.

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UK businesses continue to stifle personal creativity at work

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UK businesses are failing to support a culture of innovation despite employees believing that their companies would benefit from fresh ideas and innovative ways of working, new research claims. The study of 1,000 workplaces conducted by RADA in Business (the commercial subsidiary of the Royal Academy of Dramatic) found that 81 percent of workplaces had failed to create a culture of creativity at work that encourages new ideas and experimentation, according to their staff. Many employees feel that businesses are suffering as a result, with just under a quarter (24 percent) saying that their workplace is desperately in need of new ideas and fresh thinking to overcome current problems.

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Europe does not offer appropriate support for breast cancer survivors

Europe does not offer appropriate support for breast cancer survivors

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Although the rate of breast cancer diagnoses is rising in Europe and a higher proportion of women are surviving this particular  form of cancer,  returning to everyday aspects of life prove challenging with many survivors unable to return to work in full, due to a lack of support and consideration by employers. A new report by The Economist Intelligence Unit and commissioned by Pfizer investigates the challenges involved in returning to employment for a growing number of breast cancer patients and survivors of a working age.

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A quarter of workers do not take a day off to mourn following the death of a relative

A quarter of workers do not take a day off to mourn following the death of a relative

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One in four British workers do not take time off work following a family bereavement, a poll of 2,000 people claims. According to the survey from funeral service firm CPJ Field, a further 10 per cent took just one day off to grieve, with the remaining 65 per cent taking two or more days off following the death of a family member. However the survey also found that 98 percent respondents agree that people should take time off, suggesting that people are not doing the things they know they should in favour of returning to work. The most commonly cited reasons for this behaviour were that people were worried about their jobs or felt they had too much to do.

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Overwhelming majority of Scottish workers say flexible working improves the quality of their lives

Overwhelming majority of Scottish workers say flexible working improves the quality of their lives

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Around nine out of 10 Scots who work flexibly say it improves their quality of life and makes them happier, according to a YouGov poll commissioned by Family Friendly Working Scotland.  However, the study also found that fewer than half of Scottish workers (46 percent) said they are offered flexible working by their employer. The figures are published to coincide with National Work Life Week, which sets out to encourage firms to explore flexible working options and help their staff find a better work-life balance. The poll of more than 1,000 Scots claims that among those who already work flexibly, 77 percent say they are more productive and are willing to “go the extra mile” for their employer. Almost half of people who took part (49 percent) say changing their start and/or finish time would help while nearly a third (32 percent) would like occasional time off for family emergencies, deliveries or school events. Just one in five (21 percent) say reducing their hours, or going part time, would be valuable.

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Small business owners are overworked and struggle to take a break

Small business owners are overworked and struggle to take a break

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A poll from software firm FreeAgent, published to tie in with National Work Life Week, claims that many self-employed people in the UK are working excessively long hours without taking any holidays. In the poll of more than 500 freelancers and micro-business owners, nearly a third of respondents (30 percent) said they worked more than 48 hours per week on their business, while 5 percent admitted that they spent more than 64 hours each week working.  A separate poll carried out earlier this year by the same firm claimed that more than a third (38 percent) of respondents said they had not felt able to take a week or more’s worth of holiday in the previous six months.

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Ongoing drive to replace full-time employees with freelancers and contractors in US, claims report

Ongoing drive to replace full-time employees with freelancers and contractors in US, claims report

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According to a new report from software firm Mavenlink, over three quarters (79 percent) of US executives believe that the use of contracted white collar workers offers them a competitive advantage, while 63 percent of employees say they would quit their current job to take advantage of a freelance opportunity.  The study, On the Verge of a White Collar Gig Economy: On-Demand Workforce Trends According to Today’s Business Leaders claims to have uncovered significant trends in enterprise use of external contractors, an influx of highly skilled contractors into the workforce and increased individual interest in flexible working structures. This study conducted interviews with 300 professionals from different US based organisations with titles of director or above.

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Half of workers claim they are more productive while listening to music, Come on Eileen is their unlikely song of choice

Half of workers claim they are more productive while listening to music, Come on Eileen is their unlikely song of choice

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Dexys Midnight Runners has shaken off Taylor Swift and Justin Bieber to top the list of songs most likely to make Brits ‘work faster’, a new study claims. With 20 percent of the nation saying that they listen to music at work every day, the study from Trade Direct Insurance set out to discover what effect this is having on the work environment and the level of work employees can complete during working hours. The study’s findings claim that over half (53 percent) of the 1,007 British workers who took part think they are more productive when listening to music at work.

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Groundbreaking White Collar Factory building opens in London

Groundbreaking White Collar Factory building opens in London

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Derwent London has announced the opening of White Collar Factory. The firm claims that the project is one of the most visionary developments of recent years, White Collar Factory combines the look of a well-built industrial space with modern office design. Located near Old Street Roundabout in North East London and designed by architectural practice Allford Hall Monaghan Morris (AHMM), the features of the White Colla Factory include 3.5m high ceilings, concrete core cooling, a 150m rooftop running track, communal roof terrace, a new landscaped public space and the ability to accommodate flexible occupation. The 293,000 sq ft mixed-use development includes a 237,000 sq ft office tower, where the first tenants are already in occupation. Tenants include Adobe, AKTII, BGL, Box.com, Capital One, Runpath, Spark44, The Office Group and Workshop Coffee. The tower forms part of a new urban campus with a further 56,000 sq ft of offices, studios, incubator space, restaurants and apartments, set around a new landscaped area of public realm, ‘Old Street Yard’.

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The government announces a major new office for public servants in the West Midlands

The government announces a major new office for public servants in the West Midlands

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Thousands of public servants in the West Midlands will move to a new building in central Birmingham, as the government continues its drive to modernise its office estate. HMRC working with the Cabinet Office has signed a 25 year lease to take 238,988 sq ft at 3 Arena Central, which is a new office development in the centre of Birmingham. The building will see around 3,600 public servants from several government departments move there from 2020, including from HMRC and Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). The hub will be the base for one of HMRC’s regional centres. DWP plans to move staff into the hub from existing offices in the city. The move is part of the Government Hubs Programme, which will reduce the number of isolated and under-used offices that the government has by co-locating departments in shared buildings across the UK. Departments moving to hubs will need less space as they adopt smart working principles, which will reduce their operating costs. Providing modern, flexible office space will further deliver value for money by improving staff wellbeing and productivity

Women struggle to make their voices heard in the workplace, claims RADA report

Women struggle to make their voices heard in the workplace, claims RADA report

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Working women in the UK feel they face a number of challenges to make their voice heard in business environments, according to new research. The study, conducted by RADA in Business, the commercial subsidiary of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art which provides communication skills training for corporate individuals, found that just 8 percent of women find it easy to make their voice heard at work. In comparison, 15 percent of men reported being able to express themselves with ease within a work environment. The research also claims that women are 68 percent more likely than men to say they never feel comfortable when expressing themselves in a work environment (3.7 percent of women compared to 2.2 percent of men). This gap was widest in specific sectors, most notably IT, professional services (such as law and accountancy), retail and education.

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Two thirds of employees feel pressured to work through lunch hour

Two thirds of employees feel pressured to work through lunch hour

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Over two thirds of UK employees are working unpaid over lunches because of heavy workloads and manager expectations, according to a new survey from office supply firm Viking. Of the 1,500 office workers surveyed, many employees felt they were expected to work through breaks or wanted to look busy for managers and 38 percent simply said they had too much work to fit in to the day.  While 82 percent said they felt their current lunch break allowance was long enough, a worrying two thirds (67 percent) admitted to working through their lunch at least once a week. That number is even higher (80 percent) for 25-34-year olds. Around 14 percent of all respondents said they do so every day.

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