About Neil Franklin

Neil Franklin is Insight's news editor

Posts by Neil Franklin:

London needs to adapt to the changing world of work, claims think tank

London needs to adapt to the changing world of work, claims think tank 0

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changing-world-of-workThink Tank New London Architecture (NLA) which creates a forum for debate on the built environment, has launched its findings and recommendations from its landmark WRK / LDN Insight study on work and workplaces in London. NLA calls on central government, the Mayor of London and other stakeholders in the capital to act to maintain the capital’s position as a preeminent commercial centre. The report claims that, as the digital economy continues to expand, new suppliers of workspace are rapidly emerging – from co-working providers to ‘fab labs’, makerspaces, incubators and innovation centres. The insight study concludes that the affordable business space that currently supports these industries is at risk. London needs new innovative mixed-use models of city planning to support these changes and adapt to the changing world of work.

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RSA welcomes clients and brokers to new office in the heart of Birmingham

RSA welcomes clients and brokers to new office in the heart of Birmingham 0

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ki-birmingham-preedit-19Located a stone’s throw from Snow Hill Station in Birmingham’s min business district, insurer, RSA’s new Trading Site puts its employees at the heart of the customer experience. Rather than separating support functions from front of house, the new space combines client-facing areas and open plan benches to create an open, collaborative and flexible environment. The office features assigned workstations for staff including brokers and underwriters, who will benefit from the enhanced collaboration and communication across the clear, unobstructed workspace. In addition to open plan benching, the office features, meeting rooms, lounge areas and a multifunctional kitchen that can transform into an intimate client event space.

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If you want to improve the workplace, let employees procrastinate

If you want to improve the workplace, let employees procrastinate 0

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Facebook_like_thumbAn analysis of workplace habits carried out by office supplies firm Viking claims that the biggest causes of worker procrastination are internal problems within an organisation, and that restricting social media usage could make employees less productive. The survey of over 1,500 office workers claims that almost half of workers (48 percent) procrastinate while waiting for other people’s work to be completed and 40 percent procrastinated in order to take a break from work and reduce their stress levels. The study also claims that people who work in an office experience more stress then those who work from home, which the study concludes is because working from home allows employees to take breaks more frequently. Although the Flexible Working Regulations introduced in the UK in 2014 suggests we’re working towards a more lenient workplace, survey findings suggest that in-office cultures are still struggling to find their footing when balancing work and relaxation.

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Businesses in developed world failing to invest in tech and agile working

Businesses in developed world failing to invest in tech and agile working 0

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AgileBusinesses operating in developed national markets risk falling behind businesses in emerging markets that are placing greater importance on leveraging technology to fuel their growth and increase their agility, claims a report from enterprise software provider Epicor. The study of over 1,800 business leaders from 12 countries claims that 54 percent of emerging market business executives cited “technology leadership” as a significant growth factor compared to just 36 percent of those in developed countries. The report claims that by recognising the importance of flexible technology and business systems in fuelling growth, executives in emerging markets are putting themselves in a stronger position when it comes to preparing for international expansion. Businesses that have more agile working practices can respond more quickly to changing market environments, making them more prepared to deal with the demands of growth.

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New report sets out four key challenges for the workforce of the future

New report sets out four key challenges for the workforce of the future 0

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Future of WorkA new report from The Future Laboratory and UBS Wealth Management claims to identify the key factors that will drive workplace change in the near future. According to The Future of the Workforce report, the next two decades will see the way we work completely reshaped by forces such as artificial intelligence and an increasingly multigenerational workforce. The report claims that the entry of more Millennials into the workplace, their differing values to older workers, a growing propensity to turn freelance and the dissolution of the old bonds of loyalty could mean that employers struggle to create a strong culture. The report also claims that there will be a growing emphasis on the provision of wellness programmes, driven partly by growing demand from employees as well as a greater focus on improving productivity from employers. It also suggests that employers need to act to remove any biases they may have to appeal to the values of the new generation of workers.

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Nearly half of employees work unpaid extra hours to cope with workloads

Nearly half of employees work unpaid extra hours to cope with workloads 0

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Unpaid workNearly half of working parents in the UK put in unpaid extra hours to keep up with workloads and a third believe that overtime is now an ingrained part of workplace culture, according to a study by pressure group Working Families. The results were announced on the day the group announced details of this year’s National Work-Life Week which will encourage organisations to explore agile and flexible working. The report claims that 27 percent of people believe their line manager expects them to work extra hours, 33 percent believe that unpaid overtime is part of their workplace culture and 42 percent work extra hours to deal with workloads. Sarah Jackson, CEO of Working Families, said: “In the UK we have some of the longest working hours in Europe, with more than one in 10 employees putting in more than 50 hours each week. But success is about productivity, not impressive timesheets, so it’s worrying that our survey showed many parents feel a cultural pressure, or direct pressure from their manager, to stay late.”

Brexit leads to ‘softening’ of employment market, claims CIPD survey

Brexit leads to ‘softening’ of employment market, claims CIPD survey 0

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BrexitThe UK’s decision to leave the EU has resulted in a softening in hiring intentions and businesses should invest in skills immediately, according to the latest CIPD/Adecco Group UK & Ireland Labour Market Outlook. The report is based on employer sentiment in the two weeks before and after the EU Referendum and claims that employers surveyed ahead of the vote were somewhat more optimistic about hiring intentions than those surveyed afterwards. It suggests that the proportion of employers expecting to increase staffing levels over the next three months dropped from 40 percent pre-Brexit to 36 percent following the vote. The net employment balance, based on the difference between the share of employers expanding their workforce and those reducing it, dropped from +21 pre-Brexit to +17 post-Brexit. However, the fall was significantly sharper among private sector employers, with the post-Brexit employment balance declining to +25 from +39.

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Poor tech and long meetings remain key sources of workplace misery

Poor tech and long meetings remain key sources of workplace misery 0

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workplace meetingsBadly run and overrunning meetings remain amongst the main sources of workplace conflict and unhappiness, according to a study of 1,000 US employees from workplace software provider Eventboard. The main sources of this conflict appears to be the number of meetings that overrun and poor technology, claims the report. More than half (56 percent) of frontline employees spend 1-2 hours in meetings daily and three-quarters (75 percent) of senior and mid-management level employees spend 3-4 hours in meetings daily. The report also highlights the inadequate provision of workplace technology even though the tools people use are seen as essential for their happiness and productivity. More than half of respondents claim they have to supplement the technology they are given by their employer with their own devices, even though technology can be twice as important as other perks in terms of making people happy and productive.

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Third of people have nobody to talk to about stress, claims report

Third of people have nobody to talk to about stress, claims report 0

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stressA new survey by office products supplier Viking claims that a third of workers suffer from stress and yet have no one to talk to about it. The authors of the study claims that these findings correlate strongly with people’s overall levels of fulfilment at work, with 46 percent of those surveyed saying they had negative thoughts about their job several times a week. When it comes to a person’s working environment, the results showed that office workers were more stressed than those working from home. Factors that contributed to these stress levels included working overtime, not taking enough breaks, having no one to talk to, job satisfaction, pressure to succeed. It’s no surprise that a lack of breaks is causing stress, with half of office workers admitting to taking no breaks at all during the day, excluding lunch. Conversely, a massive 61 percent of people working from home said they took two to three breaks throughout the day.

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Small firms remain sceptical about next generation technology

Small firms remain sceptical about next generation technology 0

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Robots at workNew research from AXA suggests that small firms are sceptical about the prospects of technologies such as 3D printing, robotics and driverless cars affecting their workplace in the near future. While more than 40 per cent of small businesses still don’t have a website, the study of 898 firms claims that most of these plan to move online in the next twelve months. If these plans are fulfilled, only seven per cent of UK businesses will remain offline by this time next year. However, just one in five plan to migrate to the Cloud and only six per cent say they expect to adopt smart technologies. Driverless cars, which are set to hit UK roads as early as 2020, have an equally low resonance, as just eight per cent of business owners expect they will travel in one. Businesses were also highly sceptical when it comes to 3D printing. Just two per cent of UK businesses who might use the process expect to see it used here ‘during their lifetimes’.

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A third of people have experienced mental health issues while working

A third of people have experienced mental health issues while working 0

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Mental health and workAccording to new research from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, the number of people saying that they have experienced mental health issues while in employment has climbed from a quarter to a third over the last five years. Despite this, the majority of employees still don’t feel that people experiencing mental health issues are supported well enough at work. In response, the CIPD is calling on organisations to take a more preventative approach to employees’ mental wellbeing, encouraging a culture of openness in their workplace, whilst at the same time, training line managers to provide and signpost support for employees, in order to create healthier, more engaged and more productive workplaces. The new research from the CIPD claims that in 2016, almost a third (31 percent) of the over 2,000 employees surveyed said they have experienced a mental health problem at some point during their working life, compared with a quarter (26 percent) in 2011.

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A quarter of workers would turn down higher wages to get work perks

A quarter of workers would turn down higher wages to get work perks 0

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Company-PerksA quarter (25 percent) of British workers would be willing to accept a lower salary in return for better ‘work perks’ a new survey claims. Employment bonuses, such as flexible working, a company car or free food have become increasingly popular over the last few years, which explains why 55 percent of UK workplaces already offer work perks, the survey suggests. Workers in Wales are most likely to accept a lower salary with almost a third saying they would accept a position for less money if it had better perks. The survey was commissioned by Printerland.co.uk to explore attitude towards benefits, asking 2,000 workers about the kind of perks they already receive and which bonuses they wish they had. The research claims that the most common perks offered are flexible working (51 percent), financial bonuses (50 percent), free food (32 percent), company phones and tablets (21 percent) and company cars (11 percent).

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