About Neil Franklin

Neil Franklin is Insight's news editor

Posts by Neil Franklin:

A fifth of staff experience more stress at home than in the workplace

A fifth of staff experience more stress at home than in the workplace 0

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Amityville-HorrorHome may not be the haven we might assume, meaning that employers who encourage staff to work from home may actually be adding to their stress levels. Around a fifth of employees find their domestic lives more stressful than their working lives and many either don’t want to discuss it with managers or feel unable to, claims a new report from MetLife Employee Benefits. According to Building Resilience in the Workplace, 19 percent of employees overall are more stressed at home than at work, with slightly more female respondents to the study claiming to be stressed more by their home lives than the workplace. Around 21 percent of women say their home life is more stressful compared to 15 percent of men. The research claims that 67 percent of employees say domestic issues – including childcare, looking after elderly parents and financial pressures – are having an impact on their work performance.

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Many EU workers clinging to their fax machines and desktops, claims report

Many EU workers clinging to their fax machines and desktops, claims report 0

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9d5c0df1bfd9da2178e869944ba0d87dIf you think the way people work is probably not quite as glossily portrayed in the media, then you’d probably be right. A lot more European workers than is commonly supposed still believe that fax machines are essential business tools, according to a new report from unified communications business Fuze. In a study of the working habits of 5,000 EU employees, it found that the fax machine is considered ‘essential’ by 30 percent of workers in the UK, 39 percent in Germany and 42 percent in France. The report also found that many also think that desktop computers are still more important in their day-to-day working lives that laptops, tablets or smartphones. Anybody horrified by the report’s findings will be heartened by its claim that the machines will die off in time as a new generation of people who don’t know what the hell a fax machine is supplant those who still cling to their battered, old, paper-based devices.

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Online immersion transforming the way people learn and develop

Online immersion transforming the way people learn and develop 0

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df689c3017c066961bbac64f9a57d17d (1)According to a new report from The Open University, the UK’s near universal immersion in online behaviour is having a profound effect on the way employees learn and develop. The Trends in Learning 2016 report claims that businesses can do more to leverage these high rates of internet access, using online training solutions to ensure that they have a fully tech-savvy and highly-skilled workforce. The authors suggest that as individuals in the UK have become more used to accessing information online, demand for this access at work has also increased. According to research conducted by Towards Maturity, 57 per cent of workplace learners like to be able to access learning on-the-go and 18 per cent are now learning at their work desks. Organisations who can take advantage of this demand for mobile-optimised information will be able to develop a culture of learning in their workforces that boosts productivity and engagement.

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Yet more evidence that flexible working is now mainstream

Yet more evidence that flexible working is now mainstream 0

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flexible workingAlthough flexible working remains an idea that is still often presented as some sort of novelty, challenge to the natural order of things, ‘trend’ or (spare us) a ‘craze’, at some point a lot of people will have to accept that it’s just the way an awful lot of people work nowadays. Earlier this year, The Work Foundation published a report suggesting that half of UK employers will offer flexible working by next year. Now, job site Monster.co.uk  has published its own survey suggesting pretty much the same thing. It found that around a third of British employers already offer their staff some sort of flexible working arrangements and 26 per cent already offer them to all employees as a matter of course although it tends to apply somewhat disproportionately to senior employees. However, the research also claims that more than a fifth (21 per cent) of employees don’t know what their company’s policy is which is obviously a major constraint on its uptake.

The global tension between cost and talent in corporate real estate

The global tension between cost and talent in corporate real estate 0

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TightropeConcerns over the health of the global economy, workforce strategies and rising costs and pace of business are heavily influencing real estate decision-making for major corporations, a new survey by CBRE of global corporate real estate executives claims. More than 400 respondents from around the world participated in the survey. Nearly half (49 percent) cited economic uncertainty as their greatest challenge, while 43 percent identified it as cost escalation. Forty-eight percent projected a stable real estate footprint for this year. Seventy-nine percent stated that they are actively using space-efficiency initiatives to manage costs, combining ‘ground-up workplace strategies with top-down cost management initiatives’. Workplace strategies are also driven by initiatives that aim to improve collaborative working and enhance a firm’s pool of talent as well as address other workplace issues such as wellbeing and work life balance.

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BIFM launches new guide to construction and design processes

BIFM launches new guide to construction and design processes 0

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BIMThe British Institute of Facilities Management (BIFM) has launched its new ‘Operational Readiness Guide: A guide to ensuring long term effectiveness in the design and construction process’. The guide aims to ‘equip facilities management professionals with the skills, knowledge and guidance to effectively engage at each stage of the design and construction process to deliver greater value to the end user organisations that occupy the buildings.’ Its launch coincides with the first day that centrally procured public sector projects in the UK will require the implementation of Building Information Modelling (BIM) at Level 2. The authors claims that in order for FMs ‘to deliver long term effectiveness and relevance for the end user facilities management professionals need to be engaged from the start and learnings and insights from operators applied to close the gap between building design and performance’.

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Full employment drive can help over a million more UK over-50s into work

Full employment drive can help over a million more UK over-50s into work 0

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hands-heroThe UK government should find ways to encourage more than one million more over-50 into work by the end of this parliament, claims the Resolution Foundation think tank. The call comes ahead of a final report this week following a nine-month investigation into the issue full employment. The Chancellor announced a commitment to full employment in last year’s Summer Budget, with the government committing to report annually on progress towards this objective. The Foundation says that support for the over 50s, particularly to keep them from leaving the labour force, should be at the heart of the government’s strategy. Older people have contributed the fastest jobs growth of any age group over the last decade, leaving employment rates for workers aged 50-64 and 65+ are at record highs. The Foundation says that previous progress shows this group can and should be at the centre of plans for realising full employment.

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Gen X is the UK’s hardest working demographic group, claims report

Gen X is the UK’s hardest working demographic group, claims report 0

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Gen XMaybe it’s the mortgages, children and other responsibilities but a new study suggests that the UK’s hardest working demographic is Generation X. The survey of 2,500 employees from project management software firm Workfront found that over half (52.3 percent) of UK respondents said Generation X (roughly those aged between 34-54) as the hardest workers and almost 60 per cent (59.5 percent) claimed GenXers also had the strongest work ethic. Born between the early 1960’s and early 1980’s, Gen X was also claimed to be the most skilled (54.5 percent) followed by Baby Boomers, those approximately aged around 54–70-years-old, (27.1 percent). Millennials, those born between the 1980s to early 2000s, were identified as the most ‘tech-savvy’ (66.3 percent) but according to the survey it seems other skills are perceived as more valuable as only 18 percent of people surveyed said Millennials were the most skilled overall.

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CIPD joins forces with the UK Government to tackle workplace cyber security

CIPD joins forces with the UK Government to tackle workplace cyber security 0

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data theftHuman resources has a key role to play in improving the cyber security of UK workplaces. That is the key challenge addressed by a new joint initiative from the Chartered Institute for Personnel and the Development and the Department of Culture, Media and Sport. Data breaches cost companies up to an average of £1.46 million are often a result of human error and malice, according to the CIPD. The initiative includes a free online course called Cyber Security for HR professionals as part of a wider initiative to promote the importance of cyber security at work, as well as the critical role that HR has to play in ‘mitigating the competency and behavioural risks present in the workplace’. Government figures released last year indicated that the costs associated with the most severe breaches now start at £1.46 million for large businesses, up from £600,000 in 2014, and can reach up to £310,000 for small businesses, up from £115,000.

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London’s ability to foster startups lagging behind other key UK cities

London’s ability to foster startups lagging behind other key UK cities 0

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startupsThe UK’s largest regional cities have produced twice as many startups as London over the last two years, according to research based on Companies House Data. The report, commissioned by office broker Instant Offices, compares the number of startups in each city to create a list of the country’s most entrepreneurial cities. The authors claim that the UK is now Europe’s most entrepreneurial country with over 2,644,100 businesses started within the last two years alone, according to data gathered from Companies House. The report cites the example of Liverpool with an estimated population of 440,000 and 57,323 new companies starting over the past 2 years. This results in an entrepreneurial population percentage of 16 percent. Birmingham’s entrepreneurial population percentage was 14.5 percent followed closely by Manchester at 14 percent. These numbers are significantly higher than the UK average of 2 percent and London’s 7.5 percent.

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Cranes dot Birmingham skyline as city hits 13 year development high

Cranes dot Birmingham skyline as city hits 13 year development high 0

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Beorma Quarter BirminghamBirmingham’s development upturn looks set to continue this year, as the latest Deloitte Birmingham Crane Survey shows office construction at the highest level for 13 years. The report also showcases the significant increase in hotel, leisure and retail developments in the city, reflecting both the rise in investor interest in regional cities and the year-on-year growth of visitor numbers attracted to the UK’s second city. The report, first launched by the Deloitte Real Estate team in the Midlands in 2000, shows 969,000 sq ft of office space under construction, with hotel construction three times higher than the 10 year average. Office take-up has shown a particular resurgence. Q1 to Q3 of 2015 reached 732,000 sq ft, its highest level since 2008. The Colmore Row district remains very attractive to investors, whilst more peripheral locations have become more established and are generating serious interest.

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UK Government opens consultation on its new national digital strategy

UK Government opens consultation on its new national digital strategy 0

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s300_digital-economy-640x4001Digital Economy Minister Ed Vaizey has called on members of the public and industry to share their ideas on how the UK’s digital revolution can be taken to the next stage. The announcement of the consultation follows what the Government claims was a successful first stage of its strategy with the creation of digital clusters in East London, centred on Tech City. Five years on, the Government claims that  the UK is now truly a ‘Tech Nation’ with more than 70 per cent of digital businesses now based outside of the capital. According to Vaizey, “this revolution has been led by entrepreneurs but supported by Government in creating the right environment for ideas and businesses to flourish. Government is now looking at a new Digital Strategy for the UK for the next five years. It wants the UK to be synonymous with digital – a place where digital technologies transform day-to-day life, the economy and government.”

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