Dogs need to be part of The Great Workplace Conversation too

Dogs need to be part of The Great Workplace Conversation too

You probably saw that meme based on an article in the WSJ that did the rounds during peak lockdown of a cat and a dog imploring their unseen owners to either get back to the office as soon as possible or stay home forever. If not, it’s reproduced below. It not only captured the nature of cats and dogs and their stereotypical relationships with humans, but also the relentless, tedious insistence on that binary choice of home or office that nearly drowned out all other voices during the not-so Great Workplace Conversation. And often still does. More →

Future Shock: a message from the past that defines the present

Future Shock: a message from the past that defines the present 0

We are all futurologists now. We all have our 2020 visions, at least for a little while. But there was a time, not so long ago, when the title was reserved for a few people who would be able to shake and shape the world with a single idea and a book. Yes, a book. Nowadays a book has to go hand in hand with a Ted Talk, blogs on the Huff Post and a speaking tour to get you anywhere at all. But within living memory it was possible to shift the thinking of the planet with a book. More →

ESG ambitions should top organisational agendas

ESG ambitions should top organisational agendas

ESGWhen the idea of ESG (environmental, social and governance credentials) first surfaced nearly two decades ago in a 2005 United Nations report, it was just an acronym businesses were trying to understand and get to grips with. But in the last few years, ESG strategies have gathered steam – it has become integral to C-Suite strategy and business purpose, and is a deal-breaker not just for investors but also for those considering new roles. In fact, a recent report revealed that job-seekers are turning down job offers by companies showcasing weak ESG credentials, a sure sign of the importance of substantive ESG policies for potential talent. Most of the larger conglomerates (if not all) have set targets to reach net-zero by a set date – ranging from as early as 2025 to anywhere within the next two decades. But is this going far enough for employees, stakeholders, future talent, and more broadly, for society? More →

From commuting to computers, finding balance in the hybrid workplace

From commuting to computers, finding balance in the hybrid workplace

hybrid workplaceA recent survey from AT&T and Dubber found that 81 percent of respondents believe hybrid work will be the foremost working model by 2024, with 56 percent of work done off site. A striking 100 percent of respondents believe a hybrid work model will help attract young talent. While there are numerous benefits to being able to work from home, as the pandemic continues on, time has brought some of the challenges of remote work to light, serving as a reminder that balance is key to a hybrid work environment. Pre-pandemic, it seemed rare for companies to implement proactive solutions for workplace burnout. Businesses are now presented with the unique opportunity to find balance between in-person and remote work, and create workplaces that thrive within the hybrid workplace model. More →

Facilities managers: you never noticed us because we did such a great job

Facilities managers: you never noticed us because we did such a great job

facilities managersGetting all hot under the collar about brushed chrome door furniture is an understandable but classic displacement activity when much of your work is messy, unglamorous and even occasionally dangerous. You work alongside designers and architects and look longingly at their apparent casual trendiness and clean lines, marvelling at the quality of the beech from sustainably managed European forestries (kiln dried to 10-12 per cent moisture content) with which they have specified the side tables in reception. Achingly cool and effortless in a way you feel you’ll never be.

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The truth about motivation, engagement and the employment of motivated idiots

The truth about motivation, engagement and the employment of motivated idiots

motivated idiotsThe current obsession with engagement and motivation is evident every time you read the business media these days. This is understandable in many ways, not least because it seems true that firms and employees are often working in an atmosphere of mistrust. But one thing that is often noticeable when a profession such as HR gets itself into a debate of this nature is the gap that can exist between practitioners and everybody else offering a view. So while academics can talk about definitions and suppliers seek to apply their solutions to the issue, it is often down to those who work at the sharp end to dish up the truth, however unpalatable or cynical that can seem to be. More →

Human resources professionals should focus on boardroom partnerships

Human resources professionals should focus on boardroom partnerships

human resources partnershipsThe future of Human Resources remains a hotly debated topic, with conversations often focusing on whether the term is still accurate and how internal and external changes often put HR in a state of flux. As working models shift and new post-pandemic challenges emerge, the focus should be on what skills today’s HR leaders need to support the business and ensure its continuity and success in an evolving landscape. This includes embracing imminent changes to the HR strategy to develop additional skills and capabilities whilst ensuring compliance with new regulations, overcoming staff shortages and meeting heightened candidate expectations. More →

Getting back to the future of work

Getting back to the future of work

future of workQuoting George Orwell is the kind of thing that people who haven’t read George Orwell do. I have read Orwell, and even have a  drunken story about Paul Shane signing my copy of the Collected Essays, which was the only autograph-able material I had on me at the time I met him in a pub in about 1990. For another time. In Nineteen Eighty-Four, Orwell describes Winston Smith’s realisation that the best books are those that tell you what you already know. This is an ancient profundity, and one that is sort of useful during times of significant, rapid change, when we are obliged to confront old truths in a new context. History doesn’t repeat itself, it rhymes, as they say. More →

Flat organisations are handing out inflated job titles to hang on to staff

Flat organisations are handing out inflated job titles to hang on to staff

job titlesWe’ve seen more talk of the glass ceiling in recent years than for some time, and part of the explanation is the way we’re creating false career ladders within businesses which don’t need to be there and don’t really lead anywhere. We are seeing companies trying to retain people in a time of skills shortages and one of the ways they are going about it is to accelerate ‘promotions’ within organisations for individuals to encourage them to stay. And some of these promotions do not involve much more than the creation of inflated job titles. More →

Get ready for the artificial intelligence revolution

Get ready for the artificial intelligence revolution

artificial intelligenceBehind every successful business strategy is a talented and motivated workforce that is ready to apply itself and achieve great things. A leader may have a flawless strategy, but if they cannot staff their teams with the most talented individuals, their vision will stay just that. A vision. Unfortunately, the tools organizations use to identify and recruit the best talent have not changed much over the last few decades: resumés, interviews, and reference checks continue to be the predominant methods for evaluating potential. Sadly, many studies demonstrate that these methods are unpredictive, biased, and are inefficient.  The good news is that innovations in artificial intelligence offer exciting tools that improve the recruitment process for both organizations and candidates.  More →

Working from home can present particular challenges for women

Working from home can present particular challenges for women

woman working from homeThe pandemic has brought with it many different trials and tribulations over the course of the past few years. An area that has impacted teams across the country, and the world, has been working from home and other forms of remote work. Once a necessity imposed by the UK government to stop the spread in the early stages of the pandemic, it has now become a part of working life for many people in many different sectors. It has offered many employees the new luxury of time: no commutes resulting in more time to spend with family and friends and creating a better work-life balance. More →

We need to seize the chance to make our buildings far more intelligent

We need to seize the chance to make our buildings far more intelligent

Even before the pandemic, statistics were making the case for workplaces to be made up of more intelligent buildings. This includes the fact that offices generally operate at around 55-60 percent utilisation, and as we return to the office are currently at 45 percent utilisation. From presenteeism to absenteeism and many other factors in between, workplaces have seldom been utilised by entire workforces at the same time. However, the prevailing approach has been for firms to drive an office setup with one-to-one desking – a seat for every employee, even though five in 10 would not be in at any one time. More →

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