Wellbeing in the workplace consultation announced

Wellbeing in the workplace consultation announced

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first steps to wellbeingWellbeing advocacy group ukactive has announced a new partnership with HCA Healthcare UK, to undertake a consultation into health and physical activity in the workplace. The partnership brings together the independent research expertise of not-for-profit health body ukactive and the resources of healthcare provider, HCA UK. Anna Davison of ukactive can be heard speaking about workplace wellbeing in the Wellness Maters podcast here. More →

Can corporate culture help reduce workforce burnout?

Can corporate culture help reduce workforce burnout?

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burnoutIt may not always be evident to those working in logistics, but burnout doesn’t exist solely in supply chain recruitment – it’s a recognised condition which is having an impact across all industries and sectors.  According to the Labour Force Survey, the UK lost 15.4 million working days in 2017/18 to work-related stress, depression or anxiety, with 239,000 new cases reported. Increasingly, severe cases are being recognised as ‘burnout’. More →

The changing expectations of call and contact centres

The changing expectations of call and contact centres

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Ever since call centres were introduced as a business function in the mid-20th century, they have been subject to plenty of change and transformation. Customer expectations have been on a gradual rise, and CX strategists and leaders have had to adapt to meet these increased demands.  Previously, call and contact centres were viewed as a cost centre – whereby the primary goal was to run them as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible, whilst still being able to respond to customers competently. Nowadays, customer experience is being ramped up on the priorities list, with call and contact centre success shown to be a key driver for customer retention, enrichment and advocacy. 

Most importantly, customer expectations have evolved which has put a great strain on how call and contact centres adapt. Customers now expect customer service to quick, convenient and available 24/7.

What do customers want from contact centres?

  • Quicker responses

Living in a social media world has not only brought plenty of benefits for businesses, but also presented its fair share of challenges. With consumers now having the ability to communicate and get instant information online, contact centres have had the same expectations placed on them to provide quick response times whilst still maintaining high service levels.

A study conducted by Lithium Technologies found that when asking about a product or service, 66 percent of consumers expect a response to their query on the same day, and over 40 percent expect a reply within the hour. This has put a large strain on contact centres to improve efficiency and be able to respond so quickly to customer queries.

  • Convenience

In addition to wanting a quicker service, customers today also want convenience. ‘Gen Z’, having grown up with social media and digital technologies are used to shopping, browsing and completing tasks online through research and self-informing. What does that mean for contact centres?

Customers don’t want to call contact centres and wait to be put through to the right advisor – It isn’t the most convenient option anymore. What customers want instead is the ability to solve the issue themselves using self-serve/ FAQ sheets, or at least to see if they can solve the problem before having to get in touch with an advisor.

A study carried out by Zendesk found that 67 percent of consumers preferred using a self-serve portal when looking to help themselves online, with 40 percent of customers calling a contact centre only after they have at least attempted to find their solution on the internet first.

  • More availability

On top of wanting a quicker service and convenience, customers are also expecting help to be readily available whenever and wherever they need it.

Today’s customers want to be able to get in touch with a company across multiple channels and be able to hop in between channels to continue their interaction. For example, a customer wants to be able to message a chatbot online, then follow up with a phone call, and expect the company know their name, information and query. These conversations should be able to take place across a whole host of channels including social media, websites, mobile, text, chatbots, telephone, email, self-serve and more.

By having interactions across multiple channels, customers also expect help in one form or another to be available 24/7. Banks, for example, outsource call centre functions to countries abroad to ensure customers calling in the later hours have a representative that they can speak to.

 

This piece has been published in partnership with Call & Contact Centre Expo

Image by Stefan Kuhn 

Outdated technology continues to ruin people`s days

Outdated technology continues to ruin people`s days

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outdated technologyNew research by Currys PC World in collaboration with technology expert Theo Priestley claims that outdated technology and delays in finding fixes are eating into around 46 minutes of the average employee’s working day, which could cost a business approximately £2,752 a year. Time and money are not the only things lost to outdated technology, however, as half of Brits admit that it has a negative impact on their productivity in their jobs. What’s more, morale can be impacted when employees feel they have to work overtime to make up the time they have lost due to tech issues. More →

Cushman & Wakefield acquires French design & build firm

Cushman & Wakefield acquires French design & build firm

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Commercial property firm  Cushman & Wakefield has announced its intention to acquire Réponse, a design & build contractor in France, subject to regulatory approvals. The deal is expected to complete early in 2020. The acquisition intends to ‘complement and strengthen Cushman & Wakefield’s business in France, adding in-house design & build capability alongside its existing services. More →

What you need to know about paying wages in cryptocurrency

What you need to know about paying wages in cryptocurrency

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Not all of your employees will prefer to have their hard work rewarded with often volatile cryptocurrencies. However, for those already investing in it, having some or all of their salary given as a digital currency may be more appealing and convenient. Below you can find the details of what you will need, some examples of people already doing it and the obstacles you will face.

To make paying your employees a reality, both you and your workers will need to have some additional things. The first is everyone will need a secure wallet to pay the cryptocurrency in. Making sure the best wallets are chosen is vital because there is no backup to the funds stored in them like there is at a conventional bank. Anyone considering their options should not forget to check out the Luno Bitcoin wallet with exceptional safety and stellar reviews.

The other help you will need as a business is a dedicated team of bookkeepers who know how to track payments in Bitcoin – more on that shortly.

 

Companies already paying in Bitcoin

There are some firms already making the leap to paying employees in cryptocurrency. Notably, a Japanese firm has started using Bitcoin to pay staff. At the moment, this is rare as most firms find the process difficult due to some legalities and taxation issues.

Another way people have been getting paid in cryptocurrency is through freelancing work via apps. There are many apps on the market that will pay freelance workers to complete projects in exchange for Bitcoin and alike. Earn.com is one of the most established, but many similar apps are available.

 

Legalities and tax 

One of the reasons that some of the most trendy fintech startups are not paying in crypto as of yet is because it is an overly complex procedure. For some, it is just not possible as it is against the law to do so, including in many South American and Asian countries. Even in those that do not make it illegal, the taxation and invoicing practicalities of doing so put them off.

For example, in the USA you can legally pay in crypto, but all forms need to show values in US dollars and sophisticated and specialist accountants and bookkeepers would be required, which adds to business expenses.

 

Will the rules change?

It is possible that as cryptocurrencies become even more mainstream and accepted – as well as regulations are implemented upon them – the idea of paying in crypto will become not only legal, but more feasible. That day may come, but the wait until it is easy to do may be long.

For now, employees may be better swapping their fiat salaries for crypto with a trusted exchange platform and a reliable wallet.

Image by Icons8_team 

Knight Frank and Work.Life launch flexible office platform

Knight Frank and Work.Life launch flexible office platform

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flexible officeKnight Frank is the latest established property business to launch a flexible office offering. In partnership with flexible office provider Work.Life announce the launch of new flexible managed workspace solution, Yours. A joint venture between Knight Frank and Work.LifeYours claims to “partner with landlords to provide a comprehensive offer, incorporating a sales strategy that addresses both flexible and traditional market demand. The platform streamlines the design and delivery of resalable workspaces, and offers a suite of ongoing services and extras to businesses, including access to Work.Life’s network of coworking spaces and amenities.” More →

Surface Design Show 2020 to focus on sustainability and regional differences

Surface Design Show 2020 to focus on sustainability and regional differences

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Surface Design ShowThe Surface Design Show, which runs from 11-13 February, has announced its theme for 2020: Close to Home. Held at the Business Design Centre in Islington and celebrating its fifteenth edition, the show’s theme addresses the current climate emergency debate in the context of the surface and materials sector, for both the UK and international markets.

Close to Home will look at a wholly sustainable approach to design. Innovative and thought- provoking products will be highlighted at Surface Spotlight Live, a section of the show curated by trend expert Sally Angharad and forecasters Colour Hive. The theme will look beyond aesthetics and into manufacturers’ impact on the environment, from the processes used in mining or manufacture, through to the carbon footprint sustained during sales and distribution. Designing with a conscience will also be examined, from reusing waste materials to looking at what happens at the end of a product’s life cycle.

There will be a number of home-grown products on display including textiles from the North of England from exhibitors such as New Talent’s The Monkey Puzzle Tree and porcelain in the Midlands from H+E Smith. Several areas worldwide which are renowned for specific materials, will also be represented, from Italian marble to Spanish tiles from Tile of Spain and ceramics from Portugal’s Viúva Lamego. Other issues examined through the theme include why these areas have become market-leaders in their respective material markets, what benefits a project brings to the local area in terms of employment, preserving skills and sustaining the local community, and what challenges there are in continuing to serve the global marketplace.

Further questions to consider include can we ever return to buying locally, with particular reference to the UK post-Brexit, given the fact that we’re so used to being global consumers? Should manufacturers use local designers, as opposed to those based hundreds or even thousands of miles away?

Over the 2½ days, Surface Design Show will host approximately 30 presentations from 50 speakers, including panel discussions and talks centred around this highly topical theme, including Jo Roan, associate strategy director at PriestmanGoode talking sustainability through ‘Get Onboard: Reduce. Reuse. Rethink’ on the Main Stage on from 1:45pm – 2:30pm on Thursday 13 February. Also featured on the Main Stage on Wednesday 12 February is ‘Close to Home: Consciously Creating Spaces from Concept to Completion’ with Nicola Keenan from Boxx Creative ( 3:15pm – 3:45pm) and Hotel

Designs’ editor Hamish Kilburn who highlights the importance of close to home in his presentation entitled ‘Biophilic Materials in Surface Design’ from 12:30pm – 1:00pm on Thursday 13 February.

Tickets are free to professional and trade visitors. Register at https://www.surfacedesignshow.com/register

Six cost-reducing benefits of switching to a cloud phone system

Six cost-reducing benefits of switching to a cloud phone system

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This article comes courtesy of PBX Hosting, a leading UK-based VoIP telecommunications provider. They deliver hosted PBX solutions and VoIP phone systems to businesses of all sizes and specialisms. Switching to a cloud phone system is one of the lesser-known cost savings a business can make, but it’s also one of the most effective. More and more businesses are switching to cloud communications, with a cost reduction of between 50 and 70 percent. More →

Five German Design Awards for Sedus Office Furniture

Five German Design Awards for Sedus Office Furniture

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After Sedus confirmed its status as one of the most important office design innovators in Europe at last year’s ORGATEC trade show in Cologne, several of the firm’s latest generation of ground-breaking products have won prestigious design prizes in the firm’s native Germany.

The se:flex and se:motion swivel chairs as well as se:fit standing seat and se:cube Office Cubes have each been awarded the German Design Award 2020 – Winner by The German Design Council while the se:spot all-purpose chair went one step further receiving the Gold German Design Award for 2020.

The German Design Award is one of the most coveted design prizes in Europe and is awarded every year by a prestigious international jury. The Award honours innovative products and projects, their manufacturers and designers who have proven themselves pioneers in the German and International design sector.

The five award-winning office furniture pieces were developed by the Sedus Design Team, and launched for the first time to the public at the ORGATEC 2018 trade fair. They went fully into production in 2019 and have also been used in the fit-out of the new office building at the firm’s headquarters in Dogern.

In the Sedus Smart Office around 100 employees from twelve disciplines work together in a uniquely collaborative and flexible working environment. The spaces serves as a test laboratory, prototyping and model workplace for designers and customers travelling to the Upper Rhine location from all over the world.

 

Humanscale Summa sets new standard in ergonomic seating for executive offices and boardrooms

Humanscale Summa sets new standard in ergonomic seating for executive offices and boardrooms

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Summa, an executive chair by Humanscale made for today’s dynamic leaders, is now ready to order. An effortless blend of luxury and simplicity, Summa’s defined aesthetic and sophisticated palette is well-suited to high-end executive spaces within the workplace. The executive chair has a single, discrete height-adjustment lever seamlessly designed into the seat, unlike most chairs which have multiple exposed adjustment levers. Complementing its enveloping shape and sculpted materials, Summa features Humanscale’s signature weight-compensating recline mechanism and integrated armrests for exceptional ergonomic comfort and support. More →

First Mats launches new range of cable protectors

First Mats launches new range of cable protectors

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First Mats is delighted to announce the launch of a brand-new range of floor cable protectors to complement the company’s existing selection of floor matting safety products. The new range of floor cable protectors is specifically designed with floor safety in mind to protect workers from trip hazards, as well as preventing damage to expensive IT equipment.

“A big part of the First Mats mission is to help improve safety in workplaces, and I believe that this range of floor cable protectors is a fantastic addition to our established range of floor matting products,” said Richard O’Connor, Strategic Marketing Director.

Loose, trailing cables present a dangerous health and safety hazard to workers, and First Mats’ new range of floor cable protectors can improve floor safety and prevent workplace accidents. IT equipment is also vulnerable to damage when cables are accidentally yanked out.

As well as performing a vital health and safety at work function, First Mats’ new range of floor cable protectors has another important role to play in any workplace environment. Floor cable protectors help to keep office premises, warehouses, commercial kitchens, and factory floor areas tidy, preventing tangles of cables from collecting dust that could present a fire hazard or harbour gnawing pests and insects.

Loose cables can easily be damaged and abraded by foot traffic and vibration. Still, First Mats’ floor cable protectors can prevent that, saving firms from the cost of cable replacement and the expensive production downtime that can be caused by catastrophic equipment failure. Floor cable protectors can also be used to shield outdoor cabling at events, festivals, and the like, preventing damage by the elements and from foot traffic, as well as protecting people attending the event from trip-related accidents.

First Mats’ cable protectors are made from super-strong PVC material for excellent durability and are suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. The whole range of floor cable protectors is made with a seamed backing that keeps cables and wires snapped firmly in place. There are several grades of durability on offer, from general-purpose floor cable protectors that are ideal for use in offices and computer rooms, through to a heavy-duty version that can withstand impact from heavy vehicular traffic and vibration from adjacent machinery.

For more information, please contact First Mats on 0121 702 1659, email info@firstmats.co.uk or visit the First Mats website (https://www.firstmats.co.uk/).

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