Breaking eggs and a two thousand year quest to make the most of each day

Breaking eggs and a two thousand year quest to make the most of each day

make the most of each dayThe fracturing of time and place underlies every one of the great workplace issues of our time. Everything that springs from this – the where, when, how, what and why of work – is defined by the shattering of any fixed idea we may once have had of a time and a place to work. Because the challenge to these traditional ideas is now so inextricably linked in our minds with new technology, we might often  forget that people have been asking questions about how we can get the most out of each day for thousands of years. Tempus fugit after all, and as a consequence we’ve always known that how we spend our days is how we spend our lives. More →

CIPD launches new qualifications for HR and people professionals

CIPD launches new qualifications for HR and people professionals

qualificationsThe CIPD has launched its new professional qualifications. Based on the CIPD’s new Profession Map, the qualifications focus on the ever-changing landscape of HR and learning and development. The Profession Map sets out the knowledge, behaviours and values underpinning today’s people profession in the modern world of work and helps professionals to thrive in their career. More →

Stress-related absence soars as COVID-19 exacerbates the UK’s mental health crisis

Stress-related absence soars as COVID-19 exacerbates the UK’s mental health crisis

stress‘Stress by Sector’ data released by e-days claims concerning statistics that stress-related appointments are up generally in business by 64 percent over 2019. The data claims that the sectors struggling most with stress-related sickness are unsurprisingly healthcare (0.64 days of stress related absence on average per employee), followed by Government and International Affairs (0.57 days on average per employee) and Human Resources and staffing (0.39 days on average per employee). More →

Low paid workers have borne the brunt of the pandemic

Low paid workers have borne the brunt of the pandemic

low paid workersNew analysis by the Institute for Employment Studies has found that low paid workers are more than twice as likely to have lost their jobs during the pandemic and are at far greater risk of being temporarily laid off or having their hours cut. The research, funded by Standard Life Foundation, concludes that in this current lockdown it is likely that around two thirds of low paid workers – or four million people – are either temporarily laid off or working fewer hours than normal. This would be double the rate of work disruption for staff who are not classified as low paid. More →

Furlough scheme should be extended ahead of the Budget, says CIPD

Furlough scheme should be extended ahead of the Budget, says CIPD

furloughWith six weeks still to go until the Chancellor’s Budget, the CIPD is urging the Government to act early to extend the furlough scheme to protect jobs, support incomes and enhance skills development. Its calls are outlined in a report called The Future of Furlough – Recommendations for now and for any future wage subsidy. In order to support smaller firms who don’t pay an apprenticeship levy, the CIPD is also recommending the creation of a furlough scheme training fund of up to £100 million, which would be funded from levy-paying firms’ expired levy funds that would otherwise go to HM Treasury. The CIPD estimates that this could pay for training or outplacement skills development support for nearly 160,000 workers in small firms. More →

Forget all the talk of Blue Monday; work is still (largely) good for us

Forget all the talk of Blue Monday; work is still (largely) good for us

blue mondaySo here it is. Blue Monday. Today. Officially the most depressing day of the year. We say ‘officially’, but like the idea of ‘Body Odour’ its common usage hides the fact that it was originally created as part of a PR campaign, in this case one for Sky’s travel channel in 2005. The whole idea of Blue Monday is couched in a pseudo-mathematical equation which includes factors like the weather, levels of debt, time since Christmas, low levels of motivation and, apparently, an unspecified variable known simply as ‘D’. More →

Volunteering boosts employees during lockdown, research claims

Volunteering boosts employees during lockdown, research claims

VolunteeringAs companies struggle to motivate teams working remotely, new research by the charity Education and Employers and the CIPD, claims that employers who support their staff with volunteering in schools and colleges has found employees to be more motivated, more productive and have a better sense of well-being. More →

Doing what you love may not automatically make you happier at work

Doing what you love may not automatically make you happier at work

There is a classic saying which has shaped our job choices for years: “Do what you love, the money will follow.” New research suggests this may be true, although not in the way it was originally conceived. The typical logic train has suggested job interest shapes satisfaction and, in turn, satisfaction may drive better performance. However, new research published in the Journal of Vocational Behavior provides some fresh perspectives. It turns out satisfaction has many facets. While interest is one component in job satisfaction, it is not the primary component. Elements such as the organization, relationships with colleagues, leadership and compensation are actually more important than interest in predicting satisfaction. More →

When the chairs took over the world and what it all meant

When the chairs took over the world and what it all meant

rows of chairsOf all the things we buy, with the exception of our clothes, furniture is the most intimate, the one item we spend most time in contact with. According to JG Ballard who dedicated himself to understanding our relationship with the world around us, ‘Furniture constitutes an external constellation of our skin areas and body postures’. Whether he would have recognised it as such, Ballard was a pioneer of the principle we now refer to as psychogeography, defined by one of its founders, Guy Debord, as ‘the study of the precise effects of setting, consciously managed or not, acting directly on the mood and behaviour of the individual’. More →

Firms should be aware of the legal implications of employee monitoring

Firms should be aware of the legal implications of employee monitoring

employee monitoringEmployee monitoring is an emotive topic. Businesses may wish to monitor their staff for a variety of reasons. For instance, they may wish to prevent the unauthorised disclosure of confidential or sensitive information, or detect attempts to steal valuable intellectual property. In the current conditions, dominated by the coronavirus pandemic, many businesses have opted to use automated means to monitor staff productivity. However, from an employee’s perspective, the use of monitoring software may be intrusive if not distressing. Further, if it has been implemented without regard to data protection law, it is potentially illegal. More →

Employers should explain their monitoring policies to workers

Employers should explain their monitoring policies to workers

The number of companies monitoring their employees is growing. According to a Gartner survey, more than 22 percent of employees use employee movement data, while 17 percent of them are monitoring computer usage. With companies choosing to monitor employees, privacy laws are also catching up, and thus there is a need for explaining employee monitoring to prospective hires. Employee monitoring is defined as the use of monitoring devices and methods by companies to learn about their employees’ workplace behaviours and performance. More →

We need to understand and channel workplace conflict in the right way

We need to understand and channel workplace conflict in the right way

workplace conflictEarlier this month, in a sudden and unexpected turn of events, the prime minister’s chief adviser, Dominic Cummings, walked out of 10 Downing Street for the last time, having resigned/been asked to leave, depending on whose account of the episode you believe. However, the affair unfolded in reality, it seems clear that the departure of Cummings and Director of Communications, Lee Cain, was precipitated by workplace conflict and a series of internal disagreements, which had pushed their relationships with certain colleagues to breaking point. More →

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