UK employment rises but pay rates are squeezed

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pay squeeze

The UK employment rate is now higher than in the United States and is well above that in the Eurozone. However, pay levels remain low, with basic pay inflation now at just 1.3 per cent. According to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics long-term unemployment fell by 15,000 this quarter to its lowest level for nearly a year. Nigel Meager, Director at the Institute for Employment Studies, commented: “The UK stands in contrast to developments in the Eurozone, where employment and unemployment figures are continuing to deteriorate.” More →

Flexible working bolstering employment growth in UK

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Jobs

Employment will continue to grow in the first quarter of 2013, despite stalled economic growth. According to the latest Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD)/SuccessFactors Labour Market Outlook the proportion of employers that intend to increase total staffing levels remains positive for the first quarter of 2013. Gerwyn Davies, Labour Market Adviser at the CIPD, said: “While muted pay growth is playing a part, we also see continued evidence that employers are reluctant to lay-off skilled workers.” He added: “Some employers are clearly using flexible working and reduced hours to adapt to trading conditions.” More →

Change of ways needed to tackle ailing UK workforce

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Staff ill health

The best way of tackling ill health is to stop workers from getting ill in the first place, suggests new guidance from the TUC. It may seem as if the union is stating the obvious, until you reflect on the news, reported exclusively by HR magazine earlier this week that the UK was among the 10 worst performing countries for employee wellbeing last year, according to the Workforce Quality of Life Index (WQLI) report  by Kenex, which measures wellbeing from the employee’s perspective. Now the TUC report, Work and well-being, provides evidence that employers who create healthy workplaces can reduce employee absence and boost productivity. More →

Flexible working seen as of more benefit to employers than staff

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Flexible working

Nine in ten UK professionals think that flexible working will become the dominant employment model – but half think it will be adopted for business reasons rather than to benefit the workforce. According to research from specialist HR recruiter Ortus, just one in ten professionals (12 per cent) actually deem flexible working to be a vital benefit – lower than the proportion who said a free company mobile phone is vital to them. And just 1 in 10 said they thought it was being implemented to help with gender equality. In the survey conducted among 450 professionals across a variety of sectors, 51 one per cent felt the reason behind the growth of flexible working is efficiency and productivity – not to help people manage the number of hours they work. More →

Global corporates boosting social media engagement

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social media

The massive rise in prominence of social media has led many major global organisations to increase their so far limited investment into social channels such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook in order to attract and engage talent. Senior Resourcing and HR directors at a recent roundtable event facilitated by hyphen, the recruitment process outsourcer agreed that social media is fast becoming a critical part of the recruitment and employee engagement tool kit as major organisations adapt to the new digital age – and this investment is starting to drive internal change towards a focus on digital within organisations. More →

Report shows global range of policy on BYOD

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BYODA new report from Dell has indicated the differing approaches firms take to Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) strategies around the world.  According to the survey of 1,500 senior IT managers in 10 countries including the US, UK, Spain, Germany, Singapore, India and China, companies in Singapore are the most proactive in using digital rights to manage the dissemination of potentially sensitive company information. Nearly two thirds of respondents in Singapore said their firms focus more on the management of users than devices, an approach seen as the best way of ensuring the benefits of BYOD. More →

Whatever the office of the future is, it should be there to serve people

Whatever the office of the future is, it should be there to serve people

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Larkin BuildingFuturology is notoriously a mug’s game. Especially when it comes to making predictions about technology. Just ask Ken Olson, the founder of DEC who in 1977 pronounced that ‘there is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home’. Or Bill Gates himself who once claimed that Microsoft ‘will never make a 32 bit operating system’. But that shouldn’t make us blind to those predictions that we know will largely come true, not least those based on what we know is happening in the present. This is typified by research carried out by Cass Business School and Henley Business School and presented in a book called Future Work: How Businesses Can Adapt and Thrive in the New World of Work. It found that two-thirds of the 360 managers it surveyed believe that there would be a revolution in working practices over the coming decade. Ninety per cent said that staff were more productive when empowered to decide when and where and how to work.

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Video: Why designers need to design for our ears too

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A subject too often ignored but about which we now have a great deal of research is that of acoustic comfort. Insight has covered the subject before, but the fact remains that too often we design for our eyes far more than our ears. What we also know to be true is that we are becoming more acutely aware of the issue as our workplaces change both in terms of the space each of us is allocated and our exposure to others in the name of collaboration. In this TED talk Julian Treasure of The Sound Agency considers how we might design our surrounding in ways to improve our acoustic comfort.

Renewed drive for equality in UK architecture

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RIBA

RIBA (The Royal Institute of British Architects) has restated its commitment to tackling inequality in architecture and the broader construction industry with the creation of a new diversity role. Jane Duncan, RIBA Vice President Practice and Profession has been appointed  RIBA Equality and Diversity Champion to lead a programme of renewed activity to investigate the current causes of inequality in the architecture profession and explore best practice with other occupations. Her appointment is aimed at giving senior support to the work already delivered through Architects for Change, the RIBA’s Equality and Diversity Forum. More →

Employee engagement proven to help retain staff

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iStock_000016736277Small

The more engaged an employee the less likely they are to be looking for a new job, personnel experts have confirmed. According to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) quarterly Employee Outlook survey, of the 38 per cent of employees who say they feel engaged, just 7 per cent are looking for a new job, compared with a survey average of 20 per cent. But in a record low for the survey just 35 per cent of employees report feeling engaged, with just 29 per cent of public sector staff actively engaged, 37 per cent in the private sector and 41 per cent in the voluntary sector. More →

Workers’ attitudes to data theft at odds with employers’

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data theft

Half of employees who left or lost their jobs in the last 12 months kept confidential corporate data, according to a global survey from Symantec and 40 percent plan to use it in their new jobs. The results show that employees’ attitudes and beliefs about intellectual property (IP) theft are at odds with the vast majority of company policies. Employees not only think it is acceptable to take and use IP when they leave, but also that companies don’t care. The survey reveals 62 percent believe it is acceptable to transfer documents to PCs, tablets, smartphones or file sharing applications and the majority never delete the data they’ve moved because they do not see any harm in keeping it.
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Video: A new kind of job market, or the commoditisation of work?

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At a TED talk delivered in London at the end of 2012, Wingham Rowan, project director of Slivers-of-Time, a ‘work marketplace’, says that websites such as his are thriving by bringing together what he terms ultra-flexible workers with employers to deliver short periods of work on specific tasks. The question is: whether this is a valuable tool in providing flexible work opportunities for appropriate people or the most advanced example we yet have of how labour is increasingly commoditised, casualised and disposable?

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