Migration of flexible offices to contribute £12 billion to local economies

Migration of flexible offices to contribute £12 billion to local economies

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flexible offices in BirminghamThe increasing migration of flexible offices to the outskirts of major UK cities is creating a ‘flex economy’ that could contribute more than £12 billion to local economies in the next decade. That’s according to the first comprehensive socio-economic study of second-city and suburban workspaces. The analysis, conducted by economists on behalf of Regus, claims that as Brexit uncertainty continues to impact the economic landscape, individual flexible workspaces in suburban areas could be a welcome lifeline for local economies.

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UK industries leading global charge for AI investment, study claims

UK industries leading global charge for AI investment, study claims

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AI eyeA new study claims that the UK is at the forefront of a global drive for Artificial Intelligence investment, with a near universal 99 percent of UK respondents planning to invest in AI, versus 80 percent in North America, and 83 percent in mainland Europe. The report from IFS (registration) sets out to explore the perception and adoption of AI  within core industries worldwide. It polled the views of 600 decision makers working with technology and suggests that AI  will predominantly be used to make existing workers more productive (60 percent) and add value to products and services (48 percent).

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One in five businesses plan to drop contractors because of IR35

One in five businesses plan to drop contractors because of IR35

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Companies are in danger of losing top talent due to lack of flexible working and IR35A fifth of of UK businesses say they are planning to axe contractors completely to ensure they are fully tax compliant ahead of the IR35 changes planned for next year, according to a survey from recruitment Harvey Nash. The 2019 Harvey Nash IR35 Sentiment Survey (registration) of 1,200 businesses and contractors claims to reveal the confusion that still reigns around IR35 legislation among both contractors and the businesses that rely on them. The findings suggest that 83 percent) of businesses believe IR35 will impact negatively on their industry. Meanwhile 60 percent of contractors say they have experienced increased anxiety, stressing or worrying about how the new rules will affect them. More →

Women may be struggling to climb career ladder because of their beliefs about competition

Women may be struggling to climb career ladder because of their beliefs about competition

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Women might be less likely than men to go for opportunities in competitive workplaces because they don’t see as much of an upside to competition as men do, research by UCL School of Management and London Business School reveals. Women are on average less competitive than men. This gender difference has been explained largely by external factors such as the different evolutionary and social pressures men and women experience. Extending our current understanding of the gender difference in competitiveness, Dr. Sun Young Lee and Dr. Selin Kesebir reveal beliefs about competition as one source of the gender differences in competitive attitudes and behaviours. More →

Strongest year ever for the number of women on FTSE 100 boards

Strongest year ever for the number of women on FTSE 100 boards

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The latest Hampton-Alexander report shows that women now hold 32.4 percent of all FTSE 100 board positions, up from 30.2 percent last year and up from only 12.5 percent in 2011. The FTSE 100 is very close to meeting the 33 percent target for Women on Boards and will do so ahead of the 2020 deadline. The report also shows that women hold 29.6 percent of all FTSE 250 board positions, up from 24.9 percent last year and only 7.8 percent in 2011. The FTSE 250 has had its strongest year yet and if the same rate of progress continues next year, the FTSE 350 will be on track to meet the 33 percent target by the end of 2020 deadline. More →

Global warming is already having a widespread economic impact

Global warming is already having a widespread economic impact

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global warmingThe impact of global warming is rarely included in standard macroeconomic forecasts, even over 20-30 year time horizons. This partly reflects the perception that the economic effects of global warming are unlikely to become significant until the second half of this century and even then, will cost no more than a few percentage points of world GDP.

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Remote working has mixed effect on wellbeing, stress and productivity

Remote working has mixed effect on wellbeing, stress and productivity

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remote working and wellbeingNuffield Health has released a review of remote working and its impact it on companies and their staff. According to The effects of remote working on stress, wellbeing and productivity (registration), while remote and flexible work help people deal with the conflicting demands of their lives, the evidence is unclear on how they affect productivity, stress and wellbeing. More →

Flexible working does not reduce levels of overwork

Flexible working does not reduce levels of overwork

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UK employees are having to work harder to pay the bills, with the vast majority (91 percent) working beyond their contracted hours on a weekly basis and almost half (43 percent) not leaving the office or taking a break at lunchtime according to an analysis of Morgan McKinley’s Working Hours and Flexibility reports. And the growing practice of flexible working appears to be having no impact on the overworking culture.

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Oxford and Reading are best cities in which to live and work in the UK

Oxford and Reading are best cities in which to live and work in the UK

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best citiesOxford has been recognised as the top performing city in the UK to live and work for the fourth year in a row in a nationwide study carried out by PwC. The city has emerged ahead of Reading thanks to work-life balance, income, transport and skills with Bradford being crowned as the most improved city. Published today (12 November 2019), the annual Demos-PwC Good Growth for Cities 2019 sets out to show there’s more to economic well-being than just measuring GDP. The index measures the performance of 42 of the UK’s largest cities, England’s Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) and ten Combined Authorities, against a basket of ten factors which the public think are most important when it comes to economic well being. These include jobs, health, income and skills, as well as work-life balance, house-affordability, travel-to-work times, income equality, environment and  business start-ups. More →

The future of public services will be built on engagement with AI

The future of public services will be built on engagement with AI

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RSA AI reportA new report from the RSA, Democratising Decisions About Technology, considers how citizens can have agency over new technologies, such as AI, which are entering their workplaces, homes and lives. This report reveals  the desire and capability of ordinary citizens to engage with sometimes complex technology-related questions, and presents a toolkit for organisations looking to engage ordinary people on AI. The NHS, criminal justice system and employers will face a backlash against ‘tech creep’ unless they commit to ensure a role for citizens in designing and deploying tech, the report warns.  More →

IPSE launches manifesto for the self-employed

IPSE launches manifesto for the self-employed

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a self-employed man sits at a computerIPSE (the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed) has launched #5millionvotes, a manifesto for the 2019 General Election. The manifesto claims to highlight the size and influence of the self-employed sector in the election, as well as outlining the policies parties should adopt to secure the support of freelancers. The number of self-employed has grown enormously in the last ten years to almost 5 million. They are now 15 per cent of the workforce – almost as much as the entire public sector. Collectively, they contribute £305bn to the economy every year, which is enough to fund the NHS twice over. More →

Brexit uncertainty yet to affect UK jobs market

Brexit uncertainty yet to affect UK jobs market

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BrexitMore news on the patchy effects of Brexit on the UK economy comes in the latest Labour Market Outlook from the CIPD. The report claims that Brexit uncertainty has yet to take its toll on employers’ hiring expectations, with both public and private sector employers expecting staff numbers to increase in the final quarter of 2019. There has been a surge of confidence among public sector employers on increasing both pay and staff numbers in the next quarter. Although still positive, private sector pay award expectations have decreased, narrowing the gap between the public and private sector. The forward-looking indicator surveyed 1,016 UK employers in September 2019 on their recruitment, redundancy and pay intentions. More →

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