Throwing open the window to a new world of work

Throwing open the window to a new world of work

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An illustration of a frog, a key metaphor in Charles Handy's writing about the world of work While working at a Viennese Obstetric Clinic in the mid 1840s, a Hungarian physician named Ignaz Semmelweis noticed that mothers were far less likely to succumb to a potentially fatal infection called puerperal fever when the medical staff treating them washed their hands. When he started collecting data to confirm his insight, he found that hand washing reduced mortality rates from around 10 percent to as little as 1 percent. Although, his findings predated the germ theory of disease, which left him without an explanation, in 1847 he published a book in which he proposed that the link was so evident that in future staff should always wash their hands in chlorinated lime before treating patients, to protect them from infection.

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Drawing back the curtain on the new workplace

Drawing back the curtain on the new workplace

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It’s a shame that Rhymer Rigby’s piece in The Times on creativity at work is behind a paywall because it says something perfectly obvious and demonstrable about workplace creativity that more people should read. The gist is that a cult has grown up around creativity that should be subject to more scrutiny and we should stop thinking about all work as the potential outlet for the creative instincts of people who may not have any, may not work in a job that involves them or who may not want to express them during their shifts in the Amazon warehouse. More →

Uber Works may not be as good for workers as it is for businesses

Uber Works may not be as good for workers as it is for businesses

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<img src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/125519/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-advanced" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important; text-shadow: none !important" />Uber is still best known as a ride-hailing platform but it has been branching out into other industries. Food (Uber eats), electric scooters and bicycles (Jump), and now shift work with the launch of Uber Works. It is being trialled in Chicago, with plans to launch elsewhere soon, and enables casual workers such as cleaners, bar staff and warehouse workers to find work. More →

Smart cities must develop in surprising ways to meet new challenges

Smart cities must develop in surprising ways to meet new challenges

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Siemenstadt in Berlin is one of a new generation of smart citiesThe new generation of smart cities should embrace new technologies and fresh approaches to combat their growing list of challenges, claims a new report from ABI Research. In its new whitepaper, 5 Ways Smart Cities Are Getting Smarter (registration), ABI suggests that digital twins and urban modeling, resilient cities, circular cities, micro-mobility, and smart spaces as the five new urban strategy shifts that will make smart cities smarter in the new ways they need. More →

Infosys opens new digital innovation centre in Duesseldorf

Infosys opens new digital innovation centre in Duesseldorf

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Infosys has announced the opening of its new Digital Innovation Centre in D?sseldorf, Germany.The Centre has been created to help Infosys work more closely with its clients in the region in supporting their digital transformation journey, while focusing on next-generation business suites such as SAP HANA, as well as cloud based services, Internet of Things, 5G, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. More →

Cyber security remains a key tech priority for businesses

Cyber security remains a key tech priority for businesses

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cyber securityOrganisations are prioritising investment in cyber security to strengthen their defences against their perceptions of a growing threat, according to a new survey of its customers to gauge their technological priorities by Softcat. According to a BBC report, 55 percent of UK firms have experienced a cyber-attack in 2019, up 15 percent compared to last year, signifying a growing threat so their fears may be well-founded. Softcat’s survey claims that 83 percent of industries ranking cyber security as their biggest technology priority for the year ahead. More →

The best smart cities focus on people rather than technology

The best smart cities focus on people rather than technology

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The best smart cities such as Buenos Aires focus on peopleCities are fast becoming “smart”, and the impact on people’s lives can be immense. Singapore’s smart traffic cameras restrict traffic depending on volume, and ease the commute of thousands of passengers every day. In Kaunas, Lithuania, the cost of parking is automatically deducted from the bank accounts of drivers when they park their cars. In many cities, the timing of public buses is announced at each stop with almost perfect accuracy. And free WiFi is now accessible across entire cities, including Buenos Aires, Argentina (pictured) and Ramallah, Palestine. More →

HR leaders feel unprepared for the future of work

HR leaders feel unprepared for the future of work

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Gartner and the future of workOnly 9 percent of chief human resources officers (CHROs) agree that their organisation is prepared for the future of work, according to a new report from Gartner. The study ties in to Gartner Gartner ReimagineHR conference, which took place last week. It concludes that to address the needs of organisations and workers in the future, HR leaders must focus on five areas of work. It suggests that tackling the future of work should not mean looking at the various changing aspects of work, such as AI, the gig economy and the multigenerational workforce, in silos. Istead, HR leaders should focus on the big picture of what the future of work can and should look like in their organisation. More →

Four day week at Microsoft Japan boosts productivity by 40 percent

Four day week at Microsoft Japan boosts productivity by 40 percent

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Microsoft Surface Hub and the four day weekMicrosoft Japan has announced the results of its four day work week trial, and claims the move increased productivity by almost 40 percent. The trial of the four day week, named the “Work-Life Choice Challenge Summer 2019” saw around 2,300 employees given five successive Fridays off, with no reduction in salary and no days taken from annual leave. The project also included an offer of subsidised holidays and further education opportunities. Microsoft claims that the increase in productivity was largely attributable to shorter and more efficient meetings. More →

Escaping the gravity of the fixed times and places of work

Escaping the gravity of the fixed times and places of work

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The worst workplace related news story of 2019 is also one of the most widely reported. I’m not linking to it because I don’t want to give it any credibility, but it has been discharged into the ether by Fellowes along with a ‘behavioural futurist’ called William Higham. I will say only two things about it. Firstly, we flatly refused to publish a story about the damn thing and it’s a shame that the mainstream media couldn’t spot it for the utter drivel it is. The fact that they have picked up on it says something about the way such issues are covered in the press. That’s why you’re more likely to see a stress-related story about rats driving cars on the BBC than you are something meaningful. More →

Digitalisation hindered by lack of leadership

Digitalisation hindered by lack of leadership

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digitalisation held back by lack of leadershipDespite its importance in staying competitive and accelerating growth, business leaders are not seen as driving their company’s digital transformation, according to Mercer’s latest survey report, ‘Still transforming or already performing?. While 61 percent of UK HR leaders confirm that digitalisation is embedded in their company’s corporate strategy, only 3 out of 5 rate leadership as the main driver of transformation. More →

The workplace of the future and its tech must work for the good of society

The workplace of the future and its tech must work for the good of society

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