Workplace Insight https://workplaceinsight.net Tue, 10 Dec 2019 10:06:35 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.3 https://workplaceinsight.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/cropped-Insight_logo_only-3-144x144.jpg Workplace Insight https://workplaceinsight.net 32 32 Channel 4 confirms move to landmark Leeds building https://workplaceinsight.net/channel-4-confirms-move-to-landmark-leeds-building/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=channel-4-confirms-move-to-landmark-leeds-building Tue, 10 Dec 2019 10:06:10 +0000 https://workplaceinsight.net/?p=49933 One of the UK’s leading broadcasters has confirmed its deal with the Rushbond Group for its new national headquarters to be at The Majestic in Leeds city centre. The third, fourth and fifth floors of the building will become home to Channel 4, with teams from across the organisation coming together to operate out of […]

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One of the UK’s leading broadcasters has confirmed its deal with the Rushbond Group for its new national headquarters to be at The Majestic in Leeds city centre. The third, fourth and fifth floors of the building will become home to Channel 4, with teams from across the organisation coming together to operate out of the iconic building. The deal with Channel 4 leaves four floors remaining, from 8,000 sq ft to a total of 39,000 sq ft of workspace to be let to additional dynamic organisations.

The broadcasting heavyweight made a definitive announcement of its arrival in Leeds recently by erecting a banner covering the entire front façade of the building, as part of its tongue-in-cheek Channel 4 Complaints campaign.

Mark Finch, real estate director at Rushbond, said: “Leeds is now a vibrant, tech-driven city with a huge and growing pool of talent. The Majestic sits proudly at its heart, and the transformation of this well-loved landmark is creating a leading-edge workspace with unrivalled amenity, location and cache. Channel 4’s commitment to the building is a testament to the ambitious vision of the Leeds City Region, as well as the excitement and interest in the next chapter of the Majestic story. The building offers an unparalleled opportunity for those looking to Leeds as a viable source for business growth, innovation and creativity. To be alongside a stellar brand such as Channel 4, within a Leeds icon like The Majestic, is a rather special opportunity.”

Channel 4’s Chief Commercial Officer Jonathan Allan, who has overseen the relocation process for the broadcaster, said: “The Majestic is an iconic building which will put Channel 4 at the heart of the city. It’s a very impressive development, and the perfect location for Channel 4’s new national HQ. We’re really pleased to be part of the regeneration of such a famous Leeds landmark and I know the Channel 4 team is really looking forward to moving in when the refurbishment is finished.”

The Majestic first opened as a 2,400-seat cinema back in 1922, and has been redesigned and reconfigured to create 66,000 sq ft of future-focused office accommodation across seven floors.
The development is currently on-site, with construction due to complete in Spring 2020. Channel 4 is scheduled to move into the new building later that year.

The Majestic was designed by DLA Architecture and is being constructed by Sir Robert McAlpine.  Knight Frank and JLL are joint marketing agents acting on behalf of the Rushbond Group.

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Third of workers at small businesses are not happy with their jobs https://workplaceinsight.net/third-of-workers-at-small-businesses-are-not-happy-with-their-jobs/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=third-of-workers-at-small-businesses-are-not-happy-with-their-jobs Tue, 10 Dec 2019 09:18:17 +0000 https://workplaceinsight.net/?p=49929 Over a third of employees (39 percent) at small-to-medium sized (SMB) businesses in the UK are unhappy with their jobs and 36 percent believe their employer does too little to retain them, according to new research from People First, the HR solutions provider. Exploring the attitudes of 250 bosses and 250 employees across the UK, […]

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unhappy workersOver a third of employees (39 percent) at small-to-medium sized (SMB) businesses in the UK are unhappy with their jobs and 36 percent believe their employer does too little to retain them, according to new research from People First, the HR solutions provider. Exploring the attitudes of 250 bosses and 250 employees across the UK, the research found a major difference in outlook as more than eight-in-ten (86 percent) SMB bosses believe they have happy workforces. When asked to rate out of ten the scale of engagement among employees at their companies, 77 percent of these bosses said it was between eight and ten, with ten being the most content and engaged.

The research goes on to find that nearly three-quarters of SMB staff (74 percent) said that a salary increase would be the best way to retain them. While more than half of employees (52 percent) cited improved benefits would make them stay. Shockingly, only 36 percent of SMB bosses consider benefits to be ‘crucial’ to employees, whereas four-in-ten staff (40 percent) believe their benefits are too weak.

“It’s disappointing that we have such a gulf between employers and employees at smaller businesses where most people expect a closer bond and greater understanding between bosses and workers,” said Mark Williams, Senior Vice President Product, People First. “It’s time for these businesses to rethink how they engage with their employees to make their jobs more fulfilling and career plans better defined. Actions will speak louder than words.”

The research found another difference in outlook around career development. Only 35 percent of SMB bosses thought that clear career development opportunities were important to staff, despite more than a third of staff (36 percent) saying they were among the most critical aspects of their employee experience.

The report also reveals that while 93 percent of SMB bosses measure employee satisfaction, just 53 percent report on the feedback to the wider company, and only 73 percent claim to put it into action. Only 30 percent of employers think regular check-ins with management are good for the employee experience.

“The UK’s SMBs need to get a better idea of what employees want and how they see their futures,” added Williams. “But feedback must be put into practice. It’s all too easy for SMBs to use cobbled-together approaches. They must be more systematic, taking time to deploy the most effective and appropriate solutions to nurture employees throughout their time with a company.”

Image by StockSnap 

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Always on working culture in financial services sector driving staff to burnout https://workplaceinsight.net/always-on-working-culture-in-financial-services-sector-driving-staff-to-burnout/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=always-on-working-culture-in-financial-services-sector-driving-staff-to-burnout Tue, 10 Dec 2019 00:00:58 +0000 https://workplaceinsight.net/?p=49925 More than nine in ten banking and financial services professionals in the UK work beyond their contracted hours every week, according to a new survey — laying bare the extent of the City’s always on working culture. Almost half, or 47 percent, said that they do not leave the office or take a break at […]

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always on in the city of LondonMore than nine in ten banking and financial services professionals in the UK work beyond their contracted hours every week, according to a new survey — laying bare the extent of the City’s always on working culture. Almost half, or 47 percent, said that they do not leave the office or take a break at lunchtime, according to the survey by Morgan McKinley. The recruitment firm canvassed the views of around 480 finance workers in an informal poll to come to its conclusions.

Among the respondents, 31 percent said they feel it is expected of them to work overtime, with only eight percent stating that they receive compensation for extra hours worked. Twenty percent of financial services workers said they work beyond their contracted hours by 10 hours or more on a weekly basis in order to cope with their workloads. Nearly two thirds (62 percent) of employees claim they are available on mobile devices outside working hours. Workers said they check their emails first thing in the morning and stay online during their commute home and in the evening, typical signs of an always on culture.

“Employees often don’t take any kind of lunch break but feel obligated to work beyond their contracted hours,” said David Leithead, chief operations officer at Morgan McKinley UK. “When they finally leave the office, they feel they should be available on mobile devices. “This feeling of ‘not being able to down tools’ can negatively affect an employee’s well-being, causing mental burnout.”

Morgan McKinley said its respondents from the banking and financial services sectors work in fields covering accounting and finance, compliance, human resources, IT and risk management. Overall, eighty-one per cent of all those surveyed worked in London. The majority of the respondents were at mid-management level (42 percent), followed by operational or executive level (27 percent) and senior management (17 percent).

Image by Ana Gic

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Two-thirds of major world cities set for weaker growth as global slowdown bites https://workplaceinsight.net/two-thirds-of-major-world-cities-set-for-weaker-growth-as-global-slowdown-bites/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=two-thirds-of-major-world-cities-set-for-weaker-growth-as-global-slowdown-bites Mon, 09 Dec 2019 15:27:53 +0000 https://workplaceinsight.net/?p=49920 A new report from Oxford Economics (registration) predicts that the present slowdown in the global economy will persist into next year and it is already having a significant impact on growth in the world’s major cities and their prospects. Of the top 900 cities around the world, the report predicts that just under two-thirds, some […]

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Amsterdam is one of the citiesA new report from Oxford Economics (registration) predicts that the present slowdown in the global economy will persist into next year and it is already having a significant impact on growth in the world’s major cities and their prospects. Of the top 900 cities around the world, the report predicts that just under two-thirds, some 586, will experience slower growth in the period 2020-21 than they enjoyed during  the past five years – in some cases, very markedly slower, with growth rates of some key cities halved or more.

The effects on cities are felt across regions worldwide. The forecasts suggests that 76 of the top 98 North American cities will see slower GDP growth in 2020-21 than in 2015-19; 156 of the top 232 European cities will do so; and no less than 146 of the 150 mainland Chinese cities, as well as 122 of the 185 non-Chinese Asian cities. In Latin America the figure is 41 of 104 cities, while in the Middle East and Africa it is 45 out of 131 cities.

 

Marked city slowdowns to hit the US urban growth stars of West Coast and South

  • Some of the most marked slowdowns projected for major cities are in the US, which features three of the 10 largest slowdowns projected for the 900 major urban economies.  Notably, San Jose, the centre of Silicon Valley, is projected to see its growth rate in 2020-21 more than halve to a projected 3.3 percent, down from the buoyant 7.6 percent average annual pace of expansion over 2015-19.  Notable US slowdowns are also forecast in Austin-Round Rock in Texas, where growth is also expected to drop sharply to 2.5 percent in 2020-21 from the 5.7 percent pace in 2015-19, and in San Antonio-New Braunfels, with a slowdown there to 2.3 percent from 5.5 percent.
  • While US cities on the West Coast and in the South have generally been setting the pace in recent years, in the next two years the report forecasts that they will out-perform others by much smaller margins versus other US centres than seen in the past.
  • Nevertheless, San Francisco is still expected to remain the fastest growing of North America’s 10 largest cities over the 2020-21 period, with projected expansion of 2.4 percent, even if this will be sharply lower than the 5 percent rate from 2015-19.  And Dallas is not far behind in 2020-21, with forecast growth of 2.2 percent (down from 3.4 percent in 2015-19).
  • New York, of course, remains the biggest city in the US and worldwide, and notably its growth of 1.8 percent in 2020-21 is expected to match the rate seen over the 2015-2019 period. Its West Coast rival, Los Angeles, is expected, by contrast, to see growth slow by 0.9 percentage points over the next two years, to 2 percent, compared with the 2.9 percent rate of the previous five years.

 

In Europe, Berlin, Munich and Amsterdam to see sharply slower growth ? but London to see modest revival

  • In Europe, eastern European cities will continue to set the pace as they have for the last decade or more as lower costs than in Western Europe have attracted inward investment and therefore a partial catch-up in productivity.
  • Of the 10 largest European city economies by GDP, we expect the sharpest growth slowdowns in 2020-21 to be in Berlin, where growth is forecast at 1.6 percent, half the rate of the previous five years, and in Amsterdam, with growth also set to halve to 1.5 percent, from 3.1 percent.  Notably slower growth is also projected in Madrid (1.9 percent vs 3.2 percent), Munich (1.4 percent vs 2.6 percent), Istanbul (3.5 percent vs 4.6 percent) and Hamburg (1.0 percent vs 1.9 percent).
  • London, having seen its growth fall sharply in recent years, should now see a modest improvement in economic performance in the next two years, performing broadly in line with other major cities, where once it easily out-performed.
  • The beginning of London’s slowdown coincided with the UK’s decision to leave the EU, and Brexit has clearly created much uncertainty. But there have been other factors at work. London’s productivity growth pre-recession was particularly good compared to the capital cities of France, Spain and Germany, but since then has slowed into line; London’s financial services sector has been struggling for some time; and the business services sector has almost certainly been hit by the global trade slowdown discussed above. The latter has also affected some other European cities mentioned above, such as Hamburg and to some extent, Amsterdam. Among Europe’s largest cities, Paris is also projected to see only a modest slowdown, to 1.5 percent over 2020-21 from 1.8 percent in 2015-19.

 

 China’s slowdown to brake growth in its leading cities after past rapid expansion

  • In Asia, the cities growth story of the first decade of this century was dominated by Chinese cities, with the largest four metropolitan areas (Shenzhen, Beijing, Guangzhou and Shanghai) among many that grew by more than 10 percent a year.  However, once headlong growth rates in these major centres and in other Chinese cities are now slowing, as China’s economy cools.
  • Among the ten largest Asian cities by GDP, the report projects the largest slowdowns in the next two years to come in Chongqing, with growth set to fall to 6.0 percent from 8.7 percent in the prior five years and in Shenzhen, with 6.3 percent growth compared with 7.9 percent. Guangzhou will also slow sharply, to 6.1 percent in 2020-21 from 7.6 percent over 2015-19. Shanghai’s growth is set to slow to 5.9 percent from 6.7 percent, and Beijing’s to 6.1 percent from 6.7 percent.
  • In Asia outside of China, India’s cities continue to boom and set the pace for the fastest growing cities in the world, although none yet make the top 10 global cities ranked by GDP. Looking over the next 15 years, the authors expect the outperformance of Asian cities, on aggregate, to continue, such that by 2035, their total GDP will overtake that of European and North American cities combined.
  • A large part of this will be down to the growth of Chinese cities, which although slower than in the past, will still be strong enough to mean that their combined GDP will alone overtake that of North American cities by 2035. That said, the authors forecast overall growth in Indian cities to be stronger than their counterparts in China, partly due to stronger population growth. However, the GDP levels of Indian cities are generally much smaller than for Chinese cities, so India’s overall contribution to the Asian city aggregate will still be smaller in absolute terms than its neighbour’s.

 

Mexico facing sharpest major city slowdowns in Latin America but Brazilian cities to see resurgence

  • Problems (largely but not only political) will continue to dog several Latin American cities, with Caracas clearly the major LatAm city in greatest distress. Of the largest 10 Latin American cities by GDP, the biggest slowdown  the authors forecast is in  Monterrey in Mexico, with growth projected to drop to 1.8 percent from 3 percent. Mexico City is also set to slow sharply, to 1.8 percent in 2020-21 from 2.7 percent in the previous five years. Mexico has been very much affected by changing political relationships with the US, affecting trade, investments and flows of people. These are likely to have had the greatest impacts on cities close to the border, but also Mexico City.
  • Some LatAm cities dogged by economic woes are, however, set to see a rebound in light of stabilising conditions in their national economies. Although Caracas is still expected to see GDP falling by 0.7 percent a year, Rio de Janeiro is forecast to achieve average growth of 1.6 percent in 2020-21, against the average rate of just 0.7 percent in the previous five years, and Sao Paulo is projected to grow by 1.5 percent after a contraction averaging 1.7 percent a year in 2015-19.

 

Largest urban economies in 2035: six cities retain top-10 ranking, but Chinese giants displace US, Japanese rivals

  • The analysis also looks out to 2035 and what the authors project will be the largest cities in the world by that year. We forecast that of the 10 largest cities in the world today, six will still be in the top 10 by GDP in 2035. The top four of New York, Tokyo, Los Angeles, and London, will all retain their places. The new entrants will be four Chinese cities, all of which are currently in the top 20; Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou and Shenzhen. Those that will slip out of the top 10 by 2035 will be Osaka, San Francisco, Dallas and Washington—although all will stay within the top 16.

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Do emails outside of work hours breach employment law? https://workplaceinsight.net/do-emails-outside-of-work-hours-breach-employment-law/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=do-emails-outside-of-work-hours-breach-employment-law Mon, 09 Dec 2019 08:29:04 +0000 https://workplaceinsight.net/?p=49917 It is common for many employees to send, read and reply to work emails at all hours of the day and night, including weekends. This change in work culture developed in recent decades and has accelerated with the advent of smartphones. But is this a breach of employment law? The short answer is that “it […]

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<img src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/128408/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" />It is common for many employees to send, read and reply to work emails at all hours of the day and night, including weekends. This change in work culture developed in recent decades and has accelerated with the advent of smartphones. But is this a breach of employment law? The short answer is that “it depends” and we need some test cases to clarify the situation, not least in the UK. Some workplaces have a culture of long working hours and it can be difficult for an individual employee to go against it. The contract may refer to a 40-hour week but the reality may be very different. Smartphones and other digital devices have contributed to a culture of “digital presenteeism”.

Staff may feel that, if they don’t keep up with the always-on culture, their job may not be safe. It doesn’t help when senior people talk up their own commitment to long hours. Perhaps it made some workers at the University of Cambridge uncomfortable recently when Professor Mary Beard tweeted that she works 100 hours a week, for instance.

The employment relationship is contractual so, in principle, there is freedom to contract as both parties see fit. But many regulations limit this freedom, usually to redress a perceived imbalance in the bargaining power between employers and employees.

 

Working time

The EU Working Time Directive, introduced in 1993 and revised in 2003, specifies that an employee’s average weekly working time should not exceed 48 hours. It also contains requirements on daily rest periods, weekly rest periods and annual holidays. Member states can decide that aspects of the working time rules do not apply to workers who decide their own working hours.

The directive was grounded on principles of health and safety at work. It is obviously unsafe for workers, such as drivers or medical staff, to have long working hours, as they are more likely to make a mistake if they are tired. But long working hours are unsafe for all workers, as they may contribute to stress, burnout, fewer opportunities for exercise, poor diet and in some cases heart disease.

In the case of employees who work to a set schedule, perhaps with “clocking in and out” systems, it is relatively easy to check whether the 48-hour limit is being breached. Many employers do not keep records of hours worked by salaried employees, however.

In a recent case brought from Spain – Deutsche Bank (2019) – the European Court of Justice held that to satisfy the Working Time Directive, EU member states must require employers to set up an objective, reliable and accessible system so that each worker’s daily working hours can be measured. One implication might be that national laws would require employers to keep more detailed records, thus potentially drawing attention to after-hours time spent dealing with emails.

 

A right to disconnect?

The UK has a large population and so it might be expected that it would already have had a legal case regarding the out-of-hours emails issue, but there has not yet been one. An Irish case from 2018 on the issue has therefore received significant attention from British lawyers and could well influence cases brought within the UK.

Gráinne O’Hara was a business development executive for Kepak Convenience Foods and her employment contract stated that her working hours were 40 hours a week. She claimed that, in fact, she was working 60 hours a week, and produced sample emails regularly sent between 8pm and midnight. There was no system to record O’Hara’s hours of work.

It won’t be of much help to self-employed people and independent contractors, unfortunately, since the EU directive has no application to them

Kepak argued that O’Hara could comfortably have completed her work within 40 hours, but the labour court found that the company was aware that O’Hara was working excessive hours and did not take steps to prevent this. The Irish legislation that implements the EU directive states that an employer “shall not permit” excessive hours. As Kepak could not prove that O’Hara’s working hours were lawful, it was ordered to pay her compensation of €7,500 (£6,335).

It will be interesting to see if a test case will now be brought in the UK concerning similar circumstances. One key difference in UK law is that individual employees may opt out of the 48-hour maximum working week, except for certain professions, such as pilots, sailors and delivery drivers. But this must be done in writing and the employee must not suffer any disadvantage if they do not opt out.

France is another country that is ahead of the game on work emails. France introduced an innovative “right to disconnect” law in 2017. The law encourages employers to reach “agreements with their employees regarding mechanisms for regulating the use of digital tools, with a view to ensuring respect for rest periods and leave as well as personal and family life.” Agreements will, of course, take account of the different work environments and business models.

There is no suggestion that all employees in France can disconnect at evenings and weekends, since obviously many workplaces need people to make decisions outside standard working times. Yet the law is not without teeth. An employee referred to as “Mr Y” has already received €60,000 in compensation for breach of this law by the French subsidiary of Rentokil Initial. Y was required to have his phone switched on and be available to answer calls 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

This is an area of law that is sure to evolve and be clarified as more test cases emerge. In the meantime, employers and employees should be aware of these emerging principles. It won’t be of much help to self-employed people and independent contractors, unfortunately, since the EU directive has no application to them. And of course, with Brexit on the horizon, it’s always possible that the UK will eventually decide to weaken or repeal its working time laws altogether.

This first appeared on The Conversation 

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Listening in on an enormous conversation about the workplace https://workplaceinsight.net/listening-in-on-an-enormous-conversation-about-the-workplace/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=listening-in-on-an-enormous-conversation-about-the-workplace Fri, 06 Dec 2019 09:04:28 +0000 https://workplaceinsight.net/?p=49908 One of the best tricks Clive James ever pulled was finding acceptance as a public intellectual in the UK. It’s not easy in a country in which it is possible to be too clever by half or even too clever for your own good. Stephen Fry continues to pull it off as does Mary Beard, […]

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One of the best tricks Clive James ever pulled was finding acceptance as a public intellectual in the UK. It’s not easy in a country in which it is possible to be too clever by half or even too clever for your own good. Stephen Fry continues to pull it off as does Mary Beard, but it’s a hell of a thing to achieve. In the UK at least it seems to rely on straddling at least two worlds.

Clive James achieved it by embracing television and newspapers, never talking down to people (as Richard Dawkins is prone to do, for example) and dealing with popular culture as readily as high art. This is what introduced him to the general public in the 1980s, and it also opened a gateway to his other work. I knew him first from his chat shows and travelogues but that led me to read things of his that went over my head at the time and also what I think is his greatest work, a book called Cultural Amnesia.

The book is a series of essays on people who shaped the world in the 20th Century and includes some obvious names like Hitler, Trotsky, Wittgenstein, Thatcher and Kafka along with a slew of others less familiar.

The book is breath-taking in its scope and depth, moving, inspiring and terrifying and the obvious product of a superior intellect. Underlying each essay is the premise that we are prone to forget a great deal that we have already learned, including genuinely terrible things, and that we should never forget how complex, vast and unknowable the world is.

As he wrote:

I have always loved the title of Milan Kundera’s The Book of Laughter and Forgetting. I hope this is a book of laughter, at least in places. But it is everywhere a book of forgetting. I am not urging young people to follow me on the path to a success. I am showing them the way to a necessary failure: the grim but edifying realization that a complete picture of reality is not to be had. If we realize that, we can begin to be realistic. Thinking otherwise, we doom ourselves to spinning fantasies, which might well be fluent, but could equally be lethal. Stalin and Hitler both thought that they could see the whole picture, and look what happened. WHATEVER WE SAY, it is bound to be dependent on what has been said before. In this book can be heard the merest outside edge of an enormous conversation.

 

Not knowing

I have written before about how bad or simplistic ideas can be laundered into mainstream acceptance and also how we are prone to forget the way that the conversations we have about the workplace have been shaped by the likes of Frank Duffy, Charles Handy and Eric Trist.

But Clive James presents us with another challenge. In Cultural Amnesia he confronts us with reminders of what we should have already learned, but also how this forgetfulness coupled with our yearning for pat solutions can lead us down unwise and even dangerous paths. I don’t need to spell this out.

We don’t know everything and the world is unknowable anyway

The same forces can be at play in more parochial domains of human existence, including the design and management of the workplace. In this domain it manifests itself in new certainties, about how we can actually see the whole picture and know that there are simple solutions to them, and sometimes only one.

We see it in the backlash against open plan and the daft conclusion that the only alternative to it is isolation. We see it in the perennially reanimated idea that the office is dead because we can work from home instead. It’s there in the obsession with making people happy at work, rather than making their work meaningful. It’s absolutely there in the way we bag people up in arbitrary demographic groupings and then dance around the bags, beating them with sticks. And it’s absolutely there in the way ideas are co-opted for commercial causes and stripped of meaning.

But the world isn’t really like all of that and neither are we. We don’t know everything and the world is unknowable anyway. We are filter feeders stuck to the seabed, grasping at whatever specks of information float past within our reach on currents in the ocean of knowledge.

These are not new ideas, but we are still prone to forget them. Most of all we need to constantly remind ourselves that whatever we learn or understand about any topic is merely the ‘outside edge of an enormous conversation’ and one that we cannot hope to understand completely, even though we are free to listen in and join it.

Image: Nick Hobgood

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Age discrimination now begins for tech workers at 29 https://workplaceinsight.net/age-discrimination-now-begins-for-tech-workers-at-29/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=age-discrimination-now-begins-for-tech-workers-at-29 Fri, 06 Dec 2019 00:03:10 +0000 https://workplaceinsight.net/?p=49904 A new study from tech recruiter CWJobs claims to identify what it calls the ‘staggering level’ of ageism that IT and tech workers face at work. From seemingly innocuous comments to being overlooked for promotion in favour of younger colleagues, a worrying number of the UK’s tech-sector employees are facing daily hurdles to prove they’re […]

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A new study from tech recruiter CWJobs claims to identify what it calls the ‘staggering level’ of ageism that IT and tech workers face at work. From seemingly innocuous comments to being overlooked for promotion in favour of younger colleagues, a worrying number of the UK’s tech-sector employees are facing daily hurdles to prove they’re not yet a career ‘dinosaur’. Well over a third (41 percent) of IT and tech-sector workers said they have observed age discrimination in the workplace, compared to 27 percent average across other UK industries.  It’s no surprise then that 61 percent of workers in the sector answered ‘yes’ when asked if, in the tech industry employees experience prejudice when considered to be older, the highest of any UK sector.

Extraordinarily, today’s survey reveals that those employed in IT and tech are venerable to start experiencing age discrimination over a decade earlier than the national industry average. On average, UK IT and Tech sector employees start experiencing ageism at the age of twenty-nine and are prematurely considered ‘too old’ for their industry by thirty-eight. 36 percent of tech workers told CWJobs that someone has implied their career is likely to be negatively impacted by their increasing age.

In fact, despite the UK’s ageing population, 40 percent of the workforce say they feel old when compared to their co-workers. This rises to well over half (57 percent) amongst workers. Tech workers also begin to feel older at a much younger age. On average UK workers say they start to feel their years at 47, still a relatively young age.

However, in tech, a worker’s vintage matures a decade earlier at 37 years old, the youngest across any UK industry.  The most common forms of age-based discrimination include not being offered a job (47 percent), being overlooked for a promotion (31 percent) and excluded from social activities (28 percent).

 

Common prejudices

Of the many insults levied against IT and tech workers, the most frequently used are ‘Old Git’ (58 percent) ‘Old Fart’ (61 percent) and ‘Dinosaur’ (56 percent). 53 percent say they have heard the phrase ‘coffin dodger’. Another 60 percent have heard it said that ‘Old people don’t understand technology’. Across all industries, male workers were in fact the most likely to be on the receiving end of ageist insults.  This is in spite of the fact that the current average age of a digital tech employee in the UK is currently 35, so just what is going wrong?

Despite the prevalence of ageism across UK industries, the majority, two-thirds (64 percent) don’t report it. The main reason for not doing so being a desire on the part of the employee to ‘not to cause a fuss’ (33 percent).

Age shouldn’t be a barrier to people finding the right job, or employers finding the right candidate

Another issue for workers lies the lack of industry awareness that ageism is, in fact, illegal. Even though over three-quarters (77 percent) of workers in the UK are aware of the illegality of discrimination based on age; this drops by more than a third (to less than half at 47 percent) for victims of ageism in the tech industry.

The consequences of this can be dire and definitive. Across all industries 76 percent who have experienced ageism say that it has had a negative impact on their mental health, leaving many feeling stressed (31 percent) and demotivated (28 percent) in their current roles. Technology workers who have experienced ageism are much more likely to have been excluded from benefits (39 percent), as well as struggling to make friends (30 percent). Half (51 percent) choose to simply cut their losses and leave their job because of age discrimination.

‘‘Age shouldn’t be a barrier to people finding the right job, or employers finding the right candidate,” said Patrick Thomson, Senior Programme Manager, Centre for Ageing Better. “These new figures show the shocking prevalence of ageism in the tech industry, where both workers and employers are being damaged by these outdated attitudes. Sadly, we know that these prejudices are all too common across our society. More people say they experience ageism than any other form of discrimination. And this hits older workers hard, with a third of over-50s believing that they have been turned down for a job because of their age.

“People in their 50s and 60s are making up an increasing proportion of the workforce, with many fewer younger candidates, so employers will lose out if they don’t tackle ageism within their organisations. In order to make the most of the skills and talents of the over-50s, employers need to hire age-positively, offer flexible working to suit those with caring responsibilities or health issues, and take a zero-tolerance approach to the kinds of everyday ageism these figures from CWJobs highlight. ’’

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Employers still not fully embracing flexible working https://workplaceinsight.net/employers-still-not-fully-embracing-flexible-working/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=employers-still-not-fully-embracing-flexible-working Fri, 06 Dec 2019 00:01:33 +0000 https://workplaceinsight.net/?p=49901 Employers aren’t doing enough to help their employees to work flexibly, according to a survey by Tiger Recruitment, which has found that a third of UK workers questioned (32 percent) aren’t happy with the flexible working options available to them. The study of over 2,000 employees claims that only a third have the option of […]

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flexible workingEmployers aren’t doing enough to help their employees to work flexibly, according to a survey by Tiger Recruitment, which has found that a third of UK workers questioned (32 percent) aren’t happy with the flexible working options available to them. The study of over 2,000 employees claims that only a third have the option of home or remote working – a seven percentage point drop since last year – while only one in five (22 percent) are offered the option of flexi-time, and even fewer have access to informal flexibility (19 percent) or the opportunity to go part-time (18 percent).

The findings also indicate that flexible working isn’t being offered fairly across genders, with women more likely to have access to home or remote working (36 percent vs. 17 percent), informal flexibility (21 percent vs. 13 percent) and part-time working (20 percent vs. 11 percent), than their male colleagues.

Encouraging new ways of working has been on the Government agenda for a number of years, with initiatives such as the 2014 Flexible Working Regulations, which gave all employees the right to request flexibility in the times and places of work, and more recently, the launch of The Flexible Working Taskforce, which is attempting to increase uptake.

The report cites studies that have shown the numerous benefits of offering flexibility to employees, including increased engagement, motivation, productivity and loyalty, as well as improved wellbeing and reduced time off sick. Such options can also aid organisations in attracting talent, with over two thirds of employees (68 percent) saying that work-life balance, including flexible working, was important in attracting them to their current role.

“Despite numerous initiatives to show the value of flexible working for both employers and employees, it’s disappointing that so many workplaces are still struggling to embrace flexibility,” comments David Morel, CEO, Tiger Recruitment. “Flexible working shouldn’t be seen as an inconvenience, as a benefit that is only open to women, or just relevant to parents, but as something that can help all employees to boost their wellbeing and job satisfaction. Happy employees are engaged employees, and engagement boosts productivity, so it really is a win-win for all involved.”

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