Workplace Insight https://workplaceinsight.net Fri, 24 Jan 2020 09:18:05 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 https://workplaceinsight.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/cropped-Insight_logo_only-3-144x144.jpg Workplace Insight https://workplaceinsight.net 32 32 Workplace culture can eat strategy for breakfast https://workplaceinsight.net/workplace-culture-can-eat-strategy-for-breakfast/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=workplace-culture-can-eat-strategy-for-breakfast Fri, 24 Jan 2020 08:18:21 +0000 https://workplaceinsight.net/?p=50555

It was management consultant and author Peter Drucker who coined the well-worn maxim that “culture eats strategy for breakfast”. But often it is used in the wrong way. Far from suggesting that culture alone dictates workplace function, he presented culture as a first among equals. A strategy that does not heed culture is more likely […]

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It was management consultant and author Peter Drucker who coined the well-worn maxim that “culture eats strategy for breakfast”. But often it is used in the wrong way. Far from suggesting that culture alone dictates workplace function, he presented culture as a first among equals. A strategy that does not heed culture is more likely to fail. A culture without strategy is prone to go adrift. It is vital for an organisation to be aware of its own culture and subcultures. Without self-awareness, the steps to improve or nuture those within the organisation will be futile.

In turn, a good workplace culture helps attract and retain the best talent and ensures a common sense of purpose among employees and stakeholders. An 11-year analysis of US firms by real estate consultancy JLL, suggests that companies which actively develop their culture and engage staff enjoy 516 per cent higher revenues and 755 per cent higher profits. Thus, culture can make a huge difference to an organisation.

There are four central steps towards creating an effective workplace culture: understanding your own culture, hiring people who fit both the role and the culture, having a clear identity and common sense of purpose, and allowing everyone to contribute ideas. Of these four, the most difficult for many organisations is often the first; understanding an organisation’s current culture and how to improve it is a highly complex task. There are several models that have been proposed by management experts to represent different common workplace cultures. The management consultant, Charles Handy names his suggested models after gods in the Ancient Greek pantheon, reflecting the fact that multiple cultures can exist within an organisation – the subcultures of teams and departments being an example – but that one may dominate.

 

The physical workplace and culture

The physical workplace can be as varied as its workforce and research suggests that aligning the two has significant benefits. Working in the right sort of proximity to other people improves interpersonal relationships and often leads to people mirroring the attitudes of those around them, helping to create a better cultural alignment within the workforce. A study from researchers at Cornell and Stanford Universities, in partnership with Yahoo, found that people tend to align their communication habits on the basis of their proximity and cultural connection to other people.

This demands that organisations take account of their workplace, actively improving it with culture  in mind. While traditional workplace specification relied on a straightforward approach which depicted an internal hierarchy, modern workplaces are spaces designed to enhance the work within. Of course, culture cannot be imposed by design, but the look and layout of an office can reflect, convey and facilitate culture. Ideally, each of the elements of a specific organisational culture should be discernible in the design of its office.

 

What makes an ideal workplace?

Much like the models of workplace culture, there are a number of ways of categorising and planning workplace structure. A publication from Adrian Leaman and Bill Bordass suggested ‘six killer variables of productivity’ to focus on, while Neil Usher sets out 12 elements of a fantastic workplace. Perhaps one of the simplest and more flexible ideas was developed by Robert Quinn and John Rohrbaugh, who created a matrix on two axes, that are closely aligned with workplace design: the degree of structure and place of focus. This yields four central categories of culture defined largely by workplace.

The categories – controlled, competitive, collaborative, and creative – describe recognisable workplace cultures in varied sectors. Technical operations often have ‘controlled’ workplaces, with an internal focus on performing operations and a highly regulated hierarchy. Competitive workplaces are also hierarchical but have a more external focus on being the best in class and are often the home of sales teams. An internal focus with a flat, more flexible organisation is the features of collaborative workplaces such as those of not-for-profit organisations. Finally, creative workplaces such as advertising agencies tend to have both a flatter structure and an external focus.

 

Ringing in the new

The traditional hierarchical approaches to workplace strategy are becoming less popular, in favour of a workplace design aligned with company culture. The design of co-working spaces is beginning to influence more corporate environments. There is a shift away from approaching an office as simply a product towards looking at an office as a service – where space and service are consumed flexibly – or an experience where an office adds value to the organisation. With fewer restrictions and more creativity, the workplace is rapidly becoming a tool for creating a better business and the interconnections between design and culture are forefront to this progress.

All of these issues are explored in our new white paper on the subject of workplace culture, which you can find here.

Image: Marie-Lan Nguyen

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Changing world of work yet to reshape expectations of young people https://workplaceinsight.net/changing-world-of-work-yet-to-reshape-expectations-of-young-people/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=changing-world-of-work-yet-to-reshape-expectations-of-young-people Fri, 24 Jan 2020 03:07:40 +0000 https://workplaceinsight.net/?p=50562

Huge changes to the world of work over the past two decades have made little impact on teenagers’ career expectations, which have become more concentrated in fewer occupations, according to a new OECD report. Dream jobs: Teenagers’ career aspirations and the future of work says 47 percent of boys and 53  percent of girls surveyed […]

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Huge changes to the world of work over the past two decades have made little impact on teenagers’ career expectations, which have become more concentrated in fewer occupations, according to a new OECD report. Dream jobs: Teenagers’ career aspirations and the future of work says 47 percent of boys and 53  percent of girls surveyed in 41 countries expect to work in one of just 10 popular jobs by age of 30. The figures, based on the latest PISA survey of 15-year-olds released last month, reveal a narrowing of expectations as these shares increased by eight percentage points for boys and four percentage points for girls since the 2000 PISA survey.

The report says the narrowing of job choices is driven by young people from more disadvantaged backgrounds and by those who were weaker performers in the PISA tests in reading, mathematics and science. Traditional 20th century and even 19th century occupations such as doctors, teachers, veterinarians, business managers, engineers and police officers continue to capture the imaginations of young people as they did nearly 20 years ago, before the era of social media and the acceleration of technologies such as artificial intelligence in the workplace.

It is a concern that more young people than before appear to be picking their dream job from a small list of the most popular, traditional occupations

Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, where the findings were discussed by educationists, business leaders, teachers and school students, OECD Education Director Andreas Schleicher said: “It is a concern that more young people than before appear to be picking their dream job from a small list of the most popular, traditional occupations, like teachers, lawyers or business managers. The surveys show that too many teenagers are ignoring or are unaware of new types of jobs that are emerging, particularly as a result of digitalisation”.

The report finds a broader range of career aspirations in countries with strong, established vocational training for teenagers. In Germany and Switzerland, for instance, fewer than four in ten young people express an interest in just 10 jobs. In Indonesia, on the other hand 52 percent of girls and 42 percent of boys anticipate one of just three careers –business managers, teachers and, among girls, doctors or, among boys, the armed forces. German teenagers show a much wider range of career interests, which better reflect actual patterns of labour market demand.

Gender continues to exert a strong influence. Among students who score highly in the PISA tests, it is overwhelmingly boys who more often expect to work in science and engineering. The data also shows that high achievers do not always aim to their potential. High-performing young people from the most disadvantaged backgrounds are, on average, four time less likely to hold ambitious aspirations than those with high PISA scores from the most privileged social backgrounds.

The report also points to the frequent misalignment of young people’s career aspirations with the education and qualifications required to achieve them. Addressing this challenge requires ensuring effective systems of career guidance combined with a close engagement with the working world.

The report points to the importance of social and family backgrounds in young people’s career choices and aspirations as well as to the need for clear signals of the requirements of the labour market.

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AI to do two-thirds of managers’ routine work by 2024 https://workplaceinsight.net/ai-to-do-two-thirds-of-managers-routine-work-by-2024/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=ai-to-do-two-thirds-of-managers-routine-work-by-2024 Fri, 24 Jan 2020 00:20:47 +0000 https://workplaceinsight.net/?p=50537

Artificial intelligence (AI) and emerging technologies such as virtual personal assistants and chatbots will replace 69 percent of managers’ workload by 2024, Gartner, Inc. has predicted. As well as taking over routine tasks, AI will also make work more accessible for employees with disabilities, a new report from the research and advisory company claims (registration […]

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AIArtificial intelligence (AI) and emerging technologies such as virtual personal assistants and chatbots will replace 69 percent of managers’ workload by 2024, Gartner, Inc. has predicted. As well as taking over routine tasks, AI will also make work more accessible for employees with disabilities, a new report from the research and advisory company claims (registration required).

“The role of manager will see a complete overhaul in the next four years,” said Helen Poitevin, research vice-president at Gartner. “Currently, managers often need to spend time filling in forms, updating information and approving workflows. By using AI to automate these tasks, they can spend less time managing transactions and can invest more time in learning, performance management and goal setting.”

AI to foster workplace diversity

With nearly 75 percent of recruitment chiefs reporting that talent shortages will have a major effect on their organisations, Gartner says organisations need to consider people with disabilities, who form an untapped talent pool. It estimates that organisations employing people with disabilities have 89 percent higher retention rates, a 72 percent increase in employee productivity and a 29 percent increase in profitability.

Today, AI and other emerging technologies are making work more accessible for employees with disabilities, the report says. By 2023, it expects the number of people with disabilities in employment will triple, due to AI and emerging technologies reducing barriers to access.

“Some organisations are successfully using AI to make work accessible for those with special needs,” said Ms Poitevin. “Restaurants are piloting AI robotics technology that enables paralysed employees to control robotic waiters remotely. With technologies like braille readers and virtual reality, organisations are more open to opportunities to employ a diverse workforce.”

By 2022, Gartner predicts that organisations that do not employ people with disabilities will fall behind their competitors.

Image by Gerd Altmann

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Most executives lack skills to lead in digital economy https://workplaceinsight.net/most-executives-lack-skills-to-lead-in-digital-economy/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=most-executives-lack-skills-to-lead-in-digital-economy Fri, 24 Jan 2020 00:15:36 +0000 https://workplaceinsight.net/?p=50530

Most executives around the world are out of touch with what it takes to lead effectively and for their businesses to stay competitive in the digital economy, a new study has claimed. Out of nearly 4,400 executives in over 120 countries surveyed by MIT Sloan Management Review (MIT SMR) and Cognizant, only 9 percent agreed […]

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digital skillsMost executives around the world are out of touch with what it takes to lead effectively and for their businesses to stay competitive in the digital economy, a new study has claimed. Out of nearly 4,400 executives in over 120 countries surveyed by MIT Sloan Management Review (MIT SMR) and Cognizant, only 9 percent agreed that their organisation has the skills at the top to thrive in the digital economy.

According to the survey:

  • Only 12 percent of respondents strongly agreed their own business leaders have the right mindsets to lead them forward.
  • Only 13 percent strongly agreed their organisations are prepared to compete in increasingly digitally driven markets and economies.
  • A large majority, 71 percent, of respondents believe that they are personally prepared to lead in the digital economy. However, the same group scores significantly lower when asked whether they possess specific digital skills, such as using data analytics to influence their decision-making (55 percent) or recommending the use of machine learning technologies (50 percent).
  • Just 40 percent believe that their organisations are taking the necessary steps to build robust digital leader pipelines.

“A generation of leaders in large companies are out of sync, out of tune and out of touch with their workforces, markets and competitive landscapes. What got them to their current exalted status won’t be effective much longer — unless they take swift action,” said Benjamin Pring, report co-author and director of the Center for the Future of Work for Cognizant. “Allowing unprepared senior executives with outdated skills and attitudes to stick around forces next-generation, high-potential leaders to move on to new pastures, which harms morale and ultimately shifts the organisation further away from where market demand is heading.”

A generation of leaders in large companies are out of sync, out of tune and out of touch with their workforces, markets and competitive landscapes.

 

Leaders must learn new behaviours and mindsets

The study’s authors have identified three categories of leadership behaviours, which they term the 3Es:

  • Eroding behaviours: these are antiquated leadership patterns such as relying on hierarchy for influence, command-and-control decision-making and rigid strategic planning.
  • Enduring behaviours: these are evergreen and time-tested leadership attributes and behaviours including ethics, trust, and integrity.
  • Emerging behaviours: these include digital savviness and collaboration skills.

The enduring and emerging behaviours are, they say, essential elements of successful leadership in the digital economy. According to Carol Cohen, report co-author and senior vice president, global head of talent management and leadership at Cognizant: “A key to success is artfully introducing new leadership approaches that particularly appeal to a new generation of employees while at the same time honouring the time-tested behaviours and attributes that inspire trust, build a sense of community and motivate employees to improve performance.”

To solve the challenges of the digital economy, the authors say that leaders must also cultivate new mindsets. They believe the following four attitudes constitute the hallmarks of leadership in the digital economy:

  • Producer mindset: this combines a focus on customers with a focus on analytics, digital savviness, execution and outcomes.
  • Investor mindset: this is about pursuing a higher purpose than shareholder returns.
  • Connector mindset: this demonstrates a mastery of relationships, partnerships and networks to drive organisational effectiveness.
  • Explorer mindset: the authors say explorers are curious, creative and operate well in ambiguous situations. They engage in continuous experimentation, encourage failure and learn by listening to a variety of voices.

Image by Nattanan Kanchanaprat

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Time-poor workers put off health checks https://workplaceinsight.net/time-poor-workers-put-off-health-checks/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=time-poor-workers-put-off-health-checks Fri, 24 Jan 2020 00:05:13 +0000 https://workplaceinsight.net/?p=50547

Four in 10 workers around the world are concerned about their health but don’t want to go to the doctor, a new research report has claimed. Although 40% of workers said they are worried about their long-term health, the same number hadn’t had a health check in the last year and most have no idea […]

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healthFour in 10 workers around the world are concerned about their health but don’t want to go to the doctor, a new research report has claimed. Although 40% of workers said they are worried about their long-term health, the same number hadn’t had a health check in the last year and most have no idea about basic indicators such as what their cholesterol level or body fat is. Inflexible and long working hours are compounding the problem, the report by Aetna International suggested, as employees feel unable to take time off to manage their health.

The findings were revealed in a report, “How organisations can overcome employee health inertia”, which explores the attitudes to health of 4,000 office workers in the US, UK, UAE and Singapore. Some 40 percent of those surveyed revealed they don’t go to the doctor to get health issues checked, even if they are concerned, and nearly a quarter said they are too scared to get a check-up.

To compound this, very few know basic indicators of their own health such as what their cholesterol level is (known by 33 percent) or their body fat percentage (known by 29 percent). A lower proportion of employees in the UK and US know what their blood pressure, cholesterol or body mass index (BMI) are than their counterparts in the UAE and Singapore.

Most workers globally acknowledge they could do more to improve their health, with over half (55 percent) admitting their diet needs improvement and nearly three quarters (72 percent) saying they need to exercise more. When people do feel ill, however, 40 percent say they tend to look up symptoms online and self-medicate rather than seeking out a doctor.

Dr Sneh Khemka, President, Population Health & vHealth, Aetna International, said: “While the majority of workers are aware they need to do more to improve their health, fear and worry is causing a huge number to avoid the situation. More should be done to empower people to manage their own health, with a focus on changing company cultures to promote prevention and early intervention. It is not only the responsibility of the employee but that of the employer to ensure people are equipped to lead healthy lives.”

Long and inflexible working hours may be to blame, as a third say they don’t have time to be ill at work and a fifth (21 percent) cite lack of time off from work as the reason behind their health inertia.

 

Long-hours culture to blame

Increasing pressure in the workplace is having a significant impact on how people prioritise their health, the report suggests. Almost half (47 percent) of those surveyed admit that they often feel stressed because of work but don’t see a doctor about the issue. Long and inflexible working hours may be to blame, as a third say they don’t have time to be ill at work and a fifth (21 percent) cite lack of time off from work as the reason behind their health inertia.

The results also indicate that employers could play a bigger role in encouraging people to look after their health, with more than a quarter (27 percent) of office workers saying they would go to the doctor if their boss told them to. Nearly half (46 percent) also say the ability to take time off work to go to the doctor would encourage them to make an appointment.

Image by Jukka Niittymaa

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Mental health challenges cost employers £45 billion each year https://workplaceinsight.net/mental-health-challenges-cost-employers-45-billion-each-year/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=mental-health-challenges-cost-employers-45-billion-each-year Thu, 23 Jan 2020 07:28:53 +0000 https://workplaceinsight.net/?p=50525

A new report from Deloitte claims that poor mental health costs UK employers up to £45 billion each year. This is a rise of 16 percent since 2016 – an extra £6 billion a year. The research also looks at how employers can tackle this problem, finding that it pays to support employees’ mental wellbeing. […]

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mental healthA new report from Deloitte claims that poor mental health costs UK employers up to £45 billion each year. This is a rise of 16 percent since 2016 – an extra £6 billion a year. The research also looks at how employers can tackle this problem, finding that it pays to support employees’ mental wellbeing. On average, for every £1 spent on supporting their people’s mental health, employers get £5 back on their investment in reduced presenteeism, absenteeism and staff turnover.

Analysis from ‘Mental health and employers: the case for refreshing investment’ also looks at how employers can tackle this problem. It shows that higher return on investment can be achieved by early interventions, such as organisation-wide culture change and education, than more in-depth support that may be needed at a later stage when a person is struggling.

Rebecca George OBE, Deloitte Vice Chair and UK Public Sector leader said: “As our ways of working evolve, so do expectations of employers about how we should support our people. This analysis shows very clearly that it pays for employers to provide support at work and that early intervention is vital, for those experiencing poor mental health and employers alike.”

 

Costs driven largely by ‘presenteeism’

The latest research builds on work conducted by Deloitte in 2017 for the Stevenson-Farmer Review on workplace mental wellbeing, which calculated that poor health cost UK employers £33-42 billion a year.

Since then, Deloitte has found that there have been positive changes in workplaces, including greater openness in discussing mental wellbeing at work in larger employers in particular and more provision of support overall.

However, research also finds that despite this progress, costs continue to climb. This can be attributed largely to a significant rise in mental-health-related ‘presenteeism’, where employees work when they are not at their most productive. Mental-health related absenteeism and staff turnover have also contributed to the costs overall.

 

‘Always-on’ culture impacts wellbeing

The analysis describes a complex picture, in which more people with poor mental health are continuing to work when they are not at their most productive, rather than take time off, highlighting leaveism and presenteeism as characteristics of an ‘always-on’ culture, enabled by technology.

Elizabeth Hampson, Deloitte director and author of ‘Mental health and employers: the case for refreshing investment’, said: “Understanding more about the relationship between mental health and work is in all of our interests. Our research finds that, while an increased use of technology can enhance working practices, having the ability to work outside of normal working hours can add to the challenge of maintaining good mental health, and make it hard for some to disconnect from an ‘always-on’ culture.”

 

Young people – the most vulnerable demographic in the workplace

The report also highlights recent studies which find higher prevalence of  problems among younger people, who emerge as the most vulnerable demographic in the workplace to poor mental health.

It finds that employers lose the equivalent of 8.3 percent of the salaries of those aged 18-29 as a result of poor mental wellbeing – the highest of any employee age group. Young people are also less likely to disclose problems to employers and more likely to use their holiday instead of taking days off work.

Paul Farmer, Chief Executive of Mind, said: “Smart, forward-thinking employers are investing in staff wellbeing, and those who do tend to save money in the long run. This report shows the link between prioritising staff wellbeing and improved loyalty and productivity; and decreased sickness absence and resignations. However it also shows a rise in ‘presenteeism’ – unwell staff spending unproductive hours at work rather than taking time off.

“As presenteeism costs three times more than sick leave, we need to look at supporting employers to change the culture so their staff feel able to take time off when they are unwell. The Government must also play their part by improving the definition of disability under the Equality Act, so more people with mental health problems can benefit from its rights and protections, as well as increasing the amount of Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) staff receive when they’re off sick. Employers can access resources to help prevent poor mental health and promote wellbeing through the Mental Health at Work Commitment.”

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AI reskilling is ‘crucial’ for business success https://workplaceinsight.net/ai-reskilling-is-crucial-for-business-success/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=ai-reskilling-is-crucial-for-business-success Thu, 23 Jan 2020 00:15:39 +0000 https://workplaceinsight.net/?p=50511

As AI continues to disrupt the world of work, a new report says upskilling and reskilling will be crucial in developing workers’ competencies to complement technological innovation. Yet according to the 2020 Talent Trends Report released by Randstad Sourceright, only about a fifth of businesses around the world (22 percent) are currently training existing employees […]

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AI trainingAs AI continues to disrupt the world of work, a new report says upskilling and reskilling will be crucial in developing workers’ competencies to complement technological innovation. Yet according to the 2020 Talent Trends Report released by Randstad Sourceright, only about a fifth of businesses around the world (22 percent) are currently training existing employees to help them adapt to AI.

The report says that ‘talent fluidity’ – workers’ ability to mould their skills to their organisation’s changing needs, including the rise of AI and digitalisation – will be critical to the future of work. Of the 800 senior executives and HR leaders surveyed, as many (66 percent) plan to provide training and reskilling in AI as those who plan to develop workers’ soft skills (60 percent). This mirrors the company’s 2019 research, which suggested the most sought-after skills included both technical capabilities (43 percent) and soft skills like communications (41 percent).

Nearly one-third of respondents who intend to offer reskilling said they aren’t sure how to do so.

Yet while 91 percent of those surveyed believe that it is their company’s responsibility to provide reskilling to meet business needs, nearly one-third of respondents who intend to offer reskilling said they aren’t sure how to do so.

“Digitalisation has changed the way we work and has redefined the skills that are most important for employees to possess,” said Rebecca Henderson, CEO of Randstad global businesses and executive board member. “Yet while employers have acknowledged that it is crucial for their businesses to reskill staff to keep up with changing technology and bolster the soft skills that only humans can possess, it is troubling that so few companies are currently offering this necessary training.”

In addition to AI and soft skills, companies also plan to train existing employees in analytics skills (59 percent), technical capabilities (57 percent) and cloud computing (54 percent). Nearly two fifths of respondents (38 percent) view reskilling as an important measure for redeploying employees who are at risk of losing their jobs due to automation.

Image by Gerd Altmann

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Half of managers expect staff to suppress emotions https://workplaceinsight.net/half-of-managers-expect-staff-to-suppress-emotions/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=half-of-managers-expect-staff-to-suppress-emotions Thu, 23 Jan 2020 00:12:15 +0000 https://workplaceinsight.net/?p=50506

Six in 10 people feel unable to express their true emotions in the workplace, new research has claimed. In a survey of 2,000 UK workers and 250 line managers by Totaljobs and Dr Terri Simpkin, a Visiting Fellow at Anglia Ruskin University, most workers said they prefer to deal with emotions on their own. This […]

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emotionsSix in 10 people feel unable to express their true emotions in the workplace, new research has claimed. In a survey of 2,000 UK workers and 250 line managers by Totaljobs and Dr Terri Simpkin, a Visiting Fellow at Anglia Ruskin University, most workers said they prefer to deal with emotions on their own. This was particularly true of sadness, which 60 percent chose to handle themselves rather than asking for help.

The research also suggests that the reason many workers feel unable to express their feelings is because of their manager’s attitude. Some 30 percent of line managers surveyed consider the expression of emotions at work to be a sign of weakness and more than half believe emotions should be suppressed altogether in a professional context.

“Emotional intelligence is a key professional capability, particularly for leaders and managers”, Dr Simpkin said. “Our emotions are what make us human. They give us our capacity for collaboration, innovation, creativity and connection.

“Traditional attitudes which taught us to leave our emotions at the door should be long gone.

“Emotions are designed to communicate something to us. Recognising the message rather than suppressing it is key to dealing with emotions effectively.

 

What’s making us so emotional?

On a positive note, the survey found that of the “big six” emotions, joy topped the results. Nine in 10 respondents (91 percent) had experienced this emotion over the course of their careers, followed by surprise (90 percent), anger (85 percent), sadness (82 percent), disgust (71 percent) and fear (61 percent).

The results suggest that the most common cause of these emotions isn’t the work itself but those we’re working with. A third of emotional events in the workplace are apparently triggered by colleagues, whereas only one in five are sparked by tasks themselves. Totaljobs warned that co-workers aren’t always bringing joy into people’s working lives: one in 10 workers surveyed felt emotional at work because they had been bullied by a colleague.

These emotional encounters can end up developing into something much more significant. Previous research conducted by Totaljobs found that six in 10 workers consider a colleague a “work enemy”.

Men are twice as likely as women to start shouting (43 percent vs 26 percent) and twice as likely to get emotional because their “ideas weren’t heard” or because they “were criticised”.

 

Men are ‘more emotional’

The research claims to have identified a clear divide between how men and women express their emotions in the workplace. It says women are twice as likely to cry in the workplace compared to male colleagues (41 percent vs 20 percent). In turn, men are twice as likely to start shouting (43 percent vs 26 percent) and twice as likely to get emotional because their “ideas weren’t heard” or because they “were criticised”.

Men also seemed to be more emotionally invested in their projects. They were almost three times more likely to get emotional because a project went over budget, missed a deadline or got cancelled.

Men were also most likely to take the definitive career step and quit a job (20 percent vs 11 percent) when triggered by their emotions.

“Men are more likely to report experiencing emotions associated with power, such as anger or pride”, commented Dr Simpkin. “In fact, emotions and power are inextricably linked. Not being heard is congruent with lacking in status. Similarly, sadness is associated with a lack of power in social settings such as the workplace.”

 

Things get better with age

While men and women may differ, our emotions evolve as we get older, the research suggests. Millennials undergo a particularly emotional ride, being the age group most likely to experience sadness (91 percent), anger (91 percent) and disgust (80 percent) in the workplace.

However, workers begin to express more joy and surprise as they grow older. They also get less sad, angry, disgusted and fearful. Experiences of workplace fear fall from rates of 77 percent among millennials (23-38) to just 45 percent among workers aged 55-73.

“It can be challenging for young people to develop an identity that’s congruent with their professional role,” said Dr Simpkin. “They may experience fear of failure, fear of success and fear of not fitting in.”

Commenting on the research, Lynn Cahillane, Head of Marketing at Totaljobs, said: “Expressions of sadness or anger point to the fact that someone is probably overworked, stressed or frustrated in their role. Rather than seeing tears or emotions as a sign of weakness, employers should take them as a cue to listen, learn and understand the underlying issues. Emotional employees aren’t problems, they are a chance to help us learn how to create a better workspace.”

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