February 27, 2019
We know, and have for a long time, that the workplace is in a state of near constant flux and so we often fall into the trap of assuming that there is some sort of evolution towards an idealised version of it. That is why we see so many people routinely willing to suspend their critical facilities to make extravagant and even absurd predictions about the office of the future or even the death of the office. This is perniciously faulty thinking. However we can frame a number of workplace related ideas in terms of evolutionary theory, so long as we accept one of the central precepts about evolution. Namely that there is no end game, just types progressing and sometimes dying out along the distinct branches of a complex ecosystem. As a nerdy sort of guy of a certain age, I’ve tended to frame my thoughts on all of this with reference to an idea from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by the great Douglas Adams.
February 27, 2019
By failing to properly explore what service provision is offered in the event of a serious incident such as flood or fire, businesses are leaving themselves vulnerable to a failing of business continuity, a new survey from Regus suggests. The survey found that 40 percent of businesses rely solely on what their workplace recovery provider tells them, or what is in their contract to protect them from a crisis. The lack of testing of recovery facilities by businesses also leaves them open to further disruption, with businesses at risk of finding that, in reality, the location they have been allocated is too small, with seats only available on a first-come-first-served basis, leaving business-critical staff unable to work.
February 26, 2019
Just a third of businesses are using mobile technologies for their administration tasks, and as organisations struggle to digitise, many employees admit to finding pen and paper simpler to use. The vast majority (91 percent) of workers still prefer to use a desktop or laptop for administrative tasks, according to the research commissioned by ABBYY, as only one third (35 percent) use mobiles for admin, despite 43 percent of workers wanting to use it for this purpose. Millennials in particular are keen to use mobiles, with 55 percent wanting to use mobiles for admin – yet only 43 percent currently do. Older generations are also open to using mobile for admin, with 35 percent of Gen X currently doing so, and 41 percent wanting to. However, it’s clear that some employees are finding the latest technologies, such as mobile, too difficult to use – 28 percent still want to use pen and paper for admin tasks, as 46 percent find it simpler than other means. Desktop still runs the workplace in the UK, regardless of today’s remote working climate. Almost half of workers (48 percent) use a desktop or laptop because it’s easier, and 41 percent because it’s faster.
February 25, 2019
While the recent Finnish pilot of universal basic income had mixed results, a trial of the other most talked about solution to our problem with work – the four day week – has been reported as far more promising. A New Zealand financial services firm called Perpetual Guardian switched its 240 staff from a five-day to a four-day week last November and maintained their pay. The results (registration) included a 20 percent rise in productivity and improved staff wellbeing and engagement.
February 22, 2019
Would an investor plow millions of dollars into a stock and never bother to track how the investment does? Of course not. Nor would they confuse the expected return on investment (ROI) with the actual results. We don’t guess about financial investments. We don’t base investment decisions on what some stranger does or how they say they’ve done. So why then, do many of the largest companies in the world invest millions of dollars in buildings or renovating their workplaces and never even bother to measure results. Why are they so willing to copy the unproven workplace strategy of others? Why are they satisfied with projected results, rather than measuring how their investments actually perform? more…
February 22, 2019
Nearly a quarter (24 percent) of UK employers admit they would be less likely to hire someone with a disability, new data from disability charity Leonard Cheshire shows, and over two thirds (66 percent) of managers cite the cost of workplace adjustments as the barrier to employing a disabled person, up from 60 percent in 2017. Seventeen percent of disabled candidates that had applied for a job in the past five years said the employer withdrew the job offer as a result of their disability. Attitudinal barriers continually featured in the latest research. Of the employers across the UK that said they were less likely to employ someone because they were disabled, 60 percent were concerned that a disabled person wouldn’t be able to do the job. Of the disabled people in the UK who applied for a job in the last five years, 30 percent said they felt like the employer had not taken them seriously as a candidate.
February 21, 2019
Almost two thirds (59 percent) of UK employees say that the office temperature is a controversial topic amongst colleagues, with over half (52 percent) admitting that it causes regular arguments. Now new research conducted by Boiler Plan highlights the extreme lengths that some office workers are willing to go to in the battle of the thermostat. More than one in seven (14.5 percent) workers have gone as far as making a formal complaint to their HR department due to the temperature in their office and almost one in eight (12.3 percent) have taken it as far as actually damaging the temperature control unit.
Female office workers are more than twice as likely to vandalise the thermostat as their male colleagues, and one in five (20 percent) women have requested a desk move because of this issue. Six percent of men say they have fallen out with a colleague and 7 percent admit to sending passive aggressive emails due to the temperature in the office.
February 20, 2019
With the rise of both cloud-based technology and the worldwide gig economy, the last ten years of the 21st century have seen some near-revolutionary changes in workplace practice. Entrepreneurs everywhere have been more than happy to make use of these developments, taking advantage of the new business models these changes have brought. For example, IDG found that 73 percent of the organizations that they surveyed have at least one application already in the cloud, and according to ONS, since 2010 there has been a 25 percent increase in the number of non-employer businesses in the private sector, a change attributed to the growing popularity of the gig economy. However, despite all the advances in workplace culture, thousands of workers in the UK are being left behind in outdated modes of work.
February 14, 2019
The UK’s cyber threat environment is intensifying, with over three quarters (88 percent) of organisations reporting they’d experienced a cyber breach in the last 12 months. The UK Threat Report from Carbon Black also claims attacks are growing in volume and the average number of breaches has increased. The average number of breaches per organisation over the past year was 3.67 and 87 percent of organisations saw an increase in attack volumes. In addition, 89 percent of organisations say attacks have become more sophisticated.
February 14, 2019
The office sector in Belfast has enjoyed its most successful year on record, with 885,023 sq ft of take-up reported across 84 transactions, more than double that was achieved last year, according to CBRE’s Offices Marketview research. Notable office deals completed in 2018 include PwC’s move to Merchant Square, Northern Ireland Civil Service to 9 Lanyon Place, Allstate to Mays Meadow, TLT to River House and Baker McKenzie to City Quays 2. According to CBRE Northern Ireland Office the local office market’s record breaking year is an indicator of the resilience of the commercial property market as well as the wider Northern Ireland economy.
February 13, 2019
On the whole, football is not a great source of inspiration for artists. It certainly doesn’t film well, although there is a small place for it in literature. The likes of Arnold Bennett, Orwell, Sartre and J B Priestley have all drawn from the game some metaphor, philosophical point, social observation or other. There are even some major literary figures who played the game to a decent level, and the curious thing about them is that they were all goalkeepers.
February 12, 2019
The majority of organisations (58 percent) do not have a have a clearly defined strategy in place when it comes to adopting and integrating digital workspace technology which suggests that implementing and making use of such technology is still being carried out in something of a haphazard manner. The findings of the research are summarised in SoftwareONE’s Building a Lean, Mean, Digital Machine report, which also claims that, despite the fact that almost all organisations (99 percent) employ some form of digital workspace technology, respondents have encountered a host of challenges when it comes to using them. These include higher security risks (cited by 47 percent) and a lack of employee knowledge in how best to use the solutions (45 percent). more…