May 10, 2019
A 334,000 (63 percent) rise in highly-skilled female freelancers has driven the UK’s freelance revolution over the last 10 years according to new research from IPSE, the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed. The increase takes the number of senior-level women freelancing in the UK to 863,000. The professions that saw the largest rises since 2008 were health, the arts and media, and functional directors within companies. Alongside the increase in senior-level women, the number of mothers freelancing increased by 80 per cent. more…
May 8, 2019
Almost half of UK workers would take a 20 percent pay cut if it meant they could spend more time at home with their families, according to new research from www.Hillarys.co.uk. Over 2,000 workers were asked if they were happy with their work-life balance and almost two thirds (64 percent) stated they were not and would like some form of flexible working to help them. more…
May 7, 2019
Working Families and Bright Horizons have launched a new report which focuses on flexible working and the reality of flexible jobs from the perspective of working parents in the UK. According to the report, the experience of parents shows that flexible working is widespread, although patchy in some sectors and for some workers. It is beneficial in helping parents get a better work life fit, although it is not a panacea. Issues around job design, workloads and organisational culture undermine some of the benefits of flexibility, and proper management of flexibility to ensure it works is, for many parents, missing. more…
May 1, 2019
The tech sector is facing high departure rates as employees’ complain of work impinging on their home life, coupled with a lack of learning & development opportunities. It’s been estimated that vacancies already outweigh skilled talent in the UK tech industry, where there are an estimated 600,000 vacancies. Yet nearly two-thirds (62 percent) of tech workers say they would quit their job to achieve a better work-life balance. The research from CWJobs of over 1,000 IT workers also discovered that this is even more important to Gen Z (aged 16-24), where seven in 10 (72 percent) would leave a company if this was compromised.
April 30, 2019
Arguably Arthur C Clarke’s finest novel, Childhood’s End is the story of an Earth that is invaded by a force of alien Overlords. This is not a destructive colonial invasion, which is why there’s no Hollywood blockbuster in the tale, but a seemingly benevolent intervention which ushers in a golden age for humanity. Although humankind initially does not get to meet the Overlords in person (for reasons I won’t give away here), the aliens unite the world’s governments, eradicate crime, conflict and the nation state and do away with the need for creativity and hard work. It is the literal end of history.
April 26, 2019
Employees feel expectations at work are playing an integral role in diminishing their mental health a new report suggests, which includes increasing pressures to work outside of office hours, through annual leave and even on sick days. Westfield Health’s inaugural Wellbeing Index, which claims to shine a spotlight on stress, found 61 percent of HR professionals identified mental health related issues as the main reasons for absences within their workforces, with over half (51 percent) noticing an overall increase in sick days. ‘Leavism’ – working outside of contracted hours and on annual leave days – is also prevalent throughout the British workforce, with 67 percent in HR saying it’s a very real issue for them.
April 25, 2019
There are lots of reasons to worry about where the World might be taking us, or perhaps where we are taking it. You can take your pick but for me one of the most worrying aspects of contemporary discourse is the obvious dearth of empathy. We might like to think of this as an innate characteristic of human beings, but it really isn’t. It’s something that we also need to learn. This idea is explored in this piece by Hanna Rosin who centres her argument around an analysis by Sara Konrath, an associate professor and researcher at Indiana University who has discovered that our willingness to empathise with people is eroding rapidly, especially for those who we see as ‘other’ or irrelevant. If you want an example of lack of empathy, you can see it in this footage of a banker being taken to task for it in a US committee hearing.
April 24, 2019
The concept of coworking has only been with us for a short time, but there are already signs that it is evolving into something rather different. The most common misperception about the way evolution works is that it is based on some steady progression, driven by the merciless principle of survival of the fittest, with the best adapted climbing towards the top of an evolutionary tree. This gives rise to one of the most common questions posed by sceptics: if we evolved from apes, why are there still apes?
April 23, 2019
For years, the word ‘office’ would doubtless conjure images of the traditional individual cubicle. However, times have changed, and where the cubicle once ruled the roost, a flexible working revolution is already disrupting the office market and reshaping the world of work.
April 18, 2019
Half of today’s workers are stressed by their job with one in five (17 percent) finding their work very stressful, according to new global research from LinkedIn. The research showed that millennial workers are more concerned than their seniors about having a sense of purpose and belonging in the workplace, but overall they’re the generation that’s least stressed at work. Both Gen X and the Baby Boomer generation proved to be more stressed at work, with a fifth (19 percent) of Gen X finding work very stressful. The data showed that the top five cause of stress at work are work/life balance and workload; confidence in job future; a sense of purpose and direction; colleagues and work politics; and access to tools to do your job.
April 12, 2019
Shining a light on remote work at Google, willing slaves to tech, why design matters and some other stuff
Away from you know what, one of the most talked about issues this week was the news that the smart devices we’re voluntarily incorporating into our homes are not just obeying us but acting as microphones on our lives. This is happening in the context of growing mistrust of the world’s tech giants, uncertainty about our relationship with technology and taps into a primal fear about control and surveillance. All of this is complicated by the fact that these systems of surveillance are not the telescreens of 1984 but the products of private sector firms who currently often exhibit ‘power without responsibility’, as Kipling once said about the media. more…
April 9, 2019
Heavy workloads and poor management styles are behind the increase of nearly two-fifths (37 percent) in stress-related absences over the past year, according to a new report from the CIPD and Simplyhealth. Respondents say having heavy workloads (62 percent), which can be attributed to poor management, is the top cause of stress-related absence. The second biggest contributing factor is management style which has risen from 32 percent to 43 percent in the last year. The annual Health and Well-Being at Work Survey Report found that more than four-fifths (83 percent) of respondents have observed ‘presenteeism’ (going to work when ill) in their organisation and a quarter (25 percent) say the problem has got worse since the previous year.
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