August 4, 2014
We all remember the days, not that long ago, when companies actively discouraged the use of personal technology and social media at work. How quickly things change. Now many firms not only want people to use their own smartphones, they pretend that it was their idea all along by labelling it BYOD. Some even measure their employees’ social engagement and judge them on it. Even those firms who maintain policies to restrict the use of social media may be fighting a losing battle according to new research from Samsung Electronics, which found that British employees are most likely to ignore them. But then again, maybe businesses shouldn’t worry about it because a growing body of research suggests that people who use social media tend to be more collaborative and productive at work.
July 25, 2014
There has been a rush of people looking to take advantage of the new flexible working laws which came into place on June 30. A survey by Powwownow found that seven out of 10 people were aware of the change in the law, with many of them considering making requests for flexible hours. The survey amongst office workers around the country found that, within a week of the rule change, 8 per cent of respondents had already filed a request for flexible hours, with a further 11 per cent saying they wanted to follow suit. Just over one in three people in the survey said that in the future, flexible working was something they would consider. The most popular request made to date was for a change in working times; 52 per cent opted for this and 47 per cent said they wanted to change their working hours, possibly to allow for other commitments outside of work. more…
July 24, 2014
Senior global executives are working more hours and in more locations now ever, but advances in workplace connectivity mean they are far more satisfied with their work-life balance. According to the 2014 BlueSteps Work-Life Balance Report, by the Association of Executive Search Consultants (AESC), over half (52%) are satisfied or very satisfied with their work-life balance. In comparison, four years ago, 55 per cent did not believe their current work-life balance was satisfactory. Global executives work an average of 58.5 hours per week, with 39 per cent working over 60 hours per week; but the majority (81%) of those polled consider work-life balance when deciding on whether or not to accept a new position.Over one quarter (28%) rate their work-life ratio as more important than their potential earnings and 31 per cent would refuse a promotion or new job offer if it negatively affected their preferred work-life balance ratio. more…
July 24, 2014
The world of work and the workplace is always changing. We know it. You know it. In fact, there are a whole host of people that know it, but depending on what side of the professional fence you sit on, you might approach it in different ways, looking through a different lens or with a specific focus. Or are you already bridging the professional gap? Workplace change and the numerous ramifications of it are well documented. In a world that is changing, at frightening pace, it is strange to think that many of the ways in which we work are so entrenched in 20th century thinking. We need to break away from this and outline what the future is going to look like and how we should adapt. Or do we already have the answers? This ground is well trodden. However, it could be time to reassess our thinking and the way we approach this challenge, ensuring it becomes the norm for organisations around the world.
July 16, 2014
Flexible working has barely been out of the news since the latest government changes. But while allowing employees to work remotely can do wonders for staff retention, motivating them and keeping them in the loop presents a new problem. Although self-starting employees feel that they have more control over their work and fewer distractions, it can also lead to a sense of isolation. It is important for retention that you not just offer a flexible working option to employees, but that all the staff make an effort to continue allowing them to feel like a part of the team. The four best practices that will help you motivate employees that telecommute are: ensuring you build trust between those who telecommute and their colleagues from the start; establish regular communication between remote and in-office staff; manage goals, expectations and outcomes and take steps to establish that remote working is made part of the company culture. more…
July 16, 2014
The recent Cabinet reshuffle in the UK Government won’t alter one fact; politicians simply don’t get it when it comes to technology, the workplace, the way people work and the needs of small businesses. Once you dismiss the paranoid idea that they DO get it but don’t care because they’re too busy looking out for The Man, you have to conclude that one of the big problems they have (this won’t go where you think) is that they don’t understand anything about technology and work, especially when it comes to emerging technology, the working lives of individuals, the needs and functions of small businesses and the fact the self-employed exist at all. These things exist outside the bubble. This is obviously a problem because they are implementing policies and making big, uninformed and anachronistic decisions about the things that shape every aspect of our lives, help to define us as people and determine how companies and individuals function. Here are just three examples.
July 14, 2014
Following the Government’s publication last month of Fuller Working Lives – A Framework For Action, which set out the benefits to individuals, business and the economy as a whole of people aged over 50 staying in work; economist, policy expert and consumer champion Dr Ros Altmann CBE has been appointed by the Government as its new Business Champion for Older Workers. Dr Altmann – a former director-general of Saga and independent expert on later life issues – will be tasked with making the case for older workers within the business community and challenging outdated perceptions. In the next 10 years, there will be 700,000 fewer people aged 16-49 in the UK labour market but 3.7m more people aged between 50 and state pension age. The Government believes employers need to harness the benefits of taking on older staff, as too many continue to believe they can rely solely on a young workforce. more…
July 10, 2014
The BBC has announced plans to move more of its BBC teams out of Media Village, London W12, to bases in Salford, Birmingham, Caversham and other buildings in London. It’s part of the corporation’s strategy to reduce the size and cost of its property estate, invest more of the Licence Fee in programmes, and build its presence outside the capital. Around 120 Future Media roles and 102 Technology roles will move to Salford during 2015, joining around 3,000 colleagues already based at MediaCityUK. Anne Bulford, Managing Director Finance and Operations, said: “We are well advanced with reducing the amount of space the BBC occupies in London W12. Spending less on these buildings will enable us to invest more of the Licence Fee in programmes, as well as continuing to build up our presence out of London, ultimately bringing us closer to audiences. BBC Worldwide is due to leave the Media Centre early in 2015, so we are developing proposals on how to accommodate the remaining occupants and free up this building to release savings.” more…
July 10, 2014
Holland may have been knocked out of the World Cup but they do have something to be cheerful about. New research has found the Dutch are the happiest employees in Europe, spending 57.2 per cent of their time at work happy. The Danish and Norwegians rank just behind the Dutch at 48.5 per cent and 43.9 per cent, respectively. The Swiss (36.8%), Italians (37.2%) and Germans (37.4%) are some way off. The British fall somewhere in the middle at 42.4 per cent. Happiness at Work was measured by breaking the concept into key identifiable components: positive factors such as recognition, respect, and time on task; and negative indicators such as likelihood of leaving or sick days. The study from the iOpener Institute of People and Performance, also shows a clear relationship between happiness at work and personal productivity with the Dutch beating the Germans in achieving their tasks. more…
July 9, 2014
There was a record fall in permanent staff availability in June, according to the latest Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) and KPMG Report on Jobs which found the rate of contraction has accelerated to the sharpest seen in the survey’s history, which began back in October 1997. There was also a sharp deterioration in availability of temporary/contract staff, with June’s drop the greatest seen since March 1998. Amid reports of a shortage of suitable candidates, and with demand for staff increasing, permanent salaries rose during June at a survey record rate. However, as demand for staff has grown, this month saw the number of workers available to fill vacancies plummet to an all-time low, in particular across business development and sales. The latest report fuels concerns of a vacancy vacuum – and a reminder for employers that, for staff, remuneration is about much more than take home pay. more…
July 9, 2014
As we reported earlier, the UK’s managers now routinely put in up to between one and two extra days of work a week thanks to the technological presenteeism associated with BYOD and other practices. But of course the phenomenon is not restricted to these shores. A survey from US business software firm BMC found that the average employee applying BYOD practices now works an extra two hours each day, a third check their emails between 6 and 7 each morning, each person deals with an extra 20 emails daily, and obviously does so using his or her own devices. You can either see this as an increase in productivity, or you can see it as more evidence of our willingness to subject ourselves to the round the clock work and the unblinking eye of the smartphone. What is also apparent from the BMC report is that while companies are overwhelmingly keen on the BYOD idea – some 95 percent allow it in some form – 84 percent offer employees little or no support and 64 percent do not train staff in security issues. Infographic below: more…
July 9, 2014
The UK’s most common yet one of the least talked about forms of flexible working has been laid bare in a new study from the Institute of Leadership and Management. It found that nearly half of managers work an extra day each week outside of their contracted hours, while an eighth put in an extra two days. More than 90 percent of managers now work outside normal office hours. The survey of 1,056 ILM members found that over three quarters (76 percent) ‘routinely’ work at home or stay late at work, over a third work at weekends and nearly half (48 percent) regularly work through their lunch-break. The root causes of this are unsurprisingly familiar. The ILM cites technological presenteeism, with many managers ‘obsessively’ checking their phones for email, as well as pressure from employers to put in the extra hours.
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