September 25, 2014
In the largest office letting in Cambridge in over a decade, technology developer CSR plc has agreed with The Crown Estate to establish an expanded, 100,000 sq. ft. global HQ at Cambridge Business Park. Further lettings of a combined 11,000 sq. ft., to the multi-national computer technology company, Oracle, and to JDR Cable Systems, means that the 320,000 sq. ft. Business Park is now fully let, with over 2,000 people set to be working on site once these tenants move in. These latest lettings underline Cambridge’s growing reputation as a centre of technology – where its success this sector has even led to it being referred to as the “Silicon Fen”, the UK’s equivalent of California’s Silicon Valley. more…
September 23, 2014
One of the potential hazards of the incursion of digital devices into our lives is the fact that the average person’s screen time has increased since a generation ago, when watching too much TV was said to be bad for our eyes. However, workers still blame their working environment and the rather anachronistic tool, the VDU for any resultant eye troubles. According to new research more than half of UK employees say their current working environment has had a negative impact on their eye health. In Westfield Health’s recent survey of 7,000 UK workers, conducted just ahead of this week’s National Eye Health Week, fifty three per cent of respondents say their current working environment has affected their eye health, or their vision has got worse as a result of work. Headaches, blurred vision, eye strain and dry eyes are just some of the eye related problems employees associate with their jobs. more…
September 22, 2014
Employees’ use of personal digital devices at work has led to concerns regarding the encroachment of work into leisure time; but the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) craze also poses a challenge for staff who are reluctant to expose their private data to the corporate gaze. According to a survey conducted by Ovum on behalf of AdaptiveMobile, keeping their privacy from employers is the top concern for employees being asked to use their own devices for work purposes. The research found that while over 84 per cent of employees rated privacy as a top three concern, there was a clear lack of trust in the ability of their employer to manage their mobile security and privacy. Among employees who do not use their own devices for work purposes, the desire to keep their work and personal life separate (44%) and a general mistrust of their employer having any kind of control over their devices (24%) were the biggest barriers.
September 3, 2014
Office workers now spend up to six hours a day working on mobile devices rather than using desk computers; with men generally working with three or more mobile devices while women choose to work with a maximum of two. This is according to the intermediate results of a Global Posture Study carried out by Steelcase to identify which type of work environment fits different workers best. It reveals that the Millennial generation, born between 1979 and 2000, change posture during the course of the day more than any other age group. Female workers tend to choose postures where they can withdraw from the environment, while men prefer open seating postures where they can lean back. The results of the posture study underlines the fact that employers must take an increasingly innovative approach to creating working environment which supports the various ways of working of the employees to guarantee their wellbeing and productivity. more…
September 1, 2014
A new report by an influential group of young construction professionals has been published today which illustrates the need for organisations to consider new skills, new processes and develop strategies around emerging technologies that will ensure that the UK stays ahead in embracing the digital construction future. The report by the BIM2050 Group, comprises a compilation of essays authored by BIM2050 work stream leads, and focuses on three key areas; education and skill; technology and process; and the culture of integration. Built Environment 2050: A report on our digital future, highlights the risks and challenges and the opportunities and benefits that come with large scale innovation and game-changing new technologies. Commented Graham Watts OBE, CIC Chief Executive: “It is an important discussion document of ideas and concepts that will, I hope, spark debate in the wider construction community.” more…
September 1, 2014
It seems likely that the much discussed German ban on out-of-hours emails is to be implemented. According to reports over the weekend, the German Labour Minister Andrea Nahles has agreed to the implementation of new legislation that aims to end the culture of people dealing with messages outside of their normal working hours and could lead to a total free time email ban. The opportunity to herald the new legislation came with the publication of a new report she had commissioned into mental health and work, which led her to claim that ‘there is an undeniable link between being constantly available for work and mental illness’. However the new legislation has met with a degree of scepticism, especially in an article written over the weekend by Karl-Heinz Büschemann for Germany’s largest circulation national newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung.
August 28, 2014
Amongst the reported findings in the latest edition of the annual Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends survey is a growing belief amongst business leaders that information overload and the always on working culture are significantly undermining personal wellbeing, engagement and productivity. This challenge has been identified before in the same report, but the latest edition perhaps signals that despite the high level of awareness of the issue at both a personal and general level, little is being achieved in terms of stemming the inexorable erosion of personal time. The report is based on a survey of more than 2,500 business leaders. It found that over a third think that constant access to work is undermining employee productivity and engagement and fewer than one in ten feel they are dealing with the problem adequately. more…
August 20, 2014
Whether or not the younger generation are in fact more technically astute is still open to debate, but one thing is clear, they’re far less perturbed at the idea of being digitally monitored than the older generation. New research reveals that the younger generation are more open to sharing their personal data with their employees, with 36 per cent of Generation Y workers saying they would be happy to do so. Nearly a third of people would be happy for their employer to have access to their personal data, such as social media profiles and this kind of data monitoring of employees will rise over the next decade as Generation Y enters the workforce. Given the fact that by 2020 this generation will form half of the global workforce – they’re set to bring with them their different attitudes to technology and personal data. more…
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 31, 2014
Just a few days ago, a survey from Morgan Lovell and the British Council for Offices highlighted the value British workers placed on having somewhere to work, regardless of its drawbacks, privations and distractions. Now a new report from consultants PwC seems to draw the opposite conclusion. Heralded by predictably tedious headlines declaring the office to be dead or dying, The Future of Work: A Journey to 2022 claims that a quarter of the 10,000 people surveyed believe the traditional job will disappear and around a fifth claim to have already had enough of the 9 to 5 in a fixed physical space and would prefer to work in a ‘virtual place’ – which seems to mean anywhere with WiFi. As ever, any report addressing ‘The Future of Work’ is primarily and perhaps unwittingly about the present.
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 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.