October 31, 2016
The customary debate over putting the clocks back has come and gone, as has the average workers chances of seeing any daylight until the early spring, for according to new research, the average office worker will now only be seeing daylight for less than an hour (52 minutes) a week. Nine in 10 rarely glimpse daylight during the winter months as they arrive at and leave work in the dark, according to a poll of 2,000 workers by Get More Vitamin Drinks. The average person will only leave the building for a total of 52 minutes during the week, although two-thirds admit there are at least two weeks in every month where they don’t spend any time outside at all. Unsurprisingly, just under half of office workers believe their work suffers as a direct result of the lack of sunlight – with productivity dropping rapidly from around 2pm. The study shows two thirds of office workers will start finding it difficult to concentrate by the early hours of the afternoon in winter as a direct result of being stuck inside.
October 31, 2016
In this week’s Newsletter; Steven Lambert argues millennials’ love of mod cons may make them dislike noisy open offices; Cathy Hayward describes a tech giant’s One Team approach to workplace management and design; and Mark Eltringham says FM is not alone in thinking that it doesn’t shout loudly enough. The majority of people prefer working in an office; Gartner highlights the top technology trends; a belief Brexit could improve European commercial real estate investment opportunities; and the majority of freelancers don’t want more employment rights. Automation could swallow a sixth of public sector jobs; flexible working behind growing popularity of self-employment; and corporate real estate sector is reducing energy consumption, carbon emissions and water usage. Download our new Briefing, produced in partnership with Boss Design on the link between culture and workplace strategy and design; visit our new events page, follow us on Twitter and join our LinkedIn Group to discuss these and other stories.
October 26, 2016
Despite half (50 percent) of the British workforce saying they are equipped with the right tools and technology to enable them to work anywhere, half (50 percent) of respondents to a new survey stated that remote working can make them feel stressed, isolated or lonely (43 percent) and over half (53 percent) said that working out of the office makes them feel disconnected from colleagues. The survey from Peldon Rose, found that two-thirds (66 percent) of British workers say they work most productively in the office compared with a quarter (26 percent) who work most productively at home. The survey results also underline how vital close working relationships with colleagues are to employees’ happiness, wellbeing and productivity with nine in 10 (91 percent) of office workers stating they value their friendships within the workplace and 80 percent crediting their friendships with colleagues with helping them to be more productive at work – something they feel boosts their productivity even more than personal technology (66 percent).
October 25, 2016
Asked for the dream millennial workplace, most people would probably envision a brightly coloured open environment with pool tables, bean bag chairs and maybe a small basketball court. But it turns out that young people in the workplace have the same psychological requirements as the old crowd, and may even be more sensitive to distractions. A recent study by Oxford Economics suggests that distractions in the workplace are seriously hindering people’s ability to concentrate and perform, with little recognition from above. The transition to open offices since the end of the 20th century and the environmental factors they bring into play may be affecting people’s mental health, reducing employee happiness and thereby the bottom line of business performance.
October 24, 2016
As the national obesity crisis worsens and a regular flow of statistics inform us that we’re a nation in trouble, with no demographic escaping the threat, we seem to have become obsessed with how fit or unfit we are. This is reflected in our growing interest in how many calories we consume and how much exercise we manage – right down to how many steps we take a day. No surprise then that this interest has started to manifest itself in the workplace where employee fitness appears to be an issue addressed in the boardroom. Last year, research carried out by The Workforce Institute at Kronos revealed that almost 75 per cent of workers (a total of 9,000 were questioned) believe that wearable technology, designed to capture vast amounts of biometric data and manage health risks, could lead to increased efficiency and productivity in the workplace. Measuring levels of physical activity is but a small part of the obsession with health and well-being which has infiltrated the workplace overall. There is also physical evidence, from the desks that we sit at to issues of bicycle storage and showering facilities, that we are mindful of our health.
October 22, 2016
In this week’s Newsletter; Anthony Brown argues Uber’s success lends a name for a process that is reshaping the commercial property sector; Mike James wonders where the gig economy and zero hours contracts are taking us; and Mark Eltringham discusses the interaction of people and technology. Two new reports highlight the growth of the freelance workforce in the UK and US; researchers analyse the impact of coworking from a corporate real estate (CRE) perspective; Barclays presents its vision of the workforce of the future; and Herman Miller unveils a new Aeron chair. The latest stage of the UK’s BIM Task Group programme is officially launched; responses to a government enquiry reveal the barriers the built environment still presents to disabled people; and a combination of financial, mental and physical health problems affect many workers. Download our new Briefing, produced in partnership with Boss Design on the link between culture and workplace strategy and design; visit our new events page, follow us on Twitter and join our LinkedIn Group to discuss these and other stories.
October 21, 2016
Workers are under siege from a triple threat to their wellbeing, often dealing with a combination of financial, mental and physical health problems. Research from AXA PPP healthcare claims that over half (52 per cent) of nearly 2,500 workers polled had faced financial difficulties, while around a third say they’ve lived with mental ill health (36 per cent) or had problems with their physical health (30 per cent). Most workers (81 per cent) say that, when they’ve experienced difficulties with their mental health, their physical health has suffered too, while over half (52 per cent) admit that their finances have been adversely affected. Similarly, when facing problems with their physical health, 71 per cent say that they’ve also experienced difficulties with their mental health, while 40 per cent report that their finances have taken a turn for the worse. A sizeable proportion of employees who’ve had financial difficulties say that their mental health (76 per cent) and physical health (50 per cent) have also been adversely affected.
October 20, 2016
One in five people say their workload as having a negative impact on their health. Respondents to a survey of 2,000 UK workers state their jobs have caused them to suffer from depression and other stress-related illnesses. The research, commissioned by staffing app Coople, and carried out by OnePoll, claims that 30 per cent of respondents said work has made them unhappy and stressed, while more than a quarter (26 per cent) say their job causes arguments with their partner – 8 per cent of which say work has been the major factor in the breakdown of their relationship. Over half of those polled (51 per cent) have attributed a lacklustre social life to their work commitments; with 28 per cent working late, 18 per cent responding to emails out of hours and 10 per cent picking up calls outside of their hours.
October 20, 2016
A huge response to the Women and Equalities Committee’s inquiry into disability and the built environment indicates how lack of accessibility is an ongoing issue for many people. Over 150 individuals and organisations have submitted evidence to the inquiry, which aims to explore the extent to which the needs of people with a disability are considered and accommodated in the built environment, and asks whether more could be done to increase the accessibility and inclusivity of both new and existing properties and spaces. Some of the concerns raised in evidence include: a lack of accessible housing for people with disabilities; a lack of accessible public toilets; access to public buildings and open spaces; and the layout of the urban street scene, including shared spaces. The committee adds that the accessibility of homes, buildings and public spaces is an issue not just for people with a permanent physical disability. With an ageing population, it is likely that more and more people will experience reduced mobility in their lifetime; and there are also other needs to consider, such as mental health.
October 20, 2016
A study by The MS Society claims that people living with multiple sclerosis (MS) are facing ‘disturbing’ levels of disability discrimination at work, as it releases new survey results. In the survey of 1,018 people living with MS, almost a quarter (24 percent) of respondents say their employer has treated them badly as a result of their condition, and a fifth (20 percent) say their work colleagues have done so. Of the people who say they have faced mistreatment from their employer, an overwhelming majority (91 percent) say their employers knew they had the condition. And 85 percent who faced mistreatment from their work colleagues say their colleagues were aware. The survey reveals distressing examples of mistreatment people have faced at work. This includes facing offensive and humiliating comments, feeling bullied, and being accused of looking too well to have an illness or disability. People also say they have lost out on promotions, been forced out of work unfairly, and have had requests for reasonable adjustments denied (adjustments to working practices or practical support to help people to continue to do their role effectively).
October 19, 2016
Nearly 70 percent of expectant women and new parents say their employer tops the list of considerations when deciding to start a family. The new US-based study suggests that today’s generation of parents are determined to build families without postponing or abandoning career ambitions, but find themselves faced with an unfriendly and unsupportive environment at work. The third annual report in the Modern Family Index (MFI) series, commissioned by Bright Horizons Family Solutions found that women and men are waiting longer to have children, with the data showing births are down among women in their twenties and up for women over age 35. And though virtually all women surveyed are excited to return to work after a maternity leave, more than one in three new parents report feeling that their boss presumes they are now less committed to work and would prefer if they left.
October 19, 2016
It is often assumed that salary, bonuses and office perks are essential to staff engagement as the most important criteria valued by employees, but a new survey suggests otherwise. Instead, the survey by totaljobs found that across all age groups and industries what people value far more than anything else is learning on the job, selected by almost all (97 percent) of 6,829 people questioned. Loyalty and variety in a role, valued by 93 percent of respondents, also came out strong, emphasising that for most people work is about a lot more than a pay check. The need to feel they are progressing, learning new things and the company appreciates their contribution were all important factors in how much people enjoy their jobs. The other things valued most by employees were variety in a role (93 percent); working autonomously (68 percent); perks and benefits (67 percent) and structured teams (64 percent).