October 18, 2016
The financial services industry has never been known as a ‘touchy-feeling’ environment, and despite efforts to raise the issue of mental ill health at work, appears resolutely resistant to cultural change. This perception is reinforced by a new piece of research which claims that rising stress in the City is driving more than two out of three investment bank staff to consider quitting their job – but employees believe talking about stress or mental health issues to management will damage their careers. In a study by MetLife among decision makers at financial institutions two out of five (40 percent) think their job is extremely stressful with 67 percent considering quitting their jobs in the next year if stress levels do not improve. However, despite the impact of stress on their work and home lives, around 70 percent believe that admitting to suffering from anxiety or mental health issues will damage their career prospects and there is a reluctance to offer staff more flexible hours to help reduce the strain.
October 14, 2016
Younger workers are more affected by workplace stress than their older colleagues, with half of Generation Y UK workers (50 percent), reporting heightened levels of stress in the workplace, compared to 44 percent for generation X and 35 percent within the baby boomer generation. The Global Benefits Attitudes Survey of 1,895 employees in the UK by Willis Towers Watson suggests that the top causes of workplace stress for Millennials were inadequate staffing and low pay, which mirrored the top two causes across all generations in the survey. This is followed by a lack of work/life balance and unclear and/or conflicting job expectations, whereas for baby boomers it is company culture and excessive organisation change. The report also shows Gen Y workers are more worried about their finances than older workers, with 64 percent of younger workers reporting being worried, compared to 55 percent of generation X workers and 38 percent of baby boomers.
October 14, 2016
Accessible leaders and strong company values are important factors that can ultimately reflect an employee’s success or failure within the company. However,so too is equipping employees with the latest technology, and it’s an area where many organisations are falling down. A study by Oracle awarded low marks when it came to companies capitalising on technology to help them connect with employees in more ways than ever to create a more modern and customised learning experience. Just 44 percent of respondents said that their employer uses the latest digital technology to enable them to effectively perform in their role. Feedback from nearly 5,000 full-time employees at organisations with 250 or more employees also revealed that only 38 percent say that their company is concerned about their overall well-being, despite the fact that employees are most comfortable and productive within a creative, yet flexible workplace culture. more…
October 12, 2016
A huge number of employees (87 percent) blame their workplace for making them ill, with only 25 percent saying they feel healthy at work on a regular basis, claims a new survey from Healthcare provider Benenden. In addition, half of those surveyed (50 percent) said they felt depressed at work, with just 40 percent admitting they are happy in their place of work. The survey of 2,000 employed people reveals that nearly half of workers still go into work, despite being ill. And whether ill or not, once in work, those surveyed confessed to having regular health issues, with backache (84 percent) eye strain (42 percent) and regular migraines (27 percent) all being part of working life. In addition, just under half of respondents (at 44 percent), reported being regularly stressed at work, with a further 91 percent feeling tired several times a week at their desk. Nearly two thirds of workers (58 percent) said that work worries keep them awake at night.
October 11, 2016
Working from home has long been branded ‘shirking from home’ but a new survey suggests that home workers actually take fewer sick days. The research by CartridgePeople.com and published in the SOHO (Small Office/Home Office) Workers Report, found that home workers are not only happier but they are also healthier than their workplace-based counterparts – taking an average of 2.4 sick days per year, in comparison to the 2.6 taken by those working from company premises. Of course, that doesn’t tell us if they are in fact healthier, or that they’re more prepared to carry out their work duties from the comfort of their bed. But the survey of 1,096 British workers, including both home workers and those who work from their employers’ premises, also revealed that the majority of workers (60 percent) did feel happier when working from home.
October 10, 2016
Almost half of UK workers (44 percent) know a colleague who has had to give up work because of stress, while more than a third of people (36 percent) say that colleagues have complained about feeling stressed to their employer, but received no support. As a result, most people (56 percent) don’t feel comfortable talking about depression or stress in the workplace. The fourth annual Employee Insight Report from Capita Employee Benefits, released to coincide with World Mental Health Day today (October 10) suggests that stigmas remain and companies should be doing more to encourage their workers to open up about mental health issues. The findings reveal that just 33 percent would feel comfortable talking to their employer if they have a mental health issue, like depression; 75 percent of respondents said they have felt stressed at work over the last 12 months but only 20 percent have taken time off work because of stress.
October 6, 2016
If you feel like you are checking your email more than ever before, the chances are that you are. Email continues to be the number one communication channel for people around the world, and that includes Millennials, although their use of text and instant messaging is changing the way email is used. According to the new study of 4,000 people in the US, UK, France and Germany from Adobe, the amount of time we spend checking messages increased by an average of 17 percent last year. British workers in the UK spend on average 90 days a year reading email, compared to 62 days for the Germans, 99 days for the French and 88 hours for Americans. This means that the average British worker spends slightly over 4 hours each day checking their messages, including in the bathroom, in front of the television and even while with other people.
October 5, 2016
Employee benefits that help promote a healthy workforce are increasingly important when you consider that (perhaps unsurprisingly) 69.8 percent of employees say they felt less productive if they come into work whilst ill. But these benefits are increasingly as important to employees as an aide to productivity. A range of employee benefits are still a crucial recruitment and retention tool, with almost three quarters (69 percent) of employees saying they are more likely to stay with an employer that offers a good employee package compared with 66 percent in 2015. New research from the fourth annual Capita Employee Benefits Insight Report also reveals that 44.8 percent of respondents would judge an employer based on the quality of the health and wellbeing packages they offer. This is particularly valued by higher earners where nearly half (48.8) percent of employees earning over £45,000 a year said they would evaluate their employer or potential employer on the strength of their commitment to employee wellbeing.
October 4, 2016
Recent research by the Commons Women and Equalities Committee suggests that around 54,000 expectant and new mothers have no choice but to leave work due to pregnancy discrimination or concerns over the safety of their children; and shockingly, this figure has doubled in the last decade alone. Other research carried out by the Equality & Human Rights Commission (EHRC) and the former Department for Business, Innovation and Skills shows that despite 77 percent of working mothers reporting potentially discriminatory or negative experiences, only 28 percent raised the issue with their employer, and less than 1 percent pursued a claim through the tribunal system. As a mother of two young children, this is a topic very close to my heart. I have worked in HR for over 18 years now, and advised on all manner of employee relations issues and know from personal experience that being pregnant and suffering discrimination or redundancy is not at all unusual.
October 4, 2016
There is a massive difference between employers’ perception of the way in which they address mental health in the workplace and those of their staff, according to a new report being published today. While the majority (97 percent) of senior managers believe that they are accessible if employees want to talk about mental health problems, almost half (49 percent) of employees would not talk to their manager about an issue. The findings from the Mental Health at Work report, by the charity Business in the Community are that more than three quarters (77 percent) of employees have experienced symptoms of poor mental health in their lives, and for 62 percent of employees work has been a contributing factor to their symptoms. Despite this, over half of employees (56 percent) who disclosed symptoms of said that their employer took no mitigating actions and only 22 percent of managers have had relevant mental health training at work.
October 2, 2016
In this week’s Newsletter; Tim Oldman argues that businesses are failing to understand the basis of workplace effectiveness; Mark Eltringham looks at ways of using workplace design to influence the feelings and behaviour of others; and takes part in a podcast with Hari Kalymnios, author, trainer and Leadership Speaker at The Thought Gym. HSBC moves 300 staff into a coworking space in Hong Kong; Apple reveals it is to occupy the redeveloped Battersea Power Station and post-Brexit employment levels maintained by the growing gig economy. The global introduction of sustainable building regulations remains slow; the UK’s commercial property market remains robust in the wake of the vote to leave the European Union; and evidence that offering flexible working to Mums could boast the economy by billions. 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.
September 29, 2016
Nearly a quarter (23 percent) of employers still don’t record, monitor or even bother to manage sickness absence within their organisation, claims research from Group Risk Development (GRiD). Staff absence has remained static or is improving for the majority of employers, and of those that did record staff absence, 25 percent of companies say their absence has improved over the last 12 months, while for 10 percent it has worsened. Over half (55 percent) of employers said that, on average, their employees take five or fewer days off sick each year, 4 percent said on average their employees took more than 15 days off. It’s stating the obvious but given the fact so many employers disregard absence management, GRiD advises that the starting point is for companies to establish an absence policy. Their staff need to know what action to take if absent – such as who to call, and any absence needs to be recorded and monitored; as when companies know why their staff take time off work they can put appropriate measures in place.