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How to manage flexible working requests (including turning them down)

How to manage flexible working requests (including turning them down)

flexible working requestsIf an employee makes a flexible working request, then employers should have principles and procedures in place setting out how these requests should be dealt with. Avoiding disputes in the workplace generally means adhering to three principles: clarity, consistency, and fairness. So, here’s a brief (non-exhaustive) guide to handling flexible working requests. More →

Young people should optimise the time they spend in the office

Young people should optimise the time they spend in the office

young people in the officeDuring the pandemic, around 100 million people in Europe switched to working from home – nearly half of them for the first time. This shift was rapid, with employees quickly noticing the benefits of remote work. These can include freedom from commuting, more time for personal wellbeing and increased productivity. As we move on from pandemic restrictions, we’ve seen a strong, global demand for more flexible forms of working, particularly to retain an element of remote work. While some employees want to work from home permanently, most want what’s coming to be regarded as the best of both worlds: hybrid working. Only a minority of workers now want to return to the office full time. More →

The four day week and a case of less is more

The four day week and a case of less is more

four day weekWhen a pilot programme for a four day week was announced in the UK early in the New Year, #4dayweek trended for days on twitter, with jokey comments on how employees taking part in the trial should do everything not to ‘f*** it up for the rest of us.’ But behind the humour there’s a real issue with productivity in the UK. Recent Office for National Statistics reveals that while productivity grew across all G7 countries during the pandemic, the UK experienced the largest falls in GDP growth and an increase in the number of hours worked. More →

Are these the best countries in Europe for work-life balance?

Are these the best countries in Europe for work-life balance?

work-life balanceA new study from recruitment firm Remote claims to analyse how European countries are looking after the work-life balance of their employees. The report sets out to take an ‘holistic’ view on work-life balance taking into account of factors such as minimum wage, maternity leave, statutory annual leave, sick pay, the country’s healthcare system and the country’s overall happiness level to help workers determine the best locations for life-work balance. The UK comes in a lowly 28th place, in case you didn’t want to click on the report link. More →

Over-50s urged to return to work to deal with staff shortages

Over-50s urged to return to work to deal with staff shortages

over-50sThe British Chambers of Commerce has said employers and the Government need to work together to bring older people back into the workforce. According to ONS data,  around 500,000 older people have left the workforce in recent years, many of them prompted to do so by the pandemic. The number of over-50s who aren’t working or currently looking for work rose by 493,000 between October 2019 and December 2021. According to the Office for National Statistics, one in five did so due to stress or other mental health concerns. More →

Office occupiers should invest in neurodiversity, report argues

Office occupiers should invest in neurodiversity, report argues

office occupiers neurodiversityA new report from the British Council for Offices urges landlords and office occupiers to invest in design for neurodiversity, as disabling workspaces continue to hinder wellbeing. The report examines how the neurodiverse community remains underserved and often unsupported in the current employment ecosystem, and in turn, outlines the considerations that built environment practitioners can take to make offices enabling environments, and the crucial role of more inclusive designs. More →

Competition for talent is fierce, but employers edge away from pay to attract people

Competition for talent is fierce, but employers edge away from pay to attract people

competition for talentNew CIPD research claims that almost half (45 percent) of UK employers report having vacancies that are hard-to-fill, and almost two thirds (65 percent) anticipate problems filling vacancies in the next six months. The most common response made in the past six months by employers with hard-to-fill vacancies has been to increase pay (44 percent). However, only a quarter (27 percent) of organisations plan to raise wages in response to the competition for talent in the future. This suggests that organisations may be approaching their limit on this ‘quick win’ strategy and are exploring alternative options, such as upskilling people and flexible working, to attract and retain people. More →

Menopausal women being let down by employers

Menopausal women being let down by employers

menopausal womenA landmark study based on data from the largest ever survey of menopausal and peri-menopausal women in the UK reveals a shocking lack of support for often severe symptoms which mean the needs of menopausal women are being ignored both in the workplace and by healthcare providers. More →

Why the over 50s are leaving the workforce in huge numbers

Why the over 50s are leaving the workforce in huge numbers

over 50s leaving workThe UK economy has a problem with its over 50s: following the COVID pandemic, they have been leaving the labour force en masse, causing headaches for businesses and the government. Roughly 300,000 more workers aged between 50 and 65 are now “economically inactive” than before the pandemic, leading a tabloid paper to dub the problem the “silver exodus”. Being economically inactive means that these older workers are neither employed nor looking for a job. Of course, it could simply be that workers saved more during the pandemic and can now afford to retire in comfort earlier than planned. More →

A third of workers think their jobs are at risk from automation

A third of workers think their jobs are at risk from automation

automationA new poll claims that one in three (37 percent) employees consider their current job to be at risk from automation and digital transformation. HR software provider CIPHR has compiled a list of the occupations that are the most and least likely to be replaced by technology or machines, based on the results of a survey of more than 1,000 UK workers: www.ciphr.com/jobs-at-risk-from-automation. Survey respondents were asked to rate the likelihood that their own occupation could become automated in the future, due to advances in smart technologies, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, and robotics. More →

Economic inactivity hits record high amongst men aged over 50

Economic inactivity hits record high amongst men aged over 50

Economic inactivity levels amongst men aged 50-64 in December 2021 to February 2022 were the highest since records began, according to new analysis from Rest Less. The firms analysed labour market data from the Office of National Statistics and found that economic inactivity levels amongst men aged 50-64 reached 1.47 million in the latest official figures – the highest they have ever been since records began in 1992. The economic inactivity rate amongst this demographic reached a nine-year high and is now at 23.1 percent. More →

Women working from home more likely than men to say their careers are harmed

Women working from home more likely than men to say their careers are harmed

working from homeWomen working from home regularly are less positive about their career prospects than men are, new research suggests. They are also less optimistic about getting recognition for good work and being included in important consultations when compared to men who often work from home, the study found. The research, presented at the British Sociological Association’s online annual conference today [Wednesday, 20 April 2022], comes at a time when employers and staff are deciding how much they will work from home as pandemic restrictions are removed.

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