Search Results for: people management

Facilities managers should harness information to show the value of what they do

empty-toilet-rollOf the various myths that plague the facilities management profession, the most pernicious may well be that the role of facilities managers is largely to carry out what the early feminists called shit-work – the kind of job that only becomes visible when it is done badly or isn’t done at all. Conversely, when it is done well, nobody seems to notice or even care that much. The proto-feminists of the 50s and 60s applied the term to housework, but the term is equally apposite for the work of many facilities managers who may only come to the attention of their organisation when the air-conditioning stops working, the toilet floods or there is a problem with the car park.

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Office environmentalists experiencing “green rage” over apathetic colleagues

new Green rage afflictionFacilities managers engaged in efforts to convince apathetic colleagues to adopt greener office working practices may relate to the news of a new workplace affliction – “green rage”. Dr Rebecca Whittle of Lancaster University told delegates at the recent annual conference of the Royal Geographical Society in London that there is a lot of silent conflict at work between people trying to do the right thing environmentally, and those who don’t care. She said that a light being left on in an unoccupied office or a recyclable item put in the wrong bin can provoke emotions as strong as guilt, rage or despair. More →

Flexibility doesn’t equal insecurity suggests new report into casual working

Flexibility doesn't equal insecurity finds new report into casual workersFlexible working and part time working tend to conjure up different images, with the former perceived as the preserve of the professional/management class and the latter associated with administrative/semi-skilled workers. That impression has been reinforced by trade unions’ complaints over the increase in the use of casual or Zero Hour Contracts that allow employers to hire staff with no guarantee of work. Yet new data shows that a significant share of those on casual contracts (43%) are in the top three occupational groups (managers, professionals and associate/technical staff), just a fifth (17%) are in manual skilled or semi-skilled jobs, only one in ten are unskilled and one in ten in administrative; and just 18 per cent are looking for a new job. More →

Sometimes health and safety failures can be a laughing matter

Wile E CoyoteOne of the regular refrains from those involved in health and safety management is that while they aren’t killjoys, protecting people from harm is no laughing matter. Well actually yes, sometimes it is. And if the health and safety profession wants to shake off the po-faced image it claims is unjust, it needs to realise that some of the people it is trying to protect are just bloody idiots. And however much you try to make things idiot-proof, you’re unlikely to make them bloody-idiot-proof. Some people will always come up with something you haven’t thought of and a new way to put themselves in harm’s way.

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Dull corporate offices with no “buzz” inhibit productivity, complain staff

Dull corporate offices are stifling productivity

Creating a dynamic and creative workplace is dependent on a number of factors; the office layout and design, the style of management and the wider company culture. Get these elements right and, says workplace consultants Morgan Lovell you hit the “Buzz Barometer” – a combination of a good atmosphere, energy and teamwork which encourages productivity and high levels of employee engagement. However, according to their recent research, three quarters (78 per cent) of employees say they would be significantly more productive if their workplace had more buzz. And worryingly for larger organisations, corporates are failing to match small company buzz, with four-fifths (81 per cent) saying SMEs offer a better working atmosphere than large companies.

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Forget Gen Y – the future workplace is multigenerational

Old dog new tricksThere is quite possibly more guff talked about the impact of Gen Y on businesses and the workplace than any other management topic. However, it’s not only wrong to characterise the people of Generation Y as some homogeneous blob with stereotyped attitudes that set them apart from the rest of humanity, but also to miss the point that the workplace is and will remain multigenerational. In fact, according to new data from the Department of Work and Pensions, there have never been more over 50s in work in the UK than there are right now.  There are 2 million more over-50s in jobs than there were 15 years ago and they will form a third of the workforce by 2020. And they will want their own say on things just as much as the much talked about millennials.

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Leave it out. UK workers are skipping their break from the office

Leave it out. UK workers are skipping their break from the office

The problem with the UK holiday season is that you never know where you are with your contacts. While one chunk of the population is away on leave, the other half is beavering away, and carry on sending out tons of emails, which the other half are forced to plough through when they return to the office. Maybe we need to follow the example of the Italian office furniture manufacturer which emails out an annual reminder during the last week of July that its offices will be shut for the whole of August, when traditionally, most of Italy takes a break. Not so the Brits, where, according to new research, even workers entitled to a break, are reluctant to take time off. More →

Keep up! new “megatrends” could have dramatic impacts on the world of work

new megatrends could have dramatic impacts on the world of work

We are all aware to some extent or other of the ways in which work has changed significantly over the past few decades, but are employers sufficiently aware of, or prepared for, the future trends that will shape the way we work and the performance of our organisations and economies into the future? This is the question posed by HR body the CIPD in a major new discussion document Megatrends: The trends shaping work and working lives” as it launches a debate on the “megatrends” that are likely to shape the world of work, the workforce and the culture and organisation of workplaces over the next decade.

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Work pressures mean over half of managers plan to work on holiday

Work pressures mean over half of managers plan to work on holiday

BYOD are either an aide to productivity or fuel unhealthy levels of presenteeism, depending on which piece of research you believe.  In a survey (by mobile comms supplier) Citrix, 24 per cent of managers think that using BYOD while away from the office is the best way to avoid the average 25 per cent drop in productivity suffered by smaller businesses during the holiday period. This is borne out by data from the Institute of Leadership & Management (ILM) which found an overwhelming 80 per cent of managers check their Blackberries or smartphone on holiday, a third (33%) checking in every day, and 54 per cent feel compelled to work while on leave. More →

Fall in sickness absence rates, but mental ill health still major cause

 Sickness absence falls but mental ill health and stress still a problem

Mental health conditions are the single most widespread cause of long-term absence, with more than half (54 per cent) of employers citing non-work related stress, anxiety and depression as a cause of long-term absence. On a more positive note, according to the latest CBI/Pfizer Absence and Workplace Health Survey out today, overall absence from work in the UK has dropped to a new record low. The thirty-year survey found the average absence rate was 5.3 days in 2012, down from 6.5 days in 2010 – saving business £3 billion. However, the report, Fit for Purpose, found overall absences still cost the economy £14 billion a year, according to the ONS. Almost £1.8 billion was lost from an estimated one-in-eight sick days taken for non-genuine reasons, with one in five employers believing employees take “sickies” as an occasional perk. While absence rates in both the public and private sector were down to 6.9 (from 8.1) and 4.9 (from 5.9) days respectively, the report argues more than £1.2 billion a year could be saved if public sector absence levels were brought in line with the private sector average – on top of the £700 million saved from the fall since 2010.

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Many facilities managers not engaging with industry bodies and social media

 Industry bodies and social media are not engaging practising FMs

What were your thoughts on the recent announcement of the British Institute of Facilities Management (BIFM), Asset Skills, the Facilities Management Association and the Cleaning and Support Services Association agreeing to the concept of forming one single and united body to represent facilities management and support services? I suppose the devil is in the detail and clarification of “agreeing to the concept” is required. Is this going to be a quick process, something that drags on for a lengthy period and what consultation will there be? And that is the crux for me – consultation is where this could all break down. But let’s take a step back and ask how many people work in the sector and how many facilities managers do the organisations involved represent?

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Ergonomics of dishonesty. How desk size influences behaviour

The influence the design and layout of the workplace can have on productivity is widely acknowledged. Now, according to a new scientific study expansive physical settings like having a big desk to stretch out at work can cause individuals to feel more powerful, and in turn these feelings of power can elicit more dishonest behaviour such as stealing, cheating, and traffic violations. This might sound far-fetched but The Ergonomics of Dishonesty was written by a group of researchers at leading business schools, including Harvard, Columbia and Berkeley and is soon to be published in a forthcoming issue of the journal Psychological Science. Co-author Andy Yap, explained: “Our research shows that office managers should pay attention to the ergonomics of their workspaces. The results suggest that these physical spaces have tangible and real-world impact on our behaviours.” More →

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