Search Results for: working hours

European business leaders join forces to target depression in the workplace


Mental health campaigners’ efforts to persuade employers to combat mental ill health at work took a significant step forward today when, for the first time, senior European executives from a group of major employers, including BT Group, Barclays, and Unilever, came together to assess and address depression in the workplace. One in 10 employees in Europe is estimated to take time off work due to depression, which equates to more than 34 million people. The “Target Depression in the Workplace” initiative recommends concrete tools and resources that will enable company executives to better identify and support employees with depression, as well as promote good mental health at work. More →

iPosture generation warned to sit up straight or risk a lifetime of back pain

iPosture generation warned to sit up straight or risk a lifetime of back pain

Ask anyone under twenty, “what is a VDU?” and they’ll probably think you’re referring to a “social” disease. Yet, despite the fact that tablet technology is in the ascent, the workplace procedure that is still used to help safeguard office workers from developing back, neck or other muscular skeletal problems is the workstation audit, as recommended in the HSE’s Working with VDUs guidance. Most under 25s would prefer to slump comfortably over a BYOD anyway, and as a result of these less than ergonomic habits , a massive 84 per cent of 18-24 year olds have admitted to suffering some incidence of back pain in the last 12 months, according to new research. More →

Where’s the desk? UK offices weighed down by paper clutter

UK offices weighed down by paper clutterWe’ve been hearing about the paperless office for more than two decades, BYOD (or CYOD) is supposed to replace ‘dead trees’; but we’re still drowning in paper. Today, the average UK desk is weighed down by almost a stone of clutter – with over a fifth of office workers losing important documents at least once a week, according to office equipment manufacturer Brother. Recent research by the EDM Group echoed these findings, estimating that employees wasted one and a half hours a week looking for misplaced documents and information. One of the causes is the sheer amount of information and data employees now receive, with over half (56%) in the EDM poll claiming that they receive more information at work than they did three years ago. More →

Don’t let the sofas fool you; work can still be red in tooth and claw

Herbert James Draper: Ulysses and the sirens

Herbert James Draper: Ulysses and the sirens

We keep filling our workplaces with sofas, coffee shops and other lifestyle touches while our homes are being slowly eroded by the trappings of work. First it was the fax machine. Then the mobile phone. Then working from home. The places available for us to work is seemingly more diverse than ever. But does this acknowledged trend towards domesticity make the workplace a kinder, gentler place? Maybe on the surface but beware to those who dare succumb to the siren song of these things. Using them could mean the end of your career.A recent conversation I had with an executive highlighted the problems inherent in the mixed messages this “softening” of the work environment brings.

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New research sheds light on why executives persist in stressful work habits

New research sheds light on why executives persist with stressful work habits

There’s a fine line between enjoying the stimulation of a demanding job and feeling burnt out. Lloyds’ chief executive, Antonio Horta-Osorio made headline news in 2011 after being signed off sick with stress and exhaustion. As the recent suicides of two Swiss banking executives have shown, it’s often difficult for pressurised workaholics to admit the job has become too much. A recent US academic study provides some clues as to why senior executives persist in working to unhealthy levels; while research by serviced office provider Business Environment reveals how UK office workers are also prone to stressful work habits. One fifth (21%) take work home at least one to two times a week, and one in five employees (19.6%) have taken time off work due to stress. More →

Number of people in work rose 80,000 over last three months

Number of people in full time employment rises by 80,000 in three monthsThe number of people in full-time work has increased by 80,000 over the last three months according to figures released today by the Office for National Statistics. Employment growth was accompanied by a 24,000 fall in unemployment between May and July meaning the rate of unemployment in the UK this quarter dropped to 7.7 per cent from 7.8 per cent in the previous three months.  However the figures also showed the number of people in part-time work has risen to 1.45 million, the highest since records began in 1992 and double the number of five years ago, which may put more pressure on the government to address the continued controversy over zero hours working. To download the latest ONS labour market statistics click here.

UK employees not getting enough sleep due to workplace stress

UK workers not sleeping on the job - but because of the jobThe death last month of an intern at a major City bank drew attention to the ridiculously long hours worked by those attempting to carve out a career within the banking sector. Now a new report has confirmed that workers within the banking profession have the least amount of sleep across the UK, coping on average with just five hours and 50 minutes every night. But the annual sleep and professions report conducted by Travelodge reveals that British workers are surviving on just six hours and 27 minutes sleep every night – one hour and thirty three minutes below the recommend sleep quota of eight hours of sleep per night. Three out of ten workers have reported that they get less sleep now in comparison to a year ago, whilst a fifth of employees regard sleep a luxury.  More →

We deserve better than a polarised debate about cellular v open plan offices

Jacques Tati's Playtime

Jacques Tati’s Playtime

Stimulated by a number of rather unsubtle commercial interests, the ‘in’ workplace discussion seems to have swung from ‘collaboration’ i.e. organisations need more new spaces for formal and informal collaborative interactions, to ‘distraction’ i.e. open plan workplaces are creating a loss of productivity because people whose work requires concentration are impeded by constant interruption. The implication of the latter is that people should keep their ‘cubes’ and open-plan should be avoided at all costs. You can see pretty quickly where the commercial axes are being ground can’t you.

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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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UKIP quip that women not competitive enough for business obscures real debate

UKIP comment on women not competitive enough for business obscures real debate

The comment by UKIP treasurer Stuart Wheeler that women are not competitive enough to merit a place in the boardroom grabbed all of the headlines from an important debate on the introduction of gender quotas on City boards. The news broke on the same day that employment body the CIPD issued a warning that businesses will continue to lose talented female workers if they don’t offer them a better work-life balance.  With research showing that around half of female managers choose not to return to work following maternity leave, how far should employers be going to retain female talent and encourage workplace diversity, and does gender equality really require a legislative stick? More →

Latest edition of Insight newsletter available to view online

Latest editon of office insight newsletter

In the latest issue of the Insight newsletter; a new RSA survey suggests flexible working could give people around five more hours working time per week; advice on keeping the workplace cool; the UK Green Building Council launches Regional Leadership Awards; and plans to redevelop Smithfield market are given the green light. Contributor Andrew Brown shares his thoughts on what Graeme Obree, the Flying Scotsman, can teach us about workplace innovation – while Charles Marks comments on the office design challenges for the expanding technology, media and telecoms (TMT) sector. To view this week’s newsletter, which includes video footage of Charles Eames click here.

“Time-bomb” of British workers unhealthy and old before their time

"Time-bomb" of British workers unhealthy and old before their time

Bad lifestyle choices are shaving over four years off British employee’s lives, leaving them unhealthy and old before their time and creating a “time-bomb” for UK employers. According to the wellness survey of 10,000 employees in the UK, 86 per cent of British workers have an average Vitality (health) Age of 4.1 years older than their real age due to unhealthy lifestyles. Vitality Age gives an estimate of years of life lost or gained by taking into consideration the presence or absence of certain risk factors. Nearly a third (31.2 per cent) of employees have three or more risk factors, putting them at serious risk of ill health, and the biggest contributing factors for a higher Vitality Age are lack of physical activity and being overweight.

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