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UK CEOs bullish on business growth but concerned about skills and global economy

UK CEOs bullish on business growth but concerned about skills and global economy 0

UK CEOs are more upbeat about the growth prospects for their own companies than 12 months ago, according to PwC’s 20th annual CEO Survey published today at the World Economic Forum in Davos. Almost nine out of 10 (89 percent) respondents say they are confident of their company’s growth in the year ahead, up from 85 percent in 2016, and above the 85 percent global figure and 77 percent in Germany. Forty one percent of UK CEOs describe themselves as being ‘very confident’. More generally, UK bosses are in hiring mode. Sixty three percent expect to grow their workforce over the coming 12 months, compared to 52 percent of their global counterparts. Just 10 percent expect headcount to decrease, down from 20 percent in 2016. Access to key skills is considered to be the single biggest business threat facing their organisations. More than four in five (83 percent) of UK bosses are concerned about how to get hold of key skills, up sharply from 71 percent last year. The skills most highly prized by UK leaders – adaptability and problem solving, leadership and collaboration, and creativity and innovation – are also proving the hardest to recruit.

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Thirteen ways the physical environment shapes knowledge management

Thirteen ways the physical environment shapes knowledge management

Knowledge management (including its creation, transference and storage) within an organisation is now widely considered to be one of the primary drivers of a business’s sustainability. Driven by changing demographics, businesses are recognising the ways in which valuable knowledge is lost when employees leave the organisation, including when they retire or are made redundant in response to changing economic conditions. Geyer, an Australian design practice, is just one organisation that has undertaken important research to understand the role of the physical environment in knowledge management.The aim of the research was to explore the kinds of environments and their attributes (if any) that could support the management of knowledge in an organisation. The research also aimed to expand the focus of existing knowledge management literature; from information technology to workplace design.

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One in five working millennials in the UK have two or more jobs

One in five working millennials in the UK have two or more jobs 0

New research from recruitment app Coople, claims that British millennials are a generation of career jugglers, seeking ‘varied lifestyles and accelerated multi-skilled growth’. The survey of 2,000 employed millennials in the UK, carried out by OnePoll, claims that there is a growing “slash culture”, in which workers take on more than one job simultaneously. The new statistics claim that one in five (19 per cent) employed young people have two or more jobs, more than any other generation. Some of the main reasons cited by millennials for taking on multiple roles include to learn new skills (47 per cent) and for variety and experience (27 per cent). By comparison, older generations put more onus on increased earnings when stating their purpose for working within multiple roles. The study also claims one in three millennials (29 per cent) plan on changing industry within the next two years, 13 per cent intend to change industries within the next year and 45 per cent will be looking to move within three years.

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Two thirds of female professionals’ jobs downgraded after career break

Two thirds of female professionals’ jobs downgraded after career break 0

Two thirds of female professionals' jobs downgraded after career breakA lack of flexible roles means that two thirds of professional women who return to work after a career break, work fewer hours than they prefer or go into lower-skilled or lower-paid roles, claims new research by PwC, in conjunction with Women Returners and 30% Club. 427,000 UK female professionals are currently estimated to be on a career break and likely to return to the workforce in the future. Of those, three in five (249,000) are likely to enter lower-skilled roles when they return to work. This has serious implications for earnings as this downgrading is associated with an immediate 12-32 percent reduction in hourly earnings, depending on whether the woman remains with the same employer. A further 29,000 women returning to part-time work would prefer to work longer hours but are unable to due to a lack of flexible roles. Altogether, two-thirds of (or around 278,000) women could be working below their potential when they return to the workforce.

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Representation of ethnic minorities in UK boardrooms ‘disproportionately low’

Representation of ethnic minorities in UK boardrooms ‘disproportionately low’ 0

Representation of ethnic minorities in British boardrooms 'disproportionately low'

Ethnic minority representation in the Boardrooms across the FTSE 100 and 250 is disproportionately low and does not reflect the ethnic diversity of either the UK or the stakeholders they seek to engage and represent; a new industry-led review has revealed. Given the fact that the UK will be the most diverse country in Western Europe by 2051, with over 30 percent of the population expected to be comprised of people from ethnic minority or migrant backgrounds, each FTSE 100 Board should have at least one director of colour by 2021, and each FTSE 250 Board by 2024. These are the main recommendations of the Parker Review report, Beyond One by ‘21 which found that out of 1,087 director positions in the FTSE 100, only 8 percent of positions are held by directors of colour, of which 1.5 percent are UK citizens, despite the fact that 14 percent of the total UK population is from a non-white ethnic group (up from 2 percent in 1971).

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Corporate responsibility now essential to attract and retain millennials

Corporate responsibility now essential to attract and retain millennials 0

carrotCorporate social responsibility is no longer seen as more than a nice to have, with those working within the built environment for example, appreciating the role it has in reducing greenhouse gases. But it is also being increasingly seen as a positive way of attracting and engaging the right talent. Now according to a new survey carried out in the US, meaningful engagement around CSR is becoming a business – and bottom line – imperative, impacting a company’s ability to appeal to, retain and inspire Millennial talent. Three-quarters (76 percent) of Millennials consider a company’s social and environmental commitments when deciding where to work and nearly two-thirds (64 percent) won’t take a job if a potential employer doesn’t have strong corporate social responsibility (CSR) practices, according to the 2016 Cone Communications Millennial Employee Engagement Study. Because the millennial generation are the most likely to blend their personal and working lives, it’s more important to them than other generations to view their job as a way to make a positive impact on society, the study suggests.

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Digital diversity hub launched by RICS to coincide with Coming Out Day 0

diversity-rainbow-wallToday is Coming Out Day and as part of a greater drive for diversity, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has launched a new digital hub designed to help its members create more inclusive workforces. To underscore the need for greater diversity, RICS cites a 2015 survey carried out by the Architects’ Journal, just 16 percent of gay employees believe the industry is inclusive of LGBT workers, up to a third feel that their sexuality creates barriers to career progression and 85 percent claim to have encountered homophobia at least once during their careers.

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Report published on employing older workers to help close labour gap

Report published on employing older workers to help close labour gap 0

older workersA new report – published to encourage employers to create more age friendly workplaces – warns of a widening labour gap in the UK. Between 2005 and 2015 the number of people working over the age of 50 in the UK increased by 2.5 million. By 2022, the UK economy will need to fill 14.5 million job vacancies created by people leaving the workforce and by new positions being created; but it is estimated that there will only be seven million young people available to fill them – leaving a labour shortage of 7.7 million people. Yet currently, one million older people who are not in work want to work and if just half of these were to move into employment GDP would increase by up to £88 billion a year. Business in the Community’s new report, Age in the Workplace, supported by the Centre for Ageing Better, advises employers on how to implement practical changes; such as introducing more flexible hours, which will help improve the recruitment and retention of older workers.

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The traditional office is still very much alive, but it is changing

The traditional office is still very much alive, but it is changing 0

mote_articleA skim through workplace features in the media and you’d be forgiven for thinking that the traditional office is no longer with us. According to the narrative, we’re all now 20-somethings, working in open-plan warehouses, with table football, bean bags and comfy sofas to lounge on, while drinking our custom-made soya lattes. When in actual fact, while more relaxed, fun and funky offices tend to make the headlines, the majority of people still work in a relatively traditional way, with their PC or laptop, a desk and an ergonomic task chair. What’s more, with an ageing workforce, we certainly aren’t all 20-somethings, with DWP (Department of Work and Pensions) figures revealing that the employment rate for people aged 50 to 64 has risen by 14 per cent in the last 30 years, and doubled for over 65s. So designing with just the youngsters in mind simply doesn’t add up. Recent research by the Senator Group, backs up this view.

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The people centric urge to personalise space helps firms to engage employees

The people centric urge to personalise space helps firms to engage employees 0

a97998_cubicle_5In America at least, the great symbol of corporate conformity is the office cubicle. Satirised in the Dilbert cartoons and a staple in any movie about the degrading aspects of modern working life, the cubicle provides a perfect shorthand way of portraying an individual crushed by the corporate jackboot. Yet what these things miss is the propensity of people to personalise their surroundings and claim a space as their own, even if only for the short time they may be there. This seems to be particularly the case when it comes to office design and so we were much taken with this blog which lists the most far out and quirky ways people in the US have found to personalise their cubicles. Of course the need and urge to personalise space are not limited to the US. We often find in the course of our own installations that the first thing people do when they occupy an office for the first time is to personalise their space.

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LBGT inclusion in the workplace relies on FM and HR best practice

LBGT inclusion in the workplace relies on FM and HR best practice 0

LGBT inclusion © Andy Tyler Photography Much has been written about the business case for diversity and inclusion with one overarching theme; people perform better when they can be themselves. This is especially true for lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans employees. Have you ever hesitated before talking about your partner to a colleague at work? Anticipated how they will react when they find out the person’s gender? Have you ever thought twice about going to the toilet in the office? Spent more time worrying about which facilities you’ll use than the looming deadline you have coming up? These are just a few examples of the thoughts that can consume the mental power of an LGBT person when you create a working environment which isn’t inclusive. According to last year’s Open For Business report, LGBT diversity and inclusion in the workplace impacts two key areas of productivity – business and individual performance, which rely on a focus on sound management and an inclusive workplace design.

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Increase in workplace technology spend will help make offices ‘more human’

Increase in workplace technology spend will help make offices ‘more human’ 0

Agile workingSpending on workplace technology has doubled in the past five years as artificial intelligence is used to redefine how we connect in the workplace. That is the central claim of a new report from design firm Unispace based on interviews with CEOs and Heads of Real Estate at some 100 blue chip firms worldwide including KPMG, Cisco, Adidas, GE, Accenture, Boston Consulting Group, Regus, Deloitte, UBS, Chevron, CitiGroup, and Ashurst, Respondents were asked to assess how they expect to use office space in 2020. According to the report, respondents indicated that they will continue increasing technology spend, irrevocably changing the traditional office space as we know it. Over the last five years, the average company spent 10 percent of its workplace budgets on technology with 30 percent going on services, partitioning and furniture. The trend has now reversed with technology spend outstripping other spend as companies strive to improve efficiency, collaboration, creativity, engagement and recruitment.

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