Search Results for: productivity

New survey reveals risks of cutting costs in corporate real estate

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JLL ReportA new report from Jones Lang LaSalle claims to highlight how those firms who see their property as a driver of added value rather than a cost reap rewards in the form of higher revenue, employee performance and shareholder returns. In contrast, those firms who view their facilities as a cost and seek to reduce those costs for short term gain are, in fact, storing up long term problems and risks. JLL’s report – Global Corporate Real Estate Trends – claims to reveal the top five corporate real estate risks, including negative impacts on competitive advantage and profitability from cost cutting, procurement processes, lack of collaboration between functions and failure to drive productivity.

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Corporate culture of presenteeism leads to inequality

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Corporate cultures celebrate presenteeism

Over half (60 per cent) of senior executives say their productivity would be increased if their organisations played a more active role in helping them balance their work and non-work lives; the majority by 10 to 25 per cent. The research by the Inspire board network and executive search firm Harvey Nash also reveals that male dominated corporate cultures are the biggest barrier to women reaching the board, with over half (52 per cent) believing that today’s corporate cultures which celebrate presenteeism, dramatically reduce the length of time women are prepared stay and develop their career with their employer. More →

Majority of employers support flexible working but perception problems persist

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flexible work

As we reported last week, the Millennial generation of workers born in the 80s and 90s would describe work as a “thing rather than a place”, and want more flexibility in where and how they work. While the Yahoo home working ban debate uncovered a lot of exasperation and suspicion towards this trend, it’s interesting to see two separate studies, from the UK and the U.S. that show a far less combative attitude. But, as the U.S study discovered, while a majority of employees enjoyed real productivity benefits from home working, nearly half would still go into the office because it is what is expected of them and a small percentage still go because it gets them out of the house. More →

Office furniture ergonomics standard for increasing size of U.S. workers

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Larger U.S. workers

The U.S. furniture manufacturer’s association the BIFMA (Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturers Association) has revised its ergonomics guidance to “reflect changes in the size and shape of the North American working population,” This includes increased seat width, distance between armrests, support surface height for sitting and standing, and height clearance for legs and knees. It’s also developing a new “Heavy Occupant Chair Standard”.  Although the BIFMA cannot be faulted for responding to consumer demand, the renewed guidance doesn’t address the core of the problem – the fact that over a quarter of U.S. workers (approximately 66 million people) are obese.

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New research from China highlights benefits of working from home

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CTripA new report from researchers at Stanford Graduate School of Business and the Guanghua Management School at Beijing University looking into the experience of working from home at one large Chinese firm has found that the practice led to a 13 per cent increase in productivity. The research also found that workers reported increased levels of job satisfaction and half elected to continue working from home when the choice was given to them at the end of the study period even though it was evident that their chances of promotion on the basis of performance had reduced as a result of the experiment.

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Video: one of the keys to a productive workplace: micro-organisms?

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The quest for the answer to what makes us productive at work is an endless one, of course. Partly this is due to misleading research claims from suppliers that the provision of a specific product will increase productivity by x per cent. But mostly it’s because the answers shift from case to case and over time because while we can identify the factors that make people more productive, it’s harder to pin down the effects of their interrelationships. Plant walls and better seating won’t by themselves improve the performance of somebody who hates their job. Nevertheless, it’s important to design all the productivity factors into a building, including at a bacterial level according to Jessica Green who here explores the impact of microbes in different areas of an office building.

The resistance to flexible working is entirely reasonable

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Home workingIn recent media coverage of the decision by Yahoo to ban homeworking as well as a recent survey from Microsoft, the resistance to the idea that people work better when they are allowed to work flexibly has typically been put down to cultural inertia. Sometimes those who have resisted the uptake of flexible working have been portrayed as dinosaurs. While there’s no question that culture and management attitudes do create barriers to the uptake of flexible working, there is a growing recognition that certain flexible working practices may not be appropriate for many people and organisations and even specific sectors. The barriers may be there for a good reason.

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UK employers failing to measure effectiveness of workplace wellness

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MeasureFurther data from Buck Consultant’s Global Wellness Strategies Report reveals that UK employers know what they want from their workplace wellness strategy, but less than one in 10 (9 per cent) actively measures specific outcomes, and three quarters (74 per cent) of those that don’t say it is due to limited resources. According to the study, increasing employee morale and engagement (73 per cent), improving staff productivity and reducing presenteeism (69 per cent), and reducing absenteeism (66 per cent) are the three top goals for UK businesses; with the top four health risks identified as stress, workplace safety and work-life balance issues and depression.

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Building Information Modelling is unstoppable finds survey

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BIMNearly three quarters (71 per cent) of building design and construction experts agree that BIM (Building Information Modelling) represents “the future of project information” and 39 per cent confirmed that they are already using it. But the annual industry-wide BIM survey, undertaken by NBS, reveals a lack of clarity around the subject which could prove an obstacle to its more rapid adoption. 74 per cent of those polled agreed that the industry is “not clear enough on what BIM is yet” and only around one-third claim to be “very” or “quite” confident in their BIM knowledge and skills.

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Two thirds of workers sit at desk over six hours a day

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Sitting_at_DeskTwo-thirds of office workers sit at their desk for over six hours a day – putting themselves at risk of back complaints. A survey by Office Angels found that 63 per cent of workers spend six hours or more sitting at their desk, over half (51 per cent) slouch in their chair and nearly half (48 per cent) admit to not leaving the office all day. A fifth (21 per cent) of people also admitted to taking their work home with them and a third (32 per cent) work late on a regular basis. The study ‘Work happy, Work well”, which looks at the nation’s wellbeing and bad habits in the workplace reveals that sales, media and marketing (60 per cent) and finance (54 per cent) are the sectors with the highest number of desk bound workers.

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Third of global employers have formal wellness plans

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Bosses favouritesLess than half of organizations worldwide actively apply the basic elements of a health management programme, with just a third having a formal strategic plan for health and wellness. This is according to Mercer’s Talent Barometer research which explores key accelerators of talent effectiveness – education, health and wellness, and career experience – and their impact on successful workforce practices. While employers are investing in talent, with 60 per cent of organizations increasing spending in this area in recent years, only 24 per cent say their current plans are highly effective in meeting immediate and long-term human capital needs.

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US wellness programmes failing to impact the bottom line

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The-Bottom-LineA new study from researchers in the United States has indicated for the first time that the benefits of workplace wellness programmes may not be reaching the bottom line of organisations as much as is commonly claimed. The results of the research were published this week in the peer reviewed Health Affairs journal. The researchers followed a wellness programme at a hospital in St Louis and found that, while the numbers of hospitalisations for employees and their family members fell by over 40 per cent on a specific set of conditions, the savings were more than offset by the increased costs of the scheme.

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