Search Results for: four day week

More employers than ever introduce some kind of flexible working pattern

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More employers than ever introducing some kind of flexible working patterns

Disenchantment with flexible working appears to be ongoing in the tech sector, with a recent report revealing that computing giant HP is following Yahoo’s lead by quietly discouraging staff from working from home. However, more employers than ever are attaching growing importance to making at least some changes to working patterns as a means of managing rising long-term absence levels. In the annual CIPD / Simplyhealth Absence Management, the number of employers introducing small changes, such as later start times, has increased by 20 per cent in the last year alone. Over 70 per cent of organisations report a positive impact on employee motivation and employee engagement, while a further 46 per cent are using flexible working options to support employees with mental health problems. More →

Flexible working can come with a career catch for chances of future promotion

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Flexible working can come with a career catch for pay and promotion

Half of all people now work out of the office at least once a week, and more than one in four (27 per cent) every day according to data from software supplier Sage, but a new report by social business the Timewise Foundation warns that this flexibility might come at a price. It found part time and flexible workers face key barriers in terms of career agility, with nearly three in four part time workers saying they haven’t been promoted once since working part time (73 per cent), and over a fifth (22 per cent) saying they wouldn’t even expect to be. Nearly two thirds (63 per cent) believe that promotion with their current employer might be possible, but only by increasing their hours – something that’s not an option for more than a third of respondents (36 per cent) who rate part time hours as ‘crucial’ in their lives, nor a straightforward choice for the 52 per cent who state they are ‘important’ to them. More →

Neocon 2013 announces comprehensive list of awards winners

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It might sound like a Republican convention but in fact Neocon is the annual workplace exhibition at the giant Merchandise Mart in the centre of Chicago. And when we say ‘workplace’, we mean largely ‘office furniture’.  It attracts around 700 exhibitors and 40,000  of visitors from all over the world and so can help to disseminate ideas that spring up in the US to influence design on a global scale.  Many of the themes apparent at this year’s show will be familiar around the world. As well as the fact that everybody is talking about the environmental credentials of the products, the themes are direct reflections of the concerns and priorities of office occupiers and specifiers. By custom, the first day of the show is when they dish out the awards.

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NeoCon and ThinkFM offer two different views of the facilities management elephant

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This week sees two events taking place on opposite sides of the pond that should hold a mirror up to the way we currently design and manage workplaces. In Chicago, it’s time for NeoCon, the annual office furniture behemoth held in the vast Merchandise Mart and attracting some 40,000 visitors, while in London it’s the distinctly  low-key Think FM conference from the BIFM held at the Royal College of Physicians – for today only, as they say. While these are two very different events in terms of scale, content and format and both are nakedly commercial, only one strikes me as particularly meaningful. And even that is only about the meaning of one part of the facilities management elephant.

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Workplace wellness initiatives improve job morale, satisfaction and performance

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It emerged this week that workplace wellness programs may not be as effective as previously thought in creating a healthier workforce and, of particular relevance for US firms, reducing health-care costs, but another US study paints a more positive picture. While concurring that determining the bottom-line impact of wellness programs continues to be a challenge for employers, this latest study does find a strong link between the wellness and vitality of an organisation and the health and wellness of its employees, which impacts directly on employees’ increased job morale, satisfaction, commitment and performance. The survey of approximately 1,300 businesses and 10,000 employees conducted by Virgin HealthMiles, Inc.  found that workers also place a premium on the culture of wellness with 87 per cent claiming that health and wellness initiatives play a role in determining their employer of choice. More →

Majority of employers intend to hire permanent staff

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Jobs

More positive signs on the jobs front today with the news that despite continuing to face a challenging economic climate, the majority of employers are still planning to increase or maintain their permanent staff over the next three months. This is according to the Recruitment and Employment Confederation’s (REC) latest JobsOutlook survey. REC director of policy Tom Hadley said: “Our latest data shows the majority of employers are planning to increase or maintain their permanent headcount over the next quarter which suggests that the jobs market will continue to outperform the rest of the economy in the short term. Although the ONS reported a rise in unemployment last week, it is important to emphasise that the employment figures were also up.” More →

U.S. employers plan penalties to boost wellness participation

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U.S. wellness

Following on from the revelation that wellness programmes are only as good as the willingness of staff to participate, comes a study from the U.S. which highlights the role incentives can play in employers’ efforts to improve workforce health and performance. Aon Hewitt’s survey of nearly 800 large and mid-size U.S. employers representing more than 7 million U.S. employees found that 83 per cent now offer employees incentives for participating in programmes, while 58 per cent plan to impose consequences on participants who do not take appropriate actions for improving their health.

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Half of workers feel pressured to come to work when ill

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Staff ill health

You’ve nearly made it through the week and feel like rewarding yourself with a duvet day? Think again, the more realistic picture is you’ve a horrible virus but have staggered into work regardless, rather than risk the wrath of a disbelieving boss. New research this week found that nearly half of all workers feel pressurised to come into work by their line manager when they are ill. “Under Pressure” from Adecco Retail also found that far from “shirking from  home”, a third of the 1,000 people interviewed (31 per cent) feel expected to carry on working from home even when sick.

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UK building sector contracts again but there may be light at end of tunnel

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Canary Wharf buildingsThe UK’s construction sector has continued its recent pattern of contraction according to the latest survey of the Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) from Markit/CIPS UK. The last month’s index, published earlier today, showed at 46.8, where a figure below 50 indicates a decline in activity, marking the most significant monthly downturn since October 2009. The fall is the fourth consecutive monthly fall although there was a contrast between the commercial sector which endured the biggest drop and residential building which rose slightly.

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Using the office treadmill to fight the flab

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Office treadmill

While shopping recently for a new arm chair, I noticed the prevalence of “snuggle chairs”, marketed as wider than average chairs in which two people can sit cosily together. However, judging by some of the customers checking them out, they appeared much more suitable for use by individuals with a wider girth. You don’t have to people-watch in a furniture store or visit the town of Tamworth, which this weekend the Daily Mail branded ‘”the fattest town in Britain” to notice people are getting fatter. Could a new “office treadmill” help address the obesity problem?

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