Search Results for: future of work

Employers and fathers increasingly keen on shared parental leave

shared parental leaveOver three quarters of employers welcome shared parental leave despite concerns about its complexity and implementation and many are considering adapting their policies in light of new legislation set to be introduced in April, according to a report from Workingmums.co.uk. The survey of over 400 employers found that 81 percent welcomed shared parental leave, with 19 percent saying they would find it difficult to implement. The report coincides with new data from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills which found that more than half of Britons (53 percent) believe that childcare should be divided equally between mothers and fathers with men more likely than women to back shared parenting with 56 per cent in favour, compared to 50 per cent of women.

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Three quarters of firms are now using or adopting BYOD practices

A new report by TechPro Research claims that just five years after it was first given the label, the practice of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) is now so prevalent that nearly three quarters (74 percent) of organisations are either already using or planning to allow employees to bring their own devices to work. The report contrasts with past research into the uptake of BYOD to show how quickly the practice is developing and its implications for companies as a way of introducing new working practices and cutting costs (their own, natch) but also in the way they deal with the potential downsides relating to security and maintenance. The report also looks at the evolving role of the practice in light of new technologies such as wearable tech and the Internet of Things.

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Only a third of staff trust their senior management, finds CIPD

Only a third of staff trust their senior management, finds CIPDThere is little evidence of improvement in the quality of management in the UK over the last decade – and it is one of the reasons behind the UK’s long-standing productivity weakness compared to the likes of the US and Germany. According to the CIPD report ‘Are UK organisations getting better at managing their people?’ while 65 percent of employees are generally satisfied with their line manager and largely trust them and value their honesty, only 33 percent say they trust their senior management. It found that management processes are not always applied consistently or fairly and this is one reason why there is a lack of trust in senior leadership. These are deep-rooted problems and the solutions are largely down to organisations, says the CIPD, which is urging the Government to consider ways in which it can raise awareness of the challenges and potential approaches to tackling them, not least in its capacity as an employer.

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UK technological infrastructure not meeting demands of businesses

infrastructureThe UK’s technological infrastructure is failing to keep pace with the availability of broadband and mobile services and not meeting demands of small businesses and homes, according to Ofcom’s Infrastructure Report 2014. The report outlines the challenges facing the Government as it seeks to deliver appropriate technological infrastructure for both businesses and consumers. The report suggests that  although there is an overall improvement in the availability and quality of broadband services, many remote and rural areas aren’t being connected quickly enough, there are too many urban ‘not-spots’, a lack of superfast broadband for small businesses and no discernible plan for the uptake of the next generation of ultrafast broadband. The report found the average UK household or small business is downloading 53 Gigabytes (GB) of data on their fixed broadband line every month.

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New Scotland Yard sold to Emirati investors for £370 million

Illustration: @SimonHeath1

Illustration: @SimonHeath1

The buyer of the Metropolitan Police’s Scotland Yard headquarters building has been confirmed as  Abu Dhabi Financial Group (ADFG). The sale of the home of the Met as part of a huge shake-up of the police’s estate was first announced last year and last month news emerged that a buyer had been found, although details of the sale were withheld. The sale of the site to the Emirati investment group for £370 million is reported to be some £120 million more than the original asking price set by London Mayor Boris Johnson. The current building has been home to the Met since 1967 but the Mayor’s office felt the sale and freeing up of resources could benefit the force’s frontline operations. The sale is part of a wider shake-up of the police estate in London which has already seen the sale of 32 buildings, raising £125 million. The restructuring programme is expected to complete in 2016 and is estimated to save around £60 million each year in running costs.

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Government must beef up the way it manages outsourced contracts

Facilities managementAny poorly-performing facilities management contract can result in financial and reputational loss, but where a government contract has been mismanaged, and there is a thirst for information on how the public purse has been spent, the repercussions can be major and the casualties high. The UK Government is the biggest spender on FM services, with £40 billion of outsourced contracts each year. However, in a recent report from the Public Accounts Committee and National Audit Office, contract management came in for stinging criticism. Evidence of overbilling, capacity issues, and poor governance and recordkeeping led to a very clear message that the Government must beef up its contract management. Procurement and contract management have been viewed traditionally as low-status in the civil service and, as a result, have been at the mercy of administration cuts and lack of investment.

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Bouygues wins £27 million office fit out contract in City of London

office fit outBouygues UK has been awarded a major new design and build contract by developers Morgan Capital Partners LLP. The award comes hot on the heels of the handover of another major office refurbishment at 71 Queen Victoria Street, which is a stone’s throw away from the new site at 45 Cannon Street, in the heart of London’s financial district. The deal will see the demolition of existing offices and the construction of a new eight-floor office building including a Category A office fit out and the addition of 13,000sqm of retail space on the ground floor. As part of the works, the entrance to Mansion House underground station will also be refurbished as it sits on the site. Bouygues UK is aiming for a BREEAM Excellent rating on the project. Demolition is already being carried out on site, with Bouygues scheduled to begin construction work in the New Year. The project is due for completion in 2016.

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Green manifesto challenges next government to deliver low-carbon economy

Alliance issues green manifesto for the next governmentOn the eve of the Autumn Statement, an influential business-led coalition of businesses, NGOs, industry associations and cross-party politicians has called on the next Parliament to tackle a range of environmental challenges affecting the UK economy and the built environment. The Aldersgate Group Manifesto identifies six target areas it says the next government must meet to build a growing, sustainable and resilient UK economy. It must accelerate the move to a competitive low carbon economy; prioritise energy and resource efficiency; improve our understanding and the state of our natural capital; equip the UK’s workforce with the right skills to benefit from the opportunities offered by the transition to a sustainable economy; increase financial flows towards low carbon and other environmental projects; and ensure the UK continues to benefit from progressive European environmental standards whatever the UK’s future relationship with the EU. More →

Whatever you might hear, the death of the office is still some way off

I was recently asked to join a roundtable about the future of office working at the offices of The Guardian newspaper. Being a simple soul I was quite confused to be asked about the ‘death of the office’ whilst sitting in an office. It seemed not only alive, but also very present. But maybe the sun is starting to set on that way of working. You can find the overview here and I’d draw your attention to the fact that according to The Guardian I had, after 2 hours, reached a point where I was ‘speaking for the whole meeting’. I’m sure I only spoke for part but it may have seemed more to others present. More →

Derry is the latest city to offer free Wi-Fi in all public places

Free Wi-FiThe City of Derry in Northern Ireland has announced that it is to introduce free Wi-Fi in all public places. The local council is to work with local business owners to introduce the programme  in conjunction with the national Super Connected Cities scheme funded by the UK Government’s Department of Culture, Media and Sport’s Urban Broadband Fund. Full rollout of the programme is expected by the first half of next year and will be accessible to anybody who registers for unlimited access to the city’s network. The initiative claims that it ‘is geared towards increasing digital engagement and energising cultural and economic activity within the city. The network will be available for free public use, with the benefits of being easy to connect, filtered for user protection and scalable for future expansion.’ Derry is Northern Ireland’s second largest city and has in recent years focused inward investment on the digital sector. Last week, we reported on how the Italian Government is looking to offer free Wi-Fi in all public places across the country.

Employers warned that landmark legal decision could cost them dearly

Employment Law changes ahead in 2014A ruling  by the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) is significant and could be potentially financially crippling, employers have been warned, following yesterday’s ground-breaking decision by the EAT to uphold an earlier Employment Tribunal’s decision that both compulsory and voluntary overtime must be included in addition to basic salary for the purposes of calculating a worker’s holiday pay. According to Shivali Chaudhry, an Employment solicitor at law firm Hamlins LLP: “Not only will employers have to increase the amount of holiday pay they pay workers to take into account all overtime, they may also face historic underpayment liabilities going back up to 16 years in respect of some workers.” However, Mike Emmott, Employee Relations Adviser at the CIPD says the ruling still leaves much to be resolved – particularly on the issue of backdating. He said: “The ruling means that employers will have to change how they calculate holiday pay in future to take account of voluntary overtime. However it does seem to have limited the scope for substantive retrospective claims, which was the biggest concern in terms of possible costs for employers.” More →

Scalpel achieves excellent rating under new BREEAM environmental standard

BREEAM environmental standardThe first building to achieve an excellent rating under the new BREEAM UK New Construction 2014 standard is Kohn Kohn Pedersen Fox’s design of the Scalpel tower in the City of London. The £500 million building at 52 Lime Street is a 190m tall 35-floor office tower which is set to open in 2017. The new building was granted planning consent in early 2013 and will offer around 500,000 sq. ft. of commercial space in the City. Andrew Reynolds, managing director of developers WRBC Development, said he was “delighted” the scheme had received such a high rating under the new BREEAM environmental standard. Our team is determined to deliver a high performance building that is not only architecturally superb but creates a pleasant and productive environment for those who will be working there.” Gavin Dunn, director of BREEAM, said: “this achievement demonstrates a genuine commitment by the project team to deliver a high-quality development that will benefit the building owners and occupiers into the future.”