Search Results for: flex

Large organisations are unprepared for new generation of executives

Handing over keysIt’s not just Manchester United who need to worry about the succession process following the departure of an aging white male. According to a new report from Cass Business School and recruitment consultants Ogders Berndtson, firms are largely unprepared for the changes in business practice that will come as their babyboomer executives are supplanted by their Generation X and Y descendants.  The report – After The Baby Boomers – argues that over half of organisations are unprepared for the changes. The report interviewed executives from 100 large organisations, making it most relevant for the sorts of blue-chip firms who are led primarily by 50-something accountants in the first place.

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UK underemployment rates more accurate measure say economists

 Underemployment in the UK heightened by a fall real wages say economists

The current economic downturn differs from previous recessions in that unemployment rates haven’t been quite as devastating, with employers opting to freeze pay rates and offer flexible working and reduced hours in order to retain staff. But according to a white paper published today this has led to an important new phenomenon – underemployment. In the latest issue of the National Institute Economic Review, economists David Bell and David Blanchflower of the University of Stirling and Dartmouth College describe workers who are underemployed when they are willing to supply more hours of work than their employers are prepared to offer. More →

Resistance to workplace change marks the passing of the old order

ChangeWhen Vodafone announced in March that the UK’s businesses could save up to £34 billion with the more widespread application of flexible working models, the research to support the claim had two very familiar components. The first was a crystal clear business case, the second an admission that the message was still not quite getting through to those at the top. In fact, Vodafone claimed, around two-thirds of business leaders continue to insist their business can’t afford to reduce the number of workstations they use despite all evidence to the contrary. A third haven’t even considered the idea of reducing the number of workstations they use as a way of cutting costs.

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What Søren Kierkegaard can teach us about workplace design and management

KierkegaardSøren Kierkegaard was a Nineteenth Century Danish philosopher and proto-existentialist. Not for him the hazy, romantic ideals of many of his contemporaries. He was one of the thinkers who gave birth to the Twentieth Century with its focus on the individual, reality and life in a sometimes uncaring world, although he was no atheist like many of the true existentialists. If he’s generally well known for anything these days it is for a single quotation that reads like a greeting card aphorism but is no less true for that. He said: ‘Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.’ Looking back can give you a real handle on the present. I moved offices recently and as these things happen, a number of books that I routinely ignore fell open while I was looking for some displacement activity.

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Corporate culture of presenteeism leads to inequality


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 →

Global dissatisfaction with work life balance on the rise

Report finds increasing dissatisfaction with work-life balance

More than one in four employees (27 per cent) at organizations that are not perceived to support work-life balance plan to leave their companies within the next two years, according to new research from Hay Group. At the same time, work-life balance concerns across the globe are on the rise, with 39 per cent of employees indicating that they did not have a “good balance” between work and personal life, compared to only 32 per cent who reported the same in 2011. “Organizations across the globe continue to ask their employees to ‘do more with less’, leading to increasing dissatisfaction with work-life balance,” said Mark Royal, senior principal at Hay Group Insight.

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High wire act: balancing attitudes and expectations in the workplace

This week, with some fanfare and a modest splash on social media, CBRE, the Global real estate services provider launched The Workshop Idea. One of its stated aims is the revitalisation of our high streets and, with the introduction of local venues in a number of differing guises, an increase in the degree of choice and flexibility of places in which to work when not travelling into the office. A whitepaper is due out shortly and we will cover this specific initiative once that has been given the proper consideration and thoughtful analysis it deserves. However, it raises some initial thoughts on expectations, attitudes and behaviours that need to be overcome in the way we view our high streets and places of work and the degree to which those who provide services respond.

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Fully mobile workplace for Cisco’s new Singapore regional HQ

Cisco Singapore HQ offers fully flexible working

IT giant Cisco has opened a new regional headquarters in Singapore that features utilisation-based space allocation that for the first time allows all of its staff to work just about anywhere in the building, using whichever kind of mobile device they prefer. The move reflects the findings of Cisco’s recent report which revealed that growing numbers of workers prefer to use an iPad or iPhone rather than a PC. The new offices, located at UE Biz Hub, within the Changi Business Park in Singapore, brings together 1,000 employees from Cisco’s previous four offices around the island and has reduced around 40 per cent of the required workspace.

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Video: how we need to break with the past to optimise what we do now

Video: how we need to break with the past to optimise what we do now

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Dave Coplin, the ‘Chief Envisioning Officer’ at Microsoft, explores with the RSA how we might apply technology in new ways to transform the way we work. He starts with a look at how we are constrained by the past, with the example of the QWERTY keyboard which was originally developed to slow typists down to stop keys jamming but is still the de facto input method for typists over a century later. Obviously there are very good commercial reasons why technology companies need to ‘envision’ this new world of flexible working but it’s an engaging presentation and honest enough when he argues against our obsession with specific aspects of work such as email at the expense of others.

Report claims empty offices could provide 11,500 homes

Empty officesAccording to new research from Lambert Smith Hampton, there is nearly 12m sq. ft of obsolete office space in the UK’s regional markets which the firm estimates could yield as much as 7.4m sq. ft. of space suitable for conversion to residential use under the Government’s controversial new planning rules. The researchers claim that this equates to approximately 11,500 new homes. The government has relaxed the planning systems in the UK to encourage developers to shift the use of space although critics have argued that this may serve to distort the market for property in some areas as residential properties are potentially more lucrative than commercial properties.

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Productivity challenges of modern office workers’ email deluge

Image credit: <a href=''>scanrail / 123RF Stock Photo</a>

Possibly the most perplexing picture of the modern office is whether technology has made it more, or less productive. New research by Warwick Business School has found that on average UK office workers deal with 40 emails a day and one in 12 with 100 messages a day, which can’t be good for productivity. Meanwhile another piece of research by psychologists at the University of Chester reveals the somewhat unsurprising fact that an over reliance on social media reduces the ability to maintain ‘meaningful’ relationships due to a lack of visual emotional cues – which could further cast doubts over the efficacy of remote working. More →

One St Paul’s offices attracts “new type” of City tenant

One St Paul's

A marketing campaign aimed at attracting non-traditional City occupiers appears to have paid off, with the entire 60,000 sqft office element of One St Paul’s in the City of London being let to a single tenant. Genesis Oil and Gas Consultants Ltd has agreed a 15-year lease for all six storeys of bespoke office space, and will  take possession upon handover of the building works during the summer of 2013, with the aim of moving its headquarters in the autumn. The deal marks the culmination of AXA Real Estate’s reworking of the property as a major mixed-use redevelopment scheme.

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