Search Results for: consequences

A preview of this year’s Milan International Furniture Fair 0

Milan International Furniture FairOne of the least remarked upon consequences of the digital revolution of the past two decades has been its impact on the world of exhibitions. Not so long ago, these were one of the few ways people had of finding out about new products, firms, services and technologies. Now we can find as much as we would like about all of that kind of thing at any time, and so the exhibition has had to adopt a new role. In many ways, the changing role of shows has followed the same trajectory as that of offices. Far from becoming irrelevant or extinct, as some people predicted, they have instead developed a new prominence as platforms for new ideas, the sharing of information, meeting new people and reacquainting ourselves with old friends in the analogue world.

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US FCC agrees net neutrality deal to classify Internet as a public utility

digiCord_t479The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has announced a reclassification of the Internet as a public utility for the first time. It follows last month’s call from the UK Government for a similar approach to ensure that everybody has equal access to the online world. The FCC ruling specifically forbids Internet service providers creating a range of fast and slow services as a way – critics argued – of hijacking the Internet to gain monopolistic control over the digital economy and favour larger websites able to afford the higher rates. The ruling on ‘net neutrality’ has been broadly welcomed, not least by those campaigners who have argued for years that it would mean an end to the Internet as we have known it; an open platform that offers equal opportunities to all users and content providers and so fosters innovation.

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Staff calling in sick could be a symptom of management malaise

If your office seems strangely quiet this morning it might be due to the fact today is ‘national sickie day’. The first Monday in February is the day of the year which traditionally sees the highest number of workers calling in sick. It’s been argued that many of these people could in fact be looking for a new job, but whether your staff are sick or on a job interview, these absences may be indicative of a deeper problem, and it in all probability lies with the quality of their managers. According to recent research, one in seven people (16%) have had to take sick leave due to a bad manager and a fifth of people would turn down a job offer if their new manager had a bad reputation. The research also found that those who find themselves being poorly managed are more likely to take radical action and leave a job than tackle the issue with their HR department.

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Flexible working improves the quality and quantity of sleep

Flexible working improves the quality and quantity of sleep

Flexible working

Morning Sun by Edward Hopper

Giving employees more control over their work schedules may help curb sleep deficiency, according to health researchers in the US. A team led by Orfeu M. Buxton, associate professor of bio-behavioural health at Penn State University set out to explore the question of whether family-friendly work practices and other forms of flexible working had any impact on the quantity and quality of sleep. They results are published this month in the journal Sleep Health. Of the nearly 500 employees from an IT company surveyed over a period of a year, the researchers found that employees who were able to enjoy more control over their working day also enjoyed an average of eight minutes more sleep per night than those with rigid working hours. The research also found that participants’ perceptions of their sleep quality also improved.

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Wearable tech will change the workplace in unexpected ways

diceThe idea that we are all about to be supplanted by a new generation of artificially intelligent robot overlords has been in the news a great deal recently, partly as a result of Stephen Hawking’s recent pessimistic intervention on the subject. Whatever the truth of this apocalyptic musing, a more imminent generation of tech products means we are already testing the law of unintended consequences with regard to the stuff we create to help us. As technology firms clamber over each other in their attempts to be the first to open up the lucrative frontiers of wearable tech, a range of understandable concerns have been raised about some of the more obvious potential problems of security and privacy. But if we have learned one thing about our relationship with technology over many years, it is that whatever we expect from it will usually be wrong, sometimes spectacularly so.

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ILM issues management guide to office Christmas party etiquette

Institute of Management issues an employers' guide to Christmas party etiquette We’re well into the office Christmas party season and with it comes the usual management warnings; however, this one comes from the Institute of Leadership & Management (ILM) so it’s worth taking notice. A survey by ILM reveals some pretty predictable misdemeanours; including almost 9 out of 10 workers (87%) seeing colleagues drink too much and 48 per cent having gone to work with a hangover after their office party, but over a quarter (28%) also admit to having heard staff revealing their colleagues’ secrets. There are consequences of such indiscretion, with more than half the managers surveyed (51%) saying they would reprimand workers for being rude to each other, while 28 per cent would tell workers off for revealing their colleagues’ secrets. And keen to dodge the line of fire themselves; 41 per cent of managers would reprimand staff for shouting at the boss. More →

Badmouthing, arse-covering and bluff are main unethical behaviours in workplace

Badmouthing, arse-covering and bluff are main unethical behaviours in workplace

devils-dictionaryA new report from the Institute of Leadership and Management reveals the most common unethical behaviours displayed by employees in the workplace. Unsurprisingly they form a catalogue of low-level, generalised obfuscation, bluff, blame-shifting, bullshit and outright lying that will be very familiar to many people. The three most cited unethical behaviours according to the survey of 1,600 managers are cutting corners (72 percent), lying to cover one’s own mistakes (72 percent) and badmouthing colleagues (68 percent). People are, unsurprisingly, also prone to pass the buck when they miss deadlines (67 percent), cover up for the mistakes of colleagues (63 percent) and pinch low value items from work (52 percent). The ILM claims in its ‘The Truth About Trust’ report that these behaviours arise from a miasma of misunderstanding of what might be considered unethical behaviour, although equally they could just be things that people do if they think they can get away with them.

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Companies continue to neglect the strong business case for health and wellbeing

Companies continue to neglect the strong business case for health and wellbeingThe Government must comprehensively reform its strategy if it’s to tackle the barriers that remain for many businesses in implementing health and wellbeing programmes. This is the message from the Health at Work Policy Unit’s first paper which was launched yesterday (21 October 2014) by Lancaster University’s Work Foundation at an event featuring Professor Dame Carol Black and Professor Sir Cary Cooper. The Way Forward: Policy Options for Improving Workforce Health in the UK examines why a large number of businesses have continued to neglect health and wellbeing given the strong business case and identifies the barriers facing employers at three main stages: planning, implementation, and evaluation of these policies. However, according to the lead author, Dr Zofia Bajorek, these barriers can be overcome by developing a health and wellbeing strategy which illustrates the potential for competitive advantage, investing in and executing evidence based outcomes which must then be measured and reported.   More →

Religious leaders have their say on ongoing work-life balance debate

chief rabbi work-life balanceThe UK’s Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis has appealed to people to free themselves from digital slavery for at least one day a week. Speaking in The Times, the Chief Rabbi (pictured above) calls on all people to give up their smartphones, tablets and other devices for at least a day a week as part of a campaign to revive adherence to the Jewish custom of the Shabbat in which people do not work between sunset on Friday and Saturday. He has been joined in his call by the Archbishop of Canterbury and The Pope, both of whom have urged people earlier this year to focus less time gazing into the unblinking eye of their devices and instead focussing on the real world, its issues and the people around them as a way of achieving a better work-life balance. The Chief Rabbi claims in the interview that the ceaseless need to respond to electronic messages distracts people from family life, communal living and spiritual reflection.

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UK Government agency offers employers new guidance on BYOD

BYOD leakThe UK Government’s National Technical Authority for Information Assurance (CESG) has updated its official guidance on BYOD (Bring Your Own Device), one of the most widely discussed workplace technology phenomena. While it’s tough enough for everybody else to keep up with the personal and cultural implications of technology, the slow but exceedingly fine grinding mills of Government can find it almost impossible to keep up. In an accompanying statement the CESG claims the update is essential because of the rapid uptake in flexible working in the UK and the associated increase in the use of personal mobile devices in a work context. The new guidance suggests that employers should consider the development of a formal BYOD policy, understand relevant legal issues and their potential consequences, manage information and the way it is shared and plan for inevitable security breaches.

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Mental health friendly workplaces will lead to a state of wellbeing says report

Make workplaces mental health friendly to create a state of wellbeingMaking places of work mental health friendly with government leading the way as an employer is one of the key recommendations of a landmark study on the state of mental health in England published today. Concluding the 12 month study on the state of wellbeing in England the CentreForum Mental Health Commission report reveals that mental health related sickness absence and lost productivity costs business up to £23.5 billion annually, and says that government must take the lead in tackling this problem by ensuring all public sector enterprises become mental health friendly employers. It also urges organisations with more than 500 employees to work towards that status. The Commission says the “pursuit of happiness” must become an explicit and measurable goal of government if the £105 billion annual cost of mental illness in England is to be reduced and identifies five key priorities between now and 2020. More →

Five things we have learned about flexible working ahead of the new right to ask regs

flexible workingYou can’t help but notice that surveys about flexible working have been pretty thick on the ground over the last few weeks and months. The reason is that – as well as the usual ongoing fascination with the subject – the UK Government is extending the right to request regulations at the end of this month, allowing all staff to ask their employers for flexible working after six months in a job. As well as the numerous studies that firms have commissioned to explore the issue, there has been even more commentary and guidance, often from law firms. While we should always view each of these in context, adding however much salt we deem necessary to season their findings, what is always interesting when you have a media pile-in like this is to sift through it all to look for patterns, common themes and contrasts. Here are just five:

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