Search Results for: big data

Digital revolution continues to transform the way we work

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Old-Street-TechhubThe full extent of the way digital technology is transforming British working life is apparent in new research published by Brunel University. The study – essentially a snapshot of the digital revolution in 2015 – found that 98 percent of the 830 businesses surveyed have a website, 8 in 10 manage finances online, 53 percent provide flexible working and 63 percent see innovation as a way to improve customer satisfaction. However, the study also reveals a major gulf between big business and SMEs, with larger firms significantly more digitised than their smaller contemporaries. This raises concerns over the preparedness  of the SME sector at a time when the Government’s growth agenda has prioritised nurturing and supporting new and evolving enterprises – and for whom the digital battleground has broken down traditional barriers to entry.

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Employers and fathers increasingly keen on shared parental leave

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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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Flexible working may improve productivity, but does it diminish creativity?

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flexible working and creativityHomeworking seems to have become a bit of a hot topic this year, but one sentence published on the www.gov.uk website brought a cold sweat to the brows of many managers and employees across the United Kingdom. “From 30 June 2014, all employees have the legal right to request flexible working – not just parents and carers.” Despite the fact that the law allowing flexible start and finish times and working from home only covers employees who have worked for a company for at least 26 weeks and that the employers are still able to disallow it as long as it’s done in a ‘reasonable manner’, the threat of being sent to an employment tribunal brings some HR managers to the brink of hysteria. But is this really justifiable? The truth is, the new government policy will probably make flexi-work more common, but it’s already being implemented quite successfully across the globe, with plentiful research on its impact so far.

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Focus on the wellbeing of the occupants of the office, not that of the building

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The design of the office has a big impact on health and wellbeingIf you ask a typical corporation about their real estate strategy you will most probably hear a lot about rationalisation, minimising cost and synergy. Real estate strategy should include all these but a cost-cutting approach can be very short-sighted. Staff costs usually account to about 90 per cent of the business operating cost, while any improvement in staff’s productivity will have a stronger and more positive outcome than any cost saving on a building. The recently released World Green Building Council (WGBC) report Health, Wellbeing & Productivity in Offices developed with the support of JLL, Lend Lease and Skanska, clearly shows that the design of an office has a strong impact on the health, wellbeing and productivity of its occupants. It describes the impact of acoustics, interior layout, look & feel, amenities, air quality, thermal comfort, location, daylight and user control on occupants. But it doesn’t stop there.

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We should welcome the Government’s evidence based approach to wellbeing

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Microscope_Nosepiece (1)The UK Government is very big on evidence based design these days and it is applying this approach in a number of new areas of policy, including wellbeing. Invariably the outcomes of its research and analysis are first refracted through a political prism on their way to becoming legislation, but the approach is very welcome and we should greet it without cynicism. At the end of October of this year The Cabinet Office announced the launch of The What Works Centre for Wellbeing including a dedicated website. The centre has the support of 17 founding partners including Public Health England, the Economic and Social Research Council, the Office for National Statistics, a number of other central government departments, the Local Government Association and the BIG Lottery Fund which means it enjoys wide ranging buy-in from the people best able to shape policy making and is chaired by Lord Gus O’Donnell.

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Unions and employers call for greater uptake of flexible working

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Flexible WorkingThe release of two new sets of employment data has prompted the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and the Trades Union Congress (TUC) to issue separate rallying calls for the greater uptake of flexible working. Responding to a YouGov survey, which found that over two-fifths (42 percent) of UK workers would not feel comfortable asking their employer for more flexible working practices, the CBI called on firms to encourage and respond positively to such requests in both their own interests and those of employees. Meanwhile, the TUC used the publication of new figures from the Office for National Statistics, which showed that under-employment remains at pre-recession levels and there remains a shortfall in the number of full-time job opportunities, to suggest that part of the solution to both problems lies in the promotion of flexible working rights.

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London Mayor names Business Energy Challenge Gold award winners

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ExCelLondon mayor Boris Johnson has presented RICS, JLL, EC Harris LLP, ExCeL London (above), Intu, and Linklaters LLP, with Gold awards at the Business Energy Challenge awards, which celebrate private sector businesses that have made the biggest cuts to their energy consumption and use cleaner, greener sources of energy. Fifty-nine participants had submitted data over a six week period and were assessed on the carbon intensity per square metre of their properties; with 27 of the most successful being given a Bronze, Silver or Gold award to recognise their efforts when compared against their baseline 2010/11 energy usage. Around 75 per cent of London’s carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions come from buildings, with workplaces accounting for 42 per cent of total emissions. With 80 per cent of London’s buildings likely still to be operational in 50 years’ time and with much of that estate being energy inefficient the Mayor has set out a building retrofit programme. The Business Energy Challenge aims to challenge the commercial sector to take action and improve its energy efficiency to help save on operational costs. More →

UK business centres market continues to flourish, claims BCA and IPD report

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Regus business centresA new report has revealed just how important the growing business centres market is to the UK economy. According to the report from the Business Centre Association and Investment Property Databank the market is now comparable to the City of London both in terms of the number of people employed and the amount of office space it occupies. The report also outlines both the market’s robust health during the recent economic downturn and ongoing growth in response to increasing customer demand and the changing market for office space. The sector now boasts that it provides a home to some 80,000 businesses employing more than 400,000 people who occupy around 70 million sq. ft. of space including landmark developments such as the Regus No 1 Poultry centre in the City of London (above) and generate around £2 billion of income for the economy. The report, produced in conjunction with Snapdragon Consulting, found that the serviced office sector in the UK now represents around one third of the global market.

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Five ways BYOD policies are changing the role of IT in the workplace

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BYODIf you’ve ever considered adopting a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy you probably know all about its potential benefits. It lets team members work on devices they’re comfortable with. It makes work more convenient. In some cases, it can lower your technology costs. None of these ideas are new, and indeed, much has already been said about how BYOD might impact the end user. But there’s another side of the BYOD story. The other, perhaps more dramatic way that a new policy can change the workplace is through your IT employees and infrastructure. Lots of times, companies tend to underestimate the big internal shifts that precede policy changes—but planning for these shifts is a major part of developing a cohesive strategy. If you’ve already made up your mind and are ready to adopt a BYOD policy, then you should also be ready to encounter some new and unexpected variables. What role will your IT be play under this policy? What kinds of cultural challenges should you begin to expect? How will you adjust? By preparing for new obstacles and expectations, you can create an effective, adaptive BYOD game plan. Here are some of the most important things you should prepare for as you move forward with your BYOD policy.

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New report urges firms to protect against BYOD security breaches

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BYOD securityAccording to a new report from BT, security breaches related to the practice of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) and related forms of mobile working have affected 41 percent of UK organisations over the last year. Despite this, the report claims organisations are still not taking sufficient measures to protect themselves against threats such as lost or stolen devices and malware infections. The report reveals that at least one fifth of respondents’ organisations that suffered a mobile security breach, experienced more than four incidents in the last year. The research is based on a total of 640 interviews with IT decision makers from large sized organisations (1000 or more employees) across 11 regions: Australia, Brazil, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Middle East, Singapore, Spain, South Africa, UK and USA. Respondents’ organisations were from the financial, retail and public sectors. It shows that uptake of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) and COPE (Corporately Owned Personally-Enabled) devices is very high, with 95 percent of UK organisations allowing employees to use these devices for work purposes.

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Employee engagement and satisfaction levels increase, despite career concerns

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Levels of employee engagement and satisfaction increase

Levels of job satisfaction and employee engagement are on the up, despite the fact that more than a quarter (28%) of employees report being either dissatisfied or very dissatisfied with the level of career training and development offered by their current employer. The latest CIPD/Halogen Employee Outlook survey found that one in three employees (33%) felt their career progression to date has failed to meet their expectations, however, levels of job satisfaction have increased over the last 12 months, rising by four percentage points to +44. The survey suggests that although employees might be satisfied in their current job role, there is a clear link between satisfaction with the level of career training and development and job-seeking intentions. Only 12 per cent of those satisfied with the level of career training and development are looking for a new job with another organisation, compared to almost a quarter (23%) of employees overall.  The proportion of engaged employees has also grown to reach 38 per cent from 35 per cent in spring 2014, now matching the levels of engagement a year ago. More →

The death of the office desk may have been exaggerated

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The death of the desk may have been exaggerated Twenty years ago the typical office was a busy place, with printers running, big, bulky computers taking up desk space, post it notes, notepads, scanners and fax machines whirring in the background. In today’s workplace, desks are barren in comparison to the offices of a generation ago, purely because there is little need for so much stuff. With the introduction of modern digital devices it is no surprise that the concept of the ‘work station’ as we once knew has changed. The truth is, almost everything we use in the office nowadays is readily available online, with even websites being created for the specific purpose of serving as online meeting rooms. This means the concept of a physical office, where colleagues go to collaborate, share opinions and exchange meeting notes, is no longer a completely valid concept. With this in mind, are desks really needed to create a solid working environment anymore? More →

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