Search Results for: big data

White paper: How the workplace is pioneering the use of data in organisations

White paper: How the workplace is pioneering the use of data in organisations

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In 2017, a content creator called Oobah Butler decided that he wanted to do something with the experience he’d gained writing fake positive restaurant reviews on TripAdvisor. What if, he wondered, he set up an entirely fictitious restaurant based in the shed in his garden and then started to manipulate TripAdvisor ratings?  What happened surpassed his wildest expectations. In just six months, The Shed at Dulwich became the top-rated restaurant in London, even though nobody had ever actually eaten there, based solely on fake reviews, fake pictures and the word of mouth created by a complete inability for anybody to book a table.

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Companies need to capitalise more on enthusiasm for data amongst the workforce

Companies need to capitalise more on enthusiasm for data amongst the workforce

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Companies need to capitalise more on enthusiasm for data amongst the workforceA major global report has revealed a lack of confidence in data is limiting corporate success in the emerging era of robotics and automation. The global research launched by Qlik, has revealed an escalating skills gap preventing business decision-makers asking the right questions of data and machines. Despite McKinsey reporting that up to 800 million global workers will lose their jobs by 2030 as a result of automation and robotics, and Gartner hailing data literacy at the must-have skill in the workplace, most business decision-makers (76 percent) lack confidence in their ability to read, work, analyse and argue with data. The highest level of doubt in data skills can be found among European executives (83 percent), followed by those in APAC (80 percent) and the US (67 percent). According to the report, as organisations look to be data driven, those employees who can read, work, analyse and argue with data will be able to contribute more to their roles and organisations and employers need to capitalise on this enthusiasm to drive the programme for data literacy.

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Small flexible workspace operators are biggest winners as trend for coworking continues to grow

Small flexible workspace operators are biggest winners as trend for coworking continues to grow

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While the likes of WeWork have dominated the headlines over the past year, the number of smaller, more niche coworking operators, has grown significantly and now makes up 83 percent of the total flexible workspace market. The latest research from The Instant Group, which claims to be the world’s largest flexible workspace provider, suggests that the number of centres in the market run by smaller independent operators has grown to 83 percent of the London market. The increase of 20+ desk enquiries is evidence of growing demand as larger firms have started exploring flexible options rather than taking more conventional leases.

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Technology that creates a virtual office is biggest catalyst of change in the workplace

Technology that creates a virtual office is biggest catalyst of change in the workplace 0

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Companies are increasingly using sophisticated technology offerings as a way to attract and retain talent, as faced with a competitive hiring environment, and rising occupancy costs they must create a user experience that makes employees more efficient and effective and the office the preferred place to work. This is according to CBRE Research’s latest Global Prime Office Occupancy Costs report (registration needed) which found – not uniquely – that technology is the biggest catalyst of change in the workplace today, as mobile devices, virtual networks, videoconferencing and cloud storage create a seamless transition from the physical workplace of the 20th century to the virtual workplace of the 21st century. This technology is also being used by occupiers to understand and manage their occupancy patterns in sophisticated ways and create an environment that maximises employee efficiency.

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Employee’s digital skills not being nurtured, despite growing need for data literacy

Employee’s digital skills not being nurtured, despite growing need for data literacy 0

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The majority of UK employees recognise the importance of data literacy to their career progression, but half have never been offered any relevant training. Statistics from a study of over 3,000 UK employees shows they understand the growing significance of data within their organisation, with almost all (94 percent) of those surveyed stateing that they consider data to be important for performing their role. Data skills were ranked as fourth in a list of the most important skills for their job – with only traditional, ‘soft’ skills such as ‘communication’, ‘organisation’ and ‘people management’ ranking higher. Yet the Censuswide survey, commissioned by Tableau revealed that despite four in five professionals (84 percent) believing data skills will be important for their career progression and a similar percentage (83 percent) using data on a weekly basis as part of their role, nearly half (49 percent) say their employer hasn’t offered them any kind of data analytics training.

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Insight weekly: Obsession with data + People subvert design + Engaged workplace

Insight weekly: Obsession with data + People subvert design + Engaged workplace 0

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big-dataIn this week’s Newsletter; Jess Brook says beware of the latest data dressed up as pseudo-science; Serena Borghero on ways workplace design can boost engagement levels; and Mark Eltringham says how workplaces are utilised are subject to the vagaries of human behaviour.  Staff allegedly spend just 38 percent of their time performing their primary job duties; collaborative spaces are replacing the traditional office boardroom; and 30 percent of corporate real estate portfolios will incorporate flexible workspaces by 2030. Research suggests office design makes the most significant difference to employee happiness levels; over a quarter (28 percent) of employees are reluctant to ask for flexible work; digital tech within many workplaces is not up to spec; and extension announced of the One Public Sector Estate scheme. Download our new Briefing, produced in partnership with Boss Design on the link between culture and workplace strategy and design; visit our new events page, follow us on Twitter and join our LinkedIn Group to discuss these and other stories.

Weird science; how workplace professionals are in danger of obsessing about data

Weird science; how workplace professionals are in danger of obsessing about data 0

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big-dataThere’s been a series of reports recently and a lot of PR to back them up, plus we’re headed at pace into the workplace event season. Pretty soon we will be neck deep in data. And misleading headlines. Some of it is good. Some of it is bad. We need to be wary of the data, the science behind some of it and the wild claims made as a result. There’s a great piece about how big data isn’t the answer to our problems in Wired. One argument it puts forward is this: “today’s data sets, though bigger than ever, still afford us an impoverished view of living things.” It feels like there is a poor view of the workplace right now. One problem here is the commercial imperative to get results. That means the PR teams pick over the bones of what might be quite thin research and then bold arguments are extrapolated. It means detailed insights are blurred by headline grabbing claims, or simply not there in the first place.

More often it means ‘research’ doesn’t generate anything new – which is not good for headlines. So, reports are dressed up as pseudo-science. This is not just an issue unique to UK the commercial property and workplace arena either. Only recently Dana Carney has challenged her joint research into the power of body language with co-author Amy Cuddy. Carney is arguing the results of research were false, plain wrong, based on bad science. This undermines valuable work being done by other groups in the market place – i.e. the great unwashed comprising directors of estates, HR professionals and facilities managers begin to tire of data and grow a little weary of the whole experience.

It’s confusing for the very people that need informing, educating and influencing so that they make intelligent decisions about their workplaces. For example, you cannot measure 28 factors relating to physical space and then argue that it allows clients to link workplace design to key business drivers such as employee engagement and organisational commitment. To make such a leap you need to focus very hard indeed on organisational culture and the behaviours of the people in that organisation.

Too often the key themes of culture and behaviours are not so much in the back seat, but left at the kerb side as the research vehicle heads off down the highway. Criticisms of open plan and the use of offices by those in a leadership position need to be placed in the context of that organisations whole way of being. It can work if allowances are made for culture and behaviours.

Allegedly, 89 percent of senior leaders have a private office. This is not open plan. True open plan, and where benefits of open plan are seen, is when everyone exists and works on a level playing field with numerous and varied alternate work areas being made available. Again, it’s not just about the spaces available. Some companies will introduce the variety and do nothing to change with behaviour to allow people to understand, embrace and feel able to use these new and different spaces. It’s the same way the presence of a DJ and dancefloor don’t mean that people will automatically dance – just think of the bad parties with no atmosphere and awkward people.

Workplace professionals have a duty to think this data through before making any claims, arguments or indeed, any recommendations. Too many decision makers in the C-suite are saying right now: “OK, based on this data I’ll put everyone in open plan, buy sit stand desks for all and provide people with some enclosed settings and we’re good to go,” and still find the business is no more engaged or innovative because it’s not based on how the company actually operates and does not factor in people, change or culture.

We all need to check this data thoroughly before making too many easy headline grabbing and PR driven conclusions. After all, it’s not always easy to know good from bad – just ask a doctor. Doctors may know the latest scientific research but they evaluate patients at a personal level before any application – and businesses need to do the same.  Likewise, an Oxbridge or Harvard professor like Amy Cuddy or Dana Carney should be generating good science, but that’s no excuse for not constantly challenging the research that comes through.

Don’t take these PR headlines about workplace for truth. Let’s be careful out there people.

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jess-brookJess Brook is Workplace Strategist at Hatch Analytics

Biggest risk to company cyber security is mainly staff carelessness

Biggest risk to company cyber security is mainly staff carelessness 0

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Cyber securityBad habits and a lack of awareness about security mean that employees are inadvertently leaving companies’ cyber doors wide open to attack. New research by Norrie Johnston Recruitment (NJR); which forms part of NJR’s cyber security report: how real is the threat and how can you reduce your risk, shows that 23 percent of employees use the same password for different work applications and 17 percent write down their passwords, 16 percent work while connected to public wifi networks and 15 percent access social media sites on their work PCs. It’s not that people are unaware of the cyber threat. The research also shows that just over 50 per cent have experienced a cyber scam in the last twelve months. 29 have received a fake email from PayPal, Apple or a bank, 12 percent have been targeted by a Facebook scam and 7 percent have clicked a link that put a virus on a PC.

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It isn’t easy to grow big when being small makes you more innovative

It isn’t easy to grow big when being small makes you more innovative 0

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HR innovation requiredToday one of the key challenges most companies face is being able to scale rapidly while still keeping the innovative edge. Startups have less decision-makers making it easier to take the risks needed to remain as innovative. As these companies grow, they often experience a downturn in innovation as management rises. In fact, many larger corporations are now attempting to harvest the success of startups by creating small internal companies. This begs the question do you have to stay small to be innovative? According to the Economist’s study on organizational agility, the main obstacles to improved responsiveness are slow decision-making, conflicting departmental goals and priorities, risk-averse cultures and silo-based information. This isn’t a problem that faces a select number of companies. A survey by McKinsey&Company found that 94 percent of managers are unhappy with their company’s innovation performance.

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Where is the data for disability on boards – and do businesses care?

Where is the data for disability on boards – and do businesses care? 0

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BoardroomWhen it comes to diversity on boards, I would confidently say that disability comes in a poor fourth behind gender, age and ethnicity.  It’s something I take a great interest in as a blind person, a senior executive who sits on boards and as a start-up champion. While acknowledging a limited perspective, over the years I have noted a lack of disabled representation at board level and when I joined the NonExecutiveDirectors.com recruitment platform, we had a conversation about this. The result was that the organisation and its partners decided to commission some research into the issue. The research involved the Office of National Statistics, EU Equality and Diversity Commission, Department of Business Innovation and Skills, leading academic experts in disability, in social policy and in work and employment, Trade Union Congress (TUC), business surveys, policy documents and more.

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Firms demanding more data about workplaces…and they’re about to get it

Firms demanding more data about workplaces…and they’re about to get it 0

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Carbon-databaseCompanies are increasingly focussed on generating workplace data as they seek to make better decisions about the ways their real estate supports their key organisational objectives. That is one of the key findings of the latest European Occupier Survey from property consultants CBRE (login required). The good news (or bad news, depending on your point of view) is they’re about to get it in spades, according to another study from researchers International Data Corporation which found that there will be a huge surge in the availability of Big Data infrastructure in EMEA countries over the next four years. The acquisition of data about buildings and their inhabitants remains a troublesome issue, especially when executives do things like introduce sensors to monitor working patterns of employees without their knowledge, as  bosses at The Telegraph found in a very public way recently.

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Data transforms the roles of offices and the people who manage them

Data transforms the roles of offices and the people who manage them

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Worktech 2015The modern workplace creates the physical,technological and cultural point of intersection between a number of abstract or movable facets of the business, including people, technology, culture and creativity. That has always been true to a large extent but with the growing complexity of exactly how, when and where we work, this role of the office as the epicentre of it all has been thrown into sharp relief. With that has come a greater understanding of the intersections that exist between disciplines such as IT, FM and HR. In some areas, the roles already appear indistinguishable and I believe this will only become more apparent. The main driver of that growing convergence of roles will be the availability of data to make informed decisions about interrelated aspects of organisational culture, work practices, office design and management and the development and motivation of individuals.

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