Search Results for: four day week

Wellbeing threat for UK workers who don’t see daylight in winter

Wellbeing threat for UK workers who don’t see daylight in winter 0

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Working in winter wellbeing

The customary debate over putting the clocks back has come and gone, as has the average workers chances of seeing any daylight until the early spring, for according to new research, the average office worker will now only be seeing daylight for less than an hour (52 minutes) a week. Nine in 10 rarely glimpse daylight during the winter months as they arrive at and leave work in the dark, according to a poll of 2,000 workers by Get More Vitamin Drinks. The average person will only leave the building for a total of 52 minutes during the week, although two-thirds admit there are at least two weeks in every month where they don’t spend any time outside at all. Unsurprisingly, just under half of office workers believe their work suffers as a direct result of the lack of sunlight – with productivity dropping rapidly from around 2pm. The study shows two thirds of office workers will start finding it difficult to concentrate by the early hours of the afternoon in winter as a direct result of being stuck inside.

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UK in bottom four of European countries for workplace benefits

UK in bottom four of European countries for workplace benefits 0

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UK economySocial benefits for people in the workplace in Europe are generally far more generous than in the US, but the UK is in the bottom four overall taking into account factors such as maternity and paternity leave, general parental leave, paid holiday allowance, paid sick leave and unemployment benefits. Only the Swiss, the Irish and the Americans have a more frugal government policy. According to a report by Glassdoor of 14 key European neighbouring economies, conducted in cooperation with Llewellyn Consulting, the countries offering the most generous workplace and welfare benefits overall are Denmark, France and Spain. In terms of paid annual leave, Sweden, France and Denmark all offer 25 working days a year as minimum –the highest entitlement. The UK is bunched towards the bottom again with the likes of Italy, Greece, Germany, Portugal and Switzerland – all offering the minimum 20 days.

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Neocon highlights four of the world’s most important office design trends

Neocon highlights four of the world’s most important office design trends

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humanscale-office-iq-float-smartWe live in the Global Village, Marshall McLuhan’s idea from 1962 of an electronically contracted world in which attitudes, cultures and our political, business and legislative framework begin to pull together. Yet each nation is shaped by little differences. That is why the comedy programme The Office found an audience on both sides of the pond, but one that needed Wernham Hogg in Slough to become Dunder Mifflin in Scranton, Pennsylvania for it to work for the local audience. The central idea of the show has a universal appeal but needs a local voice. And what is true for The Office with a big O is also true for the office with a small o. This was the takeaway conclusion of a series of events staged in London and Manchester last week by Milliken and Humanscale. The touchstone for these events was a debate about the main conclusions of of June’s Neocon.

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The bonds that link work with place are loosening day by day

The bonds that link work with place are loosening day by day

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Frayed ropeOver the decades designing productive spaces for work has focused on redefining the corporate office and its surroundings. While there are examples of quality design in buildings around the world, there is a growing movement that challenges the presumption that work should always be done “at work”. If we aim to allow people to be at their best, develop and nurture creativity and maximise quality output then we must ensure the place where the work is done is outstanding. Sarah Kathleen Peck of ‘It starts with’ summed it up when she wrote “There are people, places and things that make me feel like I’m building my energy stores, that rejuvenate me, and help me to do my best work. Likewise, there are also people and places that zap my energy; that leave me exhausted; that make me feel as though I’ve waste my time and my energy – and my day – without getting anything useful done.”

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Clerkenwell Design Week explores the links between design and the individual

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For a show with such an international perspective there are many aspects of Clerkenwell Design Week that mark it out as a typically British event. There’s the weather, of course, which can vary from day to day between drizzle and bright sunshine, marking the difference between visitors dodging showers and huddling in showrooms or spilling out onto the pavements to drink beer and talk turkey. Then there’s the very idea of Clerkenwell itself, a district in East London historically associated with the arts and crafts movements, dodgy dealings, immigrant artisans and labourers and the sort of denuded former glories that those with the right mindset like to appropriate and reinvent. London may exist as a City State within the UK, but it also provides the beating heart for many nationwide industries. For the UK office interiors industry that heart can be found in Clerkenwell.

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‘Squeezed generation’ of middle-aged workers take most sick days

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Employers’ concerns regarding the ageing workforce are usually based on the belief older workers will tend to struggle more with health problems. However, new data from AXA PPP healthcare reveals it’s the middle band of workers (30-49) that take more sick days than any other age group; averaging 2.3 sick days in the past six months; with a quarter of these workers taking three or four days off sick. Twelve per cent of this middle age group have taken the equivalent of a working week off sick (5 or 6 days) in the past six months, double the number of 18-29 year olds (6%) and just 5 per cent of those 50-69. This ‘squeezed generation,’ faced with the pressures of balancing work and home, takes least positive steps to help ensure good health; has a fairly negative outlook regarding their jobs and is more stressed than other age group.

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International Women’s Day: odds still stacked against women in the workforce

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Odds stacked against women in workforceThe 110th International Woman’s Day took place this weekend, and, aside from highlighting the continuing struggles of women across the world, comes research that reveals how in this country, the odds are still stacked against women at work. More than four in 10 (42%) women aged between 18-34 said they have personally faced a gender barrier, followed by 34 per cent of those aged between 35-54 and 26 per cent of women aged 55 and over. Of those women who have experienced inequality at work, over a third (35%) say they believe male colleagues at the same level earn more than they do.  Thirty one per cent indicate they are assigned work that is below their level and are therefore unable to demonstrate their abilities, while almost one in five (19%) say that junior colleagues don’t take instructions from them, but will do from male colleagues of equal seniority. More →

Crowds brave the grey weather to enjoy Clerkenwell Design Week

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Clerkenwell_Design_WeekIn contrast to last year when the sun shone and temperatures were giddily high, Clerkenwell in late May was distinctly chilly, with a constant stiff breeze, on and off rain, and even a hailstorm. The weather may have been unseasonably cold but that didn’t stop the crowds flocking to the most popular venues and showrooms, and several of the evening parties were so crowded they had to close their doors. The signs had been good, even before the show opened. Advance registrations were over 46,000, compared with last year’s 22,000 visitors and by the end of the show, total registrations had reached 55,000.

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Hidden depression amidst Blue Monday hype

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DepressionToday is ‘Blue Monday’, allegedly the most depressing day of the year. The case against the beginning of the third working week in January includes an inability to keep up New Year resolutions, lack of daylight, and giving us something to gripe about. However it also presents an opportunity to discuss the hidden problem of depression amongst the workforce. One in four will have some kind of mental health problem this year which is why Business Disability Forum has today announced a new guide for line managers on how to manage mental health at work.

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Will coronavirus mean the death of the office?

Will coronavirus mean the death of the office?

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Betteridge’s law of headlines declares that “Any headline that ends in a question mark can be answered by the word no”. And so I simultaneously ask and answer the question of whether the coronavirus pandemic will really lead to the death of the office. So it goes. Of course, I’m not the first person to raise the question over the last few weeks as the world adapts to the threat of the pandemic. But it’s worth reminding ourselves that the demise of the office has been predicted for at least a quarter of a century, although never in such circumstances. More →

Flexible working could improve mental health and lives of fathers

Flexible working could improve mental health and lives of fathers

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Father and son walk on beach showing need for flexible workingMen feel frustrated in their jobs and discriminated against at work and want a better balance between work and family life in much the same way as women, according to the results of the annual survey by workingdads and workingmums. One in four dads said they’d had time off work due to mental illness, with a third of those citing the stress of work and home. Around half of working dads said their career had stalled since they became a father. Almost 70 percent admitted they feel stuck in their current role because they fear they wouldn’t be able to find another job with the amount of flexible working they need. More →

Pressing self-destruct, a final solution to workplace noise, a broken psychological contract and some other stuff

Pressing self-destruct, a final solution to workplace noise, a broken psychological contract and some other stuff

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I’ve never really wanted to go to MIPIM. I’m suspicious of it all for a number of reasons I won’t go into although you might reasonably guess what they are. So, I enjoyed this piece from Polly Plunket-Checkemian about her own misgivings. I understand that the testosterone level has been dialled down recently, but like Polly I’d like to see a re-examination of its format and intent, especially given that the real estate sector is having to rethink where it fits into the new era of work and meets the challenge of coworking.

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