Search Results for: salary

Can building design presage a fall from grace for the world’s tech giants?

Apple HQAt the movies, buildings are often used to denote hubris. The ambitions and egos of Charles Foster Kane and Scarface are embodied in the pleasure domes and gilded cages they erect to themselves. Of course, things then invariably go badly wrong. In the real world too, monstrous edifices have often presaged a crash. The UK’s most ambitious and much talked about office building at the turn of the Millennium was British Airways’ Waterside, completed in 1998, just a year after Margaret Thatcher famously objected to the firm’s new modern tailfin designs by draping them with a hankie and three years before BA had to drop its ‘World’s Favourite Airline’ strapline because by then it was Lufthansa. Nowadays BA isn’t even the UK’s favourite airline, but Waterside remains a symbol of its era, albeit one that continues to influence the way we design offices.

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Average UK working parents now spend more on childcare than mortgages

© Family and Childcare Trust

© Family and Childcare Trust

Last month we questioned the financial wisdom of going to work for Britain’s working parents. Today the question became even more vexed as it emerged they typically pay childcare costs equivalent to over a quarter of the UK average salary. A report from the Family and Childcare Trust says that to have one child in a part-time nursery and another in an after school club would cost £7,549 each year. Not only does this represent 28 percent of the average salary of £26,500 and is more than an average mortgage which is £7,207 per annum. For those with full time childcare the costs are typically £11,700 per year. The report also notes that childcare costs have increased by over a quarter over the last five years and even the Government’s ongoing commitment to childcare is failing to alleviate the situation.

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Not just about the money. Higher wages do not improve employee retention

Money not the motivator, as higher wages does not improve employee retention

Employers that take a broader view of the employee experience beyond pay are more likely to retain talented employees. new research suggests. In a study of European economies by Towers Watson, countries with higher GDP growth tend also to have higher levels of employee attrition, The General Industry Compensation Survey Report findings also show little evidence to suggest that countries with high real-wage growth (i.e. salary increases minus inflation) are able to use that to secure higher levels of employee retention. The research proves that with the emergence of a strengthening employment market means employers will have to work harder to ensure that non-pay related benefits such as an attractive working environment and plenty of opportunities for career advancement are available to attract and retain talent. More →

Why do we bother going to work? Good question.

CommutingWhile the UK Government continues to explore new ways of getting people back to work more quickly following (or even during) illness, there are a number of counterpart questions that they continue to fastidiously ignore, one of which is ‘why bother?’. We might all ask ourselves that from time to time, whether petulantly or as a pressure-relieving alternative to ramming a co-worker’s head through a window or a laptop in a dumpster. But there are also reasons to raise the question coldly, rationally and with full awareness of all the facts, not least when it comes to assessing the increasing cost of going to work in the first place. Put simply, for many people it makes little or no financial sense to go to work.

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Good practice guide for employers on using social media as a vetting tool

Advice on social media vettingThe debate over the right to privacy of job applicants whose activities may be checked on social media websites such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, has led to some confusion over what is legally acceptable. Employers’ body the CIPD’s recent social media research revealed that two in five employers look at candidates’ online activity or profiles to inform recruitment decisions, but few inform applicants as a matter of course that this is being done. But just how aware are employers of the legalities around this kind of vetting? Managers have wide discretion within the law to decide whether or not to recruit a particular candidate, but to avoid risk of legal challenge they should be fully aware of the law on data protection and discrimination in employment. The CIPD has now published some useful guidance on what constitutes good practice. More →

More law firms introducing flexible working, but progress remains slow

SisyphusWhen it comes to the adoption of flexible working, law firms have proved to be one of the more intransigent sectors in the UK. But there are signs of change with news that more firms in Scotland are embracing new working practices. A survey of 3,400 solicitors carried out by the Law Society of Scotland found an increasing number were making use of flexible working. The research shows that while the majority of respondents (77 percent) continue to work full time, two thirds are now allowed to work away from their main place of work although take-up remains sluggish with only a quarter doing so at least once a week. In marked contrast to other professions, around two thirds of respondents did not access emails and work files while away from the office.

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Job satisfaction keeps employees motivated more than bonuses

Job satisfaction keeps employees motivated more than bonusesThe reported levels of stress felt by banking employees already suggests that generous bonuses do not necessarily equate loving the job. Now a new study published today by the Institute of Leadership & Management (ILM) confirms that across the business sector, the single most effective motivator is job satisfaction (59%), with just 13 per cent saying the prospect of receiving a bonus or other financial incentive motivates them to work harder in their role. The survey of over 1,000 employees found that a competitive salary and a good pension are highly effective motivators (49%) but getting on with colleagues (42%) is nearly as important. The report also highlights how important good managers are to ensuring happy and motivated staff. More →

Don’t let the sofas fool you; work can still be red in tooth and claw

Herbert James Draper: Ulysses and the sirens

Herbert James Draper: Ulysses and the sirens

We keep filling our workplaces with sofas, coffee shops and other lifestyle touches while our homes are being slowly eroded by the trappings of work. First it was the fax machine. Then the mobile phone. Then working from home. The places available for us to work is seemingly more diverse than ever. But does this acknowledged trend towards domesticity make the workplace a kinder, gentler place? Maybe on the surface but beware to those who dare succumb to the siren song of these things. Using them could mean the end of your career.A recent conversation I had with an executive highlighted the problems inherent in the mixed messages this “softening” of the work environment brings.

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UK and U.S. workers more likely to experience workplace bullying

The Coalition government has criticised “over-regulated” UK employment law, which it argues makes it difficult for employers to manage employees without risk of being sued for unfair treatment. Yet despite the perception that UK employees are overly-protected by employment regulations, a new global study of white collar bullying has revealed that workers are in fact more likely to experience bullying at the hands of their bosses if they work in the UK or the U.S. The country a company is based in has a direct effect on how much workplace bullying is accepted and the UK and the U.S. were among the countries with a “high performance orientation” valuing accomplishments, a sense of urgency and explicit communication. These countries, say the authors, may tolerate bullying if it is seen as a means to achieve better results. More →

Are Japanese firms using banishment rooms to get rid of unwanted employees?

Earlier in the year, it was reported that the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare was investigating a number of the country’s most prominent companies including Panasonic, NEC, Sony and Sharp for the morally dubious practice of setting up euphemistic business units with the primary purpose of creating an office where they could send unwanted or poorly performing employees to demoralise them and drive them ultimately to resign. Last week the Japan Daily Press blog published more information about these so-called banishment rooms or oidashi-beya, claiming that  workers are forced to spend ten hours a day performing tedious and menial tasks until they decide to leave.

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Bosses bonus boom widens long-term pay gap

 Bosses bonuses widen pay gap

Among the renewed debate on whether the Thatcher years sowed the seeds of social and economic inequality, comes new salary data by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) and XpertHR, which reveals company directors (including chief executives) enjoyed pay increases almost twice the size of the average UK executive over the last 12 months. The research also found that the number of employers struggling with staff recruitment continues to increase year-on-year. Almost two thirds (64.7 per cent) of employers experienced problems with staff recruitment over the last 12 months – up from 58.7 per cent in the 2012 report and 48.9 per cent in 2011. More →

Survey reveals rising confidence of UK workers

JobsCompetitive pay and benefits are the most important requirements of a new employer, before job security, according to new research from recruiter Randstad. In 2012, 27 per cent of people said long-term job security was the most important factor in choosing to work for a specific company – more than any other issue, but this has now fallen to 16 per cent, the lowest it has been in three years. Mark Bull, Randstad’s UK CEO, said: “The UK’s workforce appears much more bullish. In 2011 and 2012 the number one priority for people was job security – now it is salaries and benefits.”

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