Search Results for: communication

Firms must do more to earn the commute of hybrid workers

Firms must do more to earn the commute of hybrid workers

hybrid work office designSteelcase has released a new global research report which reveals that outdated offices are no longer conducive to employees’ shifting needs for greater control, comfort, and privacy. The study found that if a workplace was made more in tune with shifting expectations, staff were more engaged, productive, connected to their organisation’s culture and less likely to leave.  The Steelcase report, The New Era of Hybrid Work, surveyed nearly 5,000 workers in 11 countries. The findings reveal that whilst 87 percent of respondents now spend at least some of their time working from the office as the threat of the pandemic recedes, six in ten (58 percent) prefer working from home. One of the most appealing attributes of a home for two-thirds (65 percent) of UK employees is that they have a dedicated space for work. Whereas in the office, the majority (59 percent) have desks in open areas, with minimal privacy. More →

Making sense of an uncertain but energetic return to some sort of normal

Making sense of an uncertain but energetic return to some sort of normal

The first Omnirama event on the 23rd of March launched the series exploring different factors challenging the world of work in a time of prevailing  uncertainty. Underlying Ominirama’s raison d’etre is that recent events have turned the status quo on its head with some major structural and systemic changes taking place. Nobody seems to have any clear idea of how to deal with this enormous transformation in the ways we work  All the playbooks and all the guidance that we have all relied upon for so many years have now gone out the window. More →

Corporate jargon is damaging your business

Corporate jargon is damaging your business

corporate jargon

Between the stressful daily commute, the awkward small talk by the coffee machine and the endless hours of face-to-face meetings, there are many things that are unfortunately slowly creeping back into our daily lives as we gradually start heading back to office life. One thing in particular that we have all been dreading is the feeling of utter bewilderment and exasperation when colleagues spout buzzwords and phrases like ‘paradigm shift’, ‘low hanging fruit’, and ‘thinking outside the box’. Corporate jargon is everywhere and we’ve all succumbed to using it at some point in our professional lives, whether it was to ‘leverage a results-driven approach’, ‘give 110%’ to ‘make sure the juice is worth the squeeze’, or ‘circle back’ on an email or conversation. More →

The compadre of teleworking, with Jack Nilles

The compadre of teleworking, with Jack Nilles

teleworking Jack NillesIn episode four of Workplace Geeks, Chris and Ian cross seven time zones to learn from the father of teleworking and environmental activist, Jack Nilles, about the multi-disciplinary research project that led to his 1976 book ‘The Telecommunications-Transportation Trade-off: Options for Tomorrow’. Teleworking has been proven to be an effective and valued part of hybrid working solutions since the 1970s. The barriers to implementation are rarely, if ever, technological or economic: they are cultural, often specifically managerial, and always have been. Despite this, tried and tested change methodologies can overcome these challenges. Now, more than ever, we need to embrace the many benefits of teleworking, not just for organizational and personal gain, but also as part of our strategies to address the climate emergency. More →

Co-living ideas explored in Davidson Prize longlist

Co-living ideas explored in Davidson Prize longlist

co-living worksThe judges of the 2022 Davidson Prize have selected a longlist of 14 teams. Responding to this year’s theme of Co-Living – A New Future, the longlisted teams represent diverse and exciting collaborative approaches to transforming the architecture of the home. The Davidson Prize is a design ideas and communication prize established in 2021 in memory of architectural visualisation pioneer Alan Davidson. Following the success of the inaugural Prize last year, in 2022 teams made up of architects working collaboratively with other disciplines were asked to consider whether current notions of home in the UK are keeping step with the 21st century. More →

Working from home may help recruitment, but doesn’t stem resignations

Working from home may help recruitment, but doesn’t stem resignations

working from homeOrganisations looking to stem the tide of the so-called Great Resignation shouldn’t rely on working from home alone to retain their top talent, according to new research, which reveals that working from home (WFH), flexible working hours and even four-day work weeks, won’t necessarily be enough to keep employees onboard. HR software provider CIPHR conducted a survey of over 330 British employers last month to discover how the increasingly competitive talent market has affected their staff retention and recruitment drives over the past twelve months. Based on the results, nearly three-quarters (73 percent) of employers have experienced an increase in employees voluntarily resigning and 71 percent have found it more challenging to recruit new employees. More →

Flawed organisational design thinking continues to hold businesses back

Flawed organisational design thinking continues to hold businesses back

organisational designThe Josh Bersin Company, a research and advisory company focused on HR and workforce trends and issues, has revealed new research which claims to show how organisational design has a direct relationship to the ability of any business to prepare and scale for the future. The study concludes that traditional approaches to organisational design, usually centred around job roles and reporting structures, are holding companies back and in some cases, exacerbating current and future talent challenges. More →

Out of hours work ban would find support among majority of employees

Out of hours work ban would find support among majority of employees

out of hours work banA new poll from researchers Ipsos reveals the majority of UK adults aged 16-75 are in favour of introducing a law giving employees the right to ignore work-related communications, such as emails, texts and instant messages, outside of their official working/on-call hours. Around 60 percent would support the Government introducing an out of hours law, including 34 percent who would strongly support it. Only 1 in 10 (11 percent) indicated they would be against introduction of such a law. More →

The much talked about new normal doesn’t exist, but the world has changed in profound ways

The much talked about new normal doesn’t exist, but the world has changed in profound ways

no new normalThe World Health Organization officially declared COVID a pandemic on March 11 2020. Now, two years later, there’s light for some at the end of the tunnel. In many wealthier countries, which have benefited from several rounds of vaccination, the worst of the pandemic is over. We’ve got here by learning a lot of new health behaviour, like wearing masks and sanitising our hands. Many of us have also developed a variety of social habits to reduce the virus’s spread – such as working from home, shopping online, travelling locally and socialising less. But as parts of the world emerge from the pandemic, are these new habits here to stay, or do old habits really die hard? Is there a new normal? Here’s what data can tell us.

 

 

Work

One of the biggest changes predicted during the pandemic was a long-term shift towards home or hybrid working. However, there are already signs that this transition might not be as obvious or complete as expected.

The signs of the transition to hybrid work are not as obvious or complete as expected

In the UK, the proportion of people working from home at least some of the time increased from 27 percent in 2019 to 37 percent in 2020, before falling to 30 percent in January 2022. Similarly, in the US the proportion working from home declined from 35 percent in May 2020 to 11 percent in December 2021.

One of the main reasons people are going back to the office is employers’ expectations. Many companies are concerned that more permanent home working might affect employees’ team building, creativity and productivity.

But among employees, there’s a greater appetite for hybrid and flexible working. One recent multi-national survey found that whereas roughly one-third of workers had worked at home at least some of the time before the pandemic, roughly half said they want to in the future.

 

Shopping

The pandemic didn’t create the habit of online shopping, but it makes more of us do it. Did this make us realise we don’t need actual stores anymore?

It doesn’t seem so. Shopping in bricks-and-mortar stores has already started to recover. Recent data on people’s movements, gathered anonymously from mobile devices, shows how in many countries, before omicron hit, travel to retail and recreation spaces was back up to pre-pandemic levels, and is already starting to rebound after omicron.

The rise in online sales has also not been as dramatic or sustained as many predicted. In the UK, online sales made up 20 percent of total retail sales before the pandemic. By February 2021 this had risen to 36 percent, before declining steadily to 25 percent in February 2022.

 

Travel

One habit that might take longer to recover is our pre-pandemic love of international travel. It has taken a hit around the world, and the sector is still struggling. The UN’s International Civil Aviation Organization projects that international travel in 2022 will still be down by nearly a half compared to 2019.

One British survey conducted last September found that while 80 percent of people were planning on holidaying in the UK in the next year, only around 40 percent were considering going abroad. In comparison, in the 12 months up to July 2019, 64 percent of Brits travelled abroad for a holiday according to one travel industry body.

People’s reluctance to travel has been largely down to concerns over the virus and confusion over travel rules. As worries decline and rules get lifted, we may see a “mini-boom” in holidaymaking.

 

Socialising

Early in the pandemic, some commentators – including the US chief medical adviser Dr Anthony Fauci – suggested we might never return to shaking hands. I, with my colleague Dr Kimberly Dienes, argued that it was vital these rituals make a comeback, as they have several social, psychological and even biological benefits.

Are social-distancing habits, including meeting fewer people and having less physical contact with those we do, here to stay? For most people, no. Data shows only one-third of people in the UK are still socially distancing regularly, the lowest proportion since the pandemic began.

 

No new normal

But truly, only time will tell how much the pandemic will have changed our habits. However, bolder predictions – that the pandemic was going to completely and irrevocably change our ways of working, shopping, travelling and socialising – now seem premature and exaggerated. The pandemic has taught us we can work, learn, shop and socialise in different ways, but the question now is whether we still want to.

The pandemic has taught us that we need to connect with others

Humans have basic needs, such as autonomy, feeling related to others, and feeling effective and competent in what we do. Part of the challenge with home working, for example, is that it simultaneously fulfils one need by giving us greater autonomy but takes away another by making us less connected. Expanding adequately supported, equality-focused, hybrid and flexible working arrangements is perhaps a promising way to meet both needs.

Some people will have acquired a sense of competence, or at least familiarity, with the new ways of doing things during the pandemic and so may wish to keep doing them. In some areas – travelling overseas, for example – it may take longer for our competence, and confidence, in old habits to return. However, many seem to be quite quickly returning to old ways and re-learning how to feel competent at doing things that they did before.

The extent to which we’ll go back to our old ways may also depend on our personality traits, which have been shown to shape our compliance with new behaviour. For example, those more open to new experiences by nature, or more extroverted, may be more eager to travel internationally or socialise in larger groups.

Finally, the pandemic may have served as a reminder of how much we appreciate everyday interactions with others, in shops, restaurants and so on. People may be keen to return to familiar ways that revive this – for example, picking something up in a store on the way home from work. Above all, the pandemic has taught us that we need to connect with others and that there are limits as to how much online communication can replace real, face-to-face interactions.

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Nearly three quarters of people have ignored mental health to continue working

Nearly three quarters of people have ignored mental health to continue working

mental healthMore than 7 in 10 UK employees have pushed through a mental health struggle to avoid taking time off work in the past three months, according to a new report by BetterUp Labs. Over half (59 percent) also reported that they’d had to push through a physical health struggle, suggesting there is widespread hesitation about stepping away  from work to take time to recover. The report also claims that over a quarter (26 percent) of respondents have or have had a mental wellbeing condition, with 30 percent of women and 21 percent of men reporting this. More →

The brain builds its sense of self from the people around us

The brain builds its sense of self from the people around us

We are highly sensitive to people around us. As infants, we observe our parents and teachers, and from them we learn how to walk, talk, read – and use smartphones. There seems to be no limit to the complexity of behaviour we can acquire from observational learning. More →

The nature of work has changed permanently for many people, new report claims

The nature of work has changed permanently for many people, new report claims

nature of workThe pandemic has changed the nature of work, which offers opportunities for organisations to adopt more considerate and efficient work practices as offices reopen. The latest study to come to this conclusion has been published by the University of Southampton and funded by the Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC). The research considered the longer-term implications of working from home and which new working practices should remain and be encouraged. Its findings offer lessons from lockdown that will guide organisations as they seek to make hybrid working a success. More →

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