Search Results for: diverse workforce

New code of practice for employers to improve health and wellbeing for staff

New code of practice for employers to improve health and wellbeing for staff

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BSI, the business standards company, has launched a new code of practice for organisations to help tackle a crisis in the mental health and wellbeing of Britain’s workforce. 137 million working days were lost to sick leave in the UK in 2016, with organisations spending £9 billion each year on sick pay and associated costs. The cost of ‘presenteeism’ – where employees attend work whilst ill and do not work efficiently – has also risen sharply in recent years. The code of practice, PAS 3002, provides recommendations to establish, promote, maintain and review the health and wellbeing of workers within an organisation. It considers how health and wellbeing should be incorporated into the working environment and how leadership can ensure health and wellbeing related services are available to employees.

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The talents of older people are going to waste because of discrimnation, claims government report

The talents of older people are going to waste because of discrimnation, claims government report

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The talents of more than a million people aged over 50 who want to work are being wasted because of discrimination, bias and outdated employment practices, claims a new report from the UK government. The report from The Women and Equalities Committee also concludes that Government and the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) are failing to enforce the law on age discrimination and must be clearer that prejudice, unconscious bias and casual ageism in the workplace are all unlawful under the Equality Act 2010. Although the Committee concludes that the Government’s employer-led approach has its advantages, it does not present a strong enough challenge to discriminatory practices or attitudes.

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Katrina Kostic Samen confirmed as President of the British Council for Offices

Katrina Kostic Samen confirmed as President of the British Council for Offices

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The British Council for Offices (BCO) today welcomes Katrina Kostic Samen as its new President. Katrina Kostic Samen, Founder and Managing Partner at KKS Strategy, formally takes over the position from Ken Shuttleworth, Founding Partner of Make Architects, at the BCO’s Annual General Meeting in London today, Wednesday 11th July. As Chair of the BCO Annual Conference held earlier this year in Berlin, Katrina set out the vision for her Presidential year, challenging delegates to look at the workplace from multiple occupier perspectives, and to ensure that they are designing and delivering offices which are inclusive and provide for a diverse workforce.

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Vienna ranks highest for quality of living, but emerging cities doing more to attract mobile talent

Vienna ranks highest for quality of living, but emerging cities doing more to attract mobile talent

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Cities in emerging markets, though challenged by economic and political turmoil, are catching up with top ranking cities following decades of investing in infrastructure, recreational facilities and housing in order to attract talent and multinational businesses, finds Mercer’s 20th annual Quality of Living survey. Meanwhile, many of Europe’s cities still offer the world’s highest quality of living and continue to remain attractive destinations for expatriates on assignment, despite economic volatility due to uncertainty around Brexit and increased political volatility in the region overall. Vienna tops the ranking for the 9th year running and is followed by Zurich (2), Auckland and Munich in joint 3rd place. In 5th place Vancouver completes the top five and is the highest ranking city in North America. Singapore (25) and Montevideo (77) are the highest-ranking cities in Asia and Latin America respectively.  London – the highest ranked UK city – scores top marks in areas like access to public transport, and the variety and quality of theatres and restaurants, but has lower scores for air pollution and traffic congestion.

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Recruitment via artificial intelligence must be monitored to avoid adopting human bias

Recruitment via artificial intelligence must be monitored to avoid adopting human bias

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Recruitment via artificial intelligence must be reviewed to avoid adopting human biasArtificial intelligence systems need to be accountable for human bias at AI becomes more prevalent in recruitment and selection, attendees at the Employers Network for Equality & Inclusion’s annual conference have been warned. Hosted by NatWest, the conference, Diversity & Inclusion: The Changing Landscape heard from experts in ethics, psychology and computing. They explained that AIs learnt from existing data, and highlighted how information such as performance review scores and employee grading was being fed in to machines after being subjected to human unconscious bias.  Dr David Snelling, the programme director for artificial intelligence at technology giant Fujitsu, illustrated how artificial intelligence is taught through human feedback. Describing how huge data sets were fed into the program, David explained that humans corrected the AI when it used that data to come to an incorrect conclusion, using this feedback to teach the AI to work correctly. However, as this feedback is subject to human error and bias, this can become embedded in the machine.

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Diversity shown to help drive business performance but discrimination is still widespread

Diversity shown to help drive business performance but discrimination is still widespread

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Diversity shown to help drive business performance but discrimination is still widespread

The economic cost of workplace discrimination to the UK Economy is £127 billion a year, claims new research.  Of the £127 billion, £123 billion is due to gender discrimination, £2.6 billion as a result of discrimination against ethnic minorities and £2 billion due to discrimination as a result of sexual orientation. These are the claims of a new report commissioned by INvolve, a membership organisation that champions holistic diversity and inclusion in the workplace, and Cebr, an economics consultancy which analysed over 500 workplaces uncovered a significant positive correlation between diversity and financial performance.

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Public sector and flexible workspaces drive record office uptake

Public sector and flexible workspaces drive record office uptake

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A new report from GVA Grimley claims that the commercial property markets in the UK’s major cities outside London enjoyed a record breaking final quarter to 2017. According to its Big Nine report, analysing the office occupier markets of key UK regional cities, total take-up for the year amounted to over 10 million sq ft for the first time, well over the 9.5 million sq ft. witnessed at the peak of the market in 2015. The record level of take-up was underpinned by significant lettings to the public sector, in particular the Government Property Unit (GPU), as well as the continuing exponential growth of the serviced office and coworking sector.

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Government targets 50 percent cut in greenhouse gases from the built environment

Government targets 50 percent cut in greenhouse gases from the built environment

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The UK government has set some ambitious targets for construction and the environmental performance of buildings following the announcement of a Sector Deal for the construction sector. The sector deal was an integral part of the Industrial Strategy White Paper published earlier this week. In a statement, Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark revealed more details of the deal supported by £170m of government investment and £250m of match funding from the built environment sector. The announcement sets out ambitious new targets for the built environment and infrastructure including a 50 percent reduction in greenhouse gases and a third reduction in the costs of construction and whole life costs of buildings.

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The office of the future should be defined by the age of its inhabitants. But not in the way you think

The office of the future should be defined by the age of its inhabitants. But not in the way you think 0

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The office of the future is most commonly seen as the habitat of Millennials. But there are all sorts of flaws in this assumption. Apart from the casual stereotyping of a diverse demographic of people, the most glaring is the fact that the workforce is ageing rather than getting younger, and that most offices must now meet the needs of a wider range of age groups than at any time in their history. A new report from Totaljobs seeks to redress the balance in this regard. It suggests that some of the key features of the office of the future will not be slides and ping pong tables but flexible working areas, quiet spaces, spas and private medical rooms. The study claims that the fixation with Millennials means that a large number of older workers now feel that the design of offices does not meet their needs.

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The very idea of a universal workplace is seriously flawed

The very idea of a universal workplace is seriously flawed 0

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The debate around designing a workplace that works for millennials and now Gen Z is a public one. Every week a new article highlights what is required to create a workplace that millennials want. However for large companies with a diverse workforce, more than the desires of just one generation must be considered to make the workforce effective. Is it possible to create a universal workforce that can work across generations to serve the needs of all employees, and should that be the goal for workplace design?  Right now, we know that tech firms are drawing more top talent than they did before. It can be seen in the a comparison of Harvard MBAs in 2007 and again in 2014 that went into banking (13 percent down to 5 percent) vs tech (up from 7 percent to 17 percent).  Following their lead, broader design has shifted to adopt a tech feel in their own offices, with open layouts trending upwards. Office amenities from ping pong tables to slides are also rising as companies try to bring a fresh approach to the workplace.

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Business association calls for action on high cost of childcare

Business association calls for action on high cost of childcare 0

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childcareThe British Chambers of Commerce and Middlesex University, have published a new survey to gauge the opinion of business leaders on the cost and availability of childcare and its impact on the workforce. The survey of businesses claims that a third of firms (33 percent) regard the availability of childcare as a key issue in recruiting and retaining staff. The survey of more than 1,600 business leaders across the UK also claims that over a quarter (28 percent) of firms have seen a reduction of working hours by staff due to the cost of childcare, while nearly 1 in 10 (9 percent) have seen employees leave their business. Although the survey suggests that nearly 40 percent of businesses already view government plans to double the availability of free childcare next year as likely to have a positive impact on their business, the BCC is calling on government to go further. It says the administration should consider the costs and benefits of a universal entitlement up until school entry, which would help more firms retain and promote productive staff, and help working parents progress.

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Innovative and ambitious disabled employees still face discrimination

Innovative and ambitious disabled employees still face discrimination 0

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disabled-workers-contributionDisabled employees outperform all other groups in terms of innovation and professional ambition, according to new data from the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD) in its paper, Attitudes to Employability and Talent. The report, which explores attitudes towards employability and responsibilities for career development in the UK, includes the attributes associated with employment and career success. Individuals with disabilities ranked more highly than any other group in the categories of ‘Brings new and innovative ideas’ and ‘A great desire to develop’. The group also scored particularly highly in the categories of ‘Fits with organisational values’, ‘Good work ethic’, ‘Reliable’, and ‘Positive attitude to work’. However, when quizzed on current approaches to recruiting from diverse workforce groups, only 11 percent of respondents said they actively target individuals with disabilities during recruitment. This is despite the fact that over half (51 percent) currently employ professionals with physical and mental health conditions.  More →

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