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Self-driving cars will be most transformative future tech, bosses say. Techies disagree

Self-driving cars will be most transformative future tech, bosses say. Techies disagree

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Self-driving cars are set to have a significant impact on society and change our future the most over the next 20 years, according to research from CWJobs. Working in collaboration with “futurologist” Melissa Sterry, the report (registration) surveyed over 2,000 UK business decision makers and IT workers to determine the technological inventions with the greatest impact on society since 2000 and what’s to come in the next 20 years. More →

Avoiding the minefield of WhatsApp communications

Avoiding the minefield of WhatsApp communications

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Whether to keep colleagues updated or to share a new idea, WhatsApp groups are increasingly becoming a go-to communication tool in the workplace.  There are benefits to having such informal communication channels – they can be less hierarchical and improve cohesion within the team, as well as being a fast and easy way to communicate and share images. On the flip side, the lack of formality means that there are risks associated with them.   More →

Wellbeing is increasingly in the hands of HR and the future looks bright as a result

Wellbeing is increasingly in the hands of HR and the future looks bright as a result

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Wellbeing in office designThe future of workplace wellbeing is in HR’s hands; hence, the discipline is even more pivotal to organisational success. As admin and payroll become increasingly digitised and automated, time can be spent more effectively, supporting good people to do good work. Influential people are now catching on to the importance of wellbeing. New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told More than GDP, “We need to address the societal wellbeing of our nation, not just the economic wellbeing”. Her government will set a budget to measure wellbeing and the long-term impact of policy on the quality of people’s lives. More →

Firms turning to “corporate wellness” programmes as a solution for stress

Firms turning to “corporate wellness” programmes as a solution for stress

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corporate wellness and stressA new report by workforce performance firm CR Worldwide (CR), drawing on data from 287,000 employees at over 120 large enterprises, claims that as the incidence and awareness of the issue of stress grows, firms have responded with a 22 percent year-on-year increase in UK spending on perceived solutions such as corporate getaways with companies now spending an average of £3,100 per person per trip. The proportion of activity or nature-based business trips involved in such wellness programmes has more than doubled to 56 percent in 2019 compared to the previous year. With human-animal interactions believed to have therapeutic effects on mental health, UK firms are also increasingly offering ‘nature tourism’, from orangutan treks in Borneo to working with endangered rhinos in Rwanda and shark diving. Husky sledging is now among the top 5 Christmas corporate travel activities for UK firms. More →

Nearly half of employers need help to implement flexible working

Nearly half of employers need help to implement flexible working

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Eighty five percent of employers think demand for flexible working is likely to increase, with demand coming from across the board, but over four in 10 would like more support to implement it, according to a workingmums.co.uk survey. The results of the survey of around 200 employers are interesting in light of current policy discussions about flexible working which tend to focus on forcing employers to flex more by advertising jobs that are flexible from day one and enforcing employees’ flexible working rights. More →

The unexpected benefits of not saying sorry

The unexpected benefits of not saying sorry

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sorry blackboardOn October 5th 2018, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda and Morrisons said sorry about something on social media 151 times between them. There were no product recalls. It was just a normal day on corporate social media. I picked that date because it just happened to be the same day that Topshop apologised for removing a feminist book display and it made for a handy comparison. The book display apology got the headlines, but in the shadows of Topshop’s high-profile faux pas, four of Britain’s largest retailers were busy asking forgiveness too. More →

WeWork, false narratives and the superstate of office design

WeWork, false narratives and the superstate of office design

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WeWork New YorkSo, WeWork then. As the dust settles on whatever has happened, some lessons may be emerging. Many of them are presented in this comment in The Economist and this piece in The Intelligencer in which Scott Galloway of NYU Business School claims that the problems have been evident for a long time. He doesn’t hold back. More →

Workplace interruptions are not all bad

Workplace interruptions are not all bad

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An email pops up on your screen. It’s a client sharing a project update. A Slack message appears. It’s your boss asking a question. A text alert beeps. A colleague wants to know if you will be attending a meeting. Sound familiar? People are increasingly besieged at work by workplace interruptions through email, messaging apps, social media and in-person encounters. More →

People cannot focus for length of most meetings

People cannot focus for length of most meetings

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An overwhelming majority (83 percent) of UK office employees are unable to concentrate in meetings for over 45 minutes, yet research from Sharp reveals that the average meeting lasts 49 minutes. This finding was supported by 55 percent of those surveyed, who claimed that work meetings are too long. This dissatisfaction appears to be caused by the difficulty in sustaining concentration in long meetings, with only 36 percent of UK employees indicating they are able to concentrate for a full 30 minutes. More →

Shakespeare, steampunk and our immersion in tech soup

Shakespeare, steampunk and our immersion in tech soup

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Technology is always remarkable in its own time, indistinguishable from magic for an increasingly fleeting moment before the stardust fades and it becomes mundane, subverted by our unintended uses, its own unintended consequences and the very way it inveigles itself into the background of our existence, blurring identities, changing the way we view ourselves and others and shattering the compartments into which we once found it easy to separate the different parts of our lives.

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Back to workplace basics, the joy and pain of work, squeezing people in and some other stuff

Back to workplace basics, the joy and pain of work, squeezing people in and some other stuff

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A coworking workplace in Chengdu by WeWorkLet’s get the inevitable WeWork story out of the way first. A supposed news item in Crain’s New York Business has claimed that WeWork is ‘squeezing’ people into half the space recommended in the BCO’s Specification Guide; “roughly the size of two standard doors laying side by side”. You can see the editorial cogs at work here, combining a story about WeWork with one about how people are crammed into the workplace like cattle these days.

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Workers want offices that inspire themselves and others

Workers want offices that inspire themselves and others

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New research from Ambius, claims that more than half (56 percent) of Brits have felt what they call office envy after visiting another organisation’s workspace. Despite the majority (55 percent) communicating this ‘lack of office inspiration’ to their office manager or employer, most saw no change as a result. The survey of 1,000 UK office workers also claims that employees are conscious of how their office looks on social media. Just one in five think their office space is beautiful, and as a result, only 22 percent would be proud enough to post a picture of it on Instagram, or other social channels. More →

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