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Over 50s have highest rate of long term unemployment

Over 50s have highest rate of long term unemploymentMore than a million people over 50 have been pushed out of the workplace a new report from The Prince’s Initiative for Mature Enterprise (PRIME) has revealed. Up to 1.5 million people aged 50-69 “involuntarily” left employment over the last eight years due to a combination of redundancy, ill health or “forced” early retirement. Of these, 1.1 million people would be willing to work. Yet if the employment rate of this 50–64 age group matched that of the 35–49 age group, it would boost UK GDP by £88 billion (5.6%). The report: ‘The missing million: illuminating the employment challenges of the over 50s’ was produced by PRIME, now part of Business in the Community, in collaboration with The International Longevity Centre (ILC), the leading think tank on longevity and demographic change. The report explores the employment challenges facing older workers and calls for urgent action from policy makers and employers to ensure that people over 50 remain in the labour market, for example through flexible working and retraining. More →

The solution to complex issues like green building is to become more sophisticated

office designOne of the current preoccupations of the World Green Building Council is to demonstrate how green business is good business. The way it is presenting this argument is intriguing because as well as extolling the most anticipated benefits of green building design, such as lower energy bills, it is linking green building design with human factors such as productivity, wellness and  work-life balance. It has produced a number of reports on this subject, most recently in September with a publication titled Health, Wellbeing and Productivity in Offices which found ‘overwhelming evidence’ of the link between office design and productivity.  What such compelling reports also highlight are the complex challenges we face and the sophisticated approach we must take to environmental issues and corporate social responsibility. Fortunately this is already exhibited by many organisations.

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Americans would still prefer a male boss to a female boss

Amercians would prefer male boss to female bossThe news that Facebook and Apple are to offer US-based female employees the option of freezing their eggs for future use, in an effort to attract more women on to their staff, has raised quite a debate on both sides of the Atlantic on whether women are being actively discouraged to put off having children. Now a new poll suggests that far from entering a brave new world, attitudes towards women in charge haven’t moved on a great deal. There is still a disappointingly high level of negativity towards female bosses, with US Americans more likely to say they would prefer a male boss (33%) to a female boss (20%) in a new job, according to a Gallup poll. And in an age when women are told to “lean in” to get positions of power at work, even women are more likely to prefer a male boss to a female boss. Although 46 per cent say it doesn’t make a difference to them, the percentage of women who would prefer a female boss has never surpassed 30 per cent since Gallup’s annual work and education poll, was launched back in 1953. More →

Two thirds of the world’s workers would move to another country to find a better job

Publication1Almost two thirds of job seekers worldwide say they would be willing to move abroad for work, a ‘startlingly high proportion’ that says a lot about the evolving marketplace for talent, according to a new study by The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and The Network, a global alliance of more than 50 recruitment websites. The report claims that the proportion of people willing to seek a better job abroad is particularly (and unsurprisingly) high in developing and politically unstable countries. But there is also a very high willingness to work abroad for workers in countries that don’t face such challenges. For example, more than 75 percent of survey respondents in Switzerland, more than 80 percent of respondents in Australia, and more than 90 percent of respondents in the Netherlands say they would consider moving to another country for work, according to the report, Decoding Global Talent: 200,000 Survey Responses on Global Mobility and Employment Preferences, and their preferred destinations are London, New York and Paris.

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Workers struggling to balance home and work, according to CIPD report

Publication1The UK’s workforce is struggling to find the right balance between their work and domestic responsibilities according to the latest Absence Management report from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.  The report also suggests that, although overall absence levels are falling, much of this is down to people going into work when they perhaps shouldn’t with a third of employers reporting presenteeism. Stress and mental health problems in the workplace also remain high, with more than 40 percent of employers citing an increase, despite signs of economic recovery. One area in which absenteeism is rising is workers taking time off to care for children and elderly or disabled relatives and friends. More than a third of those employers surveyed reported an increase in absence levels amongst staff who are struggling to cope with their caring responsibilities outside of work. However only a sixth of employers have policies in place to provide a better level of support.

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Increasing numbers of over-65s will require flexible working rights

Increasing number of over-65s will require flexible working rightsWe can get so preoccupied with meeting the younger generation’s more flexible approach to work, that we miss the fact that a much greater challenge for employers is in managing the needs of the older workforce. Figures released by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) show that nearly a quarter of a million more people aged 65 and over have remained at work since the default retirement age was abolished three years ago. This means that more than a million (103,000) over 65s now choose to stay in work, compared to 874,000 in the quarter October to December 2011 – an increase of 229,000. There are now 9.1 million people aged 50 plus at work, accounting for 29.7 per cent of all those in work aged 16 plus in the UK (30.6 million). This means employers not only need to accommodate an increasingly diverse range of ages but must enable older workers to work more flexibly as they wind down from working life. More →

The culture of presenteeism is not all just fun and games

PresenteeismTen or so years ago an office seating manufacturer commissioned me to prepare a report on the games industry. The idea was to target a market the company had decided was primed to hear their message about ergonomics and the deleterious effects of long hours spent sitting and peering at a screen. Not only would this develop a new market for the business, it would also showcase a new product they had launched specifically to target a younger and hipper audience, even one that was overwhelmingly male. All of the elements of a successful campaign appeared to be there – the right product, a sedentary workforce that often worked around the clock to hit deadlines in an industry that epitomised youthful cool and was willing to spend money to prove it.

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Younger workers less tolerant of flexible workers than you would think

Younger workers less tolerant of flexible workers than you would thinkOne of the key drivers for bringing a flexible working culture into the workplace is to accommodate the needs of the younger generation of ‘millennial’ workers who are perceived to view the idea of the traditional 9 to 5 as archaic. But this open-mindedness appears to waver when applied to other workers. A recent survey by employment specialists Doyle Clayton has found Generation Y employees have the most negative attitudes towards older employees and part-time and flexible workers; seeing their colleagues’ flexibility as coming at their own expense. The Age Before Beauty? Report warns that there shouldn’t be an assumption that initiatives to support flexible working will be welcomed by staff in their twenties and thirties. And while younger workers tended to be most likely to perceive discrimination at their workplace, they were also the most likely to exhibit negative attitudes towards equality, for example seeing older workers as less valuable because of their age. More →

Portfolio working could become the norm in ten years time says KPMG

Portfolio working could become the norm in ten years time says KPMGAt last year’s Worktech London, Charles Handy discussed the ascent of the portfolio worker. In a new survey by KPMG, 63 per cent of business leaders agree that portfolio workers will gain mainstream commercial acceptance within the next ten years. But some confusion remains as to just what constitutes a ‘portfolio worker’ as distinct from employees on flexible work schedules or freelancers. Just over a third (35%) of Generation Y respondents understood the term “portfolio workers” but they felt that they were simply freelancers by another name (78%), as did three quarters of the senior executives (76%) and the older respondents (74%). According to the survey portfolio workers differ from freelancers by having contracts in place with a number of different companies simultaneously, with a guaranteed number of hours of work from all during any given period of time. This approach, as Hardy has predicted, looks set to become the new way of work. More →

London ranked the best city to invest in major office refurbishment

office refurbishmentLondon offers the best returns on office refurbishment of any city in the world, according to a new report from ARCACDIS. The firm’s survey of buildings more than 20 years old in thirteen cities found that returns on capital invested in major refurbs (which extend the life of the office by up to 20 years) in London were nearly ten percent, significantly higher than second placed Warsaw (7.5%) and Milan (6%). However, London was only ranked second for return on investment in minor office refurbishment, defined as a refurbs that aims to extend the life of the building by up to 5 years. Top place in this instance went to Madrid (9.6%), followed by London (8.5%) and Shanghai (7.9%). The least attractive market for office refurbishment was found to be Dubai, which the report claims is due to the large supply of new office space.

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Four year surge in the numbers of over-50s and over-65s in UK workforce

older UK workforceWe keep saying it but forget all the talk about Gen Y, the UK workforce is actually aging and becoming more diverse. New research from Saga shows that the number of employees over the age of 65 has increased by over a third over the last four years and the numbers of those between 50 and 64 has also increased – by nearly a tenth. The proportion of over 65s within the workforce is up from 3.4 percent to 3.6 percent over the same period but there have also been increases in employment in younger age groups meaning the workforce is more diverse. There are now 1.09 million over 65s still in work and around 8 million in the 50-64 age group. The Saga Monthly Employment report, published in partnership with the Centre for Economics and Business Research, also found that older age groups are now just as economically active as younger demographics

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Rise in staff social media profiling will transform the workplace

Digital monitoring of staff will transform the workplace claims surveyWhether or not the younger generation are in fact more technically astute is still open to debate, but one thing is clear, they’re far less perturbed at the idea of being digitally monitored than the older generation. New research reveals that the younger generation are more open to sharing their personal data with their employees, with 36 per cent of Generation Y workers saying they would be happy to do so. Nearly a third of people would be happy for their employer to have access to their personal data, such as social media profiles and this kind of data monitoring of employees will rise over the next decade as Generation Y enters the workforce. Given the fact that by 2020 this generation will form half of the global workforce – they’re set to bring with them their different attitudes to technology and personal data. More →

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