Search Results for: stress

Government plans encourage employers to appreciate older workers

Government plans encourage employers to appreciate older workersEmployers must recognise the potential of older workers and help them stay in the workplace. This is the message the Government will stress today at the launch of its new action plan. The new measures set out in Fuller Working Lives – A Framework For Action published today include; the appointment of a new Older Workers’ Employment Champion who will advocate the case for older workers within the business community and wider society; an extension of the right to request flexible working to all employees from the end of this month and the launch of a new Health and Work Service which the Government says will give workers with long-term health problems the support they need to stay in or return to work. Part of the Government’s aim is also to challenge outdated misconceptions and encourage more employers to consider the benefits of older workers.

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Goodbye 9-5: flexible working practices help retain and attract staff

flexible working connectors

Tech savvy connectors @ Oliver Preston

New ways of working are being fuelled by employees desire to take greater control of their lives. Over three-quarters (77%) of respondents in a survey by YouGov for Virgin Media Business said that remote working helps them address their work-life balance and almost four in five employees (78%) believe companies today need to offer it to attract and retain staff. As part of the research, psychologist Professor Cary Cooper reveals remote workers fall into four groups which range from ‘beginners’ to tech savvy ‘connectors.’ He stresses the need for employers to not only kit out their employees with the technology they need to work remotely, but also to educate them on flexible working best practice tips and guidelines because: “Ultimately this will help them ensure there is consistency across employees’ standard of work regardless of location, and will also ensure they remain as productive as possible.” More →

Flexible working just one factor that can lift the workplace blues

Flexible working happinessNew research commissioned by office supplies firm Viking claims that many people working for small businesses are unhappy, stressed and demotivated in the workplace for much of the time but that their misery can be alleviated with flexible working, training, social events and generally a bit more information and attention from their employers. The research found that a third of the employees surveyed, all of whom work for firms with fewer than 50 employees, claim to be unhappy for more than half of their time at work, with 42 per cent saying they are also stressed and unmotivated. The respondents claim that these issues could be resolved with more flexible working, social events, personal development and business updates. With workers rating such displays of affection more highly than a pay rise, a spend of less than £500 per employee each year on the things they cherish could make them more happy and motivated.

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Information overload is a big problem for ‘infobese’ UK workers

Information overloadWe all know –or should – that we have a real problem with information. We are not only deluged with the stuff, we appear increasingly willing to wallow in it voluntarily, even when we know it’s bad for us. The full extent of the challenge we face managing information is laid bare in a new report from Microsoft called ‘Defying Digital Distraction’.  The study is based on a survey carried out by YouGov which found that 55 per cent of 2,000 British office staff experience some form of information overload at work. A similar proportion feel they are distracted by information, just under half (43 per cent) experience stress as a result, a third (34 per cent) feel overwhelmed by it and 28 per cent believe it affects their personal wellbeing. The report is fronted by Dave Coplin, the Chief Envisioning Officer of Microsoft UK who we interviewed last year and coincides with the publication of Dave’s new book called The Rise of the Humans: how to outsmart the digital deluge.

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Employers fail to monitor wellbeing and mental health alongside staff engagement

Mental ill health still not being addressedMonitoring of employee engagement and wellbeing by FTSE 100 companies improved over the past year, but organisations are failing to measure or address the psychological health of employees. The latest Business in the Community (BITC) Workwell FTSE 100 benchmark showed an increase in the average company scores from 21 per cent to 25 per cent while reporting across the five identified areas of BITC’s Workwell Model; Better Work, Better Relationships, Better Specialist Support, Better Physical and Psychological Health and Working Well increased from 53 to 63. 86 per cent of companies now report on four or five of these themes. But despite this, there was almost no evidence that psychological health is being measured or addressed, and the provision of mental health support continues to be a low scoring area (11%). More →

The latest issue of Insight is now available to view online

firstclassIn the latest Insight newsletter, available to view online; read (and watch) a list of some of the greatest songs to deal with the arcane subject of office furniture and discover the six dimensions of wellbeing that can be impacted by the design of the physical environment. Details of the first free and publicly available resource for building professionals to access detailed comparative data on carbon in buildings; and research that shows moderate stress levels can actually help a manager’s performance.  Mark Eltringham suggests the real reasons why so many employers champion the open plan office layout and argues the design of trains [pictured] is almost as great an indicator of workplace thinking as the office itself. Finally, our regular contributor Simon Heath defends the much maligned HR function.  To automatically receive our weekly newsletter, simply add your email address to the box on the home page.

The six most important dimensions of wellbeing in the workplace

B-Free working choiceDesigning an office environment using six key elements of wellbeing will benefit both employers and their staff, leading to a healthier, more productive workplace finds a new report. Steelcase’s WorkSpace Futures global research team, which included a psychologist, a designer and an ergonomist conducted an in depth study on existing wellbeing research, surveys, indicators and theories and found that the key to physical and mental wellbeing is the emotional experience, which can be influenced by a person’s surroundings, actions, and way of perceiving the world. The six dimensions of wellbeing that can be impacted by the design of the physical environment are; optimism, mindfulness, authenticity, belonging, meaning and vitality. Together these create what Steelcase refers to as an “interconnected workplace,” that offers employees choice and control over where and how they work.  More →

HR has the most ‘can’t do’ attitude in the workplace finds poll

HR least helpfulHuman resources people are obstructive and most likely to reject reasonable requests in the workplace, finds a new poll. Almost 18 per cent of individuals polled by conference call provider Powwownow voted the HR department as the most difficult to work with; almost double that of Finance/Accounting, the next most maligned department.Why some members of staff are so uncooperative was interpreted by respondents as due to illusions of grandeur (68%), attempts to retain power and hold others back (67%) and confusion/lack of training/lack of confidence (40%). Unhelpfulness does not go unpunished it seems as the majority of respondents (53%) thought that unproductive or obstructive employees are more prone to bullying in the workplace. Those who encounter such unhelpfulness admitted to being driven to consider screaming out of sheer frustration (40%) or even seek new employment (36%) rather than speaking with their superior (30%) about an obstructive colleague. More →

Employers welcome an age-diverse workforce, but need to be prepared

Age diversityA recent report by the UKCES that predicted that the workplace of the future will see four generations of employees working side by side is being welcomed, rather than feared by employers, but they need to begin planning for the future now, or risk a skills shortage and being at a competitive disadvantage. The revelation that by 2030 four-generation or “4G” workplaces – will become increasingly common as people delay retiring, even into their 80s, prompted UKCES Commissioner Toby Peyton-Jones to ask whether this emerging multi-generational workplace would spell stress and culture clashes or create positive tension leading to innovation. Now a new study, Managing an age-diverse workforce, from the CIPD, shows that employers and employees see clear benefits from an increasingly age diverse workforce but need to do more to take full advantage. More →

By 2030 your colleagues could be old enough to be your great-grandparents

By 2030 your colleagues could be old enough to be your great-grandparentsBy 2030 four-generation or “4G” workplaces – will become increasingly common as people delay retiring, even into their 80s. Although the role of women in the workplace will strengthen, an increasing divide will mean that while highly-skilled, highly-paid professionals will push for a better work-life balance, others will experience job and income insecurity. Technology will continue to evolve, pervading work environments everywhere, with many routine tasks becoming the domain of the smart algorithm. Multi media “virtual” work presences will become the norm, and as businesses seek additional flexibility, they will decrease the size of their core workforces, instead relying on networks of project-based workers. This is all according to the Future of Work, published this week by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES). More →

Don’t assume your colleagues are making you ill; it might be the office layout

Coughs and sneezes spread diseasesIt’s probably tempting to assume that any sniffles and bugs you’ve acquired at work are the direct result of the wheezing, sneezing, coughing and general poor hygiene of your co-workers. You could be right. But a new study suggests that the building and its interior design may well be having more of an influence than you think. The research published in the journal Ergonomics and available to read in full online here, explored the correlation between seven different models of office design and absenteeism in 2,000 subjects. The results published by researchers from Stockholm University in a report called ‘Office Design’s Impact on Sick Leave Rates’ found there was a clear link between how much time people spent off work and the layout of the offices in which they work.

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Musculoskeletal disorders rate highlights scale of ergonomic challenge

Back to basics may be needed to address modern ergonomic changes

More working days were lost last year to back, neck and muscle pain than any other cause. The latest figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) show that although there has been an overall downward trend in sickness absence in the UK over the last two decades; with 131 million days lost in 2013, down from 178 million days in 1993, at 30.6 million days lost, the greatest number of staff sick days in 2013 were due to musculoskeletal problems. Regulations and guidance relating to ergonomics in the workplace (the Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992), were published over 20 years ago; and despite being amended in 2002, that’s still aeons in technology terms. The typical modern worker now routinely uses tablets, mobiles and other digital devices; whether at work, on the move or at home.

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