Search Results for: stress

Successful employers will shape the future office around the needs of staff

Successful employers will shape the future office around the needs of staffNearly a third (32%) of British workers feel exhausted from juggling career, family, friends and other commitments, and do not think they will want to work later in life. This is contributing to increased levels of stress and a higher likelihood that they will leave their jobs, which – if left unchecked – could cost British businesses £44bn. It’s no wonder then that companies are set to become increasingly employee-centric in the future as, according to the report The Future Workplace, commissioned by financial protection specialist Unum and authored by The Future Laboratory, employers who make changes now to shape their business around the needs of their staff are likely to achieve significant competitive advantage. The report, which investigates the social, cultural, economic and technological influences shaping workplace care over the next fifteen years found four main trends; an ageless workplace that allows ‘returnment’ rather than retirement, the need for a mindful workplace that nurtures mental health and performance, and a workplace that is both intuitive and collaborative. Click here to download the full report.

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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Why a more flexible approach to where and when we work is long overdue

Virgin's flexible work initiative makes sense when you learn average British commute is increasingAs Virgin boss Richard Branson throws his considerable influence behind flexible working, with the revelation that his personal staff can now take time off whenever they want for as long as they want; new research published for National Work Life Week illustrates why we need a more flexible approach to where and when we work. The average British one-way commute has increased in the last couple of years, at nearly half an hour (29.6 minutes) compared to 26 minutes two years ago. Employees in large firms appear to endure the longest commutes, clocking up a one-way average of 39 minutes. The knock-on effect means over-crowded trains, roads and buses and an increasingly stressed workforce more prone to stress and ill-health. Branson has promised to extend the policy if, as he notes in his blog, it results in similar productivity gains as Netflix, which has pioneered this approach. More →

Over half of employees think workplace screens are damaging their eyes

Over half of employees blame failing eyesight on workplace screensOne of the potential hazards of the incursion of digital devices into our lives is the fact that the average person’s screen time has increased since a generation ago, when watching too much TV was said to be bad for our eyes. However, workers still blame their working environment and the rather anachronistic tool, the VDU for any resultant eye troubles. According to new research more than half of UK employees say their current working environment has had a negative impact on their eye health. In Westfield Health’s recent survey of 7,000 UK workers, conducted just ahead of this week’s National Eye Health Week, fifty three per cent of respondents say their current working environment has affected their eye health, or their vision has got worse as a result of work. Headaches, blurred vision, eye strain and dry eyes are just some of the eye related problems employees associate with their jobs. More →

Universal application of open plan has led to global privacy crisis, claims report

open planA major new report from office furniture maker Steelcase claims that the universal provision of open plan offices means that organisations are facing an unprecedented privacy crisis with their employees. The claim is based on international research carried out by market researchers IPSOS and the Workspace Futures Team of Steelcase which found that a remarkable 85 percent of people are dissatisfied with their working environment and cannot concentrate. Nearly a third (31 percent) now routinely leave the office to get work done in private. The authors of the report claim that this does not mean a reversal of the decades long shift away from cellular offices but rather a move to create offices that offer a range of work settings to give people a choice of where and how to work. More than 10,000 workers across 14 countries were questioned about their office environments and working patterns.

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Indoor air quality and the quest for a breath of fresh air in the workplace

indoor air quality

Edward Hopper, Office in a Small City, Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY

The modern workplace has to work harder than ever before. It must reflect corporate values, express something of the organisation’s brand, allow people to work to the best of their ability as well as look after their wellbeing, keep touch with the pace of changing technology and meet the demands of an ever changing legislative environment and keep costs down. All of these issues conflate around the challenge of providing a sustainable, comfortable and productive working environment in buildings that are filled with an increasing number of people and computers. It is estimated by the Building Research Establishment that even in a typical office each person and their technology will generate some 1500 W of energy per hour, the equivalent of the sort of fan heater that the EU is now keen to ban outright.

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How we travel to work has enormous impact on wellbeing, claims new research

wellbeing and cycling

Part of London’s planned cycling infrastructure around Parliament Square

New research has further highlighted the important role that the mode of transport we choose to get work has on our physical and psychological wellbeing. Walking or cycling to work is better for people’s mental health than driving to work, according to the research by health economists at the University of East Anglia and the Centre for Diet and Activity Research (CEDAR). The report ‘Does active commuting improve psychological wellbeing?’ was published today in the journal Preventive Medicine and draws on 18 years of data from 18,000 people. It follows on the heels of two other reports published last month in the British Medical Journal and Science Direct which make related claims about the careful choices we should make about how we get to work.

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Report claims workplace fails to support employees with musculoskeletal disorders

musculoskeletal disordersWhen determining what constitutes a well-designed office, it’s easy to overlook the overriding need to ensure a workplace is designed first and foremost to be inclusive. Given the fact that musculoskeletal disorders remain the largest single cause of days of work lost due to sickness absence, it’s worrying to discover that many organisations fail to meet the needs of those dealing with such conditions. The new report ‘Self-management of chronic musculoskeletal disorders and employment’ from the Fit for Work UK Coalition and The Work Foundation found that despite sufferers’ efforts to remain at work, many are forced to ‘self-manage’ their condition without adequate support; with for instance an employee being forced to partake in a hot desk policy when they required their own, fixed workspace. As the report states, this lack of help is ‘all the more perverse’ when you take into consideration the role that work can play in helping to contribute to mental and physical wellbeing. More →

Third-place workspaces as well as flexible hours are key to success, says workplace provider

Flexible people and place is key to success argues workplace providerAs the summer holidays draw to an end, many working parents will be appreciative of the benefits of flexible working. Now new research from Regus has highlighted the long-term benefits of agile working in helping employers to attract and retain staff. Prospective employees are increasingly demanding some form of flexi-working deal, while nine out of ten employers report that offering flexible working options – including flexi-location as well as flexi-hours – is proving a highly effective way of improving staff morale and helping them to achieve a better work-life balance. While the workplace provider is understandably in favour of the flexi-location concept, as a provider of ‘third-place’ workspaces, for instance at railway stations, this kind of multi-location working is undoubtably growing in popularity More →

Flexible work arrangements are leading component of wellness policies globally

Flexible working policies leading component of wellness policies globallyIn the midst of the August summer holidays; it’s now more than ever that flexible working policies can benefit both employees and employers, so that those who need to get stuff done can get on with it without having to sit in a near empty office for form’s sake. So it comes as little surprise that in a new global survey, polices related to flexible work arrangements and paid time off rank as the number one component of wellness programs globally. According to “Working Well: A Global Survey of Health Promotion and Workplace Wellness Strategies,” the concept of wellness at work has evolved over the last seven years, moving from a focus on basic health promotion activities to a culture where seventy-eight per cent of the world’s employers are strongly committed to creating a workplace culture of health, to boost individual engagement and organizational performance. More →

The UK’s most common form of flexible working? Half of managers work an extra day a week

Flexible working?The UK’s most common yet one of the least talked about forms of flexible working has been laid bare in a new study from the Institute of Leadership and Management. It found that nearly half of managers work an extra day each week outside of their contracted hours, while an eighth put in an extra two days. More than 90 percent of managers now work outside normal office hours. The survey of 1,056 ILM members found that over three quarters (76 percent) ‘routinely’ work at home or stay late at work, over a third work at weekends and nearly half  (48 percent) regularly work through their lunch-break. The root causes of this are unsurprisingly familiar. The ILM cites technological presenteeism, with many managers ‘obsessively’ checking their phones for email, as well as pressure from employers to put in the extra hours.

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Mental health friendly workplaces will lead to a state of wellbeing says report

Make workplaces mental health friendly to create a state of wellbeingMaking places of work mental health friendly with government leading the way as an employer is one of the key recommendations of a landmark study on the state of mental health in England published today. Concluding the 12 month study on the state of wellbeing in England the CentreForum Mental Health Commission report reveals that mental health related sickness absence and lost productivity costs business up to £23.5 billion annually, and says that government must take the lead in tackling this problem by ensuring all public sector enterprises become mental health friendly employers. It also urges organisations with more than 500 employees to work towards that status. The Commission says the “pursuit of happiness” must become an explicit and measurable goal of government if the £105 billion annual cost of mental illness in England is to be reduced and identifies five key priorities between now and 2020. More →

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