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Mobile working is a recipe for business success

Mobile working is a recipe for business success

Today, the Fourth Industrial Revolution is changing the face of work as we know it: introducing AI and automation to the workplace and creating a drastic shift in the skills required by organisations today. As automation increasingly frees employees up from the repetitive, process work that can so often dominate their day-to-day, organisations are instead looking to employees to showcase their critical thinking and creativity. Indeed, McKinsey’s Skill Shift confirms that by 2030 the demand for higher cognitive skills, such as creativity, critical thinking and decision making will grow by 14 percent in Europe.

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A workplace chatbot might soon be one of your new best friends

A workplace chatbot might soon be one of your new best friends

chatbot on smartphoneIf you’ve ever wished you could delegate certain routine tasks to an assistant, then a chatbot could be just what you need. Staff working for Unilever will soon be able to get HR advice from Una, a new member of staff who will be available worldwide and at any time of day. Una is a chatbot, capable of conversing with employees in 106 countries, using 32 languages, Unilever’s Keith Williams told a conference last year . Unilever employees can contact Una through Skype for Business and complete tasks such as getting information about benefits, claiming for healthcare or selling shares. It saves time poring over FAQs or filling-in forms, and it frees HR staff for more complex queries. More →

Flexible working means longer hours and different outcomes for fathers and mothers

Flexible working means longer hours and different outcomes for fathers and mothers

cartoon of man working on laptop in open airFlexible working and especially the ability to work from home mean that people tend to work longer hours, a study published by the Hans Böckler Foundation in Germany claims. According to the study, working mothers and fathers make different uses of flexible working practices. While fathers spend substantially more time working, mothers work only a little more overtime, primarily because they are more likely to be balancing work with extra childcare duties. The report concludes that while flexible working should help to balance work and family life, in practice it can also reflect and cement traditional gender roles. The report calls for greater clarity and more onus on fathers to take a greater responsibility for childcare, although it notes that flexible working does not offer workers of either sex more free time. More →

Why the gender pay gap is an enduring challenge for many organisations

Why the gender pay gap is an enduring challenge for many organisations

In April of 2018, large companies with over 250 employees were obliged to report their gender pay gap for the first time. Headlines that week were dominated by some of the surprise and shock of the extent to which women were paid less in majority of the companies reported, while for many women it just confirmed our hidden beliefs. There was a slight optimism, however, that there can only be progress. However, many companies who are reporting their new pay gap for this year show that rather than progress, many have increased their gaps. Why is this the case?

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Only a quarter of women and minority employees believe they benefit from corporate diversity programmes

Only a quarter of women and minority employees believe they benefit from corporate diversity programmes

Investment in diversity programmes has become commonplace: 98 percent of companies offer such programs. But that investment is falling far short of the mark: three-quarters of employees in diverse groups—women, racial/ethnic minorities, and those who identify as LGBTQ—do not indicate that they have personally benefited from their companies’ diversity programmes. This is one of the findings of Fixing the Flawed Approach to Diversity, a report from Boston Consulting Group (BCG). The report claims that a key impediment to progress is that older men (age 45 or older), who often lead decision making within corporate environments, are underestimating the obstacles in the recruiting, retention, and advancement of female and minority employees by 10 percent to 15 percent, as measured by comparison with the estimates of members of those actual groups: women, people of colour, and LGBTQ employees. This can lead to a misallocation of resources and a lack of investment in programs that could otherwise have the largest impact.

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Employers to prioritise career development, wellbeing and flexibility

Employers to prioritise career development, wellbeing and flexibility

The majority of employers (97 percent) are planning to maintain or increase how much they spend on employee benefits over the next two years, according to new research published today by the CIPD and LCP. In the latest ‘Reward management’ report, released today, 8 in 10 employers (81 percent) said they intend to spend the same amount on employee benefits over the next two years as they currently do, while 16 percent plan to increase their investment to address staff wellbeing and career development.

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Poor support offered to professional women returning from maternity leave

Poor support offered to professional women returning from maternity leave

Little support for professional women returning from maternity leaveA new survey of professional, mainly management-level women has revealed a lack of support for maternity returners by employers. According to the survey by working parents website MMB, more than four fifths of pregnant women begin their maternity leave unhappy and lacking in confidence about work – and over a third feel so isolated when they return that they want to hand their notice in. The survey of more than 1,000 mothers, 72 percent of whom were in jobs at management level or above found that only 18 percent of maternity returners felt happy and confident about work – having seen the way previous maternity returners had been dealt with by their employer. Over a third (37 percent) felt so unsupported and isolated on their return that they wanted to leave and just 17 percent felt they received good communication and support through the maternity process.

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Majority of maternity returners say they lack support when they go back to work

Majority of maternity returners say they lack support when they go back to work

Lack of support for maternity returners among UK businesses has been uncovered in a new survey of professional, mainly management-level women. More than four fifths of pregnant women begin their maternity leave unhappy and lacking in confidence about work – and over a third feel so isolated when they return that they want to hand their notice in. MMB, a working parents’ website, surveyed more than 1,000 mothers, 72 percent of whom were in jobs at management level or above.

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Third of working parents worry about their children’s mental health

Third of working parents worry about their children’s mental health

Children’s mental health is cause of worry for working parentsToday is World Mental Health Day and new research from Bupa has found that concerns over mental health is not confined to adults, as a third of employees say they worry about their children’s mental health while at work. The research, conducted among working parents of 4-18 year olds reveals that children’s mental health is among parents’ greatest concerns, on par with physical health and academic performance. The only concern that ranks higher is future financial prospects.  More →

Fathers seek more flexible working, but remain concerned about impact on career

Fathers seek more flexible working, but remain concerned about impact on career

As more and more women are staying in the workplace after having children – and often full time – parents are demanding greater access to flexible working, but dads are still being held back by old-fashioned policies and fears that their employer will react negatively to requests to work flexibly, according to two new Workingmums.co.uk surveys.

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Staff at larger organisations take three times as many sick days as those at micro firms

Staff at larger organisations take three times as many sick days as those at micro firms

absenceEmployers with over 250 employees are more likely to have a significant absence issue among staff says new research from Group Risk Development (GRiD). According to HR decision makers companies with over 250 employees have the highest absence rates – averaging 7.5 days per year yet micro businesses with between 1-9 staff only see their staff take an average of 2.8 days absence per year. Five per cent of HR decision makers also admitted to not recording or monitoring absence at all, although this is more prevalent amongst SMEs (6 percent) than those with over 250 employees (1 percent). More →

The self-employed enjoy higher levels of wellbeing and happiness, but work still needed

The self-employed enjoy higher levels of wellbeing and happiness, but work still needed

Policymakers and business leaders must work to improve wellbeing among the self-employed, a new report by the Centre for Research on Self-Employment (CRSE), has said. Instead of exploring self-employed wellbeing through the conventional prism of economic success, the report, The Way to Wellbeing, adopts a new approach. It considers people’s overall life satisfaction, based on their subjective assessments of various aspects of their lives – including jobs, income, health, family life and leisure. The report found that wellbeing was higher among self-employed people by using subjective assessments of different aspects of their lives. This is the first time a major report of its kind has taken a holistic view of wellbeing – looking at jobs, health, family life and leisure – to build an overall picture of life satisfaction, rather than just using a narrow measure of economic success.

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