Search Results for: people management

The leap in workplace ill health is down to mobile devices and flexible working

flexible workingAccording to latest HSE statistics, the UK has seen a huge jump in the number of cases of workplace musculoskeletal disorders over the last two years. The data makes for depressing reading and includes a 20 percent hike in the number of cases to more than half a million, 8.3 million lost working days and a sharp increase in the proportion of work-related illness associated with the condition. Of the 535,000 new illnesses reported in the UK in 2013/14, over a third were musculoskeletal disorders; 184,000 cases. All of which begs the question what exactly is going on to cause this leap. Anecdotally we are aware of a number of factors that might indicate the smoking gun. The first is that clients are talking to us more and more about upper limb disorders rather than those related to the lower back. Pains and illnesses in the lower back are commonly (but not always) associated with poor posture while working at a desktop PC, injuries and aches to the wrists, arms, neck and shoulders are more commonly seen in people with handheld devices especially smartphones and tablets.

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Workplace Week focuses on the office and individual productivity in all its forms

1KP_4971The holy grail of improving people’s productivity was the focus of this year’s Workplace Week, which took place last week from 3-7th November and raised more than £12,500 for Children in Need. The annual event organised by AWA and designed as a celebration of workplace innovation, included visits to 11 workplaces showcasing the latest techniques to get people performing at their very best, a day-long convention and a series of Fringe events. Andrew Mawson, who heads up AWA, opened the convention by setting the discussion in context. “We have maximised asset productivity by getting more people into buildings, and therefore working a building harder. But we need to focus on human productivity. If each organisation could make each person just 5 per cent more productive, that would have a major impact both on that organisation and the wider economy. In the knowledge economy we need to get the very best performance out of each and every brain on the payroll and to create the conditions that consciously support that.

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Worldwide fall in levels of trust by employees in their workplace leaders

Deterioration in levels of trust by staff towards workplace leadersThey say a fish rots from the head, and with overwhelming evidence this week that workplaces are torn by backbiting, lying and bitching, a global analysis on workplace trust reveals a deterioration in the levels of trust employees have for their bosses. Interaction Associates annual workplace trust research, Building Workplace Trust 2014/15, found that more than half of the people surveyed gave their organisation low marks for trust and effective leadership. More than half of the 500 people surveyed at companies worldwide, give their organisation low-to-poor marks for trust and effective leadership. When asked to rate the statement “Employees have a high level of trust in management and the organisation”, just four out of ten agreed. The majority (58%) found their organisation lacking, and in fact, trust may be going from bad to worse at many organisations, as  a quarter (26%) of those surveyed say they trust their boss less this year than in 2013.

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Orgatec 2014 focuses on collaboration, quiet and wellbeing in the workplace

Anna King reports from the biennial office furniture and interiors fair Orgatec, which took place recently in Cologne: Collaboration seemed to be king once again at this year’s Orgatec trade fair in Cologne, so much so that you’d be hard pressed to find a conventional workstation amongst the thousands of products on display. Even ergonomic task chairs in the traditional sense were thin on the ground. Senator’s offering was typical in its focus on collaborative work and the provision of work settings. As well as the Ad-Lib Scholar range for educational establishments, it presented the Ad-Lib Work Lounge multipurpose chair, both the work of British design studio PearsonLloyd. This upholstered model complete with headrest is available on glides or castors so it can slot into a multitude of workplace scenarios. Shown in some rich shades such as moss green and turquoise, it comes complete with a fold-down worksurface for brainstorming or other group working.

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Unethical behaviour at work may reflect a blame culture with little trust or integrity

Unethical behaviour at work can reflect a blame culture In the same week Mind revealed that many workers are reluctant to admit to feeling stressed, comes data which shows high levels of unethical behaviour in Britain’s workplaces. And the two pieces of research are not unrelated. In a survey of over 1,600 managers by the Institute of Leadership & Management (ILM), almost three quarters (72%) had witnessed employees lying to cover their mistakes, with the same number reporting their colleagues cut corners and delivered substandard work. A further 68% had seen people badmouthing team members behind their backs. The fault lies in workplaces that foster a blame culture, where staff are worried about owning up to mistakes. This causes undue stress and people taking a combative, rather than collaborative approach. The findings formed part of ILM’s The truth about trust’ report into trust and integrity in the UK workplace, which highlights the business benefits of high-trust high-integrity working environments. More →

More than half of workers report feeling stressed, but most keep it secret

More than half of staff report feeling stressed, but few admit itNew research by Mind to mark today’s National Stress Awareness Day has found more than half of workers (56%) say they find work very or fairly stressful; citing excessive workloads (52%), frustration with poor management (54%), not enough support from managers (47%), threat of redundancy (27%) and unrealistic targets (45%) as key stressors. The YouGov survey of over 1,250 people in Britain found that workplace stress is impacting on other areas of people’s lives, more so than debt or financial problems (38%), health (29%) or relationships (20%). One in five (20%) said it had put a strain on their marriage or relationship with significant other, while 11 per cent had missed important events such as birthdays or weddings. Stress was also having a physical impact, with 53 per cent agreeing that it affected their sleep, 22 per cent their appetite and 27 per cent their physical health.  The research also revealed that mental health at work is still a taboo. Nearly a third (30%) of respondents said they wouldn’t be able to talk openly with their line manager if they were stressed.

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Badmouthing, arse-covering and bluff are main unethical behaviours in workplace

Badmouthing, arse-covering and bluff are main unethical behaviours in workplace

devils-dictionaryA new report from the Institute of Leadership and Management reveals the most common unethical behaviours displayed by employees in the workplace. Unsurprisingly they form a catalogue of low-level, generalised obfuscation, bluff, blame-shifting, bullshit and outright lying that will be very familiar to many people. The three most cited unethical behaviours according to the survey of 1,600 managers are cutting corners (72 percent), lying to cover one’s own mistakes (72 percent) and badmouthing colleagues (68 percent). People are, unsurprisingly, also prone to pass the buck when they miss deadlines (67 percent), cover up for the mistakes of colleagues (63 percent) and pinch low value items from work (52 percent). The ILM claims in its ‘The Truth About Trust’ report that these behaviours arise from a miasma of misunderstanding of what might be considered unethical behaviour, although equally they could just be things that people do if they think they can get away with them.

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Report claims business ethics are linked to performance

business ethicsCompanies with well defined and consistent ethical policies are both more stable and more commercially successful, according to a new report published this week by the Chartered Management Institute. Based on a self-reporting survey of 2,500 CMI members the study found that over a third (37 percent) of managers in growing companies rate their own ethics as high, compared to just 19 percent in businesses that are contracting, which suggests a correlation if not causation. Just under a third (29 percent) of managers rate their organisation’s ethical standards as mediocre or poor. Senior managers also appear to have a more positive idea of their own organisation’s ethical standards than those in more junior and front line roles. Nearly half (48 percent) of senior managers believe their organisation has excellent ethical behaviour, compared to just a fifth (22 percent) of junior managers.

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If you want to reduce the cost of your office, move to a creative area

If you want to reduce the cost of your office, move to a creative area

Clerkenwell Design Week

“First we shape our buildings, thereafter our buildings shape us.” Winston Churchill, House of Commons opening speech. Buildings do indeed shape us, but what seems to affect us even more is the neighbourhood. It’s the immediate environment as opposed to buildings that is much harder to create. It needs numerous factors to influence it, among them the two most precious components– the right people and enough time. Politicians all over the world dream of creating zones that will draw the most innovative companies. But it seems that most of them grow organically – the Silicon Valley in California, the Silicon Alley in New York and the Silicon Roundabout in London. The combination of low rents, proximity to the centre of a dynamic metropolis and interesting culture made the East London neighbourhood of Shoreditch, Clerkenwell and Aldgate a perfect magnet for some of the world’s most exciting companies. So should you think about relocating there too? Here are some things to consider. More →

Firms downsizing property dramatically as agile working takes hold, claims new report

agile workingThe sharp reduction in the amount of office space used by corporate occupiers as they adopt more agile working practices has been confirmed in a new study from facilities management services provider MITIE. The survey, as reported in the British Institute of Facilities Management (BIFM) magazine FM World, found that between the years of 2008 and 2014 firms reduced their floorspace by an average of 45 percent. The results of the report, based on interviews with property directors, mirror those of the Occupier Density Survey published last year by the British Council for Offices (BCO) which also found a marked (if smaller) reduction. The authors of the MITIE report conclude, similarly, that the economic downturn has been the main catalyst for the reduction in property used by occupiers and that the main way firms have accommodated the fall is with the uptake of flexible working practices.

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Generational shift means Gen Y women best suited to take a seat on the board

female-c-suiteOrganisations that persist in appointing all-male boards were named and shamed last week by UK Business Secretary Vince Cable and Lord Davies, who published the ground-breaking Women on Boards report. Now a new piece of research by Hudson has found that Generation Y females – those in their twenties and early thirties – are the natural leaders of the future. Generation Y women top the charts when it comes to being ‘socially confident’, ‘helpful’, ‘organised’ and ‘meticulous’, compared to their Gen Y male counterparts. Far removed from ‘traditional’ leadership skills (persuasion, confidence, extraversion), they bring a completely different, and more relevant, set of skills to the business environment of today – and tomorrow. Interestingly, when compared to Boomer males, (some of whom we’d assume must be well represented on current boards) the difference in skill areas are most acute: Generation Y females ranked 16% higher on people skills, 22% higher on social confidence, 22% higher on altruism, 16% higher on optimism and 21% higher on ambition. More →

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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