Search Results for: people management

Keeping remote employees motivated is key to successful flexible working culture

Four best practices for motivating remote employeesFlexible working has barely been out of the news since the latest government changes. But while allowing employees to work remotely can do wonders for staff retention, motivating them and keeping them in the loop presents a new problem. Although self-starting employees feel that they have more control over their work and fewer distractions, it can also lead to a sense of isolation. It is important for retention that you not just offer a flexible working option to employees, but that all the staff make an effort to continue allowing them to feel like a part of the team. The four best practices that will help you motivate employees that telecommute are: ensuring you build trust between those who telecommute and their colleagues from the start; establish regular communication between remote and in-office staff; manage goals, expectations and outcomes and take steps to establish that remote working is made part of the company culture. More →

Book Review: Cubed: A Secret History of the Workplace by Nikil Saval

Cubed: A Secret History of the Workplace

Cubed: A Secret History of the Workplace

Nikil Saval’s book Cubed: A Secret History of the Workplace pulls off that rare feat for a parochial business book of being intelligent and informed (which many are) as well as fascinating, entertaining and realistic, which is rather less commonplace. He pulls this off with plenty of references to pop culture including television series such as Will and Grace, films such as Office Space and The Apartment and, inevitably, the Dilbert cartoons. There is also a great deal of enjoyment to be had in the slightly jaded tone of his writing and brutal evisceration of the likes of Tom Peters who is singled out for special criticism. So too, his take on the very  idea of the ‘Office of the Future’ with its slides, basketball courts, pool tables and vivid colours.

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Government must solve problem of London’s wasted commercial property

London commercial propertyThe UK Government needs to act on the growing issue of wasted commercial property space in Greater London, and it needs to do so as a matter of some urgency. Statistics from the Department for Communities & Local Government (DCLG) show that since 1998, a worrying 58 per cent of London boroughs have seen vacancy rates either increase or stay the same. What is most concerning for businesses in the London region is that this rising figure, coming at a time when commercial rents are soaring, has gone unchecked since 2006, the time at which the DCLG stopped collating the data because of budgetary cuts. One of the worst performing boroughs is the City of London, which has seen a 100 per cent increase in vacant commercial properties during the period from 1998 up until the point at which the DCLG stopped publishing data.

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The debate about open plan offices is not helped by its use of stereotypes

Open plan offices and national stereotypesThe incessant debate about open plan offices is informed by a number of assumptions that can lead us to misunderstand the issues involved. Nigel Oseland eviscerates several of them excellently here, making it plain that a great deal is lost in translation somewhere over the mid-Atlantic. In truth, the European and US experiences of the open plan are very different and while we in the UK could always laugh along with our US counterparts at the organisational insanity of Dilbert, the cubicles themselves were largely alien to us. Another red herring in the debate is the idea that the open plan office is for extroverts and its alternatives for introverts. There is something in this but it’s too simplistic an idea and is often built around the stereotypes associated with sectors such as TMT, the age of workers (especially Gen Y) and supposed national characteristics, not least the reserve of Brits and the brashness of Yanks.

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Virtually Uninspiring, Cautiously Aspirational – award winning offices for the VUCA world.

award winning officesWorld-of-work watchers will be more than aware that we are increasingly being informed that we are living in the VUCA age, which under normal circumstances is an acronym for volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous but in the context of these RIBA Award Winners for 2014 might be taken in a number of other ways. Commentators and self-styled thought leaders are warning businesses to prepare for seismic changes to the way work gets done, where, how and by whom (or by what, if proponents of automation and robotics have anything to do with it). How lovely then, that RIBA have made awards to seven offices that hark back to more comforting, more halcyon, times. The text of the accompanying feature in Architects Journal is at pains to point out that offices are hard to design and that RIBA awards are hard won. I wouldn’t disagree on the former point but, from the evidence on show, it’s a bit more of a challenge to agree with the later. So I won’t.

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Workplace ergonomics changed forever twenty years ago thanks to one design

Workplace ergonomicsBy common consent, the office is a little over 100 years old, with most commentators agreeing that the first true office as we understand it was the Larkin Building, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1904. Yet ninety years after this building ushered in the 20th Century workplace, there was another seismic shift in office furniture design that heralded the office for the 21st Century. In 1994, there was a great deal of excited talk about new ways of working, based on the growing use of mobile computers and phones. For the first time, people were unfettered from the personal workstation and new office furniture systems. Also that year, Herman Miller launched a chair that was to redefine not only what we understood about office seating and workplace ergonomics but reshaped the wider office furniture market in its own image. For the first time it became apparent that when looking after the wellbeing of individuals and making a universally understood office design statement in this new world of work, the chair was the thing, not the desk. More →

Integration of workplace services continues to gain momentum, claims report

Integration of workplace services is gaining momentumHR, FM and IT within large corporate organisations are gradually being brought together to provide ‘Workplace services’ that recognise new working practices and the importance of people. This trend – which has already seen an agreement between the BIFM and CIPD to collaborate in the future, will accelerate in the increasingly agile, digitally driven business environment.  This presents an opportunity for FM to provide new service solutions that focus more on supporting people, and less on the buildings from which they work. This is according to a new report, Delivering the Vision of an Integrated Workplace, was commissioned by Mitie, which will be unveiled at the Facilities Show next week. The report highlights the opportunities for FM providers to offer an expanded range of consultancy-style services, such as space management and the analysis of FM and property data to drive property strategy.

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Employers not living up to their commitments to support disabled staff

Employers failing to meet commitment to support disabled staffMany of the employers that boast the Government’s two ticks symbol for equality for disabled workers have been found to be no better than companies who have not achieved it. Research led by Kim Hoque, of Warwick Business School, and Nick Bacon, of Cass Business School, found that just 15 per cent of organisations awarded the two ticks symbol adhered to all five of its commitments, with 18 per cent of those signed up not fulfilling any of them, with most – 38 per cent – only keeping one of the promises. The researchers say the ‘two ticks positive about disability’ symbol, which is awarded by the Department for Work and Pensions’ Jobcentre Plus to help job applicants identify organisations committed to helping disabled workers, is nothing more than an “empty shell” used by companies as PR and “impression management” rather than a true commitment to equal rights for disability workers. More →

The boardroom knows tech is important but leaves IT decisions to others, claims report

BoardroomThere is a recognition within the boardroom of the importance of information and communications technology (ICT), but business leaders see tech as something for technology managers to worry about and many are unable to make effective decisions anyway because they are digitally illiterate (and some are proud of the fact). Those are some of the findings of a new report from Sunguard Availability Services, published in partnership with Professor Joe Peppard of the European School of Management and Technology in Berlin. The study claims that the growing strategic role of technology offers chief information officers (CIOs) a chance to elevate their position and drive the wider business agenda. But also that this can be held back by a lack of engagement, or even the boardroom taking no account of ICT whatsoever, with strategic IT alignment remaining an afterthought for many organisations.

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Feeling excluded at work is worse for wellbeing than bullying, claims report

Social exclusionBeing ignored at work is worse for physical and mental wellbeing than harassment or bullying, says a new study from the University of British Columbia’s Sauder School of Business. Researchers found that while most see ostracism as less harmful than bullying, feeling excluded is significantly more likely to lead to job dissatisfaction and health problems. The study, Is negative attention better than no attention? The comparative effects of ostracism and harassment at work, is to be published in the next issue ofOrganization Science. The researchers found that people rate workplace ostracism as less socially inappropriate, less psychologically harmful and less likely to be prohibited than workplace harassment. Additional research revealed that people who claimed to have experienced ostracism were significantly more likely to report a degraded sense of belonging and commitment, a stronger intention to quit their job, and an increase in health problems.

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IFMA & BIFM to discuss work and place at Workplace Strategy Summit

Workplace summit to discuss work and placeLeading academics and experts in the fields of facility management and real estate are meeting to discuss the most innovative concepts to emerge in workplace strategy at the Workplace Strategy Summit, beginning this weekend at the Wokefield Park Conference Centre in Berkshire. The International Facility Management Association (IFMA), British Institute of Facilities Management (BIFM) and IFMA Foundation will come together from 8-10 June to discuss the themed “Innovation on the Edge.” The editorial team at Workplace Insight has produced a special issue of the Occupiers Journal, Work & Place featuring in depth articles, case studies and comments from some of the key speakers at the event. Paul Carder, publisher of Work & Place said: “As well as the journal’s obvious relevance to the creators and managers of places we were also keen to find subjects which are equally relevant to managers of the “work” process.”

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Money alone isn’t enough to attract and hold on to Gen Y employees

Gen YThe retention of Gen Y employees is key for all organisations. No organisation wants to invest in their next generation of management only to find that they leave, and someone new needs to be trained. But the 20-30 year old workers of Gen Y exhibit a new-found job mobility. Which makes for a ticking time-bomb of potential cost and disruption to their employers. The iOpener Institute has gathered and studied questionnaire responses from over 30,000 professionals across the world, gaining insights into how employers can retain their Gen Y talent. The research clearly shows that while pay and financial rewards are important to Gen Y (i.e. they are not prepared to be under-paid for their work), there is no significant correlation between increased levels of pay and greater talent retention.

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