Search Results for: people management

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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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 →

Homeworking has environmental benefits, says Carbon Trust

Environmental and cost benefits of homeworking

There have been some doubts cast recently on the environmental benefits of flexible working. At the recent ThinkFM conference, Lord Rupert Redesdale, the CEO Energy Managers Association said that keeping buildings open for longer to accommodate flexible workers could become unfeasible for many businesses. But what if you simply increase the numbers of home workers instead? Homeworking reduces employee commuting, resulting in carbon, money and time savings. If office space is properly rationalised to reflect this, homeworking can also significantly reduce office energy consumption and rental costs. This is according to new research from the Carbon Trust, which found that if adopted and encouraged by employers across the country, homeworking could result in annual savings of over 3 million tonnes of carbon and cut costs by £3 billion.

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Trust in ethical behaviour is linked to the size of the business, claims report

Ethical behaviourThe larger the firm the less likely it is to trust its employees to behave ethically according to a new report from the Association of Accounting Technicians. The research also found that UK’s most ethical businesses are small architectural practices. According to the research, conducted by Opinion Matters on behalf of AAT, only 37 per cent of SMEs trust their staff to do the right thing compared to 66 per cent of microbusinesses. The report also found that firms in the architectural sector have more faith in the ethical decision making of their employees and are more concerned about the ethical behaviour of suppliers than in any other industry. Interestingly, the report highlights the fact that, as the number of employees increases, businesses are more likely to dedicate a member of staff dedicated to fostering ethical behaviour and have a formal code of conduct.

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Workplace design, Facebook likes and the need of companies to be your friend

Facebook_like_thumbCompanies put an awful lot of time and money into getting people to like them on social media these days. While it would be easy to see the like button on Facebook as the primary conduit for this corporate neediness, but it cuts across many aspects of the ways in which companies work, including their relationships with employees and the ways in which they develop new forms of workplace design and management. This is most evident in the tech palaces which are aimed at the same digital natives that firms habitually target with their online marketing, but the need to make customers and employees friends of the business cuts across a wide range of sectors. The workplace is yet another channel of communicating chumminess, and it offers many of the same challenges as social media.

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US employers hold very mixed views on flexible working, claims report

Glued to the desk

It’s not just companies in the UK who appear to have mixed and sometimes contradictory views on the principles of flexible working. A new study from the US based Families and Work Institute in partnership with the Society for Human Resource Management has found that while more and more firms are open to the idea of working from home for permanent employees, other forms of flexible working such as job sharing, career breaks or sabbaticals to deal with personal and family issues. The 2014 National Study of Employers found that two-thirds (67 percent) of US organisations now allow employees to work from home at least some of the time, up from 50 per cent in 2008. In addition, 41 per cent of firms let workers decide their own working hours, compared to 32 per cent in 2008. However there are falls in the proportion of employers willing to let staff work flexibly in other ways.

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