Search Results for: people management

‘Climate smart’ cities could generate global savings of $17 trillion

‘Climate smart’ cities could generate global savings of $17 trillion 0

CitiesNewly published research claims that investing in public and low emission transport, building efficiency, and waste management in cities could generate worldwide savings of US$17 trillion by 2050. The Global Commission on Economy and Climate, an independent organisation comprising former finance ministers and leading research institutions from Britain and six other countries, found climate-smart cities would spur economic growth and a better quality of life – at the same time as cutting carbon pollution. These investments could also reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 3.7 Gt CO2e per year by 2030, more than the current annual emissions of India. With complementary national policies such as support for low-carbon innovation, reduced fossil fuel subsidies, and carbon pricing, the savings could be as high as US$22 trillion according to the report.

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Traffic congestion costing UK firms £4.5 billion a year, claims report

Traffic congestion costing UK firms £4.5 billion a year, claims report 0

The daily grind of commuting to work is not only taking its toll on the health, wellbeing and fuses of employees, it is also costing businesses billions of pounds a year in lost working hours, claims a new report from fleet management firm Lex Autolease. The study, part of the firm’s annual survey of trends in corporate car use, estimates that employees spend around 13 percent of their work-related journey times held up by jams and congestion and that the 1,041 people surveyed also spent an average of 70 minutes each day in their car travelling to and from work. In addition, around one in twenty (5 percent) of people commute for more than three hours each day, while just 8 percent said they were based from home so commuting wasn’t an issue. The study concludes that this costs UK employers some £4.5 billion each year.

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We need to do more than pay lip service to workplace wellbeing

We need to do more than pay lip service to workplace wellbeing 0

BlakeEnvelopes-WorkSpace1Too many companies continue to talk about employees as their ‘greatest asset’ yet their fine words are not always not borne out in their behaviour, be that through working culture, remuneration or environment. With more and more investors using employee wellness and engagement as a barometer for the health, stability and culture of the business – the concept of workplace wellbeing is finally garnering the attention it deserves. Our workplace behaviours, cultures and environments are not keeping us fit, well, productive, happy or profitable. Finally businesses are accepting their moral responsibility to take better care of their people. So what affects employee productivity, creativity and happiness and how can changes to the workplace promote the best financial and moral outcomes for businesses and employees alike?

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Lack of flexible working cost firms £1.5 million during tube strikes

Lack of flexible working cost firms £1.5 million during tube strikes 0

tube-strike-imageThe strikes by London Underground workers over the past two months have cost UK businesses some 1.5 million working hours because they did not have the flexible working policies and systems in place to allow them to adapt. According to a study of 1,000 employees from comms provider MeetingZone, just nine percent of firms offered staff the chance to work from home. Nearly three quarters (72 percent) of respondents said they felt let down by their employers’ policies and response to  the strikes. The lost working time cited by the report has been calculated on the basis of people arriving late for work. Almost half of respondents claimed they were up to an hour late arriving at work on the days of the strikes with two-thirds (66 percent) claiming they were an average of 38 minutes late. A further two strikes are planned for 8 and 10 September.

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Three quarters of employers fail to deal with employees’ anger issues

Three quarters of employers fail to deal with employees’ anger issues 0

Three quarters of employers fail to deal with employee’s anger issuesThe gunman in Virginia who shot dead two people at his former workplace is thankfully a rare example of someone whose anger at work boiled over into extreme violence. But the case demonstrates the pernicious effect anger and resentment can have in a work environment. While colleagues are expected to work cohesively together to achieve mutual goals and targets, unfortunately this isn’t always the case, and there are often seething resentments building underneath the professional facade. A new study by Health Assured found that 86 percent of workers regularly vent their anger and frustration at a co-worker and three quarters (74 percent) of them claim that their manager regularly makes them angry by not leading the workforce effectively. A failure to manage such situations is borne out in the fact that 79 percent of employers admit to finding it difficult to deal with employees with anger management issues.

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81 percent of women and over half of men experience sexism at work

81 percent of women and over half of men experience sexism at work 0

Sexism at work is still rife, and it isn't all one wayWhat’s the difference between office banter and comments which can make people feel uncomfortable at work? That’s the issue which has plagued the workplace for aeons, and the age of so-called political correctness has not made the situation any clearer. Legislation may be in place to protect staff from discrimination or victimisation, but as some well documented cases have demonstrated sexism is still rife in many white collar professions. But it’s worth noting that it’s not only women who can feel that a colleague has crossed the line. A new survey has found that well over three quarters of women (81 percent) have been victims of sexist jokes at work. However, men are not immune to feeling uncomfortable, as according to the survey by Peninsula, well over half of men (63 percent) feel uneasy when female colleagues make indecent remarks about their physical appearance.

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What Edward T Hall (and Jerry Seinfeld) can teach us about stress and design

Work-related stress is the biggest cause of working days lost in the UK. According to the HSE’s most recent statistics, around 11.3 million days were lost to it in 2013/14, the most significant cause of absenteeism. The reasons for this are clear in the minds of many: the demands made on us by employers are increasingly intolerable, our own time is being eroded by work, we spend too much time at work, we’re under excessive pressure to perform and as a result we’re all either knackered, unfulfilled, stressed, depressed or anxious. Or guzzling a noxious cocktail of all of them. But there is another factor that has come into play over the last few years. As workstation sizes have contracted in response to new technologies and new space planning models, people have been forced closer to their colleagues, meaning that not only has their time been eroded, so has their space.

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Public sector lagging behind in use of technology and flexible working

As we reported last week, the UK public sector is embracing some interesting new ideas in the way it uses real estate, especially its commitment to get rid of some of it by adopting flexible working and shared space. However, it’s one thing looking to use space in more flexible ways but without the technological infrastructure, it’s hard to see how they will be able to achieve as much as they could. It is in this regard that they are lagging behind their contemporaries in the private sector, according to a new report from O2 and YouGov. While the report, Redefining selling, serving and working, offers up the usual appeals for us all to make more use of the sorts of things O2 wants us to buy, there is plenty of interesting detail to tease out once the pinch of salt has been applied, not least how business practices and the way people use technology vary across sectors.

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Workers of all ages want employers that commit to digital progress

Workers of all ages want employers that commit to digital progress

Workers of all generations demand more digital savvy employersEmployees across all age groups want to work for businesses committed to digital progress, and companies that are slow to embrace digital technology will not thrive and are more likely to lose talent, according to a new global report. Strategy, Not Technology, Drives Digital Transformation from MIT Sloan Management Review and Deloitte Digital is based on findings from the fourth annual global survey of more than 4,800 business executives across 27 industries and 129 countries. It suggests the ability to digitally transform and reimagine a business is determined in large part by establishing a clear digital strategy, supported by leaders who foster a culture that can change and reinvent their organizations. People want to work for digitally maturing organizations, with nearly 80 percent of respondents preferring to work for a digitally enabled company or digital leader. This sentiment crossed all age groups nearly equally, from 22 to 60.

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Neocon highlights four of the world’s most important office design trends

Neocon highlights four of the world’s most important office design trends

humanscale-office-iq-float-smartWe live in the Global Village, Marshall McLuhan’s idea from 1962 of an electronically contracted world in which attitudes, cultures and our political, business and legislative framework begin to pull together. Yet each nation is shaped by little differences. That is why the comedy programme The Office found an audience on both sides of the pond, but one that needed Wernham Hogg in Slough to become Dunder Mifflin in Scranton, Pennsylvania for it to work for the local audience. The central idea of the show has a universal appeal but needs a local voice. And what is true for The Office with a big O is also true for the office with a small o. This was the takeaway conclusion of a series of events staged in London and Manchester last week by Milliken and Humanscale. The touchstone for these events was a debate about the main conclusions of of June’s Neocon.

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Do we really think the future of work involves our replacement by robots?

future of workA report published recently by my former colleagues at CBRE called “Fast Forward 2030: The Future of Work and the Workplace” claims that by 2025 so many people will be more interested in being happy and having creative roles that up to 50 percent of current occupations will be defunct. 35 years elapsed between the release of Orwell’s 1984 and the eponymous year and very little of Orwell’s dystopian vision came to pass. 2030 is a scant 16 years away so, even if one takes the exponential pace of change into account, it’s perhaps a bit of a stretch to think robots will have taken their seat at the table in quite the way we appear to think they will. Also unchanged one assumes are the attitudes of those who have a vested interest in the status quo or in dictating where the benefits of change will fall.

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London transport shuts down ….. agile workers unaffected …..

agile workers tube strikeLondon’s Financial Times reported this morning, “The worst London Underground strike in more than a decade saw millions of Londoners struggle to get to work”. It is chaos, here in the UK capital – the top global city in PwC’s Cities of Opportunity ranking. It is a sorry state of affairs, as in a scene reminiscent of 1970s union-crippled Britain, the “workers” representatives couldn’t agree with “the management”. “Workers” and “management”…we thought we had overcome that particular divide in business and society, didn’t we? But, some people have a vested interest in keeping it very much alive. In the large, industrialized, unionized industries such as transport, it lives on. Only last year, UNITE union leader Len McCluskey addressed his supporters in Liverpool as “sisters and brothers” like some mid-20th century socialist (which, of course, he is).

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