Search Results for: people management

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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Humans will remain at the heart of the emerging digital workplace

Humans will remain at the heart of the emerging digital workplace

HumanThe speed of technological development over the last 30 years has been pretty mind blowing. Of course, some technologies came and went, for instance you would struggle finding fax machines in your office nowadays or people using Pagers to contact one another.  It’s no wonder that in the early nineties futurologists predicted the death of the office. Technology was shaping the way we worked and was leading us away from office buildings towards a digital workplace. Yet videoconferencing hasn’t destroyed the need for business travel. Team meetings haven’t been abandoned because of messaging services like Yammer, Slack, Lync and Webex. We still do a lot of business face to face over coffee in a meeting room. Although technological advances have greatly improved the way we connect and do business, companies still appear to value human interaction.

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Over half of workers feel required to work on holiday, and it’s becoming the norm

Over half of workers feel required to work on holiday, and it’s becoming the norm

Working on holidayMobile technology is acknowledged as a boon to flexible working, but can very easily spill into an unhealthy work/life balance. This is most in evidence around summer holiday time, as illustrated by the latest poll on the subject by the Institute of Leadership & Management (ILM). It surveyed more than 1,000 UK workers and managers to find that more than half of workers (61%) feel obligated to work while on leave. The ILM suggests this is the negative side effect of modern technology, as people are contactable anytime and anywhere. 64 percent read and send emails during their time off, 28 percent take business phone calls and 8 percent go into the office. Meanwhile, only 28 percent of those surveyed reported that they had had arguments with friends and family about their working on holiday, down from 37 percent two years ago, which seems to indicate that it is fast becoming the norm to be constantly switched on.

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Employees prefer diverse working experiences to traditional career ladder

Employees prefer diverse working experiences to traditional career ladder

Climbing the career ladderEmployees value a varied working experience and flexibility over traditional, linear career progression, a global study published by the Top Employers Institute claims. The Career & Succession Management Report identifies the global developments forcing employers to rethink career and succession management strategies. These include skill shortages resulting in a global competition for best talent and an increased risk of losing business-critical knowledge due to the ageing of the workforce. There is also a new generation of workers seeking diverse work assignments and flexibility, who are taking greater responsibility for their own career management, resulting in less loyalty to employers and less interest in the traditional step-by-step climbing of career ladders. The findings suggest that HR needs to move from assuring the smooth succession of leadership to concentrate more on wider long-term staff engagement and retention.

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Three ways in which the business case for green building design is moving on

Three ways in which the business case for green building design is moving on

ODD 02The case for sustainable building design used to be based on two straightforward principles. The first was that buildings had to offer up some sustainable features to comply with the ethical standards of their occupiers. The second was that there was some financial benefit. Often these principles went hand in hand, especially when it came to issues such as energy efficiency. They remain the foundations of the idea of green building design and are applicable across a range of building accreditations such as BREEAM as well as standards relating to specific products and policies. Over the past couple of years, however, we have become increasingly aware of other drivers that might make us all re-evaluate how we approach sustainability. These drivers are based on a more sophisticated understanding of green building design and the benefits for all of those involved.

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Beyond agile working: the six factors of knowledge worker productivity

Beyond agile working: the six factors of knowledge worker productivity

flexible workingWhilst the world has focussed heavily on the asset productivity of offices over the last 30 years, reducing the cost of offices per head, often using agile working as a tool for achieving this, it’s becoming clear that the mobility afforded by the latest technology products can be used to aid Knowledge Worker productivity. Knowledge work plays an increasingly large part in the economic fortunes of developing countries. Indeed the vast majority of people working in AWA’s client organisations are Knowledge Workers. Over the last 30 years we’ve seen a gradual shift from manufacturing to service and now to knowledge based industries. Knowledge Workers are broadly speaking ‘people who think for a living’. Whilst the concept of ‘productivity’ in manufacturing and service industries is well understood it is barely understood at all for knowledge based sectors.

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The healthy workplace is now a matter of public policy in the UK

The healthy workplace is now a matter of public policy in the UK

news landing office worker_1Promoting a culture that improves the health and wellbeing of employees is good management practice and leads to a healthy and productive workplace, according to the Governmental body charged with shaping policy and offering advice on health related matters in the UK. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), part of the Department of Health, has published a new set of guidelines on the issue and called on employers to do more to address the challenge of creating a productive and healthy workplace. According to NICE, workplace health is a significant public health issue with more than a million working people in the UK experiencing a work-related illness each year, leading to around 27 million lost working days and costing the economy an estimated £13.4 billion.

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Employers lagging behind the workplace revolution say CIPD and BIFM

Employers lagging behind the workplace revolution say CIPD and BIFM

Employers lagging behind the workplace revolutionThere is strong and mounting evidence on how organisational culture and the workplace environment influence the quality of our work and working lives. This is according to a major new joint report by the CIPD and BIFM, In Search of Better Workplaces, which forms part of a wider initiative, The Workplace Conversation, an ongoing collaboration between the FM and HR bodies, which explores the evolution of the working environment and what the future of the workplace looks like. The report says that to make the purpose of workplaces clear a completely different approach is required, individual to an organisation, and which reflects what it is trying to achieve and how it wants to achieve it. It adds that good workplace design should be available for everyone and not the sole preserve of cash-rich private sector organisations. There is a range of starting points and organisations should take steps that are the right size for them.

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Long distance commuting, agile working and dinosaur extinction in the UAE

Long distance commuting, agile working and dinosaur extinction in the UAE

Make DubaiIn Dubai, there are no suburban dinosaurs; those large-scale, single purpose office buildings that ignore the agile realities of modern working life. In the western world, these giants evolved on business parks, driven by the perceived benefits of having office workers agglomerated in order to achieve efficiency of communication and dissemination. The business practices and technologies that underpinned these buildings have evolved and improved and many are in the process of being re-purposed. Things happen on a grander scale in the Middle East where the mantra is “if the land-use doesn’t fit the land, make more land.” Here, the patterns of work and place have evolved differently from the west, and at a much faster pace with creeping tides of development spreading rapidly out from the small centres of traditional trade and commerce to vast tracts of new development.

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Time to get back a sense of proportion about sitting down

Time to get back a sense of proportion about sitting down

The well of public discourse about office design is regularly fouled by the effluent of people who really should know better. Normally this is characterised by hyperbolic assertions about how flexible working will lead to The Death of the Office (it won’t) or how the decision by Yahoo and others to go into partial reverse on remote work would spell The Death of Flexible Working (it didn’t). All of this drivel can be forgiven when it comes from civilians, but the fact that it remains commonplace in the workplace media and emanates from the mouths of people who work in the sector is enough to make you despair. The latest example of this attention seeking behaviour, excretion of simplistic bullshit, market making or whatever you see it as, is the drive to demonise sitting, now normally expressed alongside some variant of the slogan ‘Sitting is the New Smoking’.

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Dietitians publish key findings on workplace health programmes

Dietitians publish key findings on workplace health programmes

Healthy food at workWe spend around 60 percent of our life at work and consume at least a third of our daily food intake, which is why the British Dietetic Association (BDA) has announced that the theme of office for its new Chairman, Dr Fiona McCullough, will be workplace health. Responding to recent policies such as the NHS Five Year Forward View and the NICE public health guidance for the workplace, which recognise that businesses benefit from investing in the wellbeing of employees, the BDA is conducting a review of published peer-reviewed evidence of workplace health studies in order to determine how best individuals and employers can optimise health at work. This review will underpin the development of a BDA Work Ready Programme, which has produced interim research that has already highlighted the key role employers can play in enhancing the wellbeing of staff.

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