Search Results for: employment

The culture of presenteeism is not all just fun and games

PresenteeismTen or so years ago an office seating manufacturer commissioned me to prepare a report on the games industry. The idea was to target a market the company had decided was primed to hear their message about ergonomics and the deleterious effects of long hours spent sitting and peering at a screen. Not only would this develop a new market for the business, it would also showcase a new product they had launched specifically to target a younger and hipper audience, even one that was overwhelmingly male. All of the elements of a successful campaign appeared to be there – the right product, a sedentary workforce that often worked around the clock to hit deadlines in an industry that epitomised youthful cool and was willing to spend money to prove it.

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Younger workers less tolerant of flexible workers than you would think

Younger workers less tolerant of flexible workers than you would thinkOne of the key drivers for bringing a flexible working culture into the workplace is to accommodate the needs of the younger generation of ‘millennial’ workers who are perceived to view the idea of the traditional 9 to 5 as archaic. But this open-mindedness appears to waver when applied to other workers. A recent survey by employment specialists Doyle Clayton has found Generation Y employees have the most negative attitudes towards older employees and part-time and flexible workers; seeing their colleagues’ flexibility as coming at their own expense. The Age Before Beauty? Report warns that there shouldn’t be an assumption that initiatives to support flexible working will be welcomed by staff in their twenties and thirties. And while younger workers tended to be most likely to perceive discrimination at their workplace, they were also the most likely to exhibit negative attitudes towards equality, for example seeing older workers as less valuable because of their age. More →

Portfolio working could become the norm in ten years time says KPMG

Portfolio working could become the norm in ten years time says KPMGAt last year’s Worktech London, Charles Handy discussed the ascent of the portfolio worker. In a new survey by KPMG, 63 per cent of business leaders agree that portfolio workers will gain mainstream commercial acceptance within the next ten years. But some confusion remains as to just what constitutes a ‘portfolio worker’ as distinct from employees on flexible work schedules or freelancers. Just over a third (35%) of Generation Y respondents understood the term “portfolio workers” but they felt that they were simply freelancers by another name (78%), as did three quarters of the senior executives (76%) and the older respondents (74%). According to the survey portfolio workers differ from freelancers by having contracts in place with a number of different companies simultaneously, with a guaranteed number of hours of work from all during any given period of time. This approach, as Hardy has predicted, looks set to become the new way of work. More →

Report claims workplace fails to support employees with musculoskeletal disorders

musculoskeletal disordersWhen determining what constitutes a well-designed office, it’s easy to overlook the overriding need to ensure a workplace is designed first and foremost to be inclusive. Given the fact that musculoskeletal disorders remain the largest single cause of days of work lost due to sickness absence, it’s worrying to discover that many organisations fail to meet the needs of those dealing with such conditions. The new report ‘Self-management of chronic musculoskeletal disorders and employment’ from the Fit for Work UK Coalition and The Work Foundation found that despite sufferers’ efforts to remain at work, many are forced to ‘self-manage’ their condition without adequate support; with for instance an employee being forced to partake in a hot desk policy when they required their own, fixed workspace. As the report states, this lack of help is ‘all the more perverse’ when you take into consideration the role that work can play in helping to contribute to mental and physical wellbeing. More →

Four year surge in the numbers of over-50s and over-65s in UK workforce

older UK workforceWe keep saying it but forget all the talk about Gen Y, the UK workforce is actually aging and becoming more diverse. New research from Saga shows that the number of employees over the age of 65 has increased by over a third over the last four years and the numbers of those between 50 and 64 has also increased – by nearly a tenth. The proportion of over 65s within the workforce is up from 3.4 percent to 3.6 percent over the same period but there have also been increases in employment in younger age groups meaning the workforce is more diverse. There are now 1.09 million over 65s still in work and around 8 million in the 50-64 age group. The Saga Monthly Employment report, published in partnership with the Centre for Economics and Business Research, also found that older age groups are now just as economically active as younger demographics

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Rise in staff social media profiling will transform the workplace

Digital monitoring of staff will transform the workplace claims surveyWhether or not the younger generation are in fact more technically astute is still open to debate, but one thing is clear, they’re far less perturbed at the idea of being digitally monitored than the older generation. New research reveals that the younger generation are more open to sharing their personal data with their employees, with 36 per cent of Generation Y workers saying they would be happy to do so. Nearly a third of people would be happy for their employer to have access to their personal data, such as social media profiles and this kind of data monitoring of employees will rise over the next decade as Generation Y enters the workforce. Given the fact that by 2020 this generation will form half of the global workforce – they’re set to bring with them their different attitudes to technology and personal data. More →

The CIPD is right to focus on the multi-generational workplace

Multi-generational workplaceAmongst all the talk about Generation Y and its impact on the world of work, it can be easy to miss the fact that the modern workplace is not defined by one particular generation, but a number of them. The multi-generational workplace has significant implications for the way we design and manage offices. While we must avoid the more obvious stereotypes about the needs of different age groups, we must still offer spaces that can meet a wide range of cultural, physical and technological needs if we are to create productive workplaces.The latest organisation to bang the drum for the multi-generational workplace is the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. It has published new research together with the Scottish Centre for Healthy Working Lives into the experiences and attitudes of SMEs towards age diversity at work.

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Three ways in which politicians display their ignorance of the workplace

Workplace bubbleThe recent Cabinet reshuffle in the UK Government won’t alter one fact; politicians simply don’t get it when it comes to technology, the workplace, the way people work and the needs of small businesses. Once you dismiss the paranoid idea that they DO get it but don’t care because they’re too busy looking out for The Man, you have to conclude that one of the big problems they have (this won’t go where you think) is that they don’t understand anything about technology and work, especially when it comes to emerging technology, the working lives of individuals, the needs and functions of small businesses and the fact the self-employed exist at all. These things exist outside the bubble. This is obviously a problem because they are implementing policies and making big, uninformed and anachronistic decisions about the things that shape every aspect of our lives, help to define us as people and determine how companies and individuals function. Here are just three examples.

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Sharp rise in demand for staff could spark a ‘vacancy vacuum’

Sharp rise in demand for staff could spark a 'vacancy vacuum' There was a record fall in permanent staff availability in June, according to the latest Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) and KPMG Report on Jobs which found the rate of contraction has accelerated to the sharpest seen in the survey’s history, which began back in October 1997. There was also a sharp deterioration in availability of temporary/contract staff, with June’s drop the greatest seen since March 1998. Amid reports of a shortage of suitable candidates, and with demand for staff increasing, permanent salaries rose during June at a survey record rate. However, as demand for staff has grown, this month saw the number of workers available to fill vacancies plummet to an all-time low, in particular across business development and sales. The latest report fuels concerns of a vacancy vacuum – and a reminder for employers that, for staff, remuneration is about much more than take home pay. More →

CIPD publishes manifesto on how next Government could shape future of work

CIPD manifesto on how next Government should shape the future of workA sustainable recovery and successful future economic performance depends on future governments adopting policies that address fundamental skills and productivity issues, as well as looking at other agendas which will actively shape the future of work. This is according to the CIPD ‘Manifesto for Work,’ published today, which calls on the UK’s political parties to focus on the key issues facing employers and the workforce in the run up to the General Election 2015. Amongst a set of proposals, the HR body is calling on the Government to take a “good practice” approach to employment regulation and policy by supporting the creation of a Workplace Commission, with the aim of helping employers raise standards of people management. CIPD chief executive Peter Cheese, says a better focus and understanding of the changing nature of work, the requirements and needs of the workforce, and the changing workplace will be needed to meet the future challenges. More →

Living longer, still working but earning more – the changing world of the UK’s older workers

Older workersA new report from the Institute for Fiscal Studies challenges some of the most commonly held misconceptions about the UK’s older workers, their health, income and status. The Changing Face of Retirement has been produced by the IFS in partnership with the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and the Economic and Social Research Council. Over the next ten years, it claims that changes to the pension provision, a rise in the retirement age, improving levels of long term health and the fact that many more people will remain in relationships as the life expectancy of men improves will mean more and more older people will supplement their pension incomes with paid work. The report also suggests that there will be more women between the ages of 65 and 69 in work than men by 2021 but both groups will see significant increases as the proportion of the total population aged over 65 increases by over a fifth.

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Skills body to fund UK employers to improve management capability

Staff-trainingThe UK trails behind its international competitors in management skills, says the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES). To help tackle the problem it is offering businesses across the UK co-investment to help develop ways of boosting management skills in their sector. A total of £4 million is being made available through the UKCES, as part of an ongoing government-backed programme to encourage employer-led solutions to persistent skills problems. Nigel Whitehead, Group Managing Director of BAE Systems and a Commissioner at UKCES explained: “Our research shows that the UK lags behind its international competitors when it comes to management skills. That matters. Good management practices boost productivity, staff engagement and ultimately drive economic growth. And while the UK’s best firms may be world-leading, the sad truth is that, generally, management capability in the UK isn’t as good as many other countries, particularly the US.” More →

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