Search Results for: employment

Economic recovery, the changing psychological contract and the future of the office

display_img_01There has always been a link of one sort or another between the labour market and office design. So, as the UK’s unemployment statistics continue to fall, they remain moderately high and there continue to be structural changes in the nature of work, typified by this year’s debate about the growing use of zero hours contracts. You have to wonder what impact structural changes,  levels of unemployment and redundancy (around 4 million in the UK since 2008) have had on the way we manage and design our workplaces. There is no doubt that the downturn combined with the structural changes in the way we work have had an effect on demand for commercial property, but what will it all mean in the longer term?

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Germans prove that long hours and productivity are often two completely different things

german-flagEarlier this year, Insight published the results of a survey which showed that the World’s hardest workers, contrary to what Jeremy Clarkson might say, are Mexican. But that poll told half the story because it only measured the number of hours people work. When it comes to productivity measured by output against time spent working, it turns out that it’s the Germans who are the undisputed champions according to research from the PEW Trust. This won’t come as a surprise if you believe the Teutonic stereotype, as many people assuredly do. The survey also found that, when asked which nation had the most productive workers, respondents in the UK, France, Italy, Spain, the Czech Republic, Poland and Germany itself all believe that Germans are Europe’s hardest workers.

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Labour demand growing, but many employers prefer to increase hours not people

Employment experts give cautious welcome to job increase figuresThere was a fall in unemployment of 18,000 to 2.49 million from March to May of this year according to the latest figures published today by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Between June and August 2013 the unemployment rate dropped from 7.8 per cent to 7.7 per cent, with a slight rise in total pay of 0.7 per cent. Although the news was welcomed by employment experts, Nigel Meager, Director of the Institute for Employment Studies pointed out that while employment increased by 0.9 per cent in the last year, the number of hours worked in the economy grew faster; and CIPD Chief Economist Mark Beatson commented that there is no sign yet that increased demand for staff were leading to higher wages. More →

Business leaders’ taskforce presents Govt with bright ideas to cut EU red tape

Cut EU red tape, advises influential business leaders' taskforce A Government-appointed taskforce, which comprises six leading business figures, including M&S Chief Executive Marc Bolland, and Kingfisher CEO Ian Cheshire has presented the Cabinet with 30 ways of cutting back EU regulations that it says are holding back European businesses. According to the report, ‘Cut EU red tape’, the EU should promote enterprise and boost growth by sweeping away “poorly understood and burdensome rules and preventing similarly pointless legislation in the future”. The proposals, which followed a consultation with 100 businesses across Europe, says that cutting unnecessary and time-consuming health and safety regulations could save EU businesses around €2.7 billion, while reforming employment law would free up firms to create more jobs. More →

Demand in UK regional office markets beginning to outstrip supply

GlasgowThe latest report from property consultancy Savill’s looking at trends in the UK’s commercial property market paints a now very familiar picture of an increasingly healthy market driven by a number of sectors in general and the tech and media industries in particular, but also of growing confidence outside of London. It also highlights a marked shift away from public sector to private sector employment. Although the upsurge in demand is putting pressure on the supply of appropriate office space in certain parts of the country, a new report published today by KPMG also highlights the growing order books of UK construction firms and an increase in confidence amongst builders.

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More women on UK boards welcomed, but business leaders urged to do more

More women on UK boards welcomed, but business leaders urged to do moreFemale representation on the UK’s top companies’ boards continues to increase according to new figures published today by the Professional Boards Forum (PBF). The statistics show that 19 per cent of directors are now female (up from 17.4% in May) and 24 per cent of board appointments since 1 March 2013 have been women. To meet the target of 25 per cent of board positions being held by women by 2015, as set out in the original report by Lord Davies published in February 2011, FTSE100 companies need to appoint 66 more female directors in the next two years. The news has been welcomed by business leaders and politicians who have resisted efforts by the EU to impose mandatory female quotas. More →

Google is Generation Y’s choice as world’s most attractive employer

Google is Generation Y's choice as world's most attractive employerCool offices, generous employee perks and of course being a successful global tech firm may seem the obvious reasons why Google is perceived as the world’s most attractive employer by Generation Y, according to a global poll. However, employer branding company Universum Global’s annual list of the 50 companies business and engineering students would choose as the best to work for, finds the most common characteristics young workers consider most important in a potential employer are pretty much the same applicants of all ages would cite. These are; market success, professional training and development opportunities, supportive leaders and job security. So maybe Millennials aren’t so easily swayed by nap pods after all. More →

Record number of managers in the UK, but who or what are they all managing?

quis-custodiet-ipsos-custodesThe number of managers in the UK has reached record levels according to a new report. But who or what they are all managing is slightly less clear as structural changes in the UK economy mean there are fewer people in full time and skilled work, especially in the public sector, as well as a growing number of the self-employed. An analysis of ONS statistics by the Jobs Economist reveals the number of people defined as managers in the UK is now 3.1 million, up 7.8% in just two years and now more than 10% of the entire workforce. By contrast the number of skilled trades people has fallen by 2.2%, the number of people working full time has fallen to 21.4 million, public sector employment has fallen by 437,000 in three years while the number of self-employed has grown by 367,000 since the 2008 downturn.

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Number of people in work rose 80,000 over last three months

Number of people in full time employment rises by 80,000 in three monthsThe number of people in full-time work has increased by 80,000 over the last three months according to figures released today by the Office for National Statistics. Employment growth was accompanied by a 24,000 fall in unemployment between May and July meaning the rate of unemployment in the UK this quarter dropped to 7.7 per cent from 7.8 per cent in the previous three months.  However the figures also showed the number of people in part-time work has risen to 1.45 million, the highest since records began in 1992 and double the number of five years ago, which may put more pressure on the government to address the continued controversy over zero hours working. To download the latest ONS labour market statistics click here.

Flexibility doesn’t equal insecurity suggests new report into casual working

Flexibility doesn't equal insecurity finds new report into casual workersFlexible working and part time working tend to conjure up different images, with the former perceived as the preserve of the professional/management class and the latter associated with administrative/semi-skilled workers. That impression has been reinforced by trade unions’ complaints over the increase in the use of casual or Zero Hour Contracts that allow employers to hire staff with no guarantee of work. Yet new data shows that a significant share of those on casual contracts (43%) are in the top three occupational groups (managers, professionals and associate/technical staff), just a fifth (17%) are in manual skilled or semi-skilled jobs, only one in ten are unskilled and one in ten in administrative; and just 18 per cent are looking for a new job. More →

Employee engagement, not fear, behind the fall in staff turnover

Job satisfaction and engagement could be real reasons for low staff turnoverExplanations for a marked fall in employee turnover have largely attributed it to the recession, which, it’s been suggested, has led cautious employees to prefer to stay put in a secure position, rather than risk losing their place in an uncertain job market. However new data published today from the CIPD’s Megatrends research project suggests a more positive picture. The proportion of workers leaving their employer at any given time fell by over two fifths between 1998 and 2012, long before the downturn took hold. And the good news for those concerned with improving the quality of the workplace environment is that increased job satisfaction and improved levels of employee engagement could play a significant role.. More →

Forget Gen Y – the future workplace is multigenerational

Old dog new tricksThere is quite possibly more guff talked about the impact of Gen Y on businesses and the workplace than any other management topic. However, it’s not only wrong to characterise the people of Generation Y as some homogeneous blob with stereotyped attitudes that set them apart from the rest of humanity, but also to miss the point that the workplace is and will remain multigenerational. In fact, according to new data from the Department of Work and Pensions, there have never been more over 50s in work in the UK than there are right now.  There are 2 million more over-50s in jobs than there were 15 years ago and they will form a third of the workforce by 2020. And they will want their own say on things just as much as the much talked about millennials.

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