Search Results for: job interview

Why work should be a key focus in improving our happiness

Happiness at work comment

The iOpener Institute for People & Performance is an official partner of the UN International Day of Happiness, which took place this week. Here, iOpener’s Joint CEOs Jessica Pryce-Jones & Julia Lindsay explain why work should be a key focus of improving happiness. The UN International Day of Happiness is designed to recognize that ‘progress’ is about increasing human happiness and wellbeing as well as growing the economy. The UN’s focus this year is on ‘reclaiming happiness’. The origins of the day lie in the July 2011 UN General Assembly resolution which recognized happiness as a fundamental human goal. In April 2012 the first ever UN conference on Happiness took place. On the back of this, they designated 20th March as an annual worldwide focus on celebrating and growing happiness. More →

Employers say improved morale has helped reduce staff absences

A third (34%) of UK employers have seen their absence rates improve over the last 12 months and almost two thirds think this is due to improved morale in the workplace. The new research, from trade body Group Risk Development (GRiD), echoes that of recent ONS Labour Market statistics which showed that UK sick days were down by 47 million since 1993. The employers polled also revealed they have better measures in place to reduce absence and improve attendance; with more than two in five employers (44%) using return-to-work interviews, 36 per cent having flexible working initiatives and 26 per cent having disciplinary procedures in place for unacceptable absence. Employers are also feeling more confident about working with fit notes, with 40 per cent saying they feel they can work with the advice given. More →

The nine enduring workplace tensions to keep an eye on in the year ahead

The nine enduring workplace tensions to keep an eye on in the year aheadThere were a number of workplace issues that wouldn’t go away during 2013. And there’s no reason to believe we will resolve many of them during 2014 either. We can try to explain the recalcitrance of such things by referring to the enveloping fog that emanates from the commercial interests who promote problems to their customers so they can provide the solutions, but many are more deep-rooted. Technology and its constant radicalising effects is almost invariably the major driver of change, but it is only one thread in a complex web of social, professional, demographic, cultural and commercial changes. So here, in no particular order, are the issues we expect to spend the most time talking about on Insight over the next year. More →

The most read stories on Insight in 2013

Apple 11It’s been one year since Insight first hit the digital streets and it’s been fascinating to see what people have been most interested in. One of the great things about online publishing is you cannot escape from what people think. Printed trade magazines can tell you they send out 12,000 copies or whatever, but they can’t tell you whether the recipients are interested enough to read them or share their contents. Online, that is all made transparent. So it’s been great to start a publication that after just a few months was demonstrably the UK’s most widely read title covering workplace design and management issues. We even know what people like the most. So here, in no particular order, are our most widely read stories from 2013, ranging from the technical to the esoteric, news stories, case studies, the bursting of bubbles and the challenges to received wisdom.

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Good practice guide for employers on using social media as a vetting tool

Advice on social media vettingThe debate over the right to privacy of job applicants whose activities may be checked on social media websites such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, has led to some confusion over what is legally acceptable. Employers’ body the CIPD’s recent social media research revealed that two in five employers look at candidates’ online activity or profiles to inform recruitment decisions, but few inform applicants as a matter of course that this is being done. But just how aware are employers of the legalities around this kind of vetting? Managers have wide discretion within the law to decide whether or not to recruit a particular candidate, but to avoid risk of legal challenge they should be fully aware of the law on data protection and discrimination in employment. The CIPD has now published some useful guidance on what constitutes good practice. More →

Quality of the place and the pace of work is more important than money

Aol’s new West Coast HQ 395 Page Mill

O+A designed Aol’s new West Coast HQ

In a remarkable session on the future of work at Worktech 13 London this week – Charles Handy declared that organisations need passion, people and profit, in that order. Money isn’t the main motivating factor for individuals either, which is why Handy’s thoughts on the emergence of the portfolio worker should inspire anyone who dreams of quitting their corporate job to do something more interesting instead. Those who don’t have that option would have been cheered to hear the prevailing message at Worktech was that employers are waking up to the fact that the quality of the place and the pace of work (i.e. flexible working) is of equal importance to remuneration in attracting and retaining staff. More →

Smells like team spirit. Strong influence of scent in the workplace

Smells like team spirit. The influence of scent in the workplaceWhen Ireland became the first country in the world to impose an outright smoking ban in public places, it wasn’t long before a hitherto uncharted problem emerged – the smell of body odour in crowded pubs, which it was rumoured at the time – was solved by piping in the smell of smoke to recreate that ‘pub atmosphere,’ but without the carcinogenic effects. Aside from washrooms, how an office smells isn’t a factor which merits as much attention as how it looks or the level of noise, yet olfactory perception can have a powerful effect on our mood, how we regard our surroundings and of course our response to those with which we have to share our space. More →

Proceed with caution when using social media to recruit new talent

Why you should proceed with caution when using social media to recruit new talent

Time was, not so long ago that a job seeker could choose which aspects of their experience, interests and personality they wanted to reveal on a job application. For the employer this meant wheedling out the right candidates from a pile of written applications, then using the interview process to determine whether the applicant measured up to their requirements. Today, social media not only makes it easier for employers to reach a much wider universe of candidates – it also gives them the opportunity if they choose, to screen potential employees, and this is where legally, ethically and practically, new largely uncharted problems lie. More →

UK workers mistrust more contented home-based colleagues

UK workers mistrust more contented home-working colleagues

The debate which ensued following the Yahoo ban on home working earlier this year was as much as about the level of trust felt towards home workers as it was about the importance of collaboration within the workplace. The fact is that for the majority of home workers, day to day life is easier. No commuting, work where you please, no irritating colleagues and the freedom to nip out to the dentist, doctors or parents meeting without having to book a half day off. As a result, while home workers enjoy the best mental health and wellbeing of four groups in a survey of contact centre workers, office workers, home workers and mobile professional workers, their distance from the office-based working population breeds suspicion between them and everybody else. More →

Guidance on designing in accessibility for disabled workers

Diversity in the workplace

The government launches a campaign today using TV celebrities and disabled groups to help promote positive role models for disabled people. It’s aimed at building on the latest stats that show 81 per cent of people thought the Paralympics had a positive impact on the way disabled people are perceived. Currently they’re not well represented in the workplace, as according to DTI figures half of all disabled people are unable to find work. This is why the Equality Act 2010 plays such a vital role in promoting diversity in the workplace. Put into practice, understanding and adhering to the Equality Act 2010 requires employers to take positive action to remove certain disadvantages to disabled people posed by working practices and the physical features of premises. More →

Fearful UK employees benefit from engagement policies finds survey

 Fearful UK employees require greater engagement levels finds survey

A new study provides some proof that the employee engagement lobby has some validity. According to a new national survey, job stress has gone up and job-related well-being has gone down since the start of the recession, with Britain’s employees feeling more insecure and pressured at work than at any time in the past 20 years. The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) report the biggest concern was about pay reductions, followed by loss of say over their job. However, the survey found that where employers pursued employee engagement practices, giving employees more involvement in decision making at work, staff were less anxious about their jobs. More →

Flexibility not finance motivates Generation Y workers

Gen-Y view work as a thing rather than a place that requires a traditional nine to five routine,

Millennial or Generation Y workers are not the bunch of entitled youths we’ve been led to believe. Those born between 1980 and 1995 say they would choose workplace flexibility, work/life balance and the opportunity for overseas assignments over financial rewards. PwC’s NexGen survey reveals that millennials view work as a thing rather than a place that requires a traditional nine to five routine, so are more likely to stay in a job if they feel supported and appreciated, are part of a cohesive team and have greater flexibility over where and how much they work. This contrasts with the non-millennial generation, who place greater importance on pay and development opportunities.

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