Search Results for: work-life balance

The Insight newsletter is available to view online

2.Insight_twitter_logo smIn the latest edition of the Workplace Insight newsletter available to view online; ‘standing room only’ as Mark Eltringham reviews the Outstanding Landscape of Affordances, commissioned by the Netherlands’ Chief Government Architect; Justin Miller says any natural scepticism regarding the workplace of the future shouldn’t blind us to predictions that we know will largely come true; and James Sutton CEO of BIFM explains why increasing collaboration between FM and HR can benefit both disciplines. In news we reveal that advances in workplace connectivity means senior executives are far more satisfied with their work-life balance than ever; three of the most talked about UK office developments are given the go ahead within the space of a few days; and a BCO study espouses the continued importance of the office as the best place to do business. We also include a link to the new issue of Work&Place, the journal we publish in partnership with Occupiers Journal.

Flexible working law change will see a quarter of UK staff make requests

Time business concept.Just over a quarter (26 percent) of British employees will ask their employers for flexible working arrangements when the latest changes to legislation come into effect on 30 June 2014, according to a survey by YouGov and Croner. The survey of 2,328 employees also found that over two-thirds (69 percent) of workers have never applied for flexible working, with nearly a quarter of these believing the request would be denied anyway. The research also found that those employees who already enjoy flexible working arrangements identify a range of benefits. 63 percent think that flexi-work creates a better work-life balance, 42 percent believe it boosts staff morale, 28 percent think it reduces sickness and absence, 27 percent claim that it increases productivity.

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Deloitte increases flexible working rights to attract future female leaders

Deloitte increases flexible working rights to attract future female leadersAs employers prepare for new flexible working legislation, which comes into place at the end of this month; Deloitte UK has announced it is to allow its 12,000 employees more say in where, when and how they work. The firm has introduced a range of new and adapted, formal and informal agile working arrangements to incite a change in the day-to-day culture at the UK firm. Deloitte already offers all employees the right to request a formal flexible working arrangement; it will now also enable them to request a block of four weeks unpaid leave each year, without reason or justification. These arrangements support its wider measures that encourage a more agile workplace, including the introduction of collaborative and adaptable working spaces, an environment that supports open conversations about agile working and improvements to technology that make it feasible. More →

Record uptake of flexible working masks what is really changing about the way we work

Flexible workingThis week the Office for National Statistics has released new figures which show that flexible working is at a record high in the UK. The headline figure from the ONS is that 14 percent of the UK workforce now either work at home full time (5 percent) or use their home as a base (8.9 percent). This represents a 1.3 million increase over the six years since the onset of the recession. The report shows that those working from home are typically skilled, older (half between the age of 25 and 49 with 40 percent of over 65s classed as homeworkers) and better paid than the average worker (30 percent higher than the national average). The Government is claiming it as a victory for the promotion of flexible working through legislation and the TUC as a sign of the increasingly enlightened approach of bosses in helping employees find a better work life balance. And they’re both wrong.

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Goodbye 9-5: flexible working practices help retain and attract staff

flexible working connectors

Tech savvy connectors @ Oliver Preston

New ways of working are being fuelled by employees desire to take greater control of their lives. Over three-quarters (77%) of respondents in a survey by YouGov for Virgin Media Business said that remote working helps them address their work-life balance and almost four in five employees (78%) believe companies today need to offer it to attract and retain staff. As part of the research, psychologist Professor Cary Cooper reveals remote workers fall into four groups which range from ‘beginners’ to tech savvy ‘connectors.’ He stresses the need for employers to not only kit out their employees with the technology they need to work remotely, but also to educate them on flexible working best practice tips and guidelines because: “Ultimately this will help them ensure there is consistency across employees’ standard of work regardless of location, and will also ensure they remain as productive as possible.” More →

The workplace of the future is one founded on uncertainty

workplace of the futureWe now know for a fact that the good people at the UK Commission for Employment and Skills take heed of what they read on Workplace Insight. After Simon Heath recently eviscerated the idea of the year 2020 as a useful marker for the ‘future’, a new report from the UKCES draws its line in the sand a bit further on in 2030. It means they can’t have a ‘2020 Vision’ and for that we should be very thankful.  Yet the report still falls into the same traps that are always liable to ensnare any prognosis about the workplace of the future, notably that some of the things of which they talk have happened or are happening already. Then there’s the whole messy business of deciding what will emerge from the chaos; a bit like predicting the flavour of the soup you are making when a hundred other cooks are secretly adding their own ingredients.

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By 2030 your colleagues could be old enough to be your great-grandparents

By 2030 your colleagues could be old enough to be your great-grandparentsBy 2030 four-generation or “4G” workplaces – will become increasingly common as people delay retiring, even into their 80s. Although the role of women in the workplace will strengthen, an increasing divide will mean that while highly-skilled, highly-paid professionals will push for a better work-life balance, others will experience job and income insecurity. Technology will continue to evolve, pervading work environments everywhere, with many routine tasks becoming the domain of the smart algorithm. Multi media “virtual” work presences will become the norm, and as businesses seek additional flexibility, they will decrease the size of their core workforces, instead relying on networks of project-based workers. This is all according to the Future of Work, published this week by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES). More →

Flexible working mothers often resented by colleagues and worry about career

TightropeWorking women who are offered flexibility to help them balance their jobs and childcare are often resented by their colleagues, according to a new report from  campaign group Opportunity Now. The survey of 25,000 working women aged between 28 and 40 found that two thirds of those surveyed believe they are expected to work longer hours than mothers. Conversely, working mothers are often perceived by their colleagues as less committed according to around half of respondents and there was a general feeling across all those surveyed that flexible working can be detrimental to careers. The report is the latest which highlights the problems many people encounter in working flexibly as a way of achieving a work-life balance.

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US employees name top 50 firms to work for in 2014

American flag cakeConsultancy firm Bain & Company has topped the list of the 50 best places to work in the US. The top five companies in the annual Employees’ Choice Awards, compiled by careers specialist Glassdoor includes the three leading social media companies, Twitter, Linkedin and Facebook, which came in fifth, just behind Eastman Chemical. The Employees’ Choice Awards rely solely on the input of employees who elect to provide feedback about their job, work environment and company, via Glassdoor’s anonymous online company review survey. Employees are asked to rate how satisfied they are with their company overall, how they feel their CEO is leading the company, as well as key workplace attributes like career opportunities, compensation and benefits, culture and values, senior management and work-life balance.

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CIPD research finds zero-hours contracts unfairly demonised and oversimplified

CIPD research finds zero-hours contracts unfairly demonised and oversimplified

Further evidence has been published this week that maintains the use of zero-hours contracts is not the evil employment practise portrayed by the media. According to new research by the CIPD, the use of zero-hours contracts in the UK economy has been underestimated, oversimplified and unfairly demonised. The survey of more than 2,500 workers found that zero-hours workers are just as satisfied with their job as the average UK employee, and more likely to be happy with their work-life balance than other workers. The CIPD has also published new guidance, in collaboration with law firm Lewis Silkin, to help tackle poor practice highlighted in the research, such as the poor level of understanding about employment rights among many employers and zero-hours workers.  More →

How a 70 year old happiness model is still helping us to define wellness

People climbing the Great Pyramid 1This year marks the seventieth anniversary of Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, the model that still introduces most of us to notions of what makes people happy and fulfilled. Maslow first proposed the model in his 1943 paper “A Theory of Human Motivation” in Psychological Review, developing his ideas throughout the rest of his life. His work has been parallelled and built upon by other researchers since, but few have had the influence and longevity. Maslow’s hierarchical characterisation of human needs by category is ingrained into the minds of students all over the world. In the first of two pieces to mark this anniversary, Cathie Sellars of Workspace argues that Maslow continues to offers us the ideal definition of wellness.  

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Majority of British ex-pats working overseas now work flexibly, claims report

Sunburned Simon CowellThe majority of British expatriates who work overseas embrace flexible working arrangements, according to a survey commissioned by NatWest International Personal Banking. More than two thirds of those surveyed have exported their preferred working practices as well as themselves as they seek a better lifestyle and work-life balance overseas. Flexible working is most common for ex-pats in English speaking countries such as Australia (85 percent), New Zealand (79 percent), USA (78 percent) and Canada (76 percent).  However the survey of 1,800 ex-pats also reveals that flexible working is even prevalent for Brits working in other countries such as China (53 percent), UAE (48 percent) and Singapore (47 percent).

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