Seven workplace stories that have been on our radar this week

How we can win the AI race The great tech paradox for flexible workspaces The number one office perk? Natural light The personality test that conned the world The insecure nature of work is a result of decisions by corporations and policymakers Landlords up their game to help occupiers attract …

Problems with noise at work? A lot of it is in our heads

When it comes to working in an office, hell really can be other people. Many staff can have enormous difficulties coming to terms with the sounds that form the backdrop to their working day, especially if they work in open plan areas. The problem of noise at work is particularly …

The mere expectation that we check emails outside working hours harms our wellbeing

Employer expectations of work email monitoring outside of normal working hours are detrimental to the health and wellbeing of not only employees but their family members as well. A new study suggests that employees do not need to spend actual time on work in their off-hours to experience the harmful effects. …

Over half of men want to be more involved in childcare, major new report claims

More than half of men who have children or other caring responsibilities want to be more involved in childcare, a new study commissioned by Business in the Community, in partnership with Santander UK, has found. The Equal Lives research asked 10,225 UK parents for their views on work and care, and …

More UK workers ready to change jobs as confidence in economy grows

UK workers are feeling more confident about the state of the economy but it’s making them less inclined to stay in their current jobs, a new survey claims. According to the latest Global Talent Monitor report for the second quarter of this year, from Gartner 18.8 percent of UK employees …

A new era of technology could resolve UK low productivity at last

A new McKinsey study sets out to address the reasons why the United Kingdom experiences chronically low productivity and what can be done to use technology to improve its performance. In the report, Solving the UK’s productivity puzzle in the digital age, the authors argue that “Britain stands out as one …

Extending reporting requirements may help close gender pay gap say MPs

Employers should be required to publish a narrative and action plan under Gender Pay Gap reporting requirements, the inquiry on executive pay and the gender-pay gap by the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Select Committee has recommended today. It has found that the requirements to publish data which came …

The cargo cult of modern office design

The idea of the cargo cult derives from anthropological observations made about the behaviour of societies that encounter more technologically advanced societies, especially the rituals and objects created by Pacific islanders in an attempt to attract modern goods and technology and generally earn favour with people who they thought could …

How Charles Eames came to have mixed feelings for his most famous chair

As any honest smartphone user would attest, the things we own sometimes end up owning us. Equally, the things we create can end up owning us. The most famous item designed by Charles Eames is a moulded plywood, leather upholstered lounge chair and matching ottoman that are timelessly iconic, have …

More flexibility needed to attract non EU migrants, as UK faces skills shortage

The CIPD is calling on the government to ease restriction on immigrants from non EU countries, in the wake of the publication of new official figures which show how the number of EU citizens moving to the UK has decreased over the last year. Earlier this month, the CBI issued …

Network Rail agrees £1.46bn commercial real estate sale to Telereal Trillium and Blackstone Property

Network Rail has agreed terms with Telereal Trillium and Blackstone Property Partners for the sale of its commercial real estate portfolio. Proceeds from the £1.46 billion transaction will help fund the railway upgrade plan, bringing improvements for passengers and reducing the need for taxpayers to fund the railway, according to …

Creating a productive workplace for people is all about context

The quest for a proper understanding of the links between the places we work, the things with which we fill them and our wellbeing and productivity has been ongoing for a very long time. It predates our current thinking on productive workplace design and the facilities management discipline as we …

The digital workplaces could provide the key to organisational success, claims Microsoft

New research from Ingram Micro Cloud and Microsoft suggests that organisations without the right digital infrastructure in place to support flexible working risk their long term survival. In a white paper titled The Modern Workplace (registration needed), the firms claim that 60 per cent of under-35s place greater value on the ability …

Levels of engagement amongst the UK workforce trail behind other European countries

Employers in the UK need to improve working conditions, as the UK’s workforce pride is trailing behind other European countries, a new report claims. The survey from Cornerstone OnDemand and IDC found just a 48 percent approval rating by UK workers, with just 52 percent of respondents “completely agreeing” that …