As the UK emerges from lockdown for a second time, it’s crucial we keep up the conversations we’ve been having about the importance of a healthy work life balance. The majority of people who I’ve spoken to have enjoyed the freedom of remote working and are keen to retain some of this newly-discovered flexibility in the future. With this new mindset and the ongoing restrictions, I certainly don’t anticipate an immediate rush back to offices.
Winter alone can have a negative impact on anyone’s mental health. Couple this with spending the best part of the year dealing with a pandemic and the subsequent lockdowns and it's no surprise that according to ONS statistics, the weeks after the clocks went back saw record levels of loneliness in the UK.
Considering introducing an employee wellbeing programme in 2021, but concerned about the financial outlay and where to begin? Fear not, as it does not take a huge chunk of cash to create a successful wellbeing programme for your staff. However, you do need to invest some time to plan an initiative that will best suit your team. Here are four cost effective suggestions to get such schemes up and running, and to maintain momentum.
Small businesses in the UK still aren’t offering their people enough flexibility, according to new research from Tiger Recruitment. While the pandemic has required many to work more flexibly from home, more than a quarter of employees questioned say they still aren’t happy with the flexible working options available to them, and men are just as dissatisfied as women.
First Office Hub, the global workspace broker, which has just helped a tech company to expand from a traditional leasehold property into a 20,000 sq ft managed office space, describes the London office scene as extremely active with companies of all sizes and across all sectors researching offers and looking to secure the right deals ahead of 2021.
New research involving 150 HR leaders has found that 3 in 5 UK workers have experienced mental health issues since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. The report authors, Accountancy and Finance, HR and Data Analytics recruiter, Wade Macdonald, and workplace law specialist, Doyle Clayton, have raised concerns of an increase in known incidences as a result of the current lockdown measures.
As England is once again in lockdown, new research shows the rate of ‘lockdown loneliness’ and its impact on mental health is as high as 27% in the UK. As the NHS strains to support an increase in mental health conditions, the Flow headset and therapy app treatment for depression, the first of its type to be medically approved in the UK and EU, aims to tackle ‘lockdown loneliness’ and mental health outcomes by providing immediate, at-home access to effective treatment.
You’ll have a difficult job browsing content platforms nowadays without coming across articles focusing on - or at least alluding in some way to - the working from home revolution. A whole host of companies, including Twitter, have announced that they will allow staff to continue WFH permanently if they wish, following its success throughout lockdown.
The sudden move to working from home has been a challenge for many SMEs. With smaller teams often benefitting from close knit relationships with their colleagues, COVID-19 is forcing many businesses to reconsider their approach to employee wellbeing. In many cases, however, this is easier said than done, with research from Wildgoose finding that nearly half (47%) of employees at SMEs are finding that their mental health has been negatively impacted by the pandemic.
As we enter Lockdown 2.0 we are at least all much better prepared than we were in March when we entered Lockdown 1.0 and went into the total unknown. We are better prepared this time because we have all learned so much already this year about living and working during a pandemic and we take those lessons learned into the second lockdown.
With the gyms officially closed more people will now take to the streets to get their exercise, although this wasn't a problem during the 1st lockdown, (remember those lush summer days) we have an extra obstacle to come up against - the weather. Finding the motivation to run in the rain is tough, but getting out of the door is the hardest part. Once you’re running, the wet weather and puddle-dodging are exhilarating. And logging the miles in a downpour is a surefire way to feel hardcore. Wet-weather runs can give you a mental advantage if you’re training for an event, too. Knowing you’ve run in all conditions means you’re prepared for any weather race day throws at you.
Since the beginning of the year, wellbeing has been a prominent topic of interest among Brits, in fact, searches for the term ‘wellbeing’ have increased by 257% in the past five months. As people continue to spend more time indoors, Rebecca Snowden, Interior Style Advisor at FurnitureChoice.co.uk, explains how to create a calming oasis to maintain wellbeing at home.
Today’s workplace culture has many employees feeling the pressure to turn up to the office at all costs, even when ill; however, the global pandemic COVID-19 has shown it is more critical than ever for businesses to tackle the widespread challenge of 'presenteeism' especially when majority are working from home.
A webinar that explores mental health in the workplace will kickstart the Angel Business Club Insights series on Wednesday, 4th November. The webinar, titled ‘Inspiring Mental Wellbeing In The Workplace In a Post-COVID World’, will be hosted by former vice president of HR at Unilever Geoff McDonald.
ZING, a new video calling platform, has launched with the aim of making video calling more natural, fun and closer to real life human social interaction. The ZING platform is designed to encourage more natural interaction amongst colleagues, particularly on social video calls, as the ongoing COVID-19 crisis extends the time people are told to work from home.
In April 2020, the UK Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed that 49.2% of adults in employment were working from home because of social distancing measures introduced following the COVID-19 pandemic. With remote working now a necessity for many, companies can adapt by staying on top of the latest trends. Here, Ashmita Das, CEO of Kolabtree, the freelance platform for scientists, discusses some of the trends in remote working.
The line between dreaming about your perfect business and actually running a killer corporation is not a huge gap - it is a simple step. Sadly, a lot of people get stuck on their idea. They dream about what could be, without ever focusing on achieving their goals. If you also have a great passion and an amazing idea, then make sure not to be one of these people. All you need is to divide your process into smaller, easier to handle bits. Doing so will help you tackle them more eagerly, and deal with the tasks as they come. Today, we take a look at five essential steps needed to stop dreaming - and start doing.
With varying government guidelines in place across the country, many will find themselves working from home. Exploring the nation’s relationship with their sofa and desk chair, FurnitureChoice.co.uk polled Brits to find out how many suffer from back pain. Using this insight, experts reveal the best and worst seating positions for your back, whilst we spend more time at home on the sofa.
WorkClub workspaces support hospitality venues, co-working hubs and pubs, to drive more footfall during day-time hours. These venue hosts become neighbourhood workspaces, allowing WorkClub members to work closer to home, supporting the local ecosystem around the corner from their homes. We spoke to Nick Donnelly of WorkClub to find out more about them.
At a time when WFH looks set to continue for many in both the short and long term, ‘hidden fractures’ are forming in the workforce which risk causing irreparable damage to cultures and productivity. That’s according to new research from Totem, the digital culture platform, which is urging employers to take action now to better manage remote working and prevent employee engagement and retention levels falling to an all-time low.
Millions of Brits give up more than a month of time each year by working additional unpaid hours, totalling five years over their working life, research reveals. In a poll conducted by Hitachi Personal Finance for this year’s National Work Life Week, data reveals exactly how much time Brits are spending working past their contracted hours and what else the nation could be doing with this time.
What is the difference between traditional 'change management' and employees first 'change management'?
Over 60% of organisational change initiatives fail, but change itself isn’t the stumbling block. Change is common and natural, even inevitable. Seasons change, people change, mountain ranges change — yet successful change management remains a lofty, even insurmountable challenge for many organisations. Over 60% of organisations view change as something that should not be desired, something that should be dreaded; so many leaders within organisations fight hard to create sustainable/practicable practices, systems and functions with change being the last thing they desire.
The art of coding is reported to enhance productivity and communication within businesses, therefore, it is fast becoming a sought-after skill by employers. As the tech industry continues its exponential growth and becomes an integral part of every business, where’s the best place to start for a career in coding?
2020 has been the most stressful year in history for the global workforce and people want robots to help, according to a new study by Oracle and Workplace Intelligence, an HR research and advisory firm. The study of more than 12,000 employees, managers, HR leaders, and C-level executives across 11 countries found that the COVID-19 pandemic has increased workplace stress, anxiety, and burnout for people all around the world, and they prefer AI robots instead of other people to help.
As we enter the last quarter of 2020 I thought that it would be useful to take a look back at this extraordinary year and see what lessons can be learned from these truly remarkable circumstances. It has, after all, impacted on every business around the world in one way or another. Indeed, the impact has been so great that business, and the way that business is done, will never be the same again.
Will working from home become the new normal? Yes, according to The Case for Remote Work, a new report from think tank, The Entrepreneurs Network, by innovation economist, Dr Matt Clancy. Reviewing a wide range of research from across economics and social science, it argues that the business case for remote work has improved significantly over the past decade.
It should come as no surprise that a strong environmental ethos within an organisation is a driving factor for many jobseekers when choosing where to apply for work. However, a recent report has detailed just how important sustainability aligned with social responsibility really is in terms of recruitment.
2020 has required businesses, specifically young startups, to evolve and adapt in so many ways to successfully navigate such unprecedented challenges. With the world shifting towards remote working, company culture has become more important than ever. VC-backed startup HomeHero is on a mission to transform how people manage their homes, all whilst juggling the delicate challenge of retaining company culture when the team is growing fast and personalities are joining HomeHero, remotely, every other week.
According to research from outsourcing provider, Woven, more than three-quarters (78%) of consumers trust online reviews when it comes to making a purchase. As UK businesses continue to manage the fallout from lockdown, customer service experts from Woven have revealed the significant impact that positive reviews could have in helping small businesses recover.
Every business needs to constantly assess what it sells, to whom, and how it sells it. It also needs to constantly assess the market and its competitors, as well as attempting to forecast future trends in demand and technology. All of this is quite a task in normal times when events move in a predictable way and in a linear timescale.
The Government’s furlough scheme has saved an estimated two million jobs and helped protect tens of thousands of startups and SMEs from closure. However as the clock ticks down to the end of October, the point at which the scheme will end, many businesses are now understandably concerned about what will come next once this provision is taken away.
A new study, commissioned by business bank, Allica Bank, shows that the practice of regular training correlates strongly with high performance in SMEs and will be vital to businesses’ prospects of a swift recovery post-COVID. The study analysed data from over 1,000 companies and ranked their success on a scale that evaluated factors including productivity, growth, consistency and outlook.
One thing that every early stage business should produce is a pitch deck, whether they are looking to raise external funding or not. A pith deck is typically a 15 to 20 page very simplified business plan set out in a PowerPoint type format. Its purpose is to succinctly outline all aspects of the business to any outsider. Just like a business plan, producing a good pitch deck is a good exercise for any founder in refining the business itself, and considering all aspects clearly and objectively.
Is the education system equipping young people with the skills to succeed in a fast changing labour market? A new report from The Entrepreneurs Network argues that as children return to schools after lockdown, students as young as eleven should have the opportunity to learn about entrepreneurship in order to develop the skills and mindset necessary to prosper in the modern economy.
Remote working has been in the technology ecosystem for many years. I have personally been doing partial remote work for the last ten to twenty years and what I have found is surprising. Most individuals are not used to this style of work which is accelerating a nationwide transformation of company culture.
Before any business is established the founder will of course have spotted a gap in the market, thought of the original idea, conducted research, and come up with the MVP. Taking these basic thoughts and then forming a business around them, with all the necessary steps that regular readers will now be very familiar with, does of course take considerable time and effort.
Research from Workthere has revealed five top tips to keep employees happy at work. Workthere’s 'What Co-workers Want' report found that 59% of coworkers in the UK say they are happy with their current workplace, but what can providers do to improve happiness within their offices? Workthere asked 1,874 European office workers about 48 different office features in order to determine how satisfied they are with them and identify the areas offices should look to improve to provide an overall happier place to work.
The startup ecosystem is going through some big tests right now. This time has forced us all to discover just how efficient and productive we really can be working from our kitchen tables. It’s tested the limits of our patience (‘when will it ever end?’) and resilience (‘when can we go outside?’) and ability to stay focused (‘how do I ignore the distractions of home and get my work done?’).
According to the Office for National Statistics 213,285 businesses failed in the UK in the first half of 2020, a 14% increase on the same period in the previous year. Without looking much more deeply into the numbers it is not possible to say for certain how many of those that failed were due to the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent lockdown but we would not be far wrong to say that the 14% increase, or 26,193 businesses failures were as a result of the pandemic.
So I was listening to a podcast this morning - I listened to loads of podcasts so that's not unusual - but there was something about this podcast and the messaging within the podcast that rang a moderate alarm bell. The conversation was one of those that I estimate actually holds a lot of people back.
Blenheim Chalcot, the UK-based digital venture builder, and Imperial College London welcomed its first business members to Scale Space on Imperial’s White City campus this week. This new 200,000ft2 facility, will be home to scale ups and innovative businesses across the technology, digital and life-sciences sectors.
If you have purchased a new computer within the last few years, you likely lack something - ports. You know, places to plug in your stuff. With streamlining and consolidation, many modern computers (including the entire MacBook family) have shifted to utilising only USB-C and Thunderbolt 3. Because of this, a dock or hub is essential when you Work From Home.
At a time when the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown has caused large-scale disruption to businesses worldwide, remote working has been a shining example of how to ensure ‘business as usual’, particularly in areas such as customer service. If Gartner predictions are correct that over 40% of all employees will continue remote working post-COVID, businesses must redefine remote working by ensuring customer service staff - contact centre agents and supervisors - are equipped with fit-for-purpose technology to ensure they deliver a truly first-class service to the customer. Anne-Meine Gramsma, Chief Commercial Officer at ContactCenter4ALL, explains.
Fifty percent of people currently employed are planning on looking for a new job after COVID-19, according to new research released from Hooray Health & Protection. Nearly a quarter (24%) of employees questioned said they were somewhat likely to seek a new job, 13% said they were very likely and twelve percent were pretty positive when they said they were extremely likely to look for a new job post COVID-19.
Forty nine percent of employers are planning to stagger return to work based on employees’ own health risks related to COVID-19, whilst 46% will be staggering employees return depending on how critical their role is to the business. The next most popular strategy is the creation of smaller work groups (40%), followed by changing work hours (34%), a voluntary return scheme (33%), and splitting shifts (28%).
While car MOTs were scrapped during lockdown, taking the same approach with a business could be a mistake that leads to catastrophic consequences. Just as leaving unchecked, unroadworthy vehicles on the road is potentially dangerous, by not taking control of a business and leaving success to chance is a gamble at the best of times, but right now that approach could be the beginning of the end.
Some founders come up with their business ideas alone, whilst others do so with friends or associates. Some founders wish to stay as sole founders, whilst others prefer to work with co-founders to share the tasks, decision making, and risks, as well as adding often complementary skills or knowledge to their own.
Commercial real estate, HR and technology professionals are focused on finding innovative ways to meet the challenges of a post-COVID workplace through safe and effective back to work strategies. John Williams, Head of Marketing at Instant Offices, considers what this means for businesses heading back into the office.