You may have noticed that business owners and leaders have, on the whole, remained very quiet on the topic of remote working during the lockdowns, and that is probably because they have had very little choice in the matter.
With the option to return to the office only a few weeks away, I believe that we are going to see more business leaders start to speak up about what they actually want to happen.
It’s been really interesting listening to different people across a diverse range of roles and across different industry sectors talk and share their opinions on social media about what is going to be best for the business moving forward in this respect. But in some ways, that’s a bit like football supporters sharing their opinion on who should start for their team on Saturday. It’s all interesting, and in many cases valid debate, and people do get very passionate about their own opinions, but in the end it has little or no bearing on the managers team selection. And in that respect, the remote working debate will naturally be decided by the management and not by the employees of the business.
Of course there has been an opportunity to rethink the working model and having been forced to adopt a full working from home scenario for 12 months, every business owner has been able to evaluate its impact on the company.
I think that it is fair to say that most employees want to retain at least some working from home options going forward, but the majority of people also want some return to the office, and this desire by the workforce will form part of the decisions being made going forward by management, along with many other factors, such as company culture, wellbeing and mental health, productivity, quality and standards of work, customer service and satisfaction, practicality, sales, teamwork, information sharing, staff retention and the list goes on.
There is also the question of who is responsible for the work from home set up, the equipment and health and safety, because if a company requires you to work from home there is an extended duty of care.
This week, David Solomon, the CEO at Goldman Sacks Investment bank, hit the headlines, when he came out and said ‘It’s not a new normal’
Speaking to a conference on Wednesday, Solomon said: “I do think for a business like ours, which is an innovative, collaborative apprenticeship culture, this is not ideal for us. And it’s not a new normal. It’s an aberration that we’re going to correct as soon as possible.”
Barclays CEO, Jes Staley also said this week that he did not believe that remote work was “sustainable” long-term. He too pointed towards the negative impact that remote work has had on collaboration and culture.
However, some CEOs are also coming out to state that they will adopt more of a hybrid model, and Spotify and Salesforce have both said that they will adopt that type of flexible approach to remote working.
It may simply come down to things like the industry sector and the way that those individual businesses like to work collaboratively, or not, and where a scheduled Teams or Zoom call just can’t replace the spontaneous, on the fly impact sessions, collaborations and debates that make that company what it is. If remote working has any negative impact on culture or productivity, then a return to the office is likely to be a major part of the outcome.
It’s a wrap! We had so much fun sponsoring Business Live’s Health & Wellbeing Event last week. Over 300 HR Managers, Wellbeing Experts and Hiring Managers signed up to share their experiences and learn some helpful wellbeing tips from our panel of expert speakers.
Couldn’t make it? We’ve put together some of the highlights for you here.
Our first speaker Emilie discussed her own experiences supporting mental health during lockdown. She described how setting time aside to purely focus on self-care is vital, whether that’s through fitness or just settling down with a good book.
Emilie works with Document Logistix to deliver centralised document management systems, which has proved hugely important to businesses during the lockdown period. You can find their website here.
Daryl works closely with businesses to improve their performance through the life-work effect. This is achieved by forming daily habits in 4 key areas: Smart Action, Productivity Mastery, Work-Life Balance (or Life-Work Balance!), and Wellbeing. Daryl even gave some top tips on how to manage the return to the office, with the main takeaway to have more fun. Have a 5-minute huddle at the start of every working day with a short, fun team exercise, to help boost your employees’ mood and thus their productivity.
If you want some extra action points on how to improve your productivity, you can sign up for Daryl’s next free event here.
With over 20 years in the industry, Navrita gave some excellent insights into Equality and Diversity in the workplace. Her top tips included ensuring your business is promoting equality of opportunity, so that all your employees’ needs are being met – for example, providing the right equipment for those who require extra support. Giving your employees the confidence to share their needs is also a must, through a supportive working environment with zero tolerance policies and staff support groups.
Talking through his own experiences, Michael gave us some deep insights into how burnout can unexpectedly happen to you. In a world where many employees put themselves under stress and pressure to succeed, self-care and wellbeing in a corporate environment is important. This drove Michael to launch Create Space, a global retreat and workshop service for businesses to support employee self-care, and equip them with tools for personal growth.
You can book yourself on one of Michael’s bespoke learning and development workshops here.
Jon operates one of the biggest mental health services in Milton Keynes, Arthur Ellis. Aptly using the imagery of bananas and donuts, Jon discussed how Banana Behaviours (Moving, Focusing Attention, Communicating, Learning, and Helping Others) all contribute positively towards health. When these behaviours are interrupted, or we indulge a bit too much in Donut Behaviours (wine, Netflix etc.), our overall health can decline. Making sure you have a good balance between these behaviours positively impacts your health.
You can find a wide range of useful mental health guides and support on the Arthur Ellis website here.
Our final speaker, Ravi, shared how physical health can help lead to better mental health, and employee wellbeing. After great success in the business world, in 2019 Ravi turned his sights to helping corporate workers transform their physical health, and launched his wellness brand Ravi Summan Wellness. Ravi recommends encouraging your workers to exercise throughout the week, setting aside time to keep their physical and mental health strong.
After a successful event, we are greatly looking forward to the next one and hope to see you there. More details to follow…
To watch the recording of the event, click here (passcode: F*1ZXkY#)
Smart Recruit Online are happy to share that we are once again sponsoring Business Live’s free Health & Wellbeing Event on the 25th of February. If you are a HR manager, Wellbeing Expert or Hiring Manager looking for extra ways to support your staff with their mental and physical health, this event is well worth signing up to.
Employee mental health and wellbeing are topics that have been gaining a lot of traction in businesses. This is now even more so the case, with many people working from home and looking for support from their employers as we continue to navigate a ‘new normal’.
Business Live’s Health and Wellbeing Event aims to give you the tools to help support your employees for years to come. With a fantastic virtual panel of expert speakers on the subject, you will gain insight into their own experiences and practical solutions that you can bring into your business to improve staff wellbeing.
Research has found that happier employees lead to higher productivity, staff retention and ultimately, a more successful business. Fostering a positive work culture around staff wellbeing will help this, and this event gives you the tools to do just that. Better yet, a good working culture will be attractive to any future talent looking to join your business.
Last year’s event hosted to over 90 HR managers, business owners, and hiring managers. There was extremely positive feedback, with many attendees stating they would come again.
3.00pm – Registration and entry to the zoom call
3.05pm – Welcome Victoria Beale, CEO Business Live UK
3.10pm – Emilie Barlow-Martin – Document Logistix
3.20pm – Q and A
3.25pm – Daryl Woodhouse – ABP/ DW/ Mental Fitness and Productivity
3.35pm – Q and A
3.40pm – Navrita Atwal – Equality Council UK
3.50pm – Q and A
4.00pm – Michael Stephens – Corpwell
4.10pm – Jon Manning – Arthur Ellis Mental Health
4.20pm – Q and A
4.30pm – Ravi Summan – Ravi Summan Wellness
4.40pm – Q and A
4.45pm – Mark Glenister – Black Dog/ Corpwell
4.50pm – Q and A
4.55pm – Arran Stewart – Job.com
5.05pm – Q and A
5.10pm – 10 sec delegate introductions
5.30pm – Close
You can sign up to attend the event for FREE here
Now that the UK Supreme Court has ruled that Uber drivers are actually ‘workers’, what does this mean for the future of the Gig Economy as we know it?
In this landmark case, the Supreme Court has now ruled that drivers using the Uber App must be classified as workers, rather than self-employed contractors.
OK, so this has been going on for some time and Uber themselves have already lost three previous cases at the UK highest court of appeal, but this was Uber’s last chance to overturn appeal rulings in 2017 (Employment Appeal Tribunal) and 2018 (High Court).
The courts had been clear all along that the drivers were workers for the purposes of the Employment Rights Act 1996, the National Minimum Wage Act 1998 and the Working Time Regulations 1998 and as such they were entitled to the protections afforded under the legislation.
Well firstly, thousands of Uber drivers are now entitled to the National Minimum or Living Wage and holiday pay as workers of the company and this means that this is likely to be a massive rush of literally thousands of Uber drivers making compensation claims.
It also means that Uber will need to drastically change the way they recruit workers. With the business now being even more liable for their workers and impacted by any resignations, screening of candidates will need to be more thorough to avoid any issues.
This is likely to set a precedence for similar claims from workers of other organisations and that will result in a significant rethink of how their business models work.
If Gig workers are entitled to full-time employee conditions, then why not just employ them full time in the future?
If companies cannot enjoy the commercial benefits of this arrangement and are forced to employ people under normal contractual terms, then prices will go up and services may subsequently be effected.
Think home food delivery, shopping, amazon, eBay, etc all these companies have adapted to the same-day/next-day delivery model, and we love it don’t we?
This decision by the Supreme Court mirrors other legal developments in this area around the world, with many other jurisdictions now considering the employment status of those in the gig economy.
This latest unanimous decision is likely to not only guide future decisions in the UK but also have a wider impact on policymakers and courts around the world.
The first quarter of the year is often a busy time for recruitment in the transport & logistics industry, but this year the UK market is experiencing new challenges and seeing new trends. There are many factors contributing to this change, with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the UK’s recent exit from the European single market sitting at the forefront.
At no other time in recent years has the importance of the supply chain been more obvious. The Financial Times reports that developments in digital technology are having a transformative effect on the industry, and with employee priorities changing rapidly too, the roles available in logistics are adjusting to require new skills and abilities. For those looking for a career change or a new role in logistics, what are the areas to focus on to access a fresh and challenging occupation? (more…)