Guest blog: Global warming is real, and we need to act fast - By Chris Smith - Head Writer at Spend it like Beckham

Guest blog: Global warming is real, and we need to act fast - By Chris Smith - Head Writer at Spend it like Beckham

Everyone has heard the warning signs: global warming is real, and we need to act fast. From workplace cafeterias swapping out single-use plastics and styrofoam for regular plates and utensils, to creating workspaces that fully utilise natural light to reduce electric bills or merely opting to choose a more sustainable gas and energy supplier for your business, it seems that many employers are already doing their bit to be more sustainable. But, could the real eco-heroes be home-workers and the self-employed?

Conserving Energy

One of the most significant differences between those who work from home and those who work at the office is their conservation of energy. Gas and electricity consumption in the workplace are often extremely high given the number of people and the number of computers, laptops and printers in use at any one time.

For those who chose to work from home, however, it’s a different story. Those working from home are likely to use less energy which is going to save money as well as help conserve resources, which all, in turn, helps reduce their carbon footprint and be more sustainable.

There are several ways you can save on energy by working from home. One of the big ones is, of course, turning off electricals and appliances when they aren’t in use as this will go a long way to prevent unnecessarily wasting energy. Installing solar panels, purchasing refurbished or energy-efficient equipment and reducing paper usage and printing are also significant steps forward for sustainability at home.

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Guest blog: We should all be happy to talk about flexible working - By Sir Brendan Barber - Chair - ACAS

Guest blog: We should all be happy to talk about flexible working - By Sir Brendan Barber - Chair - ACAS

Acas is very pleased to be part of the government’s flexible working taskforce, which aims to change attitudes to alternative patterns of work. One of the most welcome shifts in workplace culture would be to create working environments in which we can all say we are ‘happy to talk flexible working’.

But how can this be achieved?

Lessening the load

It’s worth taking a good hard look at modern working life. It is telling that the CIPD’s Health and Wellbeing at Work Report (2019) shows that stress is on the increase again, with 37% or organisations seeing an increase in stress-related absence, and nearly three-fifths seeing an increase in the number of mental health conditions, such as anxiety and depression. Is modern working life proving too much for many of us and, if so, what can be done?

 The report found that the chief culprit in the current stress endemic is heavy workloads (62%). Work intensification is a reoccurring workplace theme, particularly with regard to the impact of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Technology may allow us to get more work done, but it also allows managers to put up our KPIs and performance targets. This was brought home in our own research on the subject, ‘Mind over machines: new technology and employment relations’.

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Chairman's blog: Why risk Reputation? - By David Lennan - Chairman - Work Wise UK

Chairman's blog: Why risk Reputation? - By David Lennan - Chairman - Work Wise UK

Work Wise Week is here again and as I look back on the last year I think, “What a mess”.

We still can’t make our minds up about “In or out” and whether as a Nation we want to be Global or European and our recent Local Elections have once again found a population struggling with Brexit issues and politicians allowing our business community to tread water. As we head to yet another election process, this time with Europe, the peoples vote will again be cast but no real or lasting decisions will be made whilst our Parliament remains deadlocked and indecisive.

Our reputation around the world is being eroded and as we all know, once people loose trust in their business, or their political leaders, reputation sinks fast and it is very difficult if not impossible to retrieve;  this is especially so in our highly connected and instantly reported world.

I have long believed and written many blogs about how our low productivity is a symptom of poor work place management which comes down to poor leadership and poor communication.  Leadership and Management practices are the real game changers in delivering success and bad to the core Organisations don’t survive, they die from within from sloppiness and apathy. Leadership and clear communication in transformation is absolutely crucial.

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Guest blog: Mental Health is now being taken much more seriously in the workplace - by Sara Orsbourn, Operations Manager, Yofis

Guest blog: Mental Health is now being taken much more seriously in the workplace - by Sara  Orsbourn, Operations Manager, Yofis

Mental health is now being taken much more seriously in the workplace. It’s hard not to when an average of 12.5 million working days are lost to the UK economy each year according to the Economics Foundation. Many employers are providing counselling support and interventions for sufferers which is quite clearly a good thing compared to what happened in the past. 

Wouldn’t it be much more sensible however, if employers provided early interventions before people started to suffer and develop such serious issues that they needed to take extended periods of time off or even give up work altogether? 

It’s a no brainer to say that people are more likely to have better mental health when they feel positive and good about themselves. In the workplace this is likely to happen when they feel valued by their employer and their colleagues. When they have purpose which fits with the job they are doing and when they have a good work life balance. This is all something that it is within the power of an employer to do something about. Organisations need to talk to their staff and find out what is important to them and what motivates them and then they need to act on this information. 

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Guest blog: Why you should get involved with Road Safety Week - By Sam Nahk, Senior Public Affairs Officer, Brake

Guest blog: Why you should get involved with Road Safety Week - By Sam Nahk, Senior Public Affairs Officer, Brake

It’s almost that time of year again… The UK’s biggest road safety event, Road Safety Week, will run from 19–25 November, and we will be encouraging everyone to shout about the safety of those on two wheels and sharing how we can all be ‘Bike Smart’.

Cyclists and motorcyclists are among the most vulnerable of all road users; in the UK, more than a third of all people killed or seriously injured on our roads were travelling by bike. However, every single one of these crashes could have been prevented with the right policies, infrastructure and behaviours in place. That’s why this Road Safety Week we are going to do something about it.

Every single one of us has a role to play in being Bike Smart. Whether you’re a policy maker deciding on the rollout of safer speed limits, a driver committing to be alert and give bike riders plenty of space, or a cyclist/motorcyclist yourself, using safe riding behaviours and with appropriate training and equipment.

Throughout Road Safety Week we will be focusing on several key topics, where evidence indicates that significant improvements can be made to protect the safety of cyclists and motorcyclists – a crucial one of these is rural road safety. A shocking two-thirds of all deaths involving a cyclist or motorcyclist take place on a rural road and the cause can often be attributed to speed. We believe that the current 60mph default limit is far too high for many of these roads and is a key factor in their increased risk – rest assured we will be making this point loud and clear.

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