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Employees Becoming ‘Emotionally Remote’ During Coronavirus

More than half (52%) of UK employees have said that the boundaries between their work and home life are becoming increasingly blurred due to working from home during the coronavirus pandemic.

According to insurance provider Aviva’s new Embracing the Age of Ambiguity report, employees said they are becoming emotionally remote whilst working from home. 

Just 15% agreed that their employer is trying hard to understand what motivates them, and a quarter (26%) said their employer is genuinely concerned about their wellbeing. 

Speaking to HR magazine, Paul Wilson, chief marketing officer at Aviva UK Life, Savings and Retirement said that employees’ needs and expectations have evolved while remote working. 

He said: “Our evidence suggests that employees are increasingly ‘plodding’ through work. 

“They seek work-life balance, control over career progression and help with wellbeing and retirement planning. Understanding employee motivations is a key opportunity for HR teams to strengthen engagement and combat the sense of ‘employee drift’ in the workplace.” 

The majority (73%) of employees surveyed said where they work hasn’t changed since the start of the March lockdown. This has reportedly had an impact on employee mental health. 

Two in five (43%) employees described their wellbeing as being less than good, and more than a third (34%) said they did carry on working even when they felt unwell. 

Heightened anxiety has also led to employees working longer hours and taking fewer sick days over a three-month period (67% in February vs. 84% in August). 

While the report suggested responsibility is on employers to ensure they provide the right environment for employee work-life balance and wellbeing to thrive, it stated it is “a two-way street” and employees need to play their part too. 

Fifty-four per cent of UK employees said that their employer has worked hard to create a sense of ‘company togetherness’. They are predominantly doing this by embracing an open dialogue and communicating future working arrangements, according to 60% of employees. 

In the report, Laura Stewart Smith, workplace savings manager at Aviva said: “A new ‘psychological contract’ will only work if it’s based on the same unambiguous outcome – better mental health and financial and physical wellbeing – and each party should play their respective roles to uphold this.” 

In response to the report’s findings, Aviva made a series of recommendations it believes will help employers reset relationships with employees. 

It advised that employers should personalise mental health and wellbeing support; maintain a sense of purpose, clarity and autonomy in the workplace; prepare workers for fuller working lives and the transition from work to retirement and create more targeted interventions by understanding personality types.

By Emma Greedy HRMagazine

Covid-19 Changing employee Motivations

A recent study has revealed 96% of job seekers questioned would now not consider working for a company with a poor Covid-19 record.

The study, conducted by online job board Zoek and Neil Harrison from NH237 employment consultancy, looked at if Covid-19 was affecting employees’ opinion regarding their current and future employers.

Results revealed a significant change in the priorities of employees, with how a company treats its staff now much more of a concern. An overwhelming 93% of the 1,134 part and full-time workers surveyed said they would now choose a less successful company that supported employees over a more successful one that did not. The study also revealed that people are much more likely to conduct their own research into prospective employers, with issues such as remote working and workplace social distancing now important factors.

Regarding the findings, Diana Campbell, managing director at Zoek, said;

It is really interesting to see how motivations on moving jobs have changed since the job market has started opening back up. It is more important than ever to provide flexibility and confidence to candidates, which is something we have seen a high volume of searches for on Zoek.”

The survey also revealed that 57% of people felt their employers had communicated well during the lockdown. However, 17% said they had not heard anything from their employers, and only a third knew their employers’ plans for the next six months. The impact of covid-19 will change relations, and expectations, moving forward between employers and employees.

The behaviour of companies during the lockdown was a hot topic, with 55% admitting to sharing stories on social media, both good and bad, regarding their employers’ behaviour. Neil Harrison, lead consultant at NH237 Consulting, said the findings revealed the need for companies to communicate better the good things they have done during the shutdown. He said,

“I truly believe that what an organisation presents to the outside world in terms of candidate attraction has to be born out of the internal employee experience and prevailing culture. This report has further proved that even in the current climate, candidates aren’t willing to go just anywhere to take the next step in their career.”

DWP Connected Community Recruitment Support
June 15, 2020
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DWP commissions partners across the country to support jobseekers and employers to come together. 

Each partner delivers a service that enables jobseekers to access sustainable work in a local area with an employer like you. 

In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, this site will enable you to connect with your local DWP partner to quickly fill vacancies. 

They will help you identify jobseekers with suitable skills for your roles and prepare them to begin working for you.  To find out more visit https://www.dwppartners.co.uk

© The Prime Providers Partnership

Why Remote Work Isn’t Going Away Anytime Soon
January 7, 2020
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BY JESSICA STEVENS—GLASSDOOR

A narrative has taken hold over the past few years that asserts that the future of work will be dominated by robots, AI programs, and other technological marvels that strip humans entirely away from the workplace. 

Despite all the hubbub being raised over certain new technologies, however, the future of work is increasingly going to be dominated by remote working, which is quickly taking hold around the globe thanks to the productive results it delivers to business owners.

Here’s why the future of work is remote, and why so many companies around the world are rushing to let their employees work from wherever works best for them.

REMOTE EMPLOYEES ARE SIMPLY MORE PRODUCTIVE

The biggest driver of the pivot to a remote workforce that’s currently underway in our market is that remote employees simply produce better results than their traditional counterparts. While many critics of remote working used to assert that letting employees work from home would drain them of their productive spirit, the past few years have produced conclusive evidence that employees who spend a bulk of their working hours outside of the office are vastly happier and more productive.

Recent research from Gallup, for instance, notes that those workers who spend about three to four days of the week working offsite are substantially more engaged in their jobs than traditional counterparts who are stuck behind desks all day. The logic behind this productivity boost is actually quite easy to understand; by giving workers more control over their personal lives and permitting them to schedule their work-life balance accordingly, companies are making them happier and more fulfilled as they enable Average Joes to become workplace superstars.

THE IOT IS MERGING WORKSPACES AND LIVING SPACES

As Jacob Morgan recently posited in his book The Future Of Work, the IoT is driving companies everywhere to produce products and services which cater directly to consumers while they’re still enjoying the comforts of the home. Smart thermostats, AI home assistants, and interconnected electric systems have made the modern household a “smart home,” which is why it’s so easy for most workers to plug directly into their workspace while they’re sitting in their kitchens.

Morgan accurately noted that companies everywhere simply have an easier time of finding talent that’s willing to work from home right now than ever before; the big data revolution and the rise of the ubiquitous IoT effectively created the gig economy we’re all so familiar with these days. Now, if a small business or a major corporation needs to rely on a select expert, they turn to the web and start searching for an independent freelancer who can get them the information they need at an affordable price.

THE ERA OF CONVENIENCE HAS ARRIVED

Thanks to the fact that more and more people are working remotely, consumers everywhere can say hello to a new era of convenience. With freelance workers and remote employees able to more precisely adjust their scheduling, customers will be able to find an expert on demand at any time of the day. While most businesses close their doors at 5 pm or shortly thereafter, the remote workforce is effectively always available. There will be some challenges to this, naturally; work-related stress may go upward, for instance, and employees who are working from home will need strict discipline to master work-life balance as the lines between the home and office get blurry.

Nonetheless, the benefits of the remote workforce mean that in the near future, we’ll likely see more leaders in a wide variety of industries embracing the concept, especially as automating technologies and cheaper software makes it easier for employees to accomplish great things from far away. Before remote working is universally accepted, however, business owners and everyday workers will need to come together to forge a new work style that accommodates the needs of a distributed workforce.

IMPLEMENTING A REMOTE WORK POLICY

Organizations looking to implement a remote work policy for their company should start with a few basic steps. First and foremost, make sure your workers are equipped with the three things they need to succeed: adequate technology, disciplinary excellence and clear instructions.

Make sure your workers have a laptop, tablet or desktop that can help them tackle their tasks, and consider investing in a company-wide software sponsorship program that lets them install important software directly to their personal devices so that they can use them for business, too.

Next, it’s imperative that you stress disciplinary excellence; workers at home don’t have a manager peering over their shoulder, so they have to act as their own boss and maintain a strict schedule to get things done. Don’t try to dictate every aspect of their lives–remote work is effective because it offers workers flexibility, after all. Nonetheless, be sure that you’re requesting regular status updates, and that you have a system in place to measure productivity.

Finally, never let your workers wander alone–make sure they have clear instructions and achievable milestones that guide them as they work from the comfort of their home. This is perhaps the most important step for you, as it’s where you’ll be demonstrating your leadership by giving concise, yet clear, instructions that can be carried out even if you’re not present to immediately answer questions.

Do this while placing faith in your remote workers, and your business will soon be a thriving, cutting-edge organization.


This article originally appeared on Glassdoor 

One-fifth of Workforce in Canada, the United States, Ireland and the United Kingdom Looking for New Job
October 25, 2019
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Overall, about one in five (21 per cent) of workers are looking for a new job. And the greatest flight risk is for those in IT, finds a survey by Workhuman.

One-third (34 per cent) of workers in that sector are looking for a new job, compared to biotech, consumer goods and services, technology and telecom (each 28 per cent), industrial (25 per cent), engineering (24 per cent), financial and business services (23 per cent), insurance and retail (both 22 per cent) and health care (19 per cent).

And what are they looking for exactly? Meaningful work ranks as most important across all age groups, finds the survey of more than 3,500 full-time workers in Canada, the United States, Ireland and the United Kingdom.

Compensation and perks come in second, especially for those aged 35 to 64, followed by a supportive manager, positive company culture and fun team (especially among those 18 to 34).

People are looking at work in a different way, says Sarah Hamilton, director of HR at Workhuman in Framingham, Mass., provider of cloud-based human capital management software solutions.

“The world of work has changed so tremendously, where we’ve gone from this industrial era — where it was all about employees coming to work, and getting a paycheck, and almost like cogs on a wheel — to the human era, which is what it is today, which is we are looking at employees for their holistic skills and what they bring to the table.”

It’s not just about what people can do but what’s in their hearts and minds, she says.

“The industrial era is over and it is now the human era. And the human era is really based on this notion of people being able to expect more from out of the workplace.”

That means employees expect their employers to provide a place where they can do their best work and they can show all of the skills and ways they can contribute, says Hamilton.

“But, also, it’s employers expecting employees to bring their best selves to work as well. This leads to a mutually beneficial culture and business results. Because companies are appreciating the employees more for just … a butt in a seat which is the way companies had once looked at it before.”

Flexibility, recognition popular perks

As for workplace perks, remote or flexible work (41 per cent) and health-care coverage (27 per cent) are the most popular, followed by an employee recognition program (seven per cent), free food (six per cent), an office gym (six per cent), on-the-job training (four per cent) and referral bonuses (four per cent), found Workhuman.

Flexible work is important to all generations, as older workers may be caring for elderly parents, she says, while younger workers, who have grown up with newer technology, want the freedom that brings.

“But I think you’re actually seeing it broaden across all groups more so than you would have.”

Workhuman is a multinational company co-headquartered in Framingham, Massachusetts and Dublin, providing cloud-based, human capital management software solutions.