Tag Archives: home working

Capita To Close Over A Third Of Offices Permanently

Capita to close over a third of offices permanently

Outsourcing firm Capita is to close over a third of its offices in the UK permanently, the BBC understands. The firm, which is a major government contractor, is to end its leases on almost 100 workplaces.

Business lobby group CBI has warned that the fall in office working is damaging city centre economies.

“It’s the biggest experiment we’ve ever had in homeworking”

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A Capita spokesman said: “We take seriously the responsibilities we have to the communities in which we operate. And are mindful of the impact that potential office closures could have on small businesses.”

“Following dialogue with our employees it has become very clear that they would like to work in a more flexible way. This will involve increased working from home. But they will still spend a significant amount of their time working from offices that are based in the heart of our local communities.”

“It’s the biggest experiment we’ve ever had in homeworking,” the CIPD’s chief executive Peter Cheese told the BBC in an interview in July. “Bosses are starting to shift towards judging output, rather than the number of hours spent in front of the computer.”

Myfwl/Worklife Feed has re-adapted the write up for short minutes readers. Click here to view the original write up at www.bbc.com

City Centres ‘Risk’ Becoming ‘Ghost Towns’

Dame Carolyn Fairbairn_City Centres Risk Becoming 'Ghost Towns' If Staff Do Not Return To The Office

Dame Carolyn Fairbairn/BBC/ Warnings – City Centres ‘Risk’ Becoming ‘Ghost Towns’ If Staff Do Not Return To The Office

City centres could become “ghost towns” if the prime minister does not to do more to encourage workers to go back to the office, the head of the CBI says. Dame Carolyn Fairbairn said allowing staff to work from home had helped keep firms afloat during the pandemic.

Carolyn Fairbairn, the director-general of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), said getting staff back into offices and workplaces is as important as pupils returning to school in September.

“Remote working has been a resounding success for many firms and employees. None of these benefits should be lost.”

Check this related posts, Missing School Is Greater Risk To Kids Than COVID, Health Advisers. Or, Boris Johnson Urges Parents To Send Kids back To School.

Boris Johnson signalled an end to stay at home guidance in July as he gave employers the green light to get staff back to work. But Dame Carolyn called for the Prime Minister to do more, to get office workers back at their desks.

“Flexible working is here to stay and needs to remain an option for many. But there are serious downsides too.” 

‘Escape’ From City Centres, ‘Refuge’ Working From Home

Her plea came as a survey from University College London found, almost a third of younger workers intend to carry on working from home, the Telegraph reports.

But as offices stood empty, thousands of local businesses that relied on the passing trade were suffering, she said.

“Not everyone has the space to work effectively at home. An ironing board in the bedroom does not make a great workspace. And the mental health challenges triggered by isolation are all too real for many.”

A separate survey by the BBC found that 50 of the UK’s biggest employers have no plans to return staff to the office full-time.

However, a increasing number of employers say that home working could become a more permanent state of affairs. Though this was initially brought in as a temporary measure in the lockdown.

The law firm, Linklaters said all of its 5,300 staff could spend up to 50% of their time working remotely from now on.

Lloyds Banking Group is reviewing its office space needs and working practices. This is after concluding that most of its 65,000 staff have worked effectively from home during the crisis.

Others, including NatWest, Fujitsu, Facebook, Twitter and HSBC have also said they plan to allow much more flexible working in future.

Experts say it could allow firms to cut their rent and utilities costs, while offering employees a better work-life balance.

Can Inherent City Centres ‘Risk’ Be Causing ‘Communities Harm?’

“The UK’s offices are vital drivers of our economy,” she wrote in the Daily Mail. “They support thousands of local firms, from dry cleaners to sandwich bars. They help train and develop young people. And they foster better work and productivity for many kinds of business.”

“The costs of office closure are becoming clearer by the day. Some of our busiest city centres resemble ghost towns, missing the usual bustle of passing trade. This comes at a high price for local businesses, jobs and communities,” she said.

There is also the question of fairness. Many employees, from barbers to brewers, have no option to work from home.

The impact on local businesses has also been stark. Sandwich chain, Pret a Manger – which relies on a lunchtime work crowd – said in June it was shutting 30 outlets. It will also be cutting 1,000 jobs amid a slump in demand. It has also cut its staff’s hours.

City Centers Impact On Driving The Economy of The Future

Dame Carolyn acknowledged home working had worked well for many, and was likely to remain “an option”.

But she warned of “serious downsides,” including, a lack of opportunities to train young people, foster better work and productivity in certain types of business.

More flexible working is indisputably a good thing for our economy and quality of life, but we must have a balance.

“It’s time for the UK to bring its workplaces back to life or we will look back with regret at the jobs lost, training missed and communities harmed,” Dame Carolyn said.

In a final plea, Dame Carolyn “ask the Government to work with business to build confidence in returning to offices, starting now.”


Where we are following the story, Daily Mail, Evening Standard and BBC

Missing School Is Greater Risk To Kids Than Covid, Health Advisers


FILE PHOTO: A child gestures in a classroom at Watlington Primary School during the last day of school, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Watlington , Britain, July 17, 2020. REUTERS/Eddie Keogh/ Missing school is greater risk to kids than Covid-19

LONDON (Reuters) – The chief medical officers of the United Kingdom have said children should return to school after the summer holidays. They warn that missing out on their education, by missing school is greater risk, much bigger risks to them than catching COVID-19.

The rare joint statement came from the top health advisers to the governments of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. It represents a boost for British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. The Prime Minister had said, getting children back to school is a national priority. He now calls on parents to send their children back to school next month.

If Missing School Is Greater Risk To Kids Than Covid. Balancing Governance (Public Safety, Economic Recovery etc) Is A Risk With People’s Confidence

Confidence in the government’s approach to schooling during the coronavirus pandemic took a hit last week. This was when education minister, Gavin Williamson was forced into an embarrassing U-turn over examination results.

“Very few, if any, children or teenagers will come to long term harm from COVID-19 due solely to attending school,” they said. “This has to be set against a certainty of long-term harm to many children and young people from not attending school,” the CMOs said in a joint statement published late on Saturday.

“Missing school is greater risk not only to kids, but also to their parents. When kids return back to school, it brings some sense of normality to working parents.”

Evidence showed that a lack of schooling increased inequalities, reduced opportunities and could exacerbate physical and mental health issues, the statement said.

By contrast there was clear evidence of a very low rate of severe disease in children, even if they caught COVID-19, and an exceptionally low risk of dying.

What Hospitalisation Statistics Indicate

“The percentage of symptomatic cases requiring hospitalisation is estimated to be 0.1% for children aged 0-9 and 0.3% among those aged 10-19; compared to a hospitalisation rate of over 4% in the UK for the general population,” the statement said.

Johnson has said reopening schools in September is a social, economic and moral imperative. Insisting, they would be able to operate safely despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

Vaccines To The Risk? Not So Fast

Separately, England’s Chief Medical Officer was quoted as saying, it would be foolish to count on a coronavirus vaccine being ready for use this year.

“I think if we look forward a year. I think the chances are much greater than if we look forward six months. We need to have that sort of timescale in mind,” Chris Whitty told Sky News.

Nigeria and West Africa ‘Exit’ Examinations Continues in Full Swing

In Nigeria, the National Examinations Council (NECO) examination for students in year 9, started today across the country. Across West Africa, the 2020 West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) commenced on August 17. The West African Examinations Council (WAEC) had earlier released the timetable for the examination.

Missing school is greater risk not only to kids, but also to their parents. When kids return back to school, it brings some sense of normality to working parents. The pressures of staying safe in a pandemic, balancing worklife or searching for complementary home school support tech startups eases out. And so also, the risk on mental health and economic productivity.

How Remote-Home Work Help Build A Global Career

How Remote Work Helps This New Brunswicker Build A Global Career From Home

How Remote-Home Work Help: SAINT JOHN – Many people have been working remotely since Covid-19 shut down office spaces, but for Hilary Smith, working from home is not new. In the last three years, the arrangement has allowed her to travel the world, and later, return to live in New Brunswick while maintaining […]

“It was an amazing experience and I certainly wouldn’t trade it,”

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Click here to view the full original write up at huddle.today

Additional Perks For Remote Home-Working Employees

Additional Perks For Remote Home-Working Employees

Business Insider/ Additional Perks For Remote Home-working

In the good old days, never mind my description of what was just last year. But times have changed and at the speed of a coronavirus.

Two years ago, in 2018, Mike struggled to allow his staff the freedom of using the company’s flexi policy of working from home. He just did not believe in it. Put differently, he did not trust one of his high performing staff.

When a truce was forced, and Drake was allowed to work from home, Mike will call several times to monitor his remote worker, especially if Drake is off line for a few minutes.

When I ask Drake, who no longer work with Mike, what he thinks of those times. He smiled and wish he too can know how Mike is licking the new milk.

You may also like, Work-Life Balance Initiatives And Ideas

As usual, Mike will shrug it off, and blend easily into the new reality as a work place survival strategist

With more employees now forced to work from home, some employers are keeping an eye on their daily activities with remote monitoring technologies; tracking keystrokes, taking photos to see whether workers are sitting at their laptops and enforcing data security policies.

Why I Change My View On Additional Perks For Remote Home-Working Employees

For good reasons, some precautions are necessary. Fitness brand Garmin paid millions of dollars in ransom after an attack took many of its products and services offline, Sky News and Business Insider reports.

This is the big deal, a major reason for additional perks for remote home-working employees. I had thought, just working from home with the work life balance it offers should be enough.

Good Old Days Suite of In-house Perks to Entice New Talent and Retain Existing Employees

In recent years, sorry, in the good old days, companies were offering a suite of in-house perks to entice new talent and retain existing employees.

These services ranged from free on-site lunch services, pet-friendly offices, ping pong tables, and, at times, even cocktails and draft beer for employees to enjoy after office hours.

However, the traditional workplace has been dramatically transformed due to the coronavirus. Over the last few months, organizations around the globe have transitioned from the in-person office to the virtual workspace.

While organizations may have originally viewed this as a temporary, short-term solution, some companies are embracing remote work in the long term.

Classic Future of Additional Perks For Remote Working Employees

As employees continue to telecommute in the future, the classic perks and benefits package may need to adjust to the new normal of business operations.

Have you thought of some of the perks and benefits telecommuters should consider during the negotiation process?

Additional Perks To Negotiate As A Home-Working Employee

To start the conversation, below is a list to get you thinking. Which one comes top for you?

  1. Stipends for home office setup – you may be thinking of additional expenses to address ergonomics.
  2. Energy allowance – who should pay the extra energy cost, consumed for the additional work hours spent at home?
  3. Balance through calendar adjustments – opportunity to spread work and the working hours while handling other life calls.
  4. Enhanced medical benefits packages – go and recheck what is covered under your current medical package.
  5. Remote learning opportunities – shouldn’t this be a good opportunity to address those skills gaps without disrupting work and life?

“Many US businesses are seeing the key benefits to remote work, such as cost savings and increased efficiency, and as a result, are opting for distributed workforces permanently. However, with the massive shift to remote work, many of our traditional office norms and perks will have to evolve to address new employee needs,” said Zoë Harte, SVP, head of human resources and talent innovation at Upwork.

Getting The Future of Perks Wrong Before Coronavirus Pandemic

Writing under the heading, 9 Cool New Work Perks That Could Be In Your Future, LearnVest in 2013 included perks such as free valet parking, pets in the office with free walkers to take them out, and a Monday in a month not doing real work but day dreaming, innovating. Company paid customized diet menu, free groceries delivery, massages and a trainer were also on the list.

Closer by in early 2019, Cecilia Amador de San José stated in Employee Benefits That Will Dominate The Future of Work, that “Wellness has become a central topic in all discussions about work and the workplace. In the future of work, the line between work and life will continue to blur, if not entirely disappear”.

The wellness that people need now is a little different from the wellness she envisaged. It goes beyond offering on-site fitness classes, discounted gym memberships, meditation rooms, and workshops.

Cecilia hit the right cord when she stated that companies need to focus on “incentives and non-traditional compensation packages. Programs that will help individuals further themselves professionally and personally”.

Don’t take any perk called paid 5-week sabbatical, you are spending more than five months working from home. It is a working sabbatical!

Take a moment to reflect, in which future are you likely to be living and working in 2021?


Myfwl adapted the write up for short minutes readers. Click here to view the original write up at www.techrepublic.com. We want to hear from you. Write to us in the Comments section.