Flexible Friendly?

The term ‘flexible working’ encompasses the range of non-9 to 5 hours including: working from home, part-time work, and job-sharing.  

From June 2014, any employee with more than 26 weeks continuous employment has been able to make a request for flexible working.  Further, The Labour Party have recently said that they intend to make flexible working a right for all employees.

The Bedroom:  The Office of the Future?

There is more than one theory to origins of the 9 – 5 working day concept.  The one I like is reformer, Robert Owen’s, concept of, “Eight hours labour, Eight hours recreation, Eight hours rest”,  as the most productive state for the working man.  Hence, in theory, we work from 9 – 5, and sleep and play during the other 16 hours of the day.   Now as anyone who has clicked the link will see, Mr Owen wrote this back during the 1800s. At this time we were talking mostly about factory and labour intensive work which also relied upon daylight hours.  Now, as the job market continues to develop, and we spend more and more of our working lives online, there is a creeping acceptance that remote working is the future one way or another.  Yet, there is still a resistance to the idea of employees not being physically present in the office. Continue reading “Flexible Friendly?”

Acting on Disability, Equality, and Autism – how does the law help?

A quick look at both the Equality Act and the Autism Act and how they support people with autism.

Most of us who work with people in any capacity will be familiar on some level with the Equality Act 2010 or the earlier Disability Discrimination Act 1995 which the Equality Act replaced.  But did you also know that there is a full piece of legislation devoted specifically to autism?  It’s the Autism Act 2009.

I am going to take a quick look at both the Equality Act and the Autism Acts to see how they help support people with autism. Continue reading “Acting on Disability, Equality, and Autism – how does the law help?”

Help! What do I do with Unpaid Workers?

8 Strategies for Successfully Managing Volunteers

Whatever you choose to call them – volunteers, interns, work experience students, or helpers – at some point most organisations will have unpaid workers on the premises and need to think about volunteer management. For example:

  • Schools – parent helpers on trips out or special events such as school discos.
  • Religious organisations – the ladies and gentlemen who help out at the refectory after service and tidy the place of worship.
  • Youth organisations – your child’s Saturday morning football or coach or match referee, or their Sunday School leaders.
  • And most businesses these days will provide work experience and internships for people interested in a new career, with some choosing to utilise their services more than others.

Continue reading “Help! What do I do with Unpaid Workers?”

Plus ça Change, Plus ça Doncaster

If only all AI were this cute!

The Guardian published an article a few weeks ago about how Doncaster, once a coal mining heartland, then a waste-ground, has now reinvented itself as a hub for distribution centres.  Fittingly, it has three of the beauties just for Amazon – the website which has been accused of destroying high street retail. Continue reading “Plus ça Change, Plus ça Doncaster”

7 Strategies for Successful Teambuilding

Mary Donné Strategies for Teambuilding
Do you love or hate teamwork?

“Teamwork makes the dream work”

“There is no ‘I’ in ‘team’.

“None of us is as smart as all of us.”

How many times have you seen or heard these phrases? And do they make your heart sing or sink?

The French have their own phrase for team work; ‘esprit de corps’. This phrase combines the concepts of unity and a shared vision which two or more people feel when they are actively working towards a common goal. In an ideal world, the team is bigger than the sum of its parts and has a synergy and momentum that moves it along. Together, we are told, the team can jump over any metaphorical obstacles in its path. Continue reading “7 Strategies for Successful Teambuilding”

The Unstoppable March of Neurodiversity in the Workplace

Credit: The Curly Hair Project

The UK workplace is quickly automating at a time when we are facing a both a skills and labour shortage. Estimates suggest that there are 700,000 people in the UK who are on the Autistic Disorder Spectrum, but only 16% of them in the full time workplace.  Employers know that in order to drive the digital workplace forward, we have to reevaluate the UK’s untapped pool of neurodiverse talent. Continue reading “The Unstoppable March of Neurodiversity in the Workplace”

7 things which may surprise you about Zero Hours Contracts

Most zero hours contracts will give staff ‘worker’ employment status.  This means they have the same workplace rights as regular employees although any break in continuous employment may affect these. Zero Hours Workers (‘ZHWs’) are usually entitled to be paid the National Minimum Wage, holiday pay, and reimbursement for e.g. work related travel in the same way that regular employees would be. Continue reading “7 things which may surprise you about Zero Hours Contracts”

Staff Training and Development – An Employer’s Crossroads of Danger and Opportunity

Sadly, staff training is often viewed as an an expendable cost.  Traditionally, it has been seen as a ‘nice to have’ afterthought rather than something to be planned for and invested in. Why?  Well, as a small business owner myself, I can vouch that most start-ups in their early days walk a fine line when it comes to disposable income and choosing what to spend money on Continue reading “Staff Training and Development – An Employer’s Crossroads of Danger and Opportunity”

Do I need to pay my Intern?

In the last two decades, internship and the use of interns has gone from being something which was occasionally offered by big companies on a loose short term basis, to being a normal part of a (usually young) job seeker’s career path.  Their use is particularly prevalent in professional services companies such as law firms and banks where internship is often used as an audition for employment, and in media and creative type companies and advertising agencies who value the fresh new ideas that interns can bring.  Naturally, there has been a ‘trickle down’ in their usage with many smaller companies extending out their traditional 2 week work experience placements to longer internships to the more typical university undergrad, down to year 11+ school students. Continue reading “Do I need to pay my Intern?”