We’re often approached by companies and individuals who’d like to speak at our events. Our presentation slots are filled by a mix of invitation, Google searches, and direct approach from speakers and we’re always interested to hear from potential presenters. Please note the following guidelines:
Speakers should be:
– Recognised experts in their field &/or occupier/client-side professionals, and
– Experienced presenters and good communicators – ideally TED or TEDx level, and
– Active on social media with a reasonably-sized following – Twitter and LinkedIn.
– Familiar with our audience. We love it if our speakers have already been to one or more of our events. That way they know our audience – who are VERY well informed, friendly, but also challenging.
Subject matter should be:
– Pitch-free, and
– Original theory, backed up by research, or
– Results of recent research, or
– Relevant case studies
£££: – We do not accept payment in return for speaking slots. Period. Sponsoring does not mean you can speak.
– Equally we do not generally have large budgets to pay speakers, but we do expect to at least cover expenses and we like to think we’re quite nice people to deal with!
As digital natives, millennials in the workplace grew up in the first generation of laptops, smartphones, and tablets. Today, it is quickly growing as the future of business with more than four million remote workers in the UK. Their ability to embrace innovation and handle mobile technology offer unique career opportunities and businesses. A recent report by The Modern Workplace 2018, showed that workers from many countries are choosing to spend more time working from home or during their travels. Meanwhile, the UK is comparatively slow in embracing these changes, which could negatively impact worker satisfaction.
With millennials continuing to be the driving force behind this career change, remote work has quickly shifted from short-lived trends to a booming practice in thousands of companies across the globe. Approximately 77% of millennials believe that flexible work hours are key to boosting career satisfaction and productivity, while 37% are, or are currently planning to, work on their own.
These are digital natives that grew up in a world full of technology. They are also diverse, and Gen Z has been forced to face many global issues that previous generations struggled with, such as immigration, same-sex marriage, alternative sexual lifestyles, equal gender pay, and more. However, the most distinctive characteristic of Gen Z is their sense of entrepreneurship. Here are some reasons why millennials and technology are changing the future workplace.
Adapting to Work Flexibility
According to the 2017 Deloitte Millennial Survey, research states that two out of three millennials claim their employers have adapted to flexible work arrangements. They found that the greater the flexibility, the higher the results were in company satisfaction, productivity, and engagement among millennial employees. In the United Kingdom, 37% of companies offer flexibility for their staff. While the number of flexible employees continues to grow, so do the hours of team collaboration lost and the lack of human contact. As a result, the rise of working from home and flexible hours has led to an increased investment in Skype or video conferencing chats. However, younger millennials are keen on being productive outside the traditional 9-5 job and working anywhere with Wi-Fi.
Diversity in the Remote Workforce
According to Adam Smiley Poswolsky, workplace speaker and best-selling author, it is the flexibility of the hours you’re working that defines the role you have. Experts say that, in order to strengthen your candidacy, you must tailor your resume to each remote job that you apply to. Looking outside of the physical limitations of the company allows candidates the freedom to apply and provide a diverse pool of applicants. While the millennial generation continues to raise its influence and demands, our competitive nature allows us to work and solve problems, interact, and develop communication in multiple cultures and languages.
Investment in Technology
Companies with a remote staff have the opportunity to save money and invest in training. The term “smart working,” allows individuals the freedom to work away from the office, at home, local café, or as they travel. This will enable employees to stay connected no matter where they are located across the globe. As Generation Z continues to enhance its technological skills, we will continue to see the increased adoption of team communication and collaboration tools, whether they are used in the workplace or online.
While the nature of the workplace has changed dramatically within the past decade, the advancement in technology is moving faster than ever. It is estimated that technology will increase up to 32% more from where it is now. This will impact every aspect of management – from how businesses retain and attract employees to how employees communicate and collaborate.
Due to the powerful advancements in communication and technology, moving the physical workplace online will enable the millennial generation to combine life between work and home, as well as achieve balance in both. While our human needs are to be social and collaborate as a team, balancing flexibility and discipline is the key to a successful remote workplace.
Never before has productivity at work been so important. With tight deadlines and tightening budgets, this is now the key to success for businesses these days. There were an estimated 137.3 million working days lost due to sickness or injury in the UK in 2016, as reported by the Office for National Statistics. How can this be reduced and productivity optimised?
Mind fit and productive
Employee’s mental fitness can be affected by financial worries causing stress and sleepless nights, negatively affecting productivity. Many human resources departments are now focusing on this and introducing employee ‘Financial Wellness’ support. This way the employee has reduced stress levels over financial concerns and is able to focus on work matters increasing productivity.
Get moving for health and productivity
Physical fitness has been shown to benefit workplace productivity by improving health, energy levels and morale. This can be promoted in the workplace by making the environment more exercise-friendly. For example, larger organisations may be able to build a gym and shower facility for employee’s use during their lunch break, but failing that, an in-office piece of gym equipment or exercise bike would provide huge health benefits for both physical and mental health thereby improving workplace productivity. Just short sessions on the piece of equipment would provide fantastic benefits to productivity that would far outweigh the loss of time spent doing this. Other areas employers could develop to promote health would be joining the cycle to work scheme and also ensuring healthy food choices and snacks are readily available to employees.
Achieve a reduction in presenteeism and absenteeism
Being present in the workplace is not sufficient in itself to increasing productivity, especially for some individuals who, for one reason or another, are less motivated and prefer to chat and drink coffee to excess. Presenteeism is a term for lack of productivity by an employee during the time they’re in work. This may be caused by lack of drive, low morale or genuine ill health without taking time off.
Feeling healthy and fit is likely to make someone feel more dynamic and energetic, be less prone to physical illness, and hence reduce their presenteeism. Being physically and mentally fit will also reduce the number of illnesses acquired and resultant absenteeism or presenteeism. A good workplace policy is to encourage absenteeism in the event of genuine illness rather than promoting ‘soldiering on’ when ill, which is often a result of employee job insecurity. The implications of excess presenteeism for an employer are far worse than having some absenteeism.
Way forward for managing productivity
Great management within your organisation can produce great productivity. Always make employees feel listened to, valued and included in decisions that will affect their working environment. Managers should always motivate by their own example i.e. behave the way they’d like all the employees to, with the emphasis on high standard and commitment. With morale, commitment, health, and fitness at their best there are no limits to the success of a business.
2018 sees several workplace trends that aim to enhance a company’s overall performance. With an aging pool of labour and difficulties in securing experienced and senior talent, now more than ever is HR taking a serious look at the factors that affect productivity in the workplace. Apart from people analytics and mental wellbeing, financial wellness is also viewed as a critical factor that may affect the performance of an employee. Loss of concentration, mental problems, inability to focus, anxiety, tension, and stress are counterproductive factors that affect an employee with financial problems. The good news is companies and management are finding ways to improve the situation.
Loss of Concentration
Financial well-being has evidently an effect on an employee’s ability to focus on the job. The feeling of insecurity overwhelms and is overpowering which in turn affects the capacity to concentrate on tasks. A person who is not focused might be distracted and cannot zero in on their duties and responsibilities at work. It is vital that an employee finds ways to regain concentration at the workplace.
Without focus, employees who are going through financial difficulties are more likely to perform poorly at work. Money problems cause sleep deprivation resulting in low productivity levels. The ability to think critically, solve problems and meet work output & targets are affected.
Work Fatigue & Burnout
Money issues also result in fatigue and burnout that affect social relationships at work. Employees may tend to keep to themselves, have little incentive to cooperate on work matters and are not generally motivated. In addition, about 10 million working days are lost each year due to stress (Thomsons, 2017).
Employees who strongly feel that their current jobs do not pay enough for them to live decently will be looking for better-paying employment. As a result, employee turnover is high costing the company lots of money to hire and train new workers.
Financial stress and anxiety have been getting the companies’ attention. Recognizing that the well-being of workers is very important in their overall performance, companies start to offer financial wellness solutions. Thomsons Online Benefits 2016/17 reports that companies that offer education and financial support enjoy a 22% increase in engagement amongst its employees. According to research conducted by Nudge, 66% of employers believe that borrowing and debt management are crucial in attaining financial wellness in 2018. It also indicated that 92% of employer respondents believe that the best financial wellness strategy should be part of an ongoing financial education programme combined with suitable employee benefits.
Despite employers saying that they want to improve their employee’s financial well-being, there is little evidence to show that the gap between aspiration and support to employees is becoming narrow, according to the same study.
Nonetheless, recognition of the problem is the first step and hopefully, more employers will follow up on a financial wellness strategy for the benefit of their employees and the company.
One of the biggest trends in the UK for businesses is the health and well-being of the employees. As employees choose to stay at work beyond the average retirement age, these programs are becoming more important than in the past. Companies must address an ageing work population while continuing to concentrate on other health issues. In response, many companies are offering health care options to help employees stay healthier longer.
Technology On the Table
Some companies are offering employees technology-assisted health monitoring, such as fitness trackers. These wearable devices offer feedback regarding sleep, exercise, food intake, and more. Employees monitor their own health, and some companies respond with contests built around the data collected by the device. Overall, the result is an engaged office and less illness-related absences. Other technology, such as updated, cushioned chairs or more comfortable wheelchair covers for those who require them are also making appearances. In addition to fitness trackers, businesses are implementing workout rooms, wellness clubs, and relaxation areas with technologically advanced equipment to improve overall employee health.
Mental Health Included
Companies are beginning to realise that improved mental health leads to improved employee production. As a result, many are offering extra breaks, longer vacations, relaxation areas, and other incentives to encourage employees to care for their mental health. The use of mental health services is encouraged by some companies, while others are working toward a better home/life balance. Some companies may start small with monthly accolades or meetings to recognize exemplary work, while others will be building on existing successful programs. The trend into the new year will be towards improved employee mental health facilities.
As mentioned above, incentives to keep employees healthy help, and are on track to be a new trend. Incentives, such as a free meal for checking blood pressure or an extra perk for joining a walking club, help encourage employees to participate. Additionally, more bosses are participating in health programs, which helps employees step up. The trend will be toward office challenges, such as charity walks or recreational sport team creations. Businesses will also begin offering incentives for employees who make regular doctor’s visits, as The Telegraph reports that statistically, many Brits do not get their vitals checked regularly.
Businesses are learning that healthy employees lead to a healthy company. The work environment is improved, days off are lessened, and production is improved. Further, the workforce is ageing, increasing the demand for health care. The trend toward better health care overall will be in overdrive in 2018.
Every week, there are new studies released that expand our understanding of how the brain works. You can turn a blind eye to these advances. Or, you can learn to put them to work for you and your organisation. Here are some tricks for optimising neurological performance that are grounded in science.
1. Monitor Yourself
Gone are the days of using a mood ring to study behaviour. There are now biosensor devices that measure your mood, respiratory rate, heart rate variability, and brain waves. For instance, you can translate EEG data into something you can understand and monitor your brain activity using a wireless headset from Emotiv. From there, you can understand when and how to prime yourself for optimum performance.
2. Eat Plenty of Vegetables and Fruits
Your brain and body suffer when you eat foods that are highly processed or have too much sugar. It impairs cognition and alters blood flow to the brain. This is why cognitive dysfunction is more common in diabetics. Natural whole foods offer a more constant, slower source of glucose to help with neurological performance. This means workplace cafeterias should focus on offering plenty of fish, unsaturated fats, cereals, fruits, and vegetables.
3. Meditate and Manage Stress
Chronic stress causes memory loss, and brain cells die when cortisol levels remain chronically high. Therefore, stress management is a must. Working memory in the brain gets a boost from meditation. Meditation has been shown to lower stress, increase cerebral blood flow, and improve focus, mood, and concentration by activating specific parts of the brain.
4. Cross-train the Brain
Stepping out of your cognitive comfort zone is crucial for neurological health. For instance, you should take up hiking if you generally play chess. Learn a new language if you mainly engage in physical activities. And, in the workplace, this may mean having staff work on projects that are not necessarily their strong suit.
5. Encourage Exercise
New blood vessels and cells are generated in the brain through consistent biking, jogging, and other aerobic exercises. Also, your brain’s volume increases in the temporal and frontal areas where working memory and planning go on. A workplace fitness centre and special programs will encourage the gains that can be had from engaging in aerobic exercise at least three times per week for half an hour to an hour.
As we learn more and more about how the brain functions, there are sure to be more “hacks” for getting more out of yourself and your employees.
Workplace Trends will keep you up to date with the latest research. Consider also signing up to attend our London Workplace Trends Spring Summit on 7 March 2018 where we’ll be presenting the best in recently published research about Work and the Workplace.
New research by Office Genie has discovered many of Britain’s workplaces are not catering to employees’ needs. Workspaces are lacking distinct, tailor-made areas that could enable employees to work more effectively – particularly introverted workers.
Key points of interest:
Most people don’t have the spaces they need to do their job effectively
People want chill-out zones, private spaces and quiet areas
Introverts in particular would benefit from the introduction of private, quiet spaces
After surveying 1,456 British office workers, it was revealed the majority of workplaces do not have areas that aid lone-working (67%), offer privacy (54%), or opportunities for quiet work (58%). They also do not have spaces that promote collaboration (45%) or provide chill-out areas for staff (74%).
Respondents were asked if their workplace allows them to carry out their work comfortably and 20% stated it does not. Worryingly, of that number, 70% claim it affects their desire to come to work. In terms of improved wellbeing and productivity, chill-out areas, quiet areas, and private spaces are top of workers’ lists.
The findings showed quiet areas and private spaces would be of particular benefit to introverts in the office. Nearly a third (30%) of those identifying as introverts believe a quiet area would help with their wellbeing, compared to 22% of extroverts. Introverts believe private work stations would provide a boost to productivity: 24%, compared to 17% of extroverts. When a large percentage of the workforce identify as introverts (41%) , this is clearly worth bearing in mind.
Robert Hicks, Group HR Director at global employee engagement company Reward Gateway, offers his insight: “An engaged employee knows the company’s purpose, mission and objectives. In turn, they make better decisions for the company, are more productive and innovate more. Studies have shown that workplace satisfaction correlates highly with engagement; the most engaged employees rate their workplace in the 90th percentile.
“The workplace can change and impact productivity, happiness and engagement, both positively and negatively. Changes that alter an employee’s existing behaviours and habits can be incredibly disruptive. Therefore, you need to cater for a variety of behaviours and habits, from introverts to extroverts, as well as consider how to guide employees through any changes you intend to make.”
Gareth Jones, of office furniture manufacturer Kit Out My Office, adds: “Office workers will often spend a large amount of time sat at a desk or in meeting rooms, so it is important that these spaces are designed in a way that the employees like.
“I am not just talking about making a room look prettier, I’m also talking about improving the functionality to cater for everyone’s needs. For example, if you have staff members that want quiet spaces to make phone calls, why not designate a room or perhaps divide a room by creating multiple snugs for people to take their calls privately, without other people listening in.
“In addition to the above, there’s also a strong argument for having breakaway areas for people to have discussions with colleagues. Don’t think of traditional meeting rooms, think of spaces of relaxation by incorporating sofas or armchairs. They are excellent places for relieving stress or making a meeting feel less formal.”