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Economy

Forget Extreme Incentives… What Does the Average UK Employee Really Want?

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New research conducted by facilities and building maintenance specialists Direct365 has revealed what perks UK employees really want from their employers, with a further survey showing that 61% of people believe they don’t receive enough incentives.

These findings correlate well with a study conducted by the Institute of Leadership & Management (ILM) in 2015, which found that 17% of the 2,000 people surveyed said they were looking for a new career due to feeling under appreciated.

A new trend has seen some of the world’s biggest companies offering “extreme employee incentives”, from catered lunches to massages. Silicon Valley leaders like Google, who offer places to nap during the day and free childcare, Netflix who offer unlimited holidays, and Scripps Healthcare, who provide free pet health insurance, are good examples of businesses that are going above and beyond for their staff.

Phil Turner, Head of Digital at Direct365, said that while free lunches and yoga classes are all well and good, employers need to think about what would really make people happy:

“Many companies tend to behave like ostriches when dealing with employee benefits. They stick their heads in the sand and believe that extreme benefits can make up for other shortcomings. However, the truth is that they aren’t necessarily offering perks that their employees really want. Much more thought needs to be put into considering exactly what the employees themselves need.”

A survey conducted by Direct365 asked the UK workforce what type of employee incentives they would most like to be offered.

The majority of respondents (35%) said that they would prefer flexible working. Whether it’s flexitime or working from home, the benefits can be mutual for both employers and employees. Companies can save money on overheads, with many also noticing a boost in productivity, whereas the workers themselves can avoid difficult commutes and have a greater work-life balance.

More than a quarter (27%) opted for a company car as their main reward.

14% said they would prefer a gym membership. An Absence Management report from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) in 2015 showed that two-fifths (41%) of businesses had seen an increase in stress-related absences (such as anxiety or depression) in a 12-month period. Gym memberships are just one way to cut this figure, taking greater care of staff’s wellbeing and ensuring they are fit and healthy for the future.

6% selected childcare vouchers. For a small but still considerable portion of the participants, childcare vouchers proved to be the most important benefit. This type of perk really highlights the importance of the work-life balance, and shows that employers consider family life to be of great importance.

Phil Turner believes that employers are missing the simple step of actually asking their staff what would make them happy:

“It sounds so basic, but the best way to find out what your employees want is to ask them. Just talk to them and you’ll likely find that they will tell you, and that the same things will crop up regularly.

“The benefits of implementing employee incentives cannot be overlooked. By focusing more on staff and showing gratitude where it is deserved, employers could be rewarded themselves with an increase in productivity, reduced absences, improved customer service and, most importantly, a reduction in the number of staff looking to move jobs.”

Economy

A Good Look At How Homes Will Become More Energy Efficient Soon

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energy efficient homes

Everyone always talks about ways they can save energy at home, but the tactics are old school. They’re only tweaking the way they do things at the moment. Sealing holes in your home isn’t exactly the next scientific breakthrough we’ve been waiting for.

There is some good news because technology is progressing quickly. Some tactics might not be brand new, but they’re becoming more popular. Here are a few things you should expect to see in homes all around the country within a few years.

1. The Rise Of Smart Windows

When you look at a window right now it’s just a pane of glass. In the future they’ll be controlled by microprocessors and sensors. They’ll change depending on the specific weather conditions directly outside.

If the sun disappears the shade will automatically adjust to let in more light. The exact opposite will happen when it’s sunny. These energy efficient windows will save everyone a huge amount of money.

2. A Better Way To Cool Roofs

If you wanted to cool a roof down today you would coat it with a material full of specialized pigments. This would allow roofs to deflect the sun and they’d absorb less heat in the process too.

Soon we’ll see the same thing being done, but it will be four times more effective. Roofs will never get too hot again. Anyone with a large roof is going to see a sharp decrease in their energy bills.

3. Low-E Windows Taking Over

It’s a mystery why these aren’t already extremely popular, but things are starting to change. Read low-E window replacement reviews and you’ll see everyone loves them because they’re extremely effective.

They’ll keep heat outside in summer or inside in winter. People don’t even have to buy new windows to enjoy the technology. All they’ll need is a low-E film to place over their current ones.

4. Magnets Will Cool Fridges

Refrigerators haven’t changed much in a very long time. They’re still using a vapor compression process that wastes energy while harming the environment. It won’t be long until they’ll be cooled using magnets instead.

The magnetocaloric effect is going to revolutionize cold food storage. The fluid these fridges are going to use will be water-based, which means the environment can rest easy and energy bills will drop.

5. Improving Our Current LEDs

Everyone who spent a lot of money on energy must have been very happy when LEDs became mainstream. Incandescent light bulbs belong in museums today because the new tech cut costs by up to 85 percent.

That doesn’t mean someone isn’t always trying to improve on an already great invention. The amount of lumens LEDs produce per watt isn’t great, but we’ve already found a way to increase it by 25 percent.

Maybe Homes Will Look Different Too

Do you think we’ll come up with new styles of homes that will take off? Surely it’s not out of the question. Everything inside homes seems to be changing for the better with each passing year. It’s going to continue doing so thanks to amazing inventors.

ShutterStock – Stock photo ID: 613912244

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Economy

IEMA Urge Government’s Industrial Strategy Skills Overhaul To Adopt A “Long View Approach”

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IEMA, in response to the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, have welcomed the focus on technical skills and education to boost “competence and capability” of tomorrow’s workforce.

Policy experts at the world’s leading professional association of Environment and Sustainability professionals has today welcomed Prime Minister Teresa May’s confirmation that an overhaul of technical education and skills will form a central part of the Plan for Britain – but warns the strategy must be one for the long term.

Martin Baxter, Chief Policy Advisor at IEMA said this morning that the approach and predicted investment in building a stronger technical skills portfolio to boost the UK’s productivity and economic resilience is positive, and presents an opportunity to drive the UK’s skills profile and commitment to sustainability outside of the EU.

Commenting on the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, Baxter said today:

“Government must use the Industrial Strategy as an opportunity to accelerate the UK’s transition to a low-carbon, resource efficient economy – one that is flexible and agile and which gives a progressive outlook for the UK’s future outside the EU.

We welcome the focus on skills and education, as it is vital that tomorrow’s workforce has the competence and capability to innovate and compete globally in high-value manufacturing and leading technology.

There is a real opportunity with the Industrial Strategy, and forthcoming 25 year Environment Plan and Carbon Emissions Reduction Plan, to set long-term economic and environmental outcomes which set the conditions to unlock investment, enhance natural capital and provide employment and export opportunities for UK business.

We will ensure that the Environment and Sustainability profession makes a positive contribution in responding to the Green Paper.”

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