Blog

Peter Thomson blogs regularly about the changing world of work and how WiseWork is helping organisations to benefit from new working practices. This site also hosts blog contributions from Wisework Partners and other guest bloggers..

The ‘fatherhood penalty’

Following straight after the news about men working part time comes a report showing fathers are seeking more flexible employment. The “Modern Families Index 2017” report has just been published by Working Families. In this they point to a ‘flexibility gap’. Almost half of parents are not comfortable raising the issue of workload and hours with their employer. They identified  flexible working as a key way of getting a better balance, but many felt that they could not make use of…

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More men working part time

The Institute for Fiscal Studies has just issued a report stating that men on low pay are four times more likely to be working part-time than in the 1990s.  It shows that 1 in 5 men aged from 25 to 55 in low paid jobs are now working part-time.  Twenty years ago it was 1 in 20. This has been portrayed in the media as bad news, implying that these people would prefer to have full-time jobs. But this may…

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Part Time Men – Good News?

Today we have had the news that the number of men working part time has grown rapidly. The Institute for Fiscal Studies has published a report saying that 20 years ago 1 in 20 men aged 20-55 worked part-time with low wages. Now it’s 1 in 5. So the Guardian puts this under the headline “Bleak trend ….is revealed”. It seems that the growth of anything other than conventional full-time jobs is a bad thing. But, wait a minute. I…

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Long hours mean low productivity

The UK remains consistently near the top of the working hours league and well down the productivity table.  Maybe there is a connection? A recent survey from Morgan McKinley showed that 84% of respondents work beyond their contracted hours. And it’s not just the odd extra hour. 27% work between 6 and 9 hours more per week and a further 31% work 10 hours or more over their official working time. The survey disproves the theory that these are all…

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Mobile working will reach tipping point next year

The Work Foundation have just produced a fascinating report on mobile working. They have trawled through a wide range of existing literature and surveyed over 500 managers across the UK to build up a picture of the extent of mobile working today and the way it is headed over the next few years. Their survey showed that mobile working was the norm by 2014 for over one third of the individual respondents and over one third of the organisations they…

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Zero Hours contracts – here to stay

The CIPD have recently issued a research report on zero-hours and short-hours contracts. It makes interesting reading. It should certainly be studied by all those people criticising these flexible working arrangements and calling for more legislation or even an outright ban. The government’s Labour Force Survey shows that the number of people on zero-hours contracts has almost tripled in less than three years. Although some of this may just be greater public awareness of these arrangements it does look like…

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Webinars versus Seminars

It struck me as slightly ironic that I’m involved in organising a workshop, based in London, on the subject of agile and remote working. If we are now in the age of webinars instead of seminars and YouTube recordings instead of live presentations, why are we running a physical event. Why not a virtual one? That made me think. Why do we go to football matches when you can get a better view on TV? Why do people go to…

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Building a productive workforce

Productivity has been in the headlines recently. The government is trying to improve the performance of the country in the league tables and various bodies have come out with reports on how this can be achieved. One of them is ACAS. Its 50 page report “Building Productivity in the UK” focuses on the workplace as the place where “the elements of productivity come together to deliver goods and services.’  They say “How businesses manage and organise their workforce has a…

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Improving Productivity

The subject of productivity has been in the news recently.  The government is trying to improve the UK’s ranking against other countries and struggling to work out how to do it. Having a flexible labour market should help but it hasn’t worked too well so far.  This could be because managers still don’t know how to transform agile working from an employee benefit into a business strategy. Moving from a low skill, low wage economy to the opposite certainly sounds…

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Reinventing Work for the Digital Age

I recently had the pleasure of speaking in Boston at the USA launch of a new book “Reinventing the Company in the Digital Age”. The book was put together by the Spanish bank, BBVA as part of their Open Mind project (see https://www.bbvaopenmind.com/en/) This was a great opportunity to reflect on how organisations are changing “in the Digital Age”. It’s easy to think of this as just being the impact of technology on the way we carry out our tasks.…

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