SAY HI TO LIFI
Signify is working with more than 30 customers to pilot LiFi-enabled luminaires that combine energy efficient LED lighting with two-way, 30Mbps wireless communication using light waves rather than radio signals.
Each luminaire has a built-in modem that modulates the light at speeds imperceptible to the human eye. The light is detected by a LiFi USB access key plugged into a laptop or tablet, which returns data to the luminaire through an infrared link.
LiFi is attracting interest as an alternative or complementary technology to WiFi for network and internet access where radio frequencies may interfere with equipment, such as in hospitals; where WiFi signals can’t reach (e.g. underground); or where security is a priority, for example in the back office of a financial institution or government service – LiFi adds an extra layer of security as light cannot pass through solid walls and line-of-sight with the luminaire is needed.
EDINBURGH IS BEST FOR EXPATS
ECA International’s new Location Ratings Report has identified Edinburgh as the UK’s best city for European expats. The only UK city in the Top 20, Edinburgh was praised for its low levels of air pollution, high level of personal security and the presence of a thriving expat community. In evaluating the liveability of 480 locations worldwide, ECA International considers a variety of factors including health services; housing and utilities; access to a social network; leisure facilities; infrastructure; climate; personal safety; political tensions; and air quality.
Top 20 most liveable locations for European expatriates
Location 2019 ranking
Copenhagen, Denmark 1
Bern, Switzerland 1
The Hague, Netherlands 3
Geneva, Switzerland 3
Stavanger, Norway 5
Amsterdam, Netherlands 6
Eindhoven, Netherlands 6
Basel, Switzerland 6
Luxembourg City, Luxembourg 9
Gothenburg, Sweden 9
Dublin, Irish Republic 9
Aarhus, Denmark 12
Rotterdam, Netherlands 12
Zurich, Switzerland 14
Bonn, Germany 15
Munich, Germany 15
Vienna, Austria 17
Hamburg, Germany 17
Stockholm, Sweden 19
Edinburgh, United Kingdom 19
TIME TO TAKE A LEAD ON LUNCH-BREAKS
CABA, the association for chartered accountants, is taking on today’s ‘al desko’ culture with advice on how to encourage workers to take a proper lunch-break. It advises employers to:
1 Lead by example. If your employees see you working through lunch, they may feel this is expected of them too. Make a point of letting your team know it’s okay and expected that they take a lunch break.
2 Encourage team lunches. Suggest a team lunch every week or, in the summer, a team picnic. This provides a great opportunity for your team to get to know each other away from the office.
3 Create a designated dining and downtime area. You don’t have to create a canteen; just an area that invites colleagues to take a break. This could be a picnic bench, a table and chairs or an area with soft lighting, comfy chairs and magazines and newspapers. Encourage employees to relax away from a screen.
4 Lunch and learn. It’s still work, but combining lunch with learning a new skill could be a way to ensure food-free desks once every week or month. Short and engaging 30-minute sessions can be run by your team with no need to bring in external trainers. Utilising staff to run these sessions will give team members the chance to practise their presentation skills. Just make sure the topic is light, so staff don’t feel drained afterwards.
5 Food-free desks. If you’ve tried all of the above without success, banning the eating of food at desks is an option. You could still allow ‘light’ snacks, but ask people to eat their lunch elsewhere.
Scottish charity Paths for All has launched the Walk at Work accreditation and awards programme for employers in Scotland who encourage walking in the workplace. Employers who sign up will receive one-to-one support on how to create a walking culture at work and advice on where to fnd extra help and resources.
One Million Steps, the first Welsh startup to win a place at Google Launchpad London, is launching a new scheme designed to improve the health of the UK’s workers and to raise £100 million for charity. It is inviting participants to walk an average of 10,000 steps for 100 days and is asking businesses for help in registering employees for the challenge through company branded landing pages, integrated with a business’s chosen charity. This gives staff just one place where they can sign up, create fundraising profiles and access content on mindfulness, yoga and exercises. For more information visit https://millionsteps.com/.