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The Month in Numbers

More than a quarter (26%) of UK office workers either always (7%) or sometimes (19%) throw sensitive documents into general waste instead of shredding, potentially putting their business at risk of fraud and/or fines for GDPR non-compliance, warns Quadient. While almost half (48%) of the 1,001 UK office workers surveyed by the company formerly known as Neopost shred sensitive documents, 16% never do. Moreover, less than half of those who do shred (48%) keep documents that are waiting to be shredded in a secure location. More than four out of 10 office workers either don’t have a company shredding policy (24%) or don’t know if they have one (19%).

One third (36%) of full-time workers feel their professional development has regressed during the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a survey of 2,000 adults by AI-powered SaaS learning platform This figure rises to 44% among those aged between 18 and 34. More than a quarter (28%) of respondents say that a promotion they were due has been put on hold and almost one half (46%) have received no training from their employer during the pandemic, with 35% complaining that training programmes they were due to take part in have been postponed or cancelled.

Business investment in developing skills has not kept up with the growing demand for new skills during the pandemic, warns workforce upskilling platform Degreed in its new report The State of Skills: Endangered Skills 2021. Its survey of 5,000 workers in eight global markets reveals that economic uncertainty caused by the coronavirus crisis is accelerating demand for new skills among 60% of workers. Yet, nearly half of businesses (46%) have reduced their upskilling opportunities in the past six months. The result is a widening global skills gap, with 38% of workers feeling less confident they have the skills to do their job effectively than they did pre-pandemic, and 46% predicting their current skills will die out in the next 3-5 years. When skills confidence is low, 55% of workers feel more stressed; 41% take longer to complete tasks; and 22% produce work of a lower standard. Nearly half (46%) of global workers say they are likely to look for a new job if their employer doesn’t offer upskilling

Since May, Free Office Finder has seen a 45% increase in enquiries for smaller offices outside the M25. Free Office Finder MD Nick Riesel said: “Since April/May 2020, we’ve seen requirements for offices outside the M25 jump by 45%, compared to only 23% for Central London. We believe some firms are looking to relocate out of Central London to reduce travel on public transport and reliance on spaces with high footfall in order to reduce the risk of the spread of infection.”

More than half (55%) of 18 to 34 year-olds in a survey of 1,000 Londoners by the Country Land and Business Association (CLA) said that coronavirus had made them more likely to move to the country. The possibility has been welcomed by the CLA, which points out that with 25% of the rural population aged 65 or over (compared with 17% of the urban population), rural areas are ageing faster than anywhere else in the UK. Across all demographics, 44% said they were more likely to move to the country. Attractions include cheaper housing stock (78%), digital connectivity (56%) and the ability to do an existing job from a new location (55%). Over a quarter (27%) said they envisaged working entirely from home in the future.

Six out of 10 workers fear that a lack of informal collaboration/contact with colleagues due to remote working is contributing to feelings of isolation and disengagement (65%), affecting creativity and the sharing of information (63%) and damaging team spirit (60%). Other concerns are loss of productivity/focus (26%) and the risk that a lack of visibility will affect career progression (35%). (source: Actus)

As many as 85% of workers struggle with working from home, claims office design experts Oktra. Younger workers aged 16-34 have found the transition particularly difficult: 86% miss face-to-face contact; 67% complain that their home set-ups are not as inspiring/professional as the office; 59% struggle to stay motivated; 50% worry that they are missing out on career development; and 34% miss friends from work. Tracey Gleig, Executive and Office Manager at video game company Square Enix, said: “The people who are struggling the most with this situation are our younger staff, many of whom live in shared flats with little or no private space. They need the social aspects of a workplace and miss the inclusive culture.”

650 million
Teams isn’t just good for meetings; with Teams Calling, it is increasingly also being used for ad hoc, spontaneous communications. According to Microsoft, Teams users made more than 650 million calls in October, an 11-fold increase on March’s figure. On average, calls are just one quarter the length of a typical meeting, making calling a quick and efficient way to connect and collaborate. Microsoft has just launched a raft of new Teams Calling features including an enhanced Calls app, which brings the most important calling elements – dial pad, call history, voicemail, contacts and settings – into a single location for a more streamlined experience.

Business Info Magazine & Site is Published by Kingswood Media 2022