Labour

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    To fight low wages, central banks warm to collective bargaining

To fight low wages, central banks warm to collective bargaining

Strange things are happening in the world of international economic institutions and central bankers. Whereas over the past decades the continuous focus of these institutions has been on the weakening of bargaining power of trade unions, there appears to be some kind of “change of mind” with one institution after the other as they start pointing to too low […]

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    Men are targets of sexual harassment at work far more commonly than we assume

Men are targets of sexual harassment at work far more commonly than we assume

More than one in ten complaints of sexual harassment at work are reported by men. In a recent study, I found that the majority of cases (78.4 per cent) were female complaints against males. However, women were accused of sexually harassing men in 5 per cent of cases and men accused other men in 11 per cent of cases.

The […]

Musicians are exploited on the London and Paris jazz scenes

As recorded music revenues decline, live music is increasing in economic importance. But working conditions in the sector are a problem. Live musicians frequently suffer from low pay, casualised work contracts, and unpredictable and insecure careers. These concerns have serious knock-on effects. They skew opportunities towards those from affluent backgrounds, who can tolerate periods of deep career uncertainty. And […]

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    The value of intermediaries in the global market for cloud workers

The value of intermediaries in the global market for cloud workers

A variety of online markets have developed in recent years to facilitate trade in labour services. Upwork – previously known as oDesk-eLance (oDesk was founded in 2005 and merged with eLance in 2014) – is the largest global online market for outsourced work, with revenues of around $1 billion a year, making it the ‘behemoth of the human cloud’ […]

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    Lay-offs hurt the well-being even of those who keep their jobs

Lay-offs hurt the well-being even of those who keep their jobs

In modern workplaces, employers seek more flexibility in their management practices than before. This involves decisions concerning the number and composition of personnel, job design, productivity, and profit. Those concerned over employees health and well-being have set their eyes on organisational downsizing and questioned whether such practices are affecting employees’ health and well-being.

When organisations downsize, those who lose their […]

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    Workplaces are moving from facilities management to hospitality design

Workplaces are moving from facilities management to hospitality design

We first started writing about the rise of ‘Bleisure’ (the convergence of business and leisure) back in 2009 at The Future Laboratory, and since then we’ve seen the boundaries between work and play dissolve drastically. ‘We’re seeing workplaces that are more intelligent, connected and human-orientated – a move from facilities management to hospitality’ explains Jeremy Myerson, co-founder, Helen Hamlyn […]

Black women often suffer microaggressions at work

While people of colour have made significant gains in the workplace since US legislation made discrimination and segregation illegal, they continue to be underrepresented at executive levels in corporate America. This trend is particularly pervasive for black women who are fairly well represented at entry and middle-level management but make up only 1.2 percent of executive level officers of […]

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    You need to prepare for the tricky moment when someone resigns from your team

You need to prepare for the tricky moment when someone resigns from your team

If you’ve ever quit a job, you probably remember that awkward conversation when you told your manager you were leaving. How did your manager respond? And how did that response make you feel about the organisation you were leaving?

With our co-authors (Belinda Rae and Shruti R Sardeshmukh) we interviewed employees who had voluntarily left a fulltime job. We examined […]

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    Volunteer work can sometimes threaten the jobs of paid employees in non-profits

Volunteer work can sometimes threaten the jobs of paid employees in non-profits

Economic literature suggests that non-profit organisations have an economic advantage over for-profits because they are able to use volunteers for parts of their activities more easily. In fact, for some non-profit organisations volunteer work can be regarded as a major labour source. The Institute for Volunteering Research estimates that 27 percent of the population 16+ in the UK volunteers […]

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    Counselling is better than outright firing an underperforming employee

Counselling is better than outright firing an underperforming employee

Utilizing new technology, combined with aggressive and innovative marketing, your business has significantly expanded over the last few years. You’ve attracted talented staff who are poised to take the company to even greater heights. You want to give them rein and let them run.

Unfortunately, one of your salesmen (we’ll call him John), who handles several key accounts, doesn’t seem […]

The workplace bully is not always a lone wolf

In today’s competitive organisations, it is all too common for bullies to act out in the workplace. Many of us have either been victimised or witnessed a co-worker being bullied. This is more common than illegal forms of harassment (based on things such as race, sex, or age). The costs to companies that allow the situation to go unchecked […]

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    Medium-sized firms worry a possible EU exit would hamper their ability to find skilled workers

Medium-sized firms worry a possible EU exit would hamper their ability to find skilled workers

Over the past six months we have seen a number of groups officially launch their campaigns either for or against Britain leaving the European Union. However, in what some may deem a rather unusual turn of events, the UK’s mass media has been largely (although admittedly not entirely) unbiased when it comes to reporting the opinions of both sides.

This […]

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    The end of the one-person-one-car economy raises a number of questions

The end of the one-person-one-car economy raises a number of questions

Before the ‘digital revolution’ things were relatively simple. A taxi equalled a car plus a driver. This driver could be self-employed or employed by a taxi company – or, possibly, a member of a cooperative. He or she paid taxes and social security contributions. Taxi-driving was an occupation, usually both full-time and long-term (except in those cases where it […]

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    Culturally diverse teams may require more central coordination than others

Culturally diverse teams may require more central coordination than others

Over the last 50 years organisations have changed dramatically but we have yet to understand how these changes affect organisational performance. One of the major changes was away from centralised decision-making and hierarchies and towards teamwork. During the same time organisations have grown to be more diverse. It is now more common than before that people from different cultures […]

Why do some teams succeed while others fail?

Work teams have become increasingly prevalent around the world in the past two decades. Underlying their popularity is the belief that they can creatively integrate individual members’ talents and skills to more effectively respond to the changing and competitive business environment. However, not all teams are functional and individual members may not automatically work together smoothly. A question that naturally […]

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    Something is missing in the idea of entrepreneurs as young and empowered

Something is missing in the idea of entrepreneurs as young and empowered

The UK is facing an increasingly ageing population that brings big economic burdens in pension and medical provisions while tax contributions diminish. This situation has become worse since the start of the 2008 global financial crisis as almost one million people aged 50-64 have become ‘involuntarily jobless’ during this period. A growing number of public institutions are promoting entrepreneurial […]

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    Nine likely scenarios arising from the growing use of robots

Nine likely scenarios arising from the growing use of robots

Too many executives have chosen to displace workers rather than think through how technology and humans can work together symbiotically, a set of choices Shoshana Zuboff describes as the automate or informate dilemma. In practice, automation can be deployed by either “automating”, “informating”, or both. In light of advances in automation, Tom Davenport and Julia Kirby have suggested a […]

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    Immigration controls resemble apartheid in failing to treat workers as people

Immigration controls resemble apartheid in failing to treat workers as people

Is immigration control like Apartheid? The purpose of the policy devised by the South African government, and implemented for nearly half a century beginning in 1948, was to establish and maintain a separation between the black and white peoples of that country. Blacks were to be restricted to their designated homelands, and whites to theirs. Some movement would have […]

Why we should get three-day weekends – all the time

What if weekends lasted three or even four days? What if the majority of the week could be given over to activities other than work? To even pose these questions is to invite the label of utopian thinking. While a fine idea in principle, working fewer hours is not feasible in practice. Indeed, its achievement would come at the […]