Labour

When work interrupts us after hours

The changing landscape of technology-enabled connectivity is shifting how our work and personal lives interface, especially how we juggle work and non-work demands. In large part due to the ubiquitous nature of mobile devices that blur the boundaries between our work and personal lives, work has now become a significant presence in our life outside the workplace, interrupting our […]

The impact of the technical revolution on our well-being

At the recent XXI World Congress on Safety and Health in Singapore, Hans-Horst Konkolewsky, Secretary General of the International Social Security Association (ISSA), asked a large audience of international leaders and safety practitioners whether the fourth industrial revolution, largely driven by digital technology, will be good or bad for worker’s health and safety.

Overwhelmingly the answer that came back was […]

  • Permalink Gallery

    How the law profession adjusts to competitive changes in the UK

How the law profession adjusts to competitive changes in the UK

The UK legal industry is currently navigating a state of transition and flux, largely brought on by a sharp, unrelenting increase in competition. This level of change has led to an increasingly fragmented industry, as individual law firms make sense of and respond to these changes in different ways. Technology, and website design in particular, provides firms with the […]

  • Permalink Gallery

    Flexible working is slowly going mainstream, and it isn’t just for mums

Flexible working is slowly going mainstream, and it isn’t just for mums

It’s only five years since we launched the first Timewise Power List; but a great deal has changed since then. At the time, the business conversation around part-time and flexible working was in its infancy. There was a prevailing view that working part-time wasn’t an option for senior employees, and that really it was just a perk for parents […]

Taking #MeToo into global supply chains

Sexual harassment in the workplace is not a new phenomenon. There have been some well publicised episodes before – Clarence Thomas, Justice in the American Supreme Court, and more recently, Dov Charney, founder of American Apparel retail stores come to mind. But they appeared to be just that: isolated episodes. The flood of allegations unleashed by the #MeToo movement […]

What are we talking about when we talk about mobility?

Mobility is a polysemic notion. We here only allude to geographical mobility, understood as physical movement in a professional setting. It may refer to working in a different space than the usual one, as well as to professional trips (whether these are systematic or not). Add to that daily commuting between home and the workplace, which, according to the […]

The fast growth of co-working spaces in London

The growth of shared, flexible urban workspaces for startups and SMEs (small and medium enterprises) is now a striking, and very visible feature of British cities. Over the past decade or so, startups and small firms in retail, manufacturing, arts, the cultural industries and the digital economy have been making creative use and re-use of urban spaces – through […]

Digital labour markets: The hard questions

In 1770 Wolfgang von Kempelen presented a sort of robot called the Turk (hidden inside there was, in reality, a person operating it) that could beat humans at playing chess. The robot toured Europe, eliciting contrasting reactions about the future robotisation. The first digital labour market for the trading of micro-tasks was tellingly named Amazon Mechanical Turk and presented […]

  • Permalink Gallery

    The gig economy reshapes how people work – and what they learn (or don’t)

The gig economy reshapes how people work – and what they learn (or don’t)

The trend has a catchy name, melding the vibe of edgy jazz clubs with the tech savvy of the smartphone era: the gig economy. And it’s catching on, especially among Millennials; a Brookings study found that the number of Americans, many of them young, employed as freelancers, contract workers and in other nontraditional work jumped 60 per cent between […]

  • Permalink Gallery

    Buffer: ‘Why we abolished the office and became a fully remote team’

Buffer: ‘Why we abolished the office and became a fully remote team’

Two years ago, our already fully remote team of then 50 people decided to close down our only remaining tie to the traditional workforce, a small office in San Francisco. Here’s why we decided to be a remote company in the first place, how it’s going for us, and what’s next for a company with no office.

First, let’s look […]

High engagement at work leads to a better family life

For most people, work and family play an important role in adult life. Work provides us with material resources to ensure family life, and family provides us with love and responsibility to make our work more meaningful and valuable.

Although work gives us many resources, participating in the workforce can also deplete us. Especially in the absence of complementary resources […]

Slacking it? The problems of technology at work

Slack, if you have never come across it before, is an instant messaging application. As the company itself explains, it is ‘team communication for the 21st century’ and one intended to result in work having ‘less email’ and becoming ‘more productive.’ They claim that their ‘customers see an average 48.6% reduction in internal email.’ We can all relate to […]

  • Permalink Gallery

    Workers in smaller companies are more likely to vote conservative

Workers in smaller companies are more likely to vote conservative

Does company size affect political attitudes and voting behaviour? This was the main question of our recent paper. Particularly, we wanted to examine whether company size matters for traditional and new centre-right voting among workers.

This is a relevant political and empirical question because we can observe a huge cross-country variation in Europe when it comes to the electoral success […]

  • Permalink Gallery

    BBC pay: We need equality all the way down – not just for the elite

BBC pay: We need equality all the way down – not just for the elite

The BBC recently published the salaries of all staff earning above £150,000 a year, sparking much controversy over the rewards apparently being received by its ‘star’ broadcasters and on-screen ‘talent’.

Of particular concern were the huge pay differentials between men and women. Of the top 20 highest earners, three quarters were men, with Chris Evans topping the list with an […]

  • Permalink Gallery

    Gig economy: Disruption can bring benefits for workers and consumers

Gig economy: Disruption can bring benefits for workers and consumers

The world of work is being transformed, driven by rapid developments in technology, globalisation, and demographic change. Now, the concept of ‘employment’ itself seems to be increasingly past its sell-by date. A proliferation of new, online platforms has made access to paid work easier and more efficient than ever before by instantaneously connecting people who have work they need […]

Emancipating ourselves from emotional repression at work

Are your emotions always yours? If you think so, you’d better think again. In a recently published book, I argue that emotions are often used by organizations to manipulate and repress workers.

“So what?” you might wonder . . . Are organizations not supposed to explore ways to control the behaviour of their staff so that it supports the bottom […]

  • Permalink Gallery

    Co-workers and makers: New public policies and corporate strategies for the city

Co-workers and makers: New public policies and corporate strategies for the city

Collaborative movements and communities—co-workers, makers, hackers, and fabbers— stir tremendous controversy because they expose all the paradoxes and contradictions of the ongoing transformations of work practices and capitalism. Work is being redefined by the growing number of entrepreneurs and freelancers while organisations are being transformed by a new work ethos. The ‘do-ocracy’ is establishing itself as the favoured organisational […]

Working the phones

For the purpose of  my new book, I spent six months undercover in a UK call centre. The focus of the research was to understand questions of control and resistance from the perspective of call centre workers themselves. This kind of covert ethnography – studying a phenomenon from the point of view from the subject of the study – used […]

Why robots aren’t the enemy

It is scary fun to think that the robot buddy who is making life a bit easier and products a bit cheaper will next week steal your job, that the bot that reads your laptop cookies will destroy your freedom of choice, or that super-intelligent algorithms mean that we will all end up working for machines. I propose, rather, […]

The coming jobs boom in the age of intelligent machines  

Central to the election of President Trump, the populist support of Brexit, and the distrust of so many institutions at the heart of the modern world, are concerns about the future of work; Who or what has taken my job? what are the jobs of the future? How do I – or my kids – get them? Where are […]