Once upon a time, allowing employees to work from home was a flexible 'nice to have' for many organisations. Now, in the face of a devastating global pandemic, home-working policies are helping businesses to survive.
Not only that, working from home comes with an unprecedented wealth of additional challenges. For example, there is a new need for many people to keep on top of their workload, whilst simultaneously educating their children from the kitchen table.
Not to mention those people who do their best work in an open and collaborative environment, now forced to isolate themselves with their laptop (and perhaps a partner whom they are fast realising they don't get on with).
In short, the new rules are very different to those we've ever seen before. It is therefore worth taking some time to review your home-working policy and procedures, to ensure they not only work for your employees, but are able to benefit your organisation as a whole.
After a divisive referendum and three muddled years of negotiations, Britain exited the European Union (EU) on 31st January 2020.
Whichever side of the debate you were on, if your organisation has EU premises, and/or you employ large numbers of staff, there are almost certainly far-reaching changes to take account of.
Although Brexit is by no means complete, some questions are now able to be answered. This means UK businesses can start preparing themselves for a future outside of Europe.
With the New Year, new priorities emerge for businesses and many of them plan to improve productivity within their organisation.
A 2015 CIPD report defines productivity as "how effectively organisations, and the people working in them, produce value from available inputs".
Productivity is widely thought of as determining the economic health of a nation, driving growth through increased output per hour. This in turn increases salaries and profits, leading to improved standards of living.
However, a 2019 report published by the Office for National Statistics states that the productivity of British workers fell at the fastest pace for five years in the second quarter, which is worrying news as we head into 2020.
While it may go without saying that some Brexit uncertainty has impacted the economy, it seems that there is much scope for productivity improvement.
The good news is that for the vast majority of businesses, increasing productivity doesn't have to mean implementing a drastic programme of change. In many cases, it could simply involve being clear about why certain processes are in place, and empowering people to make time-saving decisions.
So, if your business could do with a productivity boost in 2020, here are some suggestions to consider:
It could be said that a vital component of good leadership is adaptability.
When we consider that the CIPD definition of leadership is "the capacity to influence people to achieve a common goal" the need to be adaptable is clear. Leaders should be able to flex their approach, so that they can communicate effectively with different people, and adjust quickly to a variety of environments and cultures.
In short, when it comes to leadership, there is no such thing as 'one size fits all'.
It is partly for this reason that identifying and developing leaders is such a complex issue: how will anybody know how effective they are as a leader, until they have been properly tested in a range of environments? Since every country has its own unique culture and characteristics, working internationally only adds to the challenge.
The general lack of effective leaders remains an ongoing concern for many organisations, despite a significant level of investment in highlighting and developing leadership and management capabilities.
If effective international leadership is a concern that impacts your organisation, the CIPD has identified three steps to help you start tackling the issue.