simplynews roundup: 9th July

It's time for this week's roundup of internal comms news!

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This week marks massive success for England in the Euros, amongst a startling rise in Covid cases in the UK. It's also getting closer to the new 19th of July deadline for the latest unlocking of current lockdown restrictions.

So, what's going on in internal comms and how are businesses preparing?

1. UK Government must reduce cost of job sharing for employers

On Wednesday 7th July, in an open letter to the UK Government, 21 Parliamentarians and NGO's called for job sharing to be declared a mainstream working practice. 

123,000 people are in job sharing roles in the UK, a form of flexible working that allows employees to split their role with another person in order to keep other commitments such as childcare and caring responsibilities. According to the CIPD, Post-Covid, the majority of workers will be seeking job flexibility with 70% of employees saying that flexible working makes a job more attractive.

The letter, led by women empowerment group, Empower, and backed by MP's Caroline Nokes and Margaret Hodge, suggests that a reduction in National Insurance contributions for these employees would incentivise employers to create more job sharing roles. 

2. Sorce launches Juggl Desks to enable a safe return to the workplace

UK-based intranet software provider, Sorce, has launched a solution called Juggl Desks, a cloud-based platform that allows businesses to manage desk space. 

It's great news for the IC industry, as Juggl is free to all organisations until 2022 and is designed to support hybrid working. John Nicklin, Managing Director of Sorce. said: “Organisations of all sizes have to navigate the pandemic restrictions, and managing desk space safely and effectively is key to this.”

Juggl provides a holistic view of desk space, so employers can see who has booked a space and where they'll be sitting, whilst employees are able to book their space of choice and specify their requirements, including whether they need a monitor, disabled access, an electricity point or a network connection. 

3. Four-day work week trial continues its success in Iceland

We recently reported that Ireland was trialling the four-day week to see whether this could be the next shift in the working world as we know it. Other countries have also jumped on board such as New Zealand, Japan and Spain, where the Spanish government agreed to a 32-hour workweek over three years without cutting pay for their employers.

Now after a successful trial in Iceland, nearly 86% of the working population are working shorter hours. The trial took place between 2015-2019 and revealed that productivity was the same or better when workers had shorter hours and employee wellbeing had improved significantly. In the UK,  members of parliament have expressed interest in doing something similar to Iceland. 

According to Personnel Today, Peter Cheese, chair of the government’s Flexible Working Taskforce, commented that “These different forms of working should be seen as part of the norm. There are a variety of mechanisms by which you can support people in these more flexible ways of working, which can be helpful in terms of inclusion and well-being and balance of life.”

4. CEO of bolton based business Love Energy Savings scraps emails for DM's

It was recently reported that the CEO of Love Energy Savings,  a UK energy retailer, decided to ditch emailing his 258 employees and instead turned to the likes of WhatsApp, Instagram and social media because "under 35-s just don't use email anymore". 

CEO Phil Foster says that the average age of his staff is 33 and social media is more of an effective way to communicate. Further promoting his belief, during the first lockdown, Foster held company virtual workout sessions live on Instagram and a year on, can still see the benefits of this new communication method.

He said: "Almost overnight, Instagram became a way for us to come together and it really helped colleagues to maintain rapport and a sense of togetherness". Emails have not totally lost their place in the company as they are still used to connect externally to clients.

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