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Working from home? Here’s how to tune your environment for better productivity

By Business

Last year, we learned that the number of people working from home surpassed 1.5 million. And that begs a really important question… Why are more people working from home? Flexible working patterns are fast becoming the norm across a variety of sectors. This is because flexibility in the working day makes employees happier, more productive and far more likely to stay onboard. As a result, businesses can expect increased output, vastly superior quality of work and far lower recruitment costs thanks to improved staff retention. Homeworking is directly linked to flexible working hours, and with technology enabling people to get…

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Gender Pay Gap Reporting – 10 Facts You Need to Know

By Business, Employment Law, Human Resources

The BBC’s newly published Gender Pay Gap Report reveals a shocking inequality in salaries paid to men and women causing media attention worldwide, and quite rightly so. Fifty years ago, the Equal Pay Act was introduced. It’s therefore rather disheartening to learn that many experts believe it could take as long as another fifty years to fully close the gap between male and female pay in the workplace. Without effectively tackling the key issues surrounding flexible working, supporting women aged over 40 back into the workforce and sharing unpaid caring responsibilities, the gender pay gap stands little chance of being eliminated. Indeed,…

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Networking – 3 top tips for avoiding small talk

By Business

Sarah Dowzell, Assoc CIPD, COO and Co-founder of Natural HR and busy mum of two reflects on a recent CIPD event she attended. Earlier this week I attended the CIPD London Future of Work Conference – and my first thoughts? What a welcoming branch! The thing that struck me most about this event was how open everyone was to networking. I attend many events in the Midlands across the year from Business Networking to CIPD events to Technology events, some which specifically promote business networking. I usually leave questioning if it was actually a good use of my time and…

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10 brilliant tips for making the most of a new apprenticeship

By Business, Human Resources

Last year, it was revealed there were 509,400 new apprenticeships started in the UK – a rise of 9,500 over the previous year. Proof, if it were needed, that apprentices are now considered a vital element of modern business. Your business may have already taken on an apprentice. Equally, you might be considering dipping your toes into apprenticeship water for the first time. If you rank among the former and have had a poor experience where the apprentice has been inadvertently under-utilised or poorly sourced, it might have put you off. If you reside within the latter camp, you may…

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How to make the most of a mentor during the startup phase of your business

By Business

If you’re in the startup phase of your business, you’ll have quickly learned that you simply can’t do it alone. Even if what you’re doing is a sole endeavour, you’ll need help from someone who’s been there, bought the t-shirt and made every mistake going. Such confidants are usually referred to as ‘mentors’, and they will quickly become your most trusted allies as you build your business. But once you’ve found your mentor, how do you make the most of them? In this post, we aim to answer that question, but we’ll start by defining the qualities that make a…

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