Let’s Talk September Issue

18 September

Let's Talk – September Issue

730,000 UK jobs lost during lockdown

Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic in March, 730,000 workers are no longer on company payrolls, according to new ONS data. The number of people in paid employment fell for the fourth consecutive month in July due to the ongoing economic struggle brought on by Covid-19 and the lockdown measures imposed by the Government.

Young professionals between the ages of 18 and 24 were the worst hit but the job losses aren’t just limited to the young – the number of over 65s in work fell by over 161,000 to 1.26million over the three months from April to June, which is the biggest decrease since ONS figures began. But, the ONS data did highlight that the number of employees losing jobs was slowing.

Vacancy numbers began to recover in July, especially in small businesses and sectors such as hospitality, but demand for workers remains depressed. The data also showed that pay had dropped across the board, with levels including bonuses down by 1.2% and regular pay down by 0.2% – the first negative reading since the records began.

Top 10 most in-demand workers right now

According to their recent study, job board CV-Library revealed the most advertised jobs on its site from June – August 2020; Warehouse Operatives, Support Workers and Registered Nurses have been in highest demand over the past few months.

Warehouse Operative
Support Worker
Registered Nurse
Labourer
Care Assistant
Cleaner
Production Operative
Delivery Driver
Teaching Assistant
Census Engagement Manager

Lee Biggins, Founder and CEO of CV-Library, said: “Naturally, we’re seeing a demand for professionals that were classed as key workers; including workers in care, teaching and driving. When comparing this to what people are searching for, there is definitely a correlation and it’s clear that many workers are reacting to market demand.”

While the overall number of jobs posted on CV-Library between June and August 2020 was substantially lower than the same period last year, the findings show a clear difference in the most popular vacancies year-on-year. In the same period last year, the top 3 most common jobs advertised on the site were: Warehouse Operative, Labourer and Administrator.

Could we see offices completely disappear?

We are all aware of the strict lockdown measures imposed in March, where people were asked to not leave the home unless it was for a brief period of exercise or to collect essential supplies and as such, workers were asked, unless absolutely essential, to work at home. Then, as the threat of coronavirus began to ease, workers were implored to return to some semblance of normal and re-enter the office if it was “safe to do so”. But an unexpected change had already taken place. Workers liked working from home, and many businesses discovered that having remote teams could be not only cost-effective without affecting productivity but also improved employee wellbeing and have subsequently embraced the concept of fully integrated remote working.

For example, giant firm Capita announced it is to close more than a third of offices permanently and commit to adapting the business for its 45,000 employees which would include increased numbers of staff working remotely.

So where does this leave the tradition ‘office’?  For several years workplaces have been shrinking, with the rise of co-working spaces and companies looking to reduce costs and recruit the right talent, regardless of physical location.

Coronavirus then sped up the process. Data published by The Telegraph in August reported that businesses look set to relinquish up to a fifth of their office space as part of a permanent shift towards working from home.

How to make virtual meetings more interactive?

Online meetings and conferences have become a regular occurrence since the pandemic hit with employers utilising technology to keep their home working workforce connected. But while virtual meetings are great for sharing ideas and bringing teams together, some leaders make the mistake of talking too much and not involving their audience.

This can have a negative impact and leave employees coming away from the meeting feeling disengaged. Here we look at how you can go about delivering an interactive virtual meeting.

Use polls, to allow your audience members to respond to some multiple-choice questions, which will help them feel included and stay engaged. The results of the polls can form talking points as the presentation continues.

Allow questions throughout rather than asking participants to refrain from raising questions until the end. While this may interrupt the flow of your presentation, it will prevent home working employees from switching off.

Get your employees participating before the meeting even begins – whether this is asking them to prepare a solution to a problem that will be discussed in the meeting or to each present an idea, it will make employees feel as though they are part of the meeting, rather than someone who has just turned up to be talked to.

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