For Employers

The pandemic  Nows the time to solve the problems and seize the opportunities
The pandemic Nows the time to solve the problems and seize the opportunities

The last two years have been brutal.

Make no bones about it, the pandemic has presented a very real existential threat not just to a great number of people, but also to a great number of businesses.

So its no surprise that much of the conversation around Covid and its impact on our working lives has been negative.

Weve worried about cashflow drying up, supply chain solidity, job security, isolation, mental health, the dangers of returning to the workplace, a loss of mentoring for young people and a good many more issues over the period of the lockdowns and beyond.

But without wanting to claim we are entirely out of the woods just yet or that everything in the garden is suddenly rosy now might be the time to start changing our mindset to something a little more positive.

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Putting the me back into team
Putting the me back into team

One thing the pandemic has taught nearly all of us is that working from home is very different to working from the office or workplace.

Much as the national effort to keep going by sticking to remote working has had to be admired, it has come at something of a cost.

Evidence suggests it has led to increased employee stress and burnout with the boundaries between home and worklife increasingly blurred but it has also eroded the team spirit and ethos so vital for companies to survive.

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Back to the office  but is it back to normal?
Back to the office but is it back to normal?

How has getting back to the office gone for you?

For many of us, July 19 the so-called Freedom Day marked the beginning of the return to working from an office.

The Government removed most of the restrictions previously in place, as well as the instruction that we should work from home if it was at all possible.

But, of course, the virus didnt necessarily get the memo and just disappear overnight. The Government has said that the return to the office or factory should be gradual over the summer with infections likely to continue.

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Five things weve learned from the pandemic.
Five things weve learned from the pandemic.

Hows your crystal ball?

My bet is that youve spent a fair bit of the last 15 months or so gazing deeply into it and trying to predict the future.

And Im equally sure that lots of your predictions like mine have been wide of the mark.

If there was any certainty to be had when the pandemic struck, it was that nothing was certain.

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When we talk about a toxic work culture, we always assume we are talking about another company.
When we talk about a toxic work culture, we always assume we are talking about another company.

Funny, isnt it? When we talk about a toxic work culture, we always assume we are talking about another company.

But how many of us in positions of leadership actually know what the working environment is like on our own shop floors and could honestly say there is no evidence of toxicity there?

From a business point of view, there is nothing to be gained from a poor work environment. Productivity drops, morale plunges, staff start taking more sick leave and employee turnover increases as unhappy workers vote with their feet.

Add in the possibility that at some point a really toxic environment will lead to expensive tribunal or court cases, and it is a situation which needs remedying as soon as possible.

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IR35  What employers need to know
IR35 What employers need to know

There was a fairly seismic change in the tax rules for employing contractors at the start of this month and its already causing headaches.

Under the new IR35 arrangements, if you hire self-employed people and are a medium or large-sized enterprise, its now your duty to make sure you do so on the correct tax basis.

The change means that anyone you take on consistently should be employed on a PAYE basis rather than being left to look after their own tax affairs.

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For Employees

How to make the return to the office work for you
How to make the return to the office work for you

Many of us have been away from our offices and workplaces for some time as a result of the pandemic.

But with the ending of the furlough scheme at the end of September, the return to work will continue to gather speed.

Naturally, having been away for so long, many of us will be anxious about returning back to public spaces and mixing face to face with our colleagues again.

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What can I do if I feel I dont belong at work?
What can I do if I feel I dont belong at work?

When psychologists come to evaluate the impact of the pandemic in years to come, one of the key areas they will undoubtedly focus on is the great sense of isolation it brought for many.

With the switch to remote working, the lockdown, social distancing and self-isolation to name but a few, the virus has undermined many of the social groups we rely on for a sense of who we are.

Now, as we return back to work, many staff are worried that they will no longer be able to feel the sense of belonging to a job that they previously enjoyed.

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Hey ho, its back to work we go
Hey ho, its back to work we go

So, have you returned to work yet?

The Governments advice is a little mixed to say the least lifting the order that we should all work at home, if possible, but saying a return to work should be gradual.

But it is still clear that, at the moment, work is beginning to return to the workplace.

For many employees this is a welcome move but for many others it is something which is creating concern and anxiety.

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Why working from home could be harming your career
Why working from home could be harming your career

How has working from home been for you over the last 15 months?

Theres no doubt that, for many of us, the chance to work remotely has been one advantage of the lockdown which has blighted the last year or so. Weve been able to juggle work and home life more effectively, cut down on travelling and see more of our family.

But we also know that working from home comes with a number of disadvantages.

It can be difficult to switch off from work, lead to increased isolation, longer hours and increased wellbeing and mental health issues.

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Toxic Work Culture
Toxic Work Culture

There are few things worse than finding yourself in a toxic work culture.

Anybody who has experienced it knows just how draining, exhausting and counterproductive such an environment can be.

The signs that your workplace has fallen victim to such a corrosive culture are not always as obvious as you might think.

Whilst some might be straightforward enough a boss who yells, screams, singles out staff members unfairly and changes their mind at a moments notice others are more nuanced.

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