Also in the news this week - 15 January 2016

15 January 2016

The impact of workspaces on UK productivity

Data released this month by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) estimates that production output decreased by 0.7% between October 2015 and November 2015. And recent CBI data reveals that the UK is 20 percentage points below the G7 average on productivity, the widest gap since 1991. Workspaces are a contributing factor says Tim Oldman, ceo of Leesman: "We have spoken to more than 135,000 employees across the world and the latest data has revealed that office environments can and do hinder productivity … only 54% [of British employees surveyed] think their workspace allows them to work productively."

Young people eager to start their own business

Almost three-quarters (72%) of UK workers aged 25-34 are keen to start a business, according to new research from Standard Life. In addition, 57% of all UK workers have considered becoming their own boss. But the barriers which stop people from changing career path and starting a business include: worries about being too old to change direction (11%), valuing current stability (11%), not knowing where to start (10%), and a lack of confidence (10%).

Cyber attacks likely to "hit SMEs harder"

Specialist data protection lawyers Moore Blatch have warned that SMEs could suffer disproportionately if they are hacked. New legislation means that customers affected by a breach could seek financial compensation for distress even if no financial loss is suffered. Paul Whitaker, partner at Moore Blatch, said: "The most commonly discussed financial cost relating to a cyber-attack and loss of data is the potential fine from the Information Office Commissioner. But … the loss of the client's relationship and details about products and services lost could cause far greater emotional stress … if an SME is hacked or loses client data, the claim for emotional distress could be far higher."

Do you know your numbers?

Many UK small businesses struggle to make accurate projections for the year ahead because they don't have a handle on the state of their own business. A survey by Worldpay found that a fifth of business owners still use a pen and paper for their business admin. In addition, 48% of respondents were unable to identify their top ten customers, 57% didn't know their busiest trading day of the month and 62% were unable to identify their top three selling items.