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The Guardian

The first trolley rolls round the ________ of County Hall in Worcester well before 8am. A few minutes later comes another, and another. And another.
But there are no rattling tea cups, KitKats or fresh fruit on these trolleys. Instead, contents include folders, files, books, family photographs, ________, furry mascots, hole punches, mugs, pencil pots, packets of tights and other items that would normally sprawl across a desk.
Except there are no ________ for these office workers. The "hotdeskers" of Worcestershire county council are in the vanguard of a second "flexible working" revolution. Each morning they collect their trolley, scout round for an ________ desk, unpack their belongings, reconfigure the computer and begin their working day. At closing time they load up their trolley and wheel it away again.
Thanks to hotdesking - having fewer desks than people - Worcestershire county council leaders say they have been able to close 28 local offices, centralise workers in a "hub" at County Hall and - most importantly - reduce the ________ to the taxpayer.
It works like this: instead of an office space, you have a password you can tap into any PC to access your online profile, files and the ________. Instead of having your own desk telephone, you type a code into the nearest handset, or mobile, transferring any calls to your number in the process.
Now, mobile phones, ________, Wi-Fi, high-speed internet and VoIP mean hotdesking are in vogue.
As someone who enjoys to the full the benefits of flexible working, I'm all for progress. I'm a believer.
Well, I was until Kate Bonsall showed me her research. Bonsall spent several weeks observing and interviewing 150 workers at a consulting firm, some of whom hotdesk, some of whom still have a permanent desk.
Her findings, published last month by the Institute of Work Psychology at the University of Sheffield, suggest that hotdesking makes ________ feel less connected to their team, and both less able and less motivated to share knowledge with their colleagues.
For all the ________ advantages of hotdesking, Bonsall says it could be damaging to an organisation's health. "If workers feel less connected, they're less likely to stick around," she says.
Hotdesking has reduced the opportunity to share best practice and increased the number of her colleagues who feel isolated and anxious about their jobs. "Organisational change goes on all the time, but at least when you get back to your desk you feel you know what's going on. But what if you have no desk?"
Some employers have already seen the warning signs.  Researchers at IBM have learned that if teams go more than three days without gathering, their happiness and productivity suffers. Now managers are told to bring ________ together at least once every three days.
Bonsall says employers introducing hotdesking must accompany the move with measures to improve cohesion - like occasional team-building exercises. Or maybe they could just let us keep our desks
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Green Economy: Motivating Employees

Want to boost your employees' morale? Go green, suggests new research.
Employees are more likely to be satisfied with their jobs if they work for a company that's perceived to be environmentally friendly, says a study from the Charlton College of Business at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth. From an employees' point of view, being green is better than having lots of green [money], according to the study, which is published in the latest issue of the Interdisciplinary Environmental Review. A firm's financial performance had no correlation with employee happiness levels, researchers found.
College graduates are looking for more than just a first job or an internship. They are looking to work for businesses that help the environment, according to a survey conducted by MonsterTRAK. Results from the survey show that a surprising percentage of young workers want employment with a green company: 80 percent of those surveyed said they were not interested in jobs that would have a negative impact on the environment and a whopping 92 percent would chose working for an environmentally friendly company.

Other research shows employees working at companies with clear corporate responsibility (CSR) programs, including environmental and social programs, are most satisfied. The pride they feel to work there means they stay at their jobs longer and are more content with senior management.

According to Jack W. Wiley, executive director at KRI, the benefits of participating in CSR activities include: increasing an organization's competitive advantage when recruiting; setting the organization apart from the competition in terms of employment brand; creating an elevated sense of teamwork among employees; and helping to establish an emotional tie between the employee and the organization.

These new surveys imply that green and responsible companies are attracting and retaining talented people. Being green isn't only good for the Earth, it's good for HR, workers' moral, and the bottom-line.

[Adapted from www.Inc.com & www.greenbiz.com]


What percentage of students want to work for an eco-friendly company?
A: 80%
B: 20%
C: 92%
D: none of the above
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According to the article, CSR increases a company's competitive advantage because:
A: they can recruit better people
B: customers will choose their brands
C: teamwork is improved
D: all of the above
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What do you think is meant by "the bottom-line"?
A: the company's profits
B: the company's products & services
C: the employee's pay-cheque
D: the company's sales-force
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Why do employees feel more satisfied if they work for companies with positive environmental & social policies?
A: they stay at their jobs longer
B: they are proud of the companies they work for
C: they are usually better paid
D: none of the above
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