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The rise of brand content and content marketing has split the opinion of PR professionals, with some considering it inherently biased or helping competitors.

While many see the value of brand journalism, others believe it undermines traditional journalism and isn’t to be taken seriously, according to research from Collective Content and ResponseSource.

Among a range of findings, the research found:

  • Those who say so-called brand journalists are treated ‘on a par with traditional journalists, was up on 2016 – 25.8% of respondents either say they are now or will be within a year.
  • However, those PRs who say these content creators will never be treated equally when they engage with PRs was also up – at 33.1% of our sample as opposed to 27.4% a year ago.
  • While brands are becoming more effective at determining the success of content marketing for themselves, they aren’t letting PRs in on the metrics. PRs said it is “difficult to carry out due diligence” on brand publications.
  • It is common for PRs to consider brand publications biased. Just over two thirds of PRs who don’t treat brand journalists equally cited “conflict between those paying for the content and your own company/client”.
  • There is a greater understanding than ever of terms such as ‘content marketing’, ‘native advertising’, ‘brand storytelling’ and indeed ‘brand journalist/journalism’.
Future cooperation

The study shows that any change in attitudes is gradual, with the spectrum of views on this subject still quite broad.

A third of respondents actually said they had never been contacted by brand journalists – which is almost impossible to believe – showing there are fundamental issues over interactions with this fast-growing area of content creation.

All of this leaves the subject as one that needs more attention – for the good of PRs, brand journalists and the brands they represent.

ResponseSource Founder and Chairman Daryl Willcox said: “PRs by their very nature are wary of how their clients will be perceived and they know that brands are no different. The rise in brand-created content is not something to be dismissed. Collaboration between PRs and brand journalists is a natural step forward and an opportunity that can yield great results for both sides.”

Download the full report: Will PR and content marketing play together nicely?

Methodology: There were 382 UK respondents from the ResponseSource database to an online survey during the months of February and March 2017. Of these, 348 were in PR, with 252 (72%) at agencies and the remaining 96 (28%) in-house. The other 34 were not in PR but often in related fields such as marketing roles. The focus of the report is on the PR community in the UK.

SOURCE: ResponseSource

 

UK businesses are dealing with an increase in staff turnover, according to research by Robert Half UK.

Over a third (36%) of HR directors have seen the number of leavers rise over the past three years.

While businesses recognise the issue and are starting to offer more incentives for staff to stay, there is a discrepancy between the issues current retention strategies address, and the reasons why employees decide to leave.

The survey found the key reasons why employees choose to move on according to HR directors were:

  • Boredom and frustrations with their current role or company (35%)
  • Poor work-life balance (31%)
  • Stagnant career prospects (30%)

Boredom was identified as a main reason for staff turnover across companies of all sizes. However, employees in large businesses are particularly affected by this, with almost half (42%) naming it the key reason for staff turnover. This was less prevalent in small companies (27%) and in medium-sized ones (35%).

Combating the issue

In response, companies are employing several different retention methods to reduce employee turnover.

These include:

  • Flexible working arrangements (63%)
  • Competitive salary packages (45%)
  • Career development and training (33%)
  • Internal promotions (30%)
  • Counteroffers (14%)

However, most fail to directly tackle the issue of workplace-related boredom, which leaves the underlying driver of employee attrition unaddressed. Giving employees meaningful and worthwhile work has been shown to make them 3.2 times more likely to be happy at work and, consequently, less likely to leave.

“UK businesses are beginning to realise that they need to prioritise the implementation of effective retention strategies as their current efforts have been unsuccessful in addressing the underlying causes of voluntary staff turnover. At a time where the labour market is very competitive and highly-skilled employees are in short supply, organisations need to ensure they look after their staff. With the productivity agenda a high priority for business leaders, considering employee happiness and well-being will promote loyalty”, commented Phil Sheridan, Senior Managing Director at Robert Half UK.

“At the end of the day, employees are a company’s most important resource, regardless of its size or sector. Losing staff because they feel unhappy and unmotivated can be avoided if businesses develop a strategy which incorporates staff wellbeing initiatives alongside career planning and, above all, nurtures a positive company culture.”

SOURCE: Robert Half 

Robert Half is a specialised recruitment consultancy and member of the S&P 500. Founded in 1948, the company has over 325 offices worldwide providing recruitment solutions for accounting and finance, financial services, technology and administrative professionals.

Employers must recognise the rise of the ‘gig-economy’ and implement strategic workforce planning strategies to reflect this shift.

This is the advice from global talent acquisition and management specialist, Alexander Mann Solutions.

The recommendation follows Mercer’s 2017 Global Talent Trends Study, which found that HR leaders do not expect the gig-economy to have a major impact on their own business in the next two years.

This is despite the majority of full-time employees (77%) saying they would consider working on a contingent or contract basis.

According to figures from the Office for National Statistics, over the last decade the number of self-employed workers in the UK has surged from 3.8 million to nearly 4.7 million. The figure has risen by 174,000 in the last year alone with 15% of the entire UK workforce now self-employed.

Commenting on the findings, Lisa Forrest, Global Head of Internal Talent Acquisition, at Alexander Mann Solutions, said:

“As Mercer’s study shows, the disconnect between the intentions of employees and business leaders around the rise of contracting as a career choice is stark. Consequently, organisations which do not recognise the rise of the flexible workforce risk finding themselves in a situation where they are unable to access the skills their business needs to thrive.”

“The rise of the ‘gig-economy’ is encouraging a more ‘Uber-esque’ approach to recruitment – and workforce planning strategies must respond to reflect this. Employers who embrace the rise of the flexible workforce will benefit from being in a position to bring on board specialist skills to help manage demand without the burden of permanent headcount costs. Those who ignore the rise of the gig-economy do so at commercial risk.”

SOURCE: BlueSky PR

 

The way we communicate often decides how big a slice of the cake we get.

Does this seem a bit exaggerated? That may well be the case, but it doesn’t make it less true.

Moreover, the more you become an empathetic and intelligent networker – the more people will allow you to obtain power and influence!

The right to power, influence and opportunities is not a right you possess or take: It is a right other people will have to grant you.

Your success depends on whether you have an attitude that your surroundings find useful to honour. If you do, they are going to support and open networking doors to you.

But exactly what kind of attitudes can pave the way for you to become an attractive person?

Make room for your conversational partner

When trying to contact another person, many people make the mistake of talking a lot about themselves or their business. Funnily enough, most people are aware that it feels wrong – but end up doing it anyway!

Of course, it is fine to introduce yourself, but after that, it is of paramount importance to take a sincere interest in your conversational partner. Be a good listener and ask about your partner’s context and challenges. It pays off because very few people are used to being met with interest and curiosity.

 Value comes from ‘social indebtedness’

Good networking is about ‘social indebtedness’. You have to treat somebody to something and create a favourable situation for the person you want to be your business relation. When you give somebody something, this person will in most cases feel flattered and obligated to repay your service.

You can hand out many different things:

  • Your knowledge, which the recipient may use to further develop his skills, earn more money or gain higher status.
  • Good contacts – which can be used to make new acquaintances and cooperative relationships or to establish a more favourable position on the job market.
  • Your friendship and company

But remember: Action brings about change! If you do not do anything, nothing is going to happen and everything will remain as it is!

By Simone Andersen

Simone Andersen is a speaker and author of the bestseller: The Networking Book, 50 ways to develop strategic relationships.

The Networking BookSimone AndersonShe is also a journalist and has a Master’s degree in media science. Simone worked for many years at the Danish Broadcasting Corporation (DR) as an editor and talk show host. She is an expert in business networking and building relations.

 

The average Briton will jet off on holiday knowing only eight words of the country’s language, according to a new study.

Researchers took a look into how ‘au fait’ we are with other languages and revealed the majority of us will head off on our summer holidays only being able to say a handful of things in the native dialect.

The survey by Holiday Autos revealed nearly two thirds of Britons claim to be embarrassed that we make such little effort to learn foreign languages.

However a further 27% admit to making no effort to learn a language ahead of their holiday – with the fact ‘everyone speaks English’ emerging as the main excuse.

Parlez vous anglais?

The study found French to be the language Brits are most familiar with, with the average UK adult being able to rattle off up to 15 words. However, despite millions of Brits travelling to Spain this summer, the average holidaymaker knows just eight words in Spanish.

‘Hello’, ‘yes’ and ‘goodbye’ are the most common words Brits known how to say in a foreign language, followed by ‘thanks’, ‘no’ and ‘good morning’ – while three in ten of Brits on holiday know how to ask where the bathroom is and over a third can competently ask for a beer.

Of the 1,500 respondents surveyed, 23% said they holiday in English speaking resorts so there was no need to make an effort and speak the local language.

A spokesperson for Holiday Autos, said: “This research highlights that Brits don’t make huge amounts of effort when it comes to learning languages when planning a holiday in country abroad.

“Saying that, if, of those eight words that the average adult knows is ‘please’, ‘thank you’ and ‘good morning’, you can’t go far wrong.”

“For those that want to know just enough words to get by when they head off to sunnier climes this summer, we’ve produced handy language guides that are available online and include top foreign phrases that you can learn while traveling or before you pick up your holiday hire car.”

Lost in translation

Being so limited with the local language has landed one in ten adults in hot water – with problems occurring when ordering food and drinks, following directions and settling a bill.

One in ten have lost luggage on holiday and struggled to communicate with the necessary people.

35% of Brits claim to start speaking slower in English when trying to make themselves understood and a quarter opt for gesticulating wildly with their hands.

More than one in 20 have even resorted to drawing pictures and one in ten have to rely on their smartphone to make themselves understood.

Over a quarter of Brits have a funny story to tell about a friend or family member trying to make themselves understood on holiday – with 17 percent claiming they still laugh about it.

The average holidaymaker has experienced three ‘lost in translation’ moments when on holiday:
  • A gentleman got a surprise in France when he asked for jam to go with his croissant and got a condom
  • A holidaymaker thought he was asking a waiter where the toilet was, but was actually repeatedly asking where the man’s wife was
  • Another asked for egg on his pancake and got a raw egg
  • One respondent asked for a lemonade and ended up buying a newspaper
  • Another regularly got the French words for rabbit and bread around the wrong way
  • One respondent ended up with a slap around the face. To this day he doesn’t know what he said.

Of those that completed the poll, 35% would like to know enough words to just get by when they head off on holiday.

“The survey has uncovered some really interesting insights into how Brits seem to have the confidence to communicate while traveling without necessarily learning any of the native language,” the spokeperson added.

“It shows that having confidence leads to happier holidays — something which Holiday Autos believes in wholeheartedly, as we provide book and go car hire and we are committed to find the best car at the best price for everyone’s holidays.”

Top 30 foreign words/phrases Brits CAN say on holiday
  1. Hello
  2. Yes
  3. Goodbye
  4. Thanks
  5. No
  6. Good morning
  7. Please
  8. My name is
  9. Good evening
  10. Excuse me
  11. Tomorrow
  12. The bill please
  13. Breakfast
  14. Can I have a beer?
  15. Car
  16. Dinner
  17. Left
  18. Right
  19. Pizza
  20. Taxi
  21. Where is the bathroom?
  22. Where is the hotel?
  23. Please can I have a glass of wine?
  24. Still water
  25. Where is the hospital?
  26. Straight on
  27. Will you sleep with me?
  28. Sparkling water
  29. I have an upset stomach
  30. Moped

SOURCE: ResponseSource

Dan Beverly offers a few thoughts to help you negotiate when it comes to salary.
1. Make them love you first.

As far as possible, hold-off any discussion of salary and bonus until way down the interviewing line. It’s a different type of conversation and one that can get in the way of your expressions of passion for the job and value for the company. Make them love you and your value first and you’ll be in a much stronger negotiating position.

2. Do your homework.

As with any negotiation, you need to be prepared. With your current salary + a reasonable uplift as a starting thought, research similar roles in the industry requiring similar experience and with similar responsibilities. Develop a settlement range so you’re clear ahead of time what you will and won’t accept.

3. It’s not just about the money.

Sometimes we think of negotiating an offer as synonymous with negotiating a salary. And whilst salary might be a key factor, it is only one element of your offer – and unlikely to be the only element you’ll derive ongoing job satisfaction from. Take a holistic view and get clear on your priorities. Be sure to think about things like benefits, holiday, flexibility in working hours, ongoing personal development and opportunities for contribution and growth. And give some thought to job title and its significance in your particular industry.

4. Buy some time.

Getting an offer is fantastic – and for that reason, you’re unlikely to be in the best emotional state to negotiate. It’ll feel counter-intuitive to do so (we just want to sew-up the deal!), but where possible, buy yourself a little time. A simple statement like – “I’m thrilled you want to hire me; could I take a little time to consider and we talk more later today?” – will give you a chance to absorb the emotions and then approach the negotiation conversation with fresh perspective.

5. Easy topic. Easy topic. Tough topic. Repeat.

When it comes to the particulars, develop rapport with your counterpart by starting with some easy, non-threatening topics. For example: confirming length of probation period or number of days’ holiday. Whatever for you is a non-contentious lower priority. Reserve your top priority and/or potentially contentious issue for Question #3, once you’re both comfortable and talking. Then repeat.

6. Go easy on the changes.

There may be a couple of big or contentious changes you want to re-negotiate. And if they’re priorities, of course: have the conversation. But remember that an attempt to negotiate every aspect of the entire offer is not going to go down well. Choose your select priorities and focus your attentions there. If you find yourself wanting to negotiate a lot more, time to ask yourself whether this is the right role and company for you.

7. Let them give the number first.

Over the years coaching people into their perfect career, I’ve moved around on the “you say the number first / let them say the number first” debate. On the one hand: going first allows you to set the “anchor” the rest of the salary conversation will be based on. On the other hand, a low first-number can leave you with a low deal and a high first-number can screen you out of the process. Today, my advice is: let them say what the job pays; and you re-anchor the conversation in rebuttal.

8. Continue to showcase yourself.

An offer negotiation is a different conversation from an interview. But you’re still looking to marry past achievements and experience with future performance and value offered. Throughout a negotiation, take conversational opportunities, not so-much to resell yourself, but to offer legitimate and we’ll-reasoned explanations for your demands. And be prepared to answer tough questions as to why you’re asking for more.

9. Set the next milestone.

Over time, interests, motivations and constraints change. What isn’t important to you today might be in the future. What wasn’t negotiable for the company today might be in the future. As part of today’s negotiations, commit to a date for your next milestone review.

10. Make it clear they can get you.

With all this talk of negotiating what you’re worth, it can be easy for the “I want the job” message to get lost! So temper your negotiating tactics with a light and conversational style. And keep coming back to your delight at having been offered the role; and your enthusiasm for working together in the near-future.

Getting what you’re worth.

In the end, no amount of negotiation is going to compensate for a poor fit. So put thought and energy into a well-considered job hunt that ensures the path you choose takes you where you want to go.

But once the fitting job has been found and offered, don’t settle if the proposal isn’t right. Have the conversation and get what you’re worth.

SOURCE: Dan Beverly

Dan BeverlyDan Beverly is a leadership and performance coach, helping high-achieving professional women embrace the pivotal career moments.

 

In light of the recent WannaCry ransomware attack that brought large parts of the NHS to a standstill and infected computers all over the world, consumer security company BullGuard has issued a number of security tips to help keep people safe online.
1. Update your software

Always apply updates to your operating system and software as soon as they become available. Many malware infections are the result of software vulnerabilities that aren’t patched.

2. Use strong passwords

People still commonly use passwords that are easy to guess such as 123456, password and qwerty. Hackers can break these passwords in seconds using password cracking software. Ideally, a strong password should consist of nine or more characters using a mixture of upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols. These are very difficult to crack even for password cracking software. They may be difficult to remember but you can use a password manager tool to both secure them and remember them.

3. Antivirus software

Good antivirus software will keep you safe from all types of viruses and ransomware as well as phishing emails, malicious links and websites that contain hidden malware.

4. Be careful shopping online

Fraudsters often set up bogus websites to try and fool users into parting with their personal information. These websites can include malicious links that will infect your computer, if you click on them, with malware designed to steal your personal information. Some websites are also set up fraudulently to mimic real websites so you need to exercise some caution and be assured that the website is legitimate.

5. Check the website URL

Look at the URL of a website to ensure it is legitimate and secure. Secured websites begin with ‘https’ which means it is secured using an SSL certificate. SSL certificates secure your data as it is passed from your browser to the website’s server. To receive an SSL certificate, a company must go through a validation process. If the website begins with ‘http’ only – and does not have the ‘s’ at the end – it means it is not secure.

6. Be careful when using social media platforms

Fraudsters trawl social media platforms looking for information that can be used for criminal activity. This can range from addresses to personal information such as birthdays, pet names, and even where you bank. Be sure to familiarise yourself with the privacy settings on the social media platforms you use and make sure you apply them. This restricts your posts to friends and family, (i.e. only the people you want to see your posts), while blocking strangers and potential fraudsters.

7. Keep an eye on children’s online activities

Teach children about the risks they may encounter online such as infected links, inappropriate content and the danger of oversharing. You can also use parental controls to discretely monitor what they do online.

BullGuard has also released a valuable Parents’ Guide to Protecting Children Online, packed with practical advice and tips to help parents keep their children safe online.

8. Monitor online gaming

Many online games have a feature that allows a gamer to buy in-game items and add-ons for real money. It’s not unusual to see hundreds of pounds disappear as children innocently make purchases if you have card details linked to the account. At the same time parents should also set up a specific email account for game registrations to ensure email accounts that hold addresses, contact information and online banking information are kept separate from the game account.

Paul Lipman, CEO at consumer security company BullGuard concludes: “The WannaCry attack was a wake-up call for a lot of people but the reality is that these attacks happen all the time. The irony is that many of them can be stopped by applying some basic security measures.”

“Attacks of this scale and nature will most certainly happen again but if people can get into the habit of applying a few simple security steps they can stay safe online. Many of these precautions are very straightforward yet they avert a lot of trouble when applied.”

SOURCE: ResponseSource

 

BullGuard is offering 90 day’s FREE trial of BullGuard Internet Security to help keep parents, their children and their families stay safe online.

 

No successful big business owner is an island.

You can keep a small business running by yourself but, if you are ready to achieve growth, then you need a team surrounding you.

Your team has to be the right for your business. Each individual needs to fit into your culture and they need to have the skills the company actually needs and that no one else on the team has.

During my 17 years coaching small businesses I’ve observed six elements that distinguish the truly winning teams from the failing ones:

1. Strong Leadership

It is important to hire team members who are better than in you the areas that they are hired for. This means as a team, you can achieve more. However, if you are unable to lead them and direct the flow of that team work towards the goals of the business, their strengths will be either unused or wasted.

2. A Common Goal

No matter what your skills as a leader, if you do not know what path you are leading them down, you are not taking them down the most successful route.

Everyone on your team should know, clearly and precisely, what they are aiming for individually, and how their goals contribute to the larger goal of the business.

3. Rules of the Game

What you are aiming for here is a ‘loose-tight culture’. You should set some clear boundaries for what is acceptable and then within those boundaries, the culture should be loose and innovative. The best teams have the room to be creative, to take risks and to try new things, while keeping within limits of what is non-negotiable in order to ensure that innovation is directed towards results and not wasted energy or worse, negative outcomes.

4. Action Plan

Knowing where you are headed is different from knowing how you are going to get there. You are not managing a team, you are managing their activities. This means you need to lay out a plan for the business and then, importantly, share that plan with your team. Sit down with them and run over how that cascades down to each of them. Where are their responsibilities? What are they accountable for? What do they have ownership of? 

5. Supporting and Encouraging of Risk Taking

You have to let your team know that it is ok to try something new, take a risk, make a mistake – have fun. We want to enjoy our work and doing the same thing over and over is not going to achieve that. In fact, growth more often than not comes from your motivated employees seeing opportunities that you may have missed otherwise. 

6. Effective Management

The final element is understanding that management is what pushes a team forward. Leadership pulls a team together, but it is through management that you accelerate them.

The distinction between management and leadership is an important one that many business owners miss. In a nutshell, management is about making sure that the preparations are in place, that the systems are operating properly and that the proper leverage is being obtained to drive the team and the business forward.

Where your leadership is in explaining to your team WHY they are doing what they do, your management comes in when you are explaining to them HOW they are achieving the goals of the company.

There are, of course, hundreds of elements that affect how and why a team fails or succeeds. However, by keeping a focus on these 6 elements, you will build a very strong foundation for creating the kind of team that scores goals and wins results for your business.

Shweta JhajhariaAbout Shweta Jhajharia

Shweta Jhajharia is Principal Coach and founder of The London Coaching Group, an ActionCOACH company. Shweta is a multi-award-winning business coach, and a popular keynote speaker. She has been recognised both by external bodies and the industry awards panels as the top coach in the UK, and the Number 1 ActionCOACH from over 1200 worldwide, and has been invited to speak at large business events such as the bi-annual Business Show. Despite the competitive economy, her clients consistently achieve measurable double digit growth (over 41%) and are the most awarded client base in UK.

 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Londoncoachingg

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BusinessCoachingLondon

Google+: https://plus.google.com/+Londoncoachinggroup

LinkedIn: uk.linkedin.com/in/shwetajhajharia/

 

Mums spend more time taking photographs and videos of their children to share on social media, than they do parenting them, according to new research.

A poll of 2,000 UK mums revealed that almost a quarter (23%) spend more than 12 hours every day on gadgets such as mobile phones, laptops and tablets.

A further one in ten mums (12%) also admitted to spending 9 to 12 hours a day on devices, which means over a third (35%) of UK mums spend at least 9 hours a day on their gadgets.

Half of these mums (54%) said that most of this time was spent on social media platforms, and a third (33%) said they were taking photos and videos of their children to share on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Nationwide gadget use

The poll of mums with children aged between 0-16, commissioned by Row.co.uk, a mobile phone and tech insurance company, found:

– Mums in England

  • 24% spend over 12 hours a day on their gadgets
  • 55% spend time on social media
  • 34% take pictures and videos of their kids

– Mums in Wales

  • 22% spend over 12 hours a day on their gadgets
  • 46% spend time on social media
  • 33% take pictures and videos of their kids

– Mums in Northern Ireland

  • 17% spend over 12 hours a day on gadgets
  • 63% are on social media
  • 38% take pictures and videos of their kids

– Mums in Scotland spend the least time on their phone

  • 14% spend over 12 hours a day
  • 48% are on social media platforms
  • 24% take pictures and videos of their children to share online
Phone or play

It could be argued that the stats show many mums are spending more time behind the lens taking pictures of their children instead of playing with them.

And yet, a whopping 62% of mums were very quick to say ‘no’ when asked if they spent more time on gadgets than they do with their children.

Almost a third (29%) said they were unsure, suggesting mums are not ready to own up to their socia-media-lite mummy habits.

A quarter of mums (22%) confirmed to feeling guilty when on their phones and not playing with the kids, but they also said they felt they deserved some ‘me’ time. Some 6% of mums said they felt ‘in company’ when on gadgets as being at home with children can be lonely.

So, where do these busy mums find time to take and share pictures of their family online?

  • 30% said they use their mobile phone when they wake up in the night
  • 20% said they use their gadgets as soon as they wake up in the morning
  • 7% are on gadgets during breakfast and lunch time
  • 5% even admitted to using gadgets during family bath times

And what are the kids doing while mum is on her phone or tablet? Well, it seems a socia-media-lite mummy may be teaching her children bad habits as 21% of mothers said their children would be playing games on their own gadgets.

Other mums said their children would be:

  • Watching TV (19%)
  • Playing outside (19%)
  • Eating a meal (8%)
Social pressure

Sophie Tait, part-time trainee nurse, and mother of two to Ella-Boo 11 and Logan 2, comments on the results: “As a mum I understand the social pressures to show friends online that you’re getting on great with your mummy adventures with fun days out and holidays.

“Even though behind closed doors most of us are probably having a tough day dealing with tantrums and household chores while juggling work at the same time.

“We certainly do need to get our priorities right and perhaps even start taking parenting advice from our own parents when mobiles phones and tablets weren’t around to distract!”

When the mums were asked to choose one thing their child loves spending time doing, the top five answers were:

  1. Playing outside (39%)
  2. Playing with their parents (19%)
  3. Watching a film, TV or using a gadget (18%)
  4. Arts and crafts (17%)
  5. Playing with toys inside the house (8%)

“The fact that a fifth of parents recognise their children love playing with them means we do know deep down that we need to spend more time with them,” said Ms Tait.

“It is hard being a mum juggling all of the jobs and commitments we have, but perhaps we all need to make a pact to stop posting so many pictures of our children with glorified filters. If we see less of them, maybe we’ll be less likely to feel pressurised to add our own.”

SOURCE: ResponseSource

Based in Bournemouth, Row.co.uk is the UK’s top rated specialist insurance provider of gadgets and appliances. Purchasing a policy through to claiming is all done online, keeping the process simple and prices low.

A British passion for yet another aspect of Scandinavian culture has become more prevalent in the last year.

After flat-pack furniture, meatballs and dark crime thrillers, it turns out we share a powerful love of ‘hygge’ too.

New research shows that while many of us may be unfamiliar with the meaning of the Danish word hygge – with less than a quarter (22%) of those surveyed saying they understood it – the Brits really do grasp the concept, even if they don’t realise it.

Hygge centres on the simple things that make us feel cosy and content. Although there is no direct English translation, UK homeowners are more tuned in than they know, with almost all respondents (98%) saying they feel their home has an impact on their sense of wellbeing.

The survey by Everest Home Improvements shows that the simple things work well for us too. More than a third of those questioned (38%) say that nice scents create a feeling of hygge in their homes, while two out of five (40%) say natural light is important.

More than half (58%) say they feel content simply spending time with family, friends or partners, and 43% say the simple act of locking their doors and windows gives them a sense of wellbeing.

In true Scandinavian style, nearly a quarter of respondents (23%) light a fire or log burner to help them feel contented, while around half (52%) draw the curtains and almost a third (32%) opt for the intimate appeal of candlelight. Bringing natural elements into the house such as flowers and pine cones creates hygge for three in ten of us (29%).

Bottom of the list for bringing hygge into the home was communication with the outside world, with only one in ten (11%) saying their devices helped them feel content.

Wellbeing

TV psychologist Emma Kenny explains the importance of wellbeing in the home: “Human beings crave feelings of security and belonging, two attributes that happy homes offer, and the Danish term ‘hygge’ encapsulates this feeling of cosiness and contentment, which can only be achieved when we are fully at ease and feel warm and safe.

“Our homes are not simply bricks and mortar; they are the foundation and embodiment of personal sanctuary, a space where we truly feel ourselves.

“Making our homes a little piece of personal perfection is really good for improving wellbeing and there are numerous studies that have evidenced how the way we organise and look after our homes can make us feel really positive about our personal worlds. In fact, taking time to add those extra special features can really enhance the way we feel about the spaces we inhabit, and in return enhance our lives.”

10 British Hygge Habits
  1. Spending time with partner / family / friends in the house (58%)
  2. Drawing the curtains/closing the blinds (52%)
  3. Making the bed up with fresh sheets (52%)
  4. Turning up the heating (44%)
  5. Locking the doors and windows (43%)
  6. Cooking / baking (42%)
  7. Enjoying the view from my window (34%)
  8. Lighting candles (32%)
  9. Decluttering (30%)
  10. Bringing elements of nature into the home (29%)

SOURCE: Jacqui Green Marketing