News & Updates

A page for your blog posts

If you’re not going to this year’s Glastonbury festival don’t despair, as there are a wealth of top-notch alternatives on the European festival scene.

Swap British weather and muddy fields for sunny beach festival or combine your festival holiday with a city break to one of Europe’s cultural hotspots. Here are some of the best alternatives for the ultimate festival getaway!

The global festival scene is thriving, with a diverse array of unique festival escapes in exciting new destinations. There’s wallet friendly Eastern European hotspots on the River Danube, being at one with nature with festivals set in beautiful woodland and amazing city festivals to combine with long weekends of culture, gastronomic delights and sightseeing. There’s something for every festival adventurer.

Need some inspiration? Here’s some unforgettable festival escapes for 2017…

Exit Festival – Party in a fortress overlooking the River Danube in Serbia

6-9 July 2017

Just a short ride away from the Serbian capital Belgrade, the magical Petrovaradin Fortress set high on the banks of the river Danube in Novi Sad provides the perfect setting for the EXIT Festival. Started as a student protest in 2000 fighting for political change and freedom, EXIT continues to spread positive vibes, promoting change and positive education, supporting many community and humanitarian missions, while throwing a damn good party.

The award winning festival has something for music lovers of all genres, with a diverse mix of artists performing on numerous stages connected by cobbled streets, ramparts and tunnels. Also renowned for it’s amazing atmosphere the Dance Arena champions the who’s who in the electronic music world. It’s that special moment when the sun’s rays shine over the fortress walls and your favorite tune is belting through the sound system and into your soul!

EXIT continues to deliver the most adventurous and value for money festival experiences in Europe so keep your eyes peeled for the first acts to be announced soon. EXIT. Where hedonism meets activism.

Line Up: The Killers, Liam Gallagher, Years & Years, Hardwell, Rag’n’Bone Man, Jake Bugg, Paul Kalkbrenner, Solomun b2b Dixon, Alan Walker, Black Coffee, Duke Dumont, Faithless Dj Set, Hot Since 82, Jamie Jones, Lost Frequencies, Noisia “OUTER EDGES”, Recondite, Robin Schulz, RÜFÜS, RÜFÜS DU SOL, Antigone B2B Francois X, Charlotte de Witte, Dax J, Function, Princess Nokia, Voiski, Foreign Beggars, Kungs, The Damned, Behzad & Amarou, Ben Vedren, Forest People b2b kLaus, Leo pol, Pierre, Sweely, Arkona, Destruction, Discharge, Samael, Angelic Upstarts, The Black Dahlia Murder + many more.


Positivus Festival – enjoy the picturesque woodland setting in Lativia

14-16 July 2017

Taking place in the picturesque coastal town of Salacgriva in Latvia, Positivus is the largest music and arts festival in the Baltic States, transporting chart-topping headliners, underground emerging talent and exciting art and dance stages to their unspoilt atmospheric coastal setting amid stunning woodland. Festival goers can dip their toes in the Baltic sea or take in the atmosphere in a hammock beneath the trees while enjoying a rich diversity of international chart toppers and underground emerging talent in this idyllic holiday location.

Positivus also offers art and dance stages giving festival-goers a variety of activities and stalls selling locally made designer clothing and accessories, giving festival goers plenty to see and do during the 3 day event. Positivus was also recognised in the 2013, 2015 and 2016 European Festival Awards being a finalist in the ‘Best Medium Sized Festival’ category and also for ‘Best Festival Line Up’ in 2013.

Line up: Maximo Park, The Lumineers, The Pixies, Ellie Goulding, Alt-J, Rae Sremmurd, Kamasi Washington, L.A. Salami, José González, Mew, Austra, JP Cooper, Cigarettes After Sex, Dagamba, Dzelzs Vilks, Pienvedēja Piedzīvojumi. Ray Blk, Eska, Nothing but Thieves, Julia Jacklin, Margaret Glaspy, Bandmaster + many more.


Sea Dance – party on the beach at this award winning festival in Montenegro

13-15 July 2017

Recently listed by Skyscanner as the number one cheapest holiday destination for 2017, Montenegro is well worth checking out. With towering mountains perfect for hiking and mountain biking as well as some of the world’s best unspoiled beaches on the Adriatic Sea, Montenegro also featured in the James Bond Film Casino Royale and, if it’s good enough for Bond, it’s good enough for us!

Award winning Sea Dance festival gathers each year fans from over 50 countries from all over the world, and impressive line up of more than 100 hottest international music stars. This year, the fourth edition of the festival, will be held in Budva, Montenegro. Voted best European medium-sized festival, Sea Dance has proven much within just three short years. Stunning location, world-renowned artists and outstanding productions make this festival a must see. Save the date and experience Sea Dance festival on Europe’s hottest summer destination.

Line Up: Sean Paul, Fatboy Slim, John Newman, Amelie Lewis, Denis Horvat, South London Ordnance, Space Dimension Controller, Bad Copy, Filip Xavi, Insolate, Tkno, Who See and many more


OFF festival – discover the best alternative music in Katowice

4-6 August 2017

OFF is a festival for the discerning music fan and the place to discover the best alternative acts from around the world. A truly unique boutique music festival, OFF Festival takes place in ‘Three Lake Valley’, Katowice – a beautiful green oasis in the heart of industrial Silesia.

OFF is a way of life, one that flies in the face of current trends and stays true to itself, and the ethos of organiser Artur Rojek is firmly aimed at supporting art and music with the festival bringing many acts to Poland for the first time.

OFF Festival’s reputation is growing year on year driven by the festivals forward–thinking, eclectic music policy and it’s bold and eclectic lineups. From the greatest alternative music stars from around the world to the increasingly strong Polish scene, OFF festival has inspiring music in abundance and the organisers and crowd have one serious finger on the pulse when it comes to music.

Line Up: Anna Meredith, Anna Von Hausswolff, Arab Strap, Batushka, BEAK>, Boris Graja “Pink”, Carla Bozulich, Circuit des Yeux, Conor Oberst with Band, Daniel Johnston, Duzy Jack, Feist, Group A, Helando Negro, Jessy Lanza, Kikagaku Moyo, Kwadrofonik I Artur Rojek, Lvl Up, Made in Poland “Martwy Kabaret”, Michael Gira, Moor Mother, PJ Harvey, Preoccupations, PRO8L3M, Royal Trux, Shame, Sheer Mag, Shellac, SIKSA, Silver Apples, Spoiwo, Swans, Taleb Kweli Live, The Black Madonna, The Oh Sees, Ulrika Spacek, Wolves in the Throne Room, Wrekmeister Harmonies and many more.


Sziget festival – a week long festival holiday on the island of freedom in Budapest

9-16 August 2017

Proud winner of the ‘Best Major European Festival’ award in 2015 and 2011, and ‘Best Festival Line Up’ in 2016, Sziget Festival is one of the biggest multicultural events of Europe. Taking place on the picturesque Óbuda Island in Budapest, Sziget welcomes over 490,000 visitors from over 100 countries to express themselves on their self-proclaimed Island of Freedom.

Sziget is not just about music, with more than 50 program venues offering festival goers the chance to experience many different things including; circus, theatre and dance, art and installations, yoga and sports and a huge variety of food. There is also has a beach area where fans can truly enjoy the summer and the Danube. With so much on offer in the heart of Budapest, Sziget provides a complete festival-holiday experience with a week long party, great live concerts and all the attractions the city has to offer such as beautiful historic buildings, thermal spas and special ’ruin pubs’.

Line up: Alex Clare, Allah-Las, Alt-J, Andy C, Anne-Marie, Bad Religion, Bakermat, Bassjackers, Bear’s Den, Biffy Clyro, Billy Talent, Birdy, Breaking Benjamin, Cashmere Cat, Charli XCX, Chef’Special, Clean Bandit, Crystal Fighters, Danny Brown, De Staat, Dimenson, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, DJ Shadow, Don Diablo, Dubioza Kollektiv, Flume, Fritz Kalkbrenner, George Ezra, GTA, GusGus, HVOB, Interpol, Jagwar Ma, Jamie Cullum, Kasabian, Kensington, Leningrad, Leon, Mac Demarco, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Major Lazer, Mando Diao, Materia, Maurice West, Metronomy, Nervo, Nothing but Thieves, OH Wonder, Oliver Heldens, PiNK, Paul Van Dyk, PJ Harvey, Rita Ora, Rone, Rudimental live, Steve Aoki, Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano, The Courteeners, The Kills, The Naked and Famous, The Pretty Reckless, The Strypes, The Vaccines, Tom Odell, Two Door Cinema Club, Tycho, Valentino Khan, Vince Staples, W&W, Watsky, Weval, White Lies, Wiz Khalifa + many more.


Lowlands – join the 25th anniversary edition of Holland’s biggest festival

18 – 20 August 2017

Get ready for A Camping flight to Lowlands Paradise 2017, as the festival prepares to celebrate its 25th anniversary. Taking place next to the Walib Fairgrounds, Biddinghuizen Lowlands is the Dutch answer to Reading and Leeds, but with impressive installations including the renowned red and white chimney stacks, plus unique covers for all stages so you can enjoy all the music rain or shine. Just over an hours drive from Amsterdam you can easily mix your festival trip with a few days city break in Amsterdam.

Tickets are available from ticketmaster.co.uk and include festival entry, camping and shuttle bus from / to railway station or Dronten Lelystad. More acts will be announced soon with over 250 acts in total performing at this year’s event.

Line Up: Mumford & Sons, The xx, Editors, alt-J, Bastille, Cypress Hill, Elbow, Flume, Iggy Pop, Kovacs, London Grammar, Michael Kiwanuka, Migos, Moderat, Skepta, Architects, At The Drive-In, Ben Klock, Billy Talent, Black Sun Empire, Carl Craig Presents Synthesizer Ensemble, Cashmere Cat, CLARK – Death Peak Live, Death Grips, Dixon, First Aid Kit, Future Islands, Glass Animals, Job Jobse, Jonna Fraser, Konstantin, LÉON, Mac DeMarco, MHD, Midland, Mura Masa, Nina Kraviz, Noord Nederlands Orkest, Nothing But Thieves, PVRIS, Robert Hood (DJ-set), Sampha, Talaboman, The Pretty Reckless, Ty Segall, Tove Lo, Abra, Aurora Halal, Bonzai, Colin Benders, Cubicolor Live, Baloji, Canshaker Pi, Denzel Curry, DJ Deeon, DJ Firmeza, Giegling Showcase (Ateq Live, Dustin, Edward.Live, Map.Ache) Haus, Jeangu Macrooy, John Moreland, Marie Davidson Live, Palace, Parcels, Romare Full Live Band, Shame, Shovels and Rope, SMIB and many more.

 

Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy, by Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and Wharton psychologist Adam Grant, shows how we can build the strength to overcome life’s challenges and support loved ones coping with loss, illness, and other adversity.
Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, Finding Joy, by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant

The book combines Sandberg’s personal insights after her husband died unexpectedly with Grant’s eye-opening research on finding strength in the face of adversity.

It turns out that people are not born with a fixed amount of resilience; it is like a muscle that everyone can build. Sandberg and Grant offer concrete steps we can take to recover and rebound from adversity and explore how a broad range of people have overcome hardships including illness, job loss, sexual assault, natural disasters, and the violence of war. They also address how to help others in crisis, develop compassion for ourselves, raise strong children, and create resilient families, communities, and workplaces. Many of these lessons can also be applied to everyday struggles.

The title of the book was inspired by an exchange Sandberg had with a close friend shortly after losing her husband, Dave Goldberg. As she was preparing for a father-child activity, she lamented that she still wanted Dave to go. “Option A is not available,” her friend replied. “So let’s just kick the shit out of Option B.”

Personal Experience

“Nothing prepared me for suddenly losing Dave, and in the days and weeks after he died I struggled to get through the fog,” Sandberg said. “Option B is my attempt to share what I learned from my own experience and from people who have studied resilience and faced all kinds of adversity. If this book can help anyone else, even a little, then I will have found some meaning through all of this and honored Dave’s life.”

“We can’t control what happens to us, but we do have influence over how we respond to the events in our lives,” Grant said. “This book is about the capacity of the human spirit to persevere. Sheryl and I wrote it to help people build their own resilience and support friends and loved ones who are in pain.”

Sandberg has also launched OptionB.Org, an initiative to connect people around their shared experiences and break the silence and isolation that too often accompany our struggles.

At OptionB.Org, people facing adversity—and their friends and loved ones—can read and share personal stories, join groups for solidarity and support, and find information from experts that will help them build resilience.

Stories

The site is launching with more than sixty stories from people who have been through adversity of all kinds, from Vernon Turner, who overcame a family history of drug abuse and trauma to become an NFL star, to Kathy Andersen, a survivor of sexual abuse who now helps female survivors of sex trafficking and exploitation. Visitors are encouraged to add their own story. They can also show their support for others’ stories with custom reactions, such as “I feel the same way,” “Thanks for sharing,” and “Stay strong”—similar to “Liking” a post on Facebook.

Groups

Research shows that coming together around shared experiences can be a source of strength and hope. Because it can be hard for people to find a group focused on the specific challenge they’re facing, OptionB.Org has created Facebook groups to help community members receive and offer support to one another. People can also find and join groups run by organizations and individuals on other online platforms and in person. For example, they can find out how to attend a dinner for people coping with loss run by an organization called the Dinner Party or join a group for women with disabilities run by Easterseals.

Information and Resources

OptionB.Org has co-developed or curated materials from a broad range of experts and released the first three videos in a series of Sandberg and Grant talking about key ideas in the book.

The site also lists organizations with hands-on expertise in OptionB.Org’s topic areas, including the National Alliance for Grieving Children, the National Network to End Domestic Violence, and RAINN, the United States’ largest anti-sexual-violence organization. In addition, contact information for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and Crisis Text Line are featured prominently on the resource page and in the site’s universal footer.

“We all face challenges. Some of them are big and traumatic, and some are small and more everyday. But we need resilience to deal with all of them,” said Rachel Thomas, president and co-founder of the Sheryl Sandberg & Dave Goldberg Family Foundation. “We’re committed to helping our community do just that—and to learning and growing together.”

OptionB.Org is focusing on seven topics at launch—Abuse & Sexual Assault; Divorce & Family Challenges; Grief & Loss; Hate & Violence; Health, Illness & Injury; Incarceration; and Raising Resilient Kids—and will add new ones based on member input.

The initiative is guided by an advisory board with expertise in its different areas of focus. Members helped shape the development of the website and education materials and recommended many of its partners.

OptionB.Org is an initiative of the Sheryl Sandberg & Dave Goldberg Family Foundation. Sandberg is donating all of her income from the book and providing additional funding to OptionB.Org.

 

 

 

screens Picture the scene: bright neon vectors, 2D images flying around in thin air, Tom Cruise waving his hands around – yes it’s Minority Report, and the iconic ‘gesture interface’. At the time this vision of the future seemed so far beyond modern technology we called it science fiction. However, the idea that any surface can be a screen is no longer as far-fetched as it once seemed.

This tech is moving quickly into the home.  LG recently showed a 64 inch screen at CES 2017 called Wallpaper.  LG now has a screen which is just 1mm thick and can be attached to a wall with magnets. In under one year technology has gone from curved screen TVs to screens that can be rolled up like a piece of paper. Truly incredible.

By 2018 it is estimated that there will be around 759 million TV sets connected to the internet globally. This figure represents about 25% of the world’s TVs. By 2019, more than 50% of TV households in Japan, the US, the UK, France and Germany will have Smart TVs, according to the IHS TV Sets Intelligence Service.

We’re surrounded by screens everywhere we go. From the TV, to your laptop, tablet, or phone. And connecting them all is the Internet.

So, it seems all the parts are there:  a screen or something plugged into it that can display images or video that it gets from somewhere else, a device in your hand, or in your lap, that gives you instant feedback the moment you touch or slide your finger across it, and a wifi network in your house that connects it all.

But there is one major hurdle stopping you from having your own Minority Report style show.  Sharing media across all of these screens and devices: TVs, smartphones, tablets, and smartwatches, is not easy. This is because they are made by many of different companies. Some have features which allow for ‘cross-device’ compatibility: send video from your Samsung phone to your Samsung TV, send photos between Apple devices using Airdrop. But what about ‘cross-manufacturer’ compatibility? Well we are not quite there yet.

There are hardware solutions like Chromecast, Roku, Fire TV, Apple TV. However, all these require the app, or an extension to the app, to be compatible with your content. Screen-mirroring is one option, but forget about replying to that text, or alert, or notification from Facebook or Twitter, once you’re doing it – screen-mirroring means you’ll have to do it on both screens at once.

There are standards slowly being developed. Samsung’s Tizen system supports various types of DLNA, Miracast and DiAL screen sharing protocols across their range. LG have utilise both WebOS and Netcast. Sony is producing its own platform, as well as a Google TV variant. On top of that (literally, over-the-top or OTT) you have Google’s Chromecast, Roku, Apple TV, Amazon’s Fire TV, and a host of other generic TV plug-in stick and boxes. But none of these solutions are independent and put the user at the centre. What’s needed now is something that centres the media experience to the user, around their most familiar computer interface.

The new kid on the block

Enter the new kid on the block, Playora. The basis of this new technology and app is that it gives the user the ability to touch something on one screen, and have that appear on another screen without fuss, wires or layers of menus.  And that screen doesn’t have to be in the same room – or even the same country!

Now imagine this

You’re in the Valley of the Kings, in Egypt. The majestic peak of the Great Pyramid is to the left, and amazingly, impossibly, there’s hardly any other tourists around. The sun is just rising…you have the perfect shot: you, the Sun, and 4500 years of mystery. Click. That’s it… the best selfie you’ve ever taken! Then… swipe, press, swipe, press… that selfie is instantly on your Mum’s tablet back home in Italy. She’s just come home from work, she has some friends round (they’re all drinking espressos)… she sees the pic – gets all excited of course – and with the touch of a button sends it to her smart TV in the living room, where they’re all sitting. Much joy all around!

Picture another scenario

You and your friends all have Smart TVs – you’re out socialising all the time, round each other’s houses. WhatsApp is a big part of organising your social life, a great place for Banter, and a cool channel for sharing pics – but those pics from that boat party last night…well, they just have to be shared on the big screen. Your friends all have different makes and models of Smart TVs… but that’s not a problem: you just open up Playora! Swipe, press, swipe, press… voila! It’s on all their TVs at the same time… and your WhatsApp group goes crazy!

Who knows where we go next! With Google recently filing a patent to the US Patent & Trademark Office for what they are calling an “intra-ocular device” that lens may one day become a tiny, injectable transparent screen that lives in your eye and is connected to your phone by Bluetooth – making it possible to share your photos and videos directly into someone’s eyes, essentially creating a personal 3D cinema and built in virtual reality unit all in one, leaving Minority Report to dust!

Matt SpallMatt Spall (Founder)

Is a BAFTA winning serial technical entrepreneur, with a significant background in digital entertainment since 1986. Matt is the designer of Playora and has been active in development on Smart TV platforms and content since 2011.


Playora is raising £300,000 crowdfunding right now on Crowdcube, check out our pitch and see how you can buy a chunk of equity in the company that’s making science fiction science fact: https://www.crowdcube.com/playora

Founded by BAFTA winning serial technical entrepreneur Matt Spall, Playora is the trading name of Invisiplay Limited. The company was formed with the specific purpose of making it easier to use, so called, ‘Smart’ technology for entertainment by people left behind by the digital divide.

http://www.playora.com/

https://www.crowdcube.com/playora

@Playora

https://www.facebook.com/playoraapp

 


 

 

An international review of evidence on workplace wellbeing learning reveals that regardless of what kind of training is used, the majority of techniques had a positive impact: from mindfulness to problem solving, life skills to happiness.

The review also found that in some sectors, training to improve professional capabilities, such as emotional intelligence or conflict management, may also have positive wellbeing benefits for the learner. However, the evidence was mainly focused in the health sector and the evidence base needs to be developed.

The learning process could be the key to success. E-learning may be cost effective, but early evidence suggests that leadership or manager support training was more likely to offer wellbeing benefits when the online training included interactive elements, rather than only self-directed training.

This is the first time a systematic review has shown which types and formats of training are most effective to support wellbeing in addition to learning. The evidence supports the effectiveness of wellbeing training. However, this is part of a more complicated picture and training employees to better cope is not the end of the story. Wellbeing is also highly dependent on job quality, including autonomy and social relations, where employers should focus effort.

Nancy Hey, Director of the What Works Centre for Wellbeing who conducted the review said:
“We know work is important for wellbeing and that we need to do more to improve wellbeing at work. What has been less well understood is what actions organisations can take that will have an impact.

“This comprehensive review of published evidence is a great first step to better understand what works with training to improve wellbeing in the workplace.

“We will now look at cost effectiveness of the different types of training, to make sure the research is as practical as possible for companies to assess what’s the right approach for them.”

Olga Tregaskis, Professor of International Human Resource Management, UEA says:
“Workplace training and development has the potential to deliver wellbeing benefits in addition to improved organisational performance. Employee wellbeing is critical to sustainable performance and leading firms recognise the importance of embedding wellbeing within their management practice. Training and development is an important lever available to both individuals and employers.”

The survey Learning at work and wellbeing from the What Works Centre for Wellbeing draws on evidence from the UK and other similar developed economies. The review was conducted by a team based at the Universities of East Anglia, Sheffield, Reading and Essex.

The average British worker spends as many as 120 hours per year using their smartphones in the workplace.

According to a new survey of 2,012 UK adults more than three quarters, 84% admit to using their smartphones during working hours.

78% regularly respond to text messages during working hours, and 59% regularly take personal phone calls whilst working.

52% admit to answering instant messages via platforms such as Whatsapp and Facebook, whilst 9% have sent a Snapchat from their workplace.

44% of respondents said their workplace permitted reasonable use of smartphones.

More than a third (38%) regularly check their social media accounts while in the workplace.

Those working in marketing were the worst culprits, with 98% admitting to peeking at smartphones, followed by those working in information and communications (96%).

Mark Kelly, marketing manager at LaptopsDirect.co.uk, who carried out the research said: “It’s no surprise that we are addicted to our smartphones however overuse during working hours can add up, leaving a serious shortfall in productivity. Although companies monitor and prohibit the use of social media during the working day, the research shows that there is still a large amount of people continuing to use their device.

“Use of smartphones and social media in the workplace can lead to hundreds of thousands of hours in lost productivity per year, which could cost UK companies millions of pounds.”

14% have been told off for using smartphones at work, while just 4% have been disciplined for use of their own tech during work time.

Top 10 Business Sectors Who Use Smartphones

  1. Marketing – 98%
  2. Information and communications – 96%
  3. Creative and photographic – 92%
  4. Professional service (law, accountancy) – 86%
  5. Trades (construction, plumbing) – 78%
  6. Manufacturing – 74%
  7. Retail – 64%
  8. Transportation – 48%
  9. Education – 44%
  10. Healthcare – 23%

Is it time to spring clean your messy desk? More than half of senior managers (54 %) interviewed in a recent survey said the most distracting or annoying aspect of employee workspaces is sloppiness or disorganization. Interestingly, 1 in 10 respondents acknowledged a desk that’s too clean or bare raises a red flag.

15% of senior managers reported seeing an inappropriate or offensive item in an employee’s work area.

Senior managers were asked, “Which one of the following is the most distracting or annoying when it comes to employee workspaces?” Their responses:

Having a messy or disorganized workspace54%
Displaying inappropriate or offensive photos or phrases21%
Having too many knickknacks or decorations15%
Having a workspace that’s too clean or bare10%
100%

 

Senior managers were also asked, “Have you ever seen an inappropriate or offensive item or decoration in an employee’s workspace?” Their responses:

Yes15%
No85%
100%

 

The Survey was conducted by staffing firm OfficeTeam. Brandi Britton, a district president for OfficeTeam said, “Your workspace is a reflection of you. Keep it tidy and make sure there isn’t anything on display that might cause others to question your professionalism. Showing a little personality on your desk is fine, but don’t go overboard. You want to stand out for your positive attributes, not the messy state of your office or work area.”

Three tips for creating a workspace that leaves a good impression:

  1. Clean up your act. Spend a few minutes every day clearing out old documents, food wrappers and dirty dishes. Reduce clutter by organizing files or going paperless.
  2. Keep it simple. It’s OK to have a few things in your workspace that are inspiring or fun to look at, but covering your desk with too many knickknacks can be an eyesore.
  3. Don’t be offensive. Remember, items in your work area aren’t always for your eyes only. Ditch the political posters, risqué photos and anything that might be too controversial.

 

Coffee drinkers are nearly three times more likely to stay late at work, a new survey shows.

UK workers needing to stay late in the office are being fuelled by coffee. That’s the finding today after a study reported that one fifth (20%) of Brits stay one hour late at work if they drink two or more cups of coffee per day.

Coffee has long been believed to be the key for staying alert and engaged for long periods in the office and the research found that the amount people who drank coffee was directly proportional to additional time spent in the office.

It found that, while less than 1 in 10 (8.5%) of non coffee drinkers and those that drink just one cup per day, will stay an hour late, those that drink four or five cups are over 22% more likely to be seen working an hour late – almost three times more likely. Similarly, less than 15% of non-coffee drinkers stay behind for 45 minutes or more. This is compared to a whopping 42.6% of people who stay for the same amount of time who drink four to five cups.

The research also found coffee to be a mood lifter. Exactly a fifth (20%) of all respondents thought coffee put them in a better mood, while 16% thought it made them more focused. And the effects of a good cappuccino aren’t all in our head according to a study by Department of Psychology at Ruhr University in Germany which reported that just 200 milligrams of caffeine prods the brain to identify words and phrases more quickly. Perhaps it is this extra boost of brain power that encourages people remain longer at work, because they feel they are in the ‘zone’.

Honest Coffees commissioned this recent survey which also found that golden oldies are more likely to burn the midnight oil, with only 11.5% of over 55s clocking off the moment the day was over. Millennials were the most likely to leave on the dot, with 20.9% packing their bags and heading for home at the first opportunity.

The survey also highlighted differences in the caffeine preferences across the sexes – with men three times as likely to order an espresso than women. Latte came in as No.1 pick for both sexes – with 26% of women and 19% of men naming it as their favourite. Americano and cappuccino finished in the silver and bronze medal positions, with mocha and macchiato lagging well behind.

The top nutrition advisory panel in the United States; The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, recently noted that there are few health risks associated with drinking moderate amounts of coffee. Even better for coffee lovers, the panel cites “consistent evidence” of health benefits associated with drinking coffee and encourages people to boost their consumption to three to five cups a day.

Honest Coffees’ founder Wyatt Cavalier said: “It didn’t surprise us when we saw coffee drinkers tended to stay at work longer. Studies have shown it increases alertness and concentration, keeping you focused for longer. We’ve said for a while that having good coffee at work can actually save an employer money because it means people are less likely to pop out for a cup – but it seems like it might make them more inclined to stay longer as well.”

 

Number of coffees drunk a day on averagePeople who stay 45 minutes – 1 hour latePeople who stay 1 hour or more late
None6.25%8.52%
17.06%8.24%
28.70%20.65%
37.25%20.29%
4 / 520.37%22.22%
TOTAL8.96%14.34%

 

But it’s not all good news for white-collar caffeine junkies: more than three quarters of those surveyed rated the quality of the coffee at their work as average or worse.

Cavalier continued: “Coffee is part of our national heritage and it plays a big role in our daily lives. The people who drink it are now discerning over quality, type and brand so it’s important for businesses to recognise this.”

More Than 1 In 4 Have Been Inspired by TV Shows To Start A Business

TV Shows such as Dragons Den and their panel of business giants are inspiring a new generation of job seekers, according to new research.

A survey of 2,012 British adults has revealed that more than 1 in 4 (27%) millennials have considered starting a business as a result of watching a TV show or film.

35% of those aged 18-30 confessed to taking inspiration for their career path from their favourite TV shows and box sets, with business and law among the top careers to pursue as a result.

The business-based TV stars that are inspiring Brits’ career choices include the Dragons Den panel (14%), and its personalities such as Peter Jones, Duncan Bannatyne, Theo Paphitis, and Deborah Meaden.

Applications for university business degrees have increased in the past five years in further proof that Britons’ best-loved TV series and characters are shaping their job choice.

However, despite nearly two thirds (62%) of people saying they have researched a job or career path they have seen on the telly, for 38%, the reality of working life and setting up a business differed from the silver screen, as they felt the television made their job look better than it is.

This survey was conducted by Fletchers Solicitors, Ed Fletcher, CEO of Fletchers Solicitors, said: “The impact of TV role models shouldn’t be underestimated. We have seen in previous years how shows such as CSI have lead to a surge in forensic science course applications, and it seems that it is now the turn of business professions to benefit from an influx in interest and applicants.

“Growing up I was fascinated by those TV lawyers who fought against the odds to secure justice for their clients, and that still affects how I see my job today. It also suggests that TV production companies could have a role to play in helping inspire people into professions where there is going to be most need in 10 or 20 years’ time. With that in mind, perhaps we need shows that popularise engineers or mathematicians to help shape future generations.”

 

Supermarkets can control our walking speed when shopping, new research has found, by changing the pattern or markings on the floor.

A study by Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM), demonstrates that retail managers can persuade customers to walk at the ideal pace, either quicker or slower, on their shopping trip, by altering lines and patterns.

Bram Van den Bergh, who led the research, said: “Managing the flow of customers can be a challenge for retailers. When customers rush through the store, they miss interesting products and buy less. Spending too much time in front of the shelves can lead to annoying congestion in the aisles, which also leads to declining sales.

“It has been known for some time that walking speed plays an important role in shoppers’ purchasing decisions. But until now it was unclear what retail managers could do to influence the pace of their customers. This research was set up to find out how they might achieve this.”

The research reveals that closely spaced, horizontal lines on the floor slow the pace at which shoppers walk down an aisle, encouraging them to browse. Widen the gaps between the lines and shoppers move more quickly.

Marks on the floor alter the perception of the length of the aisle with more frequent lines making shoppers believe that the end is farther away so they instinctively slow down. If the lines are further apart, shoppers speed up because they think the end is nearer.

The researchers observed 4,000 people in a series of experiments that were conducted both in-store and in a lab. If the lines were 20 inches apart, they found it created the optical illusion that the end of the aisle was further away. Shoppers then tended to slow their pace.

In subsequent tests, slower shoppers were found to be much better at recalling what products they had seen than those who sped through.

The researchers related their findings to goal gradient theory: when an individual is closer to their goal, in this case, the end of the aisle, they will walk faster to reach it.

Many businesses across a range of industries have been enticed by the hot-desking model – but is it a sensible option for the working environment in 2017?

Hot-desking has seen a huge growth as a flexible working solution over the last few years. It offers the opportunity to cut the costs of running an office by up to 30%, and it’s not hard to see why many businesses across a range of industries have been enticed by the hot-desking model.

Aside from the financial gains, with employees sitting away from their respective teams/departments, it is believed that hot-desking allows employees to build connections and create collaborating opportunities with other employees they do not often engage with.  Moreover, as employees do not have their own work desk, hot-desking reduces individual clutter around the office, creating a more focused working environment.

With reasons such as these cited as endorsements for hot-desking, is this really the case? What do employees and experts alike think and feel about hot-desking?

A survey conducted by Reboot Online Marketing, received 460 responses from office workers across the UK, who are currently or have had previous experience of working under a hot-desking model. The statistics revealed that:

81% Said instead of hot-desking they would prefer to have their own dedicated desk or work station.

 66% Stated that they didn’t make any valuable new contacts from sitting next to or around different individuals from outside their own team or department.

75% Believed that cross-departmental relations and collaboration did not improve as a result of implementing the hot-desking model

59% Thought the morale of their own team/department had fallen as a result of sitting away from each other

Maria Parker a Business Consultant commented: “What many businesses tend to find after introducing hot-desking is that even though teams are away from each other, they still end up going to each other’s work desks or stations multiple times throughout the day. Instead of making valuable connections from other departments, they end up gravitating back towards a circle they have always been familiar with. It’s human nature”.

Christina (29) a Merchandise Buyer said: “I personally find hot-desking really irritating. Moving from desk to desk on a daily basis you never truly feel settled. Also I am one of those people that needs to splash files, notepads, documents, electronics and stationary across the desk to fuel my work ethic – so packing everything up at the end of the day is not only time-consuming but frustrating.

Additionally, with so many employees at our company, you often end up worrying about not getting a spot in-case you’re running late or have an external client meeting. If it was up to me, I would prefer to have my own desk for peace of mind.”

Justin (23) a Junior Financial Analyst said: “Even though hot-desking has reduced mess around the office, we don’t have the same harmonised spirit we used to have when sitting together in our teams. With our company also introducing flexible working hours complimentary to hot-desking, face-to-face interaction has also dropped enormously.”