Policy News Journal - 2014-15

to the task at hand. In the UK only 57% of the people surveyed said they could concentrate easily and only 50% are able to work without interruption.

49% of all offices in the UK are open plan, the highest figure of the countries surveyed, and although most workers felt that open plan spaces were fit for their lifestyle and an appropriate space for them to work, many still reported being stressed and distracted. Bostjan Ljubic, vice president of Steelcase UK and Ireland said: "This research shows that although there are positives to working in an open plan office, including the ease of communicating with colleagues and collaboration, it also shows that workers need privacy to fulfil more demanding tasks. "By catering for different work styles in the office, and providing employees with a choice of space, UK businesses can ensure that workers are supported, reducing the impact of distraction on workers' wellbeing and productivity." Following the research, Steelcase have collaborated with Dr Susan Cain, author of bestselling book 'Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking' on spaces that address the need for more focus and privacy at work. Her tips for reducing the stress of our over-stimulating and high-tech offices include:  giving permission to be alone;  control over their environment such as adjusting lighting, noise and temperatures;  offering sensory balance including materials and sounds that reflect nature;  being psychologically safe by getting away from people watching them or being interrupted. Ljubic says: "There needs to be a balance between the isolated, cage-like office cubicles of the past and today's noisy, public and distracting spaces. The solution is to offer a balance, spaces to relax or focus as well as spaces to collaborate and be social, when workers are given the power to make decisions over their working environments the workspace will be a much more productive and stress-free environment." Determining the status of a worker and trying to establish if someone is employed or self- employed can be very complicated. Mindful of this, the Office for Tax Simplification (OTS) is now undertaking a review of the process for determining the status of a worker, and we are launching a CIPP survey to understand the views of our members. The OTS is gathering evidence of where the complexities lie when determining whether someone is employed or self-employed for tax purposes. To feed into this review the CIPP Policy team has created a survey addressing the areas covered by the OTS Employment Status Project. In view of the fact that employment status is not always straight forward, there are many areas covered by this review, and as a result, the survey is quite lengthy. It may take you up to 30 minutes to complete it. That being said, the purpose of this survey is to highlight the areas which need simplifying, and the more information we can provide to OTS the better. The Policy team would be grateful if you could spare the time to complete this survey so we can put OTS in the best position to make recommendations for removing some of the complexities from this process. The survey will close on 22 December 2014. Thank you for your help. CIPP survey on OTS Employment Status Project 28 November 2014

CIPP Policy News Journal

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