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Flexible approach is gaining acceptance

first_imgFlexible approach is gaining acceptanceOn 22 Jun 2004 in Personnel Today What working arrangements are organisations employing to stay ahead of thegame?In recent years there has been much talk about the use of flexible workingpractices, both by employers who want to be able to flex labour in line withdemand and employees who want to work in more flexible ways to achieve a betterwork-life balance. But how widespread is the use of flexible working practices in reality? The findings from the 2003 Cranet Survey reveal a number of trends. Since1995, there has been some growth in the use of flexible working, in particularthe use of homeworking and teleworking. Some types of flexible working are much more common than others. For examplenearly all respondents with more than 200 employees used part-time working,whereas the use of annual hours and compressed working were much less common.In many cases, although various forms of flexible work practices were used,they only involved a small proportion of the workforce. The use of part-time staff has been consistently high. Since 1995, the vastmajority of companies (more than 95 per cent) have used part-time staff. Theuse of temporary staff has also been high, but there is evidence of somedecline – from 96 per cent in 1995 to 88 per cent in 2003 – which may be inresponse to the shifting legal status of temporary staff. However, despitebeing widely used by organisations, our findings show that these practices donot cover a significant slice of the workforce. For example, there was a smallincrease in the proportion of staff working part-time over the eight-yearperiod, in 75 per cent of cases part time staff amounted to less than 20 percent of the workforce. In 2003, three-quarters of employers reported usingfixed-term contracts, but this typically only covered a small proportion of theworkforce – almost 70 per cent reported using temporary contracts with lessthan 10 per cent of staff. Perhaps not surprisingly, two areas which have seen a significant increasewere the use of home-based and teleworkers (see figure 1). While these forms ofworking are still not widespread (a little over one-third and one-fifthrespectively), there has been a significant increase in their use over theeight-year period – the use of teleworking has almost doubled. This trend canbe explained by developments in communications technology – which make thepracticalities of remote working easier – and by the increase in work-lifebalance initiatives. Sixty-one per cent of employers operated job-sharingschemes and 50 per cent offered some form of flexi-time, usually covering agreater proportion of the workforce. The use of shift-working was commonly used by respondents and unlikepart-time and temporary work, tended to involve a greater proportion of theworkforce – 36 per cent of companies reported that more than a fifth of theirworkforce did shifts. However, the three surveys showed some decrease in theuse of shift work (see figure 2), which is perhaps surprising considering theincreasingly long operating hours in many service businesses. This may indicatea more innovative use of different types of contracts to cover longer hours.The use of overtime continues to be high – 94 per cent of organisations makinguse of it – but this has decreased from 97 per cent in 1995 and 1999.Organisations may be employing more cost-effective solutions in terms of otherflexible working arrangements. Overall, the findings suggest that with a few exceptions, there has beenconsiderable stability in the use of flexible work practices and that, evenwhere various forms are widespread, they tend only to relate to a smallproportion of the total workforce. Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

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Labour and Tories woo workers, leaving the Lib Dems to buddy up to business

first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Article Labour and Tories woo workers, leaving the Lib Dems to buddy up to businessBy Michael Millar on 10 Oct 2006 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. The hot air of the political conference season has gone, to be replaced by the cold winds of autumn. But what did the respective party get-togethers have to say on the future of the UK workplace?Perhaps the biggest lesson business could learn from Labour in Manchester was how not to conduct succession planning, with the Gordon Brown/pretty-much-anyone-on-the-front-bench leadership race that dominated proceedings.Education and skills secretary, Alan Johnson, said all GCSE coursework would be removed from maths, and that other subjects would be supervised. He also promised an apprenticeship to every “young qualified person” who wants one. Though it seems the minister has not heard about age discrimination.Pensions secretary, John Hutton, reminded everyone of the forthcoming pensions reforms. Meanwhile, industry secretary, Alistair Darling, listed all the new rights workers have gained under a Labour government, and promised more to come.Employers will welcome the focus on skills, but the debate rages on about the 600 or so pieces of business legislation enacted since Labour came to power.For the Tories, the word ‘family’ – at 23 mentions – was pipped at the post by ‘NHS’, in David Cameron’s keynote speech in Bournemouth. He also called for greater understanding of workers’ need to “disappear at a moment’s notice” to look after their children. Employers had better start limbering up now if they don’t want to pull a muscle implementing this ultra-flexible vision of the future.Shadow work and pensions secretary, Philip Hammond, said a Conservative future would mean “work tailored to the circumstances of the would-be workers, not workers squeezed into jobs that they don’t fit”.In his speech to the party’s Brighton conference, Lib Dem leader, Menzies Campbell, outlined the issues “that matter to people – public services, the environment, crime, taxation – a fairer and more peaceful world”. No mention of employment matters at all. Lib Dem education spokeswoman, Sarah Teather, called for A-levels to be scrapped in favour of a European-style system of diplomas recommended in the Tomlinson report. It was left to the party’s trade and industry spokesman, Edward Davey, to tackle deregulation, promising to repeal unnecessary legislation and ensure future laws are properly assessed and fit for purpose. It all sounds good, but will Ming ever be given the chance to be merciless on business red tape?last_img read more

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Sugimoto-curated 79th floor at 432 Park quietly hits market

first_imgShare on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink Email Address* Tags432 park avenueBillionaires RowHarry MackloweManhattan SalesNYC Luxury MarketResidential Real Estate Full Name* (Engel & Völkers Market Center, 432 Park)“Among the clouds, at one thousand feet, exists an inner floating garden,” reads the first line of the Engel & Völkers Mercedes Berk team’s off-market listing at 432 Park Avenue.The image seems out of place, borderline absurd, to pair with the rigidly square footprint and design of Harry Macklowe’s controversial supertall. But for the wealthy couple who bought the unfinished 79th floor for $59 million in 2016, that was the point.The pair spent years transforming it into a homage to Japanese workmanship and culture. Now they are looking for a buyer.The couple hired Hiroshi Sugimoto to build out the 8,000-square-foot box of raw space. Apparently sparing no expense, the acclaimed Japanese artist and architect imported specialty materials including weather-beaten stones from Kyoto, and old growth Canadian Hinoki Cypress wood.ADVERTISEMENTRead moreVince Viola’s $25.5M mansion sale breaks Brooklyn recordWho’s buying and selling Manhattan homes? Last month’s notable dealsSecret listings soarcenter_img Message* Share via Shortlink He flew in artisans skilled in traditional, high-specialized Japanese building techniques such as the application of a lime-based plaster called shikkui, which is applied to walls horizontally by multiple craftsmen in simultaneous coordination.“Everything has a meaning that’s in the apartment,” said Noel Berk, one of the listing agents. “It’s a piece of art to live in.”The wood flooring in the condo’s master bedroom is hand-carved, the kitchen cabinets are made from hand-hammered metal, and the apartment is compartmentalized by floating walls allowing for the movement of the pendulum-laden tower.Beyond materials and construction, Sugimoto designed the five-bedroom apartment to open into entertaining areas first, a traditional tearoom, then a large dining room, which includes a sushi bar that was manned by a chef Sugimoto personally selected for his clients, according to a profile by Architectural Record.The architect also custom-designed furniture for every room and installed his artwork and photographs through the space in a series of site-specific installations.But Berk said the apartment maintains a livable and comfortable atmosphere.“It’s big enough to have huge parties and quiet enough to find a corner and read a book,” she said.The intensive renovation finished in 2018 and now the owners, an American family who are “very serious collectors of contemporary Asian art,” are looking to sell the apartment because they’re moving too far away to keep it up, Berk said.The broker worked with the sellers when they initially bought the unit in 2016. Now she and her team are beginning to show the apartment to a select pool of high-end brokers and art-world figures. She doesn’t have an asking price.“We could not put a price on it,” said Berk, citing all the custom finishes and furnishings that would come with the sale. She also noted that Sugimoto hopes to have a relationship with a new owner.A full-floor unit three flights up is asking for $90 million.“The price will be determined by the person who walks in and says ‘This is my home and I want to live this way in New York City,’” Berk explained. “It’s for a unique buyer who’s looking for something very different.”There’s been an uptick in off-market transactions in recent years. Several notable sales were handled without public listings over the last several months, including billionaire Vincent Viola’s Brooklyn Heights mansion.Contact Erin Hudsonlast_img read more

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Island Capital’s Andrew Farkas launches $250M SPAC

first_img Share via Shortlink Clockwise from left: Henry Silverman of Athos Capital Partners, William P Lauder of the Estée Lauder Companies, Andrew Farkas of Island Capital, Jeff Blau of Related Companies and Andrea Olshan of Seritage Growth Properties (Getty)Billionaire real estate investor and yacht enthusiast Andrew Farkas is sailing into the SPAC race.Farkas, the founder of merchant bank Island Capital, aims to raise $250 million for a proptech-focused blank-check firm. ICG Hypersonic Acquisition Corp. will be run by Farkas and executives from Island Capital, according to a regulatory filing.The SPAC’s board includes some of the biggest names in real estate and tech, including Jeff Blau, CEO of Related Companies; William P. Lauder, executive chairman of the Estée Lauder Companies; Peter Levine, a general partner at Andreessen Horowitz; Andrea Olshan, CEO of Seritage Growth Properties; and Henry Sliverman, the managing member of Athos Capital Partners and 54 Madison Partners, which develop hotels and mixed-use properties.Last year, blank-check firms roared back to life after falling out of favor in the wake of the financial crisis. Some 248 SPACs went public, raising $83.3 billion.Investors have already surpassed those records this year, according to SPACInsider, with 270 SPACs going public and raising $87.8 billion.Real estate players in particular are jumping at the chance to capitalize on the industry’s increased demand for technology and digital solutions.“Going forward, we expect proptech growth curves to be very steep and robust, delivering massive efficiency and productivity gains to the real estate space,” ICG Hypersonic said in the filing.That’s become a common refrain over the past few months, with more than 40 real estate-focused SPACs getting into the game. Some well-known players include Tishman Speyer, RXR Realty, Cushman & Wakefield and CBRE.So far, just a handful of proptech startups have struck SPAC deals. They include home-services startup Porch.com, the iBuyer Opendoor and smart-glass maker View. Companies such as Matterport (3D video), Latch (smart lock maker) and Doma (title insurance) are set to go public with SPACs this year.Farkas is founder of Island Capital Group, which is headquartered in Manhattan but has been active lately in South Florida. In January, an affiliated company paid $64 million for a 282-unit apartment complex in Margate.Prior to starting Island Capital, Farkas built Insignia Financial Group, one of the largest real estate brokerages in the country. His family also built Alexander’s department store.Read moreTRD’s definitive SPAC tracker Cushman launches $250M SPAC Doma going public in $3B SPAC deal Message* Email Address* Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink andrew farkasIPOjeff blauProptechSPAC Tags Contact E.B. Solomont Full Name*last_img read more

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A quantitative estimate of the ducted whistler power within the outer plasmasphere

first_imgFrom a statistical study of ductedwhistlers observed at Halley, Antarctica, in 1996, which had propagated on paths in the range L=2.5–4.5, we report mean occurrence rates, numbers of components per whistler, intensities, etc. for night and day conditions and in different seasons at solar minimum. We found an average whistler rate of and 3 components per whistler. Received whistler amplitudes were measured as a function of frequency and were in the range 2–40 fT, typically 10 fT at 4 kHz. Combining these results with a propagation model, we estimate mean whistler duct output powers to be around 1–10 mW, (≃0.1–1 mJ per whistler in the 3–5 kHz band). Inferred typical equatorial wave fields for ductedwhistlers of 0.3 pT led to estimated radiation belt lifetimes for 1–100 keV electrons due to gyroresonance with ductedwhistlers of 2×106 days. This compares with published lifetimes due to plasmaspheric hiss of order 105 days or less, and we conclude that, on average, lightning which enters and propagates in magnetospheric ducts, although known to cause pitch angle scattering and precipitation of trapped electrons, does not significantly affect the radiation belt fluxes in a statistical sense. We have compared our results with those from a similar study by Burgess and Inan (J. Geophys. Res. 98 (1993) 15,643–15,665). In a separate investigation of multi-component whistlers received in winter at quiet times, using the same methodology, we have found that the duct output power generally decreases with increasing L. This is consistent with previous theoretical work and parallels a similar experimental conclusion with respect to higher-frequency whistler-mode signals from VLF transmitters.last_img read more

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Enhanced sexual reproduction in bryophytes at high latitudes in the maritime Antarctic

first_imgContrary to the generally accepted hypothesis that bryophyte fertility decreases with increasing latitude and therefore climatic severity, a detailed study of bryophyte reproductive strategies at sites in the southern maritime Antarctic (68–72°S) has revealed that an unexpectedly high proportion of species is capable of producing sporophytes. Of the regional bryoflora, 43% (19 species; 17 mosses, 2 liverworts) in Marguerite Bay and 47% (17 species; 16 mosses, 1 liverwort) in Alexander Island are known to produce sporophytes, although the number fruiting at comparable latitudes on the colder and more arid Antarctic continent is less (33%). These numbers and proportions are much greater than were previously known at such relatively high southern polar latitudes. Sporophytes of several species are recorded for the first time within the Antarctic biome, while those of two liverworts (Lophozia excisa and Cephaloziella varians) are reported for the first time south of 62°S. High incidence of sporophyte production is attributed to locally favourable microclimatic conditions producing small-scale ‘oases’. The large majority of fertile mosses are monoecious short acrocarps growing on rather calcareous soils. Spore production and size data for a number of species are compared with previously published studies of the same or closely related species from the northern maritime Antarctic and sub-Antarctic, but no consistent trends are revealed between species over the latitudinal gradient.last_img read more

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Statistical analysis of thermospheric gravity waves from Fabry-Perot Interferometer measurements of atomic oxygen

first_imgData from the Fabry-Perot Interferometers at KEOPS (Sweden), Sodankylä (Finland), and Svalbard (Norway), have been analysed for gravity wave activity on all the clear nights from 2000 to 2006. A total of 249 nights were available from KEOPS, 133 from Sodankylä and 185 from the Svalbard FPI. A Lomb-Scargle analysis was performed on each of these nights to identify the periods of any wave activity during the night. Comparisons between many nights of data allow the general characteristics of the waves that are present in the high latitude upper thermosphere to be determined. Comparisons were made between the different parameters: the atomic oxygen intensities, the thermospheric winds and temperatures, and for each parameter the distribution of frequencies of the waves was determined. No dependence on the number of waves on geomagnetic activity levels, or position in the solar cycle, was found. All the FPIs have had different detectors at various times, producing different time resolutions of the data, so comparisons between the different years, and between data from different sites, showed how the time resolution determines which waves are observed. In addition to the cutoff due to the Nyquist frequency, poor resolution observations significantly reduce the number of short-period waves (5 h) detected. Comparisons between the number of gravity waves detected at KEOPS and Sodankylä over all the seasons showed a similar proportion of waves to the number of nights used for both sites, as expected since the two sites are at similar latitudes and therefore locations with respect to the auroral oval, confirming this as a likely source region. Svalbard showed fewer waves with short periods than KEOPS data for a season when both had the same time resolution data. This gives a clear indication of the direction of flow of the gravity waves, and corroborates that the source is the auroral oval. This is because the energy is dissipated through heating in each cycle of a wave, therefore, over a given distance, short period waves lose more energy than long and dissipate before they reach their target.last_img read more

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The eradication of feral cats from Ascension Island and its subsequent recolonization by seabirds

first_imgThe introduction of mammal predators to islands often results in rapid declines in the number and range of seabirds. On Ascension Island the introduction of cats in 1815 resulted in extirpation of large seabird colonies from the main island, with relict populations of most species persisting only in cat-inaccessible locations. We describe the eradication of feral cats from this large and populated island. The campaign had to minimize risk to humans and maintain domestic animals in a state that prevented them reestablishing a feral population. Feral cat numbers declined rapidly in response to the strategic deployment of poisoning and live trapping, and cats were eradicated from the island within 2 years. During the project 38% of domestic cats were killed accidentally, which caused public consternation; we make recommendations for reducing such problems in future eradications. Since the completion of the eradication campaign cat predation of adult seabirds has ceased and five seabird species have recolonized the mainland in small but increasing numbers. Breeding success of seabirds at Ascension was low compared to that of conspecifics elsewhere, and the roles of food availability, inexperience of parent birds and black rat predation in causing this warrant further investigation. It is likely that the low breeding success will result in the rate of increase in seabird populations being slow.last_img read more

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Antarctica and the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011–2020

first_imgThe Strategic Plan for Biodiversity, adopted under the auspices of the Convention on Biological Diversity, provides the basis for taking effective action to curb biodiversity loss across the planet by 2020—an urgent imperative. Yet, Antarctica and the Southern Ocean, which encompass 10% of the planet’s surface, are excluded from assessments of progress against the Strategic Plan. The situation is a lost opportunity for biodiversity conservation globally. We provide such an assessment. Our evidence suggests, surprisingly, that for a region so remote and apparently pristine as the Antarctic, the biodiversity outlook is similar to that for the rest of the planet. Promisingly, however, much scope for remedial action exists.last_img read more

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Synchronous timing of abrupt climate changes during the last glacial period

first_imgAbrupt climate changes during the last glacial period have been detected in a global array of palaeoclimate records, but our understanding of their absolute timing and regional synchrony is incomplete. Our compilation of 63 published, independently dated speleothem records shows that abrupt warmings in Greenland were associated with synchronous climate changes across the Asian Monsoon, South American Monsoon, and European-Mediterranean regions that occurred within decades. Together with the demonstration of bipolar synchrony in atmospheric response, this provides independent evidence of synchronous high-latitude–to-tropical coupling of climate changes during these abrupt warmings. Our results provide a globally coherent framework with which to validate model simulations of abrupt climate change and to constrain ice-core chronologies.last_img read more

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