Business Info - issue 138

BULLETIN magazine 04 Office Design FLEXIBLE GROWTH The flexible office space sector in Europe has more than doubled in size since 2014 and is set to grow by up to 30% per year for the next five years according to the Disruption or Distraction report by global real estate consultancy JLL. More than 7 million square metres of flexible office space is expected to be added in Europe by 2023, pushing the total market size to 10 million square metres. Demand for flexible office space, defined as any space (desks or more comprehensive office space) provided on short-term leases, at variable prices or on a membership basis, is being driven by growth of the ‘gig economy’ and advancements in technology. HR WORK/LIFE BALANCE LEADERS Denmark and Sweden have the best work/life balance in Europe, with comparatively few hours of work each week, a good number of bank holidays, generous holiday allowances and plenty of time available for leisure activities, according to a study from comparison site TotallyMoney. The UK, with the lowest number of bank holidays, is ranked 13th out of 24. Europe’s top five countries for work/life balance are: 1 Denmark 4 Finland 2 Sweden 5 France 3 The Netherlands Vending DRY CLEANINGWHILE YOUWORK Transport for London (TfL) is rolling out the UK’s first eco-friendly dry cleaning vending machines in conjunction with VClean Life. Following a successful launch at Epping station in October, TfL plans to install VDrop vending machines at a number of London Underground stations, starting with North Greenwich, Loughton, SouthWoodford and Woodford. Customers who sign up online at receive a unique QR code that they can use to drop off their laundry at a VDrop machine. Garments are picked up by VClean Life and cleaned using biodegradable detergent and conditioners, with no nasty perchloroethylene (PERC). Customers collect their cleaned clothes from the same machine 24 hours later. Cleaning costs £2.50-£3.00 per item. Finance HERE TO HELP Meet Dexter the Digital Tax Advisor. The cartoon character has been introduced by accounting software platform Xero to help small businesses and their accountants prepare for new Making Tax Digital (MTD) VAT rules. Its research shows that one in four SMBs are still unaware that from April 2019, every VAT-registered business above the £85k threshold will be required by law to go digital and file their tax through MTD- compatible cloud software. The Dexter the Digital Tax Advisor series of short animated films has been created by the Oscar- nominated creative duo of Alison Snowden and David Fine and will be released in the lead-up to the MTD for VAT kick-off date. tax-digital/ HR TOP 40 PERKS The 2018 Great Perk Search Report by employee benefits platform Perkbox highlights falling demand for traditional employee benefits like flexi-time and sabbaticals and growing interest in perks with a social or educational dimension. Based on their average mark out of 100 from 2,315 UK workers, the Top 40 employee perks for 2018 are: Perk Score out of 100 1 Extracurricular clubs (e.g. arts and crafts, book clubs) 97.57 2 Pool table 92.03 3 Ping pong table 89.38 4 Office sports teams (e.g. football or netball) 88.59 5 Video games 87.83 6 Birth-o-holiday (annual leave on your birthday) 85.60 7 Discounts on holidays, flights and hotels 85.55 8. Discounts at supermarkets 85.52 9 Free coffee and hot drinks 84.63 10 Discounts on restaurants and takeaways 83.24 11 Flexi-hours 82.83 12 Cinema discounts 81.59 13 Opportunity to bring your child to work 81.53 14 Free lunches 81.52 15 Private healthcare 80.35 16 Private dental care 80.07 17 Discounts on electronics (e.g. laptops or mobile phones) 79.88 18 Unlimited holidays 79.55 19 Discounts at high street fashion retailers 79.11 20 Free fruit basket 79.10 21 Discounts on energy bills 78.52 22 Opportunity to work from home 78.23 23 Free snacks and soft drinks 77.79 24 Free breakfasts 77.43 25 Annual company holidays 76.70 26 Discounts on entertainment days (e.g. theme parks, adventure activities) 76.09 27 Duvet days 74.87 28 Free phone insurance 74.50 29 Discounts on DIY and homeware 74.08 30 Work sponsored further education & learning 73.69 31 Paid-for team socials 73.55 32 Onsite gym or paid-for membership at a local gym 73.51 33 Summer party 72.81 34 Christmas party 72.76 35 Discounted gym membership 72.32 36 Commuting allowance 72.18 37 Free massages 71.83 38 Free alcoholic drinks on Fridays 69.35 39 Hairdressing and beauty discounts 67.91 40 Access to an onsite therapist or healthcare professional 67.48 Displays SOUND AND VISION OrCam MyEye 2.0, an artificial vision device that helps visually impaired people read and recognise faces, products, barcodes and bank notes, has been shortlisted for the Product of the Year award by the Association of Optometrists (AOP). The wearable OrCam MyEye 2.0 communicates visual information to the user by audio. It is completely wireless and attaches magnetically to the wearer’s glasses. BULLETIN