News in Brief December 2014 Exodus of senior nurses from NHS The Royal College of Nursing warns that an ageing working along with staff cuts has led to a dramatic fall in the number of senior nurses – which could have serious consequences for an already under-pressure NHS. However, Dr Dan Poulter, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department of Health said that the Government had prioritised the NHS front line, and removed 21,000 administrators to pay for 13,000 more clinical staff. “In doing so [we have ensured] the NHS meets rising demand for patient care,” he said. Spending cults risk further public sector jobs According to the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR),up to one million public sector jobs are to be cut under new plans set out by the Chancellor George Osborne in last week’s Autumn Statement. The independent watchdog of the UK’s public finances found that spending on public services, administration and grants by central government is projected to fall from 21.2 per cent in 2009-10 to 12.6 per cent of GDP in 2019-20. Analysis from the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) confirmed the estimate by predicting that 1.1m general government jobs could go by 2018-19. Frances O’Grady, TUC General Secretary said that “the IFS report lays bare truth – the deficit is still here because the government failed on growth and wages. The Chancellor now wants us all to pay the price for his failure by cutting public services down to a stump with the loss of a million jobs.” George Osborne argued that the spending cuts were “a price that works for our country,” and that they were part of a long-term plan to reduce the deficit. Employees working remotely recognised as being more productive The 2014 Global Evolving Workforce Study, which surveyed about 5,000 employees of small, medium and large organisations in 12 countries, found that perceptions of people who work outside the workplace have shifted. More than half (52 per cent) of respondents reported their remote colleagues were equally or more productive than people based in the office. However, this perception was not the same in some of the countries surveyed - as 4 out of 10 employees in China, India, Turkey and UAE believed those working from home were less productive. Of those who spend any time working from home, half believed they were more productive there than in the office. Of the remaining 50 per cent, 36 per cent believed they were equally as productive at home as in the office, and only 14 per cent reported to be less productive. There report showed clear benefits of working from home; 30 per cent slept more, 40 per cent drove less and 46 per cent of employees felt less stress, but negative outcomes of working from home were stated too. However, there were distractions from spouses, children, parents and pets in the home!