The world of business is constantly evolving and changing, and here at ICS we like to give all our customers and clients a well-rounded news roundup, with all the latest updates regarding business, SMEs, and everything finance related to keep you in the loop. So, what’s been going on these past few weeks and how will it affect you?

Freelance Morale Low?

According to the IPSE – Independent Professionals and the Self Employed – the confidence amongst freelancers has decreased to an all-time low, which is said to be due to the after-effects of Brexit and government policies.

In a survey, approximately 19% of freelancers expressed their confidence in their business performance and felt they will progress further over the coming year, which is a significant increase of 9% compared to the previous year. However, 52% of freelancers of lost some confidence. The survey stated that this decrease in confidence is due to government concerns such as taxation, regulatory constraints, and a possible slow down for the UK economy.

On a more positive note, freelancers are now contracted for 83% of their working week and subsequently bringing in higher rates of pay.

House Prices Steadily Holding

According to official figures by the ONS (Office for National Statistics) in June, the average price of a UK home increased by a significant amount.

The average price of a house in the UK has risen by nearly £2,000 to an average price of £223,000. Although the average price of a London home fell by almost £3,000, the value of a house in the North East has risen £2,000, with the biggest change being in Orkney where the average price is now 28% higher than a year ago. The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors said they believed prices had frozen on average through recent months, even though they were coming to a halt from London to other South-Eastern parts of the UK.


Do Summer Holidays Affect Work?

Within any business cycle, things may slow down through the months of August, as many business owners and employees jet off on their holidays due to school breaks. However, does this result in more missed deadlines or delays within businesses? Will this affect the process of making payments?

Research conducted by Ultimate Finance revealed that overdue payments are the ultimate issue for SMEs, and whilst 82% of these businesses are owed up to £25,000 in late payments, businesses with 50+ employees are owed up to £30,000.

94% of the companies asked about late summer payments stated that this was the main cause of cash flow issues. Companies shouldn’t be held back by late payments, which are easily avoided with better organisation and finance management.

Are Businesses Ready for AI, Robots and Automation?

The Taylor Review of Modern Working Practices, released this July, has highlighted the fact that the modern workplace is changing at a fast pace, with one of the biggest impacts being caused by automation and the possibility of robotics in the workplace.

Whether as a business owner, freelancer or an employee, we may be presented with many new business challenges in the coming years. From employee training to workforce planning, business leaders will need to take a close look at their businesses and how the introduction of innovative technologies will affect their companies.

Is This the One Work Habit You Need to Kick?

Within business we may have many bad habits, but what is the one habit that is said to be the worst one? Sitting.

Recent data from the JustStand Index, almost 70% of full time EU workers hate sitting, but we do it anyway! A study from the International Society of Behavioural Nutrition and Physical Activity conference also reinforced that we only socially accept it due to the fact that this is mentioned so infrequently. As the way businesses work is constantly changing, as well as the fact that 20 million British workers are not getting their recommended exercise, is it time to change our habits and our mindsets to create a more active workforce and a unique perspective to work?

Half of British Workers Don’t Use Holiday Allowance

New research by Monarch Airlines tells us that almost half of British workers do not use their holiday allowance due to the fact that they simply “don’t have the time”.

The airline polled 2,000 British workers on their attitude towards holiday allowance, their work and life balance, and time management to find out that they aren’t taking advantage of their holidays. In fact, 1 in 17 (15%) confessed to not using all of their entitled days, meaning they lose an average of 4-6 days a year, all down to saying they can’t afford to take time off work.

Simply get in touch with the ICS team if you would like any advice on any of the above points. If they affect you and your business we would love to discuss our services further and how we can help.