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Christchurch earthquake – The Big Picture –

A group examines one of the many icebergs that calved into Tasman Lake as a result of the 6.3 earthquake in Christchurch Tuesday. (Denis Callesen/NZPA/Associated Press) #

February 25, 2011 | Comments Off on Christchurch earthquake – The Big Picture – | Permalink

House prices will fall around 20% by 2013 – Citywire

House price to earnings ratio Long-run average

Diggle warns the data also shows there is a risk that house prices could fall even more as historically prices have fallen below long-term averages. Also, he adds that his analysis has not taken account of that fact that prices do undershoot long-term averages.

via House prices will fall around 20% by 2013 – Citywire.

February 21, 2011 | Comments Off on House prices will fall around 20% by 2013 – Citywire | Permalink

Stephen Beagent Associates: Lunch Time

According to research undertaken by Spar, the UK’s largest convenience store group, the traditional British lunch ‘hour’ has shrunk to an all time low. The average lunch break now lasts 35 minutes and 39 seconds and over half of all office workers now take less than 30 minutes, with one in ten taking less than 20 minutes. 7 million workers skip their lunch break altogether and 70% of office workers don’t leave their desks. This gives Britain’s bosses an incredible £22.66 billion of free manpower a year! The research also reveals that lawyers, bankers and graduate trainees have longer lunch breaks than housewives, nurses and teachers, and a 40 year old will on average put in three more working days, due to shorter lunch breaks, than their 20 year old colleagues. Women typically take the shortest breaks. A quarter of the workers in the survey said they had cut back on their lunch breaks since the recession started. Other surveys have also cited this as the main reason for not taking lunch breaks followed by a fear of what other colleagues might think. Some people also work through their lunch break in the hope that they may not have to work so late. When you compare this to say 20 years ago, lunch in the workplace used to be about taking time out and socialising with friends and colleagues and rejuvenating yourself in preparation for the afternoon ahead.

Yet, regular breaks are still important in so many ways. They refresh and invigorate us, giving us more energy to continue with the day. Time and space away from work can rest and refocus the mind. And it is just as important to eat something as it is to take the break; food boosts mental and physical productivity and regulates the mood.

According to the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, one in four people regularly work through the day without a break. This increases the risk of, amongst other things, musculoskeletal disorders, cancer, depression and heart disease and ultimately, this could cost the employer with reduced productivity and performance. This lack of a lunch break is also partially responsible for the rise in the obesity rates; research shows that in developed countries people spend more than half their day sitting and snacking leading to a greater risk of heart disease, obesity, cancer etc.

There is no doubt employees should be encouraged to take their lunch breaks as it improves productivity as opposed to diminishes it. Office workers should ensure they can at least get 20 minutes in every full day; this will allow for some refreshment. If it is impossible to take a lunch break, workers can improve the situation at work by standing while talking on the phone, walking over to colleagues rather than emailing, and walking up and down stairs as opposed to taking the lifts. Paradoxically, could it be that smokers are the healthiest workers in the workplace because at least they have to get up from their desks and go outside to smoke?!

via Stephen Beagent Associates: Finance and accountancy recruitment specialists.

February 7, 2011 | Comments Off on Stephen Beagent Associates: Lunch Time | Permalink