It goes without saying that businesses are concerned about getting the most from their workforce but, it's important that employees are working smart, not just working hard. There's a very important distinction to be made between the number of hours employees work and the productivity of the workforce.
It is indisputable that chronic diseases are increasing, with conditions such as heart attacks and strokes, cancers, diabetes and chronic respiratory disease accounting for over 63% of deaths in the world today. These can be avoided or better managed through healthier lifestyle choices, presenting a clear need for focus on prevention as well as treatment.
Employee representatives would make the UK fairer for all. They would reduce the excessive salaries we have seen in recent years: energy bosses raking in millions while crippling their customers with eye-watering price rises; or bankers gambling with customers' money while raking in bonuses, despite their losses... Directors won't like it, but it is time the UK economy started working for everyone, not just the 1%.
I have developed the same cynicism as most fully grown adults, yet this is underpinned by a general hatred of all human beings, particularly customers. I still work in customer service as I work my way through my studies, and I have come to learn that my first screaming idiot customer, isn't all that unusual.
The NHS is consistently excellent in some of what it does. Overall, as the Commonwealth Fund International Ranking testifies, it performs very well if compared to equivalent services overseas. But, there are huge unjustified regional variations in the effectiveness of the NHS within the UK in services such as the treatment of diabetes.
As you may well know, last week Labour leader, Ed Miliband, announced that if Labour were to form the next government they would encourage businesses to pay employees the Living Wage (approximately £8.55) by cutting business rates or tax levels for those that do. As someone who employees 20-30 people (some on PAYE and others freelance) at the London Jewellery School, I whole-heartedly welcome these plans.
A Cornell study found the optimum temperature for productivity was approximately 25°C. But someone - Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg included it seems - always persists in the belief that "the cold keeps you awake!" Awake maybe, but shivering with mukluks on doesn't seem to say "high performance office" to me.