Total Business Magazine

This Week’s 5 Must-Read Stories You May Have Missed

Poor work/life balance in the NHS, Google gets stung with GDPR penalty and UK cinema’s report biggest year since 1970 despite Netflix avalanche.

We caught up with our columnist, business transformation expert, author of The Interim Revolution and founder and CEO of Sullivan and Stanley, Pat Lynes, to discuss the biggest news stories you wouldn’t have wanted to miss last week.

1. NHS Doctors and Nurses Leaving due to poor work/life balance

There’s no denying the difficulties the NHS faces. An ageing population, understaffing and of course the potential to lose staff as Brexit looms all factor into a tough period.

A LinkedIn survey found that of nearly 1,000 UK-based clinicians, conducted in November, found that only 25% of doctors and 41% of nurses and midwives feel like they have a high level of work-life balance.

This is in comparison to 46% of workers with no ties to the NHS suggest they have a good balance.

This isn’t an easy fix, but providing support in the workplaces and mentors from senior staff to junior staff can help alleviate some of the serious pressures they’re under and decrease the number of dropouts the NHS is suffering.

2. Google whacked with GDPR penalty

Well, we were all wondering who would be one of the first big fish to get caught in the GDPR net.

Google has been fined 50 million euros (£44m) by the French data regulator CNIL, for a breach of the EU’s data protection rules. The regulatory pointed to the lack of transparency and information around how Google personalise their advertising.

All the details get very technical, but the reality is the incoming regulations were made very clear and that companies (especially those the size of Google) needed to work really hard to ensure that people are consenting to the use of personal data.

Update: Google has since decided to appeal to the Council of State — France’s top administrative court.

3. WH Smith bucking the high street trend

We do love positive retail stories, as they are so few and far between at the moment.

On the veneer, you’d think WH Smith would be a casualty in retail. However, they’ve enjoyed a 6% sales increase in the 20 weeks to 19th January. This is in-line with the firm’s vision to transform from what was predominantly a high st retailer,  into a retail travel market behemoth in airports and trail stations.

They have a stranglehold on that market in the UK and the success can certainly be attributed to the fact that lots of people travel during the Christmas period and also buy gift stationery (wrapping paper/cards).

It’s not just about tech innovation for retailers, it’s about how you innovate with your partnerships, how you position your product mix and the target market you’re looking to serve, alongside taking friction out of the buying process and getting close to your customer needs. Be interesting to see how Smith’s kick on from here.

4. Jaguar/Land Rover Halt Production

JLR have been in the news a bit recently and not much of it has been positive. Now they have announced that they will extend their April shutdown due to uncertainties around Brexit.

They have cut jobs due to a free-fall in sales and has previously warned about the impact of Brexit on its ability to source just-in-time components from mainland Europe.

JLR employs just under 39,000 workers at sites including Castle Bromwich, Solihull and Wolverhampton in the West Midlands, and Halewood on Merseyside.

As D-day looms, manufacturing is starting to feel the effects.

5. Cinemas report best year at the box office since 1970

Not sure too many saw this coming, but Britons went to the cinema 177m times last year, the highest number since 1970.

And that trend wasn’t just reserved for the UK. Across the pond, attendance is up 7% with 1.3bn tickets sold in the US.

Cinema has seen off a number of disruptors over the years from DVD’s, Blu-Ray and the internet, and seems to be doing just fine despite the rise and rise of Netflix and other streaming services.

This goes back to the experience piece we’ve discussed in the retail sector. Going to the movies is still a unique offering that can’t yet be matched in your living room. As long as it has that offering (and decent movies keep coming out!) the cinema will continue to thrive.

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