The 10 Jobs Which Have Lost More Than Half Their Workforce In the Last 16 Years

A pair of gloves used for heavy lifting on top of a ladder

A number of highly skilled job roles are at risk of disappearing in the near future should new talent not be recruited, a new analysis of workforce data has revealed. 

The trade trends report 2021 released by Skills Training Group has found glass and ceramics process operatives, toolmakers and wood machine operatives are among several jobs where the total number of staff working in these roles has more than halved since 2004. 

Having analysed 16 years worth of data from the Office for National Statistics, the report has been able to identify the jobs most in need of reinvigorating. 

With the number of glass and ceramic process operatives declining by 77 per cent between 2004 and 2020, the analysis found this was the occupation most in need of new talent. In total, there are 9,200 fewer glass and ceramic operatives now than there were 16 years ago. 

While the decline amongst typists (65%), assemblers (65%) and printing machine assistants (63%) has been slightly more modest, these job roles are also facing the brunt of modernisation. 

The top ten declining jobs:

Profession All person in trade (Oct 2004 - Sept 2005) All person in trade (Oct 2019 - Sept 2020) Total decrease over 10 years
Glass and ceramics process operatives
Typists and related keyboard occupations
Assemblers (electrical and electronic products)
Printing machine assistants
Rubber process operatives
Street cleaners
Tool makers, tool fitters and markers-out
Paper and wood machine operatives
Print finishing and building workers

While it is evident that due to technological advancements the demand for many of these jobs is likely to be greatly reduced in the future, a number of these roles will still have an important role to play in society for many years to come. 

Commenting on the research and how businesses recruiting for these job roles can attract young people, Mark McShane, managing director at Skills Training Group said:

“In order to encourage young people to take up positions in these job roles it is important businesses across all industries engage with youngsters, sharing their success stories to encourage a new workforce. Communication and marketing needs to be a big part of the recruitment process – young people will better engage with clear and smart communication. Companies and industries that make noise, engage with social media and shout about what makes these job roles attractive will see the tide change in the amount of people wanting a job.”

To find out more about the report as done by Skills Training Group, visit their website to read the full study.

What Can the Retail Industry Do to Reduce Unemployment?

Sign outside a retail business that says

Unemployment is always a pressing issue for the federal government. The pandemic and the closure of businesses has caused significant stress for workers and business owners. In the new world of stimulus checks, we can forget the financial significance of unemployment payments. Simply put, fewer people out of work means fewer people claiming allowances and a rise in overall disposable income, both advantages for the state of the economy.

Victoria’s Secret is a recent victim of the shopping mall. Falling sales meant that the lingerie company was forced to close over one-quarter of their 1,000 stores in the US and Canada. The closure of popular retail stores is set to continue in 2021. Retail workers are now recovering from a 17.1 per cent unemployment rate in April 2020, the highest on record. Today, the figure is double its pre-pandemic levels. However, a return to work is coming, intending to end uncertainty and recover from the unemployment caused by the pandemic. This is an opportunity to create a forward-thinking workforce beyond the pandemic. Successful retailers must do what they can do to reduce unemployment in the industry — but how?


Employment and disability

In order to reduce the number of people who are out of work down to a disability, businesses should consider creating a “Disability Confident” employer scheme. Such schemes have been used by large businesses around the world to provide employers with the skills, examples, and confidence to recruit and develop disabled employees.

Businesses can get help from the government using the Employer Assistance and Resource Network on Disability Inclusion (EARN). The program helps companies create strategies for recruiting and advancing the careers of disabled employees in a variety of roles. Recruitment website, Monster, named Walgreens as one of the best disability employers in 2020, proving that retailers can provide jobs for people of all abilities.


Encouraging a diverse workforce

According to the Aspen Institute, women and other minority groups are underrepresented in retail management positions but overrepresented in lower-paying roles. Retailers should focus on broadening their selection process when it comes to the recruitment process. This can ensure that those who’ve lost a job in a retail position face equal opportunity when it comes to finding a new role. 

Encouraging diversity in gender and cultural background when hiring is not only beneficial for employees, but also for the business itself. Ultimately, when a workforce is representative of a customer base, it can lead to a better understanding of the target market and an improvement in business performance.


Charity collaboration

Another way to reduce unemployment levels is to collaborate with charities that are there to help those who are struggling to find work.

Partnering with a disabled or mental health charity for example can help you reach those who are out of work because of a disability or health issue and encourage them to apply.

One example of this includes men’s shirts retailer, CT Shirts. The company has a long-standing partnership with the Prince’s Trust which involves fundraising and a mutually beneficial relationship. This charity works closely with vulnerable young people who need a helping hand to get their lives back on track.

Like many retailers that The Trust works with, CT Shirts took advantage of one of their “Get Hired” days — a day of greetings and interviews with young people who have been through The Prince’s Trust Programs to get to know some potential employees.


Cross-discipline training

It’s true that for many retailers, while the jobs of their in-store employees may be at risk, often recruitment in their digital marketing and e-commerce teams are still growing. Therefore, an important consideration to make is whether retail employees should be trained in other areas of the business too. Or at least should their knowledge of the company and its products or services be valued so that they’re allowed to progress in another area of the business after redundancy?

There are advantages and disadvantages to this idea, but it’s certainly something for retailers to think about before making mass redundancies across the business. Cross-discipline training can also encourage more loyal employees and therefore those who are more invested in the performance of the retail business as a whole.

As we can see, there is a range of considerations that retailers are currently making or should think about when it comes to reducing unemployment. As some companies pave the way, it’s down to other industry players to make big changes too.

Innovation in Labour

Three people in a meeting with spreadsheets, discussing data

Greenwich.HR is the first comprehensive provider of real-time labour market intelligence for all audiences, bringing transparency to the $80 trillion market and opening the door for efficiency-boosting innovation. Founded by business leaders who understand the challenges and waste caused by poor data, Greenwich.HR’s next generation data solutions are created to offer more profound, more accessible, and more affordable information to individuals and organizations across applications. We take a closer look at the market-leading innovators.

Established in 2015, Greenwich.HR is the largest and most powerful data platform for the labour market, designed to bring transparency to the global market that is valued at $80 trillion and affects every person, family, community, organization and government in the world.

Despite the enormity of this market, it is one that is afflicted with poor information and data management, and thus great inefficiencies and wastage. Greenwich.HR was founded with a vision to create a Data-As-Service platform that efficiently serves the needs of global analytics teams and application developers, who could provide valuable market insights to customers across many industries. Investment funds, media companies, large corporations, leading academic institutions, government agencies, recruiting firms, HR and general management consulting firms, HR technology firms, and even small start-ups are all able to access the world-leading dataset created by Greenwich.HR and utilize that market intelligence to gain financial value for their own businesses.

Driven by that founding vision, Greenwich.HR has grown to become the largest and fastest-growing labour market intelligence platform in the world, creating transparency in hiring, pay, and talent that has never before been seen. Whilst real-time market intelligence is by no means unique to Greenwich.HR, it does represent a new frontier of value that businesses have been investing in in order to improve insights based only on internal data. Greenwich.HR’s innovative concept instead integrates external market data so as to allow businesses to analyze the economies and businesses around them, broadening the ways in which they can create value and providing the foundations on which to enhance market innovation.

Greenwich.HR works with Investment Managers, Recruiting and Staffing Professionals, Business Intelligence teams, and Compensation Professionals who are able to benefit from the platform’s insights on the hiring and pay behaviors of more than three million companies and the 160,000 jobs that are tracked every day. These insights have become even more valuable in the midst of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, which has seen unprecedented disruption to hiring practices of mega-corporations to new start-ups. Traditional recruitment practices have become redundant, with the predictive value of the intelligence on hiring data becoming suddenly much more applicable. Greenwich.HR has been able to showcase the power of real-time labour market intelligence over the last few months, becoming a trusted source of accurate and profound insight that has enabled more informed decision-making in recruitment.

Thus, as Greenwich.HR’s role in the labour market becomes more significant, its team is vital to the continued delivery of excellence in data handling. Built on commitment, imagination and expertise, the culture at Greenwich.HR has grown around a team of people who thrive in being part of something monumental, and who are constantly exploring new possibilities for innovation and pursuing them to bring them to life as stronger, more intelligent data solutions.

2021 will see Greenwich.HR taking its growth international and deepening its presence in the analytics and technology verticals it already serves. Fundamentally, the growth of Greenwich.HR seeks to make it easier for even more audiences to understand the value of real-time labor market intelligence and, with that vision in mind, Greenwich.HR has so far been able to achieve its growth ambitions without any outside funding. The team is currently evaluating the most effective means of funding further growth, so that Greenwich.HR can continue transforming the labor market through data and innovation.

For business enquiries contact Cary Sparrow at Greenwich.HR via www.Greenwich.HR

Promoting Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace

Workplace inclusion

As an employer, you obviously want the most qualified, skilled employees for your business. However, you may be overlooking the power of diversity and inclusion when hiring new recruits. Encouraging variety and camaraderie among co-workers improves employee morale and increases productivity.  This article explores how practicing diversity and inclusion in the workplace can significantly benefit your business.


What Exactly is Diversity and Inclusion?

To some, these may seem like trending buzzwords tossed about in board meetings to appease the human resource team. That’s a regrettable viewpoint because sincere attention to diversity and inclusion (D&I) on the job can make a tremendous difference in the workplace culture.

Ideally, a diverse and inclusive work environment is one in which everyone is encouraged to get involved and is held equally valuable in all areas of the workplace. Diversity in the workplace is about actively hiring employees of different gender, ages, race, religion, backgrounds, etc. Inclusion is about celebrating the diversity within each employee to make workers feel their differences are assets and beneficial to the whole company.


Four Simple Ways to Encourage Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace

Although diversity and inclusion encourage creativity in the workplace, it’s not always a concept commonly embraced in core human nature. No matter how nonjudgmental we claim to be, almost all of us are subject to bias occasionally.  Achieving a 100% unbiased workforce is unlikely, but here are a few actionable steps to encourage D&I in the workplace.


Meet with Managers

This may seem like a no-brainer, but the vibe and energy of the workplace begins with managers. Schedule regular meetings and discuss how managers are supporting employees with diverse backgrounds and communicate how the entire team can become more unified in the daily function of the company.


Rethink Policies

Reevaluate overly restrictive company policies that may hinder employee diversity in the workplace. For example, rethink grooming or dress codes to empower both genders to express themselves regardless of orientation. More and more, companies are easing up on stringent grooming policies to make allowances for lip gloss, burkas, or even sanctioning exposed tattoos in the workplace. These freedoms encourage individuality, acceptance as well as diversity.  Also, reevaluate policies about personal items in workspaces. To illustrate, permitting appropriate photos of family or unobtrusive personal items is another way to help employees feel their authenticity within the company.


Get More Flexible

Gain a solid sense of inclusion by considering the needs of employees who have unique circumstances. For example, think about getting more flexible with work hours for employees who are parents and need to pick up children from school.  Adjust break policies to allow regular intervals for those whose religion requires them to pray several times a day. Remember, flexibility goes beyond changing long-standing office rules; it also involves being open to listen and observe your employees. Maintain an open-door policy, listen to your employees, identify restrictions upon workplace diversity and be flexible enough to make positive changes.


Celebrate Diversity

Instead of upholding the traditional annual Christmas party, try celebrating other holidays from different cultures throughout the year to inspire diversity and inclusion. Think about including days of recognition that promote diversity, such as Women’s Day or Human Rights Day. Also, offer floating holidays for those who celebrate special days such as Kwanzaa or Ramadan.


How Diversity and Inclusion can Improve Your Business

Nurturing inclusion and diversity in the workplace improves attitudes, builds esprit de corps among co-workers, and instills pride about working for a company that cares. Here are a few other proven ways D&I can improve businesses.


Employee Retention

More often than not, employees quit because they feel they are not allowed to be authentic or free to be unique. In addition, the cost of replacing an employee and retraining him or her is expensive. Your business can avoid these unnecessary expenses by following solid D&I practices with your employees. Doing this will make quitting the last thing on your employee’s minds.


Instill Loyalty

When an employee feels like an integral and valued member of the work community, they experience a sense of pride in their work and get more devoted to the mission of your business. Effectually, being more sensitive to D&I instills a sense of loyalty within your employees.  They recognize that as an employer, you’ve identified their needs, and they become more willing to invest in the needs of your business as a result.


Better Productivity

As mentioned, practicing functional diversity and inclusion in the workplace tends to ingrain pride within employees. In turn, this prompts satisfied employees to work harder or even longer hours to get work done. Consequently, your business will experience improved productivity and efficiency.


Closing Thoughts About Diversity and Inclusion Practices in the Workplace

Quality and increased work volume happen when employees are respected, recognized, and valued. That is what D&I is all about.  Bear in mind, upholding diversity and inclusion practices in the workplace is not about indulging or placating employees. It’s about honoring the diversity in the workforce and appreciating how employees’ differences can be your biggest business asset.

Improving Your Workplace Environment


With the labor market being tighter than ever, it has never been more vital to retain good employees and to create an attractive environment for new applicants. Most businesses have taken steps by now to identify and hone their brand image or to review their HR regulations; however, it can be very easy to forget about the environment we have to work in on a daily basis. The office can become just a piece of the background that we too often forget can be easily changed in ways that will improve company morale and worker retention.

Do an inventory of things that need to be fixed or improved: This can include obvious things such as broken light fixtures, ceiling tiles, doors, etc., but these are the bare minimum. Try and think a bit outside of the box with improvements that could be made. Things like updated air filters or a water softener are not very flashy, but they can go a long way in making the work environment feel more like home.

Ask employees what they would like to see changed: No matter how much you think outside of the box, sometimes there is no better way to find out what your employees want than by simply asking them. This is actually a great way to kill two birds with one stone. You can, of course, use the interview to learn what changes employees would like to be made to the office; however, at the same time, you can let employees express changes they would like to see to their workflows, policies, etc.

Increase the comfort level: Many of us have to sit for much of the day at work, and if the way we sit is not comfortable, it can make getting anything done that much more difficult. Admittedly, getting new chairs can be expensive. The top models can easily get into the thousands of dollars. That said, if you think of it as a long-term investment in your human capital, it quickly becomes obvious that this is an investment that pays significant dividends well down the line. 

Improve aesthetics: Things like paint color and artwork can quickly fade into our subconscious to the extent to which we no longer think about them. Because of this, it is very easy to forget how much they can have an impact on workers’ mental health and productivity. Re-painting the office and adding new artwork is actually quite an inexpensive upgrade, especially when you consider that this one upgrade improves the environment for everyone in the office all at once. If you want to get an even greater return on your investment, poll employees as to what color schemes and artwork they like. This gives everyone a sense of belonging, ownership, and respect that leads to happier employees and less turnover.

Schedule fun activities: The company picnic has been a go-to way for businesses to try and build a sense of community since time immemorial – and it can still work. The key is to actually make the picnic appealing. While most of us can enjoy ourselves at events like this, most people do not put them so high up on their list of fun activities that they would want to engage in them on their time off. If you schedule events outside of normal work hours, you are not giving back to your employees – you are asking more from them. That said, if you schedule fun activities like bowling, fishing, or picnics during work hours, it can really show employees that they are valued and encourage them to work together better as a team.

No matter how much you love your workplace, there is no guarantee that everyone feels the same way. Especially in today’s business environment, making investments in building a quality workplace is not just something you should do to help build morale, it is an essential business function that will allow you to attract and retain the best talent. Every company is only as successful as their employees are productive. And employees are only as productive as their work environment allows them to be. Take a long-term perspective and invest in a better work environment – you, and your employees, will be glad you did.

The Great Social Disruption Has Led to a Boom In Entrepreneurship


Let’s call 2020 the year of the great disruption. It was a time of social unrest and upheaval in our everyday lives. Schools were closed and moved to virtual learning. 

Businesses had to pivot from their usual way to conduct business or shutter their doors. Hotels, restaurants, and social lives were gutted to protect the population. Governments were under the burden of caring for the citizenry without destroying economies. 

Millions lost jobs permanently, and whole industries suffered as a result. It was a disruption on a global scale that we haven’t seen in modern history. Yet despite all those adversities, some people, societies, and businesses were able to flourish. 

As some businesses closed for good, others were able to find a way to fill those voids. People of all stripes, education, and colors could find a foothold and make something positive come from all those disruptions. 

There was an expected boom in startups just when things looked the bleakest. According to NPR reporting, the boom in startups specialized in non-personal interactions such as online retail and Software as a Service. 


Online Retail Vs Franchise Opportunities

Most of the new startups were created out of necessity. People who lost their jobs threw themselves into new opportunities, and online was the most accessible, most cost-effective place to start. 

Online retail can be set up as a drop shipping option where a business acts as the third party between a customer and wholesaler. 

For example, selling direct to consumers by acting as a third party allows the business to limit overhead and increase sales but lacks control on the supply side. As a result, if your wholesaler can’t provide your inventory promptly, your business could suffer. 

Then there are those businesses that create their own products and sell directly to consumers.  

There’s an advantage in this type of business model as you can control the quality of product and timing of shipping, but there are some built-in disadvantages. 

Much like a service business, you are limited to the speed at which you and your staff can build, pack, and ship your product which may upset customers along the way.


The Benefits Of Fulfillment By Amazon

Another ease of setup for online businesses is to utilize a fulfillment program such as the Fulfillment By Amazon, or FBA as it’s commonly known. 

An FBA is a program where you pay a small fee to Amazon to handle all your logistics, such as pre-sale storage and post-sale packaging and distribution. 

By utilizing the FBA program, startups focused their energies on finding and converting new customers rather than paying for costly overhead such as warehousing, labor, insurance, and other costs. 

An FBA is excellent for standard products, whether it’s clothes, house decor, ceramic cookware, electronics, and more. 

The reason FBA is so effective is that you are licensing Amazon to use similar products to your brand, and they will take from their current supply at the closest proximity to your customer and replace the item down the road. 

Another area that has a ton of opportunity is in the franchisee space. With a franchise, you’re paying a fee to join an established, well-known brand and operate as a de facto owner of that physical location. 

The benefit of franchising is that you get an established profitable business model, a physical location already based, and continuous support from the franchisor to help you build your business and expand the brand. 

Another added benefit is that most of the marketing is taken care of by the franchisor, saving you money on costly overhead that may, or may not, produce results and conversions. This franchising feature is vastly underappreciated and makes it almost a no-brainer to be involved as a franchisee. 

The downside to franchising is that you have to pay a fee upfront, often showing a period of profitability for your various businesses, and must adhere to strict rules and procedures that oversee the franchisor’s brand. 

One other downside to franchising is that you don’t have control over product selection. The franchisor chooses what they want you to offer and at what price point. Any flexibility otherwise must go through the franchisor, or you risk losing the licensing opportunity.

Those downsides are overshadowed by the benefits and profits that are associated with a well-run brand. Therefore, if an entrepreneur can diversify their operations to include a franchise opportunity, it should be seriously considered. 

The disruption that we all experienced over 2020 and early 2021 has provided various opportunities for individuals and organizations to flourish. With proper strategies and infrastructure in place, there’s a huge growth potential as societies reopen. 

Two Decades of Outstanding Success

Young couple talking to a car salesman

Select Car Leasing is a leading, BVRLA-registered car leasing company that provides personal and business customers with a comprehensive range of deals and plans on a broad selection of vehicle makes and models. Offering some of the most competitive car leasing rates in the industry, combined with its reputation for exceeding expectations, Select Car Leasing is dominating this fast-growing area in the new car market. We took a closer look at their road to success.

Founded in 2004 by fellow car lovers with excellent people skills, Mark Tongue and James O’Malley, Select Car Leasing began its long road to success from the back room of a house in Reading, where they leased their first car. It was soon to be the first of many as, over fifteen years later, Select is the UK’s largest provider of personal car lease deals, leading the way in one of the fastest growing areas in the new car market.

Since its inception, the firm has been a leading provider of competitive car leasing deals for both personal and business customers on all makes and models. When Mark and James began Select, it was with a vision to provide the people of the UK with a smart, hassle-free way of obtaining a brand-new car for an affordable price. Catering to all customer needs, Select offers flexible contract lengths, manageable payment plans and a wide range of mileage options. In addition, its range of ancillary packages for personal car lease customers includes short term leasing, car leasing with insurance deals and a specialist VIP car leasing programme.

For the thousands of business customers that it serves each year, Select is also able to provide lease deals suited to a great variety of businesses, from sole traders, partnerships, and limited companies to charities and the self-employed. Larger corporations are able to benefit from Select’s dedicated fleet management team, which offers competitive pricing on larger orders and end-to-end support in maintaining and upgrading a business’ fleet of vehicles.

Constantly looking at ways to expand its offering for all clients, Select launched a new branch in 2018. Select Van Leasing is available to both businesses and private individuals and provides a cost-effective and efficient way of regularly driving a new van or commercial vehicle whenever it is required.

Whether their customers are looking to lease a new car for their own use or a fleet of vans for their business, the Select team carries out the same, six-step sales process that guarantees an effective and efficient service from start to finish. For Mark and James, their supportive, market-leading customer service model is a key pillar of Select’s success, as has been proven time and time again by the firm’s positive reviews and a trust score of 4.9 out of 5 on Trustpilot from over 18,000 unique users.

A significant part of Select’s impressive on-going growth since its inception can be owed to it’s customers loyalty and referrals. Moreover, boasting some of the most competitive car leasing rates in the UK, Select has formed close working relationships with large finance companies, manufacturers, and dealer groups across the country so as to be able to make the most of large stock car opportunities that facilitate the best price discounts in the market.

As a result, Select is one of the largest providers of personal car lease deals in the UK having seen significant growth over the past few years and doubling in size each year since 2016. As a result, there are now more than 50,000 motorists in the UK that are driving a vehicle that has been leased from Select. The firm, which employs approximately 150 staff across its two locations in Berkshire and Reading, has clearly come along way from leasing its first car from a house in Reading in less than two decades.

The staff who have facilitated this growth are a key part of the business and as such, Mark, James, and their team of Senior Managers are heavily invested in guiding its team to be the best it can be. Through regular, market-leading training programmes and development schemes across the business, as well as one-on-one support and industry training, Select provides its staff with tools required to thrive in their roles and deliver the highest possible standards of service to their customers.

All of the staff’s training and development centres around Select’s core philosophy of DRIVE: Dedication, Respect, Integrity, Value and Excellence. These values are integral to the internal culture of Select and also inspires the firm’s contributions to its wider community, from its role as a key sponsor of Reading FC to its work with local and national charities such as Children with Cancer, Rethink Mental Illness, Sue Ryder, CAAP, and Tamba.

Despite the challenges that have been faced by many businesses throughout 2020 and into 2021, Select has seen an increased demand for car leasing which it expects to continue see growing as people choose leasing on a subscription model as a more affordable and engaging way of being able to drive a new car. Although constantly aware of the impacts of the ongoing pandemic on the automotive industry, Select remains optimistic that the success of car leasing will go some way in facilitating renewed growth for the sector in general.

Moreover, the hybrid and electric market has seen similar growth throughout the last year, which Select has been quick to respond to in its launch of Select Electric, a platform which provides a dedicated area in which customers can browse the latest car leasing offers for electric and hybrid vehicles. The platform will also provide plenty of information and guides for clients about this emerging market.

With continued growth forecasted for this exciting branch of the automotive industry, Select is looking forward to seeing Select Electric become a more integral department of the company, responding to growing demand and providing a launchpad for Select to become a leading supplier of electric vehicles in the long term. With many exciting developments and projects already underway and a cautious optimism about the renewed success and growth for the automotive industry, Select is thriving and able to look ahead with enthusiasm, even in challenging times such as these.

Company: Select Car Leasing


The Future of Business Attire

Business attire

Gone are the days where everyone wears suits and ties to work or a pencil skirt and sharp jacket. We’ve come into an era where a CEO is just as likely to show up to work in jeans and a t-shirt as they are to wear a full suit. These trends have shifted in recent years as companies offer incentives like jeans days on Friday and casual business attire as the dress code. Additionally, more and more employees work from home meaning they can show up to “work” in anything they want.

It’s true that except for a handful of industries, most businesses are evolving their dress codes for today. What does this mean for productivity? Very little. Some schools of thought are that jeans and casual wear make people less productive at work, but research shows that in some areas it’s the opposite. Employees in certain industries would rather have a corporate policy that allows them to dress down than extra money in their pocket. These policies allow employees to use their home clothes for work, thus getting more mileage out of their wardrobe instead of purchasing distinct clothes for each realm.

Other researchers argue that employees who dress up “feel” more the part and have more confidence in what they do. These reports are based on people like doctors and athletes self-reporting that they feel better in their work uniform. But it may be that their uniform helps them separate work-life from home-life. While industries like law and finance tend to have a formal business attire culture, tech and other industries are moving to more casual work environments. You’re more likely to see computer programmers in jeans and a clean t-shirt than you are a lawyer. Additionally, other industries have uniforms and require special clothes, such as in healthcare.


What are some of the trends to be aware of and how can you adopt some of these policies for your business?

Business Casual

In short, business casual attire is associated with employees wearing khakis or dress slacks and a nice shirt. For men this usually means a polo or button up and for women it means pants, skirt, dress, and a nice blouse or polo. Some industries have their employee wear khakis and the same color shirt to create uniformity without it being too rigid. In these environments, a t-shirt of the right color might be allowed under a business casual dress code as well.


Casual Work Attire

While most people associate this with jeans and t-shirts, there is still a bit of being dressed up a little expected here. Jeans, khakis, and dress slacks may be worn with less formal shoes. Women would be more likely to dress up a pair of leggings and oversized sweaters or wear a pair of jeans with a nicer shirt. The goal with casual clothes isn’t to look like you’re going to the gym, but to be more comfortable in your clothes. Casual work environments still require a level of neat and clean outfits but are more relaxed than business casual.


Dressed Down Casual

There are some companies who allow staff to come to work in shorts, comfortable walking sandals, and t-shirts. You may have visions of beachgoers just hopping over to work for a bit. In these casual work environments, almost anything is acceptable. Typically, staff aren’t allowed to wear bathing suits and they must have pants and shirts that cover a certain length. But other than that, these dressed down environments are pretty relaxed.


What does this mean for you?

It all depends on your industry. While healthcare, legal, political, and finance sectors still adhere to very formal workplaces, other industries can easily adopt a more casual work environment. If you’re already offering jeans days on Fridays without issues, it wouldn’t be tough to create dress code policies that allow staff more flexibility in what they wear to work. Most employers care less about what their people wear and more about how well they work. If the clothes don’t make your staff work less on Fridays, then they are probably okay to wear those clothes everyday if they want.

With the future of remote work changing rapidly, many companies are addressing their dress code policies. Where possible, companies now allow more flexibility in what employees wear as long as they are neat, clean and do their work with excellence.

Global 2021: Most Innovative Sustainable IPPC Pest-Free Pallet Manufacturer


After decades of developing innovations that would change the way its sector handles timber recycling for good, LHT Holdings has created and is continuing to create some of the most exemplary developments in its industry.

LHT Holdings Ltd is timber recycling, reconstruction, and sales company that has more than 40 years of experience in its industry. It has spent this time developing its services and becoming a front-runner in all aspects of its operation, going from a small start-up in 1977 to the largest manufacturing company of unscrupulous quality wooden packaging in Singapore. Its products include wooden pallets, boxes, and crates, and at present its staff stand at 180 people strong, skilled in maintaining all aspects of its business. LHT Holdings Ltd also has a myriad of other services that it has branched out into since its inception. Nowadays, it also trades in raw timber, serving other members of its industry with products that are up to its rigorous standards. It also offers the manufacture and sale of technical wood for use in flooring, for example, with a wood waste collection service that allows it to handle many of its operations in-house without the need for outsourcing.

It also rents both pallets and warehouses out to its clients, acting as a commissions agent where relevant to enhance and bolster the shipping industry in its region. One of its most notable landmark events took place in 1999, when it installed the first recycling plant that is timber specific in its region. A first for Singapore, the plant’s purpose is to recycle timber waste into ‘new wood’, or 100mm x 3.6 metre compressed and engineered planks. It trademarked the resulting product as ‘technical wood’, and it is a service that has brought the company even greater notoriety in its industry. The benefit to this product is that it turns wood waste that would otherwise be headed for waste disposal into a usable form once again, negating the need for more fresh trees to be chopped down. More than 4500 trees annually remain standing because LHT Holdings’ clients are using its ‘technical wood’ instead of requesting more fresh timber to be brought in.

In this way, the company has developed a staunch belief in environmental corporate responsibility that it hopes to instil in its clients and stakeholders. LHT Holdings is a publicly listed company; and with all its considerable experience, it has grown into a true titan of industry with a significant amount of weight behind it in the sector. It has a turnover of over $40,000,000 per annum, and it has garnered attention on the world’s stage too due to the scale of its operation and the professionalism with which it conducts its services. Furthermore, its scale of operation is also impressive in the physical sense. With a site of 63,568 square metres and several highly technically advanced facilities that develop, manufacture, and sell its products, it has had to develop rigorous processes to keep everything running smoothly.

Its clients cannot help but be impressed by the efficiency of its work, and the staunch dedication to excellent service that is displayed at every level of its organisation. In 2001, LHT was recognised for its commendable work in its industry with an ISO 14001 certification, in acknowledgement of its environmental management system. This was also a credit that nods to its continued ecologically focused work, and an accolade that the company has used to spur it on towards greater success. This was not the first award to be given to LHT Holdings, of course. It was the recipient of the Enterprise 50 Award in 1995 and 1996 respectively, something that not only garnered it more trust in its industry, but also amplified its voice in the corporate world in the wider sense.

These successes inspired it to work even harder on mitigating negative corporate impact on the environment. Hand in hand with its ongoing waste reduction efforts and working to shine a spotlight on the importance of waste reduction in its industry, it has been upgrading and updating is recycling solution. Within the technical wood production process is an automated system, developed in Germany, that allows it to manufacture technical wood without manual labour. This reduces the cost of this service and increases its efficiency, making it an increasingly appealing solution for its target market. Furthermore, the process that the wood is put through fully treats it. The benefit of this is that the final product is far less prone to cracks, mould, insect attacks, or other forms of degradation with a combination of treatments and drying. All told, the intensity and thorough nature of this process makes for a more reliable product. Its clients often find use for its technical wood in furniture construction, building material, and heavy-duty industrial projects that require sturdiness and an ability to maintain a high quality even in environments of duress.

This innovation has seen it become a household name in a variety of industries other than shipping and fulfilment, and consequentially, it saw exponential growth across the board. The development of the technical wood solution had already been a massively risky move for its business. As with any innovative and trail-blazing move in a sector that is notoriously set in its ways, there is every chance that an investment will provide no returns, proving damaging to the company that tried to implement it. However, LHT Holdings has never been one to shy away from a challenge. After the setup of the technical wood development plant, something that bucked the trend of the over 60-year standard that used purely fresh timber constructed wood for pallets, it made yet another landmark move in 2003. LHT Holdings was the first company to fully do away with the use of natural wood. The replacement of all its fresh timber pallets with the more hygienically sound and sturdier option, technical wood, ended up taking more than 5 years to complete with a gradual ‘phase out’ process. Over the course of this 5-year period was when it truly began to see its work paying off and its clients making the move to technical wood.

Between its innovations and its attitude towards being a responsible company that deploys a ‘tread lightly’ approach to environmental treatment, it has thoroughly set itself apart from its competition. LHT Holdings is a company standing head and shoulders above the rest in this area. Furthermore, its creativity didn’t stop at its recycling methods; it has developed pallets that work with radio frequency identification technology. These pallets work to enhance the productivity of its client’s operations, eliminating the need for unnecessary manpower to catalogue and document information, allowing for more accurate customer verification. RFID technology grants enhanced information accessibility and adds to the reliability of the right goods being delivered to the right place, in the right condition, to the right receiver, at the correct time. The elimination of unnecessary manual labour in this way also functions to save both businesses and their clients time and money.

These technologically enabled pallets use the RFID Warehouse Management System and the Automated Storage and Retrieval System, both of which are constantly being updated and further developed. This is all part of its dedication to keeping itself versatile and competitive – by staying ahead of industrial and technological developments, it can stay ahead of the world’s unstoppable march towards further progress. It has also developed an assembly system that feeds its client’s specifications directly into a central computer, linked to an automated assembly line that assembles pallets according to those specifications. Negating the potential of human error and increasing efficacy across the board, the system is fully computer managed, with products measured and assembled according to weight and good stacking procedure.

With all these centralised and computer-generated procedures in place, it pays the benefits of its upgrades directly back to the client. This is an element of its business model, one among many, that keeps clients coming back time after time. It also has an exceedingly small turnover rate, with the majority of LHT Holdings’ employees having been with the company for more than 40 years, and the business consistently sending its staff for upskilling courses. In this way, it ensures that its personnel as well as its procedures and services, are constantly improving themselves. It also has the added benefit of increasing its team members’ personal development and portfolios, making them all extremely competitive and knowledgeable regarding their work. Unfortunately, as a large SME, its revenue streams don’t allow it to have its own in-house R&D department – however, it partakes in a Government initiative that allows it to make up the deficit. By being a part of ‘The Agency for Science, Technology, and Research’, or A*STAR, it has made itself a part of the mission-oriented research that comes out of it, reaping the rewards accordingly. With the many numerous advances in research this Governmental body makes, LHT Holdings’ own innovations are enhanced by its backing.

It also has a ‘SMART Pallet Department’ that recruits new talents within the fields of technology, design, and software management, focusing on young people with technical and engineering backgrounds. With the collaboration of A*STAR and these fresh voices, this initiative is currently in the middle of transforming its current prevailing operational processes to bring them up to SMART Factory version 4.0 – the latest and greatest. When hiring potential candidates, it seeks people with great leadership qualities who thrive in a high-pressure environment; people with the creativity and drive to become an integral part of serving a dynamic market. It also hires across multiple capabilities and competencies, as it takes many different types of people to maintain its rigorous standards in the macro scale. It hires engineers, logistical talents, production workers, sales and marketing persons, human resources staff, and financially qualified talents.

During the pandemic, LHT Holdings saw significant challenges facing its industry and the world. With borders closing, revenue streams adversely affected, and many clients having to tighten their belts regarding spending, it had a front row seat to the outbreak’s consequences for businesses across a wide cross section. However, even as many of its competitors faced temporary shutdown or even total closure, LHT Holdings persevered, finding that its digitised and automated processes had already rendered much of its business practices totally safe. In this way, it could continue to operate; thus providing its continued support to the world’s economy during a time of tumult for all.

As a concluding word, it can be agreed that this company is a leading mind in both product excellence and environmental attitude. It not only provides its customers with ingenuity and forward-thinking problem-solving solutions, these comes at a relatively low cost, and with very little margin for error. Its decades of experience have not mired it down in the processes of the past, and it instead is forever pushing forward towards a brighter and more advanced future, actively encouraging new voices and ideas to be brought to the table. Consequentially, it has been – and will continue to be – a force for continued modernisation in Singapore and worldwide.

For more information, please contact May Yap at

An Introduction to Franchise Business


A franchise is a business type where the brand and business model is used in other locations and typically owned by different individuals. This is not to be confused with a chain business, where all the locations are owned and managed by one parent company.


How Does Franchise Business Work?

It works simply – the franchisor sells the rights to the business model, and the franchisee who holds them can then open their own business, and replicate the success, taking the guesswork out of the uncertainty establishing a start-up business and all the related processes.

For example, UK-based Stoneacre Motor Group specialising in the financing of both new & used cars is a franchise dealership group that has the rights to sell brand-new vehicles from major automotive makers who are franchisors.


What Are the Pros and Cons of Owning a Franchise?

If you’re thinking about starting a franchise business, we’ll cover a few essential factors you should consider before making a big step to owning a franchise. Let’s start on a positive note:


  • You won’t need to come up with colour schemes, fonts and logos, as franchisors already have established branding.
  • Marketing which can be one of the more difficult aspects of a business is also typically taken care of, with some companies rolling out campaigns for all the franchises.
  • The business model is there already, so you have less to worry about and focus on making your franchise as successful as the original.
  • On-going support from the franchisor will give you access to training, assistance and a support network from other franchisees.


  • You’ll need to adhere to strict guidelines, which can sometimes be limiting, especially when it comes to choosing a location and suppliers.
  • There are high associated costs with running a franchise, and you should be prepared to give back a chunk of profit through royalties and fees to the franchisor.
  • A high entry level where you’ll need to pay a purchase fee up-front, so should already have a starting capital.


Picking the Right Franchise Fit

When choosing which franchise to be a part of, you should conduct in-depth research and compare various factors, such as the price, creative freedom, entry requirements and the overall fit for the brand. If this seems overwhelming, you can hire a professional franchise advisor who is well-versed in different factors that form this type of business and is suited to help you pick the best franchise to ensure the perfect fit. This way you’ll need to pay a bit more, but can be sure that all the areas are covered, which is cheaper than realising halfway through that you’re not compatible with the business.


Discovery Days at the Franchises

Once you have selected a few of the potential franchises, get in touch with them to discuss if you can arrange a meeting & show-around during Discovery Day. You will have an opportunity to discuss the ins and outs of the business with the owners & employees, get to know the people behind the scenes and visit the office and franchises that are crucial to the business.

Additionally, you should be given a Franchise Disclosure Document that breaks down the cost of owning a franchise. These usually include a one-off franchise fee, training, marketing, equipment, property costs and other miscellaneous fees.

Discovery Days are like a two-way interview, where you can ask important questions and find out if the brand reflects your values and whether you can envision yourself being a part of the business. For the franchisors, it’s also a good opportunity to see if you’d be a good candidate to operate a franchise.

Afterwards, you should be contacted within a few workings days and receive a decision from the franchisor. If they like you from the get-go, then you should be given the next steps in the process during Discovery Day.


Examples of Successful Franchise Businesses

There are many companies offering franchises, including but not limited to:



Fast-food company McDonald’s is known internationally, and out of 38,000 locations, 93% of them are operating as franchises. The initial investment is often significant in the UK, and costs between £350k and £1,85 million (2018).



Starbucks is the largest coffee franchise in the world and has an expansion plan in the UK over the five years, particularly focusing on the drive-through locations across England. Currently, they’re not looking for franchisees, however, keep an eye out as new opportunities could become available.



Swarovski was established as a franchise in the UK in 1983. The company is in the jewellery industry and best-known for its crystal fine jewellery. The franchise requires a minimum investment of £130,000 and has a contract length of 5 years.


Other well-known franchise companies include:

  • Subway
  • Domino’s
  • Pizza Hut
  • KFC
  • Expense Reduction Analysts
  • InXpress
  • Costa Coffee



To be a successful franchisee, you need to consider many factors – from one-off upfront cost and ongoing royalties, inventory, property, marketing, training & whether the brand is the right fit for you. 

Additionally, we’ve covered what a franchise, franchisor and franchisee mean and how they differ, as well as pros & cons that need to be taken into account before starting a franchise business. 

Hopefully, this guide to franchise business has answered your questions and given you information about how such a business operates and whether it’s worth getting into.

Share with us on social media, which franchise is your favourite and why? 

6 Things You Should Know When Opening An Out-Of-State Store


Small businesses are the backbone of the American economy, employing an estimated 120 million people. Whether you’re one of the 30 million existing small business owners in the US (or you’re thinking about becoming one,) you might be considering opening a new store out-of-state.

If you’re experiencing strong revenue and would like to capitalize on your growing brand awareness, a second location could help to expand your empire; however, like any business venture, there are some key factors that you should consider before opening day. Below, we explore some things that you should know before opening your out-of-state store:


1. Local regulations may vary

Per the constitution, US states are free to create their own local laws and regulations, in addition to enforcing federal laws; this can cause complications if you’re operating a business in an unfamiliar state. What may be perfectly legal to sell in your current state may be heavily regulated in the locale where you intend to do business; this is especially true if you sell age-restricted or adult products, such as glass pipes or alcohol. For example, if you need to know how to sell bongs legally, make sure to research the state regulations relating to your product and to consult a lawyer to ensure that you can run your business uninterrupted.

If you sell age-restricted products, consider seeking advice from a payment processing expert; some mainstream payment processors may consider your product high-risk, potentially interrupting your business operations.


2. Tax requirements may change

No matter where your initial business is registered, most states will require you to pay some form of tax on any income originating from a business in their jurisdiction. As most small businesses are a limited liability company (LLC) or sole proprietorship, they will be subject to a state tax on personal income.

While sole proprietorships can begin conducting business with relative freedom, any LLCs will need to register with the state that they intend to operate out of, and pay any required fees. A Certificate of Authority application (also referred to as a Statement and Designation by a Foreign Corporation) must be lodged with the relevant Secretary of State office. If you do not register your business in the appropriate state, you may leave yourself vulnerable to fines, back taxes, and limited legal rights in that locale.

Staying up to date on any new taxation rules for interstate business can be extremely complicated; consider hiring an accountant either local to the state you’re opening a store in, or an accountant licensed to practice in both your home and business states.


3. Shipping and handling may get complicated

Opening an out-of-state store presents some unique challenges—shipping and handling being among the most important, due to the value of products lost if something goes wrong. If your new store is part of a franchise, it might make sense to consider third-party logistic help to centralize your packing and shipping operations. In addition to freeing up your shop staff, having a third-party logistic partner reduces the risk of items being out-of-stock for online orders, and may improve shipping times.

If you’re moving stock between stores in different states, be wary of any travel restrictions on size or weight of shipments. For example, each state has different guidelines on what constitutes an oversized load, and may require special permits or travel times. It’s also important to understand the legalities of shipping certain products, such as alcohol, across state lines, whether it’s between your stores or direct to customers.


4. Employer obligations may be different

Many business owners may not consider whether they need to provide different benefits or processes for out-of-state employees; the store that you’re opening may be located in an area with different employer obligations than you’re used to. Some states, including California, Oregon, and Washington, have more employment laws than others; however, you should review local laws for any state that you’re doing business in. Common laws to review include:

  • Minimum wage
  • Overtime rates
  • Paid and unpaid leave
  • Paycheck delivery
  • Drug testing

You may need to make adjustments to your employee contracts, handbooks, or even uniforms in order to abide by all local employment laws. Failure to comply could result in expensive lawsuits from unhappy workers.


5. Company communication is critical

One of the major challenges faced by business owners with out-of-state workers is communication; the inability to be face-to-face with employees can cause feelings of disconnection and isolation in your staff. Lack of communication can impact your business operations, as well; in a recent survey, 86% of employees and executives reported that ineffective communication was a major factor in workplace failures.

There are many tools available to help business owners and employees communicate effectively while working in different locations; regular video calls, interoffice messaging systems, and start-of-day phone meetings are all good ways to stay connected to your out-of-state staff. It’s estimated that up to 80% of businesses are now using social collaboration tools to benefit their operations, and organizations that support effective communication are 4.5 times more likely to retain their top talent.


6. Store location matters

As any retail entrepreneur knows, the location of your store can make or break your business. No matter how great your product range, a storefront with minimal foot traffic may struggle to turn a profit.

Before opening a store out-of-state, make a few trips to the area where you’re thinking of operating, and take note of the foot traffic and clientele; talking to shop owners in the area is also an ideal way to get local advice. Review your ecommerce sales to see if there are certain areas in which you already have a potential customer base, and consider trialing a pop-up shop before you commit to a long-term lease.



Opening a new store can be stressful under any circumstances; however, establishing your brand out-of-state can come with a raft of unexpected challenges.

Thoroughly research all small business laws and regulations in the state that you’d like to operate out of, and enlist the services of payment processing experts, lawyers, and accountants to ensure that your store is positioned for maximum success.

Meet the European Platform for Greek Holiday Real Estate


The Creators of Ferimmo are pioneers in the field of quality holiday real estate abroad. Operating from its headquarters in Berlin, we find out how it approaches the challenges and opportunities of such a market.

Founded by executives from the field of Banking and Management Consulting based in Berlin, Ferimmo is a property technology start-up hosting a cutting-edge real estate platform. Tailored for European customers, it provides its German end-users investing in holiday homes with an intuitive way to do so, displaying its Greek direct customers’ market-ready properties for view. Ferimmo’s focus on the Greek real estate market not only provides a boost to the Greek economy but allows it to take part in the success of Greece’s high yield of holiday destination properties. Furthermore, it sees itself as serving a long-term strategic partnership between Greece and Germany. Aside from this however, its true aim is to support people in finding their dream holiday home, as well as to help realtors in Greece find the right buyer. It wishes to take the difficulty out of holiday home real estate by making it ‘a little better and a little more beautiful’ through its user friendly, technologically advanced user interface. Its real estate professionals showcase and promote their portfolios in an intuitive format that is easy for potential buyers to navigate. The platform also champions the ease of its onboarding service. With simple functionality, free registration, and a concise introduction, Ferimmo walks users through how to use its sophisticated filters and how to access the necessary details on an area or listing.

To Ferimmo, ‘people are not just buying a new home, but an entire new way of life at the same time’, and thus it seeks to offer a holistic approach to property purchasing. During the buyers’ experience, it includes opportunity and investment services, information on traditions and gastronomy, and a road map to ensure their users informed purchases. Far from it being a small client base, Ferimmo also sees business from professionals such as lawyers, notaries, architects, civil engineers, banks, insurance companies and asset managers. It also enjoys a variety of partnerships from which its users benefit.

The Greek-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry allows it to provide its customers with specialist services, the Athens Real Estate Agents Association using the platform offers its own expansive portfolio for perusal, and then the German-Hellenic Business Association in Germany works with Ferimmo to further develop the Greek real estate market abroad. Internally, Ferimmo prides itself on having the right kind of people behind the technology, prioritising their employee’s relationship to the company’s goals and ethos with little need for hierarchy. The staff are what Ferimmo considers its most important partners, hoping to attract yet more talented individuals with its success so that those people can take it even further.


Outside of this, the industry that Ferimmo operates within has suffered due to the impacts of the pandemic on both tourism and real estate over the past year. Greece can now exploit the advantages of its successful COVID-19 strategy since it has one of the lowest infection rates in relation to the population and the fewest Covid-19 deaths of all Mediterranean countries. 

However, lockdown has heralded the dawn of a reinvigorated global attitude that the home is not only one of the most important places but one of the most coveted goods. This is an attitude that Ferimmo will be able to provide for as people find themselves longing to spend their extended time in their own properties abroad in a holiday home. The pandemic has also seen a serious spike in the digitization of many more services, meaning that Ferimmo’s goals of upgrading its platform to handle completely real estate abroad is even more in reach than ever before: ‘the traffic of platforms like ours will increase, as people will be looking to buy real estate from the safety of their home’.

 Soon, Ferimmo will be seeking to accomplish this full integration with a range of new digital services such as 360 live tours and a better user interface. There are also plans in the works for the use of drones to capture footage of house tours and viewings. Above all, Ferimmo’s plans can be summarised in wanting to become a service engine over a search engine, diversifying revenue streams by expanding across value streams, offering mortgages, insurance valuations data and home inspiration. It is also working on offering specific regional data regarding an area’s facilities and services, as well as a housing price development forecast for the next 5 to 10 years.

The upgrades will also include updates such as artificial intelligence, virtual reality and the use of Big Data and Smart Data to customise each customer’s experience. Eventually, its goal is to expand all over Europe to become the region’s first and best online marketplace for quality holiday properties matchmaking buyers and investors with sellers and realtors.   

For more information, please contact Marios Christodoulou at