In this month’s edition of Business Bookmarks, we take a look at the UK business that's manufacturing electric delivery vans, how microbreaks and allowing yourself time to be curious can increase productivity at work, and the UK startups making a name for themselves in the fashion industry.
The future of the white van
The Guardian takes a look at how Arrival - the Oxfordshire-based business manufacturing 'best in class' electrical vans - is launching eco-vans at the same price as those which use fossil fuels.
Despite the British automotive industry suffering its worst period of decline since 2001, there's hope that commercial vehicles will experience a revival thanks to the white van 'going green'. Arrival is at the forefront of this change, disrupting the traditional automobile manufacturing process, such as by using 'cells' with robots fitting components of each vehicle as opposed to a typical production line. Arrival's director of communications also points out that the vehicles will not only be a good option for businesses who are looking for ways to follow through with green initiatives, but they will also provide cost savings, thus giving businesses a financial incentive to go green. (Via The Guardian)
A guide to B corporations
If you want to use your business to make a positive impact on your employees, customers, supply chain, or the wider world, it's worth looking into getting a B Corp Certification. This article highlights how to go about it.
The B Corp Certification is awarded to businesses that are committed to making a positive impact on the world. These businesses prioritize ethical practices and social purpose over profit-making. Having a B Corporation Certification can therefore do wonders for your overall brand image; much like the Fair Trade Certification, the B Corp Certification immediately adds a ‘seal of approval’ and sense of authority to your business by demonstrating that you’re deeply committed to running an ethical business. It's therefore well worth looking into if you run a business that balances profit making with ethical practices. Read on to find out how. (Via The Knowledge Hub)
The art of taking microbreaks
In this article for Fast Company, Jory Mackay explores the benefits of taking short, frequent breaks for a boost in productivity, and shares tips on how to take microbreaks properly.
From 'desktop dining' to not getting up from your desk for hours at a time, overworking can lead to a whole roster of health issues, not to mention having a negative impact on productivity too. As such, a growing body of research now identifies 'microbreaks' as being highly beneficial to office workers who struggle with productivity. This habit of taking frequent short breaks throughout the working day can range from going to make a cup of tea, having a quick two-minute chat with a colleague, or practising some calming breathing exercises for a couple of minutes. If you're hitting a wall at work and struggling with productivity, this may help. (Via Fast Company)
How to engage your team and spark their curiosity
Curiosity and creative thinking can help you and your business become more efficient, productive and adaptable to sudden shifts. This article by Inc. covers five ways to keep your team curious.
From keeping notebooks and day planners where you can jot down notes, inspiration or simple to-do lists, to using modelling clay to help you illustrate product ideas, there are innumerable ways to stay curious and creative. This article covers the perks of using the above methods, along with habits such as allowing yourself 30 minutes a day to research a topic or concept that triggers your interest. If you want to find ways to keep your mind sharp and inspire creative thought, this one's worth a read. (Via Inc)
Brexit and UK Businesses
The Independent outlines how UK businesses are more pessimistic about the UK economy than they have been at any point since the EU referendum.
The article covers how pessimism varies between regions and industries, with the manufacturing and service sectors reporting the lowest level of confidence and the highest level of concern regarding the UK leaving the EU on the 31st of October. Josh Hardie, deputy director-general of the Confederation of British Industry expands on the data, stating: 'Businesses are beyond disillusioned with the political brinkmanship and the looming risk of no-deal...while firms can be prepared, they cannot be protected against the worst effects a no-deal Brexit would bring'. Hardie's comments come after Michael Gove claimed that the automotive and retail sectors are prepared for the UK to leave without a deal, which industry bodies rejected. You can read the details of the study and more comments below. (Via The Independent)
The end of Thomas Cook
There have been innumerable articles this month covering the demise of Thomas Cook, and how hundreds of thousands of its customers were left stranded around the world. In this article for Forbes, Marisa Garcia explores what went wrong.
Thomas Cook's CEO, Peter Fankhauser, said that the 2018 summer heatwave had contributed to the financial failing, including Brexit uncertainty delaying holiday plans for the summer. But these may not be the only contributing factors - as this article explores, the rise of digital platforms means that holidaymakers no longer rely on package holidays and are more willing to choose individual flights, accommodation and activities individually in order to get the best experience and price. Ryanair's CMO aptly describes this as the 'de-bundling of the package holiday as we know it.' Read more on this, and other advances which Thomas Cook failed to adapt to, in the full article below. (Via Forbes)
The UK startups disrupting the fashion industry
In the wake of London Fashion Week, this article highlights some of the UK's smaller businesses that are making a name for themselves within the fashion industry.
Despite the fashion industry having a reputation for being notoriously hard to break into, there are a number of UK startups who are spotting a gap in the market and creating innovative businesses around changing consumer needs - such as merging tech with fashion, or creating products for consumers who are looking for garments that are both ethical and luxurious. This article takes a brief look at five UK businesses which are breaking away from traditional fashion through innovative ways of thinking. From the jeweller making pieces out of discarded tech, to the Wales-based business owner repurposing tents from music festivals to create children's rainwear, here's a quick glance at a few of the UK's most inspiring fashion startups. (Via The Knowledge Hub)
Motivational books to keep you inspired
If you're looking for something new to read, browse Inc's curated list of 9 books to inspire, learn and grow.
The list is put together as a gift guide, but also works as a great source of inspiration for you to treat yourself. Among the nine books highlighted is Girl, Stop Apologizing by Rachel Hollis, in which the author shares habits to help women fulfil their potential, including not apologising and asking for what you need without feeling guilty about it. Similarly, Radical Candor by Kim Scott, a former exec at Google and Apple, shares insight into how to give feedback to employees and colleagues respectfully whilst strengthening the relationship you share. The list also includes a couple of books which are coming out in the next month or so which you can pre-order, such as Mean People Suck by Michael Brenner and Elevate by Robert Glazer. (Via Inc.)
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