Eye EYE (c) 2016 Pixabay / cocoparisienne https://pixabay.com/en/eye-blue-eye-iris-pupil-face-1173863/ Research last week included a mix of poll results and reports based on more extensive surveys. Pegasystems and SD Worx also published ESG reports for their organisations. The full reports came from Deltek, Ivanti, Microsoft, OneStream, Onit and Qualtrics.


Ciphr released a study that revealed which UK locations make an ideal base for HR managers to live and work. It ranked 100 towns across criteria such as salaries, employment opportunities, and housing.

The top ten cities were:

  • Aberdeen (460 / 500)
  • Northampton (391)
  • London (390)
  • =4. Huddersfield (377)
  • =4. Slough (377)
  • =4. Warwick (377)
  • Manchester (362)
  • Bournemouth (360)
  • Stockton-on-Tees (358)
  • Reading (357)

The release also noted the top ten towns and cities by salary and the highest density of employers with more than 50 staff.


Deltek released its 14th annual Clarity government contracting study. The comprehensive report is based on 700 responses and shows an optimism greater than a year ago. Key insights from the report are included.

  • 88% of businesses reported revenue growth as the same or higher in 2022
  • 93% reporting the same or higher expected revenue as they look forward to 2023
  • 49% of respondents reported increasing government sales revenue in 2022
  • 57% of respondents report the number of their overall federal contracts increasing.
  • However, 37% of small businesses reported growth in government contracts
  • 68% of respondents named cybersecurity a top concern for their IT teams
  • 37% of respondents note that labour costs are seen as the most significant driver impacting their companies’ business

Kevin Plexico, Senior Vice President of Information Solutions at Deltek, commented, “This year, we found an optimistic outlook for increased government sales revenue and win rates in 2023, and the expectation to get back to, and possibly even exceed, pre-pandemic successes. The challenges companies are facing primarily relate to the labor markets, including shrinking headcounts and wage inflation making it difficult to deliver the best value on contracts, along with ongoing obstacles presented by evolving compliance requirements.”


A poll by Deloitte found that executives are increasingly concerned about a recession. 74.6% expect a recession in the next 18 months, with 36.3% expecting one in six months. Of bigger concern is that confidence in cash and liquidity has fallen from 84.6% in October 2020 to 79.5%.

Companies are turning to advanced analytics and AI technology to manage cash flow and liquidity. 20.5% of organisations already use technology, up from 13.5% in October 2020, and only 34.5% have no plans to do so (down from 46.8% in October 2020).

Mike Quails, a Deloitte Risk & Financial Advisory Managing Director of Deloitte Transactions and Business Analytics LLP, says, “Rising inflation, high interest rates and market uncertainty make everything from demand planning to payment term negotiations to forecasting exponentially harder, affecting overall liquidity management confidence levels. Recognizing these challenges, many leading executives are adopting liquidity planning measures to help increase transparency and free up cash.”

ELMO Software

Research by ELMO Software found that 57% of New Zealand workers believe the increased cost of living has negatively impacted their mental health. Women are more likely to report a negative impact (66%) than men (49%). 63% are making changes to cut costs.

  • 30% have cancelled their subscription to streaming services such as Netflix, Binge or Stan
  • 26% have unsubscribed from shopping/product emails
  • Over a quarter of workers have sold personal possessions to make ends meet

ELMO Software indicated that they are hardest hit because more from the younger generation are cutting personal costs (85% gen Z vs 39% Baby Boomers, and a sliding scale in between). There are also concerns about redundancies.

ELMO Software CEO and Co-Founder Danny Lessem commented, “It is concerning to see the disproportionate impact on women, who are already facing barriers in the workplace. Historically, we know women are more likely to be underemployed and feel they’re not working enough hours – and that’s something that came through in our results. Almost a quarter of women (23%) believe they aren’t working enough hours, compared to just 13% of men.

“It is clear that increasing financial and job insecurity is exacting a significant toll on the well-being of employees, particularly women and younger workers. These findings should serve as a wake-up call, that to avert a burnout crisis, companies need to take proactive steps to support their employees, whether that is through financial education, mental health support or flexible working arrangements.

As the cost of living continues to rise, it is important that companies have a timely expenses management process in place to ensure their employees are not left struggling financially. Last year, the average claim submitted through ELMO Expenses was around $600. For many, that’s a significant sum of cash to be owed.”


Ivanti published the results of its 2023 Report: Elevating the Future of Everywhere Work. Based on a survey of 8,4000 workers, it found that while employees want the freedom to work from anywhere, companies are not always equipped to support it. Key findings included:

  • 71% of employees want to work a hybrid or remote schedule of their choice
  • Only 43% of employees can work in the location of their choice
  • The difference between the two numbers above creates a 28-point ‘preference gap’

The gap is narrower for executives and IT workers (12 and 13 points, respectively).

Jeff Abbott, CEO at Ivanti. “When it comes to how and where employees work – leaders who do not embrace and enable flexibility where they can – also risk not reaping the benefits of a more engaged, more productive workforce.

“Attracting and retaining the very best talent will always be an executive priority, but the organizations that embrace an Everywhere Work mindset – and supporting tech stack – will have a sustainable competitive advantage. There has been a seismic shift in how and where employees expect to get work done and it’s imperative for leaders to break down culture and tech barriers to enable it.”

The challenge for organisations not adjusting to these new desires is the risk of a talent drain.

  • 1 in 3 office workers under 40 admits to “quiet quitting”
  • Over 1 in 4 office workers under 40 are considering leaving their jobs in the next six months
  • The top reasons for the ready-to-walk mindset are burnout due to workload (35%) and mental health suffering (35%). Better pay ranks third at 33%

The report also highlights the benefits to an organisation of implementing a flexible working environment and how they can achieve it.


Microsoft released new data and insights from its 2023 Work Trend Index report: “Will AI Fix Work?”. The report shares three key insights for business leaders as they look to understand and responsibly adopt AI for their organization:

  1. Digital debt is costing us innovation: We’re all carrying digital debt: The volume of data, emails and chats has outpaced our ability to process it all. There is an opportunity to make our existing communications more productive. Every minute spent managing this digital debt is a minute not spent on creative work. 64% of employees don’t have enough time and energy to finish their work, and those employees are 3.5x more likely to say they struggle with being innovative or thinking strategically. Of the time spent in Microsoft 365, the average person spends 57% communicating and only 43% creating.
  2. There’s a new AI-employee alliance: For employees, the promise of relief outweighs job loss fears, and managers are looking to empower employees with AI, not replace them. 49% of people say they’re worried AI will replace their jobs, but even more — 70% — would delegate as much work as possible to AI to lessen their workloads. Leaders are 2x more likely to say that AI would be most valuable in their workplace by boosting productivity rather than cutting headcount.
  3. Every employee needs AI aptitude: Every employee, not just AI experts, will need new core competencies such as prompt engineering in their day-to-day. 82% of leaders anticipate employees will need new skills in the AI era, and as of March 2023, jobs on LinkedIn in the U.S. mentioning GPT have increased by 79% year over year. This new, in-demand and AI-centric skillset will have ripple effects across everything from resumes to job postings.

Satya Nadella, Chairman and CEO of Microsoft, commented, “This new generation of AI will remove the drudgery of work and unleash creativity. There’s an enormous opportunity for AI-powered tools to help alleviate digital debt, build AI aptitude and empower employees.”


OneStream published its Enterprise Financial Decision-Makers Outlook – April 2023 semi-annual survey. The survey, conducted by Hanover Research, targeted finance leaders across North America. It identifies trends and investment priorities in response to the upcoming year’s economic challenges and other forces.

Whilst inflation and continued economic disruption are still a concern for most organisations in 2023, the majority expect revenues to remain the same or increase. It wasn’t clear if this was inflation-adjusted, though.

The impact of Covid is lessening on business travel, but while 80% plan to increase travel, only 10% have done so. While the responses indicate this is due to costs and less need, there may be other concerns, such as carbon footprint.

Where business travel misses out, investment in technology is increasing, with more than half planning to invest more. Already 91% use Cloud-based planning and reporting solutions, 85% use predictive analytics, 84% business analytics and 75% ML/AI tools.

They are looking to make the following investments:

  • artificial intelligence (59%)
  • predictive analytics (58%)
  • cloud-based planning and reporting solutions (57%)
  • machine learning (54%)

48% of finance leaders are looking to invest in AutoML. This includes ChatGPT, and will also consider investing in the finance function in 2023.

Bill Koefoed, Chief Financial Officer, OneStream, commented, “The current economic headwinds have finance leaders acutely aware of their investment decisions and weighing the benefits vs the costs.

“With revenue growth through economic uncertainty in mind, financial leaders are looking to invest in solutions that can support more agile decision-making, while delivering a fast return on investment. AutoAI and other AI innovations coming to light in the last couple of years have the potential to improve the speed and accuracy of forecasting and support more informed, confident decision making. OneStream is a proud innovator in this space and partners with organizations around the globe to help them navigate these challenging times.”


Onit released the concluding chapters of its 2023 Enterprise Legal Reputation (ELR) Report. The ELR Report is an annual multinational study, spotlighting year-over-year changes in the brand image of corporate legal departments, through the eyes of their internal clients, the way legal professionals perceive their interactions with other departments, and the material impact Legal can have on its businesses — from revenue generation and operational efficiency to innovation and corporate culture.

The first chapter noted decreased quality interactions between legal teams and other internal functions. The survey may have identified one reason, 91% of legal respondents acknowledge that other departments bypass their team because of slow processes or perceived non-responsiveness, even if it circumvents company policy. Breaking this down further, 61% believe it is due to inefficiencies such as:

  • a lack of communication (51%)
  • too many processes (46%)
  • poor collaboration (31%)

The cause is a lack of modern technology, according to 36%, the budget to implement it hinders 37% and a lack of sponsorship from leadership to update workflows by 34%. Contracts are often managed inefficiently (78%). The report infers that automating and connecting the contracting process between different functions can make a difference. The current lack of efficiency impacts revenue, procurements and M&A deals.

Stasha Jain, General Counsel of Onit, said, “The need for every legal department to execute faster and communicate better is clear. The current challenging macroeconomic climate has caused each department to emphasize cost containment, but it’s up to us as legal practitioners to evolve beyond enterprise guardians. Triangulating people, process, and technologies — which includes testing new developments in AI — is fundamental to Legal’s transformation into a more collaborative partner and material business driver.”


Pegasystems published its annual Impact Report. The report provides a transparent view of Pega’s 2022 progress and contributions in its ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) programs, including CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) and DEIB (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging) efforts.

Ken Stillwell, COO and CFO, Pega. “As we navigate a rapidly changing and uncertain world, the need for continued ESG efforts is increasingly more important to create a better space for Pega’s clients, employees, and partners to operate and live in. We are proud of the steps we took toward bettering our entire ecosystem in 2022 and look forward to accomplishing even more this year and beyond.”


The Qualtrics 2023 Student Experience Trends study looked at the challenges mental health students face and how educational institutions support them. Though for many students they are unaware of the support.

  • 55% of students reported problems with mental health resources
  • 27% of students say the biggest problem is they don’t know what’s available
  • 32% of students at two-year colleges are unaware of what is available; this drops to 11% for students at four-year colleges
  • Only 47% reported that they would be likely to use their institutional resources if they were having a mental health crisis

Dr Katie Johnson, Senior Research Manager for Education at Qualtrics, said, “This data showcases an opportunity for higher education leaders to improve the quality, availability and promotion of mental health resources in order to improve the student experience and their overall well-being. Research shows that the psychiatric workforce is shrinking at the same time that student needs for mental health support are growing.

“While the value of a trained counselor cannot be replaced, technology-powered solutions can improve efficiency by helping institutions understand student barriers to using mental health resources, opportunities for improvement and the ways students want to be supported, freeing up more time for counselors to focus on directly supporting students.”

Discrimination is still a big issue. For students who identify as a gender other than binary male or female, 75% noted they’ve experienced discrimination. Students of colour also reported having experienced discrimination at higher rates than their white counterparts.

Johnson added, “An institutional culture that fosters diversity, equity and inclusion isn’t just a nice to have, it’s an imperative to make students feel like they belong and can thrive at their institution, driving overall satisfaction, success and retention.”

The report also looked at how education prepares students for the future.

SD Worx

SD Worx has published an extended Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Report. The ESG report has dedicated sections on the ESG strategy, ambitions, and governance. It presents a materiality analysis and indicates how SD Worx creates social impact and supports its customers in managing their ESG initiatives.

Steve Engelen, Integrated Reporting Officer at SD Worx, further explains, “Employees, investors, customers, regulators, and other stakeholders want companies to take responsible initiatives and report consistently. Regulators have introduced mandatory disclosures and new reporting requirements that organisations will need to comply henceforth.

“This explains why we have published this revised and more extensive ESG report that addresses relevant sustainable topics society expects us to report on. New encompassing chapters in the various domains are introduced with topics like carbon footprint, remuneration policies, governance structure and risk management.”


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