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February 19, 2016

Also in the news this week - 19 February 2016

Twitter storm in a teacup?

The Twitterati were up in arms last week when a Buzzfeed report suggested that Twitter was going to unveil a new type of feed based on algorithms designed to flag up popular content rather than using a strict timeline. Twitter ceo Jack Dorsey has not denied the rumours and The Verge is reporting that the change could happen any day now. However, it appears that followers will be able to opt out of the new-style feed and go back to the chronological feed if they so wish. Undoubtedly Twitter is confident that users will appreciate the fact that more interesting tweets are getting highlighted.

UK self-employed numbers reach new high

The number of self-employed in the UK has hit a new record high of 4.66 million in the final quarter of 2015 according to figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS). The number of people identifying as self-employed rose by 154,000 in the three months leading up to December, compared to the same period in 2014. Lorence Nye, economic policy advisor for the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self Employed (IPSE), said: "Working for yourself is a positive choice, with our research showing the vast majority (86%) are very satisfied with the way they work."

Would working less hours mean more gets done?

A poll by SME experts Atom Content Marketing (publishers of the Donut websites) has shone new light onto the perennial issues of work-life balance and productivity. The survey of small business people found that most are working longer hours than ever, with 54% saying they never take their full lunch break and 56% often working late. And yet when asked if they would be more productive working four days instead of five, 37.5% said definitely, 37.5% said maybe and just 25% said no.

New way to avoid nuisance calls

If you work from home, you'll undoubtedly have to deal with occasional nuisance calls, from annoying sales calls to automated messages. Research by Which? has found that 75% of customers get unwanted calls every month. Now BT has announced that later this year it will launch a new service for its retail customers, which promises to divert up to 25 million unwanted calls a week by identifying rogue numbers and adding them to a BT blacklist. Customers will also be able to compile their own personal blacklist by adding individual unwanted numbers, as well as nominating whole categories of calls they want to avoid, such as international calls or withheld numbers.