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February 21, 2014

Also in the news this week – 21 February 2014

Bosses check social media for signs of "sickies"

Over a third of SME owners check employees' social media profiles if they believe them to be "pulling a sickie", according to a new survey by AXA PPP Healthcare. Commenting on the results, Marion Wolff, CEO of Ingenious Britain, said: "This survey highlights real trust issues between owner managers and employees in the SME sector. 60% of SME bosses said they don't always believe their employees when they call in sick." The AXA survey shows that micro-businesses, with up to ten employees, lose around £3,500 per annum, with an average of 5.2 sick days a year per person.

Instant messaging set to soar

Instant Messaging (IM) is set to account for 75% of mobile messaging traffic by 2018 – but will only generate 2% of revenues. These are the findings of a report by Juniper Research. IM behaviour is significantly different to texting, says the report – where users typically send up to 10 "chats" to send a message that could be contained in one text. 
Stickers, emoticons, images and group conversations all add significantly to IM traffic.

Hyperlinks are legal, says European Court

Many businesses may not have been aware of it, but the European Court has been considering whether the distribution of online hyperlinks is an infringement of intellectual property law. Now it has ruled that sharing links with third parties is not an infringement, providing they do not circumvent paywalls, such as online subscription services used by the media. Susan Hall, an IT and IP specialist at Clarke Willmott LLP, said: "I welcome this outcome and the clarity that it brings to this area of intellectual property law, which upholds the principle of the internet being freely accessible to all."

Got a tough decision to make? Wait until Tuesday…

Almost a third of office workers believe Tuesday is the best day for making big decisions, according to a poll by 32% of respondents said Tuesday was the best day for making tough business choices, while 16% said the weekend was the best time. The burden of catching up on emails on a Monday was the main reason for leaving big decisions until later in the week.

Free workshops for high-tech SMEs

HMRC and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) are organising a series of free workshops aimed at high-tech SMEs that want to learn more about business growth and innovation. Topics covered will include IP and patents, R&D tax credits, the Patent Box tax incentive, grants and EU funding. The events are being held in Cambridge, Leicester, Reading, Plymouth, Oxford, Sheffield, Portsmouth and Scotland. Place can be booked on the Business Events website.