It was 20 years ago today…

20years of Personnel Today - read more on our anniversary


If you have been struggling to get remote access to your intranet to work on your laptop’s wireless connection while travelling between hotdesks, take a moment to remember your predecessors.

The front page of the inaugural Personnel Today in February 1988 included an in-depth report on the modern technology that had seen “personal computers find their way into most personnel offices”.

The information revolution was in full swing, the report gushed.

“In many companies, computerised information is allowing personnel managers to have a direct impact on business decisions.”

If only it was that easy…

Ten years ago

… In February 1998, Personnel Today reported that up to 250 Carphone Warehouse workers enjoyed free beer every Friday in a London pub as the fast-growing retailer retained the perk which had started when it employed 30 staff.

Head of HR Peta Clifton said the ‘beer-bust’ fostered Carphone Warehouse’s image as a dynamic go-ahead firm.

Perhaps more bizarrely, she added that to prevent gatecrashers, revellers were randomly asked questions about the company.

Five years ago

… Former Scotland Yard commissioner Sir John Stevens floated the idea of babies behind bars – cot bars that is.

He said introducing creches into police stations would help attract female recruits to the force, previously put off by the service’s ‘macho culture’.

However, critics of the plan said a lot of officers would not want their children anywhere near a police station.

Flexible working legislation was in the news as a study by the Equal Opportunities Commission found that more than 40% of UK workers were unaware of new rights to be introduced that April.

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