The Latest news from Dumfries and Galloway Chamber of Commerce -

Keep up to date with the latest news and stories from across Dumfries & Galloway.


3 Million UK Workers HATE Their Current Job

Three million British workers HATE their current job, and feel trapped with no way out - and those stuck inside all day are most likely to be unhappy.



A study of 2,000 employed adults found one in 10 actively dislike their work, blaming boredom, their colleagues and lack of praise.

But while just three per cent of those who spend the majority of their time working outside are unhappy in their job, this rises to more than 12 per cent of people who earn their crust inside.

And more than half of all respondents feel they are ‘stuck’ in their role for the foreseeable future, regardless of how unhappy they are.

It also emerged the average adult spends just under seven hours of their working day inside.

As a result, 26 per cent would like to have a job where they could spend more time outdoors, while 30 per cent would like to be more active.

The research was commissioned by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) in line with the launch of their new online careers resource, and found a fifth of people said a lack of knowledge about roles in the industry puts them off jobs in horticulture.

A spokesperson for RHS said: “It’s well known that spending time outside close to nature and working with plants is great for mental health.

“Tending to a garden and working in horticulture can be really enriching both physically and mentally.

“The vast majority of roles, both inside and outside, in horticulture are helping us do positive things for the environment, from finding out how plants can mitigate pollution and flooding issues to looking at supporting wildlife.”

The research also found a quarter would also be more likely to consider a career in horticulture if they felt they were going to be helping the environment.

And a further 25 per cent think doing so would give a huge boost to their mental wellbeing.

It was revealed 44 per cent of those currently unhappy in their work life describe it as boring, and 17 per cent of office workers hate staring at a screen all day.

For more than a quarter, however, it’s their colleagues which are the single worst thing about where they work.

As a result of their unhappiness, three in 10 of all respondents have seriously considered changing careers to find something which gets them outside more often.

For a third of those polled via OnePoll, they’d like to do so in order to get to work with plants or animals.

Some of the top outdoor-based jobs people would love to try their hand at include being a garden designer, florist, or a general landscaping expert, according to the research.

RHS’ spokesperson added: “There are so many rewarding roles in this wonderful industry and we hope people enjoy our new online careers resource to find out more.

“The correct skills and knowledge are vital to the horticultural sector, however there is currently a horticultural skills gap in the UK.

“In a separate piece of research we recently found out the requirement for skills in the horticultural industry are expected to increase by 23 per cent in the next two years.”

Find out more about the RHS’ new online careers resource here -

Has Working From Home Ruined the Work/Life Balance?

Workers fear their work-life balance has worsened - as working from home means they find it difficult to switch off and they miss chatting to their colleagues.


SWNS DIGITAL - Solo Worker

A study of 2,000 employees who've spent recent months working from home, found half wished they had more a better balance.

And 42 per cent said it has deteriorated as a result of not being able to head to the office.

The study also found, for one in six, being based just a few feet from their bedroom is not as convenient as they'd expected.

As a result, one fifth long for the time they had during their commute as it gave them a period to switch off and unwind before walking through the door in the evening.

Almost three in 10 (29 per cent) have found it more difficult to switch off from their work when they're based at home.

While 47 per cent said they miss the social interaction of meeting other people through their job.

A third have also admitted they struggle to motivate themselves when away from the office and a quarter said they end up working longer hours at home.

A spokesman for Novotel, which commissioned the research, said: "Before the pandemic, for many, the idea of working from home was a dream come true.

"No commute, no traipsing into the office and no having to get up and make yourself look presentable every morning for meetings.

"But many are discovering the opposite is true and that the commute or time spent travelling for business helped them to unwind before they walked through the front door and were faced with family life.

"Others are missing the face-to-face meetings or the opportunity to travel to speak to clients and customers without a video screen between them.”

Further struggles faced by staff working from home include missing face-to-face meetings, struggling to balance family life, and feeling less productive due to distractions.

As a result, those who usually travelled for business admitted they’re looking forward to a night away, eating out again - and exploring another city or location.

In fact, more than a quarter said they aren't concerned about Coronavirus and are excited about being able to travel for work once again.

This is a significant shift in attitudes from just prior to the lockdown when 59 per cent said they found travelling stressful.

Back then, nearly three quarters longed for more leisure time during their work trips away.

They estimated they’d only get around two hours of downtime to explore their surroundings while travelling for business.

And going for dinner, having a drink and relaxing by watching a TV show or movie were the main ways employees would unwind on a work trip.

While, the research carried out through OnePoll found 61 per cent 'sometimes' felt lonely when travelling with work.

However, the study by Novotel - part of the Accor group which has 265 hotels across the UK - also found working adults will now be more inclined to make the most of their time away by getting out and about.

A spokesman for Novotel, added: “While many still have concerns staying away from a health perspective, it’s great to see there’s a strong appetite to get travelling again with work.

“And to give travellers that little bit of extra assurance, we’ve introduced a new ALLSAFE certification across all our hotels.

“This means new cleanliness and prevention standards will be in force to provide extra peace of mind.

"Rooms may also include hand sanitiser, wipes and masks as well as social distancing, and high frequency cleaning of public areas so you can feel completely at ease during your stay.”

Covid 'myth' threatens cash use, warns MP

AN MP has warned that a cut in the ability to use cash rather than cards could be an unintended consequence of the Covid-19 emergency.


Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale representative David Mundell has been a long-time campaigner for easier access to notes because of a steady decline in free-to-use cash dispensers.


During last week's adjournment debate in the House of Commons, Mr Mundell welcomed recent Government intimations that they intend to legislate on access to cash but he sought guidance as to when that might happen.


He expressed deep concern that the coronavirus pandemic had reduced the number of transaction opportunities where cash could be used.


The former Scottish Secretary asked: "Even if we resolve the ability to access cash, will people be able to use it, given the number of outlets that are now saying that they will not take cash"?


He urged the Government to dispel 'a myth' circulating that cash was dirty and could spread coronavirus. 


Offering clarification, Mr Mundell said: "As the Bank for International Settlements reported in April, the likelihood of transmitting Covid-19 via banknotes is low when compared with … credit card terminals or PIN pads.


"We must be clear that cash is safe and, as with any contact, safer after people wash their hands and take other measures."


He warned: "We do not want to see a back-door move to a so-called cashless society. Recent reports indicate that eight million of our fellow citizens could not cope in a cashless or cash sparse society, so let us not end up there without thinking it through."


During his Commons address, Mr Mundell raised concerns at Lochmaben where constituents were alarmed by planning permission being sought to remove a 'vital' cash dispenser.


South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth has welcomed the launch of Scotland’s Towns Partnership ‘Scotland Loves Local’ campaign urging people to think local first as more shops, pubs and restaurants re-open.



However, the local MSP has warned that more support from the UK and Scottish Government is needed to ensure local retailers weather the economic downturn facing the area.

South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth said: “As more and more shops, pubs and restaurants open their doors, I welcome any campaign to urge people to think local and buy from the small firms who went above and beyond for their customers during the pandemic. Those who were able to stay open stepped up to the mark, changing the way they worked and providing people with the essentials that they desperately needed. However, many had to close for months, so it would be too easy to forget just what is on offer in our town centres across the region. That is why we should re-discover our town centres and give them the support they need more than ever”

”While a shop local campaign will help, we know that as the recession bites, this will be a difficult period for many local families when it comes to spending. It is vital that the UK and Scottish Governments, along with our new Enterprise Agency, do more to help local businesses get through the economic downturn we face and ensure our local shops survive what will be a tough time.”

Back local businesses to push recovery, urges MP

A RALLYING call has gone out to support south-west Scotland retailers and other businesses.


Dumfries and Galloway MP Alister Jack this week urged residents and visitors alike to use local shops and services as the region cautiously edges out of lockdown.


The Scottish Secretary was voicing his support for the 'Scotland Loves Local' campaign which was officially launched.



He said using local businesses was a good way to boosting the local economy after the damaging impact of Covid-19 and to help protect employment.


Mr Jack said: "In this constituency it is not purely about supporting businesses in the larger retail-orientated town centres such as Dumfries, Castle Douglas, Dalbeattie, Kirkcudbright, Newton Stewart and Stranraer although that will be vital to their future.


"It is also using as much as possible the excellent shops and services in smaller towns and villages which help contribute to community life and the area's economic well-being."


Mr Jack stated that in Dumfries and Galloway and across Scotland there was unprecedented support from the UK Government through the furlough and schemes for the self-employed.


He said: "Local people and businesses also benefit from UK-wide support such as the tourism VAT cut, company loans, VAT deferral and Universal Credit.


"Nationally young people are being helped into jobs and an Eat Out incentive scheme will promote tourism and hospitality.


"Meanwhile, the UK Government will also allocate an additional £4.6 billion to Scotland through the Barnett Formula for the devolved administration at Holyrood to spend."


The Scotland Loves Local campaign is organised by a partnership and primarily aimed at getting town centres and high streets back on their feet safely, closely observing public health guidelines.