SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Hundreds of demonstrators, many armed with high-powered rifles, descended on the Oregon Capitol on Friday in response to calls for stiffer gun restrictions in the wake of recent mass shootings.Protesters said they wanted to show state lawmakers that they’re peaceful, law-abiding gun owners and will fight new gun-control laws.“We’re out there, we’re going to fight, and we’re not going to lay down and take it,” said Arin Forrest, a 33-year-old Portland man who clutched an American flag, an AR-15 rifle slung over his shoulder. “If they’re going to take our rights, they need to look us in the eye and tell us why.”Under Oregon law, it’s legal to openly carry a weapon in public, and people with concealed handgun licenses can carry their weapons in the Capitol. Most of the demonstrators kept their protest across the street from the statehouse, but a handful brought their weapons indoors.The state police had extra troopers on hand, and signs on the Capitol’s revolving doors warned visitors that firearms are prohibited without a concealed-carry permit. OLYMPIA — Supporters of gun rights in Washington state turned out in force Friday at the state Capitol, carrying guns and signs while decrying efforts to control firearms. Dan Tidwell, center left, and his son, Thaddeus, center right, both of Gold Bar, wear their AR-15 rifles as they attend a gun rights rally Friday at the Capitol in Olympia.
Four-fifths (81%) of office workers in Europe believe that a well-functioning and attractive workplace has a direct impact on their mental health, and 77% state that a good working environment helps them achieve their goals.The findings from office supply retailer Staples were the result of an online survey of 7,000 office-based employees in October 2018. It was launched at a pop-up workplace happiness event, hosted by the retailer in London on 21 January 2019.The survey also revealed that 15% of employees find cramped spaces frustrating, while 20% would describe their workspace as ‘depressing‘.At the launch event, Professor Sir Cary Cooper, professor of organisational psychology and health at Alliance Manchester Business School, and president at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), said: “Just last year alone, 250,000 people went of work [due to stress]. It’s costing us a fortune. Presenteeism is double the cost. Only one in three people in the workplace is actually delivering added value.”Some of the initiatives that Staples’ research found would aid employees in finding happiness at work include having an office dog (27%), having access to hammocks or sleeping pods (20%), free spa and yoga provisions (26%) and free healthy snacks (49%).“A lot of people want to work flexibly, but don’t necessarily want to work exclusively from home,” said Cooper. “So, [although] people say ‘there’s not going to be an office’, there will be. We’re human beings and we want the social contact. Offices are probably here to stay.”However, only 15% of respondents stated that they love their office, whereas 40% find the lighting in their workspace to be uncomfortable, and 31% say they are embarrassed by their work environment. Nevertheless, the majority (80%) agree that having a well-functioning office space boosts staff productivity, while 76% agree that it helps with retention efforts.“If an employer [invests] in the physical workspace, an employee will feel valued because [the employer is] saying that we care enough about you to invest some money,” Cooper explained.Jeanette Bresitz, head of merchandising, UK at Staples, added: “We know that better space leads to better work, and that better workspace leads to better performance and a more engaged workforce.“Whether entertaining clients or encouraging effective staff collaboration, we know that through ‘meet’ space, we can deliver an instant result within a business and make sure that people feel valued. This can provide staff with a chance to get some much needed headroom. Investing time and thought in non-public facing areas ensures that your staff feel valued, and speaks volumes about [an employer’s] business values, too.”