We may not know what the future holds, but we can certainly be prepared for it 0

unknown-futureGiven the track record of people when it comes to making predictions about the future, it’s easy to grow cynical, especially when it involves a profession as subject to the vagaries of technological and cultural change as facilities management. But while we should be wary of more fanciful and long term thinking, any natural scepticism shouldn’t blind us to those predictions that we know will largely come true, especially those based on what we know is happening already. For example, recent research carried out by Cass Business School and Henley Business School and presented in the book Future Work: How Businesses Can Adapt and Thrive in the New World of Work found that two-thirds of managers believe there would be a revolution in working practices over the coming ten years. Given what we’ve seen over the past ten years, it’s impossible to argue any different. In fact the only quibble we should have with this is that it won’t take another ten years for this to happen because the process is already well underway.

…more

Share Button

Global executives value work-life balance benefits of connected workplace 0

Global executives value work-life balance that technology allowsSenior global executives are working more hours and in more locations now ever, but advances in workplace connectivity mean they are far more satisfied with their work-life balance. According to the 2014 BlueSteps Work-Life Balance Report, by the Association of Executive Search Consultants (AESC), over half (52%) are satisfied or very satisfied with their work-life balance. In comparison, four years ago, 55 per cent did not believe their current work-life balance was satisfactory. Global executives work an average of 58.5 hours per week, with 39 per cent working over 60 hours per week; but the majority (81%) of those polled consider work-life balance when deciding on whether or not to accept a new position.Over one quarter (28%) rate their work-life ratio as more important than their potential earnings and 31 per cent would refuse a promotion or new job offer if it negatively affected their preferred work-life balance ratio. …more

Share Button

The collaboration between BIFM and CIPD unites the workplace tribes 0

workplace tribesThe world of work and the workplace is always changing. We know it. You know it. In fact, there are a whole host of people that know it, but depending on what side of the professional fence you sit on, you might approach it in different ways, looking through a different lens or with a specific focus. Or are you already bridging the professional gap? Workplace change and the numerous ramifications of it are well documented. In a world that is changing, at frightening pace, it is strange to think that many of the ways in which we work are so entrenched in 20th century thinking. We need to break away from this and outline what the future is going to look like and how we should adapt. Or do we already have the answers? This ground is well trodden. However, it could be time to reassess our thinking and the way we approach this challenge, ensuring it becomes the norm for organisations around the world.

…more

Share Button

There is a moral imperative to meet global standards in workplace performance 0

International evolution in global standards of workplace managementMany corporate organisations now operate on a global scale, with operations spread across a number of countries and continents. But while they are geographically diverse, they nevertheless have a requirement to meet measurable standards of performance, delivered on a consistent basis regardless of location. If something works well in one country, companies want to be able to replicate it in all others. Wherever standards relating to compliance, health and safety, sustainability, leadership or management are most rigorous, it makes good business sense to employ those same standards wherever they have a presence. But from the collapse of a building full of factory workers in Bangladesh to the death of hundreds of construction workers in Qatar, the need to promote and adhere to international standards is more than a matter of mere commerciality.

…more

Share Button

Three major UK office developments get green light following months of talk 0

UK office developments

Plans for the new Astra Zeneca facility in Cambridge by Herzog & de Meuron

Three of the most talked about UK office developments have been given the go ahead within the space of a few days. The Government has finally announced that the new construction headquarters for HS2 will be in Birmingham, rather than London. Meanwhile, following all of the wrangling about its proposed takeover by Pfizer, Astra Zeneca has announced that the controversial move of its research facility from Cheshire to a new base in Cambridge will involve the creation of a new £330 million complex designed by Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron.  Finally, planning consent has been granted for the  4.9 million sq ft Wood Wharf development in docklands including nearly 2 million sq ft of office space which the developer claims will be aimed at the thriving London technology, media and telecommunications (TMT) sector.

…more

Share Button

Corporate social reponsibility remains a vital part of the business armoury 0

Corporate Social responsibilityThere is now an unstoppable energy for radical change in the way that companies of all sizes conduct their Corporate Social Responsibility duties. There are compelling economic and social reasons for companies to construct new ways of thinking and practice around CSR that go way beyond just doing something worthy or nice, from building effective partnerships to attracting top employees. Some companies prefer terms like ‘corporate responsibility’, ‘corporate conscience’, ‘corporate citizenship’, ‘social performance’, ‘sustainability’ or even ‘future-proofing’ over CSR. But the core CSR principles are that a business voluntarily commits to embracing responsibility for its actions and to impacting positively on the environment, on society and on consumers, employees and other stakeholders. …more

Share Button

At the end of the day, it’s all about how you de-stress 0

Stress ballOn 30th June this year, employment laws in the UK changed. Now, all employees have the right to request flexible working. Previously, this right was reserved for parents and carers. The development may result in more people working from home. On the one hand, this is great news for employees. After all, being able to function from home can mean that staff members avoid potentially long and stressful commutes to and from the office and it can help them to achieve a better work-life balance. However, there is a danger associated with blurring the boundary between work and home in this way. It can be hard enough for employees to switch off and de-stress after a tough day in the office, but when their home is their office, this is even more difficult. The good news is, there are certain things that people can do to help them relax and unwind, regardless of whether they work from home or travel to offices every day.

…more

Share Button

BIFM survey reveals lukewarm approach to sustainable facilities management 0

Sustainable facilities managementA new report from the British Institute of Facilities Management reveals the lukewarm approach many UK organisations have to sustainable business practices generally and sustainable FM in particular. The study, based on online research carried out in the Spring with the University of Reading found that, while an overall majority (60 percent) of facilities managers think sustainability is effectively integrated in to their businesses, most operate on the ‘border of compliancy’. The report makes this conclusion based on the fact that its survey showed that over three quarters of respondents (78 percent) claimed that the main driver for the development of sustainability policies is corporate image and a similar proportion (77 percent). The report concludes that this ‘suggests a ‘box-ticking’ approach to sustainability instead of businesses embracing and investing in longer-term practices and the advantages of spending to save’.

…more

Share Button

BCO study finds office remains the best place to do business 0

BCO study finds office remains the best place to do businessThe challenge for the typical office is that it is meant to satisfy a broad range of individuals and a variety of working practices; which means what some may describe as a distracting open-plan layout, others would view as a busy collaborative workspace. These conflicts are highlighted in a new study by the British Council for Offices (BCO), Morgan Lovell and Hatch, which surveyed 2,000 UK office workers’ working conditions, attitudes and expectations. For example while over two thirds were critical of the distractions of the open-plan office, nine out of ten employees believe that support from colleagues enhances their wellbeing. Putting aside the open-plan debate, the study espouses the continued importance of the office as the best place to do business and comes up with three key starting points to help employers create a culture of wellbeing: care; control and collaboration. …more

Share Button

More construction developments required to solve office supply shortage 0

Construction Index warns of short supply of commercial office spaceThe development of new workplaces, shopping centres and industrial facilities is playing an increasingly important role in the UK’s economic recovery, according to the inaugural Commercial Construction Index by JLL and Glenigan. But the report raises concerns that the development of commercial space is still lagging behind the UK’s booming economy. Although the quarterly index reveals that work began on £22.7bn of commercial projects over the 12 months to June 2014, an increase of 6.6 per cent on the previous 12 months, Jon Neale, Head of JLL’s UK Research team warns that: “despite these positive trends, the volume of commercial space being started has not risen substantially since the recession and is still significantly behind the position before the crisis. There is evidence of an increasing supply shortage, particularly in the office market, and the amount of development needs to accelerate if this is not to hamper longer term recovery.” …more

Share Button