Hotels allocating more public space to meet the needs of business travellers 0

Business TravellersPresenteeism isn’t restricted to the workplace. Growing demand from business travellers means hotels are increasing the amount of working and meeting space they provide in their facilities in cities across Europe and the rest of the world. Three quarters of British employees work while staying in a hotel according to the survey carried out by the Fraunhofer Institute on behalf of hotel business solutions firm HRS. Only Italians spend more time working in hotels (76 percent), followed the UK (75 percent), Poland and Switzerland (50 percent respectively), Germany (46 percent), China (45 percent), Russia (43 percent), Austria (42 percent) and France (25 percent). The firm has also identified a number of hotels around the world which it believes offers exemplars of the new working spaces available.

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The workplace as a strategic resource: a real life CEO’s perspective 1

NEF today-3 workplace as a strategic resourceRaise your hand if you agree: “The workplace is obviously a strategic resource.” We facilities management professionals know that to be true. But if you often feel like a voice in the wilderness when speaking to anyone other than a fellow FM or workplace professional, you are certainly not alone. For many if not most senior executives, their facilities are a necessary evil that always – always! – cost too much. That reality frustrates me as much as it does you. So my colleague Paul Carder and I conducted two extensive research projects in 2012 and 2013 aimed at making the case (mostly to FM professionals themselves) that facilities and workplaces are incredibly strategic – and very poorly understood. And while we’ve gotten lot of positive feedback about our findings and conclusions, we haven’t seen much change in mindsets, management practices, or business outcomes.

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Four year surge in the numbers of over-50s and over-65s in UK workforce 0

older UK workforceWe keep saying it but forget all the talk about Gen Y, the UK workforce is actually aging and becoming more diverse. New research from Saga shows that the number of employees over the age of 65 has increased by over a third over the last four years and the numbers of those between 50 and 64 has also increased – by nearly a tenth. The proportion of over 65s within the workforce is up from 3.4 percent to 3.6 percent over the same period but there have also been increases in employment in younger age groups meaning the workforce is more diverse. There are now 1.09 million over 65s still in work and around 8 million in the 50-64 age group. The Saga Monthly Employment report, published in partnership with the Centre for Economics and Business Research, also found that older age groups are now just as economically active as younger demographics

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Rise in staff social media profiling will transform the workplace 0

Digital monitoring of staff will transform the workplace claims surveyWhether or not the younger generation are in fact more technically astute is still open to debate, but one thing is clear, they’re far less perturbed at the idea of being digitally monitored than the older generation. New research reveals that the younger generation are more open to sharing their personal data with their employees, with 36 per cent of Generation Y workers saying they would be happy to do so. Nearly a third of people would be happy for their employer to have access to their personal data, such as social media profiles and this kind of data monitoring of employees will rise over the next decade as Generation Y enters the workforce. Given the fact that by 2020 this generation will form half of the global workforce – they’re set to bring with them their different attitudes to technology and personal data. …more

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The CIPD is right to focus on the multi-generational workplace 0

Multi-generational workplaceAmongst all the talk about Generation Y and its impact on the world of work, it can be easy to miss the fact that the modern workplace is not defined by one particular generation, but a number of them. The multi-generational workplace has significant implications for the way we design and manage offices. While we must avoid the more obvious stereotypes about the needs of different age groups, we must still offer spaces that can meet a wide range of cultural, physical and technological needs if we are to create productive workplaces.The latest organisation to bang the drum for the multi-generational workplace is the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. It has published new research together with the Scottish Centre for Healthy Working Lives into the experiences and attitudes of SMEs towards age diversity at work.

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Flexible work arrangements are leading component of wellness policies globally 0

Flexible working policies leading component of wellness policies globallyIn the midst of the August summer holidays; it’s now more than ever that flexible working policies can benefit both employees and employers, so that those who need to get stuff done can get on with it without having to sit in a near empty office for form’s sake. So it comes as little surprise that in a new global survey, polices related to flexible work arrangements and paid time off rank as the number one component of wellness programs globally. According to “Working Well: A Global Survey of Health Promotion and Workplace Wellness Strategies,” the concept of wellness at work has evolved over the last seven years, moving from a focus on basic health promotion activities to a culture where seventy-eight per cent of the world’s employers are strongly committed to creating a workplace culture of health, to boost individual engagement and organizational performance. …more

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Sustainable buildings are not more costly to construct, finds report 0

Sustainable buildings are not more costly to construct finds reportThe widely held belief that sustainable buildings are more costly to construct is dispelled in a new report which shows that achieving lower BREEAM ratings can in fact, incur little or no additional cost. Researchers from Sweett Group and BRE examined the actual costs and savings associated with a wide range of sustainable building strategies. The research team applied cost data from real construction projects to three case study buildings – an office, secondary school and community healthcare centre – to produce detailed capital and operational cost information. The report; Delivering sustainable buildings: Savings and payback also reveals the associated payback to be gained from reduced utility costs and finds that even where achieving higher BREEAM ratings incurs some additional costs, this can be paid back within two to five years through the reduced costs of operating a more sustainable building. …more

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Why pattern psychology is so important in workplace design 0

pattern psychology - andy goldsworthyThe ability to recognise patterns is innate. We do it instinctively and often unconsciously. We look for patterns and where none exist we impose them, grouping things together according to their colour, shape, texture, number, taste, smell, touch or function and our own pattern psychology. We do this to make sense of the world and to understand what goes on around us. And conversely, the patterns we perceive influence the way we think and how we feel. It was the psychologist Carl Jung who first explained how the innate human ability to recognise patterns is rooted in the need for primitive humans to perceive patterns in the world around them as a way of identifying threats. Jung saw the collective unconscious as a bank of shared primordial images, hardwired into us by our evolutionary past and leaving us with residual predispositions not only to look for patterns but to respond to stimuli in specific ways.

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Small business has no problem with flexible working – it’s just sceptical of legislation 0

flexible working legislationAt the end of July, the UK Government introduced new legislation that allowed any employee with more than six months in a job to apply to their employer for some form of flexible working arrangements. Now, research from Sage claims that a third of small businesses are ignoring the legislation, a fact which might be interpreted as suggesting that the UK’s SMEs are not so keen on the idea. What other data suggests, however, is that they’re probably more likely to offer flexible working than larger firms. This can only mean that it’s the legislation that’s the problem, not the practice. Leaving aside the ten percent of SMEs who the Sage report claimed were unaware of the new rules, this still leaves a large number of smaller businesses open to litigation and industrial tribunals. But, as the Federation of Small Businesses warned ahead of the new law’s introduction, the right to request was always likely to lead to headaches for business owners anyway.

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Five sectors, one challenge: The importance of high staff morale 0

Five sectors, one challenge: The impact of high staff moraleEver since the 2008 recession, the economy has been in flux, affecting both small businesses and corporate giants. Yet, despite the uncertain economic climate, many start-up business ventures have not been phased by the challenges it brings. We recently conducted a survey to find out what the biggest challenges small businesses expected to face over the coming year. The survey revealed some interesting results, and led to the creation of five whitepapers suggesting some possible solutions as to how they might consider investing both their time and money to overcome these challenges. Across the five industries taking part in our survey (Health and Fitness, Finance, Technology, Retail and Travel), one of the most prominent challenges faced by SMEs was regarding staffing. Ultimately, each staffing issue related back to keeping employee morale high and, therefore, boosting productivity. …more

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