Proof of the link between workplace design and productivity? Here are three

workplace design and productivityThree new studies have joined the already extensive body of work linking workplace design and productivity. The most extensive is the research carried out by communications consultancy Lansons which looks at every aspect of the British workplace to uncover the experiences and most commonly held perceptions of around 4,500 workers nationwide. The study is broken down into a number of sections which examine topics such as workplace design, wellbeing, job satisfaction, personal development and leadership. The second is a study from the Property Directors Forum which explores the experiences of occupiers and finds a shift in focus away from cost reduction and towards investing to foster employee productivity. The final showcases the results of a post occupancy survey conducted by National Grid following the refurbishment of the firm’s Warwick headquarters by AECOM.

more…

Share Button

The latest type of space adopted as a workplace by British workers? The pub

pub workplace

We’re used to the sight of workers colonising coffee shops, parks and hotels as ad hoc workplaces. Now, a growing number of British workers are firing up their laptops in pubs, and are demanding free WiFi and (apparently) a cup of decent coffee while they do so. According to the latest Greene King Leisure Spend Tracker, over a quarter of Brits would like to log on to get some work done from the pub. According to the report, the findings reaffirm the pivotal role pubs continue to play at the heart of the community and their ability to adapt to the changing needs of customers, including those who see the whole world as an untapped place of work. Fiona Gunn, Greene King’s marketing director, said: “With flexible working on the rise, increasing numbers of people are now using the pub as a ‘third space’ establishing the pub as not just a second home but a place of work as well.”

Share Button

Over half of employees believe 9 to 5 work is an outmoded concept

Time business concept.We’ve heard a lot lately about the plight of workers to take their work home, but according to new research by CareerBuilder.com, for a majority of workers, checking emails from home is their own choice. Well over half (63 percent) believe that working 9 to 5 is an outdated concept, with nearly 1 in 4 (24 percent) checking work emails during activities with family and friends. Half of these workers (50 percent) check or respond to work emails outside of work, and nearly 2 in 5 (38 percent) say they continue to work outside of office hours. Though staying connected to the office outside of required office hours may seem like a burden, most of these workers (62 percent) perceive it as a choice rather than an obligation. Interestingly, 50 percent of those aged 45 – 54 compared to 31 percent of 18- to 24-year-old are willing to work outside of office hours.

more…

Share Button

Far from dying out, the office is becoming more essential than ever

Sit-stand_desk_in_officeSamsung recently released a new report which explores how our offices might look in the year 2025. The death of the office has been predicted over and over again, however the Samsung Smarter Futures Report goes against the grain and predicts that the office could actually become more important than ever. Driven by the adoption of smart technology the report claims that offices will become hubs for productivity and collaboration and what Samsung calls ‘Creative Villages’. Smart technology will create devices and systems that take notes, automate admin tasks, organise meetings and deliver information as you need it. This will mean employees have more time for face to face communication and collaborative work. As a consequence, current trends such as flexible working and agile workspace could actually become less of an issue than they are currently.

more…

Share Button

What The Midwich Cuckoos can teach us about Generation Y

Children of the damned

John Wyndham’s 1957 novel The Midwich Cuckoos is the story of a fictional English village in which, following an unexplained event that causes everybody within Midwich to fall unconscious, all of the women in the village fall pregnant and 61 children are subsequently born at the same time. The children bear no physical resemblance  to their parents, with pale skin, blond hair and piercing eyes. As they grow older it also becomes apparent that they are strange, emotionless and have a telepathic bond with each other. It’s not much of a spoiler to tell you that things don’t go well. The only rationale for what had happened to create the children in the first place is an unexplained incident of xenogenesis – the birth of offspring unlike their parents. Something similar must have happened on a global scale from the beginning of the 1980s onwards, at least based on what we are told about Generation Y.

more…

Share Button

Public sector lagging behind in use of technology and flexible working

Flexible workingAs we reported last week, the UK public sector is embracing some interesting new ideas in the way it uses real estate, especially its commitment to get rid of some of it by adopting flexible working and shared space. However, it’s one thing looking to use space in more flexible ways but without the technological infrastructure, it’s hard to see how they will be able to achieve as much as they could. It is in this regard that they are lagging behind their contemporaries in the private sector, according to a new report from O2 and YouGov. While the report, Redefining selling, serving and working, offers up the usual appeals for us all to make more use of the sorts of things O2 wants us to buy, there is plenty of interesting detail to tease out once the pinch of salt has been applied, not least how business practices and the way people use technology vary across sectors.

more…

Share Button

City firms adopt more flexible working, but it starts from the top

Flexible workingEmployers in the City of London are increasingly open to the idea of flexible working, claims a study of 1,000 workers by recruitment firm Astbury Marsden. According to the study, a third of men working in the City (34 percent) say they now have some flexibility over the hours they work, whether through flexi-time, working a certain number of hours annually or compressed hours. This is up from 28 percent last year. Meanwhile a smaller proportion of female City workers (30 percent) claim they now have the option of flexible working, up from 23 percent in 2014. The research indicates that although women in the City are more likely than men to work part-time or term-time hours or job-share, with over a quarter being able to do so (26 percent), almost one in five men (18 percent) say they also have this option available to them.

more…

Share Button

Beyond branding – how workplace design can express a firm’s culture

ODD-05-highres-sRGBWhen it comes to the incorporation of branding and identity into a workplace, there is a simple option, which is to produce a design that faithfully incorporates the firm’s logos, colours and straplines in the interior. There’s nothing wrong with this, except for the fact that it is literally superficial and so may miss the opportunity to create an office design that scratches beneath the surface to reveal what lies beneath. When you get past the layers of branding and identity, you uncover something that we call culture. This can take things to a whole new level because the challenge becomes how to create a workplace design that communicates and fosters both the identity and the culture of the organisation. The benefits to the organisation can be enormous, not least because this approach bridges a number of disciplines such as human resources and office design and so drives a number of strategic objectives.

more…

Share Button

Social technology has the power to make the workplace more humane

Coloured-Social-Media-Icons-RoundSocial technology can, and should, make the workplace more humane. That’s because it has the potential and ability to shift the power dynamic from the few to the many. It gives more people a voice: one that they’re not afraid to use. You’ve only got to look at the uprisings, and the overthrowing of governments, in Egypt and Tunisia, to see the power of greater connectivity enabled by platforms such as Facebook. What was dubbed the Arab Spring was change on a grand scale. But, as Seth Godin points out in his book Tribes, it’s “tribes, not money, not factories,” that will change the world. The consequences of this are not lost on the people and cultural practices within organisations. The functions of how we recruit, how we learn, and how we communicate are all under pressure to bring greater humanity into the approach.

more…

Share Button

Government urges employers to recruit untapped disabled talent

Employers urged to recruit untapped disabled talent The number of disabled people in employment has experienced a growth equivalent to around 650 people every day, according to new figures from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). They’ve been published to mark the first two years of Disability Confident; launched in 2013 to work with employers to remove barriers, increase understanding and ensure that disabled people have the opportunities to fulfill their potential in the workplace. The campaign has been backed by 376 firms so far and seen the number of disabled people in work increase by 238,000. With research this week from the Centre for Economic and Business Research and Averline, revealing that small employers still had 520,000 vacancies that they were unable to fill because of a lack of relevant skills; Minister for Disabled People, Justin Tomlinson, challenged businesses to consider the boost untapped disabled talent could bring to their workforce.

more…

Share Button
Translate »