Five ways BYOD policies are changing the role of IT in the workplace 0

BYODIf you’ve ever considered adopting a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy you probably know all about its potential benefits. It lets team members work on devices they’re comfortable with. It makes work more convenient. In some cases, it can lower your technology costs. None of these ideas are new, and indeed, much has already been said about how BYOD might impact the end user. But there’s another side of the BYOD story. The other, perhaps more dramatic way that a new policy can change the workplace is through your IT employees and infrastructure. Lots of times, companies tend to underestimate the big internal shifts that precede policy changes—but planning for these shifts is a major part of developing a cohesive strategy. If you’ve already made up your mind and are ready to adopt a BYOD policy, then you should also be ready to encounter some new and unexpected variables. What role will your IT be play under this policy? What kinds of cultural challenges should you begin to expect? How will you adjust? By preparing for new obstacles and expectations, you can create an effective, adaptive BYOD game plan. Here are some of the most important things you should prepare for as you move forward with your BYOD policy.

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Worktech weaves together the strands of people, place and technology 0

WorktechDay two of Worktech London and affirmation that far from dying, as so many headline writers would have us believe, the office is merely entering a new phase. The underlying theme of Worktech continues to be how we find new ways of weaving together the strands of presence and connectedness formed by cities, buildings and technology. Worktech is a constant reminder that while our world may be shaped by algorithms, we still need each other and need to be with other people at least some of the time. The event is admirably hosted by long time collaborator and MC Jeremy Myerson whose knowledge and donnish charm holds things together while the real Don, founder Philip Ross, beams from the sidelines. It is now de rigeur for such events to have a poet in residence and this year’s was Matt Harvey who summed things up at the end of the day with reference to Worktech’s longstanding idea of jellybean working  but who popped up in between sessions with lyrical summations including one that showed some real spunk (you had to be there).

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Promoted story: What will the Government’s new wellbeing measurements change? 0

Workplace wellness initiatives improve job morale, satisfaction and performanceThe UK Government has recently announced that it is developing new ways of measuring wellbeing. Several changes have been made to existing policy in order to provide a fuller picture of how people are faring by looking at several economic, social and environmental measurements. Every employee should already know that wellbeing within the workplace is essential to achieve good results and ensure the business runs as efficiently as possible. To understand what could change as a result of this, we need to look at what’s changed in the way things are being measured. The new programme will be considering the wellbeing of people in the UK by looking at a wide variety of measures, whereas before this figure would have been achieved simply by looking at GDP. This is a much more in depth study and will be looking at factors such as general health, relationship, levels of education and skills, what jobs we do, where we live and work, and of course finances.  …more

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CIBSE updates guide to engineering maintenance and management of buildings 0

Engineering design of buildingsUpdated guidance for designers, maintainers, facilities managers and building owners on the operation and maintenance of engineering services has been issued by CIBSE. Guide M: Maintenance Engineering and Management supersedes the first edition published in 2008 to provide best practice for those who have responsibility for the management and maintenance of the engineering services in a building. It is written for anyone involved in the design and construction of buildings to raise awareness of the implications their decisions have on management and maintenance. The main areas of revision relate to legislation changes and changes in best practice. The guidance continues the work of the CIBSE Maintenance Task Group chaired by Joanna Harris, and intends to close the gap between design and operation by bringing maintenance into a sharper focus and helping building and property operators become more aware of their responsibilities and duties. The ultimate aim is to help clients by managing their expectations and maximising impact from their annual spends on maintenance and management of buildings.

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Land Securities takes full control of Thomas More Square for £85.3m 0

Land Securities takes full control of Thomas More Square for £85.3mLand Securities has taken full control of Thomas More Square, in London’s E1 for £85.3 million. It acquired the 50 per cent share it doesn’t already own from an affiliate of its joint venture partner the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board. The Thomas More Square Estate, which is located between St Katharine Docks and London Dock – totals approximately 4.2 acres and includes six office buildings incorporating retail, leisure and parking. Land Securities was granted planning permission in June 2014 for a comprehensive refurbishment of Building 3 at Thomas More Square and a redesign of the estate’s public realm. The plans for the 570,000 sq ft estate include 200,000 sq ft of fully refurbished office and retail space in Building 3 which will include a new double height entrance and an extensive business lounge. Tenants Ipsos MORI and Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (“MOL”) have already let 97,000 sq ft of Building 3 on 15 year leases with 10 year breaks; while a further 100,000 sq ft will be available from mid-2015. …more

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Gender pay gap at lowest point in history, reports ONS 0

800px-Mind_the_gap_2 (1)The gender pay gap is now at its lowest point in history, with more women in work than ever before. According to new statistics by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) the pay gap has reduced by 0.7 percentage points over the past year to 19.1 per cent, and for those in full-time work the gender pay gap has reduced to almost zero for those under 40. Action is being taken to tackle one of the reasons for the pay gap – career breaks, often to raise a family by extending flexible working to all employees, and from next year, tax-free childcare and shared parental leave will come into effect. However, one of the main causes of the gender pay gap is that men tend to work in better paid sectors to women so a range of measures are being introduced to help women move from low-paid, low-skilled work into higher paid, higher skilled work. This includes a new £2 million training and mentoring programme of events for women, including those working part-time and older workers, to be carried out by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills. This will target women working in the science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM), retail and hospitality management and agricultural sectors.

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Worktech 14 London focuses on wellbeing, wherever we choose to work 0

Worktech 14 focuses on workplace wellbeing, where ever we choose to work

The variety of ways in which technology can help us thrive at work was one of the key themes of the first day of Worktech 14, which also provided yet more evidence that the workplace is no longer based in any one place. There were some interesting ruminations on the changing values of the workplace, which included the challenges of managing mobile working and its wider effects on our wellbeing; a topic that merited a whole series of sessions, including, how office design can aide brain function; analysing the psychological effects of the ‘always on’ culture and the role of the employer in combating the rise in western obesity. Meeting room no-shows run at around 35% for most companies and in an illuminating co-presentation on estates utilisation with Condeco, Bruce Everest of Vodafone described how the mobile giant has transformed its offices into collaborative space. There were also some thought provoking sessions that peered into the future, including  the statement by a speaker from none other than Intel that ‘technology alone is not our salvation’ and a fascinating glimpse into the workplace of 2040  provided by Marie Puybaraud of Johnson Controls. …more

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Group of UK’s major employers urges widespread uptake of flexible working 0

flexible workingSome of the UK’s largest companies are jointly spearheading the call for the greater uptake of flexible working. On Monday, the 22 companies that make up the Agile Future Forum highlighted the role that factors such as new technology, changing demographics and globalisation are having on the business case for the adoption of agile working practices. Firms such as John Lewis, ITV, Ford, Tesco, Lloyds, BT and B&Q are championing the cause of agile working as a way of running a business that is competitive, productive, attractive to employees and able to compete on the world stage. The AFF, set up by former Lloyds chairman Sir Win Bischoff, used the event to publish its latest research to highlight the ways in which it believes the UK is one of the best-placed countries to foster flexible working in spite of a range of recalcitrant and restrictive working practices. The event cited a recent CBI survey which found that while 97 per cent of UK businesses agree that agility is key to growth, many still offer a limited range of flexible working practices.

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Commercial property market sees significant shift in attitudes to green building 0

commercial propertyThe UK commercial property market is experiencing a major attitudinal shift towards green buildings according to GVA’s fifth Green to Gold report. The biannual survey questions commercial property investors on their understanding of market perceptions of the value of sustainability criteria and gauges their attitudes towards regulation and related issues. The latest edition of the study published this month claims that the market ‘no longer views sustainability as a nice to have’ with more than half of those questioned considering green building credentials as a key driver of investment performance. Perhaps unsurprisingly this belief strengthens with regard to longer term investments. The research also found that nearly all (94 percent) of those surveyed now had a sustainability policy in place at either the organisational or fund level and 59 percent of respondents said that three quarters of their portfolios have been assessed against sustainability criteria, compared with just a quarter in 2012.

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The leap in workplace ill health is down to mobile devices and flexible working 0

flexible workingAccording to latest HSE statistics, the UK has seen a huge jump in the number of cases of workplace musculoskeletal disorders over the last two years. The data makes for depressing reading and includes a 20 percent hike in the number of cases to more than half a million, 8.3 million lost working days and a sharp increase in the proportion of work-related illness associated with the condition. Of the 535,000 new illnesses reported in the UK in 2013/14, over a third were musculoskeletal disorders; 184,000 cases. All of which begs the question what exactly is going on to cause this leap. Anecdotally we are aware of a number of factors that might indicate the smoking gun. The first is that clients are talking to us more and more about upper limb disorders rather than those related to the lower back. Pains and illnesses in the lower back are commonly (but not always) associated with poor posture while working at a desktop PC, injuries and aches to the wrists, arms, neck and shoulders are more commonly seen in people with handheld devices especially smartphones and tablets.

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