April 27, 2017
Employees are divided on whether remote access to the workplace is really a positive or negative development, with almost a third of UK workers (32 percent) feeling that having remote access to the workplace means they can’t switch off in their personal time. According to the latest CIPD/Halogen Employee Outlook report, two-fifths of UK workers (40 percent) admit to actively checking their work mobile or emails at least five times a day outside of working hours. Nearly a fifth (18 percent) feel as though they are under surveillance with remote access to work, and 17 percent say it makes them feel anxious or even impacts their quality of sleep. However, almost a third (30 percent) of employees say they feel empowered by having remote access to the workplace, showing a divide in opinion. Indeed, more than half of employees (53 percent) say it helps them to work flexibly and more than a third (37 percent) say it makes them more productive.
April 26, 2017
The British Council for Offices has announced the six winners of regional property awards for London and the South East of England. The winning entries, announced at a lunch at the Park Lane Hilton were Sky Central (main image), 8 Finsbury Circus, The Estée Lauder Companies, 20 Eastbourne Terrace, 67-71 Beak Street and Sea Containers House. The prestigious BCO awards programme claims to recognise ‘the highest quality developments and sets the standard for excellence in the regional and national office sector.’ The winner of the Best Commercial Workplace was 8 Finsbury Circus while Sky Central took home the prize in the Best Corporate Workplace Category.
April 26, 2017
A majority of workers (65 percent) now feel comfortable requesting to work from home, while a third (33 percent) of UK employees would decline a job offer if they weren’t able to work flexibly. This is according to a new study from Maintel which claims that today’s multi-generational workforce prefers flexible working to traditional office hours and location; with flexible work policies perceived as an important workplace benefit. Nearly three quarters (73 percent) of respondents say the company they work for has good flexible work policies in place, 64 percent of remote workers don’t feel micromanaged, and 58 percent would take the opportunity to spend even less time in an office, if it were available. Well over half (60 percent) of respondents believe technology can replace in-person interaction in the workplace. Yet there remain challenges with flexible work, including indifference regarding the security of company data (66 percent) and distractions at home (31 percent).
April 25, 2017
Inaccessible workplaces are too common problem that disabled people face in accessing buildings and public spaces, and the Government must lead a charge in improving access and inclusion in the built environment, according to a report by an influential cross party committee published today. The Women and Equalities Committee’s Disability and the Built Environment inquiry has been examining the extent to which those with accessibility issues are considered and accommodated in our built environment, and whether more could be done to increase the accessibility and inclusivity of both new and existing properties and spaces. The report recommends public procurement, fiscal initiatives and transparently modelling best practice, while bringing the full range of work on improving access and inclusion in the built environment into a coherent and transparent strategy, with the Department for Communities and Local Government held responsible for making this happen. The report found that many workplaces are inaccessible, there is very little choice of where to live and the public spaces through which people need to move can be prohibitively excluding; all of which constitute an unacceptable diminution of quality of life and equality.
April 24, 2017
In a deal of enormous significance for the commercial property and workplace sectors, IBM has agreed a deal with coworking giant WeWork to take on all the space at its 88 University Place office in New York. Although originally targeted at startups and freelancers, especially those working in the creative and technology sectors, a growing number of corporate clients are seeing the appeal of coworking space in a fast changing world and now make up over a fifth of WeWork’s membership worldwide. Meanwhile, in moves that are sure to have major implications for the corporate real estate and facilities management market, WeWork has also announced plans to become a major real estate investor and introduce a wider range of FM services. The firm already operates in 135 locations spread across 44 cities in 14 countries.
April 20, 2017
It is perhaps the most common misconception of evolutionary theory that all animals are somehow evolving towards something perfect. This notion is perhaps best summed up when a sceptic asks: “If we have evolved from monkeys, why are there still monkeys?” The lesser of the two problems with this is its solipsistic assumption that humans are the pinnacles of life and that, if evolution were true, all species would eventually evolve into people. The bigger (and related) issue is that the question overlooks the fact that each species is already pretty much perfectly adapted to whatever environmental niche it inhabits at any particular time. It is only when that niche changes that the organism has to adapt to its changing surroundings and conditions, which is why many species continue to thrive almost unchanged over thousands or even millions of years. They have no need to evolve into a human or anything else.
April 11, 2017
London’s office workers are looking for shorter commutes, demanding more collaborative and networking opportunities while at work and better access to green space, retail, leisure and wellness; all of which could present a huge opportunity for the less congested outer London boroughs, a new report suggests. According to Savills latest London Mixed Use Development Spotlight, as employers and employees alike demand more from their workplace and their work- life balance, London’s outer boroughs could reap the benefits by providing greater flexible office space and affordable homes at a variety of price points. According to Oxford Economics, employment in sectors that tend to occupy co-working spaces is set to rise by 20,000 people in the outer London boroughs over the next five years, which equates to a gross additional need of 1.6 million sq ft (148,644 sq m) of office space.
April 7, 2017
In 1959, cardiologists Meyer Friedman and Ray Rosenman identified the personality traits which go hand in hand with disproportionate levels of heart disease. These include an overblown sense of time urgency, a desire to fit as much into each second as possible, excessive competitiveness and aggressiveness and frustration when other people are doing things more slowly than absolutely necessary. In other words – your typical 21st Century human. Friedman and Rosenman coined a term for such people which has now entered common usage. They called them Type-A personalities. In Douglas Coupland’s 1995 novel Microserfs, one of the characters encapsulates what Type-As are all about. ‘Type-A personalities have a whole subset of diseases that they, and only they, share. The transmission vector for these diseases is the door close button on elevators that only gets pushed by impatient, Type-A people.’
April 5, 2017
Demand for coworking spaces is growing at an average of 10-15 percent per annum across all regions as firms look to cut their real estate costs by embracing the concept based on shared work spaces and collaboration. That is the key finding of a new report from Cushman & Wakefield. As the trend gains momentum, according to the study, developers are increasingly incorporating the aesthetic and function of such flexible working environments into mainstream building design. However the main driver of uptake continues to be concern about the cost of renting offices in prime locations and it is no surprise that coworking is focussed on major globalised cities.
April 3, 2017
IBM recently announced that it was going to consolidate its 2,600 marketing department in six locations around the US. Nothing wrong with that you may say, but as part of the consolidation it has to told people to relocate so they can attend the office every day and workers that had been part of IBM’s home working initiative for decades told to turn up at the office every day or find another job. The reason for this radical and trauma creating shift for IBM’s people causing increased commute times, social upheaval and increased carbon emissions is ‘innovation’. IBM needs to transform itself, move faster and come up with new ideas faster. All makes sense…..or does it?
April 3, 2017
One of the ideas we’re going to hear about a lot over the next few years is the Turing Test. It describes the point at which a machine’s behaviour becomes indistinguishable from a human’s, so that a typical person is unable to work out if he or she is interacting with a machine or an individual. This matters for lots of reasons; functional, philosophical and ethical. While it is the kicking off point for dramas such as Westworld (pictured) and Humans that explore our new relationship with machines, we’re most likely to encounter it at first with the automation of mundane things like customer service and information. Indeed, its creator Alan Turing first defined it as an issue of language and communication. Of course, somebody getting annoyed at an automated help desk won’t make drama as appealing as the idea of a robot theme park, but that’s life.
March 31, 2017
While talent continues to reign supreme on the list of top concerns for US companies a growing number of respondents to CBRE’s annual Americas Occupier Survey cited economic uncertainty as a top challenge, up from 36 percent in 2016 to 52 percent. As a result, 87 percent of corporate occupiers report that they are managing to this uncertainty by disposing of surplus space and/or implementing more efficient workplace designs to prepare their portfolios for the future. Only 26 percent of respondents expect to expand their portfolios over the next two years, down from 38 percent in the 2016 survey. Approximately one-half of the 2017 survey’s respondents indicated that the size of their portfolios would remain stable with 2016 levels. However, while uncertainty is driving many real estate decisions, creating a workplace experience focused on talent remains top of mind for the majority of occupiers surveyed.