September 26, 2015
In this week’s issue; legend of the UK office furniture sector, John Fogarty reflects on his five decades of experience; Mark Eltringham argues the TMT sector no more fell from the heavens than Gen Y, and Charles Marks weighs up the pros and cons of the BREEAM environmental standard. The financial sector dominates the annual list of Top Employers for Working Families and we reveal there’s a tendency to drift into caricature when describing multigenerational working. Activity in Europe’s commercial property markets is at its highest level since 2007 and colleagues, not bosses can make people feel more engaged at work. Check out our video evidence which shows how some visions of the future of work can be remarkably prescient while others get it completely wrong. Visit our new events page, subscribe for free quarterly issues of Work&Place and weekly news here. And follow us on Twitter and join our LinkedIn Group to discuss these and other stories.
September 24, 2015
For some years there has been a growing awareness of the need to improve the environmental performance of buildings. This is closely linked to both the Government’s own international commitments to reduce carbon emissions by 80 percent over the next 35 years and the need of organisations to act ethically and cut costs while they’re about it. Buildings are important in this regard because of their impact on the environment (and the bottom line). According to The Carbon Trust, buildings produce around 37 percent of the UK’s total carbon emissions, 40 percent of it from commercial buildings.This is commendable stuff but the real problems arise when it comes to meeting such laudable goals in practice. We are learning all the time about how to achieve the best results and we are helped in that with the availability of a number of increasingly sophisticated building environmental standards.
September 21, 2015
The theme of this year’s World Green Building Week which runs from 21–25 September is Powering Positive Change. The week brings together Green Building Councils from around the world to create a public conversation about the role buildings play in a sustainable future. Hundreds of events worldwide with the aim of demonstrating global diversity and a collective mission to create sustainable built environments. This is achieved through a variety of activities – including workshops and panel discussions, exhibits and building tours. There are over 30 events in the UK and you can view a calendar of them here. The flagship International Climate Negotiations 2015: Catalysing Action on Buildings will look forward to the international climate negotiations in Paris (COP), and the role which the construction and property sector can play in delivering carbon cuts and supporting national commitments.
September 19, 2015
In this week’s issue; Dan Callegari lists ten unusual ways to ensure peace and privacy in the workplace; Sara Bean says senior executives are unaware of the effects of ‘change fatigue’ in their organisations; and Mark Eltringham notes a growing acceptance of sit/stand furniture as a standard workstation option. In news; the results of a new study which found men and women are likely to react differently to specific types of office layout; the introduction of the revised version of one of the world’s most popular environmental standards and SMEs fail to embrace effective wellbeing programmes, despite appreciating their role in future growth. And why is there a growing dread of the influx of the latest generation Z into the workplace? Check out our new events page, subscribe for free quarterly issues of Work&Place and weekly news here., You can follow us on Twitter and join our LinkedIn Group to discuss these and other stories.
September 16, 2015
The revised version of one of the world’s most popular environmental standards aims to improve the link between business strategy and environmental issues and encourage a stronger focus on life-cycle thinking. the updated ISO 14001:2015 has responded to a number of current trends, such as an increasing recognition by companies of the need to factor in both external and internal elements that influence their impact, including climate volatility. Other key improvements in the new version include a greater commitment from leadership; an increased alignment with strategic direction; greater protection for the environment, with a focus on proactive initiatives; more effective communication, driven through a communications strategy and an increased emphasis on life-cycle thinking, considering each stage of a product or service, from development to end-of-life.
September 12, 2015
In this week’s issue; Mark Eltringham says when it comes to productivity, not everything at work is a motivator and lists five ways your colleagues might be driving you mad. Researchers say that green cities could result in global savings in the trillions; the allure of London for Generation Y appears to be fading; and business leaders in the Capital are concerned about retaining employees and improving the infrastructure. The number of people working excessive hours in the UK increases by 15 per cent since 2010; US workers admit that that when they need to get important work done, they avoid the office completely; and wellness policies are overlooking the effects of the workplace on health. Check out our new events page, subscribe for free quarterly issues of Work&Place and weekly news here., You can follow us on Twitter and join our LinkedIn Group to discuss these and other stories.
September 10, 2015
The naming and shaming of Britain’s most overcrowded trains in a new report from the Department of Transport highlights the uncomfortable journey many workers have to endure every day. This is why a significant number of commuters long to be cyclists, according to recent research from Aviva, which found more than half of those who cycle to work said they arrive refreshed after their commute. Just 1 in 10 car and bus users claimed the same thing and that figure dropped to 1 in 20 for train and tube passengers. Almost a quarter of cyclists (24 percent) also reported feeling motivated after their typical commute, scoring higher than any other common form of commuting, including walking. This is double the proportion of bus passengers (12 percent) who claimed that their commute improved their motivation levels, and triple the proportion of drivers (8 percent) and four times the proportion of train and tube users (6 percent).
September 9, 2015
Newly published research claims that investing in public and low emission transport, building efficiency, and waste management in cities could generate worldwide savings of US$17 trillion by 2050. The Global Commission on Economy and Climate, an independent organisation comprising former finance ministers and leading research institutions from Britain and six other countries, found climate-smart cities would spur economic growth and a better quality of life – at the same time as cutting carbon pollution. These investments could also reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 3.7 Gt CO2e per year by 2030, more than the current annual emissions of India. With complementary national policies such as support for low-carbon innovation, reduced fossil fuel subsidies, and carbon pricing, the savings could be as high as US$22 trillion according to the report.
September 7, 2015
According to a study by Savills Energy, around 99 percent of the firms who are obliged to carry out an assessment of the energy consumption of their buildings, processes and transport as part of a flagship Government assessment programme have yet to do so. Only 152 out of 15,000 eligible organisations have notified the Environment Agency that they are compliant with the ESOS (Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme) Regulations with only three months until the deadline for compliance. Organisations that qualify for ESOS must carry out ESOS assessments every 4 years and identify energy saving measures. Businesses which fail to comply with ESOS could be fined up to £50,000, plus an additional £500 a day, every day the audit remains outstanding. The deadline to provide evidence of a completed audit to the Environment Agency is 5th December 2015.
July 20, 2015
More than 200 businesses from the construction, property and renewable energy industries have written to the Chancellor to reconsider the Government’s decision last week to abandon plans to introduce zero carbon buildings. In an open letter to the Chancellor, senior leaders from 246 organisations warn that the policy U-turn has “undermined industry confidence in Government” and will “curtail investment in British innovation and manufacturing”. In the Chancellor’s productivity plan “Fixing the foundations”, George Osborne unexpectedly axed the policy designed to ensure that all new homes built from 2016 meet zero carbon standards – together with a sister policy that applied to all new non-residential buildings such as offices, schools and hospitals from 2019.
July 10, 2015
The UK Government has today announced that it is to abandon its plans to introduce zero carbon buildings, including homes in 2016 and zero carbon commercial buildings in 2019. As part of a range of planning measures officially announced by the Treasury, it has been confirmed that the government ‘does not intend to proceed with the zero carbon Allowable Solutions carbon offsetting scheme, or the proposed 2016 increase in on-site energy efficiency standards’. Officials from the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) have also separately confirmed that the zero carbon policy for non-domestic buildings will also be discarded as part of the new changes. The move has already been heavily criticised by the UK Green Building Council and senior figures in the construction sector, who are dismayed at the move by a Government that once claimed it was to be the UK’s ‘greenest ever’.
July 7, 2015
For some time now, the most talked about workplace issue has been wellbeing. Where once firms sought ways of using office design to solve a productivity puzzle, they are now increasingly concerned with the mental, psychological and physical health of employees. This is the case for most organisations but doubly so for those whose business is directly related to those issues, such as Melbourne based health insurance firm Medibank. The firm, Australia’s largest health insurer has moved to a new headquarters building in the Docklands district of the city and took the opportunity to create a space which it claims should be hardwired with the proactive principles of personal wellbeing and health with which its business is associated. The building has been designed by Hassell to meet these principles and includes a facility with outdoor sporting facilities, an edible garden and other green spaces.