July 16, 2015
The apparently compelling idea that ‘sitting is the new smoking’ is given yet another shoeing by new research which confirms that long term standing at work can be harmful too, in both the short and long term. The study, “Long-Term Muscle Fatigue After Standing Work” is published in the journal Human Factors and available to read in full here. It found that prolonged standing is associated with a range of health issues including fatigue, leg cramps, and backaches, which can affect performance and cause significant discomfort in the short term and develop into something more in the long term. Over time, this type of sustained muscle fatigue can result in serious health consequences, according to the academics who carried out the research behind it. It confirms previous research which shows that health problems are associated with a lack of variation in working position, not a specific position.
June 1, 2015
By 2040 knowledge workers will decide where and how they want to work, according to a new report on the workplace of the future by Johnson Controls’ Global Workplace Solutions business. The Smart Workplace 2040 report claims that 25 years from now, work will be seen as something workers do, rather than a place to which they commute. According to the study, work patterns will be radically different as a new generation of what it terms ‘workspace consumers’ choose their time and place of work. Most workers will frequently work from home, and will choose when to visit work hubs to meet and network with others. There will be no set hours and the emphasis will be on getting work done, while workers’ wellness will take priority. Technology will bring together networks of individuals who operate in an entrepreneurial way, with collaboration the major driver of business performance.
March 25, 2015
Much of what has been called workplace strategy in recent years has been more about cutting costs than supporting people, often to the detriment of the latter. That is the central claim of a new report authored by Kate Lister and Tom Harnish of Global Workplace Analytics and sponsored by office furniture maker Knoll. The paper, What’s Good for People? Moving from Wellness to Well-Being, explores how better workplaces, processes and practices can improve workplace wellbeing, employee engagement and organisational performance. The study starts from the premise that people are dealing with unprecedented stresses and pressures in the workplace which now need to be addressed in the context of a recovering economy, the limits of an approach that focuses on doing more with less and an increasingly scant pool of human resources and talents.
December 9, 2014
Any poorly-performing facilities management contract can result in financial and reputational loss, but where a government contract has been mismanaged, and there is a thirst for information on how the public purse has been spent, the repercussions can be major and the casualties high. The UK Government is the biggest spender on FM services, with £40 billion of outsourced contracts each year. However, in a recent report from the Public Accounts Committee and National Audit Office, contract management came in for stinging criticism. Evidence of overbilling, capacity issues, and poor governance and recordkeeping led to a very clear message that the Government must beef up its contract management. Procurement and contract management have been viewed traditionally as low-status in the civil service and, as a result, have been at the mercy of administration cuts and lack of investment.
September 26, 2014
Architectural practice HOK has released a new benchmarking report that examines design and work-style trends at leading financial services firms over the past three years, including the finding that space is underutilised across the sector by nearly a half, meaning that growth can easily be accommodated within the existing facilities of many firms. The HOK Benchmarking Report claims to provide information on recent trends affecting the industry, an analysis of how organisations are using office space and metrics for space standards based on recently completed workplace projects for financial services firms in New York, Toronto and London. The authors claim that because ‘companies are eager to understand the link between their work environments and organisational performance, the space standards and findings in this report can provide a baseline to help corporate real estate and facilities professionals identify and respond to opportunities for improvement.’
September 24, 2014
A new report from the World Green Building Council (WorldGBC) claims it has “overwhelming evidence” that office design significantly impacts the health, wellbeing and productivity of staff. Health, Wellbeing and Productivity in Offices: The Next Chapter for Green Building reports on a range of factors – from air quality and lighting, to views of nature and interior layout – can affect the health, satisfaction and job performance of office workers. Understanding the link between workers and their workplace helps to drive the business case for higher quality, healthy and greener buildings, valued by investors, developers and tenants alike. With salaries and benefits typically responsible for 90 percent of an organization’s expenditure, any higher construction or occupation costs are far outweighed by even small improvements in staff performance.
November 5, 2013
According to a new report from commercial property consultancy Savills, the global expansion of Chinese financial institutions may see them take up as much as 2 million sq. ft. in the City of London over the next decade. The report claims that Chinese firms see London as one of the key centres for global finance and will take up the opportunities offered by setting London as a base as part of a $1 trillion investment in the West over the next seven years. With four in ten of the World’s largest banks now Chinese, and the sector expanding rapidly since the 2008 downturn, the investment will not only change the structure of the City but also consolidate its position as a global financial centre.
May 23, 2013
So, does workplace design have any impact on productivity and business performance? Well duh. So why are we still trying to convince managers when there is so much evidence and experience to prove it. The latest study to demonstrate the link builds on decades of research and adds further compelling evidence in a debate that should have been over a long time ago. In this report, workplace strategist Nigel Oseland and the Atomic Weapons Establishment’s estate masterplanner Adrian Burton describe their research quantifying the effect on worker performance of improvements to the office environment. The question these reports always beg is why the argument still has to be made.
January 8, 2013
The UK coalition government’s battle against red tape hasn’t meant an end to the introduction of new workplace regulations or revisions to existing legislation. Far from it, in fact. In conjunction with one of the UK’s leading law firms Shoosmiths, here is our run down on what to expect over the coming twelve months including changes to the working time directive, a new approach to Health and Safety and the latest on the Construction (Design & Management) Regulations. Simply click on the image above to view or download the briefing.
January 4, 2013
The latest of our free Insight Briefings, sponsored by Condeco, is now available to view and download. It explores the major workplace technology trends for 2013, including unified communications, BIM, space utilisation, the Cloud and BYOD asking not only what the technologies are in and of themselves, but what their likely implications are for workplace designers and managers. Just click the image above to view or download the report.
December 30, 2012
The latest technology that will revolutionise the way we work is now upon us. It is called unified communications and it is a principle that strikes at the very heart of this new world of fragmented yet interconnected work. It is a comparatively straightforward idea intended to solve a complex challenge. As organisations have started to adapt to an economy that is always-on, global and without boundaries of time and space, they have looked for ways to integrate technology to deliver a better working experience for employees, reduce costs both for themselves and their clients and improve their competitiveness. The Briefing can be downloaded here.