About Maciej Markowski

https://www.jll.co.uk/

Posts by Maciej Markowski:

We need to keep a more open mind about open plan office design

We need to keep a more open mind about open plan office design

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BelGroup7Most people will be aware that there has been an historic and enduring debate about whether open plan offices are a good or a bad thing. Past articles whether in the Guardian, Dezeen or across the pond in the Washington Post would typically suggest that they diminish productivity and foster a number of other workplace ills. However introducing open plan design principles into your office is almost certainly a good idea. You really just need to make sure that you provide your employees with a choice of settings that allows them to work somewhere that suits the task in hand whether it’s space for concentration or privacy for confidential conversations in order to make it work. It’s a complex and contentious issue so it’s worth asking where open plan works and where it really doesn’t. If you ask many employees working in open plan offices what is bothering them, they’ll probably tell you two things: that they cannot focus and they have no privacy.

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Humans will remain at the heart of the emerging digital workplace

Humans will remain at the heart of the emerging digital workplace

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HumanThe speed of technological development over the last 30 years has been pretty mind blowing. Of course, some technologies came and went, for instance you would struggle finding fax machines in your office nowadays or people using Pagers to contact one another.  It’s no wonder that in the early nineties futurologists predicted the death of the office. Technology was shaping the way we worked and was leading us away from office buildings towards a digital workplace. Yet videoconferencing hasn’t destroyed the need for business travel. Team meetings haven’t been abandoned because of messaging services like Yammer, Slack, Lync and Webex. We still do a lot of business face to face over coffee in a meeting room. Although technological advances have greatly improved the way we connect and do business, companies still appear to value human interaction.

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Everything you wanted to know about open plan but were too distracted to ask

Everything you wanted to know about open plan but were too distracted to ask

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open plan There is a lively and ongoing debate on whether open plan offices are a good or bad thing. Many articles would suggest that they routinely diminish productivity. Yes, the open plan office is not ideal for privacy and probably bad for conceptual focused work, but it’s a bit like saying a hammer is useless when you need to tighten a screw. The point is you don’t use it for that. Fans of open plan often underline how fantastic it is for building a sense of belonging, team spirit and ad hoc collaboration, often ignoring the challenges of working there. The point I’m making is that introducing open plan into your office is probably a good idea, but you really need to make sure that you provide your employees with a menu of settings which allow them to concentrate, have ad hoc meetings without disturbing their colleagues and provide some privacy for confidential conversations.

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Why it’s time for more companies to roll the dice for gamification

Why it’s time for more companies to roll the dice for gamification 0

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gamificationAs was reported recently, gamification remains practically unknown to many managers yet companies like Nike, Microsoft, Samsung and eBay are beginning to see it as a useful tool. Generally adopted by marketing and sales professionals, gamification can also influence behaviour, increase productivity and improve wellbeing. Gamification is all around us, even if we don’t always notice it. It’s used in sales competitions, frequent flyer programmes and marketing initiatives. So what is gamification? In short it’s the concept of applying game mechanics and game design techniques in order to engage and motivate people to achieve their goals. It’s about turning something potentially mundane into a game – similar to many ingenious mothers who might turn cleaning a room or washing dishes into a game for their children.

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Why would you want a Google office when you can create your own?

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You don't want a Google office do you?Google has dramatically shaken up the world of the Internet and also changed the face of the traditional office environment forever. Nothing has ever been the same, since the ubiquitous four-colour logo first appeared on the worldwide web. Everything that Google does creates a ripple in the business world. Whether it’s giving employees 20% of their time to focus on their own projects, allowing them to form teams to peruse the idea of their choice or installing slides instead of stairs many are asking “should we also be doing that?” And it’s not surprising. All companies want to be successful and there’s no better success story around than Google. So let’s try and model ourselves on or imitate Google, right? I have lost count of how many times I’ve heard “could we have an office a bit more like Google?”

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Flexible working may improve productivity, but does it diminish creativity?

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flexible working and creativityHomeworking seems to have become a bit of a hot topic this year, but one sentence published on the www.gov.uk website brought a cold sweat to the brows of many managers and employees across the United Kingdom. “From 30 June 2014, all employees have the legal right to request flexible working – not just parents and carers.” Despite the fact that the law allowing flexible start and finish times and working from home only covers employees who have worked for a company for at least 26 weeks and that the employers are still able to disallow it as long as it’s done in a ‘reasonable manner’, the threat of being sent to an employment tribunal brings some HR managers to the brink of hysteria. But is this really justifiable? The truth is, the new government policy will probably make flexi-work more common, but it’s already being implemented quite successfully across the globe, with plentiful research on its impact so far.

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Focus on the wellbeing of the occupants of the office, not that of the building

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The design of the office has a big impact on health and wellbeingIf you ask a typical corporation about their real estate strategy you will most probably hear a lot about rationalisation, minimising cost and synergy. Real estate strategy should include all these but a cost-cutting approach can be very short-sighted. Staff costs usually account to about 90 per cent of the business operating cost, while any improvement in staff’s productivity will have a stronger and more positive outcome than any cost saving on a building. The recently released World Green Building Council (WGBC) report Health, Wellbeing & Productivity in Offices developed with the support of JLL, Lend Lease and Skanska, clearly shows that the design of an office has a strong impact on the health, wellbeing and productivity of its occupants. It describes the impact of acoustics, interior layout, look & feel, amenities, air quality, thermal comfort, location, daylight and user control on occupants. But it doesn’t stop there.

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If you want to reduce the cost of your office, move to a creative area

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If you want to reduce the cost of your office, move to a creative area

Clerkenwell Design Week

“First we shape our buildings, thereafter our buildings shape us.” Winston Churchill, House of Commons opening speech. Buildings do indeed shape us, but what seems to affect us even more is the neighbourhood. It’s the immediate environment as opposed to buildings that is much harder to create. It needs numerous factors to influence it, among them the two most precious components– the right people and enough time. Politicians all over the world dream of creating zones that will draw the most innovative companies. But it seems that most of them grow organically – the Silicon Valley in California, the Silicon Alley in New York and the Silicon Roundabout in London. The combination of low rents, proximity to the centre of a dynamic metropolis and interesting culture made the East London neighbourhood of Shoreditch, Clerkenwell and Aldgate a perfect magnet for some of the world’s most exciting companies. So should you think about relocating there too? Here are some things to consider. More →

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