About Mark Eltringham

Mark is the publisher of Workplace Insight and IN Magazine. He has worked in the office design and management sector for over twenty five years as a journalist, marketing professional, editor and consultant.

Posts by Mark Eltringham:

Video: The 21st Century Office – how the BBC got it all wrong in 1969

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Two days ago we published a strikingly prescient report from Walter Cronkite dating from 1967 about how the world of work would look in the 21st century. Two years later the BBC was to get things hopelessly wrong, not only with its tired and misguided wannabe existentialism, but also with its vision of a future which was clearly just a slightly mechanised plasticky version of the present. That’s often the problem with futurology. It tells you more about the time in which people are making their predictions than any real vision of what is to come.

British investors still see Dubai as an attractive proposition

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DubaiBritish investors continue to see the property market in Dubai as a good bet, according to new statistics from the Emirate’s Land Department. Of the $16 billion invested in Dubai properties last year, over $12 billion came from overseas investors. Indians led the field with total investments of $2.5 billion followed by Britons ($1.36 billion) Pakistanis ($1.09 billion) and Russians only $545 million – roughly the amount Roman Abramovich hides in his sock drawer for emergencies.  The department’s director-general, Sultan Butti Bin Mejrin, said this showed how Dubai had recovered from global financial crisis with the help of support from local government.

Video: Why designers need to design for our ears too

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A subject too often ignored but about which we now have a great deal of research is that of acoustic comfort. Insight has covered the subject before, but the fact remains that too often we design for our eyes far more than our ears. What we also know to be true is that we are becoming more acutely aware of the issue as our workplaces change both in terms of the space each of us is allocated and our exposure to others in the name of collaboration. In this TED talk Julian Treasure of The Sound Agency considers how we might design our surrounding in ways to improve our acoustic comfort.

Consolidation of state properties boosts London economy by £3.5bn

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Whitehall,_LondonAccording to a new report from property consultancy Knight Frank into the impact of the Government’s policy of consolidating and improving the management of the public sector estate in London, the economy has been boosted by as much as £3.5 billion. The study has reviewed the results of the work carried out by the Cabinet Office’s Efficiency and Reform Group at 16 properties in central London including the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, the Department for International Development, the Land Registry and the Crown Prosecution Service. Many of these sites were seen as dated and have now been redeveloped for use by other organisations. More →

What Ronald McDonald can teach us about office design

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McDonalds1As the UK continues to agonise over the potentially equine provenance of many of its beef products, one firm that has managed to stay above it all is McDonald’s. While rivals Burger King quickly became embroiled in the scandal after traces of horsemeat were found in its Burgers, McDonalds ramped up its claims in the national media that it only uses 100 per cent beef. McDonald’s has had a pretty good couple of years, and not all of it is down to the food. During 2012, the company spent $1.45bn this year on giving 2,400 stores a makeover. It claims that it has now revamped 90 per cent of its UK stores. More →

Final approval given to scheme for London’s ‘Scalpel’ tower

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ScalpelThe Greater London Authority (GLA) has published its Stage 2 Report into the building nicknamed ‘The Scalpel’ – but more properly described as the 38-storey headquarters for US insurance business W. R. Berkley Corporation. The Report approves the scheme for the building in Lime Street which was granted planning consent 3 weeks ago and will incorporate over 500,000 sq ft of commercial space. The Tower, designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox will create 7,700 sq ft of new public space at street level, over 1,000 sq ft of retail space and a new 10,000 sq ft restaurant below-ground. The development is funded by W. R. Berkley, who will occupy around a quarter of the intended office space.

Video: A new kind of job market, or the commoditisation of work?

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At a TED talk delivered in London at the end of 2012, Wingham Rowan, project director of Slivers-of-Time, a ‘work marketplace’, says that websites such as his are thriving by bringing together what he terms ultra-flexible workers with employers to deliver short periods of work on specific tasks. The question is: whether this is a valuable tool in providing flexible work opportunities for appropriate people or the most advanced example we yet have of how labour is increasingly commoditised, casualised and disposable?

New property market research highlights UK’s regional differences

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A new report from Knight Frank has highlighted the marked regional differences in the UK’s commercial property market. On a positive note, there is a clear indication that while market conditions remain undoubtedly tough, the level of activity for 2012 indicates a level of resilience.  Overall take-up for 2012 totalled 4,930,430 sq ft, around 4 per cent down on 2011 and 11 per cent down over the last decade. However, a number of markets enjoyed stronger conditions including Edinburgh (+47%), Glasgow (+15%), Aberdeen (+14%), Manchester (+10%) and Leeds (+3%). More →

MIT survey shows link between sustainability and profitability

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money-grows-on-treesA report published today by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Sloan Management Review and The Boston Consulting Group has found that more than half of companies see a rise in profits when they embrace a more sustainable business model. In addition to the link between sustainability and profitability, the number of companies reporting a profit from their sustainability efforts rose 23 percent last year, to 37 percent of the total, according to the report entitled The Innovation Bottom Line. The survey of 2,600 managers and executives around the world, also found that nearly half of respondents said their companies had changed their business model as a result of sustainability opportunities.  More →

BBC unveils plans for development of Television Centre site

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BBC_Television_CentreFollowing last year’s sale of its iconic Grade II listed West London Television Centre to developer Stanhope, the BBC has announced details of the future direction of the 14 acre site. The announcement comes as the BBC continues its programme of relocating staff and functions to Media City in Salford and the new Broadcasting House in Central London. Work will start in 2015 on a mixed use development which will include residual office and studio space for the BBC, offices, hotels, leisure facilities, some 1,000 new homes, parks and a hotel. However the listed buildings on the site, originally opened in 1960, will be retained. More →

Gulf construction and fit-out continues to boom, claims report

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Abu DhabiThe total value of building projects in Gulf Cooperation Council states will exceed $80 billion this year according to a new report from dmg::events* in conjunction with consultancy Ventures Middle East. The survey concludes that this year will see a near one fifth increase in the overall value of projects up from nearly $69 billion in 2012 to $81.6 billion in 2013. Meanwhile the interlinked market for interior contracting and fit-out in 2012 was valued by the report at $7.86bn – a 56 per centincrease on 2011. The UAE continues as the the region with the largest interiors spend ($2.83bn), followed by Saudi Arabia ($2.6bn) and Qatar ($1.49bn). More →

We shape the World’s cities, then they shape us

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ChonggingThe story of the world’s cities is often told not in words but in numbers. This is especially the case with the megacities – those with a  population in excess of 10 million – which obtain enough critical mass not only to produce eye boggling statistics but also to distort the fabric of whole regions and change the way people live and behave. This is true for the established megacities of London, New York and Tokyo as well as the emerging global metropolises in Sao Paolo, Beijing, Mumbai, Shanghai, Cairo and Istanbul.

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