About Neil Franklin

Neil Franklin is Insight's news editor

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Government launches “revolutionary” green transport consultation

Government launches “revolutionary” green transport consultation

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The government has launched a new intiative to test the introduction of green transport systems and also injected £90 million into funding three experimental  ‘future transport zones’ across the UK aimed at establishing whether smart and green technology can be adopted. The new transport zones in the West of England, Portsmouth and Southampton and the East Midlands will be used to test innovations in the movement of people and goods. One project will trial the use of drones for carrying medical supplies from clinics in the Isle of Wight to hospitals in the mainland. This should cut down the time spent moving supplies by ferry or road while speeding up diagnosis. More →

Clerkenwell Design Week now postponed until July

Clerkenwell Design Week now postponed until July

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In the light of the global impact caused by COVID-19 and following careful consideration, it was announced today that Clerkenwell Design Week will be postponed from 19 – 21 May until 14 – 16 July 2020.

“As the UK’s leading independent design festival, this has not been a decision taken lightly, but the health, safety and wellbeing of CDW’s visitors, exhibitors, clients and staff remains the number one priority”, said Lee Newton, CEO of show owners Media 10. “We will continue to consult with all relevant parties on a regular basis as we work towards delivering the best possible CDW this summer. The safety and wellbeing of all those involved is our priority and we are grateful for the support we have received from our exhibitors and partners in making this difficult decision. We believe that these new dates provide us with an opportunity to deliver what will be a very successful CDW in the height of British Summer.’ Lee Newton, CEO, Media 10

“CDW has been working tirelessly to ensure that the investment made by all parties into this event is protected. Agreement has been reached, following productive discussions with Islington Council, to ensure that the new date will deliver the much-loved festival without compromise, bringing an undeniable buzz and splash of pink to the streets of Clerkenwell this summer. All of the suppliers, venues and various stakeholders have collaborated to agree these new dates and to ensure that the event can take place.

“In times of adversity the design community has come together to ensure that this leading design festival takes place in 2020.”

The UK is not well enough prepared for working from home

The UK is not well enough prepared for working from home

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working from homeFigures released today suggest that the UK is one of the least prepared countries to introduce a mass home-working strategy. Leesman has surveyed more than 700,000 employees worldwide. Of the 139,778 UK workers in its index, 55 percent have little or no experience working from home, compared with 52 percent of respondents globally. More →

Commercial property energy use fell by over 3 percent last year

Commercial property energy use fell by over 3 percent last year

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commercial property energy useOperational energy consumption in the UK commercial property sector fell by 3.3 percent during 2018/19 compared to the previous year, according to the latest figures from the “in-use” benchmark published by the UK’s Better Building Partnership (BBP). The Real Estate Environmental Benchmark (REEB) compared operational energy performance between 2017/18 and 2018/19, based on 1,038 UK properties covering 11.7m sqm belonging to 31 of the partnership’s 34 member companies. More →

Smart cities will be defined by a number of key characteristics

Smart cities will be defined by a number of key characteristics

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smart citiesThe future infrastructure of smart cities will rely on the analysis of data relayed by the sensors in buildings, infrastructure, transportation and power grids; enabling city authorities to make critical decisions in real-time, according to GlobalData’s latest report, ‘Smart cities – Thematic Research’ (paywall). More →

People management may be the biggest barrier to overseas growth

People management may be the biggest barrier to overseas growth

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Nearly all organisations (93 percent) say that growing and managing their employee base in new countries limits their international expansion to some degree, with more than one in ten (12 percent) stating that it limits their expansion completely. This is according to the HR Challenges of International Expansion report (registration) by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), commissioned by ADP. More →

CIBSE issues new guidance on wellbeing in buildings

CIBSE issues new guidance on wellbeing in buildings

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CIBSE has updated its Technical Memorandum 40: Health and wellbeing in building services (paywall), to reflect what it says are “significant changes in the environmental conditions we are exposed to and advances in our knowledge of how these environments affect our health, comfort and cognitive performance.” More →

Remote working has no effect on careers, research suggests. But…

Remote working has no effect on careers, research suggests. But…

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Working from home is known to be good for a strong work-life balance, advantageous for employee productivity, and is even touted as being beneficial for the environment. However, telecommuting has also carried a stigma that employees who work remotely have difficulties rising in their career. More →

Flexible offices market in Central London continues to thrive

Flexible offices market in Central London continues to thrive

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London flexible officesA new report from Office Freedom claims that Central London is enjoying continued growth in demand for flexible offices, with no sign of slowing. Flexible workspaces have seen a dramatic increase in recent years, with Central London seeing particular interest for flex spaces.  The London’s growing flex appeal report takes a detailed look at Central London flexible workspace trends. More →

New initiative aims to help people reconnect with the outside world

New initiative aims to help people reconnect with the outside world

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Following the recent report outlining the mental health benefits of spending time outdoors, The National Trust has published its own research on the wellbeing impacts of the natural world in partnership with the University of Derby, which shows those with an active ‘engagement’ with nature enjoy significant health benefits and are more likely to address environmental issues. The research has prompted a new initiative focussed on a series of activities that will help people engage more with their natural surroundings. This includes a new weekly guide to every day nature connection and a public awareness campaign, including billboards by roads and in railway stations, on the first day of spring. More →

Wellbeing in the workplace consultation announced

Wellbeing in the workplace consultation announced

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first steps to wellbeingWellbeing advocacy group ukactive has announced a new partnership with HCA Healthcare UK, to undertake a consultation into health and physical activity in the workplace. The partnership brings together the independent research expertise of not-for-profit health body ukactive and the resources of healthcare provider, HCA UK. Anna Davison of ukactive can be heard speaking about workplace wellbeing in the Wellness Maters podcast here. More →

Milan furniture fair postponed till June

Milan furniture fair postponed till June

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Following the recent announcement that the CIFF office design exhibition in Guangzhou was to be postponed because of the spread of the coronavirus, the latest event to be put on hold is the Salone del Mobile furniture fair in Milan. The organisers now think it will be possible to hold the event in June. The news comes following the outbreak of a number of cases of the disease in Italy.  In a statement, the organisers said: “confirmation of the change of date for the trade fair—strongly supported by the Mayor of Milan Giuseppe Sala—means that the manufacturers, in a major show of responsibility, will be able to present their finalized work to an international public that sees the annual appointment with the Salone del Mobile.Milano as a benchmark for creativity and design,” the fair said in a statement.

The decision has not been taken lightly. In 2019 the fair hosted over  380,000 visitors from around the world and provided a platform for more than 800 international exhibitors. But Italy has seen nearly 300 positive cases of COVID-19 so far, more than any other European country and large gatherings of people are now subject to restrictions and cancellation.

Other important events in Milan have made similar decisions in response to the outbreak. MIDO, the world’s biggest annual eyewear event, decided to push back the 50th installment of its annual fair from its original dates of February 29–March 2. Milan Fashion Week took place as scheduled last week, though Giorgio Armani hosted his runway show to an audience of zero after advising guests to watch a livestream of the event instead.

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