About Neil Franklin

Neil Franklin is Insight's news editor

Posts by Neil Franklin:

Workplace interruptions may help people feel a sense of belonging

Workplace interruptions may help people feel a sense of belonging

In those heady pre-lockdown days, the most common complaint about office life, and especially open plan office life, was the inability to get work done without distraction. Now a new paper from researchers at the University of Illinois suggests that the interruptions may have served some purpose in the way they helped people feel a sense of belonging in the workplace. More →

Government makes it easier to convert unused offices into homes

Government makes it easier to convert unused offices into homes

New rules allowing commercial premises to be converted into homes come into force as part of a package of measures the UK government claims will help to revitalise England’s high streets and town centres. It believes the new rules will help “support the creation of much-needed homes while also giving high streets a new lease of life – removing eyesores, transforming unused buildings and making the most of brownfield land.” More →

‘Healthy buildings’ enjoy a surge in demand worldwide

‘Healthy buildings’ enjoy a surge in demand worldwide

healthy buildings SiemensA new survey of many of the world’s leading real estate investors finds that 92 percent of respondents expect demand for healthy buildings to grow in the next three years. The report claims that this is a compelling signal of the direction the real estate sector is heading. This finding, among others, is captured in a report titled A New Investor Consensus: The Rising Demand for Healthy Buildings (registration) which claims to be a comprehensive health and wellness study of global real estate investment managers and stakeholders representing aggregate AUM of $5.75 trillion and portfolio investments in real estate totalling approximately US$1.03 trillion. More →

New normal looking more and more like old normal, say facilities managers

New normal looking more and more like old normal, say facilities managers

Workers across the UK could return to offices faster than anticipated, according to a new RICS survey of facilities managers. According to the poll, a growing number of respondents say that up to 80 percent of employees will head back once the pandemic is resolved. This is up from less than 60 percent expected in the same poll from the previous quarter ending November 2020. As evidence suggests the UK vaccination programme is taking hold across the country, results to the RICS UK Facilities Management Survey show more respondents starting to believe employees could return to the office in greater numbers than many initially expected in the previous quarter. More →

Major firms lose appetite for office downsizing as they plan what happens next

Major firms lose appetite for office downsizing as they plan what happens next

office downsizingA new report from KPMG suggests that half of major corporations do not expect to see a return to any sort of ‘normality’ until 2022 when half of the general population has been vaccinated. The report also claims that there has been a steep decline in the appetite of the global executives who took part in the survey for office downsizing as the firms reconsider the need for in-person business to resume when countries emerge from the pandemic. More →

Hybrid working must be at heart of plans for regeneration and growth, claims new report

Hybrid working must be at heart of plans for regeneration and growth, claims new report

hybrid workingA new report from think tank Demos and Legal & General calls on the UK Government to back policy change that supports growth of hybrid working and local offices to drive forward its plans for regeneration and economic growth. The report, Post Pandemic Places, claims that huge increases in home working, coupled with a desire for continued flexibility, could support significant increases in local spending. On the back of the findings, the report calls on the government to incentivise the establishment of more local offices and hybrid working initiatives. More →

BCO offers new guidance on indoor air quality

BCO offers new guidance on indoor air quality

indoor air qualityA new BCO research paper, Thoughts on ventilation design and operation post COVID-19, has called for UK offices to ensure they have adequate ventilation ahead of the return to work. The paper highlights that while most offices that follow good practice guidelines do benefit from indoor air quality, there are also many examples of poorly ventilated offices that fall short of the best practice guidelines set out in the BCO’s 2019 Guide to Specification. Poorly ventilated indoor spaces have been linked to COVID-19 super spreader events and the paper states that ventilation in these offices must be “addressed urgently.” More →

Zoom fatigue is real and has four basic causes

Zoom fatigue is real and has four basic causes

zoom fatigueThe much discussed idea of Zoom fatigue turns out to be a real phenomenon according to new peer reviewed research from Stanford academics. The study published in the American Psychological Association’s journal Technology, Mind, and Behaviour found that meetings conducted via video calls leave participants feeling more exhausted and emotionally drained than those held face to face. The study found the four most important factors that make video calls so exhausting; the constant need for eye contact, the ability to see one’s own face constantly during meetings, the need to sit still for long periods and difficulties in interpreting or communicating via body language. More →

Gig economy workers to make up fifth of employees in financial services firms, claims report

Gig economy workers to make up fifth of employees in financial services firms, claims report

gig economyMore than half of financial institutions say they expect to have more ‘gig economy’ based employees over the next three to five years, according to PwC’s report, Productivity 2021 and beyond: Upskilling the workforce of the future to create a competitive advantage in financial services. The second iteration of PwC’s productivity research, that surveyed over 500 financial services businesses globally, and received over 60 percent of responses from C-suite leaders, looked at some key workstreams implemented by financial services businesses and evaluated its impact on productivity. More →

Two million people in the UK have not worked for at least six months

Two million people in the UK have not worked for at least six months

Almost two million workers were unemployed or fully furloughed in January – and had been for at least six months – highlighting the scale of lasting damage to the UK’s labour force that will need to be addressed in the Budget, according to major new research published today by the Resolution Foundation. Long Covid in the labour market – supported by the Health Foundation – examines the state of the labour market during the current lockdown, the cumulative impact of the longer than expected crisis so far, and workers’ prospects for the months ahead as the economy starts to recover. More →

Learning by observation reduces cognitive bias, research suggests

Learning by observation reduces cognitive bias, research suggests

Research from the Business School (formerly Cass) suggests that observing others’ decision-making can teach people to make better decisions themselves. The study, co-authored by Professor Irene Scopelliti, Professor of Marketing and Behavioural Science, tested the effectiveness of a new debiasing learning strategy and claims the first evidence that watching others make decisions can improve our own decision making. More →

Business leaders set out plans to create ‘tech supercluster’ in West Midlands

Business leaders set out plans to create ‘tech supercluster’ in West Midlands

West Midlands superclusterGenerating £27.8 billion gross value added annually, and employing more than 360,000 people, the West Midlands is the UK’s largest centre for business, professional and financial services (BPFS) outside London. Now, business leaders from Shoosmiths, Wesleyan, Bruntwood CBRE amongst others, are working with the region’s just under 12,500 leading tech and digital companies to see how they can integrate AI and advanced technology into their everyday activities. More →

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