About Neil Franklin

Neil Franklin is Insight's news editor

Posts by Neil Franklin:

The mega trends that continue to reshape the workplace around the world

The mega trends that continue to reshape the workplace around the world

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Last week, over 600 workplace and property experts met in London at the CoreNet Global Summit 2017 to discuss some of the most important trends affecting the sector. The debates underlined one important fact about property and workplaces, which is how they are shaped by major, globalised events as much as they are local needs and the objectives of specific organisations. This quickly became evident on day one, which demonstrated how dramatic shifts in the geopolitical landscape, all of which are impacting corporate real estate – from America First to Brexit – remain key talking points for the industry. Opening speaker Linda Yueh (University of Oxford and London Business School) explored several possible scenarios, including how the focus of ‘Trumpism’ would have a significant effect on the U.S. role on the world stage, with the priority on the domestic economy leaving little scope for global trade. She also predicted that a ‘hard Brexit’, with no new trade deal with the EU, will be the most likely outcome for the UK’s withdrawal process; and that businesses will need to focus on alternative WTO rules as an urgent priority. Other impacting factors covered by Yueh included the rise of a dominant global middle class, and China’s need to rebalance its economic growth drivers.
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Eight pathways launched to combat unethical practices in construction supply chains

Eight pathways launched to combat unethical practices in construction supply chains

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A new eight stage action programme called APRES, has been released by the Building Research Establishment (BRE) to support the responsible and ethical sourcing of materials, products and people. This call to action has been created in partnership with Loughborough University and presents eight pathways to best practice to combat modern slavery and unethical practices in supply chains. The pathways aim to take organisations and individuals from the level of ‘Baseline’ to ‘Best in Class’ performance.

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Report sets out building blocks of a successful digital workplace strategy

Report sets out building blocks of a successful digital workplace strategy

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Digital workplace developments often lose their way, or fail, due to a fragmented approach that prioritises a few technology ‘fixes’ over business strategy, according to analysts at Gartner. To combat this, ‘digital workplace leaders’ in public sector organisations need to employ a framework to ensure their digital workplace initiatives address eight critical components required for a successful implementation, according to Gartner. The report (paywall) sets out what it claims are the eight critical components — “building blocks” — that application leaders need when planning, directing and evolving digital workplace programs:

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Leeds latest city to announce major new Government Hub

Leeds latest city to announce major new Government Hub

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ECHR rules that companies must tell employees of email checks

ECHR rules that companies must tell employees of email checks

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Companies must tell employees in advance if their work email accounts are being monitored without unduly infringing their privacy, the European Court of Human Rights said in a ruling that defining the scope of corporate email monitoring. In a judgement in the case of a man fired 10 years ago for using a work messaging account to communicate with his family, the judges found that Romanian courts failed to protect the man’s private correspondence on the account because his employer had not given him prior notice it was monitoring his communications.

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The United Workplace launches to support business workplace strategy on a global scale

The United Workplace launches to support business workplace strategy on a global scale

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A global collaboration of workplace experts has been formed to assist companies in the development of their workplaces. Workplace specialists Fourfront Group and Amicus are the founding partners of The United Workplace (TUW), an organisation set up to share expertise and knowledge and deliver workplace design, fit-outs and commercial furniture consultancy and installation worldwide. The network comprises of Fourfront Group in the UK, Amicus which delivers workplace design and fit-out projects in Australia, Ware Malcomb an architectural practice in the US, and Summertown Interiors, a United Arab Emirates fit-out contractor.

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Commercial property investment in central London hits ten year high, claims report

Commercial property investment in central London hits ten year high, claims report

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Commercial property investment in central London has seen its strongest trading in a decade, according to Savills. The real estate adviser claims that over £2.3bn was invested in central London commercial property in July, with total turnover for 2017 to the end of July reaching £11.5bn, a 24 percent increase on the same period last year. July was the strongest month recorded since March 2007 for the City as sales were boosted by the acquisition of 20 Fenchurch Street for almost £1.3bn to a Hong Kong-based property group.

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Bisley expands its reach its in the North American market

Bisley expands its reach its in the North American market

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Bisley, the British storage firm is expanding its reach in the North American Market, with a new 6,000 square foot showroom space, located in the Flatiron district of Manhattan, New York. Bisley already works with a number of clients in the North American market, including Time Inc., Unilever, L’Oreal, Verizon and Uber, and is currently working on projects in New York City, Boston, Toronto, Montreal, Miami, DC, LA, San Francisco and Seattle. In addition to the new showroom, Bisley has announced an agreement with Connection to become its exclusive distributor in the Americas.  Bisley is officially launching the showroom on 4 and 5 October 2017.

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UK serviced office take-up more than doubles in first half of 2017

UK serviced office take-up more than doubles in first half of 2017

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Serviced office take up across the UK has increased by 176 percent in the first half of 2017, reaching 1.07 million sq ft compared to the same period in 2016, which saw 386,750 sq ft acquired, according to real estate adviser Savills. The firm claims that while Central London saw a significant increase with take-up reaching 860,368 sq ft in the first six months, property markets outside the capital also saw substantial growth. Savills research shows that the M25 office market saw take-up by serviced office operators rise from 44,676 sq ft in the same period last year to 109,886 sq ft in the first half of 2017, while in the regional markets, serviced offices, including coworking spaces, accounted for 4 percent of overall office take-up in the first half of the year at 95,987 sq ft, compared to 41,568 sq ft during the same period in 2016.

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People claim to be more productive outside the traditional office, claims report

People claim to be more productive outside the traditional office, claims report

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According to FlexJobs’ 6th annual survey of more than 5,000 respondents interested in flexible working, 66 percent of workers think they would be more productive telecommuting than working in a traditional office environment. Fewer interruptions from colleagues (76 percent), fewer distractions (76 percent), reduced stress from commuting (70 percent), and minimal office politics (69 percent) are the top reasons people prefer their home office. Only 7 percent of workers say they are most productive in the office during regular hours. The study claims that respondents think they would not only become more productive if allowed to work remotely, but also that they would be more loyal to their employers and would have stronger working relationships.

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New eco coworking centre breaks ground in Oxfordshire

New eco coworking centre breaks ground in Oxfordshire

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Construction has begun on a new zero carbon business centre at the Elmsbrook development in Bicester, Oxfordshire. PERCH, Elmsbrook is one of two new coworking spaces brought to Bicester by Cherwell District Council (CDC) and is subject to support from European Regional Development Funding. The 1,400 sqm building will span three floors and accommodate up to 125 people. The council claims it will be unique in ‘providing local office space for individuals and small businesses in a highly sustainable building, meeting the standards of the North West Bicester Eco Town’ scheme.

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UK employers concerned for future of the post Brexit economy despite booming jobs market

UK employers concerned for future of the post Brexit economy despite booming jobs market

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Employer confidence in the UK economy has moved into negative territory, according to the latest JobsOutlook survey by the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC). The net balance fell from +6 per cent last month to -3 per cent in the latest report, as 31 per cent of employers now expect the economy to worsen and just 28 per cent expect it to improve.  Employers are still looking to hire, with one in five (19 per cent) planning to increase permanent headcount in the next three months.  Confidence in making hiring and investment decisions remains positive with a net balance of 10 per cent, but is at its lowest for the past year.  In addition to signs of deteriorating employer confidence, consumers are also becoming more pessimistic. The GfK’s index of consumer confidence fell to -12, equalling last year’s post-referendum low.

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