The rehabilitation of the cubicle and other lessons from 100% Design

The rehabilitation of the cubicle and other lessons from 100% Design

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As we’ve said before, acoustics has become the dominant theme at office design exhibitions over the past three or four years. That’s been true at shows in Milan, Cologne, Chicago and London and was certainly the case at this year’s 100% Design at Earl’s Court. A quick whizz around the office zone at this year’s […]

100% Design: Holding a mirror up to the way we design and manage workplaces

100% Design: Holding a mirror up to the way we design and manage workplaces

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If art holds a mirror up to nature, shouldn’t the design of workplace products hold a mirror up to the way we work? By definition, the things with which we surround ourselves should tell us something about the way we see ourselves and what we do. It should be possible to infer from the design […]

When it comes to transparency, most businesses might fail The Peacock Test

When it comes to transparency, most businesses might fail The Peacock Test

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  The HR profession took a savaging yesterday in a Daily Telegraph article by Louisa Peacock following what many felt to be a disastrous appearance by the BBC’s head of HR, Lucy Adams in front of the Public Accounts Committee. You can see a brutal excerpt above. A thread of sensationalism runs through the Telegraph […]

We deserve better than a polarised debate about cellular v open plan offices

We deserve better than a polarised debate about cellular v open plan offices

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Stimulated by a number of rather unsubtle commercial interests, the ‘in’ workplace discussion seems to have swung from ‘collaboration’ i.e. organisations need more new spaces for formal and informal collaborative interactions, to ‘distraction’ i.e. open plan workplaces are creating a loss of productivity because people whose work requires concentration are impeded by constant interruption. The […]

Open-plan office workers need time out from the madding crowd

Open-plan office workers need time out from the madding crowd

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Open-plan offices are now the most popular workplace layout, primarily because they save on space, enable flexible working and, it’s argued, foster better communication and collaboration between employees. Yet open-plan still has some way to go to convince occupants of its merits. According to a recent study published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology, of […]

Facilities managers should harness information to show the value of what they do

Facilities managers should harness information to show the value of what they do

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Of the various myths that plague the facilities management profession, the most pernicious may well be that the role of facilities managers is largely to carry out what the early feminists called shit-work – the kind of job that only becomes visible when it is done badly or isn’t done at all. Conversely, when it […]

Sometimes health and safety failures can be a laughing matter

Sometimes health and safety failures can be a laughing matter

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One of the regular refrains from those involved in health and safety management is that while they aren’t killjoys, protecting people from harm is no laughing matter. Well actually yes, sometimes it is. And if the health and safety profession wants to shake off the po-faced image it claims is unjust, it needs to realise […]

Forget Gen Y – the future workplace is multigenerational

Forget Gen Y – the future workplace is multigenerational

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There is quite possibly more guff talked about the impact of Gen Y on businesses and the workplace than any other management topic. However, it’s not only wrong to characterise the people of Generation Y as some homogeneous blob with stereotyped attitudes that set them apart from the rest of humanity, but also to miss […]

UK Government making slow progress on commitment to spend more with SMEs

UK Government making slow progress on commitment to spend more with SMEs

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There is no doubt the UK Cabinet Office has been responsible for some commendable improvements in the Government’s approach to property and procurement. Yet, like most government departments it is also prone to fudging or spinning the outcomes of projects that don’t quite cover the department and its initiatives in glory. One of the sure […]

UKIP quip that women not competitive enough for business obscures real debate

UKIP quip that women not competitive enough for business obscures real debate

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The comment by UKIP treasurer Stuart Wheeler that women are not competitive enough to merit a place in the boardroom grabbed all of the headlines from an important debate on the introduction of gender quotas on City boards. The news broke on the same day that employment body the CIPD issued a warning that businesses […]

Progress made on proposed FM bodies’ merger but membership consultation to wait

Progress made on proposed FM bodies’ merger but membership consultation to wait

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The British Institute of Facilities Management (BIFM) reports that merger talks with fellow FM and services related bodies, Asset Skills, the Facilities Management Association and the Cleaning and Support Services Association are progressing, but says a membership consultation must wait for the findings of the steering and working groups. As Simon Heath pointed out in his […]

Rise in number of temporary jobs as employment rates show modest increase

Rise in number of temporary jobs as employment rates show modest increase

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The latest employment figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reveal that unemployment fell by just 4,000 in the three months to June. At 7.8 per cent, the overall rate remains unchanged since the previous quarter. The figures don’t reveal how many people are working on temporary, rather than full time contracts. According to […]

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