Gallery: British Council for Offices announces winners of national awards

Gallery: British Council for Offices announces winners of national awards

Sunderland City Hall was celebrated as ‘Best of the Best’ at the British Council for Offices’ (BCO) National Awards at the Grosvenor House hotel in London last night, also taking home the ‘Corporate Workplace’ award. The office was joined by six other award winners recognised as leading examples of excellence in office space across the UK. The BCO’s National Awards programme claims to recognises top quality office design and functionality and says it sets the standard for excellence across the office sector. More →

There is no F in work

There is no F in work

Neil Usher is an energetic, wiry critic of workplaces and offices. Long ago – in 2018, actually – his proposal that the good office is composed of 12 simple elements, beginning with daylight, was also energetic and wiry. Here he widens out from the delicious nitty-gritties of temperature control and lighting in The Elemental Workplace to the wider phenomenon of work. As the title already suggests, the style is laden with expletives: there are no fewer than 25 mentions of the word ‘crap’. He is withering, too, about the ‘easiest fat-arsed squatting duck of targets, the hapless office, with its rituals and theatrics’. On top of a fresh, Elemental-style bow to the nostrum of inclusion, there is a critique of management fads, but also reference made to (white male) privilege, plus, in a lofty manner, ‘our essentially Stone Age cognitive wiring’.

More →

The five ages of the office and the man who shaped the way we talk about them

The five ages of the office and the man who shaped the way we talk about them

Pioneering SAS office complex in StockholmThe office has passed through five ages. The ‘coffee houses’ of the 17th century, yielded to the ‘clerical factories’ of the 19th as machines revolutionised work. After the Second World War, the ‘corporate offices’ of global corporations and William Whyte’s Organization Man dominated the scene. Following the launch of IBM’s PC in the early-1980s, we saw the rise of ‘digital offices’ in the 1990s, complete with internet, email and social media. And for the past few years we have been moving inexorably towards the latest age: ‘network offices’. Each age was shorter than its predecessor: both the digital and network ages began less than a career span ago. More →

The Great Workplace Debate continues to improve (mostly)

The Great Workplace Debate continues to improve (mostly)

The great bandwagon of bullshit that is the home v office debate looks set to trundle into a third year. What is increasingly obvious is that it is the mainstream media that is holding the reins and refusing to release them. Here’s a BBC story from this week that doesn’t exactly mischaracterise the Microsoft report on which it is based, but does place the emphasis where it doesn’t need to be. The binary headline doesn’t help, of course, except to launder the idea and drive a needless wave of social media chatter. More →

Vitra opens new showroom at London Design Festival

Vitra opens new showroom at London Design Festival

Vitra showroomVitra, the Swiss design company, has opened a new flagship UK showroom at the historical Tramshed building in Shoreditch to coincide with the London Design Festival 2022. Vitra is known for its furniture classics by Charles and Ray Eames, George Nelson, Alexander Girard, Verner Panton and Jean Prouvé as well as for contemporary works by designers such as Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec, Antonio Citterio, Konstantin Grcic, Hella Jongerius, Alberto Meda and Jasper Morrison. More →

Getting working culture right is essential to hiring, supporting and retaining workers

Getting working culture right is essential to hiring, supporting and retaining workers

working cultureAs workers continue to adjust workstyles to fit with their new priorities, a PwC survey reveals nearly two-thirds of workers are on the hunt for a new job. Many employers are scrambling for strategies to attract top talent and retain their employees. But actively developing working culture and designing new ways to secure the best talent and look after it requires first listening and reacting to the impact the changing work landscape is having on employees’ mental and physical health, as well as understanding and prioritising new and sought-after benefits. More →

Poor acoustics hamper productivity and deter people from spending more time in the office

Poor acoustics hamper productivity and deter people from spending more time in the office

acousticsNoisy offices are lowering productivity, with 60 percent of office workers unable to concentrate and delivering poor quality work due to loud workspaces, is deterring people from returning to offices more often, and can even lead to violence. Those are the key findings of a new poll of 2,000 workers from Oscar Acoustics. The survey [registration] suggests that just 8 percent of people feel they work in a quiet office, with only a quarter of office workers working in a space that has well designed acoustics for their job. More →

Teknion Routes wins Gold at the 2022 International Design Excellence Awards

Teknion Routes wins Gold at the 2022 International Design Excellence Awards

teknion routesTeknion has announced that Routes, designed by Pearson Lloyd, has received the Gold award in the Office & Accessories category at the 2022 International Design Excellence Awards (IDEA).  Teknion Routes is unlike any other contract furniture system, as it eschews conventional thinking to offer an alternative, flexible solution that evolves with the workplace. It is designed to allow teams to create flexible, practical, and engaging workspaces quickly and efficiently. Utilising the collection, teams can easily define their ideal ‘route’ to completion for any given task, increasing the office’s overall efficiency. More →

Workspace Design Show sets out plans for 2023 event

Workspace Design Show sets out plans for 2023 event

Workspace Design ShowAfter a hugely successful debut edition, Workspace Design Show returns to London’s Business Design Centre on 27-28 February and will once again be the venue where creatives from the UK’s workplace industry gather to discover the latest design innovations in work space design. With the theme of this year’s show being ‘Destination Workplace’ there will be over 3,000 workplace professionals looking to source the latest furniture, lighting, acoustics, surfaces, storage, materials, tech and biophilic products and solutions to transform their office interiors.  More →

Hybrid work may be ‘here to stay’, but the office remains essential for many businesses

Hybrid work may be ‘here to stay’, but the office remains essential for many businesses

hybrid workingAs businesses continue to evolve their workplaces to best meet the needs of their employees, JLL’s global Future of Work Survey claims that 72 percent of decision makers believe the office is critical to doing business. The research shows that over the next several years companies anticipate hybrid work to become the dominant model and will be looking across their real estate portfolios to re-think their office spaces, invest in new technology, including virtual offices, and prioritise sustainability. More →

Employees at large firms only in office for 1.5 days a week on average

Employees at large firms only in office for 1.5 days a week on average

A global study of nearly 80 offices in 13 countries with nearly 80,000 employees has revealed a seismic shift in working pattens, with people now coming into the office an average of just 1.4 days a week, versus nearly four days a week before the Covid-19 pandemic. The Advanced Workplace Associates (AWA) Hybrid Working Index study [registration], conducted during June and July this year, found that on an average day two thirds of desks are unused and just over a quarter of people are coming into the offices, with the attendance figure dropping to just 12 percent on Fridays. More →

Office design goes to the movies

Office design goes to the movies

What can the movies tell us about office designFollowing our recent attempts to create a rudimentary playlist of songs that tell us something, or perhaps nothing, about office design, office life and office furniture, here’s another look at how the parochial world of the workplace can brush up against popular culture. It does this unnoticed for most people, I suppose, but not for those of us bound up in this world. We’re not the sort of people who can ignore the regular, brief glimpse of an Aeron chair’s ubiquitous mesh without a synapse of recognition sparking up. So, here is a brief rundown of nine movies that use office design to make a plot point or set up a character development.

More →

Translate >>