The return to buildings will now focus attention on ventilation

The return to buildings will now focus attention on ventilation

windows and ventilationThe UK COVID-19 vaccination programme is well underway. Once the over 50s, younger people with health conditions, NHS and care workers have received the vaccine, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been clear that current lockdown restrictions could be lifted in stages with schools and business a top priority. The situation is under review, but there is an expectation that business premises could reopen as early as Easter, when a large proportion of the working age population may not have been vaccinated. That means the focus in workplaces and other multi-occupant spaces, especially those open to the public, must remain on limiting transmission to prevent the spread of coronavirus to un-vaccinated people, and especially on factors such as ventilation. More →

Forget all the talk of Blue Monday; work is still (largely) good for us

Forget all the talk of Blue Monday; work is still (largely) good for us

blue mondaySo here it is. Blue Monday. Today. Officially the most depressing day of the year. We say ‘officially’, but like the idea of ‘Body Odour’ its common usage hides the fact that it was originally created as part of a PR campaign, in this case one for Sky’s travel channel in 2005. The whole idea of Blue Monday is couched in a pseudo-mathematical equation which includes factors like the weather, levels of debt, time since Christmas, low levels of motivation and, apparently, an unspecified variable known simply as ‘D’. More →

When the chairs took over the world and what it all meant

When the chairs took over the world and what it all meant

rows of chairsOf all the things we buy, with the exception of our clothes, furniture is the most intimate, the one item we spend most time in contact with. According to JG Ballard who dedicated himself to understanding our relationship with the world around us, ‘Furniture constitutes an external constellation of our skin areas and body postures’. Whether he would have recognised it as such, Ballard was a pioneer of the principle we now refer to as psychogeography, defined by one of its founders, Guy Debord, as ‘the study of the precise effects of setting, consciously managed or not, acting directly on the mood and behaviour of the individual’. More →

The FM industry is held back by short-term thinking, research claims

The FM industry is held back by short-term thinking, research claims

FMResearch published by VINCI Facilities claims that there is a lack of long-term strategic thinking amongst FM service providers and their customers that is limiting an opportunity to yield substantial business and social benefits. More →

IWFM announces new framework for delivering social value

IWFM announces new framework for delivering social value

social valueThe Institute of Workplace and Facilities Management (IWFM) has partnered with the Social Value Portal and National Social Value Taskforce to develop a new measurement framework for social value, designed specifically for the workplace and facilities management profession. More →

Unused office space could cost London businesses almost £13 billion

Unused office space could cost London businesses almost £13 billion

Office spaceUnused office space after coronavirus could cost London-based businesses almost £13 billion according to a new report by Space Three Two, a new office timeshare marketplace born out of lockdown. According to a survey of London office workers, employees want to spend an average of 2.7 days back in the office once all Covid-19 restrictions have been lifted. 1 in 10 workers said didn’t want to go back to the office at all. More →

Leadership in a new age of virtuality

Leadership in a new age of virtuality

workplace leadershipWe are living through a fundamental transformation in the way we work. The pandemic has forced organisations to go virtual. New government guidelines, including a tiered alert system, suggest that this will be the norm for the foreseeable future. But step back from the noise and it is easy to see how the current crisis is simply accelerating the inevitable. A confluence of forces, including advancements in technology and infrastructure, increasing globalisation, shifting demographics and COVID-19, has enabled greater connectivity and mobility, making obvious to organisations, their leadership and individuals the wisdom of adopting flexible work models. More →

As a workplace professional, how many hats do you wear to work?

As a workplace professional, how many hats do you wear to work?

Throughout your time being with a company, have more responsibilities been added to your typical workday that were not expected originally? Did you offer to help with something outside of your job, then have it become part of your daily duties? If so, you’re not alone. Companies often look for ways to save money, and sometimes that means piling work on people who are already on the roster.  Wearing many hats at work happens often, but how does it impact the employees that carry the extra burden? In a new study, ZenBusiness – a company that helps people start, run, and grow their own business – asked more than 1,000 current employees about the various functions they serve, what they think is fair, and how workloads have changed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. More →

The workplace has reached an inflection point as it adjusts to new realities

The workplace has reached an inflection point as it adjusts to new realities

workplaceWe can confidently say this is a new era for the workplace. Covid-19 has forced a radical rethink about the purpose of the office and its role in reaffirming company culture. Enlightened property directors are resisting knee-jerk responses to predictions that Covid spells the demise of the office including the wholesale migration to home-working. Instead, they are challenging plans to dramatically downsize the workplace and corporate real estate. They are also acutely aware that distancing, transmission and sanitisation are here for the long-haul. This will continue to have a profound impact on occupancy levels and the interactions that are necessary for business success. More →

No need to sideline form in our quest for function

No need to sideline form in our quest for function

The enduring struggle to improve the working conditions and performance of people through the design and management of workplaces carries more than a whiff of the Enlightenment, a period in which pure reason was seen by its proponents as more than enough to convince the world of the ways in which we could improve the human condition. It’s a battle that was won in some ways but which endures. More →

New demand for office space indicates mass `return to work`

New demand for office space indicates mass `return to work`

Return to workWater cooler chats and the buzz of office life is set to remain on hold until at least the New Year as businesses look to restructure their office needs from January. A government drive to see more office employees return to work in the workplace has seen a rise in commuters to more than 60 percent according to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics. More →

Using nature based solutions in buildings will help address climate change

Using nature based solutions in buildings will help address climate change

The IGNITION project from the UK Green Building Council has published its first report for businesses, titled ‘Nature-based solutions to the climate emergency: The benefits to business and society’  The report claims to provide organisations with the data they need to make informed decisions about the types of urban nature-based solutions (NBS) available to them and how these can help meet sustainability objectives to benefit business, society and the environment. It sets out to highlight the benefits of using NBS across the built environment and aims to inspire confidence in business leaders and investors to increase the use of NBS. More →

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