We might spot patterns in office design, but a global picture is beyond us

We might spot patterns in office design, but a global picture is beyond us

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The ongoing evolution in the design of the places we work has much in common with evolution in the natural world. But whereas natural selection is dependent on its ‘Blind Watchmaker’ to indirectly shape creatures in response to the constantly changing forces in their environment own, office design is anything but blind – at least it is when done intelligently and with insight. More →

The vaguery of workplace serendipity

The vaguery of workplace serendipity

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It has become vogue to refer to the workplace as being ‘all about people’. It points in all directions at once. Organisations need fit, healthy, happy, skilled, motivated, engaged and purposeful people being (and feeling) productive and doing their best work every day. They want their people working closely together – they’ve spent a lot of time and money drawing in those they feel can contribute to a whole that is other than the sum of the parts. 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

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blue mondaySo here it comes. Blue Monday. Next Monday. 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 →

Energy demand in offices should be cut by 60 percent, report claims

Energy demand in offices should be cut by 60 percent, report claims

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Following a consultation exercise with industry and an analysis of the projected zero carbon energy capacity of the UK, UKGBC is recommending that the offices sector should reduce energy demand by an average of 60 percent by 2050 to help the UK achieve net zero. More →

From the archives: Is this the missing piece of the facilities management puzzle?

From the archives: Is this the missing piece of the facilities management puzzle? 0

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facilities managementThe IFMA Foundation Workplace Summit of summer 2014 felt like an optimistic time for facilities management and the workspace industry. Heavyweights from the sector were asking searching questions about our organisational contribution, with thankfully less of the internally focused, debate-free hubris typical of much of the industry narrative. The newly announced (and now evidently historical) collaboration between BIFM and CIPD was in full swing, endorsed by social media savvy Twitterati under The Workplace Conversation banner. More →

The truth about all those workplace trends lists

The truth about all those workplace trends lists

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You would not believe the number of firms that ask us to publish a list of workplace trends each week. Or maybe you would, given the number that have appeared elsewhere. Each firm perhaps convinced they are saying something original, unique or interesting, or maybe simply convinced they stand out in some way, while pushing the same timid, stale narratives about the workplace. It goes without saying that the commercialised messages often do little to shine a light on complex realities. In the words of the Scottish poet and anthropologist Andrew Lang, they use information ‘like a drunk uses lamp-posts—for support rather than illumination’.

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Occupier priorities are shifting, according to new facilities management trends report

Occupier priorities are shifting, according to new facilities management trends report

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what people want from facilities managementCBRE Global Workplace Solutions (GWS) has published the 2019 edition of their Top Trends in Facilities Management report. The latest version of this annual report claims to highlight how changes in occupier needs are impacting FM strategies. The latest trends are broken down into four broad categories: client relationships; contracts; an increasing focus on people and technology. More →

Merging workplace cultures and breaking habits

Merging workplace cultures and breaking habits

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Ricoh London workplaceHuman beings are hardwired to be creatures of habit. From birth, we learn behaviours and develop routines that are reinforced over time through repetition. Researchers at MIT claim the neurons in our brains are responsible for this process. When someone begins a new activity a certain part of the brain kicks into gear, helping them to learn the exercise quickly. But once the action is repeated successfully, the scientists found, those same neurons only really come to life at the beginning and end of the activity. This is the reason that mundane tasks, like getting dressed or driving a car often feel like they’re performed on ‘autopilot’ and why breaking bad habits is so difficult, including those we develop in the workplace. More →

World Green Building council launches case study library of best practice

World Green Building council launches case study library of best practice

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Green Building

The World Green Building Council has launched a new digital case study library showcasing what it claims is excellence in sustainable development globally, featuring buildings that are net zero carbon and/or enhance human health. According to the WGBC, claims are verified by established certification schemes, rating tools or other third-party systems. Buildings and construction together account for 36 percent of global final energy use and 39 percent of energy-related carbon dioxide emissions when upstream power generation is included. Additionally, people spend 90 percent of their time in buildings, and there is a consistent association between unhealthy indoor environments and negative human health impacts. More →

Is IoT the answer to occupancy level issues?

Is IoT the answer to occupancy level issues?

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A frequently heard claim from manufacturers is that all Internet of Things (IoT) technology is the panacea to occupancy level issues for owners and managers of commercial buildings. The obvious retort is “Well, they would say that wouldn’t they?” since the equipment they have on offer is produced with the sole purpose of putting a degree of intelligence into smart buildings. The benefits of making your commercial premises ‘smart’ have been aired many times – including the ability to manage in real-time systems for air quality, temperature, noise levels, fire detection, equipment failure, and lift management. While having this kind of information at your fingertips is undoubtedly useful, the management of occupancy is an area where building managers are starting to see real dividends because they are able to make major savings in running costs. More →

Workplace design in a new age of reason

Workplace design in a new age of reason

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Workplace design needs to recapture the principles of the enlightenmentThe enduring but changing struggle to improve the working conditions and performance of people through workplace design and management has more than a whiff of the Enlightenment of the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries about it. The Enlightenment marked a new era in which the old superstitions and dogmas were to be overthrown by pure reason.

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Largest commercial property firm in UK to be carbon neutral by 2030

Largest commercial property firm in UK to be carbon neutral by 2030

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The UK’s largest commercial property company, Landsec, has announced that it plans for its 24 million square feet portfolio to achieve net zero emissions by 2030 in line with the Paris Agreement on climate change. Landsec, which has a £13.8 billion portfolio of office, retail and leisure property in the UK, including its flexible office arm Myo (pictured), has had its updated greenhouse gas reduction target approved by the Science-Based Target Initiative (SBTI). More →

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