Facilities managers: you never noticed us because we did such a great job

Facilities managers: you never noticed us because we did such a great job

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Getting all hot under the collar about brushed chrome door furniture is an understandable but classic displacement activity when much of your work is messy, unglamorous and even occasionally dangerous. You work alongside designers and architects and look longingly at their apparent casual trendiness and clean lines, marvelling at the quality of the beech from sustainably managed European forestries (kiln dried to 10-12 per cent moisture content) with which they have specified the side tables in reception. Achingly cool and effortless in a way you feel you’ll never be.

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The facilities manager`s fear of the penalty kick

The facilities manager`s fear of the penalty kick

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facilities managersOn the whole, football is not a great source of inspiration for artists. It certainly doesn’t film well, although there is a small place for it in literature. The likes of Arnold Bennett, Orwell, Sartre and J B Priestley have all drawn from the game some metaphor, philosophical point, social observation or other. There are even some major literary figures who played the game to a decent level, and the curious thing about them is that they were all goalkeepers.

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Tech firms drive explosion in Oxford office costs

Tech firms drive explosion in Oxford office costs

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Office rent in Oxfordshire has shot up an eye-watering 24.3 percent in a year, with Bidwells’ latest research suggesting the need to fast-track new office and laboratory space to fulfil the explosion in demand from growing technology companies. Bidwells recorded more than 1.1 million sq ft of office and laboratory space being sought in Oxfordshire – another all-time high – with just 569,500 sq ft of space available, less than was on offer at the end of 2018. More →

Navel gazing may not be the answer to the challenges facing workplace professions

Navel gazing may not be the answer to the challenges facing workplace professions

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belly button workplace professionalsAn adherence to strongly held beliefs can make people think and behave in peculiar ways and get them tangled up in all sorts of peripheral issues that suddenly take on a great deal of significance. Early religious artists, for example, spent centuries wrestling with the intractable problem of whether to depict Adam and Eve with belly buttons or not. It’s a question that troubles theologians to this day but at least they can talk about it in metaphysical terms whereas artists have to choose whether to openly suggest that Adam and Eve were born rather than created, hiding the belly button completely or just going along with whatever and letting other people do the arguing. Many classical artists chose the latter although some chose to use a fig leaf to obscure both the genitalia and implied origins of their subjects.

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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 →

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