From the archive: A new approach to office design is redefining property

From the archive: A new approach to office design is redefining property 0

office design At the end of the 18th Century it was becoming apparent that overpopulation was something the human race would need to address for perhaps the first time. Advances in technology and the urbanisation that followed the Industrial Revolution had created a new set of challenges. These were most famously laid out in a 1798 book called An Essay on the Principle of Population, written by an English cleric called Thomas Malthus.

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New normal looking more and more like old normal, say facilities managers

New normal looking more and more like old normal, say facilities managers

Workers across the UK could return to offices faster than anticipated, according to a new RICS survey of facilities managers. According to the poll, a growing number of respondents say that up to 80 percent of employees will head back once the pandemic is resolved. This is up from less than 60 percent expected in the same poll from the previous quarter ending November 2020. As evidence suggests the UK vaccination programme is taking hold across the country, results to the RICS UK Facilities Management Survey show more respondents starting to believe employees could return to the office in greater numbers than many initially expected in the previous quarter. More →

BCO offers new guidance on indoor air quality

BCO offers new guidance on indoor air quality

indoor air qualityA new BCO research paper, Thoughts on ventilation design and operation post COVID-19, has called for UK offices to ensure they have adequate ventilation ahead of the return to work. The paper highlights that while most offices that follow good practice guidelines do benefit from indoor air quality, there are also many examples of poorly ventilated offices that fall short of the best practice guidelines set out in the BCO’s 2019 Guide to Specification. Poorly ventilated indoor spaces have been linked to COVID-19 super spreader events and the paper states that ventilation in these offices must be “addressed urgently.” More →

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 →

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