Where are the muggles in Terry Farrell’s architecture policy review?

Where are the muggles in Terry Farrell’s architecture policy review?

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One of the standard complaints commonly ascribed to facilities managers and others who work to manage our buildings and the people and stuff inside them is that they are not consulted well enough when it comes to the development, architecture and design of buildings. Well, now they may have a chance to see how that all feels writ large following yesterday’s announcement from Culture and Creative Industries Minister Ed Vaizey of the launch of an independent review of the UK’s architecture which will be undertaken by the architect Sir Terry Farrell leading a panel of mainly architects.

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Video: Forget Yahoo – why telecommuting is good for your business

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Think you’ve seen every possible angle on the recent Yahoo-ha about flexible working? Maybe not because here’s a unique take on the subject courtesy of the guys at MinuteMBA. We’d like to invite somebody to animate the other side of the argument but while we can be certain that nearly everybody thinks they are a writer these days, the skill of animation is not so easily taken for granted.

The best Swedish workplaces for 2013 are announced

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Stockholm

Stockholm

The Great Place to Work Institute has named its list of Sweden’s Best Workplaces for 2013. The list of 122 companies features some well known multinationals such as McDonald’s and Microsoft as well as many local business in the three categories for large, medium and small businesses. Construction industry supplies firm Hilti, which came in second in the large business category behind Microsoft, was identified as the firm which had climbed the most in the rankings.  The survey claims  to draw attention to those organisations which work actively for an exemplary workplace culture.

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The resistance to flexible working is entirely reasonable

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Home workingIn recent media coverage of the decision by Yahoo to ban homeworking as well as a recent survey from Microsoft, the resistance to the idea that people work better when they are allowed to work flexibly has typically been put down to cultural inertia. Sometimes those who have resisted the uptake of flexible working have been portrayed as dinosaurs. While there’s no question that culture and management attitudes do create barriers to the uptake of flexible working, there is a growing recognition that certain flexible working practices may not be appropriate for many people and organisations and even specific sectors. The barriers may be there for a good reason.

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Video: how networks of engaged people can achieve more than nations

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In spite of all its flaws, the Internet can empower people to address specific issues in ways that exceed the abilities of nation states. In this energising talk for the Royal Society for the Arts, Don Tapscott, a Canadian businessman and now one of the world’s leading authorities on the impact of technology on people and societies, explores the idea that engaged and connected people can work together to innovate and solve issues that can seem intractable to the world’s governments and international bodies, including the most serious demographic and environmental challenges we all face.

Muted response from built environment sector to Budget 2013

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BudgetThere’s been a muted reaction by the building and construction sector to the Budget announcement of a boast to infrastructure investment and relief that revised energy management regulations are likely to be pushed through. CIBSE has welcomed the news that the Government will be giving a detailed response to last year’s Consultation on changes to Part L of the Building Regulations, which covers energy efficiency, by May 2013. The body which represents building services engineers had raised concerns that delays in changes to Part L of Building Regulations in England should not hold up much needed, cost beneficial changes to Part L for the non-domestic market.

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Building Information Modelling is unstoppable finds survey

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BIMNearly three quarters (71 per cent) of building design and construction experts agree that BIM (Building Information Modelling) represents “the future of project information” and 39 per cent confirmed that they are already using it. But the annual industry-wide BIM survey, undertaken by NBS, reveals a lack of clarity around the subject which could prove an obstacle to its more rapid adoption. 74 per cent of those polled agreed that the industry is “not clear enough on what BIM is yet” and only around one-third claim to be “very” or “quite” confident in their BIM knowledge and skills.

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Olympic dream lives on at Heathrow’s Terminal 1

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HeathrowMissing the fervour of the London 2012 Olympics? Then take a flight to Heathrow. If you’re travelling from within the UK and Ireland or on certain international flights such as San Francisco and Cape Town you’ll get to re-experience the park themed “Games terminal” which was last used during last year’s Olympics. Terminal 1’s gate 20, which sees over 270,000 passengers a year, has been transformed into a rather garish neighbourhood green, complete with park benches, iconic images from London parks and green foliage, designed to leave a lasting memory of the UK beyond the Games.

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Two thirds of workers sit at desk over six hours a day

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Sitting_at_DeskTwo-thirds of office workers sit at their desk for over six hours a day – putting themselves at risk of back complaints. A survey by Office Angels found that 63 per cent of workers spend six hours or more sitting at their desk, over half (51 per cent) slouch in their chair and nearly half (48 per cent) admit to not leaving the office all day. A fifth (21 per cent) of people also admitted to taking their work home with them and a third (32 per cent) work late on a regular basis. The study ‘Work happy, Work well”, which looks at the nation’s wellbeing and bad habits in the workplace reveals that sales, media and marketing (60 per cent) and finance (54 per cent) are the sectors with the highest number of desk bound workers.

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Where flexible working employees really want to work? Starbucks.

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Starbucks CafeLeaving aside the fact that most surveys are designed to further the commercial interests of the firms that commission them, most offer a deal of insight into what drives people and organisations, some of it unwitting. Most telling are often the specific details that lift the veil on the motivations and attitudes of individuals. So it was with a recent survey from Overbury that headlined on the idea that poorly designed offices hamper creativity, but also contained a question that was answered in a way which suggested that the place most staff would like to work would be something akin to their local Starbucks.

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Communal workspace model making inroads in US offices

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Costar

There is a growing trend in the United States to downsize office space, particularly amongst larger public firms, as they increasingly adopt policies for sharing non-dedicated offices and implement technology to support their employees’ ability to work anywhere and anytime. In a webinar presented to subscribers of commercial real estate intelligence group CoStar, Norm G. Miller, PhD, a professor at the University of San Diego, Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate examined what would happen if office tenants used 20 per cent less of the US’ current office space, which has a total valuation of $1.25 trillion.

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Ageing population is the greatest demographic challenge

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Image credit: <a href='https://www.123rf.com/photo_2475828_old-hands-on-clean-table.html'>logoboom / 123RF Stock Photo</a>

Forget Gen Y, a new report published today by the House of Lords Committee on Public Service and Demographic Change warns that it’s our rapidly ageing population that will have a huge impact on society, work and public services. Predicting a 50 per cent rise in the number of those aged 65+ and a 100 per cent increase in those aged 85+ between 2010 and 2030, the report advocates enabling people to work for longer, many of whom are legally entitled to do, since the removal of a statutory retirement age in 2011. According to the report, “Ready for Aging?” working for longer would increase income from work, potentially increase savings, and reduce the time of dependence on those savings.

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