£4 billion UK Government spend to be managed by Research Councils

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cheque_bookAround £4 billion of the UK Government’s spending on construction and facilities management projects is to be handled by The Research Council’s UK Shared Services Centre (RCUK SSC). The move has been agreed with the Government Procurement Service (GPS) as part of the coalition’s attempts to achieve cost savings in every part of the public sector. GPS projects that the move will save around 10 per cent of the budgeted spend by consolidating procurement procedures, although shared procurement services have sometimes failed to deliver anticipated saving in the past. More →

Sodexo Workplace Trends report covers familiar ground

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sodexo workplace trends editThe latest annual Workplace Trends Report from workplace services provider Sodexo claims to reveal the crucial role the built environment has in organisational performance. The report emphasises the growing strategic role of facilities management and the importance of sustainability as an element of corporate culture as well as a trend toward designing offices to attract and retain top talent by emphasising productivity and quality of life. The report also identifies the importance of social media in attracting prospective employees instead of traditional e-mail campaigns and other media.

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Yes, very nice, but who do you think is going to clean it?

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Abu Dhabi Mosque smallIf you want to, you can see the difference between design and facilities management as the difference between sex and parenthood. One is an act of creation, the other of care. So while an architect or designer might look at the honeycomb structures and shiny surfaces of the interior of the 40,000 capacity Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi with admiration, the person who is actually responsible for looking after it might well be more likely to think ‘well, that’s just great’.

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Designing for productivity means creating space for us to be alone

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WilkhahnOn the face of it, the case for working in open plan offices is clear cut. Not only are they  more conducive to collaborative work and less bound by ideas of that great no-no that we used to call ‘status’, the economic case is seemingly open and shut. Open plan workstations not only take up around half the space of cellular offices, the fit-out costs are typically 25 per cent lower. And yet there are clear signs of a backlash, at least to the idea of them fostering collaborative work.

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Global FM announces strategic vision & FM award winners

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Global FM

Global FM, (Global Facility Management Association) has formalised changes to its strategic plan. It follows the recommendations of a special Taskforce set up last year to evaluate the structure, objectives and activities of the association, a worldwide federation of member-centric organisations representing the facilities management profession. The Association explains the taskforce was: “In agreement that a more simplified structure would allow a better use of resources focussing on activities that create added value for the association and its members and avoiding any duplication of the outcomes of the national FM associations.”

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A more decentralised office inevitable for world’s workers

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The changing nature of work and the workforce continues to transform offices around the world. And nowhere more so than in the United States  According to a recent report from McKinsey – called Preparing for a New Era of Knowledge Work – not only are we seeing the final stages of the transition to a knowledge economy with all that entails, demographic inertia means that there may be a huge shortfall in the number of skilled graduate workers needed to service it. This pattern will be evident around the world, especially in rapidly developing economies such as China and India.  More →

UK businesses lag behind US counterparts in adoption of Cloud tech

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Businesses in the UK are significantly lagging behind their US counterparts when it comes to adopting Cloud technology according to new research from Redwood Software. The study found that 58 percent of US businesses were already using the cloud for private data storage, compared to just 35 percent in the UK. Meanwhile twice as many organisations in the US are using Cloud technology for supply chain integration and capacity management than their Brit contemporaries. More →

Workplace transformation strategies are an essential element of CSR

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Adopting 21st-century workplace practices that meet the needs of employers and employees is an important form of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), according to a new corporate real estate (CRE) industry advocacy statement by CoreNet Global. The report finds the nature of work is “changing dramatically, transcending the traditional definitions of productivity to include the concepts of enabling work, employee engagement, employee satisfaction and employee wellness, framed around an emerging ‘work-life support’ business model.” More →

Clarification complaints on changes to EPCs

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EPC_header_image_contentpageimageImportant changes to the requirements regarding Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) are effective from tomorrow – 9 January 2013.

But according to RICS (The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) many of these changes have not previously been discussed and RICS has been asking the DCLG for clarification on some of the amendments, including whether or not listed buildings are now excluded. More →

Free briefing – workplace legal calendar for 2013

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Briefing cover legal_0000The UK coalition government’s battle against red tape hasn’t meant an end to the introduction of new workplace regulations or revisions to existing legislation. Far from it, in fact. In conjunction with one of the UK’s leading law firms Shoosmiths, here is our run down on what to expect over the coming twelve months including changes to the working time directive, a new approach to Health and Safety and the latest on the Construction (Design & Management) Regulations. Simply click on the image above to view or download the briefing.

WWF launches Green Game Changers Report

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When it comes to the development of meaningful and innovative approaches to the environment, companies are often way ahead of legislation and prepared to do far more than is expected of them by Governments. Best practice is lauded by the WWF in its Green Game changers initiative which has just launched a new report highlighting those organisations that have pushed the envelope on environmental thinking. The latest Green Game Changers Report can be viewed and downloaded here. More →

What does 2013 hold for the facilities sector in the UK?

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FMJ MJE_0000Insight publisher Mark Eltringham offers some thoughts about what the coming year holds in the latest issue of Facilities Management Journal including the ongoing existential crisis of facilities management, why the commercial property sector needs to catch up with occupiers and designers as well as a plea for everybody to set ambitious goals and make realistic claims about their environmental impact.

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