TfL to occupy first commercial property at International Quarter

TfL to occupy first commercial property at International Quarter

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The Transport for London Building at The International Quarter Stratford 3 commercial propertyConstruction is to begin this summer on the first of a number of office buildings planned for the second stage of the International Quarter, a £2.1 billion mixed-use development in Stratford in East London. Transport for London (TfL) has signed a pre-let with Lend Lease and London and Continental Railways (LCR) to occupy all of the space in the 265,000 sq ft commercial property. An estimated 3,000 TfL workers will relocate to the International Quarter’s new offices and, once completed, an estimated 25,000 people will work at and visit the site each day. The developers claim they are in discussions with other tenants about moving to The International Quarter – which, at a total of four million square feet, will be one of the largest new commercial property developments in the capital.

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Election uncertainly blamed for slowdown across the UK construction sector

Election uncertainly blamed for slowdown across the UK construction sector

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Election uncertainly leads to slowdown across the UK construction sector The UK construction market experienced a slowdown in April, with output and new orders expanding at the slowest rates since June 2013, according to the latest Markit/CIPS UK Construction survey. Although the growth of commercial work was the least marked since August 2013, many survey respondents suggested that underlying conditions remained favourable, but some clients had delayed decisions ahead of the general election. Looking ahead, confidence regarding the 12-month outlook dipped from the nine-year high seen in March, but remained stronger than its long run average. A number of firms cited optimism that underlying demand would continue to improve, while others suggested that the removal of election related uncertainty would help support new business gains.

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UK digital infrastructure struggling to keep pace with demand

UK digital infrastructure struggling to keep pace with demand

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infrastructureThe UK is struggling to create the digital infrastructure it needs to keep up with burgeoning employment and investment levels in new technology. A new study from IT recruitment firm Experis claims there has been an 18 per cent increase in the number of permanent job roles in the IT sector advertised across the UK in the first quarter of 2015. Meanwhile, a report from Santander’s commercial business division claims that the UK’s SMEs are planning to invest £53bn in digital business  over the next two years. All of this should be good news except for the fact that digital experts are warning that the UK is about to hit the digital buffers over the next two decades, according to experts who will present their findings to the Royal Society next week.

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Rubberstamp for relocation of HSBC headquarters to Birmingham

Rubberstamp for relocation of HSBC headquarters to Birmingham 0

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HSBC HeadquartersUnsurprisingly, the high profile relocation of HSBC to a new base in Birmingham has been rubberstamped by the city’s council. Despite HSBC’s recent threat to quit the UK completely, the planning committee has confirmed that the move, first announced in March, will go ahead as planned. The new 210,000 sq. ft. landmark building at the 2 Arena Central mixed use scheme has been designed by Ken Shuttleworth for handover to HSBC in 2017. The move to Birmingham has been largely attributed to the bank’s reaction to the financial crisis and the subsequent climate of legislative reform and public criticism. HSBC has longstanding links with the West Midlands and The Birmingham Post reported recently that it may resurrect the name Midland Bank as it relocates 1,000 staff to the UK’s heartland.

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Organisations advised to create a manifesto for digital workplace success

Organisations advised to create a manifesto for digital workplace success 0

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Manifesto needed for the digital workplaceThe adoption of digital technology enables new, more effective ways of working which can help improve employee engagement and agility, research by Gartner claims. However, the report also warns that it’s important employers establish a ‘business manifesto’ that communicates the intentions and motives of the emerging digital workplace if they want to communicate and implement the policy changes that are required. According to the analysts, the manifesto should guide and clarify corporate culture as well as help employees embrace new ways of working. Employers must bear in mind that while corporate culture can be strong at the core, it may be less so for remote employees. That is why it’s important to foster a healthy digital workplace that brings the corporate culture alive to all employees.

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Many UK SMEs are falling short on green credentials, claims report

Many UK SMEs are falling short on green credentials, claims report 0

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green_leaf-wideMany British small and medium sized businesses are putting their competitiveness and reputation at risk because they are not doing enough to improve their environmental credentials, according to a new report from Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking. The findings show that one in five (19 percent) of the firms surveyed for the study accept they are not doing enough to take on environmentally responsible practices and that although a quarter (25 percent) of SMEs say green issues are a top three priority for the year,  the vast majority (71 percent) admit they do not understand the positive impact environmental responsibility can bring. The report also highlights the mismatch in perceptions of environmental issues between those who have successfully implemented green policies and those yet to do so.

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Many ‘under-appreciated and marginalised’ older workers seek job move

Many ‘under-appreciated and marginalised’ older workers seek job move 0

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Quarter of 'under-appreciated and marginalised' older workers considering job moveThe over fifties feel disregarded and under-appreciated at work, with a quarter considering looking for a new job in the next two years. That’s according to new data by AXA PPP Healthcare which looked at the experiences of the over 50s – many of which, since the phasing out of the default retirement age, aim to work on as long as they can. In fact, the research found that 15 per cent plan to work into their seventies and beyond. However, nearly a third of the over fifties (30 per cent) surveyed, said they didn’t feel they had a career path, compared with 13 per cent of those under fifty. Only one in six over fifties felt their line manager supported them and nearly half (49 per cent) of this group reported to a younger line manager.

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First BREEAM standard for refurbishment and fit-out awarded to Bristol office

First BREEAM standard for refurbishment and fit-out awarded to Bristol office 0

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First ever office building to meet new BREEAM Refurbishment and fit-out standardAn office at Bristol’s Aztec West Business Park has become the first building to be certificated under the new BREEAM UK Refurbishment and Fit-Out standard. Legal & General Property’s building at 740 Waterside Drive has been awarded design stage ‘Very Good’ ratings against Parts 2 and 3 of the scheme for the refurbishment and fit-out of its core and local services. The £5 million, 51,000 square feet project took 30 weeks to complete and includes an extensive range of refurbishments and improvements. These include fully replacing the mechanical and electrical systems, installing photovoltaic panels on the roof, enhancing the airtightness of the building and improving its EPC rating to achieve an EPC A. BREEAM UK Refurbishment & Fit-Out 2014 has been developed to assess a wide range of project types.

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‘Time to bin SLAs’ as IT buyers focus on costs over benefits

‘Time to bin SLAs’ as IT buyers focus on costs over benefits 0

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????????????????????More than half of the UK’s technology buyers claim that their main focus when procuring IT services is on keeping down costs rather than achieving specific benefits for their business, according to a report from technology company MooD International. The report, based on a study of just 160 IT directors and managers, also claims that revenue generation and growth are named as the most important initiatives by the remaining 48 percent. Over three quarters (76 percent) of respondents said that their firm’s expectations are not aligned with what suppliers believe they are contracted to deliver. The report claims this mismatch can be traced back to service level agreements (SLAs). While 77 per cent of suppliers focus on business benefits to a great or reasonable extent, 64 per cent of contracts are either entirely or mainly measured on transaction based SLAs.

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RICS reports surge in investment and demand for commercial property

RICS reports surge in investment and demand for commercial property 0

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commercial propertyDemand for commercial property in the UK is growing close to its fastest pace since 1998. The latest RICS UK commercial market survey shows that there was a surge in investment and tenant demand in the first quarter of this year, which suggests stronger economic growth over the remainder of 2015. The UK had its 10th consecutive quarterly acceleration of demand, with 46 percent of respondents reporting greater interest. However, the availability of commercial property declined, with 38 percent of RICS’ surveyors seeing fewer properties on the market, the impact of which is higher rents. This is particularly apparent across the industrial and office sectors. Looking ahead, respondents expect the office sector to perform most strongly; with London leading the way, despite some concerns over the valuation of prime property in the capital.

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Microsoft named most attractive major employer to work for worldwide

Microsoft named most attractive major employer to work for worldwide 0

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Microsoft US HQMicrosoft has been voted the most attractive employer of the world’s top fifty companies. Over two thirds (67.8%) of respondents in the Global Randstad Award survey 2015, said they would like to work for the multinational tech company. The IT industry was revealed as the most popular sector by 69 percent of men and 70 percent of women, with the runners-up being Sony and Samsung. Microsoft was voted the most attractive employer within the IT industry for its highly educated potential workforce, being the primary global employer brand for women and for its ‘drivers of choice’; named as salary, career progression, pleasant working atmosphere, interesting job content and strong leadership. In the survey, respondents said the most important reason why they’d leave an employer is a limited career path with the most mentioned reason to stay being a good work-life balance.

Work life balance ranked over performance in global career poll 0

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Happiness work life balanceA global survey has revealed being happy at work is more important to staff than a high performance, while nearly half of those polled (45%) in the career survey of 1,225 employees worldwide, by Right Management say achieving a work life balance is the most important issue in their career. This was compared to 17 percent who voted ‘being the best at what they do’ as their top career aspiration. More than half of European workers, (55%) aspire to a work life balance, followed by Asia Pacific (37%) and North America (35%). And in terms of age, it is Millennials at 14 percent that are least likely to aspire to be the best at what they do, compared to Baby Boomers (22%) and Gen X (17%). When it comes to success, enjoyment/happiness at work trumps performance and salary: as 26 percent of employees define success in the workplace as enjoyment/happiness.

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