Business clusters fuel growth in office occupier demand in smaller cities

Business clusters fuel growth in office occupier demand in smaller cities 0

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WarringtonSmaller cities, including Brighton, Solihull, Reading and Warrington [pictured], look set to see a growth in occupier demand for office rentals over the few years, a new report has revealed. JLL’s ‘Where Next in the UK?’ report analysed the economic and office market performance of 37 smaller towns and cities giving an insight in to which locations will offer investors the biggest opportunity over the next five years. It shows some smaller cities are found to have a stronger outlook than the ‘Big 6’, (Bristol, Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds, Glasgow and Edinburgh). The success of these smaller cities, says the report, will be closely associated with their ability to develop and grow clusters of businesses, for instance a growing nuclear research and technology cluster in Warrington – along with strong university links and the provision of integrated transport and infrastructure.

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Firms in Middle East could drive the global uptake of HR analytics

Firms in Middle East could drive the global uptake of HR analytics 0

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flexible workingFirst generation organisations in the Middle East have a unique opportunity to lead the development of HR analytics worldwide but are hampered by unreliable data, a lack of analytical skills and inadequate infrastructure, according to a new report from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD). Evolution of HR Analytics: A Middle East Perspective highlights the appetite for Middle Eastern firms to use HR and people measurement capability – or ‘HR analytics’ – to gain insights that can improve overall performance and productivity. It explores the unique opportunity that ‘adolescent’ and fast growing firms have to develop innovative approaches to HR analytics, without being shackled by legacy IT systems, ingrained HR policies and strategic barriers that more established organisations can face.

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How remote working employees go rogue in search of productivity

How remote working employees go rogue in search of productivity 0

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remote working 1930s styleAlthough many European employees now spend long hours each week working remotely, many of them don’t think their employers provide them with the tools they need to do their jobs properly and so go ‘rogue’ to find the best ways of communicating with each other and using information. That is the key finding of a new study from internal communications specialist Newsweaver which explores the ways remote working employees use mobile devices. It found that while one in five workers across the EU now spend at least ten hours a week working remotely, 41 per cent do not believe that the tools their company provides meet their needs. They therefore choose to use their own apps instead. This fact is well understood by IT teams with three out of four technology managers admitting they are offering staff outdated tools.

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New long term standing desks study announced at Virgin Media

New long term standing desks study announced at Virgin Media 0

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sit-stand-desking_illustrationA new 12 month study into the application and effects of working with standing desks has been announced by the University of Chester in conjunction with Virgin Media. However it’s a pretty small scale model – at just one site and presumably with a limited cross section of the general population. It will involve the participation of two groups of 12 agents at Virgin Media’s contact centre in Sheffield. The research will be led by John Buckley, Professor of Applied Exercise Science at the University of Chester, with the aim ‘to uncover the impact of a less sedentary working environment on health, wellbeing and productivity.’ The two groups of agents involved will take it in turns to spend six months each using adjustable sit-stand desks and staying on their feet for a minimum of two hours daily.

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Rising commercial property costs driving small businesses out of London

Rising commercial property costs driving small businesses out of London 0

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commercial propertyThe vast majority of small businesses in London and other parts of the South East are considering relocating over the next five years because they are frustrated with the lack of appropriate facilities and soaring commercial property costs in the region. A new study from the University of Sussex’s business incubation network Sussex Innovation claims that nearly two thirds (63 percent) of small businesses, rising to 78 percent of technology startups, believe their future may depend on leaving the capital. The study claims this threatens the viability of the Government’s flagship Tech City hub just months after it announced a new scheme to attract firms to the area. The research is based on a study of over 500 business owners and leaders in London and the South East and was presented at the launch of Sussex Innovation’s new hub in Croydon.

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Are these this year’s ten most sustainable buildings in North America?

Are these this year’s ten most sustainable buildings in North America? 0

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Bulliit Centre - sustainable buildingsThe American Institute of Architects (AIA) and its Committee on the Environment (COTE) have selected what they claim are the nation’s top ten examples of sustainable architecture and ecological design projects. The COTE Top Ten Awards program, now in its 19th year, claims to be the profession’s most rigorous recognition program for sustainable buildings. The program highlights projects that are the result of an “integrated approach to architecture, natural systems and technology … which make a positive contribution to their communities, improve comfort for building occupants and reduce environmental impacts through strategies such as reuse of existing structures, connection to transit systems, low-impact and regenerative site development, energy and water conservation, use of sustainable or renewable construction materials, and design that improves indoor air quality.”

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Facebook nearly doubles the size of its London headquarters

Facebook nearly doubles the size of its London headquarters 0

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Regent's PlaceFacebook has nearly doubled the size of its UK headquarters on Euston Road in Central London, according to property owner British Land. The firm has signed a deal with the landlord that will see it add 66,000 sq ft to its existing 87,000 sq ft office. Facebook will occupy the fifth floor of the Regent’s Place building, as well as floors nine to sixteen and some shared space on the ground floor. The company has recently relocated from a 36,000 sq ft office in Covent Garden. Facebook is one of several global tech giants migrating to the area around Euston and Kings Cross which is in the midst of a multibillion redevelopment. The most high profile new resident is Google which is building a giant new headquarters building in King’s Cross. Other organisations in the area, which has been dubbed the Knowledge Quarter, include UCL, the Guardian and the government’s Digital Catapult Centre.

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Half of people say flexible work is a key consideration when changing jobs

Half of people say flexible work is a key consideration when changing jobs 0

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Over half of workers say flexible work is a key consideration when changing jobsThe days when staff would commit to a business for life and be chained to a desk for upwards of 10 hours per day are long gone, as today’s employees increasingly seek flexible work. According to a survey of over 1,000 UK workers by PageGroup, 26 percent of people would cite flexible working as the most important consideration for their next job, compared to 18 percent who cited it as a primary consideration in their current role. Across all age categories, respondents are more motivated by the opportunity to work flexibly than they were at the start of their career, with 57 percent of respondents highlighting this as a key motivator. Forward-thinking organisations, particularly the media and tech start-ups typified by those based at London’s Silicon Roundabout, are now high on the wish list for candidates.

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Proposal to fund development of Grade A office space in Northern Ireland

Proposal to fund development of Grade A office space in Northern Ireland 0

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Scheme launched to look at funding office development in NIPlans to develop a scheme that ensures Northern Ireland has enough Grade A office space to meet its needs has been launched by business development agency Invest NI. It follows the publication of a report that found while demand for Grade A offices has remained relatively steady over the past three years, with no new development taking place, both the overall supply and Grade A supply has fallen steadily. Of the total supply, only around 320,000 sq ft is classified as Grade A, 250,000 sq ft of which is located in Belfast City Centre. Nearly a quarter (21%) is contained within units that are smaller than 10,000 sq ft, a further 36 percent within units sized between 10-20,000 sq ft and there are only three office buildings across Northern Ireland that could offer space exceeding 20,000 sq ft.

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Flexible working and smart tools prove a big hit with UAE employees

Flexible working and smart tools prove a big hit with UAE employees 0

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Flexible working in UAEIt’s not just in the UK where employees say they are attracted by the idea of flexible working. A new study from YouGov commissioned by the Dubai based Federal Authority for Government Human Resources (FAHR) claims that employees in the United Arab Emirates now rate employers most highly for the smart tools and flexible working opportunities they offer. The study of over 1,000 employees and HR professionals in the UAE was commissioned to uncover emerging trends in human capital management. It found that 64 percent of employees rate flexible working hours, provided by employers based on personal circumstances, as good or very good, which is particularly prevalent amongst Emirati respondents (83 percent). The majority of employees (74 percent) also believe a remote and flexible work schedule increases their productivity.

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UK’s health and social systems failing to improve workforce wellbeing

UK’s health and social systems failing to improve workforce wellbeing 0

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workforce wellbeingA new report published this week by The Work Foundation, Healthy, Working Economies sets out the challenges facing the next UK government to improve the health and wellbeing of the country’s workforce. The report calls on the government to review how it is using local organisations, such as Health and Wellbeing Boards and Local Enterprise Partnerships to encourage improvements in workforce wellbeing and health. The Work Foundation recommends that a standardised set of measures be included in the Joint Strategic Needs Assessments performed by Health and Wellbeing Boards, including measures of employment outcomes for individuals with health issues. The report also suggests that employer leadership is needed to drive the step-change needed to improve the health of the workforce.

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New generation of mobile users do quarter of work on digital devices

New generation of mobile users do quarter of work on digital devices 0

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Gen-M-230x190The provision of alternative places to work than the office desk is of particular relevance to a new demographic of worker, dubbed Gen M (because we need yet another one – Ed.), which is described in a new report from US based telecomms consultants MobileIron as either men aged 18-34 or people with children under-18 who rely heavily on mobile technology. On average, Gen M does more than a quarter (26%) of its work on smartphones or tablets, compared to non-Gen M professionals, who do 17 percent. Gen M also uses mobile for “shadow tasking,” doing personal tasks during work hours and work tasks during personal hours, the research from MobileIron reveals. Gen M mobile users are also keen to invest in the latest technology –  42 percent either own or plan to purchase a wearable device, such as the Apple Watch, and of those, 95 percent plan to use those devices for work tasks.

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