Balfour Beatty appointed main contractor for St James’s Market scheme

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St James scheme appoints Balfour Beatty as main contractorThe Crown Estate and Oxford Properties have announced the completion of a joint venture agreement to finance the £320 million St James’s Market scheme around London’s Regent Street area. Balfour Beatty has been appointed as the main contractor, with work due to start on site in the next month. The St James’s Market scheme is set to deliver 210,000 ft2 of office and 50,000 ft2 of retail and restaurant space. Bob Clark, Managing Director of Balfour Beatty’s Major Projects division said: “As a global infrastructure group we will be bringing our experience in delivering high end commercial properties to the scheme and utilising our investment in 4D information modelling technology and modular construction capability to ensure perfect delivery.”

Bosses most likely to lie at work, while still promoting an ethical culture

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Bosses tell most lies

Business has been fighting a PR battle in recent years to convince us that ethics and corporate social responsibility is of equal importance to the bottom line. However, when it comes to individual behaviour it seems that managers are far from practising what their employers’ preach. Bosses are  much more likely than other staff to ditch ethics to get ahead in their career (29.4% compared to 13.3%), yet at the same time are more likely than other staff to think it is important to be seen as ethical at work (66.4% compared to 54.0%). According to the research from CMI (Chartered Management Institute) 35.4 per cent of managers bend the truth once a day or more, compared to 25.3 per cent of other workers. More →

Growth forecast for the commercial architecture sector in RIBA survey

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RIBA

The commercial architecture sector is forecast for steady growth throughout 2013 according to the latest Future Trends Survey by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). The survey, which uses an index to gauge workloads, reports that all sector forecasts remained in positive territory, with the workload balance figure for the commercial sector moving further into positive territory, (to +9). All categories of practices by size, and all the nations and regions in the UK, returned positive workload forecast balance figures in August 2013, suggesting that the sustained improvement in confidence levels is widespread and no longer confined to particular sectors and geographical locations. More →

Google is Generation Y’s choice as world’s most attractive employer

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Google is Generation Y's choice as world's most attractive employerCool offices, generous employee perks and of course being a successful global tech firm may seem the obvious reasons why Google is perceived as the world’s most attractive employer by Generation Y, according to a global poll. However, employer branding company Universum Global’s annual list of the 50 companies business and engineering students would choose as the best to work for, finds the most common characteristics young workers consider most important in a potential employer are pretty much the same applicants of all ages would cite. These are; market success, professional training and development opportunities, supportive leaders and job security. So maybe Millennials aren’t so easily swayed by nap pods after all. More →

Seminar programme for workplace ergonomics and productivity event unveiled

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Seminar programme for workplace ergonomics and productivity event unveiledPaying attention to ergonomics in design; MSDs in the office – a demographic challenge; and boomers and Millennials and the changing workplace; are just some of the topics being covered in a series of seminars dedicated to workplace ergonomics and productivity taking place over two days next week. The Workplace Ergonomics & Productivity exhibition and seminar event is organised by the Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors, to showcase the latest products, services, research and ideas about how ergonomics can benefit workers, managers and their businesses. Visitors will have the opportunity to examine products at exhibition stands, listen to speakers on a range of topics and gain an understanding of how ergonomics and productivity are related. For more information on the event – Ibis Earls Court, London (1 – 2 Oct), click here.

EU leads the world in representation of women on corporate boards

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Equal rights legislation is largely seen as the best means of ensuring a more diverse workforce. However, when it comes to reaching the higher echelons of corporate life, opinion is divided on whether imposing mandatory quotas could do more harm than good in promoting gender equality. 2013 saw the highest change recorded to date in the average number of women on the boards of large EU corporations – due in part to the introduction of mandatory quotas. Although the third edition of “Breaking the Glass Ceiling: Women in the Boardroom,” from global law firm Paul Hastings LLP, found strong consensus in many countries to support women candidates, the debate over the best approach to increase representation continues. More →

Employee engagement among younger workers is on the increase

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Gen-YA staggering 92 per cent of Generation Y workers believe their role directly contributes to their organisation’s success. According to a poll of 1,120 UK office workers by recruitment solutions provider hyphen, younger workers in the UK feel more empowered and positive than ever about their workplace. Nearly two thirds (62.9%) of those aged 25-34 are proud to work for their current organisation and 81.8 per cent believe their colleagues and managers seek their opinion and listen to their views, up 16 per cent from March 2013. While the attitudes among younger workers are positive, the research suggests that older workers are feeling less optimistic – 15.9 per cent said they were not proud to work in their organisation – up nearly 8 per cent from March 2013. More →

The latest issue of the Insight newsletter is now available to view online

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2.Insight_twitter_logo smThis week’s Insight newsletter, available to view online features a review of this year’s 100% Design, including the latest trends in office products and the debates on acoustics and flexible working hosted by Insight during the show. In other news: the number of managers in the UK reaches record levels; winners are announced for the inaugural World Green Building Council Leadership Awards; and demand for social media work tools are on the increase. We also reveal the reasons behind the Government’s campaign to promote BIM amongst smaller businesses; how a culture of “jobs for the boys” procurement is driving some service providers to desperate measures to bag fresh business; and new research on why senior executives persist in working to unhealthy levels.

RICS launches guidance for small businesses on managing property assets

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RICS launches guidance for small businesses on managing propertyProperty costs – such as business rates and rent – are one of the most significant expenses incurred by SMEs and failure to take professional advice on how to manage them can cost businesses thousands of pounds. RICS has launched a guide to help small businesses take better control of their finances through managing their property assets differently. The Small Business Property Guide, which is free of charge for business owners, covers all aspects of the property process. It has been endorsed by the Federation of Small Businesses, the British Retail Consortium and the Association of Town and City Management. The guide includes advice on; finding the right premises; business rates; tax allowances on property; and valuations.

National work-life week 2013 aims to promote better work-life balance

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National work-life week 2013 to promote the importance of work-life balanceEncouraging a healthy work-life balance is one of the keystones of employee wellness programmes. Yet, while most employers would claim they continually address issues such as stress and overwork, the fact that 40 per cent of workplace absences in this country are stress-related tells a different story. According to a new survey by Adecco, a third (34%) of employers are even prepared to cancel someone’s holiday if there is too much work to do in the office. Such practices are being challenged by a week of events dedicated to the promotion of work-life balance. National Work-Life Week 2013 is organised by the charity Working Families and will include a conference ‘Smart Work, Agile Work, Flexible Work’ on Tuesday 24 September. More →

Plans for a new high rise office development in City of London unveiled

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Plans for a new high rise office development in City of London unveiled

DBOX for Henderson Global Investors and MAKE

Plans for a new high rise office development in the City of London have been unveiled by Henderson Global Investors. Designed by Make architectural practice, the high buildings at 40 Leadenhall Street, EC3 will vary in height between 7 and 34 office storeys, with two additional basement levels, a roof level plant, and café and restaurant uses at ground floor level.  The total size of the building is 910,000 sq ft, split between 890,000 sq ft office and c. 20,000 sq ft retail. A grade II listed building at 19-21 Billiter Street, built in 1865, will be restored and integrated in the proposed scheme, which it is estimated will create 390 construction jobs, with around 7,000 people expected to work in the completed building. More →

Winners announced for outstanding leadership in sustainable buildings awards

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City Green Court

City Green Court building in Prague

British Land, Spanish city Vitoria-Gasteiz and the City Green Court building in Prague, Czech Republic, have clinched the top spots in the inaugural World Green Building Council Leadership Awards – Europe Region. The awards, which were announced to coincide with World Green Building Week 2013 – honour leadership and best practice in green building policy, construction projects and corporate initiatives. British Land won the category for Business Leadership in Sustainability; Vitoria-Gasteiz picked up the award for Leadership in City Policy for Green Building award; and office building City Green Court, topped the Leadership in Building Design and Performance category for its sustainability features. More →

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