Dull workplaces can hamper creativity, claims new report

Broken light bulbA new report from London based fit-out company Overbury claims that dull and demotivating workplaces are holding back creativity in UK organisations. The study of 2,000 employees from across the UK, found that although staff consider idea generation crucial to their employer’s performance, many feel unable to work creatively together in their offices. Between half and two thirds of employees (59%) state that the development of new ideas is vital to their organisation. However, many respondents also stated that their working environment is thwarting creativity,with the majority (52%) of UK offices lacking common or social areas.

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Widespread adoption of BIM moves closer

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The widespread adoption of Building Information Modelling (BIM) in architecture, design and construction has moved closer with the publication by the Construction Industry Council (CIC) yesterday of the BIM Protocol, a legal framework for BIM projects. The use of BIM as a collaborative way of working that utilises digital technologies for more efficient methods of designing, creating and maintaining properties has been described as a game-changing ICT and cultural process for the built environment, with the Government’s intention to require collaborative 3D BIM on all its projects by 2016

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Job dissatisfaction highest amongst Gen Y workers

Gen YHot on the heels of the news this week that generation Y workers are more risk averse than older employees, it seems they’re also more dissatisfied with their jobs than other age groups. A new survey by Office Angels shows that over a quarter (27 per cent) of 25-34 year olds are unhappy in their current job, compared to just a fifth (20 per cent) of those aged over 55. This backs up the Monster.com survey, which found more than half of Gen Y employees (55 per cent) see their current employer as a mere stopping off point in their career path.

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Survey finds global support for wellness initiatives

Working well

Wellness programs are no longer a “soft” issue for organisations around the globe with employers increasingly recognising the value of employees’ health and well-being to their organisations’ bottom line. According to the latest report from Buck Consultants, global employers – regardless of location, identify improving worker productivity and reducing presenteeism as one of their top wellness objectives. Wellness initiatives also continue to add value over time and while significant results can take years to realize, the survey shows how the impact of wellness programs differs by short-term and long-term payoff.

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UK centralised public sector purchasing – still work to do

Whitehall,_LondonThe National Audit Office today publishes its report  Improving Government Procurement. The mainstream media will doubtless stay focussed on the headline examples of ‘waste’, especially in high-spending and high-profile departments such as the MOD and NHS. But for the public sector and its suppliers there is more to be concerned about in one of the main conclusions of the report; that less than half of public sector spending in the UK is carried out across departments to take advantage of economies of scale. That this is the case has long been a source of frustration for those suppliers signed up to framework agreements who find that things aren’t as clear cut as they believe when it comes to purchasing decisions.

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Generation Y employees see themselves as risk averse

Gen YThe Generation that put the Y in N-E-E-D-Y is the subject of yet another survey, this time one reporting that its members view themselves as less entrepreneurial and more risk averse than either Generation X (30-49 year olds) and the baby boomer generation (50-69). The survey of nearly 3,000 people by monster.com and Millennial Branding found that just under a third (32%) of Gen Y workers consider themselves to be entrepreneurial, compared to 41% of Gen X staff and 45% of baby boomers. Similarly 28% of Millennial respondents identified themselves as not being averse to risk compared to 40% of Gen X and 43% of boomers.

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American Institute of Architects opens design and health project

Via Verde

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) is working with the Clinton Global Initiative and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Center for Advanced Urbanism (CAU) to examine the relationships between design, urbanism, and public health. The collaboration is part of the AIA’s Decade of Design Commitment to Action, which aims to make positive changes through design in the global urban environment. Alexander d’Hooghe, director of the MIT CAU explained: “We are investigating the scale of urban design, architecture, as well as planning, in relation to health today, whether related to obesity, or to climate change.” More →

Global confusion in managing employee “data deluge”

employee data

Over a quarter of employers worldwide do not know how their workforce potential is affecting the company’s bottom line. A new report by talent measurement solutions provider SHL suggests HR managers are overwhelmed by the volume of employee data and struggle to elicit meaningful insight that will help drive businesses forward and deliver results. “Our research shows that even though organisations measure employee performance, they have historically focused on efficiency data, like how well an employee is performing versus data that allows them to make a strategic talent decision,” said Ken Lahti, vice president, Product Development and Innovation, SHL.

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Psychrometry is key to holistic energy efficiency

KS20 Psychrometry

A holistic energy efficiency strategy is needed to ensure a balance between efforts to make buildings more airtight and the need to increase ventilation. This is why an understanding of psychrometry is an increasingly important issue for the built environment. Psychrometry is used to prevent environments being created which are detrimental to health, either through too dry an atmosphere or conditions where damp and mould can flourish says the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) which has issued new guidance.

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UAE’s infrastructure investment drives rapid construction sector growth

Abu DhabiThe full impact of high levels of government spending as well as private sector and foreign investment in infrastructure and development in the Gulf is evident in a new report from analysts RNCOS which claims that the construction sector in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is set to grow from its current size of $39.4bn at the end of 2012 by a compound rate of 9.5% a year until 2016. The report breaks the market down into four major areas of development; retail, residential, office and hospitality. The follow on effects for firms offering products and services will, of course, also be substantial.

Companies must develop a social purpose to survive

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Company reputations could collapse in minutes and more firms will develop an explicit ‘social purpose’ according to a new report from Global corporate responsibility consultancy Corporate Citizenship. “Future Business: the four mega trends that every company needs to prepare for” identifies four mega-trends that it says are likely to shape the nature of business over the coming decade. According to the consultancy, over the last year the proportion of S&P 500 companies that report on sustainability performance has grown from one in five to over half and the over the coming decades, it expects at least as much change again.

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Updated: nearly all London boroughs seek exemption from office conversion plan

City-of-London

Earlier, we reported that London’s Mayor Boris Johnson openly believes that London’s key business districts should be exempt from proposals to allow offices to be turned into homes without planning permission. Now a report emerges from CBRE that all but a handful of London’s boroughs are to seek to make themselves exempt from the rules.  According to the research, only Barking and Dagenham, Greenwich, Croydon and Kingston are unlikely to seek an exemption. Four other boroughs are discussing plans with the Greater London Authority (GLA) and the remaining 25 are set to apply to make themselves exempt.

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