Workers fear social media leads to loss of privacy

EmbarrassingAccording to a new report from AVG Technologies, more than half of adults believe that their privacy is being eroded at work because of the proliferation of social media. The Digital Work Life survey asked 4,000 people in ten countries about the experiences of and beliefs about issues such as cyberbullying, privacy and their approach to creating a better balance between their private and working lives. One in ten respondents had discovered secret discussions about themselves and 11 percent had embarrassing photos or videos taken at a work event and uploaded onto social media sites.

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Apple achieves trademark for store designs

Apple StoreIt has long been a complaint of designers and marketers that courts do not understand design. For the most part this has made it difficult for them to trademark things like packaging designs and colours leaving them open to copycat designs which can seriously undermine a brand and make merchandising more difficult than it need be. Now Apple – who else? – has taken things to a whole new level by officially trademarking its distinctive shopping centre store design in the US.

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Survey reveals world’s speediest and highest lifts

Taipei 101Building information database provider Emporis has unveiled what it believes to be the world’s speediest lifts in a new survey. The company found that the fastest in the world were those in the Taipei 101 tower (above) manufactured by Toshiba. A Mitsubishi lift in Japan’s Yokahama Landmark Tower was named as the second-fastest, while the Otis manufactured lifts in Dubai’s 828m-high Burj Khalifa share third place with three other buildings. The results are inevitably clustered given the limitations of the human body to withstand rapid ascents and descents. More →

Guide argues positive green message for sustainable gains

sustainia-world

Fear, despair and resignation do not motivate people to change their practices; they should instead be inspired by the positive messages of sustainable living. In Guide to Sustainia international sustainability initiative Sustainia argues innovation has made such impressive leaps over the last decade it’s now possible to break with the perception of a sustainable society as one of limitations. With cities and developers already assembling the nuts, bolts and designs of a more sustainable future, the guide presents a compilation of real initiatives and technologies from around the world, in a blueprint for a sustainable future. More →

Employers overlook flexible working alternative to redundancy

Flexible

Only 22 per cent of UK managers believe their companies are very effective at redeploying employees rather than making redundancies. And according to new global research it’s a worldwide problem, with almost three in ten employers believing their organisations are “not effective”. Mark Hodgson, practice leader of Talent Management in Right Management UK & Ireland said: “The results suggest that businesses aren’t seeing redeployment as a feasible way of making savings and keeping staff. Businesses can’t afford to underestimate the importance of a flexible workforce in this tough economic climate.” More →

Crossrail to develop offices above Bond Street station

CrossrailCrossrail has submitted an application to Westminster Council for the development of a new six-floor, 65,000 sq ft office development above Bond Street underground station in West London in conjunction with property developer Grosvenor. The design by PLP Architecture will take account of other construction work on the site as part of Bond Street’s development as a station on the new £15 billion Crossrail project. Grosvenor will be responsible for delivering the over site development of the scheme once station and ticket hall construction works are completed in 2017. More →

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

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 →

Refurbishment projects on the rise for UK architects

RIBA HQ

Projects involving works to existing buildings now make up 64% of architects’ workloads, according to the results of the December 2012 Future Trends Survey carried out by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). This figure, which has been increasing steadily since 2010, suggests that in the present climate conservation, refurbishment and adaptive re-use are important areas for architects to apply their expertise. The Workloads Index for December 2012 was plus-8, remaining in positive territory since October 2012, which continues to suggest a stable market for architects’ services.

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Global 100 green companies announced during Davos

Global 100The top-ranked company in the Global 100 list of the world’s most sustainable corporations is Umicore, a Belgium-based materials technology and recycling company. The rest of the top five announced recently at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, were Natura Cosmeticos, Statoil, Neste Oil and Novo Nordisk. Hailed recently as the world’s most credible corporate sustainability ranking, the Global 100 is compiled by Toronto-based media and investment research company Corporate Knights, and consists of the 100 top-performing stocks worldwide on a range of sector-specific ‘sustainability’ metrics.

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Sodexo Workplace Trends report covers familiar ground

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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Economic boost for UK builders with Green Deal launch

energy efficiency
The Green Deal launches today to help improve the energy efficiency of the UK’s built environment by enabling householders and businesses to secure the up-front capital to make energy efficiency improvements to their buildings. Refurbishing existing buildings to new standards and turning them into good green assets has recently been identified as one of the best bets for the property sector in the year ahead and today UK-Green Building Council’s Paul King said the launch of the energy efficiency scheme could help create jobs and stimulate economic activity.

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Innovation needed to catapult UK to technology success

Catapult centre

The government must scale up the UK’s new programme of technology and innovation centres – Catapults – by 50% to 100%, the Big Innovation Centre will announce at a meeting at the House of Lords today. Will Hutton, chair of the Big Innovation Centre at the Work Foundation warned: “Catapults are desperately needed and important new institutions that could allow the UK to reproduce German success in 21st century industrial sectors and services. Yet the Catapult programme needs to be bigger and bolder in its scope, aims and resources if their potential as convenors, catalysts, risk-mitigators and horizon scanners is to be fully exploited.”

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