Govt £118bn pipeline, Change leadership, Take a real holiday and more

Govt £118bn pipeline, Change leadership, Take a real holiday and more 0

Insight_twitter_logo_2In this week’s issue; Lee Parsons argues the impact of office relocation can no longer be solely measured in tangible terms; Mark Eltringham questions people’s reluctance to simply go on holiday and explores the complex links that exist between our surroundings and how we think and act. The Government lists around £118 billion of publicly funded building projects over the next five years; and flexible working is the main driver in the growth of Cloud data services. Ergonomics experts focus on the much discussed topics of sedentary working; the Work Foundation presses employers to support the health of older workers; and from the latest edition of Work&Place Rebecca Booth explains one of the biggest obstacles to successful change leadership is “change fatigue.” Subscribe for free quarterly issues of Work&Place and weekly news here, follow us on Twitter and join our LinkedIn Group to discuss these and other stories.

Government publishes details of £118 bn pipeline of construction projects

Government publishes details of £118 bn pipeline of construction projects 0

stride-wiltshire-ch-085The UK Government, in conjunction with construction industry data specialist Barbour ABI, has published a full detailed list of around £118 billion of publicly funded building projects scheduled for the next five years. You can find the pipeline as a spreadsheet here, with the data broken down by sector and including some basic data for each project. The Government has also introduced a dedicated website with details of the projects with updates to the raw data available via both the central government website and at data.gov.uk. The government construction pipeline is now updated twice a year which the Government claims will ‘extend its reach beyond the major construction spending departments and improve the integrity of the data’  and demonstrate its commitment ‘to continuous engagement with industry and government clients on current use and future improvements’.

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More evidence of people’s growing inability to simply go on holiday

More evidence of people’s growing inability to simply go on holiday 0

HolidaysIf you’re reading this on holiday this week, don’t. Life’s too short. Go jump in the pool or something…. For everybody else, a slew of surveys have been published over the last few weeks that confirm something that we may already know;  we are finding it increasingly hard to forget about work, even during our supposed time off and many people are forgoing holidays altogether, although not necessarily because they’ve forgotten about the off switch on their smartphone. We reported recently on one of these, from the Institute for Leadership and Management, but three more have passed over our desks over recent days. With the usual caveat about vested interests, the studies, from the TUC, alldayPA and public sector members club CSMA all confirm not only how prevalent this form of presenteeism is, but also how harmful it can be to ourselves and employers.

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Insight Weekly on GenY, digital workplaces, productivity and more

Insight Weekly on GenY, digital workplaces, productivity and more

Insight_twitter_logo_2In this week’s issue; three new studies have joined the already extensive body of work linking workplace design and productivity; how business practices and the way people use technology vary across sectors; and over half of US workers say the 9 to 5 day is an outmoded concept. Amanda Sterling argues social media at work can help shift the power dynamic from the few to the many; Gary Chandler explains how workplace design can express a firm’s culture and Mark Eltringham explores what the Midwich Cuckoos can tell us about Generation Y. The Government challenges businesses to consider the boost untapped disabled talent could bring to their workforce and CoWorking giant WeWork looks to acquire over 1 million sq. ft. of space in London. Subscribe for free quarterly issues of Work&Place and weekly news here, follow us on Twitter and join our LinkedIn Group to discuss these and other stories.

Public sector lagging behind in use of technology and flexible working

As we reported last week, the UK public sector is embracing some interesting new ideas in the way it uses real estate, especially its commitment to get rid of some of it by adopting flexible working and shared space. However, it’s one thing looking to use space in more flexible ways but without the technological infrastructure, it’s hard to see how they will be able to achieve as much as they could. It is in this regard that they are lagging behind their contemporaries in the private sector, according to a new report from O2 and YouGov. While the report, Redefining selling, serving and working, offers up the usual appeals for us all to make more use of the sorts of things O2 wants us to buy, there is plenty of interesting detail to tease out once the pinch of salt has been applied, not least how business practices and the way people use technology vary across sectors.

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Groundbreaking public sector estate scheme rolled out nationwide

Groundbreaking public sector estate scheme rolled out nationwide

public sector estateWe’ve reported previously on the Government’s One Public Sector Estate scheme, which encourages local authorities to find ways to share office space and find other ways of divesting buildings as well as freeing up land for development. Over the past two years there has been a phased rollout of the scheme to 32 councils. Now the Cabinet Office and the Local Government Association claim they have gauged the success of the first two phases and are confident the scheme can be expanded nationwide. Their announcement suggests that the 32 councils who are currently on the programme own 28 percent of council land and property assets in England and have applied the ideas of the One Public Sector Estate Initiative to free up land for around 9,000 homes and create some 20,000 new jobs. The councils involved are also expected to raise £129 million in capital receipts from land sales and cut running costs by £77 million over 5 years.

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Local authority staff frustrated by poor quality working environments

Local authority staff frustrated by poor quality working environments

working environmentsEmployees at UK local authorities are frustrated at their poor quality working environments and councils are suffering as a result, claims a new study from the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). Over two thirds (68 percent) of employees polled for the report claim their workplaces need to be upgraded and nearly all (92 percent) said they take the standard of workplace into account when deciding where to work. Furthermore, 80 percent of current employees claim they take the standard of working environment into account when making decisions about whether to remain in the current role. In an interview with LocalGov magazine, Paul Bagust, director of UK commercial property at RICS, also warned that short term cost cutting in the workplace is likely to be counterproductive in the long term.

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The latest issue of Insight Weekly is available to view online

The latest issue of Insight Weekly is available to view online

Insight_twitter_logo_2In this week’s issue; Dr Kerstin Sailer, Ros Pomeroy and Rosie Haslem describe the ten demonstrable facts about the workplace you may not know; Mark Eltringham says the most pervasive and enduring myth about the office is that it is somehow dying off and discovers that people have been writing guides to good ergonomics since the early seventeenth Century. Also this week; a parliamentary inquiry into the effects of design on behaviour is launched by the Design Commission, a survey for World FM Day reveals the key role played by FM in wellbeing and productivity, the US Government’s plans to reform the way federal office space is managed, and too few employers advertise jobs with flexible working opportunities. Subscribe for free quarterly issues of Work&Place and for weekly news via the subscription form in the right hand sidebar, follow us on Twitter and join our LinkedIn Group to discuss these and other stories.

US Govt passes legislation to reduce the amount of office space it occupies

US Govt passes legislation to reduce the amount of office space it occupies

Seal_of_the_United_States_Congress.svgOver the past few years, the UK Cabinet Office has looked to the way it procures and occupies real estate as an important way of reducing the country’s budget deficit. One other country that is following suit is the US. The congressional Transportation and Infrastructure Committee of the US House of Representatives has unanimously approved legislation to reform the way federal office space is managed, procured and occupied. The Public Buildings Reform and Savings Act of 2015 sets out ways to reduce and consolidate space, divest unnecessary buildings, improve oversight of facilities management, negotiate better and shorter lease terms with the aim of saving billions of dollars each year.  In the UK, the Government claims to have reduced the public sector estate by 2 million sq ft in just three years with a range of similar approaches, saving around £1.2 billion.

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Three reasons why National Work From Home Day has it all wrong

Three reasons why National Work From Home Day has it all wrong

Last Friday was National Work From Home Day in the UK. Each year, the TUC and organisers Work Wise seem to take this as an opportunity to analyse data about the uptake of flexible working and arrive at the wrong conclusions. This year, its analysis of the ONS Labour Force Survey found that the number of people regularly working from home had increased by more than 800,000 since 2005, taking the total to over 4.2 million. These are solid enough data, but what are we to make of TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady’s conclusion that: “these figures show millions of British workers have adopted homeworking and are enjoying a better work-life balance, while saving time and money on costly commuting that benefits no-one”? There are several reasons to suggest that he’s got that wrong to a large extent.

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Public sector lacks skills and confidence to buy more from smaller companies

Public sector lacks skills and confidence to buy more from smaller companies

public sector procurementA new survey from techUK, the trade association that represents technology companies in the UK, claims that while civil servants see IT as key to delivering their mission, they don’t think their departments  have the right skills and culture to enable digital transformation of public services. This extends to the way goods and services are procured with particular consequences for smaller suppliers. Of the 929 Civil Servants surveyed for the study, less than 1 percent of respondents see IT as an overhead, while over three quarters believe it to be a necessity. However, there remain significant barriers to technology adoption. Over three quarter (68 percent) claim that having the right skills internally is critical to improving the procurement process; but only 20 percent agree their department has the skills and capabilities to manage suppliers.

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How the US judiciary is slashing costs with effective facilities management

How the US judiciary is slashing costs with effective facilities management

Facilities management in legal systemIt’s not just the UK public sector that is looking to achieve major restrictions in its expenditure on property through the use of technology, shared space and more efficient facilities management practices. According to a report from the Judicial Conference of the United States, organisations in the nationwide US judiciary have achieved significant savings with an ‘aggressive space and rent reduction initiative’. The judicial branch across the nation claims to have achieved nearly 30 percent of its target of reducing building space by 3 percent over the next three years. Federal courts are reducing space by ‘closing or downsizing facilities; closing, reducing, or finding different uses for circuit libraries; releasing under-utilised space; and using technology and mobility to share space when possible’.

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