RICS developing BIM accreditation standard to advance uptake

RICS accreditation standard being developed to advance BIM

Alan Muse, Director of Built Environment Professional Groups (RICS) is calling for a cultural shift to ensure that Building Information Modelling (BIM) is more widely adopted. This follows the results of a survey taken at the RICS National BIM conference which revealed that despite its overwhelming recognition within the built environment nearly half of respondents were still not using the process, with 46 per cent identifying minimal client demand as a major factor preventing their implementation of BIM. Comments Muse: “Quite simply, some clients are not yet recognising the efficiencies that BIM can bring”, which is the reason why RICs is now developing a BIM accreditation standard.

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What workers really want from their offices? The basics.

The basicsSo what do people really want from their offices? It’s a question that has tasked the minds of researchers for many years. According to a recent survey from Overbury, the ideal office design seemed to be a Starbucks, but a new report from the British Council for Offices suggests that what people want isn’t actually that much. Top of the list of priorities for the 1,200 or so people surveyed were fast Wi-Fi, comfortable surroundings, a convenient location and a decent, if unspectacular, fit-out, although responses varied to a certain degree across age groups and sectors. Is that really too much to ask? And are the pool table and the slide absolutely necessary?

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Companies increasingly insist that staff use their own devices

U TurnHow the world turns. It doesn’t seem that long ago that companies were developing policies to minimise the amount of time people spent on their own mobile devices at work. Now, according to a new study from Gartner, they are starting to insist on it. According to the report, half of all US employers will require staff to supply their own devices for work use by 2017. The shift in approach seems to be a direct consequence of mass market acceptance of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) with the number of employees using mobile applications at work set to double by 2015. The US, along with countries such as India, China and Brazil, continues to lead the way with twice as many firms adopting the practice as in Europe.

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Resistance to workplace change marks the passing of the old order

ChangeWhen Vodafone announced in March that the UK’s businesses could save up to £34 billion with the more widespread application of flexible working models, the research to support the claim had two very familiar components. The first was a crystal clear business case, the second an admission that the message was still not quite getting through to those at the top. In fact, Vodafone claimed, around two-thirds of business leaders continue to insist their business can’t afford to reduce the number of workstations they use despite all evidence to the contrary. A third haven’t even considered the idea of reducing the number of workstations they use as a way of cutting costs.

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Fully mobile workplace for Cisco’s new Singapore regional HQ

Cisco Singapore HQ offers fully flexible working

IT giant Cisco has opened a new regional headquarters in Singapore that features utilisation-based space allocation that for the first time allows all of its staff to work just about anywhere in the building, using whichever kind of mobile device they prefer. The move reflects the findings of Cisco’s recent report which revealed that growing numbers of workers prefer to use an iPad or iPhone rather than a PC. The new offices, located at UE Biz Hub, within the Changi Business Park in Singapore, brings together 1,000 employees from Cisco’s previous four offices around the island and has reduced around 40 per cent of the required workspace.

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Is facilities management evolving into workplace management?

EvolutionNot so long ago, there used to be a lot of talk about the overlap between facilities management and professions such as HR and IT, much of it to do with the endless search for the true meaning of the nascent FM profession. Now there is open talk of convergence of these three and other disciplines as we adapt to the changing world of work. The nature and implications of this new order for those professions, and the role of facilities managers in particular, is the subject of a new book called Moving On: Facilities Management to Workplace Management by Graham Jervis.

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Office design goes to the movies. Part 8 – Brazil

Office design goes to the movies. Part 8 – Brazil

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A prescient film when it comes to modern office life, the workplace depicted in Terry Gilliam’s Brazil is that particularly 1980s modish mish-mash of futuristic technology and grubby antique with more than a nod to the offices of the past, present and future. Nevertheless he was able to anticipate both the current obsession with shared desks, the battle for resources and space (above) and the fact that people will sometimes use technology to do anything  other than work so long as the boss doesn’t notice (below). Even the exposed pipes that were once so daring can now seem a routine or even hackneyed element in an office design.

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Video: how we need to break with the past to optimise what we do now

Video: how we need to break with the past to optimise what we do now

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Dave Coplin, the ‘Chief Envisioning Officer’ at Microsoft, explores with the RSA how we might apply technology in new ways to transform the way we work. He starts with a look at how we are constrained by the past, with the example of the QWERTY keyboard which was originally developed to slow typists down to stop keys jamming but is still the de facto input method for typists over a century later. Obviously there are very good commercial reasons why technology companies need to ‘envision’ this new world of flexible working but it’s an engaging presentation and honest enough when he argues against our obsession with specific aspects of work such as email at the expense of others.

Mobile devices set to outnumber humans as PC sales plummet

IpadsOne of the sure fire ways to judge what is about to happen to the world’s workplaces is to watch what people are doing with their gadgets. So as two surveys are published that show the dramatic decline in the numbers of PCs being sold around the world, a report from Cisco has forecast that by the end of this year, the number of mobile devices in operation globally will exceed the human population for the first time. Of course, that could only be possible if everybody was carrying around a number of mobile gadgets and, sure enough, a related survey from Juniper Networks shows that the average person surveyed now uses five devices at home and at work with at least three connected to the Internet.

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Survey exposes social media and non work-related activities of staff

Non work related activies of online staff

One in three British employees spends time on social media or prints private files on company printers instead of working; one in four searches for other employment from the work computer and 12 per cent take company files home. This is according to research carried out for Safetica, a provider of employee monitoring and data protection software, to ascertain whether British employees use their computers for non-work-related activities while they should be working, even when knowing it’s against company policy.

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Why we might all get more done if we did things more slowly

Tree OctopusThe idea that for every action there is a reaction applies just as much in culture as it does in physics. So just as life speeds up to the point where it is self-evident that many people are struggling to keep pace with its most basic demands, a small number of people are looking at ways of putting on the brakes. Most famously in 2004, the Canadian Carl Honoré established the Slow Movement. James Gleick was banging the same drum with his book Faster. We could all hope that as a result of such people asking for the brakes to be applied, things would slow down just a little now our attention had been drawn to the problem so that we could all feel a little better, take time to do things properly and maybe even do them better.

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Productivity challenges of modern office workers’ email deluge

Image credit: <a href='https://www.123rf.com/photo_16117895_heap-of-letters-in-envelopes-falling-from-screen-of-modern-metal-office-laptop-or-silver-business-no.html'>scanrail / 123RF Stock Photo</a>

Possibly the most perplexing picture of the modern office is whether technology has made it more, or less productive. New research by Warwick Business School has found that on average UK office workers deal with 40 emails a day and one in 12 with 100 messages a day, which can’t be good for productivity. Meanwhile another piece of research by psychologists at the University of Chester reveals the somewhat unsurprising fact that an over reliance on social media reduces the ability to maintain ‘meaningful’ relationships due to a lack of visual emotional cues – which could further cast doubts over the efficacy of remote working. More →

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