Flexible workforce ignoring data risks of BYOD and mobiles 0

BYODThe use of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) practices by an increasingly flexible workforce is posing huge risks to the data security of employers. Six out of ten employees routinely share their work and personal devices with others, nearly a fifth of employees don’t have passwords on devices, and 22 percent admit they don’t have security measures in place. The “Securing #GenMobile: Is Your Business Running the Risk” security threat study, questioned over 11,500 workers across 23 countries and found that attitudes have moved towards more sharing of devices and an indifferent view to security in the workplace. This high risk attitude to data security, which is more prevalent amongst younger workers is being overlooked by employers with over a third saying they have no mobile security policy in place.

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Managing the Millennials should be no different to the other generations

Mult-generational workersThere is much debate about the way the group known as Millennials should be treated. Millennials, those born between the early 1980s and the early 2000s, are viewed as different to my peers, Generation X (those born in the 60s and 70s), and certainly vastly different in outlook to the post-war Baby Boomers and the pre-war Veterans. A stereotypical view is that these newbies are highly ambitious and want everything ‘now’, for example, regular pay rises and instant promotion without putting in the work. Yet I believe that Millennials should not be viewed as a distinct group and what we are in fact seeing are long-term changes as a result of trends in society and the workplace. So while employers may recognise the particular needs of Millennials it is these long-term changes they should really be addressing.

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New masterplan submitted for £5bn East London development

East London masterplanDevelopers have submitted a revised masterplan for the £5 billion Greenwich Peninsula mixed use development in East London. The new plans not only increase the number of homes on site but also include a greater focus on digital arts and media studios as well as more high rise buildings in keeping with London’s current predilection for tall buildings and emphasising the shift in London’s centre of gravity eastwards. The original plan, created by Farrell & Partners and dating back to 2004 are described as outdated by developers Knight Dragon, who have submitted the new mixed use plan for around 15,000 dwellings, 59,000 sq.m. of hotel, retail and recreational space and 60,000 sq.m. of office space as well as a design district, space for healthcare buildings, educational facilities, transport hubs, visitor attractions, parking, cycling paths, community facilities and parks.

Facebook moves into new California campus headquarters

facebook1Facebook has moved into its much discussed new headquarters building and campus in Menlo Park, California. As is the way these days, the relocation to the Frank Gehry designed HQ was announced by CEO Mark Zuckerberg on his own Facebook page and heralded by a number of images shared on social media by staff. Zuckerberg also shared an aerial view of the 22 acre location included its landscaped roof and has promised that more images and video will emerge ‘once we’re fully unpacked’. Controversially – maybe – the building features what is claimed to be the world’s largest open plan office space which will be home to many of the new building’s 2,800 inhabitants. In this regard, the design is resolutely mainstream as are the array of breakout spaces and cafes used to supplement the open plan and give people the chance to take some time away.

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Digital sector set to become ‘pivotal’ in Middle East over next five years

Dubai Perfect CityDeloitte has launched a new report into the Technology, Media and Telecommunications sector in the Middle East. Deloitte predicts that 2015 will be ‘pivotal’ for Digital Islamic Services as they start to take off across the Middle East region. The report estimates that within the next three to four years the region’s digital economy will nearly double in size from around US$15 billion currently to around $30 billion by 2018. The predictions are based on hundreds of discussions with industry executives, analysts and commentators, along with tens of thousands of individual interviews. The report also predicts that Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries will make significant open data advancements in 2015, and within the next three to five years, break into the top half of countries ranked the most ‘open’ in the world.

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Driverless cars will transform the UK economy by 2030, claims report

Driverless carsA new study from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) and KPMG claims that the development of connected and autonomous vehicles will help generate 320,000 jobs in the UK and deliver huge benefits to society and the economy. The first ever comprehensive analysis of the opportunities provided by the new technology claims that by 2030 driverless cars will deliver a £51 billion boost to the UK economy, reduce congestion and carbon emissions and cut serious road traffic accidents by more than 25,000. By that time all new cars will incorporate some form of connectivity, according to the report’s authors. It also predicts that the UK will be a global leader in the production of this next generation of vehicles, with the support of Government including financial backing. The study was presented at last week’s SMMT conference in London.

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Film: The Japanese workers who withdraw to live in Internet cafes

Publication1Japanese workers appear to manifest some of the most extreme reactions to the challenges of modern life. Often these are related to the uncertainties of work and the fracturing of time and space associated with contemporary working life. Two of the most common characteristics of the Japanese response appears to be isolation and exclusion. Recently, the Japanese Government investigated the phenomenon of banishment rooms which some firms are alleged to have used to exclude unwanted employees. There has also been a great deal of talk about hikikomori, those people who lock themselves away from the rest of the world, estimated to be up to 1 percent of the population. Now, a new film from Shiho Fukada tells the story of two Japanese men who have taken to living in Internet cafes as they seek to find their way in life.

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How artificial light affects our health in more ways than we think

artificial lightLife on Earth has developed over the course of billions of years to attune its cycles and rhythms to the fixed routines of light and dark. Yet the modern world counters this hardwired biology in humans and radically increases our likelihood of developing a range of physiological and mental illnesses and conditions. That is the main conclusion of a new paper from Richard G. Stevens  and Yong Zhu published by the Royal Society last week. The article outlines how inadequate light during the day, especially inside buildings, coupled with overexposure to artificial light in the evening not only disrupts our sleep patterns but alters our physiognomy at a metabolic, hormonal and even genetic level. The report also highlights how this can account for ‘a portion of the modern pandemics of breast and prostate cancers, obesity, diabetes and depression’.

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Internet of Things will connect ten billion devices over next five years

Internet_of_ThingsA new study from technology market research firm Gartner predicts a near tenfold increase over the next five years in the number of devices connected through the Internet of Things. The study, Smart Cities Will Include 10 Billion Things by 2020 — Start Now to Plan, Engage and Position Offerings, claims that there are currently just over a billion connected devices worldwide but that by 202, the number will rise to 9.7 billion. The key driver for the uptake of these devices will be the new generation of  smart cities which rely on sensors embedded in infrastructure to allow authorities to monitor activities such as traffic levels, availability of car parking, the use of energy in street lighting and so on. The idea is that the sensors deliver real time data to allow planners and administrators to make better decisions about resources and infrastructure.

Six key workplace and property announcements from this week’s budget

BudgetIn yesterday’s budget announcement, the Chancellor maintained the Government’s focus on regional devolution and investment in both physical and digital infrastructure. In truth, there was little surprising in the announcements, many of which had been signalled in advance and were rooted in existing policies. Some of them arrived fully formed, such as the devolution of powers related to business rates. Others, including the much talked about and overdue investment in regional infrastructure such as the cross country fast rail link, were fleshed out. Given that this is a budget with both eyes on the forthcoming general election, it’s a shame that some announcements lacked detail. Here are six of the key announcements that will affect the workplace, technology and property sectors.

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Office workers report difficulties with remote communications technology

Office workers report difficulties with remote communications technologyJust as the adoption of digital communications technology is making the one-person per desk workstation model look outmoded, the design and layout of the typical conference room is no longer suitable for remote communications. That is one of the findings of a new survey by Steelcase which found that despite, or rather because of advances in technology, office workers are having difficulties when trying to communicate with work colleagues based elsewhere. The problem, which Steelcase has coined presence disparity can lead to an overall collaboration experience which is best described as unpleasant and taxing, with participants feeling strained physically, cognitively and emotionally. This isn’t helped by the fact that conference rooms, the most used spaces for videoconferencing, usually feature long rectangular tables designed for face to face meetings, not those to camera.

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Budget to focus on flexible working, broadband and regional economy

flexible workingAccording to reports in today’s Times, two of the key commitments in this week’s budget announcement will be a commitment to the development of the UK’s technological infrastructure as well as more details on plans for the UK’s regional economies. What is telling about both is they signal an overdue recognition that the vast majority of the UK’s inhabitants don’t live in London and even those that do find it increasingly unaffordable and unattractive. Accordingly, the first communities to be targeted for superfast and ultrafast broadband will be those in the remotest parts of the country, which until now have been those most at risk of being in the slow lane of technological developments. The Times reports that until now about 1.5 million homes were due to miss out on a pledge to give 95 per cent of people access to fast internet by 2017.

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