August 19, 2013
Washrooms, as facilities managers are only too aware can often be the cause of some contention within the workplace, particularly amongst female staff, who frequently complain of having to queue to use the facilities. However, that inconvenience pales into insignificance compared to the plight of many council workers and call centre staff, who, according to trade union Unison are either not able to access public conveniences or are restricted as to when they can take toilet breaks. The unions says cuts to council funding, which has led to the widespread closure of public facilities are adversely affecting those workers who spend their working day out on the road, while in a previous Unison study of call centre workers, around 28 per cent reported that access to a toilet was a problem. more…
August 19, 2013
The UK’s large organisations are missing out on some of the opportunities presented to them by mobile working methodologies according to a new survey from Deloitte and (what else?) telecoms provider EE. The Upwardly Mobile report questioned more than 1,000 employees of firms with more than 1,000 staff including Kier, Royal Mail, Oxfam and BP and found that this situation would change as Generation Y employees assumed the power needed to introduce a more flexible working culture. The report goes on to predict that by 2016, at least one FTSE 350 company will have a Gen Y CEO at the helm.
August 15, 2013
The British Institute of Facilities Management (BIFM) reports that merger talks with fellow FM and services related bodies, Asset Skills, the Facilities Management Association and the Cleaning and Support Services Association are progressing, but says a membership consultation must wait for the findings of the steering and working groups. As Simon Heath pointed out in his comment on the merger in May there is a sense of “crushing inevitability” that the first step in the process has been to form a steering group rather than letting members have some say in the early discussions.
August 13, 2013
Worldwide office space standards are now moving closer to the norm seen in the UK according to a new survey from CoreNet Global. According to the CoreNet survey of real estate managers, the average amount of space per office worker globally has dropped to 150 sq. ft (14 sq.m.) , from 225 sq. ft. (21 sq.m.). This is still well outside the standards from the British Council for Offices Specification Guide which reported a fall to 11.8 sq. m. in 2009 and which will be revised downwards even further with the publication of the new guide which has been promised soon. Even this figure might be seen as high and makes assumptions about the relevance of such space standards given the way some firms now work.
August 1, 2013
Futurology is notoriously a mug’s game. Especially when it comes to making predictions about technology. Just ask Ken Olson, the founder of DEC who in 1977 pronounced that ‘there is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home’. Or Bill Gates himself who once claimed that Microsoft ‘will never make a 32 bit operating system’. Most recently Steve Ballmer, a billionaire executive said in 2007 ‘there’s no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share.’ But mone of these retrosepctively viewed dodgy predictions should make us blind to those that we know will certainly come true, especially those based on what we know is happening in the present.
July 30, 2013
The Government has confirmed it’s to strengthen energy efficiency standards for new homes and non-domestic buildings. The toughened up measures announced today in Parliament covering Part L of the Building Regulations will mean a six per cent cut in carbon emissions for new build homes, and a nine per cent cut for non-domestic buildings. According to the government, the small increase in construction costs will be “heavily outweighed” by subsequent energy savings. There have been criticisms however, over the length of time it’s taken for the changes to be announced as a consultation on the proposed changes closed over a year ago. more…
July 29, 2013
As we’ve reported previously London is enjoying a booming office rental market, but according to the latest CBI/KPMG London Business Survey, high operating costs are making the capital less of an attractive prospect. While more of London’s businesses plan to expand during the next year, fewer are planning to do so in the capital, with high operating costs and housing shortages cited as the biggest concerns. London’s firms also plan to spend relatively more on recruitment and training; product and process innovation; and IT plant and machinery, but less on land and buildings. more…
July 26, 2013
Clients and suppliers believe that the FM profession still has some way to go before it achieves the recognition given to other professions. According to Workplace Law’s second annual research study into leadership in facilities management (FM), 91 per cent of client organisations still feel that FM is seen as a supporting, rather than strategic, role – while the same number feel that FM will only achieve a higher ranking within an organisation’s hierarchy when it finds new ways to deliver value. FM suppliers strongly agree with the need to professionalise FM and attract more talent into the profession if FM is to continue as a separate discipline. more…
July 26, 2013
As we are told repeatedly, the modern workplace is a death trap. Most of us are lucky to get home in one piece at the end of each day, regardless of the job we do. Of course, statistically the most dangerous professions are those such as agriculture, forestry and construction. Proper, hardcore industries which employ proper, hardcore people, some of them working miles from anywhere, out in the open air, doing what used to be considered the core functions of work, namely making things or destroying things or moving things from one place to another.
July 25, 2013
The UK Government’s latest attempt at developing a centralised public sector procurement department was unveiled by the Cabinet Office yesterday. The Crown Commercial Service (CCS) has been set an annual budget of up to £12 billion to secure a range of goods and services including facilities management and office supplies. It has a target of saving some £1 billion each year by working across a range of government departments to take advantage of a shared purchasing function. The announcement follows last week’s report from a committee of MPs into the failings of the current procurement setup in Whitehall. more…
July 24, 2013
In the largest letting in Central London to be agreed in the last eight years, News Corp is to move its entire operation to all 17 floors of the Place, next door to the Shard at London Bridge Quarter. The Place, like The Shard, is designed by Renzo Piano and comprises 430,000 sq ft of high quality offices, much of which utilises natural light. The move will see staff of News UK, Dow Jones and HarperCollins housed together for the first time once relocation to the new site begins in the summer of 2014.
July 23, 2013
The Facilities Management Association (FMA) has signed an exclusive partnership agreement with the organisers of Facilities Show that will see the two organisations collaborate closely for the 2014 event when it moves to London’s ExCeL. The terms of the partnership with organisers UBM Live, will see the FMA continue to play an integral role in the development of the show by once again hosting the FMA Pavilion, a central meeting and networking hub for its members including many of the major TFMs.
Sign up to our newsletter
Join thousands of other workplace professionals to receive regular updates and access premium content