June 18, 2013
The BIM4FM group, representing institutes, trade associations and professional bodies within the built environment has created an online discussion group to stimulate the conversation around the engagement of facilities managers, owners and occupiers in Building Information Modelling (BIM) and Government Soft Landings (GSL). Geoff Prudence, Chairman of the BIM4FM group explained: “Since our launch many individuals have asked to join the BIFM4FM group. However, the group has been set up as a steering committee of institutes, trade bodies and professional associations, supported by the Cabinet Office Government Property Unit. That said, rather than excluding the enthusiasm of individuals, we thought we should encourage and harness their input from across our communities, as it’s often those who are operating at grassroots level who raise the most valuable insights.” more…
June 18, 2013
Work. We all, with some noticeable exceptions, are obliged to do some. If we are lucky we receive remuneration for our labour. This for me is at the heart of work. We are professionals. specialists, generalists, doers, thinkers, strategists or the people on the front line – but we all go to work. So, shouldn’t the people in charge – and just as importantly, the consultants they talk to about us workers – find out what makes us tick? Obviously, that is exactly the argument that many workplace consultants are making via Office Insight, via Twitter and in the property and FM media. Engaging with employees, via workshops forums or surveys such as Leesman or the more intelligently crafted employee surveys – I agree with all of it, but I think we might be missing something. We need to get back to what work is about.
June 17, 2013
Landing “sunny side up” in Chicago is always a pleasure. While we’re here for work, the city has so many additional benefits for the seasoned international business traveller including a deep-rooted jazz culture, a beach, restaurant service to die for and – the reason we were there in the first place – the Neocon expo, amongst other things an exhibition of the finest new American and international office furniture trends which takes place every year at the enormous Merchandise Mart in the centre of Chicago (above). Quite a lot “snapped my celery” this year, and while, under normal circumstances I find the Milan furniture fair is the front-runner in terms of defining trends while the rest of the world slowly catches up, This year it was refreshing to see Neocon marking those trends right on the button.
June 13, 2013
Facilities and property managers worldwide are being asked to help shape a ‘Strategic Facilities Management Guidance Note’. Once established, the note – spearheaded by a RICS-led working group – aims to help drive professionalism and enable benchmarking across the sector by creating greater consistency in the delivery of FM services. The guidance forms a key part of RICS’ wider campaign to improve understanding and recognition from businesses for the performance efficiencies that strategic FM can deliver. The call for global feedback follows RICS’ initial UK consultation last year which has resulted in the publication of the draft guidance, ‘Managing facilities to enhance organisational performance’.
June 12, 2013
The first awards to recognise outstanding leadership in sustainable building in Europe have been launched by the World Green Building Council’s European Regional Network. The “WorldGBC Leadership Awards – Europe Region” will honour best practice and excellence in cities’ green building policy, as well as in construction projects and corporate initiatives across the continent. The awards feature three categories – Excellence in City Policy for Green Building, Leadership in Building Design and Performance, and Business Leadership in Sustainability – and are open to city councils and policy makers, projects and businesses. more…
June 11, 2013
The UK’s Employment Outlook is looking firmly positive, according to ManpowerGroup, and it’s being driven by an upturn in construction and a buoyant London economy. “As we head into the summer months, the UK jobs market is not too hot, but not too cold either. It’s all about the Three ‘C’s: Construction, the Capital, and Consistency,” said ManpowerGroup UK Managing Director, Mark Cahill. The first ‘C’ is for Construction, the most improved sector this quarter, up by five points, which is positive news as construction has been a huge drag on the whole UK economy, and is one of the main reasons we’ve had a double dip recession. Now ManpowerGroup reports it is starting to see rising demand for skills across the board, particularly in skilled trades and engineers. more…
June 10, 2013
British Land says it is on track to meet many of its 2015 targets on managing buildings efficiently, developing sustainable buildings and reducing carbon emissions. In its Corporate Responsibility Report for 2013, the real estate investment trust, which owns and manages a portfolio of commercial property worth £16.4 billion reiterates its commitment to sustainable property management: “There are increasing indications to support our view that sustainability, and particularly energy efficiency, grow income and grow value in the longer term. We are convinced this will be proven over time. Green buildings are also less at risk of obsolescence, thus further protecting and growing capital value over the medium to long term.” more…
June 10, 2013
The architectural design of office environments should take into consideration how natural daylight exposure contributes to employee wellness say the authors of a new study which observes a strong relationship between workplace daylight exposure and office workers’ health. Compared to workers in offices without windows, those with windows in the workplace received 173 per cent more white light exposure during work hours and slept an average of 46 minutes more per night. Workers without windows reported poorer scores than their counterparts on quality of life measures related to physical problems and vitality, as well as poorer outcomes on measures of overall sleep quality, sleep efficiency, sleep disturbances and daytime dysfunction. more…
June 10, 2013
This week sees two events taking place on opposite sides of the pond that should hold a mirror up to the way we currently design and manage workplaces. In Chicago, it’s time for NeoCon, the annual office furniture behemoth held in the vast Merchandise Mart and attracting some 40,000 visitors, while in London it’s the distinctly low-key Think FM conference from the BIFM held at the Royal College of Physicians – for today only, as they say. While these are two very different events in terms of scale, content and format and both are nakedly commercial, only one strikes me as particularly meaningful. And even that is only about the meaning of one part of the facilities management elephant.
June 7, 2013
The City of London leasing market has had one of the highest monthly take ups on record in May, with a total of 793,400 sq ft being let – up by 117 per cent month-on-month and 135 per cent on May last year. This brings the year to date take-up to 2.2 million sq ft, a 46 per cent increase on the equivalent period in 2012 according to Jones Lang LaSalle. Five lettings over 50,000 sq ft were recorded during May, of which three were pre-lets exceeding 100,000 sq ft. These include Amazon at Sixty London, EC1 (213,000 sq ft), Bird & Bird at 12-14 New Fetter Lane which was leased last month by Great Portland Estates (pictured), EC4 (136,200 sq ft), and Amlin at The Leadenhall Building, EC3 (111,800 sq ft). more…
June 7, 2013
Earlier in the year, it was reported that the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare was investigating a number of the country’s most prominent companies including Panasonic, NEC, Sony and Sharp for the morally dubious practice of setting up euphemistic business units with the primary purpose of creating an office where they could send unwanted or poorly performing employees to demoralise them and drive them ultimately to resign. Last week the Japan Daily Press blog published more information about these so-called banishment rooms or oidashi-beya, claiming that workers are forced to spend ten hours a day performing tedious and menial tasks until they decide to leave.
June 6, 2013
The UK’s small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) lead the world in flexible working and ensuring staff work securely in the BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) era, with 34 per cent saying they have policies, procedures and/or IT systems in place to manage the use of personal communications devices for business purposes. This compares to an average of 28 per cent in Europe and the rest of the world, and only 19 per cent in the US. This is not before time, as the global survey by YouGov of senior executives and managers in more than 1,250 small and medium businesses across Europe, North America and Australia on behalf of Citrix, found that nearly half of UK employees now routinely use personal devices at work.