June 2, 2015
Over the decades designing productive spaces for work has focused on redefining the corporate office and its surroundings. While there are examples of quality design in buildings around the world, there is a growing movement that challenges the presumption that work should always be done “at work”. If we aim to allow people to be at their best, develop and nurture creativity and maximise quality output then we must ensure the place where the work is done is outstanding. Sarah Kathleen Peck of ‘It starts with’ summed it up when she wrote “There are people, places and things that make me feel like I’m building my energy stores, that rejuvenate me, and help me to do my best work. Likewise, there are also people and places that zap my energy; that leave me exhausted; that make me feel as though I’ve waste my time and my energy – and my day – without getting anything useful done.”
June 1, 2015
The UK has seen an all-time high of new startups in 2014, with London contributing the majority of new businesses to the mix. According to a new analysis by Instant Offices, London’s startup scene is set to reach record highs in 2015 as it spearheads the UK’s growing entrepreneurial community. The tech industry in particular has skyrocketed, rising 40 percent year-on-year and resulting in a seven year high. Research from the national enterprise campaign Startup Britain shows 581,173 businesses registered with Companies House last year, beating the previous record of 526,446 businesses recorded in 2013, and 484,224 in 2012, indicating a rapid upward trend of the UK’s startup market. Last year alone, London produced 184,671 startups, centering around finance, media, fashion and technology. Investment into England’s capital has also seen rapid growth, with London now the leading venture capital city in Europe.
May 27, 2015
The rapid urbanization of our world and the weaving of existing and new buildings into the urban fabric of Smart City initiatives are some of the great challenges facing our global industry today. Along with the vast amount of definitions and marketing campaigns surrounding the phrase “Smart Cities” comes the challenge of understanding why the movement is important to the Architecture, Engineering, Construction and Facility Management (AEC/FM) industry and how industry stakeholders can profit from, or at the very least, not get run over by the tsunami called Smart Cities. The emergence of Smart Cities as the conduit for ideas, thoughts, policies and strategies for the world’s urban environments is an important milestone for our industry, and it comes at a time of rapid innovation, convergence and redefinitions.
May 24, 2015
British businesses run the risk of missing out on the opportunities offered by the latest generation of mobile technology according to a new report from Vodafone. The YouGov study of more than 1,200 decision makers in both the public and private sector found that the majority of UK organisations are yet to introduce 4G. Nearly two thirds (64 percent) of respondents said their business or organisation does not have 4G right now and a perhaps more surprising 41 percent of those have no plans to adopt it. The survey found that cost was not generally seen as a barrier to implementation compared to more prevalent issues including a widespread misunderstanding of what 4G might offer the enterprise. Even a third of those organisations who have introduced 4G confess they don’t believe it offers any additional benefits.
May 24, 2015
Ever worry that the five minutes it takes to eat fast food is not only depriving you of nutrients but also the chance to stay online – unless you really don’t mind greasy fingerprints all over your smartphone? Maybe not, but it’s clearly a problem for some people which is why a German advertising and design agency has developed a Bluetooth enabled keyboard tray for KFC which allows customers to eat fatty food without the intrusion of inconveniences such as napkins, awareness of the physical world, their own thoughts and interactions with other people. The agency Gute Werbung and a tech firm called Serviceplan have helped the fast food chain to introduce the Tray Typer as part of a promotion. The device consists of a tray liner with a 0.4 mm thick keyboard, rechargeable battery and a Bluetooth chip.
May 24, 2015
Passenger demand for in-flight Wi-Fi is growing worldwide as people become increasingly frustrated with spaces that deprive them of the full functionality of their screens and remind them of their presence in the physical world. That is the key finding of a new report from in-flight Wi-Fi provider GoGo. The latest update to its annual In-Flight Connectivity survey of passengers in seven countries also found that demand for in-flight Wi-Fi connectivity is found to be higher in Africa, Europe and the Middle East than the US, even though more than 80 percent of US carriers already offer Wi-Fi compared to an average of around 20 percent in the other countries surveyed. Conversely, the study claims that over three quarters of passengers in Europe and the Middle East would like to be able to use on board Wi-Fi.
May 23, 2015
In this week’s issue; Charles Marks on how the changing way we work presents challenges for the development of commercial property; Kati Barklund says management is needed to encourage people to use sit stand workstations properly and Peter Ames argues it is the flexibility of shared offices which allows SMEs to mould a space to their brand and make it feel like home. We learn that the European workforce is optimistic about the impact of new and emerging workplace technology, why women of over 55 make the best business strategists and Mark Eltringham agrees that the workplace is changing but the death of the office is a myth. The complete Work&Place archive is now available for you online and sign up to the newsletter via the subscription form in the right hand sidebar, follow us on Twitter and join our LinkedIn Group to discuss this and other stories.
May 19, 2015
Following last week’s report that people would rather lose an unspecified finger than their broadband connection, a new report from comparison site Cable.co.uk claims that people generallly believe that losing their broadband connection for any period of time is more annoying than their car breaking down. Based on a survey of 2,500 UK residents, users also voted broadband disruption more annoying than receiving bad customer service, their boiler failing, waiting in for a delivery that doesn’t turn up and transport delays. Broadband drop-outs were given an average score of 9 out of 10, with 10 being extremely annoying. Half of users rated it 10 out of 10. The report’s authors conclude that this is likely to be because of feelings of a lack of control and an inability to communicate, something we now take for granted.
May 19, 2015
Construction firms are increasingly pessimistic about the UK Government’s ability to meet its deadline for the adoption of Level 2 Building Information Modelling (BIM) in centrally procured projects. According to the latest BIM survey by law firm Pinsent Masons, nearly three quarters (71.3 percent) of respondents believe the 2016 deadline is now ‘unachievable’ compared to around 64 percent last year. The survey found there remains a positive attitude towards the use of new technology in construction in spite of the fact that only half of respondents had even heard of the core Digital Built Britain strategy. Nearly all (94 percent) were aware of the BIM2 target and when asked about the implications of new technology for construction, 58 percent believed it would have a high impact, 29 percent thought it would be medium, while just 3 percent said low.
May 18, 2015
The European workforce is optimistic about the impact of new and emerging workplace technology although many employers face challenges in pursuing digital business models, according to new research by Accenture. The report claims that more than four times as many workers think technology will improve their working lives than those who think it will have a negative impact. The study of over 2500 workers and 500 business leaders in the EU found that 57 percent of workers think technologies such as robots, apps, data analytics and artificial intelligence will improve their working experience versus eight percent who think it will worsen it. Fifty percent of EU workers believe that digital technology will improve their job prospects compared to 12 percent who think it will limit them.
May 17, 2015
The complete Work&Place archive is now available for you online, with each issue in two formats. PDF and digital editions offer you a choice of how to access the thoughts of some of the world’s greatest practitioners and writers on workplaces, commercial property, urbanisation, technology and all of the key forces driving developments in the built environment. Each of the issues so far also offers you an international perspective which means not only do they offer an insight into the forces that shape workplace thinking worldwide, they also create a unique perspective on how national approaches are shaped by local forces related to legislation, the economy, environment, culture and business practice. Work&Place is now published quarterly with the next issue set for July 2015. It will continue to create an era defining body of work about the rapidly changing world of work and workplaces.
May 16, 2015
In this week’s issue; the intersection of the different physical and technological spaces which make up the modern workplace is the theme of the latest issue of Work&Place, which is now available to view online. Paul Statham examines the transformation agile working is making to the global workplace; Paul Goodchild on the enduring appeal of wooden furniture and John Blackwell explains why IT and Property Directors need to come out of their silos. In news, the CIPD reveals that employers are using more of their resources to skill up their workforces, Acas issues advice on managing mental health problems, and how most Brits would rather lose a finger than their access to the Internet. Sign up to the newsletter via the subscription form in the right hand sidebar and follow us on Twitter and join our LinkedIn Group to discuss these and other stories.