Search Results for: bco

Sprinkling a little stardust on the workplace design debate

Sprinkling a little stardust on the workplace design debate

The idea that extraterrestrial organisms have throughout time seeded the surface of the Earth is not the sole preserve of loonies, mystics, conspiracy theorists, the permanently stoned and various wishful thinkers. This idea of panspermia has some pretty high profile and serious adherents. Perhaps one of the most surprising was the renowned but controversial astrophysicist Sir Fred Hoyle; pillar of the scientific community for much of his life, atheist, Darwinist and the man who coined the term Big Bang, albeit as a way of disparaging it. Yet also a man who believed that the global 1918 flu pandemic, polio and HIV were each the result of micro-organisms that fell from the skies rather than developing here on Earth. The broader scientific community dismisses such thinking because it derives in part from either an incredulity at the processes involved – as was the case with Hoyle – or an ignorance of them.

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British Council for Offices launches competition to imagine the office of 2035

British Council for Offices launches competition to imagine the office of 2035 0

Participants in a new competition to define the ‘office of the future’ will be asked to consider ‘what it will look like, and how it will support the way we will work’ by the British Council for Offices (BCO). The free-to-enter competition is seeking ‘forward-thinking and innovative responses, challenging the conventionalities of today’s workplaces and anticipating future needs’. The BCO hopes that the NextGen programme will allow it to ‘mentor the next generation of professionals – designers, agents, developers, consultants and others – and provides a platform for emerging talent to share their ideas’. The announcement cites social, economic, cultural and technological factors as the main agents of change, leading to changes in the expectations of employers and workers. It suggests that ‘ubiquitous and instantaneous technology; a growing interest in health and wellbeing; a greater desire for organisational flexibility; and an increased awareness of individual’s needs are now all competing factors within the workplace’.

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The new normal arrives for the commercial property sector

The new normal arrives for the commercial property sector 0

wework-coworking-new-yorkTraditionally, the two principle vectors for change in the commercial property market have been lease lengths and space standards. Both have shrunk markedly over recent years, subject to the miniaturising effects of technological and cultural change. Even so, the effects of this contraction have taken place within an existing paradigm so have been easily understood, if not always acted upon.So it has been that major property organisations such as the British Council for Offices and CoreNet have been able to produce guides and reports based on well understood principles and without challenging the business models and assumptions of developers, landlords, workplace designers and occupiers. For most the challenges remained the same, not least how to resolve the sometimes conflicting timescales of people, place, property and technology that is the defining tension at the heart of office design and management.

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Best workplaces in London honoured by British Council for Offices

Best workplaces in London honoured by British Council for Offices 0

The British Council for Offices has announced the six winners of regional property awards for London and the South East of England. The winning entries, announced at a lunch at the Park Lane Hilton were Sky Central (main image), 8 Finsbury Circus, The Estée Lauder Companies, 20 Eastbourne Terrace, 67-71 Beak Street and Sea Containers House by BDG architecture + design. The prestigious BCO awards programme claims to recognise ‘the highest quality developments and sets the standard for excellence in the regional and national office sector.’ The winner of the Best Commercial Workplace was 8 Finsbury Circus while Sky Central took home the prize in the Best Corporate Workplace Category.

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Neuroscience can function as a management tool for personal development

Neuroscience can function as a management tool for personal development 0

More and more employers, especially big corporates, are looking at ways to improve employee satisfaction, creativity and productivity. The business of managing change in the workplace has received much attention. It’s a clever game, and one that’s fuelling a booming growth in neuroscientific consulting. Coaching staff to embrace change and think about personal growth, alongside individualised learning programmes are hot topics in the business world. Brain science is a growth industry and it’s providing interesting answers to many important questions about why affecting change in the workplace has historically suffered low success rates, and how that can change.

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Britain’s best offices + American workplace + Flexible working hierarchy

Britain’s best offices + American workplace + Flexible working hierarchy 0

alphabeta_1In this week’s Newsletter; Anna King reflects on the fact that offices seem to be morphing into homes, and homes are, conversely, functioning as places of work; Tar Tumber warns that being pregnant and suffering discrimination or redundancy is not at all unusual; and Mark Eltringham argues we have to find a way of dealing with a new age of artificial intelligence. In research, a new US survey reveals the nature of jobs is undergoing a fundamental shift; occupants of high-performing, certified green buildings have high cognitive functions; and workers spend half their time checking emails. High earners are 47 percent more likely to work flexibly and the government releases its latest framework which covers a range of property-related services. View our gallery of this year’s BCO award winners: download our new Briefing, produced in partnership with Boss Design on the link between culture and workplace strategy and design; visit our new events page, follow us on Twitter and join our LinkedIn Group to discuss these and other stories.

Are we seeing the workification of home or the homification of work?

Are we seeing the workification of home or the homification of work? 0

flexible workingThinking and theories about working environments continue to be much debated, of course. As part of this ongoing discussion, Bisley recently hosted an event at its London showroom to continue the aspects of the debate that focus on how offices seem to be morphing in to homes, and how our homes are, conversely, functioning as places of work. The panel discussion was led by Professor Jeremy Myerson of The Royal College of Art and WORKTECH Academy. He was joined by Kirstin Furber – People Director at BBC Worldwide, Sebastian Conran – a leading product and furniture designer, David Barrett – Head Buyer of Living, Dining and Home Office at John Lewis and Amelia Coward – Founder and Creative Director at

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Sensory response to workplace environment influences performance

Sensory response to workplace environment influences performance 0

Sensory experiences in the officeImproving employees’ physical and emotional response to their working environment – from the look and feel of a workplace to non-visual sensory inputs such as smell, noise and temperature – can significantly improve productivity and cognitive performance, a new report suggests. According to Decoding the workplace experience: how the working environment shapes views, behaviours and performanceexperience is not just about how well the workplace satisfies functional needs, it is about the overall impression it leaves on the user and the way an employee experiences an environment is emotional and occurs potentially at a subconscious level. Sensory influences such as the smell, noise and temperature of the working environment are among the main factors that influence employees’ experiences of the workplace and impact thier performance. Expectations of the workplace also change depending on personality, background and numerous other factors; which is why understanding your workforce is the key to creating an effective workplace experience.

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Corporate real estate sector needs to step up to meet new challenges

Corporate real estate sector needs to step up to meet new challenges 0

US corporate real estateThe corporate real estate profession will be influenced, disrupted and transformed in the years ahead by a powerful combination of forces that are re-shaping business strategy and operations, consumer preferences, and how and where people want to live and work, according to a new report from CoreNet Global. The Bigger Picture: The Future of Corporate Real Estate draws on the expertise of more than 30 thought leaders to provide insights from multiple perspectives beyond CRE: technology and the internet of things; risk mitigation; cyber security; environment, energy and sustainability; corporate social responsibility; the global economy; people, talent, wellbeing; and the future of cities. The report argues that CRE must deliver greater value in this dynamic business environment and a world that is changing rapidly, is more interconnected than ever before, is constantly disrupted by technological innovation, and is replete with both risks and opportunities.

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What Anaïs Nin can teach us about the way we design and use workplaces

Anais_NinAlthough the author and feminist icon Anaïs Nin was born and raised in France by Cuban parents, she is most commonly seen as an American literary figure. Like many of the mid 20th Century’s most pioneering writers and thinkers on social and gender issues, her fame appears to have slowly eroded, perhaps because much of what she wrote about at the time was for the time. She documented much of her life in diaries and letters and so we know a great deal about her as a person, including how much she loved New York while remaining open minded about its deficiencies. In a 1934 letter to her then lover Henry Miller, she laid out her thoughts on the city, and especially its physicality. One of the most eternally resonant aspects of her description is the idea that it is what a person brings to a place that makes it come alive. Culture eats design for breakfast. The stage setting is meaningless without the play and the players.

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New proposals to create legal status for robots as ‘electronic persons’

New proposals to create legal status for robots as ‘electronic persons’ 0

One of the main side issues in the generally unpleasant debate about the UK’s referendum on EU membership has been that about worker’s rights. Whatever the outcome of today’s vote, the EU is already exploring ways in which legislation should address the challenges created by the modern world. These now include, for the first time, a look at the implications of automation including the drawing up of a new set of rules about the rights and responsibilities of robots and other automated workers. A draft report from the European Parliament’s Committee on Legal Affairs sets out to address the main issues associated with the creation of a widespread automated workforce and its impact on both people and machines, including looking at the impact on the social security and pensions budget (because robots don’t pay into the system), the legal rights of robots and new liability rules for the automated workforce of sophisticated ‘smart’ robots.

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Homeworking loses appeal as workers prefer flexible office environment

Homeworking loses appeal as workers prefer flexible office environment 0

Flexible working loungeMost workers now look for flexibility in where and how they work finds a new survey from the British Council for Offices. But this doesn’t mean homeworking; as less than a third (28 percent) of workers now say they would prefer to work from home, a figure that has dropped from 45 percent in 2013, when the research from the BCO and Savills was last conducted. Over three-quarters of respondents (77 percent) said that they currently work in a traditional office, with the majority (60 percent) choosing to work from a dedicated workstation compared to only four percent that are asked to share desks with colleagues. This desire for a dedicated desk has increased over the past three years, rising from a figure of 41 percent in 2013; but despite demand for a dedicated desk, most workplaces (70 percent) now also include a communal environment to work from, providing a space for more dynamic working.

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