Search Results for: people management

British Land on track to meet targets on green building efficiency

British Land on track to meet sustainability targets

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 →

The future of retail – High Street Bladerunners and Apple in Wonderland

AT&T Flagship Chicago

AT&T’s flagship Chicago store

I was going to write this week on the manifesto from MANTOWNHUMAN – subtitled “TOWARDS A NEW HUMANISM IN ARCHITECTURE” but frankly the dystopian visions it conjured up drove such a bulldozer through any human sensibility as to prove thoroughly depressing. You can find it here if you’re that way inclined. I’d be interested in your views. Instead I’m following up on a faintly hagiographic article in Adweek which recently hailed a new frontier in physical retail spaces, building on the success of Apple’s uber-cool high street playgrounds for bored teenagers and husbands. The store in question and an example of what many are hailing as the future of retail is AT&T’s new flagship on the self-styled Magnificent Mile in Chicago.

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BIFM workplace debate focuses on links between FM and design

Clerkenwell_Design_WeekClerkenwell Design Week was the appropriate setting for the inaugural event staged by the newly formed Workplace Special Interest Group (SIG) of the British Institute of Facilities Management. The event was staged at the showroom of office furniture giant Haworth on the 22 May, during Europe’s largest exhibition of workplace products and services. It saw a panel of industry experts debate in lively fashion the deliberately provocative proposition : Form or Function? Do you need office designers to create a great workplace environment? 

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UK public sector leading the way in procurement and sustainable building

Nottingham City Council's Loxley Building

Nottingham City Council’s Loxley Building

Over the last few years, the UK Government has grown increasingly interested in finding ways of making its £30 billion property portfolio more efficient. Both the last Labour government and the current Coalition administration have been driven by the opportunities offered them with the advent of new technology, new ways of working and new procurement models. They’ve pursued these issues to cut costs by reducing and changing the way property is designed and managed but have also found how that can also help to establish best practice in sustainable building. What is increasingly apparent, especially given recent news from the Major Projects Authority about cost savings in procurement is that the public sector is now leading the way as models of good practice.

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Why facilities managers deserve a seat at the design table


For a long time there has been a distant relationship between facilities management (FM) and design, with FM treated as a post occupancy issue rather than a valuable consideration during the design process. The truth is that effective collaboration between facilities managers and designers can yield innovation and even better product design, be that in relation to a new head office building, or the systems and furniture that are housed within it. The compartmentalised view that design occurs and then facilities managers come along to operate and maintain is inaccurate and outdated.

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New report offers latest evidence of link between office design and productivity

ProductivitySo, does workplace design have any impact on productivity and business performance? Well duh. So why are we still trying to convince managers when there is so much evidence and experience to prove it. The latest study to demonstrate the link builds on decades of research and adds further compelling evidence in a debate that should have been over a long time ago. In this report, workplace strategist Nigel Oseland and the  Atomic Weapons Establishment’s estate masterplanner Adrian Burton describe their research quantifying the effect on worker performance of improvements to the office environment. The question these reports always beg is why the argument still has to be made.

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Flexible working going into reverse in parts of UK public sector

Broken elastic bandA briefing from the Society of IT Management claims that while nearly all UK public sector organisations have adopted some form of flexible working, the practice remains far from universal and is going into reverse in some departments. The report found that  around  97 percent  of UK public sector organisations have now  adopted the practice in the form of home working, desk sharing and mobile working in four of the public sector functions surveyed. While while there have been large increases in adoption the adoption of flexible working in the revenues and benefits functions and some in education, four other services show a significant decline with others appearing to be static.

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CBRE WorkShop concept is interesting, but is it workable?


I’d like to deal in this article with the arrival yesterday of the long-awaited white paper from CBRE’s thought leadership exercise, The CBRE Workshop. However, I should declare an interest for the sake of transparency. Until June 2012 I was employed by CBRE and reported directly to a couple of the people who are heavily involved in The Workshop idea. I would reassure readers that I am not a disgruntled former employee. I have a huge amount of respect and warm regard towards my erstwhile colleagues and nobody will be happier than me to see them do well.

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Will the Great Trade Association Merger have any impact on office design?

Ceci n'est pas un bureauAnybody who has been working in and around the facilities management sector for any length of time will know that the FM profession/discipline (delete as appropriate) regularly undergoes protracted periods of existential angst about its role. It strikes me however that this is actually quite an easy question to deal with because the answer is the same as it is for similarly amorphous professions such as marketing. It all seems to depend on who you are and what you are trying to do. That’s the twist. The average facilities manager, like the Urban Spaceman, doesn’t exist. I might think that but it won’t stop the associations and institutes currently working together to establish a new super-body for FM in the UK having to continue the debate.

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Majority of workers prefer sick colleagues to stay home

Majority of workers would prefer sick colleagues to stay home

As we reported last week, the UK workforce is suffering from a bad case of presenteeism, but unfortunately for those valiant employees who drag themselves into the office despite being genuinely sick, it seems the majority of their workmates would prefer they didn’t bother. According to the latest research on the issue, this time from Capita Employee Benefits, over three in four (78 per cent) recognise that colleagues who are genuinely sick should stay at home until they get better for the benefit of both themselves and those around them.

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How ingrained assumptions about the workplace are eroding

Ad agency RKCR © Jefferson Smith

Ad agency RKCR © Jefferson Smith

The first day at a new job used to mean getting the answer to that all important question: “so which is my office?”  In today’s mostly open plan environments, the same psychological attachment has been transferred to the desk – ‘my’ desk. However the current trend for flexible approaches to where people work means that even the concept of having one’s own desk is now under attack. So how much does having your own desk matter to the UK office workforce these days? We have been asking employees how they feel about having their own desk. The results seem to be that more than half, on average 56% (of a total of 2,653 employees surveyed at 5 recent client projects), think that it is ‘very important’ and a further 25% think it is ‘quite important’.

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Green Office Week kicks off with a focus on individual behaviour

elephant-in-the-roomThis week is Green Office Week. Obviously it’s corporate sponsored, self-designated and arbitrarily timed with all the ways that leaves it open to criticism. It also offers pretty standard advice for the most part and many people and organisations will be well aware of it.  What is interesting is that so much of the advice is about individual behaviour, across the daily themed topics. In some ways this is a welcome reminder that the solution to environmental issues is as much about personal behaviour and management as it is  technology. The answer to needlessly burning lights should be somebody remembering to turn them off, rather than a movement sensor. Or it should be both. In practice, people don’t meet their own stated commitments to the environment and there are some pretty good reasons for this.

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