Search Results for: Mark Eltringham

Public sector property initiatives have proved successful but work still needed

Gorilla-in-a-hat1There was a time, not so long ago, when nobody worried too much about the shape of the rooms that led off the corridors of power. But the pressure on UK finances has politicised the design of the UK’s public buildings. The latest example of this was the recent  announcement  in Parliament of a report that, amongst other things, called for a new approach in the way facilities are designed to deliver better services in a more cost effective way. The report Restarting Britain 2: Design and Public Services was the result of an eight-month investigation led by the Design Commission along with politicians, designers and civil servants.

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Five things the Wall Street Journal inadvertently told us yesterday about office design

Some inadvertent truths

Some inadvertent truths

If I were to show you a headline from the Wall Street Journal announcing ‘Say Goodbye to the Office Cubicle’, you might date it at any time between the mid 1980s and 1990s. Maybe earlier. But it was actually in yesterday’s issue, dated 2 April 2013. Now, we could be amused by this or act all aghast at the sight of those dinosaurs yet to adopt a norm of open, collaborative and shared spaces never mind the ‘digital workplace’; or we could conclude that this tells us several important things about how those people and organisations who don’t keep a daily eye on workplace trends view the buildings they inhabit.

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Our hardwired response to patterns can be a useful trait for designers

flying_fishOur ability to recognise patterns is hardwired. We instinctively and often unconsciously look for patterns everywhere. Where none exist we often impose them, grouping things  together according to their colour, shape, texture, number, taste, smell, touch or function. We do this to make sense of the world and to understand what goes on around us. And conversely, the patterns we perceive influence the way we think and how we feel. It was the psychologist Carl Jung who first explained how the innate human ability to recognise patterns is rooted in the need for primitive humans to perceive patterns in the world around them as a way of identifying threats.

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Where flexible working employees really want to work? Starbucks.

Starbucks CafeLeaving aside the fact that most surveys are designed to further the commercial interests of the firms that commission them, most offer a deal of insight into what drives people and organisations, some of it unwitting. Most telling are often the specific details that lift the veil on the motivations and attitudes of individuals. So it was with a recent survey from Overbury that headlined on the idea that poorly designed offices hamper creativity, but also contained a question that was answered in a way which suggested that the place most staff would like to work would be something akin to their local Starbucks.

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US wellness programmes failing to impact the bottom line

The-Bottom-LineA new study from researchers in the United States has indicated for the first time that the benefits of workplace wellness programmes may not be reaching the bottom line of organisations as much as is commonly claimed. The results of the research were published this week in the peer reviewed Health Affairs journal. The researchers followed a wellness programme at a hospital in St Louis and found that, while the numbers of hospitalisations for employees and their family members fell by over 40 per cent on a specific set of conditions, the savings were more than offset by the increased costs of the scheme.

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Hong Kong and London world’s most expensive cities for start ups

Hong KongA new report from property consultants Savills based on the total cost of setting up in business in the world’s major cities has today revealed that Hong Kong is the most expensive of the ten cities in which to locate, with London in second place and New York a close third. The total real estate cost of setting up business in all three cities is now almost three times that in the best priced world capitals, Shanghai and Mumbai. The report will be published in full on the 20th March as The World Cities Review and includes measures of headline rent, tax and other charges.

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What does 2013 hold for the facilities sector in the UK?

FMJ MJE_0000Insight publisher Mark Eltringham offers some thoughts about what the coming year holds in the latest issue of Facilities Management Journal including the ongoing existential crisis of facilities management, why the commercial property sector needs to catch up with occupiers and designers as well as a plea for everybody to set ambitious goals and make realistic claims about their environmental impact.

People are great: a conversation with James Woudhuysen on the future of work

People are great: a conversation with James Woudhuysen on the future of work 0

At a conference at the WWF’s Living Planet Centre in Woking staged by the office furniture firm Kinnarps, I had an off the cuff chat with James Woudhuysen who had just delivered one of his typically entertaining, erudite and challenging talks on the future of work alongside equally renowned speakers such as Philip Tidd and Namrata Krishna from architecture firm Gensler. James is an academic, writer, commentator and (dread word) futurologist. More →

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