Search Results for: economic

Cost cutting measures are on the agenda, but may prove risky

SawingTreeLimbHeisSittingOnThe latest Office for National Statistics figures released today which show that the UK economy has shrunk might suggest that firms need to cut costs as they try to weather the economic storm. This idea is given credence by a major study into the procurement strategies of organisations which found three quarters doing exactly that. However another study suggests that we may be approaching the point at which further cost-cutting measures will destabilise supply chains, making price reductions counter productive and exposing buyers to a greater degree of risk.   More →

Mixed response to Government office conversion plans

As predicted earlier this week, the government has confirmed new measures that will allow office space to be converted into homes without the need for planning permission. Further reforms are also intended to help boost rural communities and create jobs by allowing agricultural buildings to be converted for other business use, such as shops, offices, restaurants or leisure facilities without the need for planning permission. But the scheme has met with a decidedly mixed response from organisations as diverse as the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and local authority chiefs.  More →

Happiness levels in UK workplaces growing, says Government.

smiley faceThe general level of satisfaction in the UK’s workplaces has increased significantly in spite of ongoing economic uncertainty according to a report from the Government published yesterday. The study of more than 21,000 employees, found that job satisfaction levels actually increased in 2012 with a fifth (20 per cent) of employees either ‘satisfied’ or ‘very satisfied’ with all aspects of their job, compared to just 16 per cent in 2004 when the survey last appeared. The report also showed that levels of commitment to individual employers had also increased over the same period, with the proportion of employees who said they shared the values of their organisation up from 55 per cent to 65 per cent. More →

Designing for productivity means creating space for us to be alone

WilkhahnOn the face of it, the case for working in open plan offices is clear cut. Not only are they  more conducive to collaborative work and less bound by ideas of that great no-no that we used to call ‘status’, the economic case is seemingly open and shut. Open plan workstations not only take up around half the space of cellular offices, the fit-out costs are typically 25 per cent lower. And yet there are clear signs of a backlash, at least to the idea of them fostering collaborative work.

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Global trust demands business acts as force for good

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Government trails business, media, and non-governmental organisations as the least trusted institution worldwide. The 2012 Edelman Trust Barometer reveals trust in government fell a record nine points to 43% globally, and in 17 of the 25 countries surveyed, government is now trusted by less than half. “Business is now better placed than government to lead the way out of the trust crisis,” said Richard Edelman, President and CEO, Edelman. “But the balance must change so that business is seen both as a force for good and an engine for profit.”

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Europe’s commercial property investors opt for safe cities

German cities dominate the investment prospects for Europe’s commercial real estate sector as investors favour safe havens according to a new report – Emerging Trends in Real Estate Europe 2013. Munich tops the league table followed closely by Berlin in second place and Hamburg in fifth position, with investors taking comfort from each of the cities’ strong local micro-economic climate and resilient property market conditions. London, which is seen by many as Europe’s safest investment, is the largest riser in this year’s report taking third position.  More →

Green retro fitting a ‘best bet’ for 2013

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Refurbishing existing buildings to new standards and turning them into good green assets has been identified as one of the best bets for the property sector in the year ahead, according to new research from the Urban Land Institute and PwC. The survey of industry leaders across Europe found the move to ‘reactivate assets’ – refurbish good properties with green credentials – is taking hold. Sustainable properties are increasingly commanding higher rents and values, as governments move to force companies to increase building’s energy efficiency and reduce their environmental footprint.

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UK’s Centre for Cities launches Outlook 2013 report

cit_0000The Centre for Cities has today published the latest issue of its flagship Cities Outlook report in conjunction with the Local Government Association. The report has been published annually since 2008, identifying trends and key economic indicators from the UK’s largest cities. This year’s report is extensive in its coverage of a range of issues but focusses on construction, especially of housing, as an engine of growth.  Several towns including Milton Keynes, Brighton and Northampton are singled out for their high levels of private sector investment and employment.

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Business spending to grow for two years, forecast Ernst & Young

Business spending will grow tentatively over the next two years, according to a new report from the ITEM Club, an economic research group established by Ernst & Young. It predicts that overall spending by businesses will grow by just over three per cent this year and a further 8.1 per cent in 2014. This is good news following a number of recent economic forecasts but means that spending will remains some way short of its pre-downturn peak. The ITEM Club also called on the UK Government to do more to stimulate growth. More →

Cabinet for Core Cities looks to reshape the English economy

A newly formed Cabinet of Core Cities met for the first time in Liverpool on Friday, seeking to reshape England and call on the Government to work with it to maximise the economic potential of the regions by creating a more balanced economic structure for the country and develop policies that would create jobs and investment. The cities represent the urban centres of Manchester, Nottingham, Newcastle, Birmingham, Leeds, Liverpool, Bristol and Sheffield.

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Consensus in property industry for green agenda

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The UK Green Building Council, backed by a wide range of trade and professional organisations across the construction and property sector, has sent an open letter to the Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne demanding a suite of policy changes to make the most of the green growth opportunity. The level of collaboration and consensus from within the industry is unprecedented, and includes, among others, support from the British Property Federation, Construction Products Association, British Council for Offices and Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors.

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Workplace transformation strategies are an essential element of CSR

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Adopting 21st-century workplace practices that meet the needs of employers and employees is an important form of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), according to a new corporate real estate (CRE) industry advocacy statement by CoreNet Global. The report finds the nature of work is “changing dramatically, transcending the traditional definitions of productivity to include the concepts of enabling work, employee engagement, employee satisfaction and employee wellness, framed around an emerging ‘work-life support’ business model.” More →