Search Results for: economic

Employers vastly underestimate savings of freeing up desks

Employers vastly underestimate savings of freeing up desks

Green economy

The latest salvo in the flexible working debate is a study which reveals that despite potential savings of around £34bn by freeing up desk space and working more flexibly, the majority of UK business leaders grossly underestimate what it is possible to save with two out of three (65 per cent) insisting they can’t lose any desks. According to a Vodafone UK survey one in five of those  surveyed thought that their employees remained rooted to the old principle that all employees should have their own desk space (21 per cent) and flexible working ultimately leads to employees taking advantage of the system (23 per cent).

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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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Green Construction Board publishes carbon emissions routemap


The Green Construction Board has called for urgent action to reduce carbon emissions as it published a new plan for the sector to meet national carbon reduction targets. The Low Carbon Routemap for the Built Environment, launched at this week’s Ecobuild sets out what is required from the construction industry to achieve its UK government target of an 80 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 levels by 2050. The GCB also published its ‘Top Twenty Tips’ for greening the industry with a case study engine showing examples of good practice. More →

UK workers’ real wages have fallen furthest

pay squeeze

British workers have seen the biggest fall in wage value among the world’s wealthiest countries, according to a TUC report on the global economic race published today. Between 2007 and 2011 – real wages fell by 4.5 per cent in the UK, falling at nearly twice the rate of Spain – the next worst-performing economy that year.  However, as we reported last month lower wages appear to be contributing to higher employment rates in the UK compared to countries where pay rates are higher, such as Spain and Italy.

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Staff development still tops European employers’ priorities

Image credit: <a href=''>logos / 123RF Stock Photo</a>

European employers are still maintaining ambitious staff development plans, despite the gloomier macro-economic climate. According to a study by Aon Hewitt, the proportion of companies that expect to add new jobs in 2012 has increased to 47 per cent, overtaking the number of companies foreseeing a reduction of their workforce (31 per cent). Explained Leonardo Sforza, chair of the European Club for human resources Scientific Committee: “The slow and painful road to economic recovery is not discouraging successful multinationals from continuing to invest in their human capital and from demonstrating the belief that their people remain the most powerful engine for sustainable growth and innovation.” More →

Green issues still a core business concern for managers

Green biz

Green issues have become a core business concern amongst managers responsible for the built environment, says the chair of the Green Building Council Andrew Gould in his introduction to a series of essays which highlight the benefits of a sustainable built environment as a driver for growth. Senior executives from 15 major companies, including Atkins, Balfour Beatty and E.ON, have written the pieces which outline the business case for green buildings and infrastructure. Added Gould: “At the start of 2013, with the short-medium term economic forecast only a little improved, the sustainability agenda is actually in rude health.”

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Liverpool and London regeneration projects get green light

Liverpool Waters

Liverpool Waters

Two huge regeneration projects, one in Liverpool and one in London, have been approved today. The Community Secretary Eric Pickles gave the uncontested go-ahead for the £5.5 billion Liverpool Waters scheme at the same time as London Mayor Boris Johnson green lit the £1.5 billion regeneration of the 23 acre Heygate Estate in Elephant and Castle, South London. Both will provide a much need fillip to the UK’s moribund construction sector, creating thousands of new jobs as well as thousands of new homes, offices, shops, restaurants and other buildings in rundown areas of the two cities.

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Survey finds global support for wellness initiatives

Working well

Wellness programs are no longer a “soft” issue for organisations around the globe with employers increasingly recognising the value of employees’ health and well-being to their organisations’ bottom line. According to the latest report from Buck Consultants, global employers – regardless of location, identify improving worker productivity and reducing presenteeism as one of their top wellness objectives. Wellness initiatives also continue to add value over time and while significant results can take years to realize, the survey shows how the impact of wellness programs differs by short-term and long-term payoff.

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American Institute of Architects opens design and health project

Via Verde

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) is working with the Clinton Global Initiative and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Center for Advanced Urbanism (CAU) to examine the relationships between design, urbanism, and public health. The collaboration is part of the AIA’s Decade of Design Commitment to Action, which aims to make positive changes through design in the global urban environment. Alexander d’Hooghe, director of the MIT CAU explained: “We are investigating the scale of urban design, architecture, as well as planning, in relation to health today, whether related to obesity, or to climate change.” More →

Companies must develop a social purpose to survive


Company reputations could collapse in minutes and more firms will develop an explicit ‘social purpose’ according to a new report from Global corporate responsibility consultancy Corporate Citizenship. “Future Business: the four mega trends that every company needs to prepare for” identifies four mega-trends that it says are likely to shape the nature of business over the coming decade. According to the consultancy, over the last year the proportion of S&P 500 companies that report on sustainability performance has grown from one in five to over half and the over the coming decades, it expects at least as much change again.

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Updated: nearly all London boroughs seek exemption from office conversion plan


Earlier, we reported that London’s Mayor Boris Johnson openly believes that London’s key business districts should be exempt from proposals to allow offices to be turned into homes without planning permission. Now a report emerges from CBRE that all but a handful of London’s boroughs are to seek to make themselves exempt from the rules.  According to the research, only Barking and Dagenham, Greenwich, Croydon and Kingston are unlikely to seek an exemption. Four other boroughs are discussing plans with the Greater London Authority (GLA) and the remaining 25 are set to apply to make themselves exempt.

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Employee burnout commonplace in third of UK companies


Employee burnout is endemic within a third of UK organisations. According to new research from recruitment specialist Robert Half UK three out of ten (30 per cent) UK HR directors reported high levels of employee burnout, which rises to more than a third (35 per cent) for those in London and the South East and publicly listed companies. Two thirds (67 per cent) of UK HR directors cite “workload” as the primary reason for employee burnout, although this figure rises to three quarters (75 per cent) for large and 73 per cent for public sector companies. More →