Search Results for: flexible working

We may not know what the future holds, but we can certainly be prepared for it

unknown-futureGiven the track record of people when it comes to making predictions about the future, it’s easy to grow cynical, especially when it involves a profession as subject to the vagaries of technological and cultural change as facilities management. But while we should be wary of more fanciful and long term thinking, any natural scepticism shouldn’t blind us to those predictions that we know will largely come true, especially those based on what we know is happening already. For example, recent research carried out by Cass Business School and Henley Business School and presented in the book Future Work: How Businesses Can Adapt and Thrive in the New World of Work found that two-thirds of managers believe there would be a revolution in working practices over the coming ten years. Given what we’ve seen over the past ten years, it’s impossible to argue any different. In fact the only quibble we should have with this is that it won’t take another ten years for this to happen because the process is already well underway.

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BCO study finds office remains the best place to do business

BCO study finds office remains the best place to do businessThe challenge for the typical office is that it is meant to satisfy a broad range of individuals and a variety of working practices; which means what some may describe as a distracting open-plan layout, others would view as a busy collaborative workspace. These conflicts are highlighted in a new study by the British Council for Offices (BCO), Morgan Lovell and Hatch, which surveyed 2,000 UK office workers’ working conditions, attitudes and expectations. For example while over two thirds were critical of the distractions of the open-plan office, nine out of ten employees believe that support from colleagues enhances their wellbeing. Putting aside the open-plan debate, the study espouses the continued importance of the office as the best place to do business and comes up with three key starting points to help employers create a culture of wellbeing: care; control and collaboration. More →

It’s not just workers in the UK who toil in the unblinking gaze of BYOD

Unrelenting gaze of BYODAs we reported earlier, the UK’s managers now routinely put in up to between one and two extra days of work a week thanks to the technological presenteeism associated with BYOD and other practices. But of course the phenomenon is not restricted to these shores. A survey from US business software firm BMC found that the average employee applying BYOD practices now works an extra two hours each day, a third check their emails between 6 and 7 each morning, each person deals with an extra 20 emails daily, and obviously does so using his or her own devices. You can either see this as an increase in productivity, or you can see it as more evidence of our willingness to subject ourselves to the round the clock work and the unblinking eye of the smartphone. What is also apparent from the BMC report is that while companies are overwhelmingly keen on the BYOD idea – some 95 percent allow it in some form – 84 percent offer employees little or no support and 64 percent do not train staff in security issues.  Infographic below: More →

Employers may need to take a disciplined approach to the World Cup

Employers taking a discipline approach to the World CupWith the World Cup now underway, many football fans will be gripped with football fever over the next month, but employers could face HR headaches as a result. Given the time difference in Brazil, games at this year’s World Cup will take place during the late afternoon and evenings in the UK. England’s opening game against Italy at 11pm this Saturday night is unlikely to cause most employers much disruption, but the next England game against Costa Rica which kicks off at 5pm on Tuesday 24 June could result in employees wanting to leave before the end of their working day. Late kick off times also have the potential to result in employees being absent the following day as they recover from the excesses of the night before. On most match days the final whistle of the last game of the day will not be blown until around 1am UK time. More →

Integration of workplace services continues to gain momentum, claims report

Integration of workplace services is gaining momentumHR, FM and IT within large corporate organisations are gradually being brought together to provide ‘Workplace services’ that recognise new working practices and the importance of people. This trend – which has already seen an agreement between the BIFM and CIPD to collaborate in the future, will accelerate in the increasingly agile, digitally driven business environment.  This presents an opportunity for FM to provide new service solutions that focus more on supporting people, and less on the buildings from which they work. This is according to a new report, Delivering the Vision of an Integrated Workplace, was commissioned by Mitie, which will be unveiled at the Facilities Show next week. The report highlights the opportunities for FM providers to offer an expanded range of consultancy-style services, such as space management and the analysis of FM and property data to drive property strategy.

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New BBC Wales headquarters will be less expensive to run

Ageing facilities prompts BBC to move Wales headquartersThe BBC is to move its main headquarters in Wales to a new, purpose-built broadcast centre in Cardiff city centre by 2018. BBC Cymru Wales, currently based in Llandaff in north west Cardiff, says it plans to relocate to a new 150,000sq ft. development in Capital Square – on the site of the current bus station at the northern entrance of Cardiff Central rail station. The decision follows a detailed three-year study prompted by the ageing facilities at the current base in Llandaff and the pressing need to modernise the outdated and unreliable technology. Options to upgrade the current site were ruled out as they were costlier, more disruptive and would have taken longer to deliver. The new centre, which is being designed by Fosters & Partners, will be roughly half the size of the current premises and less expensive to run. More →

Workplace design and management of TMT sector aped by other firms

Male midlifeThe publication of a report last week by the British Council for Offices highlights the wider impact of workplace design trends and commercial property arrangements  in the increasingly important Technology, Media and Telecoms (TMT) sector. Not least it suggests that they are having a transformational influence on the way firms in other sectors approach leases, workplace design and the changing nature of work. It is no coincidence that the TMT sector is the one most commonly associated with the employment of the much-talked-about Gen Y demographic, nor that the business practices most commonly associated with this overly-stereotyped group are those that are having the greatest influence in the way we design and manage offices.

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Four million people in UK now work from home, claims TUC

work from home

Figures released today by the TUC to mark National Work from Home Day show that more than 4 million people now regularly work from home; a rise of more than 62,000 over the course of the last year. The number of people who say they usually work from home increased by 62,000 over the course of last year to reach more than four million for the first time. The findings are from a new TUC analysis published to mark national work from home day, organised by Work Wise UK. The TUC analysis of figures from the Office for National Statistics shows that the number of regular home-workers has risen by over a half a million since 2007 – an increase of more than 10 per cent. Millions of workers across the UK occasionally work from home too, says the TUC. More →

Employers fail to monitor wellbeing and mental health alongside staff engagement

Mental ill health still not being addressedMonitoring of employee engagement and wellbeing by FTSE 100 companies improved over the past year, but organisations are failing to measure or address the psychological health of employees. The latest Business in the Community (BITC) Workwell FTSE 100 benchmark showed an increase in the average company scores from 21 per cent to 25 per cent while reporting across the five identified areas of BITC’s Workwell Model; Better Work, Better Relationships, Better Specialist Support, Better Physical and Psychological Health and Working Well increased from 53 to 63. 86 per cent of companies now report on four or five of these themes. But despite this, there was almost no evidence that psychological health is being measured or addressed, and the provision of mental health support continues to be a low scoring area (11%). More →

Allied London announces plans for development of former Granada site

hello-house-old-granada-studios-manchester-allied-london+1Property Developer Allied London has announced plans to transform part of the former Granada Studios site in Manchester into a new media hub when it takes control of the building in June. The new building is to be branded Hello House and will offer workspace specifically aimed at media and PR companies, including startups and SMEs as well as established businesses. Not only has the site already enjoyed a long associated with one of the UK’s most famous and well-established media firms, it is also be able to take advantage of Manchester’s growing reputation as one of the country’s most important media and tech locations. The revamped space will include a rooftop media bar and facilities to encourage tenants to work together and develop new joint opportunities. Allied London has already signed up its first tenants.

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HS2 is a project for today projected into an uncertain future

Barely a day passes in the media without some new battleground opening up in the debate about the UK’s plan to develop HS2, the high speed line connecting London with Birmingham, Leeds, Manchester, Sheffield and, for some reason, a place nobody’s heard of halfway between Derby and Nottingham called Toton (pop. 7,298). While the debate rages about the cost, the economic benefits, regional rebalancing, environmental impact, route and why the Scots and others are paying for a project that may leave them with worse train services,  one of the fundamental flaws with the case for HS2 goes largely disregarded. It is that this is clearly a project designed for today, but that won’t be complete for another twenty years. The world then will be very different and, unfortunately, time isn’t quite as malleable as the movies would have us believe.

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2020 vision is a useless metaphor for far-sightedness in a number of ways

Looking in telescope wrong wayThe year 2020 is a mere seven years away. Yet the designers of the future workplace and those who invite them to talk about it are still referring to it as if it marks the next frontier of human endeavour and as if we weren’t already up to our collective armpits in the 21st century. The idea of 20/20 vision is considered, in ophthalmological circles at least, to represent “normal” visual acuity and is dependent on the sharpness of the retinal focus within the eye and the sensitivity of the interpretative faculty of the brain. In practical terms, this means it’s about seeing and interpreting what is directly in front of us at a distance of around 6 metres. So as a metaphor for farsightedness regarding the future of work or workplaces it’s always been a poor one. And as we get closer to the eponymous year, it becomes worse day by day.

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