Search Results for: health

Video: “sitting is the smoking of our generation”

Video: “sitting is the smoking of our generation”

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In which a businesswoman rejoicing in the name Nilofer Merchant argues that one of the major causes of ill health in the world today is our sedentary lifestyle, and suggests a small idea that just might have a big impact on your life and health: Next time you have a one-on-one meeting, make it into a “walking meeting”. She is arguing the increasingly well established principle that good ergonomics is not about posture but about movement. This point has been argued before on Office Insight, including here, but the point cannot be made often enough. It’s true that the best chair designs encourage movement for those times when we cannot avoid sitting but, as ever, this is as much an issue of management as it is design.

Extensive new research launched into leadership in FM

FM Leadership survey launched for Think FM

A new research initiative, focusing on leadership has been launched by Workplace Law, the key findings of which will be presented at ThinkFM 2013, taking place on Monday 10 June at the Royal College of Physicians in London. The theme of the conference this year is ‘The Leadership Challenge: Raising our game, making our case, realising our value’, and Workplace Law’s survey aims to draw the opinions of facilities management clients and service providers across the UK. It covers a range of issues, including talent in FM, sustainability, leadership in health and safety, plus looking at how leadership and performance management in FM can really add value to an organisation. More →

NHS Estate inefficiencies present ‘Hyde Park sized opportunity’, claims report

Hyde ParkConsultants E C Harris have just published the latest edition of their report into the NHS Estate which claims that the service has an opportunity to save around £2.3 billion a year in the way it manages and procures space. Every report needs headlines to go with and in this case E C Harris have plumped for the idea that the NHS is underutilising space equivalent to an area the size of Hyde Park and that an eighth of the estate is unsuitable for its intended use, equivalent to ‘three Hyde Parks’. Last year’s edition of the report claimed the potential saving of disposable space was the equivalent of ‘264 Premier League football pitches’, which at least has the advantage of being comprehensible for those who can’t envisage how big Hyde Park is.

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High wire act: balancing attitudes and expectations in the workplace

This week, with some fanfare and a modest splash on social media, CBRE, the Global real estate services provider launched The Workshop Idea. One of its stated aims is the revitalisation of our high streets and, with the introduction of local venues in a number of differing guises, an increase in the degree of choice and flexibility of places in which to work when not travelling into the office. A whitepaper is due out shortly and we will cover this specific initiative once that has been given the proper consideration and thoughtful analysis it deserves. However, it raises some initial thoughts on expectations, attitudes and behaviours that need to be overcome in the way we view our high streets and places of work and the degree to which those who provide services respond.

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UK firms want to stay in EU but majority favour employment law changes

EU FlagA new report from the British Chambers of Commerce shows that while the majority of businesses still favour the UK’s ongoing membership of the European Union, the majority would like to see significant changes in certain key legislative areas including employment law, health and safety regulations and regional development. The EU Business Barometer from the BCC gathered responses from around 4,400 firms of all sizes and from a range of sectors and found that over half (54 per cent) wanted changes to employment law, a similar proportion wanted changes to Health and Safety laws (46 per cent) and a third changes to policies related to regional development.

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Better reporting required on employee engagement and wellbeing

Wellness reporting could be improved by FTSE 100

There is a need for more open reporting on employee engagement and wellbeing by FTSE 100 organisations according to an inaugural report into wellness by Business in the Community. The first Workwell FTSE 100 benchmark, which analysed how FTSE 100 organisations manage their 6.3 million employees gave an average score of just 21 per cent, which said BITC was “not unexpected” at this first stage of development.  The highest scoring Workwell indicators were Diversity and Inclusion (at 50 per cent of total marks) and Health and Safety (at 44 per cent), showing how compliance drives measurement and reporting.

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Office furniture ergonomics standard for increasing size of U.S. workers

Larger U.S. workers

The U.S. furniture manufacturer’s association the BIFMA (Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturers Association) has revised its ergonomics guidance to “reflect changes in the size and shape of the North American working population,” This includes increased seat width, distance between armrests, support surface height for sitting and standing, and height clearance for legs and knees. It’s also developing a new “Heavy Occupant Chair Standard”.  Although the BIFMA cannot be faulted for responding to consumer demand, the renewed guidance doesn’t address the core of the problem – the fact that over a quarter of U.S. workers (approximately 66 million people) are obese.

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Winners announced for 2013 real estate thought leadership

CoreNet Global 2013 Awards for Industry Excellence, Economic Development and Sustainable Leadership:

An organisation that helps businesses set up or expand their offices in the San Francisco Bay Area and Google’s campaign to source more sustainable building materials are amongst the initiatives which have been recognized in CoreNet’s awards for Industry Excellence, Economic Development and Sustainable Leadership. Fidelity, Panasonic, Google, the Brick City Development Corporation and the San Francisco Center for Economic Development are all named as winners for three annual best practices awards by the corporate real estate (CRE) and workplace association. The awards are presented each year to industry leaders who demonstrate best-in-class practices in advancing corporate real estate thought leadership. More →

Employers want default retirement age back finds survey


Nearly half (47 per cent) of employers surveyed by global law firm Eversheds would like the Default Retirement Age (DRA) reinstated. Two years ago, on 6 April 2011, the Government changed the law to start phasing out the DRA. While the overwhelming majority (97 per cent) say their organisation no longer operates a mandatory retirement age, many report that the change in the law has had negative effects for their organisation: two-thirds cited difficulties in succession planning whilst just under half reported that opportunities were being blocked for younger workers. More →

Green business initiatives worthwhile finds U.S. study

Green biz

Despite persistent skepticism among U.S. employees about corporate America’s commitment to “going green” the majority of U.S. employees are interested in learning what companies are doing in terms of sustainability (74 per cent) and wish their own company or employer engaged in more sustainability business practices, including social responsibility initiatives (68 per cent). According to the fourth annual Gibbs & Soell Sense & Sustainability® Study, while 80 per cent of sustainability-engaged employees encouraged others to make sustainable choices – the majority were unaware of who at their workplace is responsible for sustainability.

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Ergonomic update: Are you taking the tablets?

Tablet ergonomicsTwenty years ago the Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992 came into force, introduced in response to a growing number of complaints of repetitive strain injury (RSI), or to use the broader term musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) amongst office workers. Although it took time for the disorder to be identified, the message gradually got through that sitting all day in the same position banging away at a keyboard was not conductive to sound ergonomics or good health. In the early 90s I was an early adopter of a laptop (or luggable PC) and had to take four months off work after developing pain and numbness in my arms and wrists.

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Survey reveals rising confidence of UK workers

JobsCompetitive pay and benefits are the most important requirements of a new employer, before job security, according to new research from recruiter Randstad. In 2012, 27 per cent of people said long-term job security was the most important factor in choosing to work for a specific company – more than any other issue, but this has now fallen to 16 per cent, the lowest it has been in three years. Mark Bull, Randstad’s UK CEO, said: “The UK’s workforce appears much more bullish. In 2011 and 2012 the number one priority for people was job security – now it is salaries and benefits.”

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