Search Results for: flex

UK leads the world in talent, but it needs the right culture in which to thrive

London at nightWe should never take the UK’s talent base for granted. According to a new report from Deloitte, when it comes to employment levels of people in knowledge based jobs in high skill sectors such as digital media, banking, legal services, software development, telecoms and publishing, London is comfortably the world’s leading city. The study found that London employed 1.5 million people in the 22 sectors surveyed, compared with 1.2 million in New York, 784,000 in Los Angeles, 630,000 in Hong Kong and 425,000 in Boston. The report also predicts that London will enjoy rapid growth in employment levels in these sectors over the next seven years, adding around 100,000 more people and that while a decline in employment is foreseen in financial services, this will be more than offset by strong growth in creative and media businesses.

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UK commercial property lease lengths shorten to ten year low, claims report

let-signLease lengths for commercial property fell to an historic low in the year to June 2013, while income, lost due to tenants going bust, hit an all time high, according to a new report from IPD. The IPD Lease Events Review measures over 93,000 leases, and 3,500 lease events across the UK. The 2013 edition found that over 80 percent of UK leases signed in the year to June 2013 were under five years in length, the highest level since measurement began and up from 55 percent over the last ten years. The average length of commercial property leases is now 5.8 years, down from 7.8 years in 2003, lower even than the 6.0 years in 2009 at the lowest point of the recession. Landlords have struggled to maintain cash flow and lost over 6 percent of their income due to a record numbers of defaults and insolvencies last year.

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Looking back on a year in which the office sought a clearer sense of identity

JanusIt’s not often that workplace management becomes national business news but that happened at the end of February when  the world became very interested for a while in the way we design and manage offices. The reason for this was the decision by Yahoo to ban homeworking for staff at its headquarters.  The resultant period of shirt-rending at this challenge to received wisdom told us more about the changing view of the workplace than the actual decision by Yahoo. As the dust settled, we discovered that the Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer had based her decision to change working practices on data from the company’s network that showed people working from home didn’t log on to the company Virtual Private Network as much as those in the office.

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Interview: Greg Lindsay on engineering serendipity and harnessing chaos

Render of Plaza at Zappos offices in LA

Render of Plaza at Zappos offices in LA

Greg Lindsay is a journalist and urbanist. He is a contributing writer for Fast Company and co-author of the international bestseller Aerotropolis: The Way We’ll Live Next as well as a visiting scholar at New York University’s Rudin Center for Transportation Policy & Management, a senior fellow of the World Policy Institute, and a research affiliate of the New England Complex Systems Institute. He is also one of the main speakers at this year’s Worktech conference in London on 19 and 20 November. In this frank and enlightening interview he offers his thoughts on how firms can engineer serendipity into their workplaces and cultures and how the way we design offices is already taking clues from the way we plan urban environments.

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Latest Insight newsletter is now available to view online

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In the latest issue of the Insight newsletter available to view online; flexible working isn’t a matter of choice, but because technology has created greater opportunities for presenteeism; the Workplace Trends conference reinforces the power of place and why a quarter of UK employees are ready to jump ship. We look forward to the Workplace Week events which begin today and explain why the recent upturn in the US commercial real estate sector is set to continue. Contributor Brandon Allen says that the ownership of a mobile device doesn’t mean we all know how use it; and Philip Ross predicts that the next wave of technological change coupled with socio-economic and commercial developments will affect every aspect of our society and business.

We may not always feel it, but technology makes us far more productive

Heath RobinsonA new report has been published by O2 which suggests that technology has allowed us to become nearly five time more productive than we were in the 1970s. The Individual Productivity Report is a joint research project from O2 and the Centre for Economic and Business Research and used a metric called gross value added (GVA) per worker per hour to arrive at its results. The report concludes from this data that in terms of ICT the average British worker is now 480 percent more productive than they were in the 1972, that people get more done in less time, freeing them up to spend more time interacting with clients and colleagues, providing better service and driving business growth.

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‘Beleaguered’ UK workforce is poorly motivated and unproductive

UK workers are lacking motivation and job satisfaction, with over half either feeling neutral or unhappy about going to work most days, only one in four very satisfied with their jobs and 20 per cent who dread going to work. According to a new report, ‘The Forgotten Workforce’ a series of blows to UK workers, including cuts to their working hours, increasingly inconsistent working patterns, pay freezes, and introduction of zero hours – coupled with little or no investment in technology to support employees – has led to a UK workforce lacking morale and disengaged from the business. An efficient business needs an efficient workforce. If this cycle continues, businesses will face increasingly poor productivity and the UK economic recovery will suffer warns the report. More →

Economic recovery, the changing psychological contract and the future of the office

display_img_01There has always been a link of one sort or another between the labour market and office design. So, as the UK’s unemployment statistics continue to fall, they remain moderately high and there continue to be structural changes in the nature of work, typified by this year’s debate about the growing use of zero hours contracts. You have to wonder what impact structural changes,  levels of unemployment and redundancy (around 4 million in the UK since 2008) have had on the way we manage and design our workplaces. There is no doubt that the downturn combined with the structural changes in the way we work have had an effect on demand for commercial property, but what will it all mean in the longer term?

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Job satisfaction keeps employees motivated more than bonuses

Job satisfaction keeps employees motivated more than bonusesThe reported levels of stress felt by banking employees already suggests that generous bonuses do not necessarily equate loving the job. Now a new study published today by the Institute of Leadership & Management (ILM) confirms that across the business sector, the single most effective motivator is job satisfaction (59%), with just 13 per cent saying the prospect of receiving a bonus or other financial incentive motivates them to work harder in their role. The survey of over 1,000 employees found that a competitive salary and a good pension are highly effective motivators (49%) but getting on with colleagues (42%) is nearly as important. The report also highlights how important good managers are to ensuring happy and motivated staff. More →

The latest issue of Insight is now available to view online

Chaplin (Modern Times)The new issue of the Insight newsletter is now available to view online here. This week, we look at the growth in demand for offices in the UK’s regions, the growth of interest in flexible working. Mark Eltringham argues for a more honest debate about workplace productivity, while Dave Coplin of Microsoft and one of the speakers at this year’s London Worktech argues we need to reimagine work completely. Workplace Week offers you a chance to visit some of the public sector’s most innovative workplaces including the HQ of the Department for Education. And we have news of a new task force which has been launched to define what zero carbon actually means with regard to domestic buildings. And if all that isn’t enough, it’s only meant to give a summary of the great things that have been on Insight this last week.

Workplace Week announces details of visits to London Government buildings

DfE London HQ

DfE London HQ

For the first time, Workplace Week includes visits to two Government offices, the Department for Education at Sanctuary Buildings in Great Smith Street (pictured) and the Department for International Development on Whitehall. The DfE is just a stone’s throw from the Houses of Parliament and boasts outstanding views of several major landmarks. The building is home to some 2,000 staff who work in a flexible environment with 7 desks for 10 people. The Department for International Development moved to its new London HQ, the oldest purpose-built office in London, at the beginning of the year. The DfID has created a modern, flexible environment which encourages collaborative working, whilst being sympathetic to the historic nature of the building.

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Insight weekly newsletter is now available to view online

Newsletter Street at BA's Waterside

In the latest issue of the Insight newsletter, available to view online; the urban environment is an increasingly important part of the “virtual” workplace [pictured]; employers warned they’re not doing enough to address the stress taboo; and following the publication of the IPCC climate change report, the built environment has a vital role to play in tackling global warming. We note the emergence of a Choose Your Own Device (CYOD) alternative to BYOD and the development of “open source talent” that will ultimately rewrite what the term “workforce” actually means. New Jersey based columnist Debbie Kovak explains the US still lags behind Europe when it comes to flexible work schedules and Twyla Howse warns that the workplace is not a softer, gentler world, no matter how organic the sofa.