Search Results for: change

First female President in RICS’ history will focus on diversity

RICS' first female president in 146-history to focus on diversityThe Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has confirmed the first female President in the Institution’s 146 year history. New President of RICS Louise Brooke-Smith will give her inaugural speech today (1 July) during RICS’ Governing Council meeting in London. Alongside her presidency of RICS, Brooke-Smith will continue to be involved with the Birmingham based planning and development consultancy, Brooke Smith Planning. RICS accredits over 118,000 qualified professionals across the globe in land, real estate, construction and infrastructure. She succeeds outgoing RICS President, Michael Newey and during her year-long presidency, will focus on three core areas; diversity, Africa and her professional specialisms, planning and land economics. Commenting on her diversity plans for the year Louise Brooke-Smith, RICS President said: “Chartered Surveying is a globally recognised profession, and we must ensure that it is open to all, whatever their background, or gender. More →

Living longer, still working but earning more – the changing world of the UK’s older workers

Older workersA new report from the Institute for Fiscal Studies challenges some of the most commonly held misconceptions about the UK’s older workers, their health, income and status. The Changing Face of Retirement has been produced by the IFS in partnership with the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and the Economic and Social Research Council. Over the next ten years, it claims that changes to the pension provision, a rise in the retirement age, improving levels of long term health and the fact that many more people will remain in relationships as the life expectancy of men improves will mean more and more older people will supplement their pension incomes with paid work. The report also suggests that there will be more women between the ages of 65 and 69 in work than men by 2021 but both groups will see significant increases as the proportion of the total population aged over 65 increases by over a fifth.

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The new issue of the Insight newsletter is now available to view online


The new copy of Insight is now available to view online. It’s been a busy few weeks for sure and this edition certainly reflects that. We introduce the new issue of Work&Place, the journal we publish in partnership with Occupiers Journal, with contributors that include Professor Franklin Becker of Cornell University, Chris Kane CEO of commercial projects at the BBC, Andrew Laing of AECOM, Simon Allford of architects AHMM Allford Hall Monaghan Morris, designer and workplace strategist Ziona Strelitz and Ian Ellison of Sheffield Hallam University. Elsewhere, Sara Bean reports on key structural changes in the UK property market, Mark Eltringham ponders what we have learned in the build-up to new flexible working regs, Simon Heath casts a jaundiced eye over a mixed bag of RIBA Workplace Award winners and Justin Miller pays tribute to a product that 20 years ago first radicalised then permanently transformed the way we viewed ergonomics and workplace design.

IT and HR failing to work together to tackle computer data risks

IT and HR failing to work together to tackle computer data risks The inability of employees to follow computer access policies is the greatest threat to an organization’s data security, just slightly ahead of professional hackers. Yet, as a new report reveals, the majority of IT managers still believe it is ‘easy’ to protect their organisation’s security and defences against a data breach. The research, commissioned by Courion, found that 43 percent of respondents felt they could have better relations with Human Resources in managing staff access rights, with a majority (59 percent) not feeling confident they had enough help to make dealing with insider threats easier.  This follows a recent separate study into staff attitudes to IT security that found staff could be ambivalent about how they use their access rights – for example, 39 percent share work login details with colleagues and 1 in 5 of UK professionals said they would snoop on sensitive personal data if they had access to it.

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Five things we have learned about flexible working ahead of the new right to ask regs

flexible workingYou can’t help but notice that surveys about flexible working have been pretty thick on the ground over the last few weeks and months. The reason is that – as well as the usual ongoing fascination with the subject – the UK Government is extending the right to request regulations at the end of this month, allowing all staff to ask their employers for flexible working after six months in a job. As well as the numerous studies that firms have commissioned to explore the issue, there has been even more commentary and guidance, often from law firms. While we should always view each of these in context, adding however much salt we deem necessary to season their findings, what is always interesting when you have a media pile-in like this is to sift through it all to look for patterns, common themes and contrasts. Here are just five:

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The ties that bind facilities management with workplace design

Facilities management and workplace designThere is an ongoing feeling within the facilities management discipline that when it comes to the design of workplaces, the majority of facilities managers are not consulted early enough or well enough or consistently enough to ensure that the end result of the design process is a workplace that is as functional and as effective as it could be. The reason this feeling persists is that in many cases it is true. Or at least is true to a greater or lesser extent depending on how you view these things. And if that sounds woolly, then you  have to remember we are talking about facilities management here, finding a definition for which has been like nailing jelly to a wall for many years. In many cases the demarcation between workplace design and workplace management is based on the mistaken idea that the two have little correlation when in fact the relationship between them should be more akin to that between sex and parenthood. One is an act of creation and the other of care, with the latter a direct consequence of the former.

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Virtually Uninspiring, Cautiously Aspirational – award winning offices for the VUCA world.

award winning officesWorld-of-work watchers will be more than aware that we are increasingly being informed that we are living in the VUCA age, which under normal circumstances is an acronym for volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous but in the context of these RIBA Award Winners for 2014 might be taken in a number of other ways. Commentators and self-styled thought leaders are warning businesses to prepare for seismic changes to the way work gets done, where, how and by whom (or by what, if proponents of automation and robotics have anything to do with it). How lovely then, that RIBA have made awards to seven offices that hark back to more comforting, more halcyon, times. The text of the accompanying feature in Architects Journal is at pains to point out that offices are hard to design and that RIBA awards are hard won. I wouldn’t disagree on the former point but, from the evidence on show, it’s a bit more of a challenge to agree with the later. So I won’t.

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UK businesses have mixed attitudes to flexible working, according to two new studies

Flexible working City of LondonThe mixed attitude of businesses towards flexible working generally – and a new tranche of UK regulation in particular – is evident in two new studies. While a Citrix survey found that under half of small and medium sized business owners support the new flexible working legislation due to come into force at the end of this month with even fewer seeing it as a positive development, another study by recruitment consultants Robert Half found that two-thirds of large financial services firms use flexible working as a way of attracting and retaining employees. According to the report, this is particularly important in The City right now because  many prospective employees are put off by the poor image of the financial services industry and so firms are keen to make themselves more attractive employers so are turning to flexible working and better workplaces to entice high-grade staff.

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Lack of joined up thinking hampers efforts to reduce commercial property energy consumption

SunriseA new report commissioned by the Green Construction Board, Property Industry Alliance and UK Government claims that efforts to tackle energy consumption in commercial property and reduce the associated emissions of greenhouse gases needs a new approach to the way policies are understood, monitored and enforced. The warnings come in a paper produced by Deloitte which suggests that while the associated potential for savings and a wide range of environmental and economic benefits are beyond question and the Government has the will to make them happen, there is a lack of cohesive thinking in current policies and legislation coupled with a shortfall in innovation and investment. When the report was commissioned last year, it was done so on the basis that buildings remain the UK’s largest contributor to carbon emissions, with energy use in non-domestic buildings accounting for 17 per cent of the total.

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Attitudes towards flexible working still at odds with needs of modern life, claims report

Flexible working fatherThere is still a stigma attached to flexible working and employers are still reluctant to offer it to staff, according to a survey of UK employees carried out by parenting website Netmums and charity the Family and Childcare Trust. According to a third of just under 1,800 respondents, there remains a degree of resentment from work colleagues towards those who  enjoy some form of flexible working. And, while, 80 percent of people think it is very important that employers offer flexible working to staff , a mere 15 percent feel it is offered in practice and another 20 percent have no idea whether it is available to them or not. The result is a mismatch between the desires and expectations of individuals and the reality of working life with the upshot that nearly a third (29 percent) of respondents claim to have left a job because they were unable to balance it with other aspects of their lives.

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England’s technology firms now employ more people than California’s, claims new report

technology firmsAs we reported last week, London and the South East of England remain the UK’s hotspots for new business start-ups and now new research claims that the region now has more people working in the vital technology and information sector than the capital of world tech, California. The report from South Mountain Economics and Bloomberg Philanthropies shows that there are nearly three quarters of a million people working for technology firms in London, the South East and East Anglia compared to 692,000 in California and that there are more firms working in financial technology in London than either Silicon Valley or New York. The report backs up new research from Oxford Economics, commissioned by the Mayor of London to coincide with London Technology Week, which claims that over the next decade, London’s digital tech sector is expected to grow at a rate of 5.1 per cent per annum, creating an additional £12 billion of economic activity and 46,000 new jobs, which in turn is driving change in the commercial property market. 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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