Search Results for: change

Two thirds of UK managers complain of unethical demands by employers

Employee’s beliefs can differ from that of their employers, and that can cause them to face an ethical dilemma. Take yesterday’s news reports of an ex-CIA operative who alleges that the data-gathering centre GCHQ circumvented the law to gain information on UK citizens, or the recent (rejected) claims by three British Christians to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg who argued their religious rights where being violated by their employers. Following the banking scandals, public expectations on business ethics have risen over the past few years, but are CSR policies being put into practise? It seems doubtful, as new research by the Institute of Leadership & Management (ILM) and Business in the Community (BITC) reveals that nearly two thirds (63 per cent) of managers have been expected to behave unethically at some point in their career.

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UK employers are global leaders in flexible working and secure BYOD policies


The UK’s small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) lead the world in flexible working and ensuring staff work securely in the BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) era, with 34 per cent saying they have policies, procedures and/or IT systems in place to manage the use of personal communications devices for business purposes. This compares to an average of 28 per cent in Europe and the rest of the world, and only 19 per cent in the US. This is not before time, as the global survey by YouGov of senior executives and managers in more than 1,250 small and medium businesses across Europe, North America and Australia on behalf of Citrix, found that nearly half of UK employees now routinely use personal devices at work.

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The answer to poor ergonomics isn’t buying different stuff for people to sit on

A new survey from Fellowes suggests that poorly equipped workstations and a lack of training and risk assessments by employers contribute to the range of ergonomic problems that cost the UK economy an annual £7 billion. Their PR people have done a good job on this survey because they’ve managed to get the Daily Mail stirred up, amongst others. This will be a short comment because we’ve covered the matter so extensively in a number of ways before here, here, here, here, here and here. The primary answer to the problems associated with sitting at work is to stop sitting, not merely to sit on different things. We need a working culture that gives people the right chairs then encourages them to stop using them them at the first opportunity. Ergonomics is about the relationship between people and stuff, so we should change the relationship and not just the stuff.

Applications for UK commercial property developments continue to fall

Commercial property constructionAccording to law firm EMW LLP, the number of planning applications submitted for commercial property developments in the UK has fallen for a second successive year. The firm claims that the around 4 percent fall is down to declining demand from tenants. However there are stark contrasts between London and the rest of the UK measured both in terms of market activity and the number of tower cranes on the skyline, with London now having more than the rest of the UK combined for the third consecutive year according to the Health and Safety Executive. The report echoes the findings of the latest Markit/CIPS report on construction activity which saw a fall in construction activity, although total activity increased on the back of an increase in housebuilding.

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Time to apply flexible working to harness women’s untapped potential

Recommendations made on how to harness women's untapped potential in the workplace

Encouraging flexible working and understanding how best to support working parents in the second stage of their career is just one of the findings of a major report published today by the Women’s Business Council (WBC) on improving women’s contribution to economic growth. The WBC, which is chaired by Ruby McGregor Smith CBE, chief executive of MITIE, is an independent working group established by the government in 2012 to explore the untapped potential of the female workforce. Maximising women’s contribution to future economic growth looks into addressing the obstacles at all stages of women’s careers, such as broadening career choices, helping to access childcare and providing the necessary skills to start new businesses. More →

First non-UK BREEAM outstanding award redraws the green building battle lines

The jostling for position in the field of environmental accreditations for buildings has taken a new turn with the announcement that a project in the Czech republic is the first commercial building outside the UK to achieve a BREEAM outstanding rating.  The Tower at the Spielberk development in Brno designed by architects Studio Acht is, according to the Building Research Establishment (BRE), a true demonstration of good design, reducing CO2 emissions by over 50 percent compared to a typical building, built to Czech regulations.  BRE Director Martin Townsend awarded the BREEAM outstanding certificate to Stefan de Goeij, Head of Property Management at CTP, for the office building which is located in the centre of the Czech Republic’s emerging high-tech city of Brno.

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BIFM workplace debate focuses on links between FM and design

Clerkenwell_Design_WeekClerkenwell Design Week was the appropriate setting for the inaugural event staged by the newly formed Workplace Special Interest Group (SIG) of the British Institute of Facilities Management. The event was staged at the showroom of office furniture giant Haworth on the 22 May, during Europe’s largest exhibition of workplace products and services. It saw a panel of industry experts debate in lively fashion the deliberately provocative proposition : Form or Function? Do you need office designers to create a great workplace environment? 

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UK public sector leading the way in procurement and sustainable building

Nottingham City Council's Loxley Building

Nottingham City Council’s Loxley Building

Over the last few years, the UK Government has grown increasingly interested in finding ways of making its £30 billion property portfolio more efficient. Both the last Labour government and the current Coalition administration have been driven by the opportunities offered them with the advent of new technology, new ways of working and new procurement models. They’ve pursued these issues to cut costs by reducing and changing the way property is designed and managed but have also found how that can also help to establish best practice in sustainable building. What is increasingly apparent, especially given recent news from the Major Projects Authority about cost savings in procurement is that the public sector is now leading the way as models of good practice.

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Three quarters of London investment banks set to trim corporate real estate

AxeAccording to a new report from CBRE, nearly three quarters (72 percent) of investment banks based in London are looking to cut their corporate real estate portfolios over the next two years as they adjust to a changing global market for their services as well as structural changes in the UK’s regulatory framework.  As well as trimming London based properties, the report says that banks will continue to relocate functions to the UK regions in an effort to reduce costs.  Since the low point of 2009, rents in the City of London have increased from £42.50 per sq ft to about £55 per sq ft. The survey also found that just over a third (34 percent) of banks expect to see cuts as a result of mergers and acquisitions in the sector.

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Why facilities managers deserve a seat at the design table


For a long time there has been a distant relationship between facilities management (FM) and design, with FM treated as a post occupancy issue rather than a valuable consideration during the design process. The truth is that effective collaboration between facilities managers and designers can yield innovation and even better product design, be that in relation to a new head office building, or the systems and furniture that are housed within it. The compartmentalised view that design occurs and then facilities managers come along to operate and maintain is inaccurate and outdated.

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New Centres of Excellence for sustainable building design launched

New Centres of Excellence for sustainable building design launched

Centres of Excellence in Sustainable Building Design are to be set up at four UK universities in collaboration with the Royal Academy of Engineering. The new centres at Heriot-Watt University, Loughborough University, the University of Sheffield and University College London will form a national network to demonstrate and exchange best practice in teaching and research for a more sustainable built environment. The universities will work closely with the construction industry to develop their engineering and architectural design courses to be as relevant as possible to the work students can expect to do when they graduate. Visiting Professors from industry are a key part of this approach and will be heavily involved in developing the new centres of excellence. More →

Fearful UK employees benefit from engagement policies finds survey

 Fearful UK employees require greater engagement levels finds survey

A new study provides some proof that the employee engagement lobby has some validity. According to a new national survey, job stress has gone up and job-related well-being has gone down since the start of the recession, with Britain’s employees feeling more insecure and pressured at work than at any time in the past 20 years. The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) report the biggest concern was about pay reductions, followed by loss of say over their job. However, the survey found that where employers pursued employee engagement practices, giving employees more involvement in decision making at work, staff were less anxious about their jobs. More →