Search Results for: change

Flexible working boosts employee satisfaction and lowers business costs

Working while commuting is on the increase survey finds

May 2013 played host to Work Wise Week, an initiative from Work Wise UK that aimed to promote and encourage smarter working practices to the benefit of businesses and employees. Cultural, economic and social changes are affecting attitudes to how we balance work and personal lives, and increasingly, mobility and technology is shifting away the need for the traditional 9-5 work patterns, replacing it with more flexible working practices. There are many benefits of flexible working and, as such, we are seeing more businesses starting to understand that forcing employees to work in an office does not guarantee productivity. More →

RICS developing BIM accreditation standard to advance uptake

RICS accreditation standard being developed to advance BIM

Alan Muse, Director of Built Environment Professional Groups (RICS) is calling for a cultural shift to ensure that Building Information Modelling (BIM) is more widely adopted. This follows the results of a survey taken at the RICS National BIM conference which revealed that despite its overwhelming recognition within the built environment nearly half of respondents were still not using the process, with 46 per cent identifying minimal client demand as a major factor preventing their implementation of BIM. Comments Muse: “Quite simply, some clients are not yet recognising the efficiencies that BIM can bring”, which is the reason why RICs is now developing a BIM accreditation standard.

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English Heritage clarifies requirements for post-war office buildings

English Heritage clarifies requirements for post-war office buildings

© English Heritage, James O Davies

The results of a pilot project to review list descriptions for post-war commercial offices has been announced by English Heritage. The revisions to 28 commercial offices by the conservation body have better identified the special interest in these buildings, which in many cases are the exterior and internally are usually limited to spaces such as lobbies and board rooms. When other parts of the building, such as basements and working floors are not of interest, this is said explicitly, thereby giving owners greater flexibility and clarity in the consents process and the management of change.

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Will the Great Trade Association Merger have any impact on office design?

Ceci n'est pas un bureauAnybody who has been working in and around the facilities management sector for any length of time will know that the FM profession/discipline (delete as appropriate) regularly undergoes protracted periods of existential angst about its role. It strikes me however that this is actually quite an easy question to deal with because the answer is the same as it is for similarly amorphous professions such as marketing. It all seems to depend on who you are and what you are trying to do. That’s the twist. The average facilities manager, like the Urban Spaceman, doesn’t exist. I might think that but it won’t stop the associations and institutes currently working together to establish a new super-body for FM in the UK having to continue the debate.

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How ingrained assumptions about the workplace are eroding

Ad agency RKCR © Jefferson Smith

Ad agency RKCR © Jefferson Smith

The first day at a new job used to mean getting the answer to that all important question: “so which is my office?”  In today’s mostly open plan environments, the same psychological attachment has been transferred to the desk – ‘my’ desk. However the current trend for flexible approaches to where people work means that even the concept of having one’s own desk is now under attack. So how much does having your own desk matter to the UK office workforce these days? We have been asking employees how they feel about having their own desk. The results seem to be that more than half, on average 56% (of a total of 2,653 employees surveyed at 5 recent client projects), think that it is ‘very important’ and a further 25% think it is ‘quite important’.

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Green responsibilities of the built environment highlighted by CIBSE

EnvironmentWe’ve already focused today on the role individuals can play in supporting the green agenda of their employers, but for those working within the built environment they may have particular responsibility when it comes to helping to reduce energy consumption and provide for the adaptation of buildings that respond to the challenges of climate change. This is the message from incoming CIBSE President, George Adams Engineering Director for Spie Matthew Hall, in his Presidential address, “Whole Life Thinking” where he stresses the need for a new energy engineering conscience and calls for an increased pace of action to improve the industry and reduce its environmental impact.

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JSA launches latest league table of European office furniture companies

EU FlagAs the world gets smaller and the communications revolution continues apace, one relatively unnoticed casualty is the design individuality of offices. Time was when you could walk into an office and the furniture would tell you whether you were in Paris, Frankfurt, New York, Milan, Moscow or London. The colours, shapes, materials, construction and image of the furniture were all very local, almost parochial. Who could fail to be struck by the muddy oranges and greens of a French office? Or the inevitable mahogany or teak real wood veneers used in the UK? The panels, worksurfaces and storage units which made up US cubicles were rarely seen outside North America and the massive, dark wood desks and cabinets in Central European deliberately overawed visitors and staff alike.

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Office rental sector benefits from office to home exemption

Office rental sector benefits from office to home exemption says RICS

The office rental sector has benefited from the prospect of reduced supply, stemming from the recent announcement by the government to relax the need for permission to change use from commercial to residential, according to RICS’ property and construction experts. Although the first quarter results of the 2013 RICS UK Commercial Market Survey reveals how the retail side of the commercial market continues to suffer, other areas of the commercial property market – such as office and industrial space have seen demand for premises strengthen slightly with no major increases in empty floor space and rising levels of tenant demand for office premises. More →

The biggest challenge is building flexibility into an office design

Flexible pencilThe design of offices and the furniture that fills them matters because of what they tell us about how we work, how organisations function and even what is happening in the economy. If you want to know what’s going on, take a look at the places we work and the things with which we surround ourselves and how they change over time. Because the way we work changes so quickly, buildings need to have flexibility built into them so that they meet our needs today but anticipate what we will need tomorrow.In his book How Buildings Learn, Stewart Brand outlines the process whereby buildings evolve over time to meet the changing needs of their occupants.

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Large organisations are unprepared for new generation of executives

Handing over keysIt’s not just Manchester United who need to worry about the succession process following the departure of an aging white male. According to a new report from Cass Business School and recruitment consultants Ogders Berndtson, firms are largely unprepared for the changes in business practice that will come as their babyboomer executives are supplanted by their Generation X and Y descendants.  The report – After The Baby Boomers – argues that over half of organisations are unprepared for the changes. The report interviewed executives from 100 large organisations, making it most relevant for the sorts of blue-chip firms who are led primarily by 50-something accountants in the first place.

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Balfour Beatty profits warning cites challenging construction sector

Balfour Beatty construction

Building and infrastructure firm Balfour Beatty has issued its second profits warning in six months, with the announcement that its UK construction business is expected to deliver significantly lower profits than expected this year.  The company said the UK construction market has been a challenging environment in which to win and execute work, adding: “Market conditions which deteriorated significantly in the second half of 2012 continue to be difficult. Change in procurement trends, which we have previously highlighted have persisted, allowing customers to impose increasingly stringent conditions onto contractors.”

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New survey reveals risks of cutting costs in corporate real estate

JLL ReportA new report from Jones Lang LaSalle claims to highlight how those firms who see their property as a driver of added value rather than a cost reap rewards in the form of higher revenue, employee performance and shareholder returns. In contrast, those firms who view their facilities as a cost and seek to reduce those costs for short term gain are, in fact, storing up long term problems and risks. JLL’s report – Global Corporate Real Estate Trends – claims to reveal the top five corporate real estate risks, including negative impacts on competitive advantage and profitability from cost cutting, procurement processes, lack of collaboration between functions and failure to drive productivity.

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