Search Results for: change

UK employers gain confidence to start recruitment of new staff

UK employers hiring intentions rise

UK businesses are slowly gaining confidence in hiring new staff this year and the majority of employers (79 per cent) don’t plan any job losses. This is according to the Barclays Job Creation Survey 2013 which found that while the proportion of larger employers that plan to create jobs this year has fallen to 65 per cent from 72 per cent in 2012, mid-sized businesses hiring intentions are up to 71 per cent from 65 per cent. The majority of those employers who do intend to hire remain cautious however, with 73 per cent planning to have sales growth lead to job creation as opposed to job creation creating sales (2012: 77 per cent).

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Mobile devices set to outnumber humans as PC sales plummet

IpadsOne of the sure fire ways to judge what is about to happen to the world’s workplaces is to watch what people are doing with their gadgets. So as two surveys are published that show the dramatic decline in the numbers of PCs being sold around the world, a report from Cisco has forecast that by the end of this year, the number of mobile devices in operation globally will exceed the human population for the first time. Of course, that could only be possible if everybody was carrying around a number of mobile gadgets and, sure enough, a related survey from Juniper Networks shows that the average person surveyed now uses five devices at home and at work with at least three connected to the Internet.

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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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Report claims empty offices could provide 11,500 homes

Empty officesAccording to new research from Lambert Smith Hampton, there is nearly 12m sq. ft of obsolete office space in the UK’s regional markets which the firm estimates could yield as much as 7.4m sq. ft. of space suitable for conversion to residential use under the Government’s controversial new planning rules. The researchers claim that this equates to approximately 11,500 new homes. The government has relaxed the planning systems in the UK to encourage developers to shift the use of space although critics have argued that this may serve to distort the market for property in some areas as residential properties are potentially more lucrative than commercial properties.

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When the world’s cities became the stars of the show

Andreas GurskyThe City has always been source of fascination for artists. The growth of cities in the 20th Century was paralleled by their growing depiction in art. Whereas early paintings from the likes of Edward Hopper and the photogravure prints of Alfred Stieglitz would invariably focus on individuals  within the context of the city, as the century wore on the cities themselves became the focus. Film was the natural medium for the new starring role of the City. Fritz Lang’s Metropolis was seminal in its depiction of the eponymous city and throughout the 20th Century camera lenses continued to fall in love with the likes of Paris (Jean Luc Godard’s Alphaville), New York (Martin Scorsese’s Mean Streets) and a future Los Angeles (Blade Runner from Ridley Scott).

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Report highlights changing occupier demands in City of London property

City of London coat of arms by GuildhallA new report from DTZ has outlined the ways in which the City of London property market is changing in response to occupier demand. As has been revealed in previous recent surveys, one of the most significant factors is a shift in focus away from the City’s traditional financial services heartland towards the technology, media and telecoms (TMT) sector.  Other structural changes include greater demand for different types of facilities from law firms as the legal sector adjusts to developments in its own market. The broader base of tenants and the expected economic upturn will mean a gradual improvement in demand although the report concedes that even by 2017, the market will not have returned to its peak.

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Video: people feel good at work when they know it has meaning

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More evidence stacks up about what motivates people, including in the workplace. One thing that all the research shows about how to help people feel good at work is that motivation is a complex issue. It is not about money or joy or fun or an easy life. The things that are important include the challenge of overcoming difficult problems, a sense of achievement and an understanding that the work they do is acknowledged and makes a genuine contribution. The one thing to avoid is futility and the thing to aim for is meaning even in small ways. All of this research challenges the assumption that people are essentially economic creatures and that we can make them feel better by making isolated changes to their working environment.

Productivity challenges of modern office workers’ email deluge

Image credit: <a href=''>scanrail / 123RF Stock Photo</a>

Possibly the most perplexing picture of the modern office is whether technology has made it more, or less productive. New research by Warwick Business School has found that on average UK office workers deal with 40 emails a day and one in 12 with 100 messages a day, which can’t be good for productivity. Meanwhile another piece of research by psychologists at the University of Chester reveals the somewhat unsurprising fact that an over reliance on social media reduces the ability to maintain ‘meaningful’ relationships due to a lack of visual emotional cues – which could further cast doubts over the efficacy of remote working. More →

Office design goes to the movies. Part 7 – The Apartment

Office design goes to the movies. Part 7 – The Apartment

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In which Jack Lemmon exchanges the crushing uniformity of the open plan for a corner office as a reward for allowing senior managers to use his apartment as a venue for their infidelity. This is from 1960, the pre-cubicle, pre-VDU world of large ranks of serried workers in an open plan office with only the privileged few allowed any degree of privacy or the wherewithal to display status. many ways, the layout has much in common with the way many offices are designed now. Office design may have moved on in the past half century but some things are always with us.

Public sector property initiatives have proved successful but work still needed

Gorilla-in-a-hat1There was a time, not so long ago, when nobody worried too much about the shape of the rooms that led off the corridors of power. But the pressure on UK finances has politicised the design of the UK’s public buildings. The latest example of this was the recent  announcement  in Parliament of a report that, amongst other things, called for a new approach in the way facilities are designed to deliver better services in a more cost effective way. The report Restarting Britain 2: Design and Public Services was the result of an eight-month investigation led by the Design Commission along with politicians, designers and civil servants.

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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 →

UK commercial property investors shift focus to the regions

Leeds skylineInvestors in the commercial office market are increasingly being drawn towards the UK regions, according to a new report by Deloitte Real Estate. The UK Key Cities publication explores the trend that regional offices are emerging as a focus for savvy investors seeking higher returns. At the same time, individual cities are recognising the need to stand apart from competing locations and bridge the gap between themselves and London. These cities are being bolstered by factors such as improved connectivity through large planned infrastructure projects, devolution of power, and investment into the retail and leisure markets.

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