Search Results for: employees

3XN chosen as preferred partner to design new Olympic HQ


3XN is also designing the DreamCenter

Danish firm 3XN has been chosen by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as its preferred architectural partner for the design of the new IOC headquarters. It will be located on a 24.000 square metre site on the banks of Lake Geneva to provide an ‘Olympic campus’ of administrative buildings for 500 employees. The IOC announced its intention last year to regroup all its staff, currently spread throughout Lausanne at a number of sites; arguing a new HQ would result in substantial savings in rental fees, increased working efficiency and energy conservation. If the project, which is dependent on discussions and decisions with the relevant Swiss authorities goes ahead, it will add another building to a number of projects by 3XN for big international organizations such as the DreamWorks Animation DreamCenter complex [pictured] and the United Nations. More →

European Commission names Munich as continent’s main tech hub

Der Muenchner Christkindlmarkt und das Rathaus strahlen am Montag (28.11.05) waehrend der Blauen Stunde in weihnachtlichem Lichterglanz. Mit der Eroeffnung des zentralen Muenchner Weihnachtsmarktes auf dem Marienplatz begann am Freitag (25.11.05) die WeihNever mind the Champion’s League, there is a fascinating battle across Europe’s major cities to win the tech hub crown, or at least wear it for a year before it is snatched away by some other agglomeration of latte-sipping arrivistes. The latest City to be awarded the mantle is, perhaps surprisingly, Munich often seen as something of a laggard even within the borders of Germany, playing second fiddle to Berlin. According to the European Commission report (not so snappily titled Mapping the European ICT Poles of Excellence: The Atlas of ICT Activity in Europe) even London, usually regarded as the continent’s tech heartland, bends the knee to the Bavarian City. According to the report’s authors Munich is particularly strong in research and development, although it loses out to London on other factors including networking and access to finance. Paris was placed third.

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The six most important dimensions of wellbeing in the workplace

B-Free working choiceDesigning an office environment using six key elements of wellbeing will benefit both employers and their staff, leading to a healthier, more productive workplace finds a new report. Steelcase’s WorkSpace Futures global research team, which included a psychologist, a designer and an ergonomist conducted an in depth study on existing wellbeing research, surveys, indicators and theories and found that the key to physical and mental wellbeing is the emotional experience, which can be influenced by a person’s surroundings, actions, and way of perceiving the world. The six dimensions of wellbeing that can be impacted by the design of the physical environment are; optimism, mindfulness, authenticity, belonging, meaning and vitality. Together these create what Steelcase refers to as an “interconnected workplace,” that offers employees choice and control over where and how they work.  More →

Moderate stress levels can enhance performance, claims new research

StressA new research project conducted jointly by the University of Reading and Ashridge Business School claims that managers can perform better and make better decisions when they are exposure on a regular basis to stressful situations. The research applied principles from the science of neurobiology in measuring changes in the heart rates of 350 managers aged from 26-55 to analyse their performance under pressure. All of the participants in the research were current students on an Ashridge management course who took part in simulated high-pressure executive situation, such as conflict resolution, high-level decision-making and handling difficult employees and conversations. Their physical and psychological responses were continually monitored over two days, including sleep patterns, heart rate and psychometric tests.

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WorldBlu announces latest additions to its list of democratic workplaces

HandsUpWorldBlu, a US based business that promotes democratic workplace design has announced that it has added  41 organisations around the world to its certified list of Most Democratic Workplaces. According to WorldBlu, the organisations range in size from five to 65,000 employees and represent over $13 billion in combined annual revenue and come from the US, Canada, Mexico, UK, Netherlands, Denmark, Malaysia, Haiti, New Zealand, Belgium and Romania from a range of sectors including  technology, manufacturing, healthcare, retail, agriculture and services. Organisations become eligible after employees complete the proprietary WorldBlu Design Assessment, a survey evaluating their practice according to the firm’s own ten ‘Principles of Organizational Democracy’, with an overall combined score of 3.5/5 or higher. The awards were announced yesterday, Democracy in the Workplace Day (who knew?).

Can building design presage a fall from grace for the world’s tech giants?

Apple HQAt the movies, buildings are often used to denote hubris. The ambitions and egos of Charles Foster Kane and Scarface are embodied in the pleasure domes and gilded cages they erect to themselves. Of course, things then invariably go badly wrong. In the real world too, monstrous edifices have often presaged a crash. The UK’s most ambitious and much talked about office building at the turn of the Millennium was British Airways’ Waterside, completed in 1998, just a year after Margaret Thatcher famously objected to the firm’s new modern tailfin designs by draping them with a hankie and three years before BA had to drop its ‘World’s Favourite Airline’ strapline because by then it was Lufthansa. Nowadays BA isn’t even the UK’s favourite airline, but Waterside remains a symbol of its era, albeit one that continues to influence the way we design offices.

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RICS’ operational headquarters to relocate to Coventry Friargate Development

Friargate CoventryThe Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has announced that it will be relocating its Coventry operational headquarters to a new building in the 37 acre sustainable, mixed-use Friargate development in the city. From 2017, RICS plans to lease 36,000 sq. ft. of space in the second building on the site, adjacent to Coventry railway station. The district will showcase cutting edge low carbon building design and regeneration policies by using local businesses throughout the construction phase to provide improved public transport links, affordable housing and public parks. RICS claims that ‘through a connection to an ultra-efficient combined heat and power generator, Friargate will be at the forefront of sustainable commercial accommodation, reducing both RICS’ carbon footprint and operating costs and offering RICS employees a much better work environment and surrounding area than they currently have.’

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Benefits of mobile broadband to Australia run to tens of billions, claims report

mobile-broadbandWhile the UK Government continues to fuss over the rollout of broadband in the UK, bickering with the notoriously ponderous BT about a dysfunctional monopoly they created themselves, a new report from Australia claims that the economic benefits of mobile broadband in that country came to nearly AU$34 billion (£19 billion) last year. The report commissioned by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) in partnership with the Centre for International Economics (CIE) and Analysys Mason found that although the mobile telecoms sector only accounts for 0.5 percent of economic activity in Australia, its impact on productivity is profound. Last year it accounted for an additional AU$33.8 billion in activity, 2.28 percent of Australia’s total gross domestic product. The report makes its claim on the basis that between 2006 and 2013, productivity growth was 11.3 percent per year, but would have been only 6.7 percent without mobile broadband.

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HR has the most ‘can’t do’ attitude in the workplace finds poll

HR least helpfulHuman resources people are obstructive and most likely to reject reasonable requests in the workplace, finds a new poll. Almost 18 per cent of individuals polled by conference call provider Powwownow voted the HR department as the most difficult to work with; almost double that of Finance/Accounting, the next most maligned department.Why some members of staff are so uncooperative was interpreted by respondents as due to illusions of grandeur (68%), attempts to retain power and hold others back (67%) and confusion/lack of training/lack of confidence (40%). Unhelpfulness does not go unpunished it seems as the majority of respondents (53%) thought that unproductive or obstructive employees are more prone to bullying in the workplace. Those who encounter such unhelpfulness admitted to being driven to consider screaming out of sheer frustration (40%) or even seek new employment (36%) rather than speaking with their superior (30%) about an obstructive colleague. More →

BCO report claims to reveal link between green offices and business performance


A new report from the British Council for Offices claims that building owners could enjoy significant savings in their operating costs of up to £50 per square metre as well as improved staff productivity  and wellbeing by investing in environmentally friendly offices and work practices. The research, Improving the Environmental Performance of Offices claims to illustrate the benefits of energy efficient offices and highlight the positive impact they can have on employee productivity. The report calls on building occupiers to focus on key areas such as benchmarking and monitoring their energy usage. The BCO believes there is already a shift in attitudes towards a greater understanding of how offices actually perform environmentally rather than simply how they are designed and that more and more businesses are waking up to specific issues such as how much energy their buildings use outside of office hours. More →

Google’s new Amsterdam office exposes Tech’s youthful obsessions

Google Amsterdam 2

All images © Alan Jensen and D/Dock

Back in the 1990s, when Frank Duffy was one of the august handful of people popularising notions of a changing approach to office design, he categorised four models of the workplace that he foresaw would come to reflect the work done in them, namely the den, cell, hive and club. Back then, the word ‘club’ conjured up images of gentleman’s clubs and Duffy himself described it in his 1997 book The New Office as ‘essentially an ingenious early 19th Century device to allow the kind of people who are now called networkers to share as supportive an environment as possible’, illustrating his point with an old coloured engraving of upright gents sitting around in a neo-classical, Victorian, smoke-filled room reading newspapers, sipping port and chewing the fat. Nowadays, the word club would appear to suggest something more along the lines of a youth club, as the latest pubescent design of a Google office shows us. More →

UK workers are amongst least engaged in the world, claims new report

demotivatedThe latest survey highlighting how disconnected the world’s workers feel from what they do comes courtesy of researchers ORC International. In its Global perspectives survey of over 7,000 employees in 20 countries, the researchers found that UK employees are amongst the most disengaged in the world. Engagement has declined sharply over the last year for UK based workers with under half (48 percent) claiming to be engaged with their jobs, down from 56 percent last year. This puts the country in 18th position, with only Japan and Hong Kong coming out worse. Only 40 percent think their managers motivate and inspire them and only 37 percent feel encouraged by their employers to innovate. In fact the UK’s score fell according to every measure used in the report including the wellbeing index with a rating of 57 percent, down from 61 percent last year.

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