Search Results for: office

2020 vision is a useless metaphor for far-sightedness in a number of ways

Looking in telescope wrong wayThe year 2020 is a mere seven years away. Yet the designers of the future workplace and those who invite them to talk about it are still referring to it as if it marks the next frontier of human endeavour and as if we weren’t already up to our collective armpits in the 21st century. The idea of 20/20 vision is considered, in ophthalmological circles at least, to represent “normal” visual acuity and is dependent on the sharpness of the retinal focus within the eye and the sensitivity of the interpretative faculty of the brain. In practical terms, this means it’s about seeing and interpreting what is directly in front of us at a distance of around 6 metres. So as a metaphor for farsightedness regarding the future of work or workplaces it’s always been a poor one. And as we get closer to the eponymous year, it becomes worse day by day.

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UK’s fastest growing tech businesses named by Deloitte survey

Infectious Media's offices

Infectious Media’s offices

There is a decided London bias in the latest Deloitte Technology Fast 50, which names the UK’s fastest growing technology companies.  Twenty of the named companies are to be found in the capital and they generate just under half of their £672 million combined revenues over the last year.  The growth rates  used to measure the success of these businesses are jaw-droppingly impressive but can also be partially meaningless for such new companies. The winner grew at a Wonga-esque percentage rate of  just under 10,000 percent and the average for all fifty firms for the past five years was a staggering 1,382 percent. According to Deloitte’s research, the UK’s fastest growing tech company is Clerkenwell based real-time advertising agency Infectious Media.

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In pictures: plans revealed for East London iCity development

Offices at iCity

Offices at iCity

While Parliament debates the reality or otherwise of the 2012 Olympic legacy, the firms behind iCity on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in East London (above) have submitted detailed planning proposals and launched a new website to promote the development which they claim will become ‘a world-leading centre of innovation, education and enterprise’. The joint venture between property consultancy Delancey and datacentre operator Infinity SDC claims it will offer almost unlimited bandwidth connectivity and provide up to 400,000 sq. ft. of office space, including for digital start-ups, as well as a 250,000 sq. ft. datacentre, studio and production space and a convention centre. The plans have been drawn up Hawkins\Brown architects.

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Zero hours contracts: Are they really such bad news?

Zero hours contracts

Zero hours contracts have hardly been out of the news in recent weeks. The overwhelming majority of the media coverage has been negative, suggesting that zero hours contracts are exploitative of workers and should be outlawed. The pressure gauge has risen to such an extent that, in September, the Business Secretary, Vince Cable, announced that there would be a consultation process to tackle any abuse discovered. The Labour Party has also announced it will be conducting its own review. But why all this sudden interest? Zero hours contracts are not a new phenomenon… and, on the face of it, they provide employers with the type of flexibility which the Government has been so keen to introduce, allowing employers to maintain a flexible workforce capable of meeting short-term staffing needs.  More →

Gallery: first images of interior of Apple’s $5 billion campus in California

Apple 11

Following last week’s final sign off of the plans for the new Apple Campus 2 building in northern California, the local council has issued the first interior shots of the new building. The $5 billion Foster and Partners designed campus includes a 2.8 million sq. ft. building and will be home to over 14,000 Apple employees. The late Steve Jobs originally submitted the plans to Cupertino City Council in 2011 claiming they had the potential to be the “best office building in the world”. The building is just 4 storeys high and is designed to have zero net energy consumption thanks to 700,000 sq. ft. of solar panels. As well as the main donut-shaped campus building the site includes extensive parklands, a visitor centre, R&D labs, a corporate auditorium and parking, as shown in the gallery and slideshow below.

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Interview: Dave Coplin of Microsoft on Big Data, engagement and culture

Microsoft Thames Valley 1Dave Coplin joined Microsoft in 2005, and is now its Chief Envisioning Officer, helping to envision the full potential that technology offers a modern, digital society. He is a globally recognised expert on technological issues such Cloud computing, privacy, big data, social media, open government, advertising and the consumerisation of technology and is the author of a recent book called “Business Reimagined: Why work isn’t working and what you can do about it”. He is also one of the main speakers at this year’s Worktech conference in London on 19 and 20 November. In this exclusive interview with Insight he offers his thoughts on the lack of engagement between firms and employees, the most common misunderstandings about flexible working and the challenges facing managers in IT, FM and HR.

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Latest Insight newsletter is now available to view online

2.Insight_twitter_logo smIn this week’s Insight newsletter, available to view online; chaos is something that many organisations should harness as a way of fostering the creativity they claim to desire; FM is revealed as one of five UK industries where employees have reported the highest levels of long-term ill health; six architectural practices are shortlisted to design new RIBA HQ; and the CTBUH announces the winners of its Best Tall Building Worldwide competition. Pam Loch considers the CBI’s support for the opt-out of the maximum 48 hour working week; Philip Ross says we should never take the UK’s talent base for granted; and reflecting on a 400-year guide to ergonomics, Mark Eltringham observes paper may have been replaced by tablet computers, but the people using them haven’t changed at all.

RIBA announces practices shortlisted for design of new HQ

66 Portland PlaceThe names of the six architectural practices shortlisted by RIBA to design the organisation’s new headquarters in London have been revealed. They are Ben Adams, Moxon, Piercy & Company, shedkm, Spacelab and Theis & Khan.  The new £2.7 million building will be located at 76 Portland Place just a few doors down from its current home (above). However it wouldn’t be normal for a trade association  to make this announcement without some sort of controversy or squabbling and sure enough the Architects Journal today makes reference in a report on the fuss that surrounded the minimum turnover requirements that led many to accuse RIBA of excluding smaller practices as well as accusations of a lack of diversity in the selection panel.

As economy picks up, change management is greatest employment challenge

As economy picks up, implementing change is greatest management challenge in coming year

The latest figures from the Office of National Statistics show that the unemployment has fallen to 7.6 per cent, its lowest rate in more than three years, and the signs are that employers can plan for the future with renewed confidence. In a poll conducted at the recent Chartered Management Institute’s National Annual Conference, 74 per cent of managers said market conditions for their business are currently more conductive for growth than they were last year. Their biggest management challenge in the coming year will be implementing change initiatives, with other priorities being: coordinating business development activities; getting the best performance out of their team; achieving results with fewer resources; internally promoting their department as a value-adding business partner; and managing and bringing through star performers.

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UK commercial activity growth at strongest rate since March 2007

Growth of UK total commercial activity at 79-month highImproved client confidence, easier and greater access to funds, the general  upturn in the UK economy and overall stronger demand have contributed to a 79-month high for the UK commercial property sector, according to a new survey from commercial property consultancy Savills. The Total Commercial Development Activity Index from Savills posted +30.2 per cent in October. This was supported by a return to growth in public commercial projects, while the pace of expansion in private commercial work reached a survey peak. UK total commercial activity rose at the strongest rate since March 2007, with the net balance registering +30.2 per cent during October. UK commercial developers also indicated that both public and private commercial office activity increased during the last month. Click here to see the full report.

UK leads the world in talent, but it needs the right culture in which to thrive

London at nightWe should never take the UK’s talent base for granted. According to a new report from Deloitte, when it comes to employment levels of people in knowledge based jobs in high skill sectors such as digital media, banking, legal services, software development, telecoms and publishing, London is comfortably the world’s leading city. The study found that London employed 1.5 million people in the 22 sectors surveyed, compared with 1.2 million in New York, 784,000 in Los Angeles, 630,000 in Hong Kong and 425,000 in Boston. The report also predicts that London will enjoy rapid growth in employment levels in these sectors over the next seven years, adding around 100,000 more people and that while a decline in employment is foreseen in financial services, this will be more than offset by strong growth in creative and media businesses.

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UK commercial property lease lengths shorten to ten year low, claims report

let-signLease lengths for commercial property fell to an historic low in the year to June 2013, while income, lost due to tenants going bust, hit an all time high, according to a new report from IPD. The IPD Lease Events Review measures over 93,000 leases, and 3,500 lease events across the UK. The 2013 edition found that over 80 percent of UK leases signed in the year to June 2013 were under five years in length, the highest level since measurement began and up from 55 percent over the last ten years. The average length of commercial property leases is now 5.8 years, down from 7.8 years in 2003, lower even than the 6.0 years in 2009 at the lowest point of the recession. Landlords have struggled to maintain cash flow and lost over 6 percent of their income due to a record numbers of defaults and insolvencies last year.

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