Search Results for: business

RICS issues case studies to celebrate strategic role of facilities management

RICS has published six case studies examining the impact strategic facilities management (FM) can have on business performance. The case studies were devised following the publication of a 2012 research report, Raising the Bar: Enhancing the Strategic Role of FM, which found that over 75 per cent of survey respondents believe that facilities management is a strategic role. This was followed earlier this year by Raising the Bar: City Roundtables Report which made specific recommendations for action, including better promotion of the strategic role played by facilities management within organisations. The case studies were launched at the BBC’s Salford Quays building, featured in one of the studies, which describes the role the BBC’s FM team took in relocating critical services from London to Salford Quays and how the FM strategy was responsible for fostering creativity in the organisation. More →

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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Remove flexible working stigma to improve women’s career chances says report

UK leads Western Europe in offering flexible working and checking it's safeEmployers need to stop viewing female progression as a diversity issue and see the promotion of women in the workplace as a core business priority. This is according to a major new report by charity Opportunity Now, which surveyed 23,000 women between the ages of 28 and 40 as well as 2,000 men, to try and determine why women tend to be less successful than men at work after the age of 28, The report found a gap between organisational policies and the actual experiences of women at work, particularly women aged 28-40, including real challenges around bullying and harassment. And in a challenge to proposals for female-only programmes, the research found that women actually want better line management and initiatives such as flexible working – without the stigma it can cause which can often be an obstacle to progression.

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Rush to convert offices as demand for commercial property hits 14 year high

Supply and demandA new report from commercial property specialists Lambert Smith Hampton claims that demand for office space in the UK this year is set to hit its highest level since 2000. The firm claims in its annual Office Market Review that the take-up of office space could reach 30 million sq. ft in 2014, continuing the momentum from the remarkable 33 percent upswing in demand last year. However, the report also notes that, following the introduction of the Government’s new permitted development legislation in 2013, the number of notifications for conversions of office buildings to residential use jumped 500 percent in the first six months. The trend will act as a further constraint on supply and push up rents as businesses seek additional space for expansion or moves to new property at the end of leases although it will also remove obsolete office space in many less desirable business locations.

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Plans unveiled for London’s £1.5 billion Silvertown Quays development

Silvertown QuaysPlans have been released for the £1.5 billion redevelopment of Silvertown Quays in the East of London. The 7 million sq. ft. mixed use scheme will cover 62 acres on the site of the Royal Docks directly opposite the Excel exhibition centre. The development will include around 2.5 million sq. ft. of commercial and retail space, and some 2,500 new homes along with education, research and exhibition facilities. As announced by London Mayor Boris Johnson in 2013, one of the key features of the  project will be an avenue of ‘brand pavilions’, where companies from across the world will be invited to showcase their products. The district will be served by a new bridge connecting it to the ExCel site giving access to transport links, including the new Crossrail station with express services to the City of London, West End and beyond.

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Average office temperatures set too high say environmental experts

office temperatures set too high

The publication this week of the report Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability by the UN’s science panel that argues that the world is “ill-prepared” for risks from a changing climate, but that opportunities to respond to such risks still exist, proves more than ever that the built environment can play a vital role in helping to curb global warming. The most obvious place to start is by turning down the temperature of the office, which according to researchers from Lancaster University’s DEMAND Research Centre, has become warmer in recent years. As reported by Clickgreen, the researchers from Lancaster University say the average office temperature of 22 degrees C is way too high, and by simply turning down the thermostat and asking occupants to don another layer could do much to address global warming. More →

Consultation opens on changes to construction project safety

Safety on construction sitesA consultation on changes to the way safety on building projects is managed has opened today. The ten week consultation is being carried out by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) on proposals to replace the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 (CDM 2007). These currently apply to all construction work in the UK, and cover construction, alteration, fitting-out, commissioning, renovation, repair, upkeep, redecoration or other maintenance, decommissioning, demolition or dismantling. Key changes being proposed include the replacement of the CDM co-ordinator role with a principal designer role within the project team; introducing a duty on information, instruction, training and supervision to replace the duty to assess competence; removal of the domestic client exemption and transfer of these limited duties to the contractor/designer; and the replacement of the ACoP with tailored guidance. More →

CBI moves to new flagship London office at Cannon Place

CBI Cannon Street 1The CBI is moving out of the Centre Point building this weekend to take up residence at its new flagship offices in London’s Cannon Place on Monday (31st March). The UK’s leading business group is leaving the Centre Point building in London’s West End after 34 years to relocate to new offices in Cannon Place, above Cannon Street station, where its new headquarters will be based. The 25,000 sq ft space on the fourth floor of the eight-floored Cannon Place will be open plan and home to around 200 staff. It will boast a member lounge with work stations and meeting rooms, as well as regular exhibitions showcasing the best of British business from around the globe. This first exhibitor will be Bristol-based film and television company Aardman Animations, the makers of the award-winning Wallace and Gromit series. 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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The enduring need to put a bit more of the M into facilities management

Shutterstock's new offices, Empire State Building

Shutterstock’s new offices, Empire State Building

It may well be a statement of the obvious, but it’s worth reminding ourselves sometimes that the term facilities management consists of two words. There is often a bit too much emphasis on the facilities and a bit too little on the management and sometimes we look for design and product solutions to problems that would be better managed in some way. You can put this down to a number of things but to some extent at least it’s down the idea that when you are determined to use a hammer, every job looks like a nail. Obviously the media takes some of the blame for this mindset because it often earns income from businesses who want to sell their stuff to solve particular problems rather than focus on the idea that many of them can be addressed either as a management issue or in combination with products and design.

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Employers welcome an age-diverse workforce, but need to be prepared

Age diversityA recent report by the UKCES that predicted that the workplace of the future will see four generations of employees working side by side is being welcomed, rather than feared by employers, but they need to begin planning for the future now, or risk a skills shortage and being at a competitive disadvantage. The revelation that by 2030 four-generation or “4G” workplaces – will become increasingly common as people delay retiring, even into their 80s, prompted UKCES Commissioner Toby Peyton-Jones to ask whether this emerging multi-generational workplace would spell stress and culture clashes or create positive tension leading to innovation. Now a new study, Managing an age-diverse workforce, from the CIPD, shows that employers and employees see clear benefits from an increasingly age diverse workforce but need to do more to take full advantage. More →

Insight newsletter is now available to view online

2.Insight_twitter_logo smIn this week’s Insight newsletter, available to view online; new research from the Economist Intelligence Unit reveals organisations and business leaders are not very good at judging how responsive they are to change; while Deloitte research suggests the more firms strive to engage with the people who work for them, the less engaged they become. CIBSE designs its brand new website around an iconic new London building and RICS unveils plans for additional office space. Mark Eltringham on what lifts tell us about life; why the urban environment is an increasingly important part of the ‘virtual’ workplace; and to mark the United Nation’s International Day of Happiness, Jessica Pryce-Jones and Julia Lindsay explain why work should be a key focus of improving happiness.  To automatically receive our weekly newsletter, simply add your email address to the box on the home page.