Search Results for: interaction

Five essential office design trends to look for in the near future

Five essential office design trends to look for in the near future 0

Google Tel Aviv OfficeSince the early Twentieth Century, business leaders have been experimenting with office design in an attempt to improve productivity. From the sea of forward-facing desks imagined by Frederick Taylor, to the infamous cubicle of the late 1960s, to today’s open-plan office, each innovation has said something about our changing relationship to work. In a Gensler survey with more than 2,000 participants, 90 percent of respondents indicated that better workplace design and layout result in better overall performance. The greatest developments of recent times have emerged from the tech giants of Silicon Valley, where businesses have blended playfulness, company culture and the collaborative benefits of open layouts to craft unique and engaging spaces. So where are we headed? Here are five major trends that are likely to have a lasting impact on the way we work.

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Special edition of Ergonomics in Design focuses on sedentary work

Special edition of Ergonomics in Design focuses on sedentary work 0

ergonomics and muffin topsThe Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (HFES) has published a special edition of its in-house journal dedicated to the much discussed topics of sedentary working and the need for us to get out of our seats. You’ll have to pay for it however, although individual sections are available for a one off cost. HFES claims to be the  world’s largest scientific association for human factors and ergonomics professionals, with more than 4,800 members worldwide. The July issue of their journal Ergonomics in Design looks at the range of ailments associated with sedentary working, including obesity, heart disease and diabetes, weighs up what can be done to change the way people work, as well as the benefits and possible downsides to the most commonly suggested solutions, including sit-stand workstations, alternative seating designs and – God help us – treadmill desks.

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Email still default comms tool for virtual teams, despite drawbacks

Email still default comms tool for virtual teams, despite drawbacks

emailEmail remains the preferred way corporate teams stay in touch, but there is a widening technological gap between the generations. Although it remains the most widely used form of communication (87 percent) email also has the greatest potential to cause misunderstanding in nearly half (49 percent) of teams. The survey from EF Corporate Solutions of over 800 executives based in Brazil, China, France, Germany, Middle East, Russia, UK and US, indicated that a primary cause for conflict stems from language barriers (39 percent) but 45 percent said there are also barriers to communication between associates over 50 and under 30 in the way they use technology. Respondents also suggest that email has the potential to cause ‘information overload’ and teams can suffer from a lack of interaction when it is the preferred communication method.

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Agile workers beat strikes + World’s healthiest building + 3D printed office

Agile workers beat strikes + World’s healthiest building + 3D printed office

Insight_twitter_logo_2In this week’s issue; Paul Carder points out agile workers were unaffected by tube and train strikes; Maciej Markowski says despite digital technological advances, companies still appear to value human interaction and Sara Bean suggests employers only encourage home-working when it is on their terms. Mark Eltringham finds two new reasons to dislike tall buildings and argues employers attempt to manage stress in the workplace in the wrong way. We learn that a Chinese 3D printing firm plans to print a fully functioning office in Dubai; Melbourne claims to have the healthiest workplace in the world and an alarming report finds that the Internet is reducing our ability to memorise and recall things for ourselves. Subscribe for free quarterly issues of Work&Place and via the subscription form in the right hand sidebar for weekly news, follow us on Twitter and join our LinkedIn Group to discuss these and other stories.

Humans will remain at the heart of the emerging digital workplace

Humans will remain at the heart of the emerging digital workplace

HumanThe speed of technological development over the last 30 years has been pretty mind blowing. Of course, some technologies came and went, for instance you would struggle finding fax machines in your office nowadays or people using Pagers to contact one another.  It’s no wonder that in the early nineties futurologists predicted the death of the office. Technology was shaping the way we worked and was leading us away from office buildings towards a digital workplace. Yet videoconferencing hasn’t destroyed the need for business travel. Team meetings haven’t been abandoned because of messaging services like Yammer, Slack, Lync and Webex. We still do a lot of business face to face over coffee in a meeting room. Although technological advances have greatly improved the way we connect and do business, companies still appear to value human interaction.

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CTBUH announces winners of best tall buildings awards for 2015

CTBUH announces winners of best tall buildings awards for 2015

one-world-trade-centerThe Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat has announced the winners of the Best Tall Building Awards for 2015. The winners were selected from a pool of 123 entries based on an evaluation by a panel of industry experts. The organisers claim that not only do the winners exemplify best practice they also advocate ‘improvements in every aspect of performance, including those that have the greatest positive effect on the people who use these buildings and the cities they inhabit’. Many of this year’s winners demonstrate a commitment to sustainability, especially those that make use of greenery to enhance the looks and environmental credentials of the building. The organisers also note that buildings are better integrated into their surroundings which ‘has been a long-needed requirement’. The Best Tall Buildings have been named from 33 countries in four competing regions.

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Fit note scheme is not reducing long term sickness absence, claims new study

Fit note scheme is not reducing long term sickness absence, claims new study

long term sickness absenceThe UK government’s fit note scheme, introduced  five years ago to help people back to work from long term sickness absence, has failed to deliver its intended reductions, according to research from manufacturing and engineering trade association EEF and Jelf Employee Benefits. The study of 345 companies claims more than two-fifths (43 per cent) of employers believe the policy had not helped employees return to work, up from 35 per cent in 2010. Employers also told the survey that the quality of GP advice on fitness for work has deteriorated, which the report’s authors claim is largely down to the fact that only around one in eight GPs in the UK have been trained in specific health and work and the Government has shown no willingness to invest in more training to bring the numbers of those qualified up to the necessary levels necessary to meet its own goals.

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Facilities management shown to play role in productivity and wellbeing

Facilities management shown to play role in productivity and wellbeing

worldfmday2014_logoThe role of facilities management in increasing productivity and wellbeing is highlighted in a new survey by Sodexo and RICS of their facilities management professional members and contacts to mark World FM Day. Over half of those questioned (61%) said that improvements to workplace environments and services have a positive effect on employees and that employee wellbeing would have a high impact on their organisation over the next two years. The report claims that FM is helping to enhance areas such as social interactions among colleagues (30%), ease of efficiency in day to day tasks (22%) and employees’ health and wellbeing (22%). It builds on the recent Sodexo – Harris Interactive survey, “How Leaders Value Quality of Life,” which revealed 66 percent of managers are convinced that improving quality of life is a strategic priority for their institutions.

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The bonds that link work with place are loosening day by day

The bonds that link work with place are loosening day by day

Frayed ropeOver the decades designing productive spaces for work has focused on redefining the corporate office and its surroundings. While there are examples of quality design in buildings around the world, there is a growing movement that challenges the presumption that work should always be done “at work”. If we aim to allow people to be at their best, develop and nurture creativity and maximise quality output then we must ensure the place where the work is done is outstanding. Sarah Kathleen Peck of ‘It starts with’ summed it up when she wrote “There are people, places and things that make me feel like I’m building my energy stores, that rejuvenate me, and help me to do my best work. Likewise, there are also people and places that zap my energy; that leave me exhausted; that make me feel as though I’ve waste my time and my energy – and my day – without getting anything useful done.”

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KFC Germany introduces keyboard paper tray (for a while)

KFC Germany introduces keyboard paper tray (for a while)

kfc-keyboard-trayEver worry that the five minutes it takes to eat fast food is not only depriving you of nutrients but also the chance to stay online – unless you really don’t mind greasy fingerprints all over your smartphone? Maybe not, but it’s clearly a problem for some people which is why a German advertising and design agency has developed a Bluetooth enabled keyboard tray for KFC which allows customers to eat fatty food without the intrusion of inconveniences such as napkins, awareness of the physical world, their own thoughts and interactions with other people. The agency Gute Werbung and a tech firm called Serviceplan have helped the fast food chain to introduce the Tray Typer as part of a promotion. The device consists of a tray liner with a 0.4 mm thick keyboard, rechargeable battery and a Bluetooth chip.

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Collaborative work is the driving force behind the desk rental boom

Collaborative work is the driving force behind the desk rental boom

collaborative workingIn the wake of the Smarter Working West Midlands project, which encouraged SMEs to try co-working for free, it is increasingly apparent the nation’s small businesses are prepared to embrace alternative office space options. Both serviced offices and desk-rental can offer the flexibility a long-term office lease often cannot because they involve rental agreements that may work monthly or quarterly, while a traditional lease will generally require a commitment of several years. Desk rental also offers a chance of skill-sharing, collaborative work and networking. In fact this was the key benefit for many businesses participating in Smarter Working West Midlands. For startups the ability to expand, contract or even relocate office can be invaluable. It’s this flexibility which allows them to mould a space to their brand and make the office feel like a true home.

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A preview of this year’s Milan International Furniture Fair 0

Milan International Furniture FairOne of the least remarked upon consequences of the digital revolution of the past two decades has been its impact on the world of exhibitions. Not so long ago, these were one of the few ways people had of finding out about new products, firms, services and technologies. Now we can find as much as we would like about all of that kind of thing at any time, and so the exhibition has had to adopt a new role. In many ways, the changing role of shows has followed the same trajectory as that of offices. Far from becoming irrelevant or extinct, as some people predicted, they have instead developed a new prominence as platforms for new ideas, the sharing of information, meeting new people and reacquainting ourselves with old friends in the analogue world.

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