Search Results for: bco

Has digital transformation led to an upsurge in workplace disinformation?

Has digital transformation led to an upsurge in workplace disinformation?

You don’t have to look far to find misinformation. Just a few weeks ago, amid the aftermath of the coup in Niger, online platforms were being inundated with false information, intensifying tensions surrounding the nation’s future. This included erroneous videos on TikTok and Twitter suggesting the presence of Wagner Group (Russian state-funded) fighters, false claims about Algeria’s military involvement, and inaccurate assertions about banning uranium export to France. More →

Bisley launches new showroom in Dubai

Bisley launches new showroom in Dubai

Bisley, the south Wales based office furniture designer and manufacturer, is consolidating its success in the Middle East region with the launch of a new Dubai showroomBisley, the south Wales based office furniture designer and manufacturer, is consolidating its success in the Middle East region with the launch of a new Dubai showroom, the largest showroom in its global portfolio. Located in Dubai’s central business district, the new showroom joins others in Bisley’s global portfolio including New York, Paris, and Dusseldorf, and follows the summer 2023 launch of Bisley’s Manchester showroom, its first in the north of the UK, designed to service significant market growth in the northern and Scottish markets. More →

The office needs to take on the characteristics of the city. Despina Katsikakis IN conversation

The office needs to take on the characteristics of the city. Despina Katsikakis IN conversation

Despina Katsikakis, the new President of the BCO has been shaping the way we think about offices for four decades

One of the unintended consequences of the era of online meetings is a chance to gain an insight into people’s actual lives. So it is that as Despina Katsikakis and I are talking, she spots my whippet Luna wandering into shot in the background and lets out an exclamation. She too has a whippet by her feet. And as a result, this abnormal, formal situation becomes a lot more normal and relaxed.   More →

Issue 17 of IN Magazine lands

Issue 17 of IN Magazine lands

IN Magazine issue 17 lands

The new digital edition of IN Magazine is now available, free to read here. Print copies will be mailed out to subscribers soon. In this issue: we talk to incoming BCO President Despina Katsikakis about whippets and, less importantly, her history of pioneering workplace innovation; we visit a new space in London that proves biophilia is about a lot more than a plant wall; a special supplement produced in partnership with BVN explores the multi-faceted complexity of retrofit; Helen Parton explores how new developments are looking to increase their social value; we question the wisdom of predictions; and much more. More →

How routines and boredom can spark creativity

How routines and boredom can spark creativity

Every day, after a leisurely breakfast in bed and the opening of his post, Roald Dahl would wander down his garden to the grubby little hut crammed with personal paraphernalia he had created. There he would sharpen the six yellow pencils that were always by his side while he worked, settle into an armchair, put his feet up on an old suitcase filled with logs, place an American yellow legal pad of paper onto a makeshift board on his lap and work for two hours. More →

Despina Katsikakis elected President of the British Council for Offices

Despina Katsikakis elected President of the British Council for Offices

Despina Katsikakis, Executive Partner & Global Lead, Total Workplace at Cushman & Wakefield, has been elected as President of the British Council for Offices (BCO)Despina Katsikakis, Executive Partner & Global Lead, Total Workplace at Cushman & Wakefield, has been elected as President of the British Council for Offices (BCO) with immediate effect. She succeeds Mark Kowal, Partner at Sheppard Robson. Peter Crowther, Managing Director at Bruntwood, becomes Senior Vice President. More →

Understanding the power of mindset and what it can do for you

Understanding the power of mindset and what it can do for you

Understanding mindset, its power, and how to change it, can be transformative on both an individual and team level.An individual’s mindset influences everything that they do. Built around a set of established values, beliefs, and attitudes, your mindset frames your outlook and guides your behaviour, demarking your perceived limitations. It’s something that influences every area of our lives, from the relationships we form to the way we approach challenges and change. When you’re working with people, implementing policies, and trying to get the best from your available talent, it’s vital that you understand what motivates your team members – and what’s holding them back. Understanding mindset, its power, and how to change it, can be transformative on both an individual and team level. More →

Embrace the chaos: the office must find a new purpose, conference concludes

Embrace the chaos: the office must find a new purpose, conference concludes

The British Council for Offices (BCO) annual conference, this year hosted in Dublin, addressed the purpose of the office in the context of the evolving world of work

What is the purpose of the office? That was the central question at this year’s British Council for Offices (BCO) conference which took place in Dublin. A big ask.

Nonetheless, the speakers and delegates that arrived in Dublin were up for the task. In the opening address, BCO senior VP & conference chair Despina Katsikakis promised delegates the conference would explore and untangle the intricate elements of the ecosystem that must seamlessly merge tech-led work, play and… well, survival. The focus of the two-day event (or three for those who like golf) was to devise strategies to design, build and manage vibrant and inspiring workplaces that foster the wellbeing and advancement of the individuals and communities they serve, all while promoting social, economic, and environmental sustainability.

As one would perhaps expect from a BCO conference, several speakers made a case for the office, including Davina Saint, director of the Irish National Assets Management Agency. Nobody relates naturally with screens or virtual protocols, she said, so we need to embrace the idea of social capital: “It makes organisations go around,” she said. “It’s the electricity in the machine. The shift to remote working has dented social capital. There’s less connection and more isolation. Productivity and innovation have also taken a dive.”

“I believe strongly in the office,” said Niall Gaffney, CEO of Ireland’s largest office landlord IPUT, during the developer’s panel. Fellow panellist Kevin Nowlan, senior advisor to Hibernia Real Estate Group, agreed: “Culture and life comes from people being and working together.” The workplace will play a key role in reinventing cities, they chimed in unison. Why? “Because the office is where the magic and inspiration happen,” Saint said. “It’s where the social heart of an organisation can beat.”

As the audience were reminded throughout the conference, many people meet their partners at work

But it goes beyond business. As the audience were reminded throughout the conference, many people meet their partners at work. If marriages are born out of proximity rather than heaven, perhaps that means there will be fewer weddings, fewer children. That musing may well prompt a shrug in response but it’s worth noting there’s already a dwindling workforce. Yes, borders are clamping shut, but it may also be because people aren’t having children as often as they used to. Last year, the Financial Times, citing Office for National Statistics data, revealed that the “natural population of the UK will begin to decline by the middle of the decade, leaving the country dependent on migration to increase the working-age population”. But freedom of movement is not so free anymore. Dublin, we have a problem.

 

Stupid cupid

While it might not be up to workplace professionals to channel their inner cupids, you can bet your bottom dollar the population crisis will be on future BCO conference agendas. Until then, however, there’s a more relatable challenge in play. The industry needs to focus on the role of the office in a rapidly changing world. Bill Hughes, global head of real assets at Legal & General Investment Management, looked at the old and new definitions of an office. The traditional definition is “a room or set of rooms in which business, professional duties, clerical work are carried out”. Today, it’s where important face-to-face interactions and teamwork happens. It’s where culture is built. “It’s where knowledge transfer and learning through osmosis occurs,” Hughes said. “It’s about energy and having fun.”

The future of the world of work is an obsession for bosses

“The future of the world of work is an obsession for my bosses,” the BBC journalist Simon Jack said, during the ‘business of politics’ discussion. “Because it “affects the lives and livelihoods of our audience.” And that’s perhaps why there’s so much focus on the employee experience. Billions have been spent on the customer experience. Many of the speakers stressed that it’s time we do the same with the employee experience.

In a session on the purpose of place, Andy McBain, head of future of workspace & design at NatWest, shared that the bank’s workplace strategy focuses on experience, events and an element of experimentation. But experience can’t be a fluffy add-on, he suggested. It must be measured and tracked if it’s to evolve and deliver ultimate impact. To that end, McBain’s team uses Audiem, an advanced employee feedback analytics tool, that allows heads of real estate not only to get the flagship quantitative scores that they need to track and manage performance but also dive deep into the qualitative data, helping them understand the drivers behind satisfaction at a granular level. “It’s allowing us to develop specific approaches we know directly addresses employee concerns because we can see what they’ve said about it and how it’s affecting them,” said McBain.

Vernon Blunt, head of global workplace operations at Ericsson, and Paul Casey, global real estate EMEA director at IBM, agreed that hybrid is here to stay, though the jury’s out when it comes to the effectiveness of mandates. While employee experience remains the focus, cost-cutting is coming to the fore because for the CFO must be kept as happy as the CPO. It’s a cost and experience juggling exercise. There also seems to be less focus on how to get people back to the office, but more energy going into how to self-organise around the busy days.

These occupiers want and demand more flexibility and shorter leases. Rob Harris of Ramidus Consulting urged that contract and service level agreements need to change to become more flexible, especially for SMEs who he called the “growth engine of the economy”. There’s also a recognition that there might be too much space. Avison Young’s Nick Axford highlighted that one third of office space could be re-used for community initiatives, but the infrastructure isn’t yet there to make this happen. Also calling for a systemic transition was Indy Johar, co-founder of Architecture 00. “Forget about building new workplaces, we need to build a new UK,” he said.

The conference delved into workplace design, management and communication principles that foster culture, health and wellness, and collaboration. During various sessions, speakers and attendees examined the strategies employed by occupiers in their quest to navigate the challenges of the present and forge a path towards a better future. We have a long way to go on that front, but the will is there.

The circular economy is a great opportunity, but it doesn’t add up yet

The circular economy is a great opportunity, but it doesn’t add up yet

The circular economy offers huge opportunities and is vital for a ‘greener’ future. Currently, it just doesn’t make commercial sense for widespread adoptionThe circular economy, carbon measurement, product material content, rental, ‘take back’, reuse and recycling – all actions for a more environmentally responsible workplace sector. But what are the priorities? Manufacturers and suppliers are arguably challenged by lack of clarity, requirements for significant investment, combined with cost pressures in a heavily subscribed market. More →

KI 800 Series storage defines spaces at award-winning Sunderland City Hall

KI 800 Series storage defines spaces at award-winning Sunderland City Hall

As part of an ongoing £500m regeneration project for Sunderland City Centre, a new City Hall has been developed on the former Vaux brewery site on the River Wear. The brief from Sunderland City Council was to create a space that could incorporate various council departments while creating somewhere that provides opportunities to engage with the local community. This includes a multifunctional council chamber, customer service centre, and café, all of which are on the ground floor. Since its completion, the City Hall won a BCO Award and was also named ‘Best of the Best’ National & Regional winner – both in the ‘Corporate Workplace’ category. More →

Office sector net zero targets require significant shift in thinking

Office sector net zero targets require significant shift in thinking

An image of the Earth from space to illustrate what is at stake for the office sector, which is one of the main contributors to carbon emissionsA new report, Delivering Net Zero Carbon in the Workplace [BCO members only] produced by University College London Consultants (UCLC) for the British Council for Offices (BCO), claims to identify the barriers that businesses are facing as they strive to drastically reduce the carbon footprint of their offices. The report, informed by over 100 office occupiers and building professionals, outlines the measures that those working in the office sector can take to overcome these barriers at what the report suggests is low or zero cost. More →

Vast majority of unemployed over-50s planning to return to work

Vast majority of unemployed over-50s planning to return to work

An exclusive survey of over 50s by the UK’s leading independent job board, CV-Library, claims that an overwhelming 91 percent of inactive workers in the age bracket intend to return to work.  The Office for National statistics (ONS) recently revealed that the number of people aged 50-64 who are economically inactive has increased by 3.6 million, a rise of 10 percent since before the pandemic and the survey results support this with 41.5 percent reporting that they either left a job or have been out of work since then, but a turnaround looks imminent. More →