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Robotic managers likely to lack empathy and forget ethics, claims CMI report

RobotA new report into the judgements of managers has concluded that they are significantly more prone to responding in a ‘robotic’ way to moral questions than the general population, relying on handed-down rules rather than their own ethical standards. The report, Managers and their Moral DNA, was commissioned by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) in conjunction with personality testing website Moral DNA. It found that nearly three quarters of managers (74 percent) lack empathy and  do not fully consider the moral consequences  when they take decisions, which is 28 percent higher than the general population.  The report also claims that managers are 4 percent more compliant with rules and 5 percent less caring in their ethical decision-making at work than in their personal lives, a figure that tallies with other results from the Moral DNA database according to the report’s authors.

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CIBSE’s new website inspired by iconic new City of London building

5 Broadgate

5 Broadgate in the City of London

The look and feel of the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers’ (CIBSE) new website, which was unveiled this week, has been inspired by a building. According to CIBSE the modular, precise design of 5 Broadgate, designed by Make Architects is echoed in the modern new design, improved user navigation and optimisation for mobile and smart devices of its new website. 5 Broadgate, the new City headquarters for financial services firm UBS, is a 700,000 sq ft, 12 storey building based on a single block form, featuring deep reveals to windows and openings that are designed to add to its overall feeling of substance. The new building will include up to four trading floors, each able to accommodate approximately 750 traders, allowing UBS to consolidate its London trading operations into one building, when fully occupied in 2016. More →

Might a lack of joined-up thinking undermine UK high-tech ambitions?

Old Street: the UK's tech epicentre

Old Street: the UK’s tech epicentre

Over the past week both Prime Minister David Cameron and London Mayor Boris Johnson have offered up visions of economic success founded on new technology. Yet, as the CBI points out in a new report pinpointing the dearth of talent needed to  make such dreams a reality, politicians often appear to ignore the realities of a situation. In its new report, Engineering our Future,  the CBI calls for significant action to make a career in the key disciplines of science, technology, engineering and maths more attractive and easier to pursue. The report points out that these are the skills needed to underpin the Government’s stated focus on the tech, environmental, engineering and manufacturing industries that will shape the country’s future and is calling for a cut in tuition fees, new courses and inter-disciplinary qualifications to allow those skills to flourish.

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Business continuity report confirms technology still biggest threat to firms

Lock backgroundForget the recent UK floods. When it comes to risks to their businesses, it’s still tech that keeps business leaders awake at night, according to the latest annual Business Continuity Institute Horizon Scan report. Technology related threats continue to rank higher than natural disasters, security and industrial action according to the report which gauges the threats that organisations consider to be their biggest concerns. Nearly four-fifths of business leaders fear that an unplanned technological event, cyber attack or data breach will harm their business. Nearly three quarters (73 percent) consider malicious attacks through the Internet a major threat that needs to be managed closely, while nearly two-thirds (63 percent) think that social media remains a challenge. Meanwhile, one of last year’s threats – supply chain resilience – dropped out of the top ten completely.

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CIPD calls for a budget to address decline in UK productivity

UK productivity requires budget boostThe CIPD has urged the Chancellor to focus on delivering a “Budget for Productivity” when he delivers his 2014 Budget on 19 March. The employment body has today put forward a package of proposals which call for labour market inclusion and the development of more productive, inclusive, and engaging workplaces. It is calling for a fundamental review of UK skills policy, together with a new focus on the workplace, the nature of jobs for the future, and how skills are being utilised. This, the CIPD argues, is critical if the necessary leap in productivity is to be delivered to boost real wages. A recent CIPD report  found that already weak UK productivity has worsened as a result of a slow-down in job turnover during the recession and an extraordinary run of hiring that has preceded the recent return to growth. More →

London conference debates international office measurement standard

Measuring officesThe implementation of an international property measurement standard for offices (IPMS for Offices) moved forward last week when a group of leading professional bodies from across the world met at RICS’ HQ in London. The two-day meeting (20-21 Feb 2014) brought together representatives from many of the 31 member organisations of the International Property Measurement Standard Coalition (IPMSC), who discussed plans for the launch and implementation of IPMS across international real estate markets. A rise in cross-border property investment and expansion by global corporate occupiers has exposed the difficulties that can arise when dealing with differing national and local measurement practices. The first of its kind, IPMS seeks to standardise the way office space is measured around the world. More →

New BIFM professional standards give FMs yet more career choices

FM career choices

Unlike HR, which is wholly represented by the CIPD, FM continues to offer a choice of professional bodies. RICS boasts it is the only one that gives FMs the opportunity to achieve Chartered Status, something which the British Institute of Facilities Management (BIFM) is yet to offer. The BIFM has now announced the launch of a set of standards to “form a global competence model for the profession”. The Facilities Management Professional Standards its says, can be used to benchmark skills, knowledge and competence for those working at all levels in the FM profession. While RICS positions itself as the preferred route for a strategic facilities management career, the BIFM competences are intended to define each level in an FM’s career, from a support role through to a strategic role. FMs then, are still faced with the choice, to follow one or both organisations. More →

Workplace is in a state of flux, with many more changes to come

Workplace is in a state of flux with many more changes to come

Although we remain wary of predicting the workplace of the future, it is useful to discover what managers think is likely to happen, even if some of it is pretty obvious.  In a new survey, HR decision-makers forecast the workforce of 2018 will look fundamentally different from that of 2013; including more workers opting to work part-time rather than retire (92%), managing an older workforce (88%), individuals maintaining and developing skill sets in multiple simultaneous careers (79%) and more than half of all workers being temporary / on contract or freelance (60%). A whopping 98 per cent of organisations have already experienced some kind of major organisational change over the last five years – the most common being restructuring (74%), a change in leadership (64%) and downsizing (64%).  More →

New study claims vast majority of builders now enjoying advantages of BIM

ConstructionA new report from McGraw Hill Construction claims that contractors in nine of the world’s top construction markets who use Building Information Modelling (BIM) believe that the technology helps them to improve productivity, efficiency, quality and safety on their projects, as well as their own competitiveness. The Business Value of BIM for Construction in Major Global Markets SmartMarket Report reveals that contractors in markets with well-established BIM use, such as Canada, France, Germany, the UK and US, as well as those in markets that are still in the initial stages of BIM adoption, such as Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, Japan, and South Korea, are seeing a positive return on their investments in BIM, from project benefits like reduced errors and omissions, to process improvements like the ability to enhance collaboration, and internal business benefits such as enhancing their company’s image.

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The nine enduring workplace tensions to keep an eye on in the year ahead

The nine enduring workplace tensions to keep an eye on in the year aheadThere were a number of workplace issues that wouldn’t go away during 2013. And there’s no reason to believe we will resolve many of them during 2014 either. We can try to explain the recalcitrance of such things by referring to the enveloping fog that emanates from the commercial interests who promote problems to their customers so they can provide the solutions, but many are more deep-rooted. Technology and its constant radicalising effects is almost invariably the major driver of change, but it is only one thread in a complex web of social, professional, demographic, cultural and commercial changes. So here, in no particular order, are the issues we expect to spend the most time talking about on Insight over the next year. More →

Don’t be caught by surprise by the hidden costs of commercial property


let-signAccording to Colliers International’s recent Global Investor Sentiment Report, 2014 will see an increase in commercial property investor confidence, with 74 per cent of UK based investors saying they were more likely to risk investing across all property sectors, although offices remain the most popular category to invest in. Yet despite this vote of confidence, it seems strange to report that the real costs involved in property acquisition and maintenance, are frequently overlooked by the purchasers. It appears that businesses often have a patchy knowledge of the range of costs involved in owning or leasing commercial real estate, which is surprising when you consider that a company’s biggest single investment next to its workforce is commercial property.

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Leading management bodies launch initiative to help employers value their talent

Management experts join forces in strategic workforce investment initiative

Measuring the value of an organisation’s talent and its people management practices has remained stubbornly elusive. This has prompted a group of leading professional bodies to join forces to help businesses measure the impact of their people on organisational performance and better equip them to improve workforce skills and productivity. The ultimate goal of the ‘Valuing your Talent’ initiative by the CIPD, the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES), the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), the Chartered Management Institute (CMI), Investors in People (IIP) and the Royal Society for the Arts (RSA); is to develop an open framework for the measurement of human capital that will make good people management practices more visible, and encourage businesses to invest more strategically in their workforces.

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