Search Results for: one public sector estate

Workplace wellbeing is now embedded in the very bricks and mortar of the building

Workplace wellbeing is now embedded in the very bricks and mortar of the building 0

For some time now, the debate about how the workplace adds to the bottom line of an organisation has focused increasingly on the subject of wellbeing. There are plenty of good reasons for this, with the issue subject to both the push of employers as well as the pull of employees. Everybody thinks it’s a good idea and it’s easy to see why. Wellbeing is about business ethics, recruitment and retention, productivity, physical and mental health, work-life balance, absenteeism and the management of a flexible workforce, and all the other things that underpin the success and health of an organisation and each individual. It suggests a more positive approach to the workplace than either health & safety or occupational health, both of which remain disciplines more focused on reducing risk and harm than promoting positive outcomes, as is the case with wellbeing. Neither is it about something as raw and nebulous as productivity, which remains difficult and even impossible to measure for knowledge and creative workers and only offers a single dimension on a key workplace issue anyway.

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Reflection on facilities management and the people I’ve met along the way

Reflection on facilities management and the people I’ve met along the way 0

facilities management there and back againI’m in reflective mood. Yesterday was #WorldFMDay, I thought I should reflect on my affection for, and criticism of, Facilities Management (or Facility Management). It is merely one person’s perspective. But it may provide a viewpoint, perhaps useful (or not) for the younger professionals joining our sector. There are some great, varied, and sometimes well-paid careers ahead for people who pick up the education and variety of skills needed in today’s FM market. And to keep my friends happy, I’ll take the widest definition of FM that you may find! It is different in almost every organisation, and only limited by what one chooses to add to the FM portfolio. And the confidence shown in FM by the leadership of that organisation. That confidence is in the people who lead, manage and deliver FM – and there are some great leaders, managers and ‘do-ers’ around the world. It is a truly global sector.

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Fresh concerns raised about council investments in commercial property market

Fresh concerns raised about council investments in commercial property market 0

As we reported last month, the level of investment in commercial property undertaken by UK local authorities is raising serious concerns within both central government and the real estate sector. Now, a fresh warning has been issued by the former business secretary Sir Vince Cable that councils face potential bankruptcy if the property bubble bursts. In recent years councils have faced an average 37 percent real term cut in government funding and so have taken to borrowing large sums at low interest rates from the Treasury’s Public Works Loan Board to reinvest in commercial property ventures. The move has already been identified as risky by the Government’sown Public Accounts Committee and Cable joins a chorus of voices in expressing doubts.

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MPs criticise the Government’s response to gender pay gap recommendations

MPs criticise the Government’s response to gender pay gap recommendations 0

MPs criticise the Government's response to gender pay gap recommendations

If the Government will fail to achieve its goal of eliminating the gender pay gap in a generation if it continues to ignore the evidence which it is being given, a cross-party committee of MPs has said. The Women and Equalities Committee is disappointed with the Government’s response to a series of recommendations it put forward last March, which it says shows that the Government is not effectively tackling the structural causes of the gender pay gap. While the Government’s recognises the business case for reducing the gender pay gap and acknowledges structural factors contributing to the pay gap, including women doing jobs for which they are overqualified, concentration in part-time work, and being penalised for taking time out of work to raise children; it rejects most of the Committee’s seventeen evidence-based recommendations for addressing these issues. Instead it highlights gender pay gap reporting, as “key to accelerating progress,” and maintains that current policies on Shared Parental Leave, flexible working, and supporting women back into work are adequate.

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Newsletter: Self-image problem + Top tech trends for 2017 + Offices more productive places? 0

An EMC officeIn this week’s Newsletter; Steven Lambert argues millennials’ love of mod cons may make them dislike noisy open offices; Cathy Hayward describes a tech giant’s One Team approach to workplace management and design; and Mark Eltringham says FM is not alone in thinking that it doesn’t shout loudly enough. The majority of people prefer working in an office; Gartner highlights the top technology trends; a belief Brexit could improve European commercial real estate investment opportunities; and the majority of freelancers don’t want more employment rights. Automation could swallow a sixth of public sector jobs; flexible working behind growing popularity of self-employment; and corporate real estate sector is reducing energy consumption, carbon emissions and water usage. Download our new Briefing, produced in partnership with Boss Design on the link between culture and workplace strategy and design; visit our new events page, follow us on Twitter and join our LinkedIn Group to discuss these and other stories.

Businesses failing to look at workplace effectiveness in the right way

Businesses failing to look at workplace effectiveness in the right way 0

workplace-effectivenessThis month, the director-general of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), Carolyn Fairbairn, suggested that productivity growth across all parts of the UK economy should be the number one priority for business and government. And the CBI isn’t alone in emphasising the importance of honing in on and tackling the ongoing productivity problem. According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) economic forecast summary, published earlier this summer, productivity has been exceptionally weak since 2007 and doesn’t show much sign of abating nearly ten years later. Labour productivity per employee has failed to markedly rise since the global downturn and the UK is still miles behind the G7 average – that’s according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) quarterly figures and CBI data. So, to echo Fairbairn, reviving British productivity is essential to sustain growth and living standards.

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Post Brexit business confidence returns but overall uncertainty remains

Post Brexit business confidence returns but overall uncertainty remains 0

BrexitBlink and you’ll miss some news item on Brexit, so here’s just some of the stuff we’ve picked up on the last few days. It’s hard to imagine that any of these stories might be woven into some sort of coherent narrative, especially when the Prime Minister has yet to announce any details or timescales for the UK’s mooted withdrawal from the EU, if not the Single Market. Some of the ifs and buts are laid out in this excellent blog, but the reality is that nobody really knows what will happen and, as the writer suggests, the UK may not have the expertise to deliver a coherent withdrawal anyway. In the meantime, there appears to be some sense that business is returning to normal. The key CIPS/Markit survey of business confidence has bounced back both quickly and strongly and there are other signs that not all is doom and gloom. That said, there are clear signs that overseas partners are spooked amid the uncertainty even though the still low Sterling exchange rate continues to make the UK attractive.

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Property and workplace experts have their say on the Brexit outcome

Property and workplace experts have their say on the Brexit outcome 0

brexitWell, the results are in and the UK’s electorate has voted by a narrow margin for the country to leave the EU. There are likely to be other developments but whatever you make of the UK’s decision to vote to leave the EU – and I think it’s fair to say most independent people think it’s inexplicable – there’s no doubt that it will have a profound impact on the UK’s economy, relationship with the world, culture, working conditions and markets. What it will mean in practice won’t be apparent for months or years, of course, but that hasn’t stopped experts who work in the property, workplace, design, legal, HR and architecture sectors having their say on its potential implications. We’ll look at these specific issues in more detail going forward but for now, here’s a round-up of those we have so far, which we’ll keep updated throughout the day as the dust settles on what will prove to be a momentous decision for the UK, Europe and rest of the world.

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London office rents predicted to stay strong provided there’s no Brexit

London office rents predicted to stay strong provided there’s no Brexit 0

City of London BrexitThe continuing imbalance between the supply and demand for office space throughout London is resulting in a shift in the balance of negotiating power away from tenants, according to the latest London Office Update from Carter Jonas. Rents across Central London have, on average, risen by over 50 percent over the last five years in the West End, Midtown and South Bank office markets, and by over 30 percent in the City of London. Rent free periods have typically fallen by up to six months over the same period. In the next 18-24 months, the trend will continue to be higher rents and shorter rent free periods as availability remains low. While some occupiers may leave London altogether, others may adopt a ‘spoke and hub’ strategy, whereby back office functions relocate to peripheral, lower cost, areas while ‘client facing’ operations are retained in Central London. This prediction assumes that Britain rejects Brexit however, and there are no major economic shocks.

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What the imminent arrival of driverless vehicles will mean for the way we work

What the imminent arrival of driverless vehicles will mean for the way we work 0

Driverless carsGame changing technology doesn’t come any more disruptive than driverless vehicles. The problem is that we may find the whole idea easy to dismiss based on our past experiences of this sort of thing. Autonomous vehicles carry the whiff of Tomorrow’s World about them, yet they are about to go mainstream far sooner than we might think and their advent will have a major impact on the way we work and live. Both Ford and BMW have announced they intend to have fully autonomous  vehicles on the roads within five years. That doesn’t mean the test models that are already on the roads but commercially available vehicles; Volvo will have 100 customers in Sweden and the UK using the vehicles next year. Tesla claims its cars will be driverless in two years. And it’s not just car makers who are intent on grabbing a share of this new market but computer makers like Google and Apple as well as sharing economy pioneers like Uber.

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BIFM launches new guide to construction and design processes

BIFM launches new guide to construction and design processes 0

BIMThe British Institute of Facilities Management (BIFM) has launched its new ‘Operational Readiness Guide: A guide to ensuring long term effectiveness in the design and construction process’. The guide aims to ‘equip facilities management professionals with the skills, knowledge and guidance to effectively engage at each stage of the design and construction process to deliver greater value to the end user organisations that occupy the buildings.’ Its launch coincides with the first day that centrally procured public sector projects in the UK will require the implementation of Building Information Modelling (BIM) at Level 2. The authors claims that in order for FMs ‘to deliver long term effectiveness and relevance for the end user facilities management professionals need to be engaged from the start and learnings and insights from operators applied to close the gap between building design and performance’.

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While politicians squabble, here’s what the Budget meant for the workplace

While politicians squabble, here’s what the Budget meant for the workplace 0

Bash streetStrange as it may seem now, there was a Budget last week. We’d planned to produce a report on it once the dust had settled but given that whatever dust had originally been kicked up has now been swept away by a political storm, it’s only now we feel able to offer some perspective a few days out. As ever these days, the budget touched on a number of aspects of the workplace, sometimes hitting the mark and sometimes suggesting politicians don’t yet understand how people work. There was the usual stuff about rates and commercial property but also plenty to digest about the freelance economy, productivity, new technology, flexible working legislation and the current, often faltering attempts to develop wealth and infrastructure as well as the 21st Century creative and digital economy in places other than London. There’s plenty to digest here and plenty of people have already had their say, so a chance to grab a coffee and take all or some of it in.

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