Search Results for: smart cities

Coworking is now the key driver of change in property market

Coworking is now the key driver of change in property market

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Having disrupted the property sector over the last decade, coworking continues to impact investors, developers and end users as the concept appears to be the dominant force in the commercial sector. Coworking can trace its roots back as far as the 1980s when Regus (now part of IWG) popularised the idea of a serviced office, by taking on leases of office buildings, subdividing the available space and leasing it out to small business, fully furnished and ready to rent. More →

AI is the biggest business disruptor on world stage

AI is the biggest business disruptor on world stage

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UK Asis TechAI and its transformational effect on the global business landscape was the dominant theme on day one of the UK Asia Tech Powerhouse Conference. Transforming urban mobility thanks to rapidly growing cities, and how Asian cities are leading the march towards a digital future also featured in the first of the two-day event, with influencers from across trade, investment and technology, including Singaporean entrepreneur Annabelle Kwok and Mark Purdy, Accenture’s Group Chief Economist and Managing Director at Accenture Research. More →

What is workplace technology really for, anyway?

What is workplace technology really for, anyway?

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Workplace technology started with simple tools It’s a hot day on the Savannah, and our hero Jon picks up the tool that he uses to hunt and cut his food, and marches across the plain to complete the next big task of the day—survival. Even though Jon lived 2.5 million years before basic writing was developed, the tools he’s invented are the difference between eating or starving. Jon is one smart Ape, and he wasn’t even doing it for likes or followers. Of course, big Jon’s tool is not workplace technology as you might think about it, but it is in the truest sense. More →

SMEs are driving job growth but lack skills says OECD

SMEs are driving job growth but lack skills says OECD

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Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have been a significant driver of employment growth in recent years, mainly through the creation of new firms, including in high-growth sectors such as information and communication technologies (ICT). But the new OECD SME and Entrepreneurship Outlook claims to highlight how most SME job creation has been in sectors with below average productivity levels, with SMEs typically paying employees around 20 percent less than large firms. While SMEs are more engaged in new organisational or marketing practices than large firms, and sometimes more innovative in developing new products and processes, many continue to struggle disproportionately with developing the skills and resources needed to navigate the increasing complexity in technologies and markets.

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Wellbeing, a pile of turtles, office culture and some other stuff

Wellbeing, a pile of turtles, office culture and some other stuff

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acoustics and wellbeingThis week is Clerkenwell Design Week amongst other things, and as part of it I chaired a discussion on Tuesday about acoustics at work in the showroom of Flokk and their effect on wellbeing. We were fortunate to have a panel that involved the likes of Nigel Oseland, Michelle Wilkie of tp bennett, Joachim Schubert of Offecct and Lee Jones of Wellworking as well as an informed audience, if for no other reason than everybody’s ability to talk about the subject as complex and multi-faceted and, to some extent, hardwired. More →

Coworking and a new golden era for the workplace and the people who inhabit it

Coworking and a new golden era for the workplace and the people who inhabit it

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coworking officeThe idea of coworking is starting to resonate with a growing number of businesses and for a growing number of reasons. People new to the concept, or those who are aware primarily of its roots, may discover or retain a notion that it is a way for start-ups and freelancers to share space as a way of keeping down costs or networking with similar organisations. There is still a great deal of truth in this, given that the initial growth of coworking was based almost exclusively on the need for small tech and creative organisations to occupy space near to their larger clients, in precisely those urban enclaves that demand eye-watering rents and conventional leases.

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City of Cambridge to digitally clone itself in bid to tackle congestion and pollution

City of Cambridge to digitally clone itself in bid to tackle congestion and pollution

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Smart Cambridge and researchers from the Cambridge Centre for Smart Infrastructure and Construction (CSIC) at Cambridge University have announced plans to create a digital clone of the city to explore how congestion and commuting times can be reduced and air quality improved. Researchers at the University of Cambridge-based CSIC and officers from Cambridgeshire County Council’s transport, sustainability and planning departments are examining how digital technology and data can be used to support decisions and make improvements.

The study will focus on the creation of a digital twin prototype, combining traditional urban modelling techniques, new data sources and data analytics. The prototype will include the recent trends of journeys to work in Cambridge, including how people of different ages and employment status travel to work and how different factors affect their travel. It will also explore future possible journeys to work based on transport investment, housing developments and how flexible working and new technology may impact commuting. A web-based modelling platform will also visualise future development options and give people an opportunity for feedback.

“Digital twins have the potential to help cities develop more holistic policies which will assist in addressing some of the very real challenges urban areas face such as congestion, pollution and the need to become more sustainable,” said Dan Clarke, strategy and partnerships manager for Smart Cambridge.

CSIC led a workshop with council officers in December which helped them to understand local requirements and how they can deliver a digital twin prototype which responds to imminent city challenges and supports the policy goals of improving air quality and reducing congestion.

“We are now working on the prototype and will deliver an initial version in eight weeks,”said CSIC research associate Dr Timea Nochta. “We will continue to develop it alongside the council so that it can be used to its full potential and so that officers feel confident in asking the right questions for technology to answer.”

Claire Ruskin, executive board member for the Greater Cambridge Partnership, and CEO of Cambridge Network, said: “We have worked together to collect and understand information before, and Smart Cambridge is delighted to be working with university teams again. We can begin developing next-generation tools for supporting plans and policies to give people alternatives to their cars to help improve journeys, reduce congestion and improve air quality in Greater Cambridge.”

The project has been funded by the Ove Arup Foundation and the Centre for Digital Built Britain. The work of Smart Cambridge is supported by the Connecting Cambridgeshire programme, led by Cambridgeshire County Council, with investment from the Greater Cambridge Partnership. CSIC is an Innovation and Knowledge Centre funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, Innovate UK and industry.

Image: Andrew Dunn

Seven reasons why this will not be the office of the future

Seven reasons why this will not be the office of the future

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At this time of year, it seems like we don’t have to wait more than a few hours before some or other organisation is sharing its prognosis about how we will be working in the future. The thing these reports usually share in common, other than a standardised variant of a title and a common lexicon of agility, engagement and connectivity, is a narrow focus based on their key assumptions about what the office of the future will be like. While these are rarely false per se, and often offer valuable insights, they also frequently exhibit a desire to look at only one part of the great workplace elephant. While the more informed reports make excellent points and identify trends,  across most there are routine flaws in thinking that can lead them to make narrow and sometimes incorrect assumptions and so draw similarly flawed conclusions. Talk of the office of the future tells us rather a lot about how we view offices right now.

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Facebook is the new smoking, orgasms at work, a ghost airport and some other stuff

Facebook is the new smoking, orgasms at work, a ghost airport and some other stuff

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A slow news week here in the UK so the opportunity presents itself for quiet consideration of some important issues about the workplace. The big story has been the change of identity for the British Institute of Facilities Management, unveiled after weeks of debate and speculation. We’ll be running some commentary on what this all might mean in the next few days but for now, suffice it so say that any parallels with Brexit are entirely coincidental.

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An intersectional approach to trends in workplace design at Orgatec 2018

An intersectional approach to trends in workplace design at Orgatec 2018

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There are perhaps three characteristics that ensure the European office furniture and workplace design fair Orgatec continues to attract so many exhibitors and visitors to Cologne. Firstly, it takes place every two years, so offers a snapshot of a sector, framing the most important workplace developments in a particular time and place. For those of us who’ve been attending the shows for any length of time (in my case 26 years), we can track the evolution of workplace thought in a measured way, noting key developments like the launch of the Aeron chair (1994), Vitra’s Alcove (2006) and in 2018 – what?

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Prague best city in the world for remote working, but Johannesburg has cheapest coffee

Prague best city in the world for remote working, but Johannesburg has cheapest coffee

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New research has revealed the top 15 cities worldwide that are best for remote working and Prague is on top, with London ranked as the 5th best city in the world for remote workers. Inspired by the top 15 cities listed in InterNation’s Expat City Ranking Report, Powwownow analysed the cost of living, average monthly salary, internet speed, price of coffee, and cost of public transport in different places across the world. Cities were individually scored on each factor and ranked by the total number of points, to calculate the top 15 cities around the world. Calculating an overall ranking for each city, Prague was revealed to be the best city worldwide for remote workers. More →

Government launches challenge to shape future transportation strategies

Government launches challenge to shape future transportation strategies

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The UK government has begun work on its Future of Mobility Grand Challenge. First announced in May, the government believes the initiative has the potential to make the UK a world leader in strategies for moving people and goods. The announcement includes two calls for evidence, the first focused on improving first mile/last mile transportation connections, with a focus on electric vehicles and microtransit. The second addresses the more general issue of new technology and trends for urban transport. The government also claims the move will address changes in working cultures including lower levels of commuting and flexible working.

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