Search Results for: innovation

Employee engagement, not fear, behind the fall in staff turnover

Job satisfaction and engagement could be real reasons for low staff turnoverExplanations for a marked fall in employee turnover have largely attributed it to the recession, which, it’s been suggested, has led cautious employees to prefer to stay put in a secure position, rather than risk losing their place in an uncertain job market. However new data published today from the CIPD’s Megatrends research project suggests a more positive picture. The proportion of workers leaving their employer at any given time fell by over two fifths between 1998 and 2012, long before the downturn took hold. And the good news for those concerned with improving the quality of the workplace environment is that increased job satisfaction and improved levels of employee engagement could play a significant role.. More →

Hospitality giant receives second LEED certificate for sustainable HQ

 Wyndham Worldwide HQ wins second LEED silver award

Wyndham Worldwide, one of the world’s largest hospitality companies, which counts the Travelodge and Ramada chains amongst its brands has received a second silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program for its New Jersey-based headquarters. One of the green initiatives was the introduction of a sustainable purchasing policy that encourages the purchase of ongoing items such as lamps, electronic goods and furniture, to be environmentally friendly, conserve natural resources, minimize waste and reduce toxicity. More →

Fewer London firms plan to expand within the capital reports CBI

Fewer London firms plan to expand within the capital reports CBI

As we’ve reported previously London is enjoying a booming office rental market, but according to the latest CBI/KPMG London Business Survey, high operating costs are making the capital less of an attractive prospect. While more of London’s businesses plan to expand during the next year, fewer are planning to do so in the capital, with high operating costs and housing shortages cited as the biggest concerns. London’s firms also plan to spend relatively more on recruitment and training; product and process innovation; and IT plant and machinery, but less on land and buildings. More →

Latest edition of Insight newsletter available to view online

Latest editon of office insight newsletter

In the latest issue of the Insight newsletter; a new RSA survey suggests flexible working could give people around five more hours working time per week; advice on keeping the workplace cool; the UK Green Building Council launches Regional Leadership Awards; and plans to redevelop Smithfield market are given the green light. Contributor Andrew Brown shares his thoughts on what Graeme Obree, the Flying Scotsman, can teach us about workplace innovation – while Charles Marks comments on the office design challenges for the expanding technology, media and telecoms (TMT) sector. To view this week’s newsletter, which includes video footage of Charles Eames click here.

First “green-rise” commercial office building announced for Los Angeles

 First "green-rise" commercial office building announced for Los Angeles

High-rise buildings tend to evoke a love-hate response, and being green is usually not a strong feature. However a new high-rise is being planned in California which aims to join the handful of tall buildings in North America to achieve the U.S. Green Buildings Council’s LEED Platinum certification. The 37-storey Century City Center will integrate the best new engineering and technological practices and innovations to deliver the first new build LEED Platinum “green-rise” in Los Angeles and Southern California. It promises, say developers JMB Realty Corporation, to effectively create a new benchmark in sustainable performance for the commercial office market in America’s second-largest urban region.

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Arup hailed for positive example of employee ownership scheme

Arup hailed for positive example of employee ownership scheme

Arup Global Chairman, Philip Dilley has said that the firm’s employee ownership ethos has played a major part in attracting and motivating staff and high levels of employee engagement. His comments followed a visit by Vince Cable, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), and Minister for Employment Relations, Jo Swinson, to Arup HQ this week as part of a series of activities to celebrate Employee Ownership Day across the UK. The Government’s scheme has had a rough ride, with critics branding it “company shares for employment rights”. Although this has resulted in some major changes to the scheme, Cable maintains it is a positive alternative to traditional shareholder capitalism which had led to the “persistent problem” of short-term planning. More →

New Construction Strategy focuses on sustainability and efficiency

New Construction strategy focuses on sustainability and efficiency

An industrial strategy for construction‘Construction 2025’ is being launched by the Coalition Government today which aims to tap into the considerable growth opportunities predicted for the global construction market. The strategy has been developed in partnership with the new Construction Leadership Council, jointly chaired by Business Secretary Vince Cable and Sir David Higgins, Chief Executive of Network Rail, formed to help oversee the delivery of the action plan and its strategic priorities. The strategy’s vision to 2025 includes ambitions for a 50 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in the built environment, and an equal reduction in the trade gap between total exports and total imports for construction products and materials. More →

Under a quarter of US staff enjoy optimal working environment, claims report

American flag cakeArchitecture firm Gensler has released the results of its 2013 US Workplace Survey. The report claims that under a quarter (24 percent) of US workers work  in an optimised working environment with the remainder suffering from unnecessary lost productivity and a lack of innovation and engagement. The survey of more than 2,000 knowledge workers from across the US examined specific design factors across four work modes defined by Gensler: focus, collaboration, learning and socialising. The report concludes that the modern workplace has a  number of new and increasingly important drivers including new technology, globalisation, generation Y and so on which define where, when and how workers perform their jobs and concludes that the ability to balance focus and collaboration with strategic workplace design is essential.

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US corporate occupiers changing the size and type of office space they demand

America’s corporate occupiers are not only reducing the amount of office space they use, they are changing their requirements too according to the latest Office Occupier View report from CBRE. Not only did overall demand for commercial space fall during the first quarter of 2013 compared to the last of 2012, the average amount of space allocated to each worker is falling below 225 sq.ft. (21 sq.m.) , and occupiers are demanding more open, ‘creative’ working environments in Class A buildings with large floor plates. Occupiers are also looking for space that is ideally located  in central business districts (CBDs) with easy access to transport links and amenities and offers them flexible terms.

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Approval for first commercial building to achieve top eco-build standards

 Approval granted to first commercial building to achieve top eco-build standards

A major new £8m low carbon building, which is the first commercial building to be designed to achieve both Passivhaus and BREEAM Outstanding certifications has been granted planning permission. The Enterprise Centre at the University of East Anglia (UEA), designed by UK-GBC members Architype and BDP, as well as Churchman Landscape Architects, also aims to set radical new sustainability standards in terms of embodied energy and use of materials from renewable sources. Ben Humphries, Associate Director from Architype and lead designer for the project, described the building as an “exciting and innovative piece of architecture.” More →

Managing a work-life balance isn’t solely a women’s issue

Maintaining a work-life balance isn't solely a women's issue

Two reports published this week show that a cultural change is needed to stop employers assuming only female workers have families or other personal concerns that could impact on their workplace performance. A report into workplace equality by the Business, Innovation and Skills Committee (BIS) has called on the UK Government to do more to tackle female underrepresentation in sectors of the economy and to dispel the myth that any type of flexible working is a ‘women’s issue,’  problematic and cannot work. In the US a study by employee assistance providers Bensinger, DuPont and Associates (BDA) into stress has found that men are more than twice as likely to receive formal disciplinary action when the stress of a personal problem impacts on their work performance. More →

Online BIM discussion group created for the built environment

The BIM4FM group, representing institutes, trade associations and professional bodies within the built environment has created an online discussion group to stimulate the conversation around the engagement of facilities managers, owners and occupiers in Building Information Modelling (BIM) and Government Soft Landings (GSL). Geoff Prudence, Chairman of the BIM4FM group explained: “Since our launch many individuals have asked to join the BIFM4FM group. However, the group has been set up as a steering committee of institutes, trade bodies and professional associations, supported by the Cabinet Office Government Property Unit. That said, rather than excluding the enthusiasm of individuals, we thought we should encourage and harness their input from across our communities, as it’s often those who are operating at grassroots level who raise the most valuable insights.”   More →

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