Search Results for: commercial

US employers hold very mixed views on flexible working, claims report

Glued to the desk

It’s not just companies in the UK who appear to have mixed and sometimes contradictory views on the principles of flexible working. A new study from the US based Families and Work Institute in partnership with the Society for Human Resource Management has found that while more and more firms are open to the idea of working from home for permanent employees, other forms of flexible working such as job sharing, career breaks or sabbaticals to deal with personal and family issues. The 2014 National Study of Employers found that two-thirds (67 percent) of US organisations now allow employees to work from home at least some of the time, up from 50 per cent in 2008. In addition, 41 per cent of firms let workers decide their own working hours, compared to 32 per cent in 2008. However there are falls in the proportion of employers willing to let staff work flexibly in other ways.

More →

BCO’s London workplace design and fit-out award winners revealed

One Embankment PlaceYesterday the British Council for Offices announced what it considers London and the South East’s best recently completed workplaces at an awards dinner. The winners included One Eagle Place, BBC Broadcasting House and Brent Civic Centre, who will now go forward to the national awards which will be announced in October. Earlier this month, the regional finalists for Scotland, the Midlands and East Anglia were announced. Ceremonies will be held to announce the regional winners for the North of England and South West during May. Yesterdays’ event saw PwC’s One Embankment Place designed by t p bennett crowned as Refurbished/Recycled Workplace, Argent’s One Stable Street office win the small office category, while the award for Best Fit Out of a Workplace went to The Walbrook Building designed by Scott Brownrigg. The renovation of BBC Broadcasting House and Brent Civic Centre shared the award for Best Corporate Workplace.

More →

RICS claims UK is enjoying construction growth at fastest rate for 20 years

Construction sector

Construction workloads in the UK are growing at their fastest rate for twenty years, according to the latest quarterly survey from the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). The report claims that while this is welcome news, it is causing pressure in the construction market in terms of skills shortages which are starting to put the brakes on further growth and leading to reports that contractors are even turning down projects. This appears to be a particular issue in the South East of England where the report claims there are unmistakeable signs the market is overheating. The survey found the balance of firms reporting workload growth in the first quarter of this year reached +43, the highest figure since the survey began in 1994, with consistent growth seen in the private housing, commercial and industrial sectors in every part of the UK.

More →

On Green Earth Day, a reminder of how we struggle to understand ‘green’

Needle about to pop a green balloonToday is Green Earth Day and there are things happening all around the world and people are marking the occasion in many ways. The organisers claim one billion people will be active in 190 countries and so too will be many firms. Serviced office provider Regus, for example, is offering free use of its business lounges for one day. There is no such thing as ‘environmentally friendly’. The best we can hope for is to minimise and mitigate our impact on the environment. The problem with the idea that anything we do can be described as ‘environmentally friendly’ in any way is this: our existence is inherently damaging to the world in which we live. We do it some damage each time we get in a plane, train or automobile; every time we make or buy something; every time we eat, drink, breathe or fart. So if you want to be ‘environmentally friendly’ my advice is this. Resign from work. Then, go home, throw yourself on a compost heap and wait to expire.

More →

RICS’ operational headquarters to relocate to Coventry Friargate Development

Friargate CoventryThe Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has announced that it will be relocating its Coventry operational headquarters to a new building in the 37 acre sustainable, mixed-use Friargate development in the city. From 2017, RICS plans to lease 36,000 sq. ft. of space in the second building on the site, adjacent to Coventry railway station. The district will showcase cutting edge low carbon building design and regeneration policies by using local businesses throughout the construction phase to provide improved public transport links, affordable housing and public parks. RICS claims that ‘through a connection to an ultra-efficient combined heat and power generator, Friargate will be at the forefront of sustainable commercial accommodation, reducing both RICS’ carbon footprint and operating costs and offering RICS employees a much better work environment and surrounding area than they currently have.’

More →

Plans unveiled for London’s £1.5 billion Silvertown Quays development

Silvertown QuaysPlans have been released for the £1.5 billion redevelopment of Silvertown Quays in the East of London. The 7 million sq. ft. mixed use scheme will cover 62 acres on the site of the Royal Docks directly opposite the Excel exhibition centre. The development will include around 2.5 million sq. ft. of commercial and retail space, and some 2,500 new homes along with education, research and exhibition facilities. As announced by London Mayor Boris Johnson in 2013, one of the key features of the  project will be an avenue of ‘brand pavilions’, where companies from across the world will be invited to showcase their products. The district will be served by a new bridge connecting it to the ExCel site giving access to transport links, including the new Crossrail station with express services to the City of London, West End and beyond.

More →

When worlds collide: a preview of the Salone Internationale del Mobile in Milan

S285 deskDon’t even think about going to Milan for a break at this time of year – you probably won’t get a hotel room. Every year the Salone Internationale del Mobile (International Furniture Fair) and Milan Design Week ensure that hotels are full despite room rates soaring for the duration of this world class exhibition. Salone is the show to attend if you want to know what’s going on in the world of furniture design. Along with Orgatec, Neocon, CIFF, Clerkenwell Design Week and the Stockholm Furniture Fair, Salone makes up the Grand Tour of furniture and design shows around the world. These shows not only provide an international showcase the very latest in furniture design, each also offers its own unique insight into the way we work and live. And they do so on a massive scale. In the case of Milan, this means extending the show beyond the halls of the central Rho fairgrounds to use locations around the whole city, when it takes place next week.

More →

UK is world’s fourth most attractive business location, claims report

Manchester, Europe's cheapest large city for businesses

Manchester, Europe’s cheapest large city for businesses

The latest edition of KPMG’s bi-annual study of the comparative attractiveness of more than 100 cities (many of them in the US) as business locations claims that the UK is one of the world’s best countries in which to do business. The Competitive Alternatives Report  for 2014 assessed  the competitiveness of cities in ten countries across four commercial sectors – digital services, research and development (R&D), corporate services and manufacturing – and found that the UK is the second most competitive country for corporate services; third for digital services;  fourth for R&D and manufacturing and fourth overall. In Europe, the clear cost leader is Manchester with overall business costs more than 10 percent lower than those of London, the only other UK city assessed. The report claims the UK’s tax regime is a crucial factor for international enterprises as they make important funding and operational decisions.

More →

The latest issue of Insight is now available to view online

Clerkenwell design weekIn this week’s Insight newsletter, available to view online; Workplace Insight confirms a partnership agreement with Europe’s largest commercial interior design event, Clerkenwell Design Week [pictured]; evidence that employees who use treadmill workstations as they work not only receive physical benefits but also are more productive; and research finds that our brains are adapting to the changing demands placed on them by technology.  Simon Heath presents part two of his field guide to workplace terminology and Demitri Maldonado explains why FM has to embrace its softer side, focus on people skills and develop them to ensure success. We also present a gallery of stunning images showcasing Google’s new offices in Kuala Lumpur. To automatically receive our weekly newsletter, simply add your email address to the box on the home page.

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.

More →

Gallery: Google’s Kuala Lumpur office offers an alternative vision of a tech palace

imageMention the offices of Google (or Facebook or Apple) and you’re perhaps most likely to think of the latest generation of gleaming Xanadu-like corporate tech palaces now being planned or built in London or California. But the new offices of Google in Kuala Lumpur offer a distinctly different vision. Designed by M Moser Associates, this is a compact community space centred on a cafe, meeting rooms and retro gaming zone. The pre-school acid colours and shapes, regionalised biomimicry, exposed building services, toys and knowing use of vintage decor are all familiar elements of a design aimed at young(ish) techies and creatives, but the main drivers for the revamp are the equally familiar commercial needs to consolidate a previously dispersed workforce into a single space and give them a choice of zones in which to interact. More →

Insight confirms partnership with Clerkenwell Design Week

phoca_thumb_l_AUG_NEW_Showrooms_000Workplace Insight has confirmed a partnership agreement with Europe’s largest commercial interior design event, Clerkenwell Design Week. The event takes place each year, uniquely using the showrooms and other spaces that make the Clerkenwell area of London home to more creative businesses, designers and architects per square mile than anywhere else on the planet. It is also part of the East London Tech City hub.  Now in its fifth year, the 2013 event attracted 50,000 registered attendees and thousands of others visitors. Insight will be covering the event, which will take place from 20 – 22 May, focussing especially on the intellectual content that forms a central element of the week’s content. We will be inviting the many eminent speakers and commentators to share thoughts and ideas in the build up and aftermath.