Search Results for: innovation

Focus of investment should be skills, broadband and local transport say CEOs

Dear SantaThe Government should focus investment on the development of skills and broadband if it wants to drive economic growth. That is the message from a survey of 100 British CEOs carried out by Grant Thornton. Key findings of the report include the fact that 70 percent of respondents would like to see better access to training and development opportunities, 59 percent want to see an improvement in digital infrastructure and 57 percent would like more spending on roads. The Government’s flagship schemes – the Heathrow expansion, HS2 and the proposed new trans-Pennine railway receive a lukewarm response, with the majority of respondents appearing more keen on greater investment in existing long distance rail services, local public transport networks and the greater use of the UK’s underutilised regional airports. There is also a mixed response to plans for greater devolution with support only if regional Governments don’t add another layer of bureaucracy for businesses.The report has been published ahead of next week’s Autumn Statement by Chancellor George Osborne.

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Worktech weaves together the strands of people, place and technology

WorktechDay two of Worktech London and affirmation that far from dying, as so many headline writers would have us believe, the office is merely entering a new phase. The underlying theme of Worktech continues to be how we find new ways of weaving together the strands of presence and connectedness formed by cities, buildings and technology. Worktech is a constant reminder that while our world may be shaped by algorithms, we still need each other and need to be with other people at least some of the time. The event is admirably hosted by long time collaborator and MC Jeremy Myerson whose knowledge and donnish charm holds things together while the real Don, founder Philip Ross, beams from the sidelines. It is now de rigeur for such events to have a poet in residence and this year’s was Matt Harvey who summed things up at the end of the day with reference to Worktech’s longstanding idea of jellybean working  but who popped up in between sessions with lyrical summations including one that showed some real spunk (you had to be there).

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UK workers feeling more optimistic on state of global economy than the PM

UK workers feeling more optimistic on state of global economy than the PMDavid Cameron has begun the week with dire warnings on the fragility of the global economy, but UK workers are (or were) feeling more optimistic. According to an annual report, there’s been a significant uplift in optimism, stability and dynamism, compared to the same time last year. The Workforce View 2014/15 by ADP, which measures the views and attitudes of more than 2,500 UK workers, suggests that the positive economic outlook reported so far in 2014/15 has filtered down to employees. The study shows that more than three quarters of workers (77%) now feel optimistic about their next 10 years at work, up from 64 per cent in 2013 and just 59 per cent in 2012. Over a quarter (26%) of respondents went further, saying they are ‘very optimistic’ about the years ahead – double the figure reported just one year ago (13%). Workers say they are more confident about job security (36 per cent), feel that career opportunities are growing again (35%) and sense the economy is improving, thereby benefiting their careers (32%). More →

Workplace Week focuses on the office and individual productivity in all its forms

1KP_4971The holy grail of improving people’s productivity was the focus of this year’s Workplace Week, which took place last week from 3-7th November and raised more than £12,500 for Children in Need. The annual event organised by AWA and designed as a celebration of workplace innovation, included visits to 11 workplaces showcasing the latest techniques to get people performing at their very best, a day-long convention and a series of Fringe events. Andrew Mawson, who heads up AWA, opened the convention by setting the discussion in context. “We have maximised asset productivity by getting more people into buildings, and therefore working a building harder. But we need to focus on human productivity. If each organisation could make each person just 5 per cent more productive, that would have a major impact both on that organisation and the wider economy. In the knowledge economy we need to get the very best performance out of each and every brain on the payroll and to create the conditions that consciously support that.

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More London convention one of highlights of Workplace Week, which starts today

More London convention highlight of Workplace Week

PwC More London Offices

Tours of Google, Mintel and Lloyds of London are just some of the highlights of Workplace Week, the annual week-long celebration of workplace innovation which starts today. Organised by AWA to raise money for Children in Need, the inaugural Workplace Week in 2009 happened after Andrew Mawson, AWA’s managing director, had the idea for a workplace-related event raising money for the charity. This year’s week includes a programme of 90 minute ‘working workplace’ tours involving some of the UK’s most innovative workplaces; including Google, Mintel, Innocent Drinks, BDO, Edelman, Lloyds of London, Guardian Newspapers, CBI, Invesco, Prostate Cancer, and PWC Embankment Place. The week will also feature a one-day convention at PWC’s More London office near London Bridge on Thursday 6 November entitled, ‘the Work/place Revolution….taking human performance to new levels’. The focus here will be on taking human performance to new levels, with a range of speakers offering case studies, insights and new research. More →

BIM adoption set to soar in UK and US over next two years, claims report

BIM Level 2Building owners are embracing building information modelling (BIM) as a powerful technology benefitting the design process, managing project schedules, controlling costs and minimizing project errors, according to the recent McGraw-Hill Construction SmartMarket Report “The Business Value of BIM for Owners”. The latest report focuses on the business value of BIM from the perspective of building owners in the United States and United Kingdom for whom the technology has been deployed. Initially adopted as a design tool and later evolving into an important tool for contractors, its adoption among building owners is expanding, the report claims, and that building owners are becoming more directly involved as “their power is even greater to align BIM use with their specific goals, engage more effectively with all stakeholders and extend the value of BIM beyond construction into facility management.” The study claims that 40 percent of US owners and 38 percent of UK owners expect that more than 75 percent of their projects will involve the technology in just two years.

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UK Government announces new research programme into workplace wellbeing

workplace wellbeingThe UK Government’s interest in what makes us happy continues unabated with the news that it has officially launched its new What Works Centre for Wellbeing. The centre will commission researchers  to study ‘the impact that different interventions and services have on wellbeing’. It will focus initially on work and learning, communities, cultural and sporting activities. It claims that the results of the research will help the government, councils, health and wellbeing boards, charities and businesses make decisions on what ‘really matters for the wellbeing of people, communities and the nation as a whole’. The centre is the latest addition to the What Works Network, which was launched by the government last year to improve public services through evidence-based policy. It builds on the work of the Office for National Statistics which has been tasked with measuring national wellbeing, and of the Commission on Wellbeing and Policy.

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Orgatec preview: the next generation workplace is all about settings

There is a well travelled international circuit for those interested in what office design tells us about the way we work that has, for a number of years, taken in London, Milan, Chicago, Stockholm and Cologne as its main stopping off points. This week sees the launch of Orgatec, the longstanding biennial workplace festival in Cologne. One of the interesting features of Orgatec is that, because it takes place every two years, it offers snapshots of key developments in the market. It throws a spotlight on whatever workplace professionals are talking about and whatever product designers are doing in response to the changing world of work. And it does it on a big scale. This year over 600 companies from 40 countries will be presenting across an exhibition area of 105,000 sq. m. This seems big, and is, but is down markedly on the size of the show from 20 years ago when Orgatec was the launch pad for seminal products such as Herman Miller’s Aeron Chair and the Ad Hoc  furniture system from Vitra.

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If you want to reduce the cost of your office, move to a creative area

If you want to reduce the cost of your office, move to a creative area

Clerkenwell Design Week

“First we shape our buildings, thereafter our buildings shape us.” Winston Churchill, House of Commons opening speech. Buildings do indeed shape us, but what seems to affect us even more is the neighbourhood. It’s the immediate environment as opposed to buildings that is much harder to create. It needs numerous factors to influence it, among them the two most precious components– the right people and enough time. Politicians all over the world dream of creating zones that will draw the most innovative companies. But it seems that most of them grow organically – the Silicon Valley in California, the Silicon Alley in New York and the Silicon Roundabout in London. The combination of low rents, proximity to the centre of a dynamic metropolis and interesting culture made the East London neighbourhood of Shoreditch, Clerkenwell and Aldgate a perfect magnet for some of the world’s most exciting companies. So should you think about relocating there too? Here are some things to consider. More →

Google and Deloitte set out blueprint for collaborative work in Australia

collaborative workDeloitte Digital has launched the final version of its report into the collaborative economy carried out on behalf of Google Australia. An interim report, published in July, estimated that the benefits of collaboration to the Australian economy is already $46 billion and could rise to $56 billion. The report also claims that collaboration could help to address specific structural problems including falling productivity and a comparative lack of innovation. The study claims that the average Australian worker spends just under half of a typical working day interacting with other people but that there remains considerable room for improvement in the way those interactions take place. The final version of the report also includes a toolkit to help individuals and organisations to gauge their level and success of their collaborative work. Tellingly, the test is weighted one-third to workplace design, one-third to technology and one-third to culture and governance.

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Work begins on ‘living laboratory’ to test eco-build products

Work begins on 'living laboratory' to test eco-build productsAccording to Constructing Excellence, buildings collectively account for around half the UK national output of carbon dioxide. To help address this, work has begun on the construction of a new £1.4 million ‘living laboratory’ at the Eden Project in Cornwall, where new eco-build products can be installed, tested and monitored. The Green Build Hub (GBH), is designed as a training centre that encourages inward investment by specialist green suppliers by enabling them to showcase and test innovative products. The project, by the Cornwall Sustainable Building Trust (CSBT), made possible by an investment of £1.1 million from the European Regional Development Fund Convergence Programme, aims to deliver a BREAAM ‘Outstanding’ building that acts as a resource of specialist green building knowledge. The GBH design team includes Gilbert & Goode Ltd, Ward Williams Associates, PBWC Architects, Hoare Lea, CDEC Ltd and TClarke Ltd; with an expected completion date of June 2015. More →

BCO announces winners of national awards for Britain’s best workplaces

Britain's best workplaces - One RiversideThe BCO has announced the winners of its prestigious annual National Awards to honour what it considers Britain’s best workplaces. The overall winner was Number One Riverside in Rochdale (above). The office, home to Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council, was also recognised as the Best Corporate Workplace in the UK, and topped a list of six other award winners recognised for excellence in office space.  Number One Riverside was singled out by the judges for its consolidation of the Council’s estate from 33 buildings into one. The project is also the centrepiece for the first phase of a major regeneration in the borough of Rochdale, ‘providing a new civic office that promotes new ways of working and creates a sense of community, engagement and social transparency.’ The building was commended by the judges for its incorporation of a range of public space alongside the workplace, including a library and cafe and customer service facilities.

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