Search Results for: generation z

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 →

The workplace of the future is one founded on uncertainty

workplace of the futureWe now know for a fact that the good people at the UK Commission for Employment and Skills take heed of what they read on Workplace Insight. After Simon Heath recently eviscerated the idea of the year 2020 as a useful marker for the ‘future’, a new report from the UKCES draws its line in the sand a bit further on in 2030. It means they can’t have a ‘2020 Vision’ and for that we should be very thankful.  Yet the report still falls into the same traps that are always liable to ensnare any prognosis about the workplace of the future, notably that some of the things of which they talk have happened or are happening already. Then there’s the whole messy business of deciding what will emerge from the chaos; a bit like predicting the flavour of the soup you are making when a hundred other cooks are secretly adding their own ingredients.

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By 2030 your colleagues could be old enough to be your great-grandparents

By 2030 your colleagues could be old enough to be your great-grandparentsBy 2030 four-generation or “4G” workplaces – will become increasingly common as people delay retiring, even into their 80s. Although the role of women in the workplace will strengthen, an increasing divide will mean that while highly-skilled, highly-paid professionals will push for a better work-life balance, others will experience job and income insecurity. Technology will continue to evolve, pervading work environments everywhere, with many routine tasks becoming the domain of the smart algorithm. Multi media “virtual” work presences will become the norm, and as businesses seek additional flexibility, they will decrease the size of their core workforces, instead relying on networks of project-based workers. This is all according to the Future of Work, published this week by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES). More →

‘Big Data’ is shaping the human experience within buildings

Empire State Building

As the cost of implementation comes down, the same “Smart” technology that is harnessing the predictive power of “Big Data” to help solve congestion problems in cities is being more routinely deployed in buildings. The Changing Face of Smart Buildings: The Op-Ex Advantage, published by Jones Lang LaSalle, explains how bringing a Big Data analytics-based approach to facilities management can increase employee comfort, engagement and productivity; whether helping organisations adapt more readily to supporting flexible workplace practises or using sustainability as a hook for engaging employees. In one notable example; by adding smart building components to a major Empire State Building energy refit, real-time energy displays enable tenants to better monitor and control their energy consumption, and even compete with other tenants in the landmark building to achieve energy savings. More →

Musculoskeletal disorders rate highlights scale of ergonomic challenge

Back to basics may be needed to address modern ergonomic changes

More working days were lost last year to back, neck and muscle pain than any other cause. The latest figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) show that although there has been an overall downward trend in sickness absence in the UK over the last two decades; with 131 million days lost in 2013, down from 178 million days in 1993, at 30.6 million days lost, the greatest number of staff sick days in 2013 were due to musculoskeletal problems. Regulations and guidance relating to ergonomics in the workplace (the Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992), were published over 20 years ago; and despite being amended in 2002, that’s still aeons in technology terms. The typical modern worker now routinely uses tablets, mobiles and other digital devices; whether at work, on the move or at home.

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CIPD calls for a budget to address decline in UK productivity

UK productivity requires budget boostThe CIPD has urged the Chancellor to focus on delivering a “Budget for Productivity” when he delivers his 2014 Budget on 19 March. The employment body has today put forward a package of proposals which call for labour market inclusion and the development of more productive, inclusive, and engaging workplaces. It is calling for a fundamental review of UK skills policy, together with a new focus on the workplace, the nature of jobs for the future, and how skills are being utilised. This, the CIPD argues, is critical if the necessary leap in productivity is to be delivered to boost real wages. A recent CIPD report  found that already weak UK productivity has worsened as a result of a slow-down in job turnover during the recession and an extraordinary run of hiring that has preceded the recent return to growth. More →

Working from Home Week: good idea, but it doesn’t suit everyone

Meeting the management challenges of caring for home workers

Yesterday was hyped as the most depressing day of the year, but it also marked the beginning of Working from Home Week (20-26 January 2014). The idea will resonate with anyone struggling to get out of bed and join the January commute. There are many advantages to home working; but depending on your personality and personal circumstances there are also disadvantages. Yes, you’ll avoid traffic jams/crowded trains, take the dog for a walk when you fancy and can concentrate on a project without annoying interruptions. But working from home has its disadvantages too; including feeling isolated and finding it difficult to remain motivated. Rather like those who decide to move to the country but find it’s too quiet – for some people the buzz of the workplace is vital to their productivity and wellbeing. More →

New SkyCycle route proposed to ease Capital’s transport network congestion

SkycycleDemand for London-based workplaces is increasing, but the capital’s transport network is at capacity and ill equipped for a predicted population growth of 12 per cent over the next decade. Despite the Mayor’s efforts to encourage more cycling in the capital, a recent series of accidents has raised concerns about its safety. Architects Foster + Partners together with Exterior Architecture and urban planners Space Syntax have come up with a proposed solution, the SkyCycle network. This consists of a wide, secure deck constructed above the existing suburban railway corridors, to provide over 220 kilometres of safe, car free cycle routes which can be accessed at over 200 entrance points. Each route can accommodate 12,000 cyclists per hour and will improve journey times by up to 29 minutes. More →

The nine enduring workplace tensions to keep an eye on in the year ahead

The nine enduring workplace tensions to keep an eye on in the year aheadThere were a number of workplace issues that wouldn’t go away during 2013. And there’s no reason to believe we will resolve many of them during 2014 either. We can try to explain the recalcitrance of such things by referring to the enveloping fog that emanates from the commercial interests who promote problems to their customers so they can provide the solutions, but many are more deep-rooted. Technology and its constant radicalising effects is almost invariably the major driver of change, but it is only one thread in a complex web of social, professional, demographic, cultural and commercial changes. So here, in no particular order, are the issues we expect to spend the most time talking about on Insight over the next year. More →

The most read stories on Insight in 2013

Apple 11It’s been one year since Insight first hit the digital streets and it’s been fascinating to see what people have been most interested in. One of the great things about online publishing is you cannot escape from what people think. Printed trade magazines can tell you they send out 12,000 copies or whatever, but they can’t tell you whether the recipients are interested enough to read them or share their contents. Online, that is all made transparent. So it’s been great to start a publication that after just a few months was demonstrably the UK’s most widely read title covering workplace design and management issues. We even know what people like the most. So here, in no particular order, are our most widely read stories from 2013, ranging from the technical to the esoteric, news stories, case studies, the bursting of bubbles and the challenges to received wisdom.

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Benefits of social media for employers are not being realised says CIPD

Benefits of social media for business relationships and employee engagementResearch launched today at the CIPD’s Social Media in HR conference reveals social media is still a long way off from infiltrating the workplace to the extent it is used in our social lives. Three in four (76%) use social media in their personal lives, but just one in four (26%) use it for work purposes. Given the news this week that the attorney general is to publish guidance on Twitter to help prevent social media users from committing contempt of court, employers could be forgiven in being wary of the risks of social media. This is a mistake, as according to the research, ‘Social technology, social business?’ almost half (47%) of employees who use social media for work on a daily basis already see real benefits for their organisations. More →

Case study: dPOP’s jaw-dropping new offices light the road ahead for Detroit

P1020679If you think you know what’s going on in Detroit based on the stories of the city’s financial woes and pictures of some crumbling buildings, it is worth a visit to the offices of dPOP, the two month old design firm with origins in creating the award-winning office spaces for Quicken Loans and its family of companies.The design firm’s space in the basement of a long defunct Detroit bank embodies what being from the Motor City is all about — being tough, but talented; gritty yet glamorous; fun with a funky twist.They design like they don’t care what you think — and that might just be true. Their own offices and those they created for the 11,000 workers that were moved from divergent suburban sites to the center of Detroit are bold, bright and fun. Most of all fun. But the result is spectacular.

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