Search Results for: commercial

It’s not all about BYOD; data security also remains a low-tech issue

Oliver Letwin dumps government secretsWhile firms worry about the loss of data through the practice of BYOD, employees continue to find low tech ways of breaching security according to a report from Iron Mountain. While under half (42 percent) of employees describe their organisation’s approach to hard copy as secure, one in ten describe it as chaotic. Nearly half claim to have seen confidential information lying around in the usual places such as on desks or photocopiers. The most common types of information exposed in this way are details of salaries and performance reviews as well as commercial and financial data, although many will remember the scandal that broke two years ago when Government minister Oliver Letwin (above) repeatedly dumped classified information in a park bin including some about Al Qaeda, Libya, Afghanistan, the Dalai Lama and Aung San Suu Kyi.

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Leading US organisations pledge to promote healthy buildings and communities

Adobe pledges to promote healthy buildings and communities Adobe, one of the first companies to adopt the US Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standard, is to conduct a study of its LEED certified workplaces to determine if they measurably contribute to more collaborative, creative, innovative and healthy employees. The move is part of a new Building Health Initiative launched last week by the California chapter of the USGBC. Google, Arup and Interface are amongst the founding partners, along with approximately 20 other organisations from a range of sectors. The movement aims to elevate green building as a benefit to public health as well as encourage the development of transparency standards in building materials.  More →

Latest Insight newsletter is now available to view online

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In the latest issue of the Insight newsletter available to view online; flexible working isn’t a matter of choice, but because technology has created greater opportunities for presenteeism; the Workplace Trends conference reinforces the power of place and why a quarter of UK employees are ready to jump ship. We look forward to the Workplace Week events which begin today and explain why the recent upturn in the US commercial real estate sector is set to continue. Contributor Brandon Allen says that the ownership of a mobile device doesn’t mean we all know how use it; and Philip Ross predicts that the next wave of technological change coupled with socio-economic and commercial developments will affect every aspect of our society and business.

EU must develop ambitious plans for retrofitting buildings to hit energy targets

EU must develop ambitious plans for retrofitting buildings to hit energy targetsWith just six months remaining until they are required to deliver long-term strategies on renovation, EU Member States are being urged to develop ambitious plans for retrofitting their buildings. Under the Energy Efficiency Directive, EU Member States must establish “a long-term strategy for mobilising investment in the renovation of the national stock of residential and commercial buildings, both public and private” from 30 April 2014. The World Green Building Council’s Europe Regional Network (of which the UK Green Building Council is a member) and the Renovate Europe Campaign are calling on EU nations to seize the opportunity by publishing strategies that will help ensure investment in jobs and growth, and help deliver lower energy bills for struggling European citizens. More →

We may not always feel it, but technology makes us far more productive

Heath RobinsonA new report has been published by O2 which suggests that technology has allowed us to become nearly five time more productive than we were in the 1970s. The Individual Productivity Report is a joint research project from O2 and the Centre for Economic and Business Research and used a metric called gross value added (GVA) per worker per hour to arrive at its results. The report concludes from this data that in terms of ICT the average British worker is now 480 percent more productive than they were in the 1972, that people get more done in less time, freeing them up to spend more time interacting with clients and colleagues, providing better service and driving business growth.

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Many UK facilities managers still failing to see the magic of BIM, claims report

Zim Sala BimAccording to a new survey from the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, the UK’s facilities managers are simply not ‘getting’ what Building Information Modelling is all about and how it can be applied. The latest research into the acronym replete debate about the role of BIM found that more than a third of facilities management professionals are unfamiliar with building information modelling and its uses. RICS is calling on facilities managers to increase their general awareness of the potential of the technology. The survey was carried out on behalf of RICS by the crudely monikered and government funded BIM4FM initiative and found that of the nearly two thirds (65 percent) of respondents who were aware of BIM, nearly all (62 percent) believed it would help them in their roles.

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Looking forward to Workplace Week; productivity and the connected organisation

'High Street' at Network Rail's Milton Keynes base

‘High Street’ at Network Rail’s Milton Keynes base

There’s not much time to go before Workplace Week, which takes place from the 4th to 8th November. The annual workplace conference and fundraiser for Children in Need will include more than a dozen visits to offices in London and around the UK, a one-day convention and events staged by Kinnarps, ASOS, KPMG, Herman Miller and Colebrook Bosson Saunders. Site visits include to the public sector’s new generation of landmark buildings, Network Rail, RBS and Innocent Drinks. The theme of this year’s convention on the 5th November is Driving Productivity Through The Connected Organisation which will take place at PricewaterhouseCoopers’ offices. Speakers includes Keith Saxton, director of financial services at IBM Research; Johnny Dunford, global director of commercial property at RICS; and Liz Nottingham, Regional HR Director for Western Europe at Starcom MediaVest group.

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The Great Gatsby and the rehabilitation of the office cubicle

The Great Gatsby and the rehabilitation of the office cubicle

The finest closing sentence of any novel in my opinion is that in The Great Gatsby. “So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”  It is a reference to the futility of our attempts to escape the past, even as we look to the future, dreaming of how “tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther”. F Scott Fitzgerald was referring to people when he wrote it, and Jay Gatsby in particular, but it’s a passage that resonates in a number of ways, especially in those areas of our lives that deal most intimately with what it means to be human. And one of these is self-evidently the workplace, where any articular attempt to define the ideal office for a particular time, including the future, is complicated by the fact that we must always meet the needs of the beasts that inhabit it. Regardless of the tools we have at our disposal with which to work more effectively, or just plain ‘more’ we remain fundamentally the same animals we were thousands of years ago.

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Economic recovery, the changing psychological contract and the future of the office

display_img_01There has always been a link of one sort or another between the labour market and office design. So, as the UK’s unemployment statistics continue to fall, they remain moderately high and there continue to be structural changes in the nature of work, typified by this year’s debate about the growing use of zero hours contracts. You have to wonder what impact structural changes,  levels of unemployment and redundancy (around 4 million in the UK since 2008) have had on the way we manage and design our workplaces. There is no doubt that the downturn combined with the structural changes in the way we work have had an effect on demand for commercial property, but what will it all mean in the longer term?

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Co-op’s One Angel Square in Manchester wins RICS’ Project of the Year

RICS Award Winner - 1 Angel Square

One Angel Square in Manchester has been awarded Project of the Year in the RICS Awards that celebrate the built and natural environment. More than 600 building projects entered the awards which also saw category awards presented for building conservation, community benefit, design and innovation, and regeneration. The overall winning project – a £100 million new headquarters for The Co-operative Group – is the largest commercial office building in Manchester and has also achieved the highest scoring BREEAM ‘outstanding’ office rating in the country, setting a new national benchmark in sustainable design in the commercial sector. RICS judges said every aspect of the building has been constructed with sustainability at heart. More →

Video: reimagining work to help people become happier and more productive

Video: reimagining work to help people become happier and more productive

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Most companies are engaged in an attempt to help employees become happier, more productive and – yes –fitter at work. Firms do this because they are nice people or in the commercial interest of the business, or both. The problem is they are not doing it with a fixed set of criteria. Not only do they have to cope with changing commercial and economic conditions and legislation, they have to do it while the very nature of work evolves rapidly and in very different ways for different organisations. This is not so much like somebody moving the goal posts as it is like one of those games on It’s A Knockout where a contestant tries to do something while other people are shaking the platform they are standing on, squirting them with water, running into them, hitting them with things and yanking them back with ropes.

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Workplace Week announces details of visits to London Government buildings

DfE London HQ

DfE London HQ

For the first time, Workplace Week includes visits to two Government offices, the Department for Education at Sanctuary Buildings in Great Smith Street (pictured) and the Department for International Development on Whitehall. The DfE is just a stone’s throw from the Houses of Parliament and boasts outstanding views of several major landmarks. The building is home to some 2,000 staff who work in a flexible environment with 7 desks for 10 people. The Department for International Development moved to its new London HQ, the oldest purpose-built office in London, at the beginning of the year. The DfID has created a modern, flexible environment which encourages collaborative working, whilst being sympathetic to the historic nature of the building.

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