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Google and LinkedIn reach agreement on enormous office swap

Google and LinkedIn reach agreement on enormous office swap 0

google-new-hq-plans-7In March, we reported on the stumbling blocks faced by Google in its plans to create a vast new home for itself in Silicon Valley, not least resistance from local authorities in California and the problems associated with neighbouring land owned by LinkedIn. Now, according to a report in the Silicon Valley Business Journal, it appears the noisy neighbours have come to a deal to swap large chunks of real estate. According to the report, Google will acquire all of LinkedIn’s existing land in the Mountain View area, which consists of LinkedIn’s existing 370,000-square-feet headquarters and eight acres of land LinkedIn had set aside for turning into new office space. LinkedIn will now relocate its headquarters to four office buildings in the area currently owned by Google to create a new 750,000 sq. ft. portfolio. The deal represents a win-win for both parties with LinkedIn doubling its existing space without the costly need to build new offices, while Google finally gets the chance to realise its dream of building the quirky campus designed by Heatherwick Studio and Bjarke Ingels.

Gallery: World Architecture Festival Awards shortlist announced

Gallery: World Architecture Festival Awards shortlist announced 0

World Architecture FestivalThe shortlist for the 2016 World Architecture Festival Awards has been published and features 343 projects from 58 countries and across 32 categories. The Festival takes place in Berlin this November, where the winners will be announced. Judges include include last year’s winner Ole Scheeren, David Chipperfield, Manuelle Gautrand, and Kai-Uwe Bergmann. The shortlisted candidates in the office category include the world’s first 3Dprinted office in Dubai and Dietrich | Untertrifaller’s Omicron Campus which incorporates luminous quiet-working pods. Notable UK entries include Make Architects’ Hiscox Building in York and the Collado Collins designed scheme for the redevelopment of a landmark building at 184 Shepherds Bush Road. The design maintains the architecture of the original building, formerly a motor service depot and car showroom owned by Citroen and adds three new floors for office use.

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Can building design presage the decline of the world’s tech giants?

Can building design presage the decline of the world’s tech giants?

google10cropAt the movies, buildings are often used to denote hubris. The ambitions and egos of Charles Foster Kane and Scarface are embodied in the pleasure domes and gilded cages they erect to themselves and their achievements. Of course, the day they move in is the day things invariably go badly wrong. In the real world too, monstrous edifices have often presaged a crash. The UK’s most ambitious and much talked about office building at the turn of the Millennium was British Airways’ Waterside, completed in 1998, just a year after Margaret Thatcher famously objected to the firm’s new modern tailfin designs by draping them with a hankie and three years before BA had to drop its ‘World’s Favourite Airline’ strapline because by then it was Lufthansa. Nowadays BA isn’t even the UK’s favourite airline, but Waterside remains a symbol of its era, albeit one that continues to influence the way we perceive building design.

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While politicians squabble, here’s what the Budget meant for the workplace

While politicians squabble, here’s what the Budget meant for the workplace 0

Bash streetStrange as it may seem now, there was a Budget last week. We’d planned to produce a report on it once the dust had settled but given that whatever dust had originally been kicked up has now been swept away by a political storm, it’s only now we feel able to offer some perspective a few days out. As ever these days, the budget touched on a number of aspects of the workplace, sometimes hitting the mark and sometimes suggesting politicians don’t yet understand how people work. There was the usual stuff about rates and commercial property but also plenty to digest about the freelance economy, productivity, new technology, flexible working legislation and the current, often faltering attempts to develop wealth and infrastructure as well as the 21st Century creative and digital economy in places other than London. There’s plenty to digest here and plenty of people have already had their say, so a chance to grab a coffee and take all or some of it in.

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Graduates value flexible work and innovative office spaces over pay

Graduates value flexible work and innovative office spaces over pay 0

Young workersThere’s been a lot of assumptions and predictions made about Millennials, and the upcoming generation of workers dubbed Gen Z. They’re alternately spoilt with a sense of entitlement or have a zeal for change and strong social conscience. So while there is a danger of stereotyping this diverse group, employers still need to work out the best way to attract and retain the most talented. Today’s graduates have enjoyed much higher quality university accommodation and facilities than previous generations, and the flexibility of the modern day campus is clearly influencing their work choices. Unlike the generation before them, recent graduates place double the importance on flexible work and work-life balance than they do on their earnings to chart their success. A Bright Network study of over 2,000 of the country’s top graduates also found that high priority was placed on a clear path for advancement over and above high earnings.

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The Insight newsletter for March 18 is available to view online

The Insight newsletter for March 18 is available to view online 0

Insight newsletter identIn this week’s Insight Newsletter; Mark Eltringham on the seven ways flexible working is chaining us more firmly to work and why there are more ways than one of providing recyclable office furniture. Google scales back its plans for its Californian campus; US businesses waste up to $1.8 trillion annually on mundane tasks; new guidance is published on delivering sustainable fit outs; and many organisations only hold on to paper-based document for their signature. Confirmation that companies that don’t offer their employees a convenient location and appealing workplace are more likely to lose them; Hong Kong and London are the world’s most expensive office locations and the unhealthy effects of commuting by car. Download our latest Insight Briefing, produced in partnership with Connection, on how the boundless office can be freed from the shackles of time and place and access the latest issue of Work&Place. Visit our new events page, follow us on Twitter and join our LinkedIn Group to discuss these and other stories.

Décor matters but location most important factor for the ideal office

Décor matters but location most important factor for the ideal office 0

Office workersRecent data has shown that increasingly, it’s people, not cost, which is the primary driver behind real estate decisions. British Land has carried out research into what features would make up the UK workers’ ideal office and the results point to a clear link between delivering these ideal features and talent recruitment and retention. The good news is that the workers surveyed believe they would be 36 percent more productive at work if they were working in the ideal office, and, 86 percent say they’d stay longer with an employer that had the ideal office location and features. The other side of the coin is that 80 percent believe that companies that don’t offer their employees a convenient location and attractive features are more likely to lose them. Younger workers in particular are markedly more likely to move jobs to find a working environment that suits them, and this includes offering a workplace with a ‘buzz’.

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Record investment in UK commercial property in 2015, but trouble ahead

Record investment in UK commercial property in 2015, but trouble ahead 0

IQ_officeA near record £67.5 billion was invested in UK commercial property in 2015, making it the second strongest year on record and 46 per cent above the 10-year average, according to research from commercial property analysts CoStar Group. Momentum slowed sharply in the second half of the year, with investment down 19 per cent from the previous year. According to CoStar, this reflects the fact that investment activity has been especially strong over the previous 18 months and good opportunities are harder to find, but also that global economic and political uncertainty are impacting investment decisions. Nevertheless, 2015 was a strong year for the UK’s Big Six regional cities. Office investment increased 16 per cent to £3.2 billion, which is the highest level since the recession and more than double the eight-year average. Foreign investors seeking standing assets and development opportunities underpinned much of this investment.

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Generation Z imagines its future workplace design, pods and all

Generation Z imagines its future workplace design, pods and all 0

Research by Leesman Index (among others) shows how the design of learning environments influences a student’s choice of university. This thinking now also applies to offices, with the commercial office design sector creating the kind of facilities available on the modern university campus. A new workshop organised by furniture brand HÅG has discovered how Generation Z imagines its future workplace. For example, in the same way that a college library offers collaborative and silent spaces; the young people in the workshop didn’t share the current trend of shared workspaces but wanted a mix of collaborative areas combined with isolated working pods that they could customise for their own requirements and mood. However, Gen Z goes further than ever, in blurring the boundaries between home and work, with a great deal more emphasis on wellbeing and areas to relax compared to previous generations.

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UK’s best workplace? + Apple’s new office + Design and happiness

UK’s best workplace? + Apple’s new office + Design and happiness 0

Insight_twitter_logo_2In this week’s issue; Mark Eltringham says Jeremy Hunt’s views on the UK’s need to work longer hours does not make practical sense and explains why workplace design isn’t the only way to engage people. The Civic Centre & One Stop Shop in Keynsham, near Bath wins ‘Best of the Best workplace in the country’ in the BCO awards; Apple plans to add another tech palace alongside its Norman Foster designed campus in California; and a new survey finds that companies are rethinking the tools they use to keep employees loyal. Employers admit to an ad hoc approach to flexible working practices; millennials prefer value accelerated career paths and diversity over job security; and we preview a new Technology and Trends event. Visit our new events page, subscribe for free quarterly issues of Work&Place and weekly news here. And follow us on Twitter and join our LinkedIn Group to discuss these and other stories.

Five essential office design trends to look for in the near future

Five essential office design trends to look for in the near future 0

Google Tel Aviv OfficeSince the early Twentieth Century, business leaders have been experimenting with office design in an attempt to improve productivity. From the sea of forward-facing desks imagined by Frederick Taylor, to the infamous cubicle of the late 1960s, to today’s open-plan office, each innovation has said something about our changing relationship to work. In a Gensler survey with more than 2,000 participants, 90 percent of respondents indicated that better workplace design and layout result in better overall performance. The greatest developments of recent times have emerged from the tech giants of Silicon Valley, where businesses have blended playfulness, company culture and the collaborative benefits of open layouts to craft unique and engaging spaces. So where are we headed? Here are five major trends that are likely to have a lasting impact on the way we work.

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London is leading the way in the global coworking revolution

London is leading the way in the global coworking revolution 0

WeWork MoorgateChanging attitudes amongst occupiers towards office space and the explosion in the numbers of freelance workers and microbusinesses are driving an upsurge in coworking and other flexible working environments worldwide. That is the key conclusion of a new report from DTZ which claims that the number of dedicated flexible working locations worldwide is likely to hit 50,000 over the next three years, with parts of London leading the way. We reported recently how coworking pioneer WeWork has already announced its plans to dominate London’s commercial property scene in the same way it already does Manhattan’s. Now, the How You Work report from DTZ suggests that this is the shape of things to come for many cities, with London leading the way alongside a tranche of global tech and creative centres such as New York, Berlin and Shanghai.

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