Search Results for: smart cities

Why a Google office simply does not work for everybody

Why a Google office simply does not work for everybody 0

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The open plan office versus closed debate rages on, and rather than running out of steam in the face of all of the evidence and reasoned argument put forward one one side or the other by many industry thought-leaders, it seems to have nine lives. Those grand and ground-breaking  new offices occupied by the world’s tech giants seem to be particularly popular examples of why highly open and transparent workplaces do, or don’t work, especially those headline-grabbing offices created around the world by Google. This public debate has led to some very interesting and insightful discussions in various forums (to which I have contributed), inspiring me to synthesise the key themes into four reasons why a Google office is not necessarily the right type of office for your organisation. Many thanks in particular are due to David Rostie and Kay Sargent for their valuable online contributions to the debates which inspired this article.

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Government announces details of new real estate agency

Government announces details of new real estate agency

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The UK government has announced the creation of the Government Property Agency (GPA) which will aim to ‘improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the Government Estate and generate benefits of between £1.4 billion and £2.4 billion over the next ten years’. GPA’s initial portfolio of 80 properties will grow to over 1,000 as it takes on increasing responsibility for managing the general purpose central government real estate portfolio. This is intended to manage the government’s property portfolio strategically in order to realise the benefits that departments cannot achieve on their own. The GPA will partner with government departments to find innovative property solutions, and provide expertise to enable them to deliver wider business change more efficiently. More broadly, the GPA will also be an enabler for the delivery of Civil Service transformation, regional growth and the government’s vision to strengthen the Union.

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Full fibre broadband could deliver £120bn boost to UK economy

Full fibre broadband could deliver £120bn boost to UK economy

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A new study conducted by economic consultancy Regeneris, and commissioned by Cityfibre, claims that the total economic impact of deploying full fibre ultrafast broadband networks across 100 UK city and towns, could reach £120bn over a 15 year period. The study examined ten areas of the UK economy likely to benefit from full fibre roll-outs. It also sought to quantify the impact of each of these areas in 100 distinct UK town and city economies over a 15-year period. According to the researchers, the UK’s business community – and most particularly its small and medium sized companies – could stand to benefit enormously. Access to full fibre could unlock £4.5bn in business productivity, innovation and access to new markets in these locations; a further £2.3bn in growth could be driven from catalysing new business start-ups; while the increased ability for companies to support flexible working could add £1.9bn.

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Seven workplace related stories that have inspired us this week

Seven workplace related stories that have inspired us this week

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There is no such thing as a smart city

The radical idea of a world without jobs

The next stop in AI is augmenting humans

New technology to reduce the amount of sleep we need

Strengths based cultures and the future of work

Like coffee, great ideas take time to percolate (registration)

The myth of Apple’s great design

BSRIA launches urbanisation megatrends report

BSRIA launches urbanisation megatrends report

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The Building Services Research and Information Association (BSRIA) has launched a new report called Megatrends – Urbanisation (registration needed) which claims to look at the major forces that are shaping the ‘world in which we live and do business’. The report cites as inspiration a 2015 McKinsey report called No Ordinary Disruption, which examined ‘The Four Global Forces Breaking all the Trends’. The four key trends which McKinsey pointed to as already impacting on almost every society, or will do soon, are urbanisation, an ageing population, globalisation and the technological revolution.  Since 1950 there has been a massive global movement towards urbanisation. In 1950 fewer than 30 per cent of the world’s population lived in urban areas. By 2010 this had reached 50 per cent and by 2050 the share is forecast to exceed two thirds of the world’s population. This represents one of the biggest and fastest human movements in history and the report sets out to explore its implications.

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Leeds latest city to announce major new Government Hub

Leeds latest city to announce major new Government Hub

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The self employed have to rely on each other as government offers almost no support

The self employed have to rely on each other as government offers almost no support 0

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The self employed are turning to one another for business and financial support, according to new analysis by the RSA think-tank. Commissioned by the Federation of Small Business (FSB) to examine how self-employed workers might manage the risks they face, the RSA report claims that growing numbers of workers are turning to collective sick-pay funds to manage ill health, cash pooling schemes to deal with late payments and micro-loan services to plug gaps in bank finance.  The RSA’s report, The Self Organising Self Employed concludes that, to date, both the state and the market have struggled to keep pace with the rising numbers of the self employed. Although successive governments have been vocal in their admiration of people who strike it out alone, holding up their attributes as ‘self-starters’ and ‘strivers’, this had led to a ‘non-interventionist, hands-off policy agenda, with the self employed broadly left to their own devices’.

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The impact of technology on corporate real estate: A Panglossian future?

The impact of technology on corporate real estate: A Panglossian future? 0

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arton233Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman introduced the concept of Loss Aversion in 1984, highlighting people’s tendency to strongly prefer avoiding losses to acquiring gains. Most studies suggest that losses are twice as powerful, psychologically, as gains. Lose £100 and we will feel a remorse that easily outweighs winning £100. In a similar fashion we find it very hard to see future positives when confronted with short term loses. We understand easily what we have lost but cannot imagine what there is to be gained. Furthermore, as Frederic Bastiat wrote in an 1850 paper, “That Which is Seen, and That Which is Not Seen”, man has a tendency to “pursue a small present good, which will be followed by a great evil to come, rather than a great good to come, at the risk of a small present evil”. Put these together and it is no wonder that, by and large, the future of work, corporate real estate and the workplace is so widely misunderstood.

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Autumn Statement could undermine the growth of London’s tech firms 0

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london-tech-firmsChanges in business rates announced in yesterday’s Autumn Statement are likely to hit hardest the areas in the Capital such as Shoreditch and Fitzrovia where innovative tech companies are located, commented Jon Neale, head of UK Research, JLL. “The impact will no doubt undermine government plans to boost tech investment under its ‘Industrial Strategy’ announced earlier this week,” he said. “Meanwhile, office costs are high in London and post Brexit we need to minimise the risk that companies, will see cheaper continental cities such as Berlin as better bet place to set up shop.” He did add however that the promised “£1.3bn to improve roads and ease congestion is welcome and is likely to unlock development sites and promote economic development in many parts of the country. If the UK is to really address the challenges and opportunities of Brexit, investment in infrastructure needs to be more ambitious as well as more focused on an increasingly digital, hi-tech future. Green and smart city technology, new tram and underground networks and truly high-speed broadband would help provide precisely the platform UK business needs.”

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UK government announces plans to invest in next generation technology

UK government announces plans to invest in next generation technology 0

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PrintThe UK Government is at last to invest properly in the next generation of technological infrastructure to ensure the company keeps pace with developments in broadband, the Internet of Things and 5G. It is to invite the country’s major cities to bid for a chance to pilot 5G from next year. The technology is a key enabler of the Internet of Things (IoT) because it is up to a hundred times faster and more reliable than existing 4G connections. In turn, the IoT will boost the application of game changing technology such as driverless cars and smart building systems. Although the Government has recently focussed on headline physical projects such as HS2, it has come under sustained criticism for the country’s often creaking technological infrastructure.

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Round up: seven things you should read this week

Round up: seven things you should read this week 0

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workplaceMarina Gorbis on our obsession with the non-existent skills gap

Flip Chart Rick on low pay for freelancers and why it matters to everybody

Martin Ford on the risks faced by people who sit in front of a computer – and they’re not physical

McKinsey’s extensive report on the gig economy

Janine Dixon on the disconnect between economic success and wage growth

Huw Price on preparing for the era of machines

Scott Wyatt on how science is transforming cities

London needs to adapt to the changing world of work, claims think tank

London needs to adapt to the changing world of work, claims think tank 0

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changing-world-of-workThink Tank New London Architecture (NLA) which creates a forum for debate on the built environment, has launched its findings and recommendations from its landmark WRK / LDN Insight study on work and workplaces in London. NLA calls on central government, the Mayor of London and other stakeholders in the capital to act to maintain the capital’s position as a preeminent commercial centre. The report claims that, as the digital economy continues to expand, new suppliers of workspace are rapidly emerging – from co-working providers to ‘fab labs’, makerspaces, incubators and innovation centres. The insight study concludes that the affordable business space that currently supports these industries is at risk. London needs new innovative mixed-use models of city planning to support these changes and adapt to the changing world of work.

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