21 Feb 2017

Wellbeing and the future office


Burges Salmon report The Future of Corporate HQ: Is London's Dominance Waning?
This is the second of four articles from independent UK law firm Burges Salmon LLP considering issues that will shape the future of the headquarter office and which are identified in our research paper: 'The Future of Corporate Headquarters: Is London's Dominance Waning?'. You can follow the discussion on the future of the headquarter office by using #futurehq on Twitter

Yoga, pilates, French-speaking (basic), sewing bees…all pastimes safely confined to the local library on a Monday night, right? Umm no actually… wrong…they’re all activities happening right now in an office near you. 'Nose to the grindstone', 'lunch is for wimps'…now as outdated as Gordon Gekko’s striped braces – all over London and beyond employers are embracing the concept of employee wellbeing. And it makes good business sense to do so.

Stress and mental health issues remain a constant as top causes of long-term employee absence and, as any HR professional will affirm, managing long-term sickness absence is one of the most expensive and disruptive employee issues to deal with. So it follows that an employer that takes positive steps to help reduce the pressures on its employees by improving both their mental and physical wellbeing stands to benefit. As employee engagement and productivity increases, so staff turnover will go down.

A focus on employee wellbeing is also a powerful recruitment tool. With London housing costs forcing people into increasingly long commutes, the prospect of working for an employer that recognises and takes active steps to offset the negative effects of this, is highly attractive. A comfortable, well-designed working environment with the opportunity to participate in activities that the commute would otherwise rule out makes for a winning combination.

Health and wellbeing is one anticipated change to the headquarter office over the next five years.  If an employer fails to take heed it could find itself out in the cold.

17 Feb 2017

Flexible working and the future office

The Future of Corporate Headquarters: Is London's Dominance Waning? BCO And Burges Salmon Report


This is the first of four articles from independent UK law firm Burges Salmon LLP considering issues that will shape the future of the headquartered office and which are identified in our research paper: 'The Future of Corporate Headquarters: Is London's Dominance Waning?'. You can follow the discussion on the future of the headquarter office by using #futurehq on Twitter.

People are demanding to work differently – the ‘9-5, job for life’ model is fast becoming outmoded and no more so than in London, where agile working, flexibility and portfolio careers are the buzz words ‘du jour’. So for employers keen to win in the war for talent, an enthusiasm for looking imaginatively at how and where their employees work is key.

With housing costs making central London living out of reach for most, many employees are looking to work for employers who are willing to embrace regular home-working and have in place the technology to allow this.  Cutting out the commute can be a win:win for all; offering opportunities for the employer to reduce/reallocate office space and, for the worker, the benefit of valuable time-savings.

However, beware the bear trap that is ‘out of sight out of mind’. Employers’ responsibilities towards their employees don’t stop at the revolving doors in the HQ atrium and the contract of employment may need to be updated accordingly. For example, care needs to be taken to ensure that the home environment offers a safe place of work for the employee and Working Time obligations and data protection requirements must continue to be met.  Equally the employer will want to ensure that acceptable confidentiality standards can be maintained and that expectations as to required levels of productivity are clearly understood by the worker.

However, with employees increasingly welcoming the opportunity to work from home on a regular basis, employers who are able to offer this should reap the rewards from this competitive advantage. 

8 Feb 2017

BCO Annual Conference Speaker Spotlight: Lord Norman Foster, Foster + Partners


The BCO are delighted to announce Lord Norman Foster will be speaking at the BCO Annual Conference.

Lord Foster is founder and chairman of Foster + Partners, a global studio for architecture, design and engineering.

Over the past five decades the practice has pioneered a sustainable approach to architecture and ecology through a wide range of work, from urban masterplans to offices, cultural buildings, airports and industrial design.

He has been awarded architecture’s highest accolades, including the Pritzker Architecture Prize, the Praemium Imperiale Award for Architecture in Japan, the RIBA Royal Gold medal and the AIA Gold medal. In 1999 he was honoured with a Life Peerage, becoming Lord Foster of Thames Bank.

View some of Lord Foster's impressive architectural work below:


Book your place at the BCO Annual Conference for the opportunity to attend Lord Foster's keynote address and for more details on the BCO Annual Conference programme visit bco.org.uk/conference.

Stay in the loop and follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter (don't forget to use our hashtag #BCOconference)

28 Nov 2016

BCO NextGen Awards 2016 celebrates future leaders in property

BCO NextGen Awards Dinner 2016

On November 22 2016, over 200 office sector professionals gathered for the first ever BCO NextGen Awards. An event which saw awards being given to rising stars within commercial property and to the people and places that inspired them. 

Held at U+I's offices in London, young professionals from across the UK gathered to recognise and celebrate mentors, innovative workplaces and inspirational future leaders of the office sector.

After several months of nominations, shortlisting and judging by panels of NextGen committee leaders, sponsors, members and BCO President, John Forrester, the night finally arrived to reveal the winners.

The BCO NextGen Awards had the privilege of being presented by architect, sustainability champion and TV presenter, Oliver Heath who announced the winners of nine categories: mentor of the year, five regional rising stars, Innovative FitOut, Innovative Workplace and Trailblazer. Read on for details of the winners and pictures of the evening.


Oliver Heath at BCO NextGen Awards 2016
BCO NextGen Awards 2016 were presented by Oliver Heath

The BCO and BCO NextGen would like to say a special thank you to our sponsors U+I, Wates, Aecom, Gardiner & Theobald, Aberdeen Asset, Alinea and Faithful & Gould.

The winners of the 2016 BCO NextGen Awards:
  • Mentor of the Year: Nick Searl, Partner, Argent
  • NextGen Choice Award – Innovative Fitout: North – Berghaus HQ, Sunderland
  • NextGen Choice Award – Innovative Workplace: Midlands and East Anglia – 22 Station Road, Cambridge
  • Trailblazer: Michelle Rothwell, MD, Watch This Space
  • Rising star Scotland: Jordan McCaffery, Partner, HK Surveying & Design
  • Rising star North: Michelle Rothwell, MD, Watch This Space
  • Rising star Midlands: Sunil Johal, Project Director, Argent LLP
  • Rising star South West: Drew Nesbitt, Senior Associate, Burgess Salmon
  • Rising star London and South East: Simon Wyatt, Associate Director, Cundall

16 Nov 2016

3 top tips from the BCO Awards Judging Chairs



We have asked some of the Judging Chairs, what advice they would give someone planning to submit an entry for the 2017 Awards. Here are their answers:


Nigel Clark (National Judging Chair): "When you answer the 'Judges Questions', make sure you emphasise every noteworthy credential in your submission. Also: focus on people, not buildings and bear in mind that shortlisting may have to be done on the strength of your submission, so make sure it stands out."
Stephen Lewis (Scottish Judging Chair): "The occupier as end user of offices is key, so the submission should highlight how the project meets their needs, whether it's speculative (commercial) or let (corporate)."
Matt Viall (Midlands & Central England Judging Chair): "It's always great when you see a submission that clearly demonstrates the passion for the project. We look for entries that show that the project team set the bar high from the outset and challenged the 'norms'.  And: always include the numbers and check the maths... we do!"
HOW TO ENTER YOUR PROJECT  
To enter your project for the awards  simply register on our entry website www.bcoawards.co.uk and create an entry. Entries are submitted online in three easy stages:
1. Enter project details
2. Answer the 'Judges Questions' as outlined in the entry guide
3. Upload 10 images and submit

10 Nov 2016

Video: BCO's Junior VP, Katrina Kostic Samen, on why BCO is taking wearables seriously

BCO's Junior Vice President, Katrina Kostic Samen, shares why wearable technology is such an area of interest for the BCO and its members.


The managing partner of KKS Strategy, speaks from the launch of our Wearables in the Workplace report on some of the key issues wearables raise around big data and privacy.


For more highlights from the launch, view our round up of live tweets from the Wearables in the Workplace launch on Storify and we invite you to join the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #wearableswork.

Download the full Wearables in the Workplace report on the BCO website


9 Nov 2016

Video: BCO launches Wearables in the Workplace report

Technology moves fast with wearable technology now having an increasing influence on daily life, but what exactly does that mean for the future of offices? How will the increased awareness of health brought by wearables impact employees and employers? And what are the legal and ethical implications?

BCO's Wearables in the Workplace report, produced by Arup and Professor Derek Clements Croomes of Reading University, tackles these questions whilst summarising the benefits of wearable technology and its influence on the future of work.

Watch highlights from the report launch hosted by Wedlake Bell with key insights from Helen Garthwaite of Wedlake Bell, Katrina Kostic Samen of KKS Strategy, Richard Isham of Wedlake Bell and report authors Professor Derek Clements-Croomes of Reading University and Mallory Taub of Arup.


For more highlights from the launch view our round up of live tweets from the Wearables in the Workplace launch on Storify and we invite you to join the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #wearableswork.

Download  your copy of the full Wearables in the Workplace report from the BCO website.