The office of small things

Our productivity at work is ruined by small things – the light which is just a little too bright, or dim; the office being too hot or cold; the noisy colleague the other side of the floor; or the printer not being filled up with paper (and no paper being in sight). Yes there are bigger things too – organisations failing to provide the right type of workspace, for example not enough quiet rooms to do some one-to-one or reflective work or not enough space to collaborate with colleagues we might see only occasionally.

These are what Tim Oldman, founder of Leesman, the opensource index which measures the performance and effectiveness of office environments, describes as “productivity toxins”. Oldman was speaking at the Federation of Corporate Real Estate’s autumn seminar looking at some of the key issues involved in creating an efficient workplace.

Read moreThe office of small things

Generation Y wants to work at work

Is it really any surprise that young people want to work at work, rather than at home, or anywhere else? An article in this morning’s i-fm.net reports on a study of 19 blue-chip companies, including Barclays, Microsoft, Tesco and Pfizer by Advanced Workplace Associates that revealed that employees in the early stages of their careers prefer to work at the office in order to see and be seen.

Learning the ropes, making contacts and gaining recognition are important for Generation Y and they need to do this in the office. “As people become more established and have proven their abilities, they are more likely to support working flexibly or remotely as part of their working pattern,” explained Andrew Mawson, MD of Advanced Workplace Associates.

But there’s one important point that was missed. I think that younger people prefer to work in the office, because one of the other options – working at home is just not a possibility for many.

Read moreGeneration Y wants to work at work

Loose lips sink more than ships

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the unstoppable trend towards mobile working and how, wherever you go, there are people perched with their laptop or talking business on their mobile phone. I had two concerns: lack of free WiFi coverage and a lack of consideration for ergonomic comfort. The day after that piece was published in this magazine I was on the Stansted Express when two chaps got on and started discussing their employer, a well-known facilities management company. Not only did they openly name the organisation several times but they talked about what they believed to be fraudulent practices and made derogatory remarks about senior execs.

Read moreLoose lips sink more than ships