UK construction blog

Archive

Archive for September 4th, 2019

PropertyHeads prepares for consumer launch – last chance call for suppliers and tradespeople to sign up

September 4th, 2019 No comments

Ahead of its public launch in September, new social network PropertyHeads.com is sending out a final call for suppliers and tradespeople to add their details to the site in order to gain exposure to even wider audiences and new business opportunities. 

The social network is the brainchild of the PropertyHeads Group and has been developed to provide public buyers with an easy to use collaborative social setting in order to make more informed choices around the right property, tradespeople and estate agents for them. As the only website specifically built to help property businesses generate greater numbers of leads and recommendations, PropertyHeads has continued to develop, refine and enhance its offering since launching in 2018 and is currently serving over 50 thousand users per month.

Buying a home is often the biggest financial investment most people will make in their lifetime and Ben Davis, CEO of PropertyHeads, believes it can be hard for buyers to know exactly how and where to find tradespeople that they can be happy to trust working on their property.

“We know how hard it can be for reputable suppliers and tradespeople across the UK to set themselves apart from the competition and get noticed by potential customers,” explains Ben. “Therefore, we designed PropertyHeads to be the perfect platform for the best businesses to get noticed by as many people as possible. In fact, it’s the only website specifically built to help property businesses create more word-of-mouth leads, more repeat business and more business from recommendations.”

Word of mouth continues to be one of the preferred ways to find a builder, plumber, estate agent or the best neighbourhoods to move to and PropertyHeads.com is the UK’s first website to proactively match the public with firms that their friends and connections already use and trust. Uniquely, PropertyHeads,com will suggest estate agents and other property businesses based on how connected they are to the user. Additionally, PropertyHeads has also developed the first Tradesmen Blacklist

Currently, PropertyHeads.com includes over 10,000 property businesses including estate agents and professional traders and over 100,000 properties. These numbers will continue to grow organically as more users and businesses interact via the social network.

“We have already received a great deal of interest from businesses and tradespeople across the country, and those that have begun using PropertyHeads.com have provided us with some invaluable feedback. We’re incredibly excited for our public launch and for more people to be able to find tradespeople they can trust.”

For more information visit www.propertyheads.com

Link To This Page
1. Click inside the codebox
2. Right-Click then Copy
3. Paste the HTML code into your webpage
codebox
powered by Linkubaitor
Tags:

Wellbeing in the Workplace

September 4th, 2019 No comments

Wellbeing in the Workplace

By Daniel Brooks-Dowsett and Daniel Wade, Trident Building Consultancy

If any company was to carry out a straw poll asking employees whether they would prefer to work from the office or at home, the majority would probably select a combination of both – and elsewhere too. Increasingly employers recognise that offering flexibility can significantly benefit individuals’ wellbeing, help attract and retain the best staff, and that a combination of office and home working benefits output – enabling workers to concentrate better when at home and to use office time for meetings and networking.

So how are offices adapting to accommodate their changing role?

Most recently, employers have become alert to the dangers of too little direct communication which risks creating silos and reducing the potential for skills sharing and teamwork.  Furthermore, employers are increasingly aware of the strain that social media can put on mental health and the danger of ‘echo chambers’ being created when people are exposed only to comment that reinforces a preconceived view. So when commissioning a redesign of a workspace, employers prioritise the ‘arrival experience’ – impressive reception areas with artwork and water features – to make workers feel positive about their workplace.

Savvy employers are also realising that to compete with homeworking and draw employees into the office, they must also provide ‘home comforts’. In an informal survey we asked staff what they most appreciated about working from home and many cited natural light. Inevitably they also appreciated the variety of spaces available to them, and with altered hours that come with flexible working, they also appreciated the opportunity to go to the gym and then shower at home. It is no surprise that offices now give greater attention to natural light, comfortable seating and showering facilities.

But home comforts go beyond the obvious. Trident recently worked on a large multi occupied office building in Cheltenham. Unused basement rooms were converted to create communal facilities including an ‘Ablutions room’ for prayer and meditation. Improved cycle storage and shower facilities have been created within the basement.

While the WELL Standard has low take-up in the UK, it is influencing best practice. Trident has incorporated it into its CPD and where possible incorporating the principles (air, nourishment, fitness, mind, water, light, comfort, innovation) into building design.

WELL – as the name suggests – is key to wellbeing. The majority of sustainability accreditation schemes available in the UK concern how a building performs in relation to sustainability criteria, but WELL focuses on the way a building impacts on its users’ experience of a building. WELL can be instrumental in both staff wellbeing (mental and physical) and staff retention.

Many developers will argue that there is already a plethora of green rating systems including Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), the BRE Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) standards and Green Star Communities tools.

In the past decade, there has been considerable focus on what a building can do to benefit physical health – or at the very least, reduce ‘sick building syndrome’ whereby a building contributes to its occupants’ ill health. But can the same be said for mental health?

According to a recent Government review, poor mental health contributes to between £33bn and £42bn of lost costs to employers every year[i]. Those affected are less productive, have higher rates of absenteeism and may ultimately resign.

A range of design considerations can help address this – including inspiring and calming artwork and design details, design associated with increasing activity, the benefit of natural light and ventilation and views of natural landscapes.

To aid communication, office design should prioritise circulation and break-out spaces, rooms for team activities, open plan offices, desk sharing, desks in pods rather than cubicles, cafés and kitchens. Trident is also noticing an increasing trend within multi-occupied offices whereby landlords are creating well designed, communal co-working spaces near reception areas, to allow informal meetings and remote working outside of the confines of their own demised office space. 

As Winston Churchill once observed, “We shape our buildings and afterwards, our buildings shape us”.  An investment in our buildings from a wellbeing perspective is an investment in our individual futures and that of the UK economy.


[i] https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2018/09/15/better-designed-cities-can-play-key-role-fight-mental-health

Link To This Page
1. Click inside the codebox
2. Right-Click then Copy
3. Paste the HTML code into your webpage
codebox
powered by Linkubaitor
Tags: