WORKERS IN THE NORTH WEST GET ON BETTER WITH THEIR COLLEAGUES
WORKERS in the
North West would appear to be happier with their co-workers than
anywhere else in the country.
When asked what they would like to
change about their current workplace only 21% noted that their
colleagues would be the thing that they would change, one of the
lowest proportions reported across the UK.
Comfort of the work
area is of greatest importance to workers in the North West. Factors
such as lighting, temperature and noise all rated higher than other
aspects, such as workplace facilities (kitchens and bicycle storage
etc), transport connections or car parking. Furthermore, workers
were very concerned with employer policies, with 90% of workers
rating salary and 88% rating job security as the most significant
‘What Workers Want’,
a report by Savills based on a survey carried out by YouGov, reveals
the views of 4,570 UK employees in offices, shops and warehouses.
reports that aside from the more obvious demands such as salary and
job security, workers are primarily concerned with workplace
conditions. Although factors such
as green credentials were ranked highly, in 5th place, these are
confined to recycling policies and not building performance or
Corporate Social Responsibility policy. Furthermore, location of
workplace in terms of length of commute, public transport and
proximity to shops was also of concern and featured within the top
10 rankings, but comfort remained of top priority.
Marie Hickey, associate director of Savills research, says:-
“Companies are becoming more and more concerned with staff
retention, introducing flexible working policies as well as paying
more attention to onsite facilities such as gyms and crèches for
example. Our research would, however, suggest that property
fundamentals such as workplace comfort and the additional features
of lighting and temperature are a primary concern, and investors and
developers should factor these into their buying criteria.
With capital value growth set to slow down in the short term,
landlords will need to focus on occupier preferences, and ultimately
the needs of their employees, to maintain rental income.”
The survey indicates that occupier preferences have property
implications when it comes to masterplanning, design and fit-out.
Buildings with good (natural) lighting and environmental controls
are one way of keeping workers happy. Centrally located buildings
are also attractive, providing good access to public transport
connections and proximity to shops and leisure.
This is not possible
in all cases, in which case greater attention to on-site facilities
such as canteens, bicycle storage, and showers becomes a priority.
The truth is that people will endure most things if their
remuneration is above average. Where this is not the case and as the
attraction and retention of staff continues to be a primary concern
for employers, addressing the property concerns of staff may become
a necessary requirement for employers and ultimately for developers
1.2M TONNES OF CARBON TO BE EMITTED BECAUSE OF GOVERNMENT DITHERING
million tonnes of carbon, which is equivalent to the emissions of
over 1.5 million 'passenger flights' across the Atlantic,
will needlessly be released by new private homes in the North West
built up to 2016, because ministers are not clamping down on
Under government regulations being introduced next month, new homes
built by housing associations will have to reduce their carbon
emissions by 25%, with greater cuts coming in stages over subsequent
years up to April 2015; by which point associations will be
compelled to ensure that all their new homes are 'zero carbon'.
However, the Government is not compelling private developers to join
the same timetable, giving them 2 years' grace before they are
compelled to start reducing the emissions of their new homes. They
will then cut emissions at a slower rate than housing associations
up to April 2016; by which point all new homes in the country must
be 'zero carbon'.
The National Housing Federation fears that this twin-track approach
means that the 1.4m new homes built by private developers up to
April 2016 will needlessly emit more than 6 million tonnes of carbon
over their lifetime. Federation research shows that the carbon
unnecessarily emitted by these homes will be the equivalent of the
annual carbon output of Birmingham. Housing associations are
already in the vanguard of sustainable house-building, using
super-insulation, solar panels and wind turbines at many
developments across the country. While 92% of housing association
new homes are already meeting 'good' or 'very good'
eco-standards, only 2% of new homes built by private developers do
so. However, the Federation, which represents housing
associations, believes that if associations can meet such good
standards in green house-building then ministers should compel
private developers to do so as well.
West currently emits over 16,800 tonnes of domestic carbon emissions
every year, the region has 187,000 households officially living in
poverty', so the time has never been more urgent.
National Housing Federation chief executive David Orr said:-
"Our research shows just how serious for the planet ministerial
dithering, over private developers, will be. It's simply
unacceptable that 6.4m tonnes of carbon will needlessly be pumped
into the environment just because the Government is giving the
private sector an easy-ride on the issue of sustainability.
Ministers are facing in two directions on the issue of emissions. On
the one hand they are saying it's an urgent issue and housing
associations have to reduce emissions now. On the other hand they
are saying that private sector developers can do what they like for
another two years, and then work to a slower timetable until 2016.
The Government needs to grasp the nettle and compel private
developers to meet the same tough sustainable standards and
timetable as housing associations now.
It is absolutely right that housing associations are being
compelled to meet tough environmental standards. However, because
we're the only ones using sustainable building methods, the supply
chain is artificially expensive and housing associations are having
to shoulder the cost. This is unfair. And, in effect, ministers are
getting us to do the private developers' research and development on