When it comes to working in the city, life is rarely dull. From the constantly busy atmosphere through to working locations, London’s business sector is an exciting place for workers of all ages to be. In recent years, more and more companies have begun using famous landmarks as their office buildings of choice. For those who work in them, going to work comes with the simple pleasure of sitting in a building with historic significance, day after day.
The Batman Building in Clerkenwell
Sat in the heart of Clerkenwell is a building known as ‘The Batman Building’. In addition to finding fame for its role in Gotham City, this mid-19th-century glass and leadworks outfit is owned by the Farmiloe family, which was the original family to commission it. In addition to featuring in Batman, it has been snapped up by the producers of Inception and Sherlock Holmes.
Although this Clerkenwell building has continued to be popular amongst movie directors, the owners have since chosen to turn it into offices, targeting multinational corporations like Amazon. While those working for everyday small and medium businesses might not get a look in, the lucky few who do work for multinational corporations in the area may find themselves travelling to Gotham City on a daily basis for their 9 to 5 job.
To the rest of the UK the Gherkin is well-known for its role in the business world. When it comes to visitors, however, it is a towering landmark that they’ll forever associate with London’s skyline. As a commercial skyscraper that sits in the heart of London’s financial district, the Gherkin is home to hundreds of city workers, who spend most of their days and weeks toying with the financial market from within its glass walls.
For those who don’t work in the city, the Gherkin presents an excellent opportunity to grab a bite to eat. At the top there is a restaurant, which offers one of the city’s best panoramic views. Those who walk into to play with the stock market may benefit from its luxurious surroundings on a daily basis, but everyday people can enjoy the views without so many city stresses. Continue reading “Famous London Landmark Buildings Being Used as Offices”
During the third quarter of 2014, the commercial property market in London has greatly benefited from a strengthened economy. Low interest rates and improved consumer confidence have contributed to making commercial floorspace in the British capital attractive to the eyes of investors and property managers, many of whom are trying to make the most out of the fact that overall prices still remain well below the peak they reached in 2007. During the past three months, average values for commercial property in London have been 31 per cent lower than in 2007. Return rates on investment for all types of commercial property have hovered around the 15 per cent mark, a slightly higher figure than the one experienced during the first half of the year. The commercial property market in London remains largely dominated by overseas investors, who currently have a 57 per cent market share, followed by UK institutions and property firms. Read on for more details on the market’s performance during the third quarter of 2014.
The London Office Market Q3 2014
On the whole, the cost of office space in central London is currently 4 per cent below its 2007 record high values. Having said that, it is important to note that some areas within central London have managed to return to or even exceed their pre-recession values. This is the case of offices in the West End, whose value increased by 5 per cent during the third quarter of this year. At the end of August 2014, office take-up rates in London were 17 per cent higher than during the previous year.
The latest data also show that the gap in prices between primary and secondary office stock in the city has been consistently narrowing down over the past quarter. Moderate rental growth is now evident across most city locations. However moderate, rental value increases and rising occupation costs have led more than 40 corporate occupiers to relocate from West End core offices to cheaper properties in areas like Midtown, the South Bank, or the city fringe. Year-on-year rental growth values are now 9.8 per cent higher in Midtown properties (which have been clearly outperforming those in other areas) and 7.3 per cent higher in city fringe locations.
Another trend worth mentioning is the significant number of central London offices that have been earmarked for conversion into residential properties. In the West End alone, more than 800,000 square feet of office space are set to be re-developed into residential floorspace within the next few years. It is expected that this trend will continue, as during the past three months consent has been granted to dozens of planning applications that will result in office-to-residential conversions. Continue reading “Overview of London’s Commercial Property Market – 3rd Quarter 2014”
In a world that is increasingly dependent on technology, offices of all sizes use a lot of natural resources. From electricity through to water, businesses across the UK are now striving to reduce their carbon emissions by cutting down on their resource usage. Far from making life difficult, there are a few approaches business owners can take to give the planet a helping hand, while doing their bank balance a favour.
Encouraging Sustainability with the Latest Technology
There was once a time when paper was unavoidable, but today it’s unnecessary to use it when it comes to most documents. Shifting most of your office’s important notices to the digital world reduces the amount of paper you use. Some software even allows you to add digital signatures to documents, which in turn means you don’t miss out on important contracts.
While focusing on digital documents only might seem like a hassle at first, it’s worth considering the amount of time it will save. Whether you’re working from Microsoft Word or using emails, search functions allow yourself and your employees to find essential keywords, without having to read a document in its entirety. Naturally, there will be times when using paper is still necessary. If this happens, focus on making the most of shredders and recycling whenever you can. The paper you recycle may later be used as a commodity for other businesses.
Efficient Water Practices for Offices
Most offices now have water coolers, and while they act as a great source of hydration and somewhere for employees to gather and converse, they also power through one of the world’s most important resources. It would be unreasonable to expect any office manager to do away with their water cooler completely. You can, however, choose to use a reverse osmosis system instead. Reverse osmosis water coolers recycle water that may not otherwise be used due to lack of freshness.
In addition to reducing the amount of water you waste, a reverse osmosis system also buys into the government’s Waste and Resources Action Program (WRAP), which has been implemented to ensure businesses use natural resources efficiently. Continue reading “Sustainable Office Practices”
According to the World Health Organization, nearly 60 per cent of the world’s workers spend a third of their lives at work, and this makes it pretty easy to understand where the expression ‘working your life away” comes from. Some countries are particularly notorious for their hard-working ethics, and irrespective of nationality, the majority of people take pride in working hard and accomplishing objectives at work.
But is that all there is to life? Certainly not, and this is why concepts like the ‘work-life balance’ have become an important part of our vocabulary over the past few years. Achieving that balance involves taking time off every now and then, and whereas the majority of us look forward to our holidays, some workers may feel reluctant to taking time off. If this sounds like you, read through this post to find out the many different ways in which taking a holiday is beneficial.
The importance of taking time off work
Work plays an important role in our psychological and emotional development. Having a defined role allows us to develop a sense of identity, gives structure to our lives, and more importantly, pays our bills, or at least gives us some degree of financial independence. But if work is so good, why do we dread it so much?
You must keep in mind that there is a fine line between routine, demotivation, and stress. Performing the same activity in the same environment week after week is mentally taxing and it can easily lead to occupational burnout. It is important to note that burnout doesn’t happen overnight. It is a sad fact that many people fail to recognise stress because unconsciously they have learnt that being stressed is their natural or normal state. In fact, many employees dismiss its symptoms and attribute them to ‘being tired’ or ‘having the Monday Blues’. The symptoms worsen quickly, leading to fatigue, irritability, lack of concentration, and being prone to disease. Continue reading “The Importance of Taking a Holiday”
For several years, London has been considered one of the world’s most prosperous technology hubs. Silicon Roundabout, Tech City, and Old Street are now firmly established in the global digital scene and can compete with other successful technology centres, mainly with California’s Silicon Valley. However, and despite the fact that London’s Tech City is a relatively new project, it seems that the London tech scene is growing at a faster pace than California. A report published in June 2014 confirmed this trend, and in this post we take a closer look at the facts and implications of the unmatched growth experienced by the British capital’s technology sector.
London’s tech sector has quickly caught up with California: learn all the details
The regeneration of the Old Street and the surrounding areas and its subsequent transformation into a leading business district has been hailed as a successful economic growth strategy right from the start. According to a 2013 report published by the Cabinet’s Office, between 2009 and 2012 the number of tech firms based in this area increased by an astonishing 76 per cent, bringing the total number of tech companies in London to over 88,000. Success is also measured by the industry’s contribution to the capital’s economy. In this respect, London’s Tech City is also a winner, as it has been estimated that nearly 27 per cent of the city’s total job growth is generated by the capital’s tech sector. All in all, this industry employs more than 582,000 people across London. Continue reading “London is Ahead of California for Tech Growth”
It is no secret that the London tech industry is one of the most important economic drivers of growth in the British capital. While other industry sectors are still struggling to overcome the negative effects caused by the recession, the technology sector is alive and kicking. This industry is certainly swimming against the flow, and instead of downsizing or cutting down on personnel, many tech firms are actually creating new and much-needed job opportunities. A few weeks ago, some of the most important players in the tech sector announced that they were ready to take on nearly 2,000 apprentices. But before we delve into the details of this announcement, let us take a look at the most recent performance of the capital’s tech industry.
A quick overview of the tech sector in London
Over the past decade, London has managed to establish itself as one of the world’s top tech hubs. What initially began as a small cluster of tech companies around Old Street has now become the European equivalent of Silicon Valley. Today, more than 5,000 tech companies are located in London’s Tech City, and many more are constantly being set up in other areas of the British capital. A recent Oxford Economics report has shown that the tech industry is expected to experience annual growth levels of more than 5 per cent during the next decade, bringing its total value to over £12 billion.
Growth in this sector is being driven by partnerships between top-class educational and research institutions, entrepreneurs, and investors. As a result, training and education are becoming crucial growth factors in this sector, so the recently announced large apprentice intake should not come as a surprise.
Continue reading “London’s Technology Sector is Boosted by 2000 New Apprentices”
Buildings in London are often named after its design, such as The Shard in reference to its resemblance to shards of glass. Alternatively, many towers are named after their location or address to highlight a prestigious location such as One Canada Square. In some instances, office towers in London have been named after major tenants.
The innovative Lloyd’s Building is often referred to informally as the Inside-Out Building. The office tower is home to insurance firm Lloyd’s of London, which owns and lends its name to the building’s name. The Lloyd’s Building was constructed on the site of the East India House on Lime Street, which once served as the London headquarters of the East India Company. Completed in 1986, the modern structure was designed by Richard Rogers and features electrical power conduits, water pipes, staircases and lifts on the outside. It also integrates elements from the original Lloyd’s building, including an eighteenth century dining room and early nineteenth century entrance that were moved from the previous Leadenhall Street location. The Shell Centre on the South Bank of the River Thames is also named after its main tenant. Completed in 1961, the office tower was the first to exceed the height of the Victoria Tower at the Palace of Westminster. The building was commissioned by oil giant Shell, which commissioned its construction. Other buildings named after corporations include the Willis Building, which is named after its main occupant, the Willis Group. Located opposite the Lloyd’s Building on Lime Street and completed in 2008, the tower features an elegant stepped design resembling the shell of a crustacean. Continue reading “London Office Buildings Named After A Major Company”
Business awards recognise innovation, leadership and individual achievements by companies, entrepreneurs and others. Winning awards is also an important opportunity for entrepreneurs and businesses to market themselves. London has several major business award programmes. While some award programmes are sector specific, others are general awards that recognise achievements across industries.
FBS London Business Awards
The Federal of Small Businesses (FSB) bills itself as the UK’s leading business organisation. The non-profit body represents the interests of the self-employed and small business owners. It has more than 200,000 members and 194 branches across the United Kingdom.
Each year, the FSB stages its London Business Awards. The awards recognise achievements in a range of categories, including Best New Business, Young Person of the Year and Employee of the Year. Other awards celebrate business innovation, service excellence, training and development, enterprising business, and other areas. There is no charge for entering and entries are independently judged.
Prospects Business Awards
Prospects Business Support runs business awards programmes across London. The awards programme is accredited under the Small Firms Enterprise Development Initiative and the Mentors Me Project. The business awards are free to enter. In addition to organising its business awards, Prospects provides business clinics and workshops, reviews, coaching and consultancy. The business support programme is designed for start-ups as well as existing businesses. Continue reading “Major London Business Awards”
Cities are often associated with concrete and asphalt routes, steel and glass towers, and bustling motor vehicles causing commuter chaos. At the same time, urban areas are home to a wealth of biodiversity. An astounding 47 per cent of London is green space, and the city and surrounding area is home to some 3,000 parks and over 140 nature reserves. In London alone, residents share their city with approximately 13,000 different species of wildlife.
London’s natural setting makes it a great place to enjoy the outdoors when taking a break from work at lunch or during the day. The Royal Parks of London are natural choices, and many are within a short walk or tube ride from London’s major office hubs. Close to the heart of Central London is St. James’s Park. Founded in 1603, the dazzling park sits between the iconic sights of Buckingham Palace and Trafalgar Square. Horse Guards Parade is also next to the park. From a resident colony of pelicans to fine views of Buckingham Palace from the Blue Bridge, St. James’s Park is one of London’s most scenic and ideal for a stroll away from the office.
St. James’s Park is linked with Green Park, Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens, providing an excellent collection of outdoor green spaces to find a quiet spot to work outside, eat lunch with colleague or enjoy a quick break. The largest of the four closely linked Royal Parks in Central London is Hyde Park, which was created in 1637 and covers 350 acres. Hyde Park is also a great destination to unwind after work with recreational opportunities ranging from open water swimming and boating to cycling and tennis.
Continue reading “London’s Green Spaces: Perfect London Parks for your Lunchtime Breaks”
With the pace of business no longer dictated by a 9 to 5 schedule, workers in the City of London are increasingly turning towards alternative arrangements for meetings. From scheduling team brainstorming sessions at coffee shops to meeting with clients for breakfast, meetings are not just confined to office boardrooms. Breakfast meetings are great opportunities for quick meetings over coffee and a light meal. With tight economic times and busy workdays, breakfasts are a time and money saving alternative to long lunches that were once a staple of doing business.
There are plenty of choices for the day’s first meal in the City, whether you are looking for a full English breakfast or a quick orange juice and pastry to start the day. Known for its excellent burritos, Poncho 8 has five branches in the City. A favourite breakfast menu item is Portobello mushroom, as well as smoked bacon breakfast wraps with omelettes. Poncho 8 is a fun and affordable spot for a quick breakfast offering flexible options to choose what’s in your breakfast burrito. This is a great choice for team meetings or a less formal breakfast with external stakeholders.
The City has some of the most iconic office towers in London, many offering dazzling views of the capital. Some towers have sky-high restaurants that are sure to impress high-profile clients for a breakfast meeting. The Duck & Waffle in the Heron Tower on Bishopsgate offers one of the best bird’s eye view of London while enjoying a breakfast. The restaurant is fairly busy and bookings are recommended, like many of the most popular breakfast spots in London. Menu items include savoury dishes from across the British Isles, including Yorkshire pork sausage and black pudding from West Cork.
Another great choice with an impressive view and setting is Coq d’Argent at No. 1 Poultry in the heart of the City. This strictly business venue offers a professional space and friendly service. The beautiful rooftop terrace offers excellent 360-degree views of the City. Delicious dishes are prepared by Chef Mickael Weiss, who delivers one of the best breakfasts in London. A world class menu filled with flavour is also found at Hawksmoor Guildhall. Known for some of the best steaks in London, the restaurant was also named by GQ as the home of the best power breakfast in London. The Basinghall Street restaurant’s menu includes a Full English breakfast, a Sausage and Egg HkMuffin, plum doughnuts and many other choices. Continue reading “Breakfast in The City”