The Importance of Taking a Holiday

The Importance of Taking a Holiday from LondonOfficeSpace.comAccording 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”

London is Ahead of California for Tech Growth

London is Ahead of California for Tech Growth from LondonOfficeSpace.comFor 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”

London’s Technology Sector is Boosted by 2000 New Apprentices

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.

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London Office Buildings Named After A Major Company

London Office Buildings Named After A Major Company from LondonOfficeSpace.com @officeinlondon 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”

Major London Business Awards

London Business Awards from LondonOfficeSpace.com @officeinlondonBusiness 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”

London’s Green Spaces: Perfect London Parks for your Lunchtime Breaks

St James's Park LondonOfficeSpace.com @officeinlondon 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.

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Breakfast in The City

Business Meeting Breakfast in the City of London LondonOfficeSpace.com @officeinlondonWith 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”

Short Breaks Within an Hour of London

There is no denying that the British capital is an exciting metropolis bustling with countless things to see and do. However, chances are that if you live in London you will need to take a break from the city every now and then. The good news is that you don’t need to drive for hours to find a relaxing short break destination, as there are plenty of fantastic spots within an hour of the city. Read on to find out more and be inspired by our selection of short break destinations.

Seaside relaxation at Whitstable, Kent

The quaint fishing village of Whitstable is only 64 miles away from central London. In just over one hour, you can swap bumper-to-bumper traffic by invigorating sea breezes and beautiful beaches. What is more, Whitstable is only 5 miles away from historic Canterbury, which also makes for a great day trip out of London. This attractive little village sits on the southern end of the Thames Estuary, but its beaches and picturesque harbour are not all that Whitstable has to offer, as the village is also home to an 18th-century castle, numerous art galleries, boutiques, antique shops, an arts centre, and many pubs and inns and of course the Whitstable Oyster Festival.

Family fun at Woburn Forest, Bedfordshire

Woburn Forest is one of the most recent additions to the leisure and entertainment offer near London. This holiday park opened is managed by Center Parcs and opened its doors to the public on 6 June this year. The park is now ready for the summer season and offers dozens of activities in its 362 acres of space. The park is just a 45-minute drive from central London and is therefore the perfect weekend destination for families who live in the capital. Family fun is guaranteed thanks to activities like Segway riding, laser clay shooting, canoeing, climbing, archery, and aerial tree trekking. If you are visiting during a particularly hot summer day, you will surely appreciate the park’s tropical swimming pool. There is also a range of indoor activities on offer, as well as a spa, shops, cafes, and restaurants.

Cliffe Pools Nature Reserve

Cliffe Pools Nature Reserve is a protected area located 38 miles east of London. It certainly seems hard to believe that one of the UK’s foremost wildlife habitats can be so close to a large city, and this is precisely one of the reserve’s key attractions. Upon reaching the reserve’s entrance, you will be greeted with expansive views of the natural pools and lagoons that are home to thousands of birds, including redshanks, marsh harriers, peregrines, merlins, and black-tailed godwits. Further away, the River Thames flows gently towards the North Sea. The Cliffe Pools Nature Reserve is the ideal place to get away from it all for a few hours. Guided walks are available, but otherwise you can explore the reserve’s 6 viewpoints at your own pace. Continue reading “Short Breaks Within an Hour of London”

The Importance of Business Etiquette

Business Etiquette LondonOfficeSpace.com @officeinlondonMany of us know when someone has committed the crime of bad etiquette. We feel as if we’ve been insulted, without being able to pinpoint why. Good etiquette has the opposite effect. We feel inclined to help the person who displayed it, and we tend to trust them more. What makes for effective business etiquette today, includes how we communicate online, as well as in person.

Telephone Etiquette – ensure you have a standard greeting in place when answering the telephone. This includes the company name, salutation, and stock answers on behalf of people who are not available for any reason. Telephone tone of voice is very important. You need to sound friendly and personable. Never sound hurried or harassed. If given details over the phone, make sure you repeat spellings and numbers back to the caller. Write messages down on a time and date notepad, and deliver them as quickly as possible to the intended recipient to avoid repeat phone calls.

Meetings Etiquette – No matter if the board is meeting together, or a consultant is coming to chat with the manager, all meetings should be set up properly. This is to reflect a considerate corporate image. Guests to your office will have travelled, and may need parking validation. Some companies opt not to pay this; however, this small consideration goes a long way. Make any visitors’ attitude more favourable towards your company by offering refreshments on arrival, ensuring water and coffee is on hand during the initial stages of a meeting, and offer to safeguard any belongings for the visitors. When it comes time for departure, be prepared to offer any advice about traffic or travel the visitors might need. Continue reading “The Importance of Business Etiquette”

Overview of London’s Commercial Property Market – 2nd Quarter 2014

The second quarter of 2014 has proven to be an active period for the capital’s commercial property market. In fact, the first half of this year has seen some of the highest activity levels and take-up rates since 2010. This has been undoubtedly prompted by increased consumer and business confidence, GDP growth, and a recovering labour market. Below you will find a detailed account of how the London commercial property market has fared during the second quarter of the year.

London office property market: trends and figures for Q2 – 2014

During the second quarter of 2014, nearly 3 million square feet of office space were transacted in London. The vast majority of deals involved office properties in The City and in the West End, whereas a relatively small number of deals involved office space in the Docklands area. Take-up rates were up by nearly 20 per cent on a 5-year quarterly average. Approximately 38 per cent of all deals were carried out by companies in the banking and finance sectors. The professional services industry accounted for 20 per cent of all deals, wheras the TMT sector carried out 16 per cent of all transactions.

In terms of rental values, growth has been clearly evident in nearly every sub-market. Prime rents were almost 12 per cent higher than during Q2 – 2013. In the West End, prime rents currently average £115 per square feet. Areas like Mayfair, St James, and Marylebone command the highest prices in the West End, while Battersea, Fulham, and Camden have the lowest rental values in the area. The cost of office space in The City has risen to £58.5 per square feet, and in the Docklands prime rents are in the region of £36 per square feet. There are more than 500,000 square feet under offer in the Docklands, so it is expected that rental values in this area will continue to rise during the remainder of 2014.

During this quarter, pre-letting deals constituted nearly 60 per cent of all transactions, although in some parts of the capital (such as The City), pre-letting accounted for a higher percentage of the total number of transactions. Some of the most noteworthy transactions involved properties that are still under construction in the West End, such as the office buildings at 1 Fitzroy Place, 10 Brock Street, and 10 New Burlington Street. These are expected to be completed by 2015.

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