Four day weeks, modular construction and FaaS

Sitting in the garden. Watching the sunset over Yorkshire. This week has been a return to working full time after time off. There has been a significant amount of podcasts to catch up on and articles to read so lots of content. Below are some of the ones that caught my attention.

So I’ve been catching up on podcasts for the last three weeks. Although I listened to some while on holiday the time available to do so was minimal and therefore they built up a little. I have an interest in modern methods of construction (“MMC”) and this podcast from Blackstock Consulting, Propcast (not to be confused with Propcast by LMRE!), sees a discussion between Man Group and ilke Homes on the future of housebuilding. Although I do not believe MMC will be the answer to all construction challenges, it does play an important role in bringing construction into the modern world and supporting a broader benefit to UK housing and wider construction. Key benefits of speed, safety, sustainability and quality as well as wider benefits of improved building performance, lower defects and socially helping the levelling up agenda with a large number of MMC providers being based in the North and Midlands. Time will tell what the ultimate success will be but with large investors coming in to the sector, that time is very much here now. 

And this Workbold Podcast with Caleb Parker discusses a new topic to many, FaaS (Furniture-as-a-Service). We live in a world where we no longer need CDs and DVDs. We have the ability to stream whatever music and films we want (for a small subscription). We can live wherever we want via an AirBnB. Our lives are based on getting what we need when we need it. Removing the need for owning material items. Furniture is a costly affair so why would we not look at it more from a subscription service – what we need when we need it! Whether for broader commercial real estate or from a residential view. The future and this discussion talks it through with Melanie Jones and Todd Simpson of Cort Furniture. 

I’m an avid lover of airports & airplanes so I found this video from The B1M on  The True Scale of the World’s Largest Airports fascinating. Longer term, who knows where international travel will go but I can’t see it stopping – with the emergence of plans for sustainable aircrafts surely the market has the potential to grow significantly. To achieve this, learning more about how land reclamation is supporting smaller territories. Long runways to accommodate landing patterns and Middle Eastern super airports. 

From a workplace culture perspective though I am sure we’ve all seen the headline of Iceland looking at a 4-day working week. The report is available to read here: Going Public: Iceland’s Journey to a Shorter Working Week. A large scale review has been performed over a 3 year period including 2,500 people. The outcome was 86% of the workforce now working shorter hours (or having the right to work shorter) for the same level of pay. Not surprisingly but well being improved with no impact on the outputs and productivity. Could this be coming to a country near you soon? Would you want to work less hours for the same money. At PwC we have worked 4.5 days over the Summer. Slightly different in that hours are spread over less days but it has empowered people to manage their time and take advantage of flexibility. Will it last longer – who knows! But I have always managed flexibility into my week to help with childcare and my own wellbeing. 

If you have any great content about #workplace #futureofwork or the #builtenvironment then let me know.

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