This week: Japanese trains, workplace culture and a splash of MMC!

So this has been a very typical week. I have worked from London, met clients face to face, worked from home and a coworking space in Manchester. Happy times. My journey to London is: Lee’s trip to London

So for the first time I was a bit sceptical about listening to Caleb Parker’s podcast with Chris Herd – why? Because I find a lot of his social media posts as divisive, effectively coming across that the way forward is remote. So it was pleasing to hear Caleb challenge this and to hear that Chris is not against the office and sees very much a hybrid working going forward – ultimately his vision is for people to be empowered to do better at work (though I’m unsure I’ll ever have a coffee machine in my house fit for an office!). Completely agree that working remotely 2 or 3 days a week works. It is what I see in my teams, clients and friends. I can see some roles being fully remote but are these jobs truly valued (as recently Google may cut pay of staff who work from home). Our habits and behaviours are evolving and our workplace needs to accommodate this. Working from home is not a pandemic working from home. I have worked from home 1 to 2 days a week for 4 years but pre-pandemic I didn’t have two children at home being schooled. The way forward is productive working at home (or other remote locations). A worthwhile listen for those interesting in the #futureofwork.

And as I continue to work through a smorgasbord of podcasts this Resi Talks by Emma Rosser explores that favourite term of many MMC – Modern Methods of Construction. The speakers clearly have one finger in the pie as senior executives at two of the UKs most prominent modular housing organisations TopHat and ilke Homes but certainly one has a broader view on the market having previously being CFO at one of the nation’s largest private housebuilders. The arguments for change are put forward and the support of the current ways comes through too. This is not a us versus them situation but more a how can there be a collective that drives to the ultimate goal of providing sufficient housing in the UK, particularly in the affordable space. 

With a final highlighted podcast being PropertyShe discussion with Nick Cuff of Pocket Living. It follows the MMC podcast by showcasing a residential product that targets a specific area in a way to help people join the housing ladder. Pocket Living delivers homes for the local community at below market prices. The back story of Nick is interesting. A reverse to what I’m used to hearing. It makes sense that the experience from politics can then be beneficial in the private sector. On the coal face so to speak. Pocket Living meets a need and I do wonder how scaleable the business could be across other cities rather than just London. Every city must have those plots that are unfeasible for “normal” development so this could be a change that helps all. 

An interesting read this week has been a double blog of a discussion between Alex Edds and Melanie Jones. It is fascinating to read a transcription of a discussion and actually enjoy the content and feel like you have the discussion in front of you. More and more organisations are pulling together (and taking action) in respect of Net Zero Carbon. Hearing how JLL are approaching and also the focus of Cort Furniture (and Melanie) have in the sector is good. Achieving our ambitions and goals here requires everyone. For real estate it’s the landlord and the tenant. How this unfolds over the coming years will define organisations. 

And lastly for the week is this new video from The B1M about Japan’s $64BN Gamble on Levitating Bullet Trains. First completed in 1964 the video tracks the progress from a 7 hour journey to a future 67 minutes. Though in true infrastructure style there are concerns over the project due to the environmental impact. The balancing act of the need to move people and the environment will continue to fight on but it’s an interesting video to learn more about this network. 

So enjoy the weekend!

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