February 2022
Companies with remote-first work culture transcend geographic boundaries and time zone differences. They’re built on values like trust, inclusivity, autonomy and transparency. Remote has revealed ways to build an effective work culture, outlining the benefits and challenges of remote and hybrid working environments.

Opportunities and benefits of building a remote-first work culture
The shortest way to summarize remote-first benefits: empowering every employee to do their best work. When we unpack that, we’ll find many layers to what makes that happen. True remote work culture is intentionally inclusive and creates equal opportunities for everyone. Without geographical and other barriers, people can bring their knowledge, life experiences, self-expression, unique capabilities, and talent to work.

It’s a new mode of creating metal designs at Chemetal. Introducing Surface Mode, new designs on thicker metals. The company started with its popular ALU metals – aluminums finished with an ambient industrial black – put them on thicker metals and overlaid it all with CNC designs. The results are stunning feature wall panels in neutral shades of black. What’s more, custom opportunities abound for designers to create their own CNC designs, logos, signage and branding messages.
The impact of new commercial real estate development and of the ongoing operations of existing commercial real estate buildings in the United States continues to grow, according to the annual Economic Impacts of Commercial Real Estate, 2022 U.S. Edition, research study conducted by the NAIOP Research Foundation. NAIOP, the Commercial Real Estate Development Association, is a leading organization for developers, owners and related professionals in office, industrial, retail and mixed-use real estate.

The combined economic contributions of new commercial building development and the operations of existing commercial buildings in 2021 resulted in direct expenditures of $434 billion and the following impacts on the U.S. economy:
  • Contributed $1.2 trillion to U.S. gross domestic product (GDP)
  • Generated $418.7 billion in personal earnings
  • Supported a total of 8.5 million jobs.

Global real estate and professional services firm JLL recently announced that it closed its acquisition of Building Engines, the building operations platform designed to transform how properties are run, provide exceptional experiences for operators and tenants, and improve net operating income (NOI) across successful commercial real estate (CRE) portfolios around the world.

The acquisition reflects JLL’s commitment to applying technology to solve real estate’s biggest challenges — in this case, the siloed ecosystem of property management technologies. Building Engines’ cloud platform Prism streamlines everything from work orders to maintenance scheduling and tenant engagement in one place — and helps workplaces prepare for a safe and successful post-Covid re-occupancy.

"Our vision is to unite the fragmented property management software ecosystem and make Building Engines the building operations system of record. With this acquisition, we see a major opportunity to bring the property management software ecosystem together in one easy-to-use, open platform for real estate investors." Sharad Rastogi, president of JLL Technologies

Retrofitting an existing masonry cavity walled building with a living or green wall can reduce the amount of heat lost through its structure by more than 30%, according to new research conducted at the University of Plymouth in the U.K.

Alan Williams, Media and Communications Officer, explained that the study centered around the Sustainability Hub — a pre-1970s building on the university campus, refurbished in 2019 — and compared how effectively two sections of its walls retained heat.

Despite being on the same west-facing elevation, one of those sections had been retrofitted with an exterior living or green wall façade, comprised of a flexible felt fabric sheet system with pockets allowing for soil and planting.

After five weeks of measurements, researchers found the amount of heat lost through the wall retrofitted with the living façade was 31.4% lower than that of the original structure.

by Earl Geertgens

The great COVID-19 disruption sent home workers, and forced organizations to rethink how jobs could be performed remotely. Countless offices were left empty and countless facility managers were left managing empty spaces. Fast forward 18 months and a (re)migration to the office is in full force. But how do organizations rebuild the office culture when so much has changed?

The (previous) trend of open concept seems counter-intuitive to the notions of social distancing, not to mention a sanitization nightmare, but the answer is in a holistic approach to retaining flexibility for workers, and more importantly for the building itself such that the space can adapt to a future that is still being shaped. Organizations are faced with a new set of priorities that include more than just annual productivity. The health and wellbeing of employees, a collaborative workplace, cost-effective growth, and a responsibility to the environment are rising trends that are shaping the workspace.

Fast reads . . .
While waiting three years due to the pandemic to stage their renowned educational conference, the NFMT 2022 (National Facilities Management and Technology Conference & Expo) conference team have developed educational tracks that are right on-target with the challenges faced by facilities managers (FMs), building management and workplace and educational institution professionals.

NFMT will be hosted in the Baltimore Convention Center, Baltimore, Maryland, where it has been held since 2001, by the publishers of Building Operating Management and Facility Maintenance Decisions magazines. Their goal was to bring education, networking, and product discovery to facilities professionals nationwide.

NFMT continues the tradition March 29-31 by offering broad-based education for facilities professionals from every type of organization: government, education, commercial, office, healthcare, retail, hospitality, and industrial.

A leader in the recycled products technology industry, Ecore transforms reclaimed materials into new products, earning a record of sustainability recognition and two new accolades: the International Recircle Award nomination and the Sustainability Leader in the Health Index. Voting is open for the 2022 Recircle Awards.

Ecore is best known to facilities managers and interior designers for flooring solutions for many industries, including healthcare, hospitality, wellness, sports, and fitness. The second annual Recircle Awards is a global event, based in Germany. The awards recognize the contribution of companies and individuals within the tire manufacturing, retreading, and recycling industries towards a circular economy. Ecore has been nominated in the “Best Tire Derived Recycled Product” category.

Nanotouch Materials, creator of Nanotouch self-cleaning surfaces, has launched a Clean Workstation Kit designed to help create a more hygienic environment in the workplace. Whether your staff are on a regular, staggered or hybrid schedule, these kits can help ensure their workstations stay clean at all times — including employees working remotely, off-campus or in the field.

The photocatalytic self-cleaning mats and skins tackle the germs on the places we touch the most — our own desks, phones and computers.

The Clean Workstation Kit covers everything from a mousepad and tissue box cover to a portable mat that can be used for a laptop, water bottle and phone — anything that needs to stay clean.

Find out more about the Clean Workstation Kit on the Nanotouch website.