A fancy foreign word for 'the office is in a mess'

People & Business

Along with the cellular office and hot desking, I can now add another word to the ever-growing lexicon of modern office-speak: "Burolandschaft".

According to a booklet, "Everything you wanted to know about offices ... but were afraid to ask" published by President, an office furniture maker based in St Albans, Burolandschaft is German for "office landscape".

"It's a form of open-plan layout with seemingly chaotic arrays of desks which are arranged to reflect the flow of communication between people and departments," says the booklet.

It never really caught on but President's marketing director Colin Watson still recommends it, as any German words in a conversation sound impressive. How about: "My personal Weltanschauung encompasses a certain feeling of Schadenfreude when I see a Zeitgeist that allows people to work in Burolandschaft."

Feel free to use this phrase near the photocopier any time.

Oh dear, more pre-election revelations of Tory sleaze; Ken Clarke, the Chancellor, has been in court, with the words "theft" and "fraud" flowing thick and fast. Sadly for Tony Blair and pals, it's only in a training video compiled by Beachcroft Stanleys, a City law firm.

In the vid titled "On Trial" our Ken poses briefly as a jury foreman, who banters with the judge, played by his former Government colleague David Hunt, ex-Minister of Employment. All participants appeared for free so, tragically, there is not even the scintilla of sleaze.

The mock trial was shot at Nottingham Galleries of Justice last October and forms part of a training pack for the insurance industry.

In the trial an insurance company has rejected a claim for theft. This enables Mr Hunt to speculate on the legal definition of a "reasonable man" and how he might behave. Would a reasonable man, for instance, be one who likes his pint and cigar, wears ill-fitting suits and hush puppies?

Such a blunt reference to the Chancellor seems a trifle unfair. A spokesperson for Beachcroft points out: "The Chancellor was quite smart actually - he was wearing a blue pinstripe." Obviously Ken is repositioning himself as an extra for Kavanagh QC after the election.

Dick Brown, the American-born chief executive of Cable &Wireless, has accelerated his drive to instill US corporate values into the bureaucratic relic of empire by holding 6am meetings for directors.

Adrian Moorey, director of corporate communications, was absolutely determined not to be late yesterday morning. Like many of C&W's board, he rides a motorbike to work to cut down on commuting time.

So an eager Mr Moorey revs up to C&W's office just off High Holborn at 5.45 to find that the corporate garage is locked. Obviously other members of the company haven't heard about Mr Brown's initiative. Anyway, Mr Moorery parks his "Hog" on a meter, plonks the coins in, and heads indoors for the meeting.

He finally emerges at 9.30, just in time to see his beloved bike being clamped. It cost him pounds 68 to get it back. So much for trying to save on commuting expenses.

Norman Lyle, the senior vice-president of the Chartered Institute of management Accountants (CIMA), has been appointed group financial director of Jardine Matheson.

Congratulations. But hang on. Jardine is a Hong Kong business, despite now being registered in London, and Mr Lyle will have to move to the colony. So how will herepresent CIMA at the same time when he succeeds Rod Hill as the association's president in June?

John Chester, CIMA's secretary, says it will be "no problem at all. In fact it's a good thing. We're an international organisation, and he will be very well placed to represent us."

Mr Chester points out that Jardine has its head office in London, so Mr Lyle should have no problem attending the four or five CIMA board meetings each year.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Ashdown Group: Treasury Assistant - Accounts Assistant - London, Old Street

£24000 - £26000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Ashdown Group: Business Analyst - Financial Services - City, London

£50000 - £55000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Business Analyst - Financial Service...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: At SThree, we like to be differe...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + competitive: SThree: Did you know? SThree is the o...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions