The Internet and a pile of turtles that goes all the way down

The Internet and a pile of turtles that goes all the way down

In his 1998 book A Brief History of Time, Stephen Hawking relates the following anecdote: “A well-known scientist (some say it was Bertrand Russell) once gave a public lecture on astronomy. He described how the earth orbits around the sun and how the sun, in turn, orbits around the centre of a vast collection of […]

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Employers have a growing responsibility to provide staff with cycling facilities

Employers have a growing responsibility to provide staff with cycling facilities

This month, the British Council for Offices (BCO) launched a new report looking at the importance of offering better workplace facilities for cyclists in order to support the Government’s ambitious cycling growth targets. The Department for Transport’s £1.2bn cycling and walking investment strategy, published in April, aims to make cycling “the norm” by 2040. It […]

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A four hundred year old guide to ergonomics that still rings true today

A four hundred year old guide to ergonomics that still rings true today

Changes to the nature of work, where it takes place and the things we use to complete it are always constrained by one particular eternally fixed element; the human being. The unchanging individual at the centre of it all is the thing that makes us return to old ideas time and again and ensures that whatever we […]

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How do we reach consensus about what constitutes good design?

How do we reach consensus about what constitutes good design?

In shows and the media, we are often invited to pass judgement on products and ideas that have been created by other people. The reviews that follow often cement some form of accepted view, even if we often outsource the decision making to people who are better placed to decide, or at least better enabled […]

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Future Shock: a message from the past that defines the present

Future Shock: a message from the past that defines the present

We are all futurologists now. We all have our 2020 visions. But there was a time, not so long ago, when the title was reserved for a few people who would be able to shake and shape the world with a single idea and a book. Yes, a book. Nowadays a book has to go […]

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What we may be missing about IBM’s decision on flexible working

What we may be missing about IBM’s decision on flexible working

In May, the Wall Street Journal reported that IBM had announced that it was obliging a significant number of its staff to give up on remote working and instead move back to corporate offices, many of them regional hubs. Although we had been aware of the change in policy since February, the issue only went […]

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Creativity is the new productivity in the modern era of work and workplaces

Creativity is the new productivity in the modern era of work and workplaces

Creativity is often thought of as a quality unique to artistic geniuses. When in reality, it is present in all of us, and something that can be enhanced and nurtured, given the right tools and environment. Creativity is the innate human ability to generate ideas, solve difficult problems and exploit new opportunities — it is […]

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What Godzilla and A Bugs Life can teach us about building and workplace design

What Godzilla and A Bugs Life can teach us about building and workplace design

There is a typically telling and intelligent Pixar moment in the film A Bug’s Life in which an already well lubricated mosquito goes up to a bar and orders a ‘Bloody Mary, O Positive’. The barman plonks a droplet of blood down on the bar. The mosquito sinks his proboscis into it, sucks it down […]

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Why using recyclable materials is no longer enough to protect the environment

Why using recyclable materials is no longer enough to protect the environment

A few years ago, the most commonly recognised symbol of humankind’s impact on the environment was the image of a solitary polar bear, adrift on a rapidly shrinking ice floe. Google a term like ‘melting ice caps’ even now, and you’ll still derive a host of variations of the same meme. More recently a new […]

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The onus is on employers to create working conditions that attract people

The onus is on employers to create working conditions that attract people

Staff absenteeism is one of the most costly issues facing employers in the modern workplace. Absenteeism is defined commonly as an unscheduled, deliberate or routine absence from the workplace by employees. According to a new study by the Centre for Economic and Business Research (CEBR), people who regularly take days off are costing the UK […]

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A new approach to office design is redefining our relationship with property

A new approach to office design is redefining our relationship with property

At the end of the 18th Century it was becoming apparent that overpopulation was something the human race would need to address for perhaps the first time. Advances in technology and the urbanisation that followed the Industrial Revolution had created a new set of challenges. These were most famously laid out in a 1798 book called […]

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What Leonardo da Vinci can teach us about the six hour working day

What Leonardo da Vinci can teach us about the six hour working day

The latest idea to grip the sometimes limited imagination of the world’s workplace chatterers is that of the six hour working day. This has its roots in a Swedish experiment designed to limit the hours people work in an attempt to improve their work-life balance and possibly even increase their productivity. These are always commendable […]

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