Getting back to environmental basics in the Anthropocene era

Getting back to environmental basics in the Anthropocene era

A new word has recently entered the public discourse on the environment. It describes the current epoch of geological time as the period in which humans have had an impact on the world’s climate, geology and ecosystems. Although yet to be formally recognised by the mainstream scientific community, it has been in existence for a […]

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Whatever you might be told, this is not the Office of the Future

Whatever you might be told, this is not the Office of the Future

It seems like we don’t have to wait more than a few days at a time before some or other organisation is making its own prognoses about how we will be working in the future, especially at this time of year. The thing these reports about the office of the future all share in common, […]

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It is time to take action to support older people’s health at work

It is time to take action to support older people’s health at work

Poor health is one of the biggest factors causing people to leave work earlier than they would like to; yet poor health isn’t an inevitable part of ageing. We know that health conditions can become more likely as we get older. While some health conditions are not any more likely the older you get, others certainly […]

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What Aldous Huxley can teach us about acoustics at work

What Aldous Huxley can teach us about acoustics at work

Over the last few years there has been something of a widespread backlash to the idea that we need to have constant access to information and our colleagues to work effectively. The touchstone for this movement is of course the open plan office but it has become something of a scapegoat given the universality of […]

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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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