Frederick Taylor was a man of his time not a whipping boy for ours

Frederick Taylor was a man of his time not a whipping boy for ours

Everybody likes a pantomime villain, and for many commentators on management and office design, they don’t come more dastardly than Frederick W. Taylor. Not only do pictures of him betray him as wealthy, white and starched, his ideas and the language in which they are couched are totally out of step with the way we think […]

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Seven workplace stories we think you should read this week (apart from ours)

Seven workplace stories we think you should read this week (apart from ours)

The backlash to being a thought leader Automation and Artificial Intelligence bullshit Science in the gig economy The seven deadly sins of AI predictions The flight of people back to the suburbs The changing psychology of the workplace The rock and roll workplace

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Future office and changing business of work debated at Workplace Trends

Future office and changing business of work debated at Workplace Trends

Those working within the built environment are already in the change business, was the view of Neil Usher of workessence in his presentation at the Workplace Trends Conference which was held in London this week. This was apt, as the changing business of work’ was the theme of the conference. It’s a pretty common topic […]

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How our smartphones stop us from living in the moment

How our smartphones stop us from living in the moment

As a teacher who has long witnessed and worried about the impacts of technology in the classroom, I constantly struggle to devise effective classroom policies for smartphones. I used to make students sing or dance if their phones interrupted class, and although this led to some memorable moments, it also turned inappropriate tech use into […]

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Building a culture of creativity that unites the physical and digital workplaces

Building a culture of creativity that unites the physical and digital workplaces

Agreeing on the definition of creativity is no easy task, as it can mean a whole range of different things to different people. To some, creativity means painting a beautiful picture or creating a unique sculpture, while for others it might mean writing a catchy tagline, developing a new business model, or building an innovative […]

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Agile working? This is Frank’s World and the rest of us just live in it

Agile working? This is Frank’s World and the rest of us just live in it

James Joyce had a word for moments of insight when we see right through convention and suddenly appreciate how things really are. He called such moments epiphanies. Such a flash of insight happened to me three or four years ago in Texas. I had been explaining to the partners of a very large international client […]

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Heisenberg, Jabberwocky and the medicalisation of dissatisfaction

Heisenberg, Jabberwocky and the medicalisation of dissatisfaction

A survey was published a couple of years ago to coincide with ‘National Stress Awareness Day’. Conducted by Robertson Cooper, the consultancy co-founded by media friendly academic Cary Cooper, the report made some fairly modest and believable claims about the impacts of stress. Especially if you compare them to the more startling findings of other […]

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We (still) need to talk about mental health in the workplace

We (still) need to talk about mental health in the workplace

In recent years we have made huge strides in moving discussions around mental health into the public arena. Celebrities such as Cara Delevingne, Ryan Reynolds, Gwyneth Paltrow and Brad Pitt have all come forward to share personal stories of their struggle with mental health problems.  The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry have […]

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Our Twentieth Century approach to ergonomics has to change

Our Twentieth Century approach to ergonomics has to change

One of the big problems with the way some people talk about the term ‘ergonomic’ is that they tend to use it to describe the design of objects when really it’s about the relationship between a person and the things around them. It’s an abstract idea, about the relationships between design, facilities and management, so […]

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Convergence of work and life defines September London workplace design shows

Convergence of work and life defines September London workplace design shows

It has always been a characteristic of the 100% Design exhibition that it has segmented along the demarcations of workplace, home, interiors, kitchens and bedrooms. This used to make perfect sense as the same distinctions existed in our lives, reflected in the form and function of the products we allocated to those spaces. This is […]

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Time to start a new culture to tackle stigma on mental wellbeing issues in the workplace

Time to start a new culture to tackle stigma on mental wellbeing issues in the workplace

As a recent Workplace Insight story reported, UK workers are still uncomfortable about having honest conversations at work, with nearly two thirds (61 percent) feel they keep an aspect of their lives hidden in the workplace. Family difficulties (46 percent) was the most likely hidden issue at work, followed by mental health (31 percent). Talking […]

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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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