Breaking eggs and a two thousand year quest to make the most of each day

Breaking eggs and a two thousand year quest to make the most of each day

The fracturing of time and place underlies every one of the great workplace issues of our time. Everything that springs from this – the where, when, how, what and why of work – is defined by the shattering of any fixed idea we may once have had of a time and a place to work. […]

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The evolution of the workplace conversation in ten graphs

The evolution of the workplace conversation in ten graphs

Based on Google Trends data since 2004 and without comment.                       Main image: Herman Miller Living Office

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How Thomas Jefferson came to invent the swivel chair and laptop

How Thomas Jefferson came to invent the swivel chair and laptop

In 1775, Thomas Jefferson was a busy man. As part of the Committee of Five men and at the tender age of 33, he had been charged with drafting the Declaration of Independence that was to be presented to Congress the following Summer. By all accounts, Jefferson was a self-contained and self-sufficient man and, like […]

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Creating a productive workplace for people is all about context

Creating a productive workplace for people is all about context

The quest for a proper understanding of the links between the places we work, the things with which we fill them and our wellbeing and productivity has been ongoing for a very long time. It predates our current thinking on productive workplace design and the facilities management discipline as we now know it by decades […]

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Anthropology might hold some answers to the most difficult workplace challenges

Anthropology might hold some answers to the most difficult workplace challenges

Many recent discussions have centered on the drawbacks of the open-plan office, a major format in the UK, and possible pathways to the communal workplace of the future. As part of this, it has been acknowledged that the factors responsible for determining the open-plan office’s performance are complex, and a number of the present-day workplace’s […]

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The paradox of how routines can help us be more productive and creative

The paradox of how routines can help us be more productive and creative

Former US president Barack Obama famously had a wardrobe full of identical suits. As a world leader, life presents more than enough big decisions – Obama’s reasoning was that it made sense to minimise the complexity of the small decisions. Artists are often thought of as rather different. Francis Bacon, for example, had a tempestuous personal […]

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Don’t stand so close to me: why personal space matters in the workplace

Don’t stand so close to me: why personal space matters in the workplace

As successive BCO Specification Guides and the research of organisations like CoreNet Global have proved, the spatial dynamics of offices have changed dramatically in recent years. Put simply, the modern office serves significantly more people per square foot than ever before. Originally this tightening was largely down to the growing ubiquity of flat screen and […]

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Are you ready for the world of agile working we will experience in the 2020s?

Are you ready for the world of agile working we will experience in the 2020s?

Some organisations believe they have ‘done’ Agile Working. They have increased the ratio of people to desks and achieved a saving in accommodation costs. They have provided flexible working arrangements across the organisation and have enabled their people to work at home for part of their working week. Staff surveys show employees are pleased with […]

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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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Throwing open the window to a new world of work

Throwing open the window to a new world of work

While working at a Viennese Obstetric Clinic in the mid 1840s, a Hungarian physician named Ignaz Semmelweis noticed that mothers were far less likely to succumb to a potentially fatal infection called puerperal fever when the medical staff treating them washed their hands. When he started collecting data to confirm his insight, he found that […]

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Video: What the 21st Century office of the future looked like in the 1960s

Video: What the 21st Century office of the future looked like in the 1960s

We’re used to hearing people predict what The Office of the Future will look like. It’s been going on for a very long time now and each new generation of commentators on the subject comes up with its own forms of wishful thinking, wild generalisations, distorted conclusions and failures to account for the inherent unknowability […]

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Why early intervention matters for workplace mental health

Why early intervention matters for workplace mental health

Last year alone, poor mental health was the primary cause of long-term absence for 22 percent of organisations, with employees feeling too stressed or anxious to face going in to work. This was up from 13 percent in 2016. However, 45 percent of those who take time off for mental health reasons give their employers […]

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