A Newtonian perspective on productivity, reason and creativity

A Newtonian perspective on productivity, reason and creativity

On the doorstep of the British Library, you will find Edouardo Paolozzi’s imposing statue of Sir Isaac Newton. At first glance, this position seems to make perfect sense. Where better for a monument to the Enlightenment’s poster boy than raised on a plinth at the entrance to the world’s second largest library? And yet, there’s […]

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Review:  ushering in a new era for the coworking phenomenon

Review: ushering in a new era for the coworking phenomenon

Ramon Suarez has produced a very practical book, based on his own experience as one of the pioneers of coworking. And let’s be clear – it is coworking (not “co-working”; there is no hyphen), as Suarez explains, “a coworker (a member of a coworking space) is not the same as a co-worker (somebody who happens […]

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Time to address the missed opportunities and wasted resources of the modern workplace

Time to address the missed opportunities and wasted resources of the modern workplace

Rapidly changing work and workplaces. Productivity languishing below optimum levels. Staff engagement well below where it should be. Ongoing recruitment and retention challenges. All this has been building over the last couple of years; it would appear that organisations have never had it so tough. There have been plenty of tough times before, of course, […]

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How organic design can reflect the way people move around a building

How organic design can reflect the way people move around a building

The story goes that, after Rem Koolhaas had been appointed to design the McCormick Tribune Campus Center at the Illinois Institute of Technology in 2003, the legendary architect noticed how students had created their own pathways between the buildings on the site. The site of the new building included a field on which their footprints […]

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A new age of reason for workplace design and management

A new age of reason for workplace design and management

The enduring struggle to improve the working conditions and performance of people through the design and management of their workplaces has more than a whiff of the Enlightenment of the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries about it. The Enlightenment marked a new era in which the old superstitions and dogmas were to be overthrown by pure reason. This […]

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Workplace design alone cannot motivate us or make us happy at work

Workplace design alone cannot motivate us or make us happy at work

There’s a good reason why we find it hard to establish the causal links between our working lives and our personal happiness. It’s because it’s all very complicated. So complicated in fact that you can sidetrack any discussion on the subject by asking elementary questions such as: ‘what do you mean by happy?’ or ‘should it be […]

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From storage to stowage: what neuroscience can teach us about the way we work

From storage to stowage: what neuroscience can teach us about the way we work

Insight into the way things work can often come from the strangest and most difficult places. For Jill Bolte Tayor, a neuroscientist well versed in the theory of how the brain works, her particular insight into the practical functioning of the brain came as a result of a stroke she suffered in 1996. What she […]

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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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