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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The belly button problem and the self image of workplace professionals

The belly button problem and the self image of workplace professionals

An adherence to strongly held beliefs can make people think and behave in peculiar ways and get them tangled up in all sorts of peripheral issues that suddenly take on a great deal of significance. Early religious artists, for example, spent centuries wrestling with the intractable problem of whether to depict Adam and Eve with […]

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For the love of workplace art, where have all the walls gone?

For the love of workplace art, where have all the walls gone?

A survey exploring art in the workplace (‘Making Art Work in the Workplace’) conducted by the British Council for Offices (BCO) found that almost 88 percent of respondents felt that “art is more relevant in the workplace than ever before”. Yet, with the arrival of the generic modern office, full of open plan space and […]

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Banking sector will be ground zero for job losses from artificial intelligence and robotics

Banking sector will be ground zero for job losses from artificial intelligence and robotics

Deutsche Bank CEO John Cryan has predicted a bonfire of industry jobs as automation takes hold across the finance sector. Every signal is that he will be proved right very soon. Those roles in finance where the knowledge required is systematic will soon disappear. And it will happen irrespective of how high a level, how highly trained […]

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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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Working from home and the future of work. How quaint

Working from home and the future of work. How quaint

In 1962, a professor of communication studies called Everett Rogers came up with the principle we call diffusion of innovation. It’s a familiar enough notion, widely taught and works by plotting the adoption of new ideas and products over time as a bell curve, before categorising groups of people along its length as innovators, early […]

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