A storm brewing around the workplace and facilities management

A storm brewing around the workplace and facilities management

In Shakespeare’s plays, the sky often goes dark and a storm starts to brew as a prelude to tragedy or violence creating a sense of foreboding. And so it was at today’s BIFM AGM in the lead-up to the special resolution to change the name of the institute from the British Institute of Facilities Management […]

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Open plan offices may discourage communication, claims new study

Open plan offices may discourage communication, claims new study

The usual rationale for open plan offices is that they help people to collaborate more effectively. But this premise is challenged by a new study from researchers at Harvard Business School which suggests that employees at two large Fortune 500 companies actually engaged in less face-to-face contact after switching to entirely open workspaces.  As published […]

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The top five songs about office life and office furniture

The top five songs about office life and office furniture

Too few musicians draw inspiration from the office or office furniture, and for very good reasons. The main one being that one of the main reason to get into rock and roll is to avoid a desk in the first place. Nevertheless, it’s worth saying that the office is routinely used as both a setting […]

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Why a Google office simply does not work for everybody

Why a Google office simply does not work for everybody

The open plan office versus closed debate rages on, and rather than running out of steam in the face of all of the evidence and reasoned argument put forward one one side or the other by many industry thought-leaders, it seems to have nine lives. Those grand and ground-breaking  new offices occupied by the world’s […]

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Responsible office fit-out toolkit published by Building Better Partnerships

Responsible office fit-out toolkit published by Building Better Partnerships

Commercial property trade body Building Better Partnerships (BBP) has today published its latest free industry guidance – Responsible Fit-Out Toolkit: Offices. The Toolkit claims to provide guidance for owners and occupiers on how to integrate sustainability and wellbeing into an office fit-out. The authors claim that while workplace design plays a pivotal role in demonstrating […]

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White paper: How the workplace is pioneering the use of data in organisations

White paper: How the workplace is pioneering the use of data in organisations

In 2017, a content creator called Oobah Butler decided that he wanted to do something with the experience he’d gained writing fake positive restaurant reviews on TripAdvisor. What if, he wondered, he set up an entirely fictitious restaurant based in the shed in his garden and then started to manipulate TripAdvisor ratings?  What happened surpassed […]

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Podcast: The British new wave and the evolution of the workplace

Podcast: The British new wave and the evolution of the workplace

In this podcast I talk to Mark Eltringham about British music, which leads to a discussion about bands from the early days of new wave in Liverpool, including Echo & The Bunnymen. The evolution of music serves as a metaphor which leads to a conversation about the history of the workplace where Mark shares his […]

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Ten demonstrable truths about the workplace you may not know

Ten demonstrable truths about the workplace you may not know

The science of the workplace has gained a lot of interest over the last few years, highlighting recurring patterns of human behaviour as well as how organisational behaviour relates to office design. In theory, knowledge from this growing body of research could be used to inform design. In practice, this is rarely the case. A […]

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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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A bug-eyed view of workplace design

A bug-eyed view of 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 in […]

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The role of workplace design in employee engagement

The role of workplace design in employee engagement

A great deal of current research and anecdotal evidence suggests that engaged employees are much less likely to leave their current organisation, are more productive and take less sick days that their disengaged colleagues. But according to a recent survey by Deloitte while 87 percent of organisations cite culture and engagement as one of their top challenges, […]

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Organisations are easily distracted from the task of creating a great workplace strategy

Organisations are easily distracted from the task of creating a great workplace strategy

Earlier this month The Once Alternative Workplace Strategies 2018 workplace study was published. This study is the only known longitudinal workplace study and it was recently resurfaced by a group of volunteers to maintain a comparative thread of data on the evolution of workplace thought and practice now going back many years. Unfortunately, the results […]

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