Stranger than we can imagine: the future of work and place in the 21st Century

Stranger than we can imagine: the future of work and place in the 21st Century

However much we know about the forces we expect to come into play in our time and however much we understand the various social, commercial, legislative, cultural and economic parameters we expect to direct them, most predictions of the future tend to come out as refractions or extrapolations of the present. This is a fact […]

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The state of the workplace right now? Everywhere and nowhere, baby

The state of the workplace right now? Everywhere and nowhere, baby

My trade is to ask questions about the workplace then make sense of the answers. That has been a particular challenge with the question, ‘what are offices today?’ What seems clear is that the various actors in the workplace ecosystem look at offices through very different eyes. Urban planning and development professionals still view offices […]

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Is this the missing piece of the facilities management puzzle?

Is this the missing piece of the facilities management puzzle?

The IFMA Foundation Workplace Summit of summer 2014 felt like an optimistic time for facilities management and the workspace industry. Heavyweights from the sector were asking searching questions about our organisational contribution, with thankfully less of the internally focused, debate-free hubris typical of much of the industry narrative. The newly announced (and now evidently historical) […]

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The world has its say on the Taylor Review into modern working practices

The world has its say on the Taylor Review into modern working practices

Yesterday, the much-awaited Taylor Review into modern working practices was finally published. And by modern working practices, the report focussed primarily on what has become known as the gig economy. People have been speculating about the contents of the report for months and things ramped up last week after a partial leak to the media. […]

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The main challenge of modern working life: finding the place just right to meet

The main challenge of modern working life: finding the place just right to meet

Every physical setting sends distinct signals to meeting participants – signals that set the tone and provide a context for the conversation, even when they are subtle or not in anyone’s conscious awareness.  You understand instinctively that the place where a meeting occurs has an impact on the nature of the conversation. Just imagine the […]

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The seven greatest depictions of the workplace in art. Possibly.

The seven greatest depictions of the workplace in art. Possibly.

Art supposedly holds up a mirror to life. Except when it comes to our working lives, it doesn’t. Or at least it doesn’t always show a true or full reflection, both in terms of the amount of time we dedicate to work and how important it is to us. Most of us spend at least […]

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Neuroscience: the next great source of competitive advantage

Neuroscience: the next great source of competitive advantage

The average worker is interrupted or distracted every three minutes and it takes them fully twenty-three minutes to return to a task after being interrupted. Office workers are overwhelmed by distractions, due mainly to a lack of understanding of how to manage attention. Distractions and the inability to focus negatively affects productivity, engagement, wellbeing and overall […]

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Riffing on the issue of workplace design and creativity

Riffing on the issue of workplace design and creativity

We are often told that one of the main objectives of workplace design these days is to help people become more creative. Now, there are all sorts of complications bound up in this, not least the assumption that you can help or even will people to become more creative, especially in an environment that still […]

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Coworking and the current French revolution in the workplace

Coworking and the current French revolution in the workplace

In France, we might have been the first to behead a King and hold a revolution, or to stand on barricades and die for ideals of justice and equality, but when it comes to change – especially in large organisations– we always seem to lag behind. You could blame it on a number of factors: a […]

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The Genesis of ideation and the places we go to have our best ideas

The Genesis of ideation and the places we go to have our best ideas

Because collaboration, creativity and innovation are increasingly perceived as key objectives and differentiators of performance, the genesis and mechanisms behind ideation and creativity are an an integral part of both business and personal development. As a consequence, there is growing interest in the way the physical attributes of work settings may influence or even trigger creative […]

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Three workplace managers walk into a bar … and the rest is no joke

Three workplace managers walk into a bar … and the rest is no joke

This is a long tale, but a worthwhile one to tell, and something that many of you will relate to, especially if you have anything to do with workplace design or management. Three managers walk into a bar. This is always a good place to start. They each have gender-neutral names, so I’ll leave you […]

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People are great: a conversation with James Woudhuysen on the future of work

People are great: a conversation with James Woudhuysen on the future of work

At a recent conference at the WWF’s Living Planet Centre in Woking staged by the office furniture firm Kinnarps, I had an off the cuff chat with James Woudhuysen who had just delivered one of his typically entertaining, erudite and challenging talks on the future of work alongside equally renowned speakers such as Philip Tidd […]

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