21 September 2018

Half of all workplace tasks will be performed by machines within seven years

The world is going through a workplace revolution that will bring a seismic shift in the way humans work alongside machines and algorithms, according to new research by the World Economic Forum. By 2025 more than half of all current workplace tasks will be performed by machines as opposed to 29 percent today. Such a transformation will have a profound effect on the global labour force, however in terms of overall numbers of new jobs the outlook is positive, with 133 million new jobs expected to be created by 2022 compared to 75 million that will be displaced. The research, published in The Future of Jobs 2018, is an attempt to understand the potential of new technologies to disrupt and create jobs. It is also seeks to provide guidance on how to improve the quality and productivity of the current work being done by humans and how to prepare people for emerging roles.
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LinkedIn confirms deal for new London headquarters

Tech giantLinkedIn has sealed a deal for its new London headquarters, pre-letting the entirety of a building in North East London that was once home to The Guardian newspaper. LinkedIn has taken 83,000 square feet at The Ray Farringdon, at 119 Farringdon Road, according to a statement from Viridis Real Estate Services, which is redeveloping the property.
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Flexible working legislation has failed to change anything

Legislation giving employees the right to request flexible working has failed to increase take-up, new research from the University of Manchester shows. The research, presented at the British Sociological Association conference in Belfast last week, has found that there has been no significant overall increase in the number of employees working flexibly since the legislation came into effect in 2014.
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Working parents would like more flexible working, but most don’t have the option

According to new research commissioned by McDonald’s UK, working parents want to move to a more flexible working culture, but around three quarters simply don't have it as an option. The study was conducted over the summer by YouGov with 1,100 parents across the country. The research found that over three quarters of respondents think flexible working would allow them to juggle work with home commitments, yet 73 percent say they do not have that option in their current role.
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Britain should make it easy for high skilled immigrants in the wake of Brexit vote

The UK Government should restrict levels of  immigration by low-skilled workers after Brexit, but at the same time make it considerably easier for for medium-skilled and high-skilled workers from around the world, according to a new report from the Migration Advisory Committee. The detailed report was commissioned in July 2017 by Home Secretary Amber Rudd. Its main conclusion is that there is a great deal of hard evidence of the benefit enjoyed by the UK as a result of the migration of highly-skilled migrants and that future policy should reflect this. The study published today, Tuesday, is expected to have a significant effect on the contents of the government’s immigration white paper, due for publication later this year. The report’s conclusions closely match the policy proposals that Home Office officials have outlined to immigration specialists. However, no special preference would be given to EU citizens in the UK's future immigration system post-Brexit.
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Crown Estate HQ becomes first office in Europe to achieve WELL Platinum Certification

The Crown Estate has announced that it has been awarded WELL Certification at the Platinum Level for its head office at No 1 St James’s Market, London by the International WELL Building Institute. The Crown Estate earned the distinction based on seven categories of building performance—air, water, light, nourishment, fitness, comfort and mind—and achieved a Platinum level rating.
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Steelcase announces acquisition of Orangebox

Steelcase Inc. has announced the acquisition of Orangebox Group Limited, a UK-based designer and manufacturer of furniture for the changing workplace, the latest in a rapid expansion of products designed for the new ways people work. Established in 2002, in the village of Hengoed, South Wales, Orangebox created a concept they call “Smartworking” – solutions designed to foster collaboration and change cultures, while improving efficiency.  The company’s portfolio includes high performance seating systems, meeting room furniture, architectural pods for visual and acoustical privacy.
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New issue of world's most influential workplace journal Work&Place now available to read for free. Click here


Office design should take account of the quality of interactions as well as quantity

Ever since technology first made it possible for people to work remotely from their colleagues, there has been speculation that the physical office could be dispensed with entirely; and with it the idea that people should come together to work in the same place at the same time to achieve common goals and to share in a common identity.
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Some uncomfortable truths about sitting down at work

The problem with the modish idea of fake news is that we’re not very good at spotting it. As with our driving, each of us possesses an unwarranted faith in our own abilities coupled with dismay at those of other people, unaware of just how much our own biases and fixed opinions distort the way we perceive information. It’s one of those things we need to be on the lookout for, especially if we are pronouncing on complex issues. This is just as true when it comes to workplace matters as it is in any other sphere of our lives. We are prone to buy into specific and oversimplified narratives, then remain committed to them in the face of all available evidence. This is particularly the case with heavily nuanced issues which often collapse into a simplistic black hole from which nothing can then escape.
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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 difference between a conversation around a large formal conference table with expensive executive chairs and one that takes place in an informal employee lounge, with the participants seated in a circle on soft bean-bag chairs.
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When workplace strategy builds bridges between people and place

The world of work is changing rapidly and profoundly in a way that we haven’t seen since the time of the industrial revolution. Yet even as we stand at a momentous, game-changing inflexion point, the 21st century workplace strategy sector is still dithering about whether to join in the revolution. They are like the industrial mill owners of 19th century England who adopted a 'make do and mend' approach to business and failed to invest in new technology only to be forced out of business by foreign competitors who had invested in radical new, state of the art technology.Today the technological game changer is digital technology rather than weaving technology, but the effect is the same. Unless the workplace strategy sector embraces change and builds bridges between the ‘people’ side of the business and the ‘place’ side with other workplace specialists, their industry will become as dead as a dodo.
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I’m a designer and I job share with an AI

Thomas Edison is credited with the phrase “Genius is one percent inspiration, ninety-nine percent perspiration” and I believe there is no field where this applies more than architecture and design. So often people assume that interior design is such a fun, creative job - that it’s all about drawing, colours and furniture, something like being paid to colour in and shop - when today being a designer is just as much about people management, psychology, project management, documentation, checking codes and standards and managing contracts.  It’s also often about a culture that expects long hours and being always available to the job. “It’s not work when you are passionate about it?” is common. But what if instead we could all work less hours and job share with our computers?
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Building a culture of creativity that unites the physical and digital workplace

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 online tool. The fact is, creativity can be found in all walks of life, not just those we traditionally see as creative, such as art, design or music. And furthermore, it’s playing an increasingly pivotal role in the growth, development and success of all types of organisations, and the employees working for them.
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Work&Place new issue showcases most informed and challenging workplace thinking

The new issue of Work&Place has been published and is free to read on the journal’s new website. Its overall readership is now around 100,000, including in the new Spanish language edition, so it’s not just more accessible, it is even more influential. The journal continues to explore the most cutting-edge ideas surrounding the physical, digital and cultural domains in which we work. The convergence of these elements of the workplace define the greatest challenges we face in the workplace of the early 21st Century. Some of these are addressed in the features included in this edition.
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From footprint to footfall: how the experiential workplace is set to take over the world

The culture within which we work determines how effective, successful, fulfilled and well we are in both our professional and personal lives. The organisations for which we work – on whatever basis that might be – the physical surroundings they create, and the other places in which we choose to work are now woven into the fabric of our lives as never before. The technological immersion that allows us to work in new ways also means that each day becomes a series of experiences. Because we are free to work wherever and whenever we choose, we are increasingly able to determine the nature of those experiences. For those who design and manage offices this represents both a great opportunity and an unprecedented series of challenges.
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White Paper: the magic of disruption and what it means for the workplace

In a 1973 essay called Hazards of Prophecy: The Failure of Imagination, the science fiction writer Arthur C Clarke sets out Three Laws regarding our relationship with technology. Only the third of these is well remembered these days:. Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. He was one of the first writers to coin the sort  of law that have now become commonplace on the subject of the way our world, including the workplace, can be disrupted by technological developments. They include a corollary to Clarke’s:  Any technology distinguishable from magic is insufficiently advanced (Gehm's Law)
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