About Andrew Mawson

Andrew Mawson is the owner of Advanced Workplace Associates and one of the world foremost researchers on workplace issues as part of the Advanced Workplace Institute. He is also the driving force behind Workplace Week

Posts by Andrew Mawson:

Don’t be a commute Canute, Boris

Don’t be a commute Canute, Boris

So, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has told the British people to get back to work by Christmas. This  means that millions would be renewing their season tickets, getting up in darkness to dress up for work, crowding onto those trains, buses and tubes while swaddled in facemasks and battling their way into the office (which for the time being will be a pretty dull experience with social distancing). More →

Merging workplace cultures and breaking habits

Merging workplace cultures and breaking habits

Ricoh London workplaceHuman beings are hardwired to be creatures of habit. From birth, we learn behaviours and develop routines that are reinforced over time through repetition. Researchers at MIT claim the neurons in our brains are responsible for this process. When someone begins a new activity a certain part of the brain kicks into gear, helping them to learn the exercise quickly. But once the action is repeated successfully, the scientists found, those same neurons only really come to life at the beginning and end of the activity. This is the reason that mundane tasks, like getting dressed or driving a car often feel like they’re performed on ‘autopilot’ and why breaking bad habits is so difficult, including those we develop in the workplace. More →

What exactly is driving the global workplace conversation?

What exactly is driving the global workplace conversation?

There is a growing body of research and understanding on the impact that working environments, workplace habits and culture have on people and broader business performance. The very best workplaces in the world – some of which will be on show at Workplace Week in New York next month – are changing our expectations around the look, function and purpose of office space. These workplaces are designed much like ecosystems – every inch designed with the comfort, wellbeing and productivity of the people who occupy them in mind. The new world of ‘workplace management’ is about designing and delivering multi-faceted, minute-by-minute, multi-sensory experiences that create an emotional response. It is about designing workplace experiences to deliver a specific mission. It encompasses thinking about journeys and destinations, the fusion of space, information, and services – and how these reflect organisational personality, support human effectiveness, and lure in talent. But, as those in the industry will be all too aware, this hasn’t always been the case. So, what’s to thank for this fresh approach to workplace design and management?

More →

The point everybody is missing about the backtrack on remote working by IBM

The point everybody is missing about the backtrack on remote working by IBM 0

IBM recently announced that it was going to consolidate its 2,600 marketing department in six locations around the US. Nothing wrong with that you may say, but as part of the consolidation it has to told people to relocate so they can attend the office every day and workers that had been part of IBM’s home working initiative for decades told to turn up at the office every day or find another job. The reason for this radical and trauma creating shift for IBM’s people causing increased commute times, social upheaval and increased carbon emissions is ‘innovation’. IBM needs to transform itself, move faster and come up with new ideas faster.  All makes sense…..or does it?

More →

Beyond agile working: the six factors of knowledge worker productivity

Beyond agile working: the six factors of knowledge worker productivity

flexible workingWhilst the world has focussed heavily on the asset productivity of offices over the last 30 years, reducing the cost of offices per head, often using agile working as a tool for achieving this, it’s becoming clear that the mobility afforded by the latest technology products can be used to aid Knowledge Worker productivity. Knowledge work plays an increasingly large part in the economic fortunes of developing countries. Indeed the vast majority of people working in AWA’s client organisations are Knowledge Workers. Over the last 30 years we’ve seen a gradual shift from manufacturing to service and now to knowledge based industries. Knowledge Workers are broadly speaking ‘people who think for a living’. Whilst the concept of ‘productivity’ in manufacturing and service industries is well understood it is barely understood at all for knowledge based sectors.

More →

Is workplace management now a core capability for knowledge businesses?

workplace managementThat’s the key question for delegates coming to this year’s Workplace Week Convention at PWC’s More London office on the 6th November. Entitled ‘The Work/place revolution….taking human performance to new levels’ the convention aims to explore what organisations need to do to get ‘personal best’ performance from every worker on the payroll.For years, the management of Facilities has been viewed by many leaders as ‘non core’, but recent research by AWA (Advanced Workplace Associates),the organisers of Workplace Week, suggests that this may no longer be true for knowledge based businesses. ‘It’s becoming clear that the way the workplace is designed and managed can have a really dramatic impact on the performance of knowledge workers in ways that have not previously considered. Knowledge workers think for a living it’s critical that everything is created to give them the best chance of delivering a great performance.

More →

We deserve better than a polarised debate about cellular v open plan offices

Jacques Tati's Playtime

Jacques Tati’s Playtime

Stimulated by a number of rather unsubtle commercial interests, the ‘in’ workplace discussion seems to have swung from ‘collaboration’ i.e. organisations need more new spaces for formal and informal collaborative interactions, to ‘distraction’ i.e. open plan workplaces are creating a loss of productivity because people whose work requires concentration are impeded by constant interruption. The implication of the latter is that people should keep their ‘cubes’ and open-plan should be avoided at all costs. You can see pretty quickly where the commercial axes are being ground can’t you.

More →

Translate >>