About Mark Eltringham

Mark is the publisher of Workplace Insight and IN Magazine. He has worked in the office design and management sector for over twenty five years as a journalist, marketing professional, editor and consultant.

Posts by Mark Eltringham:

Issue 5 of IN Magazine opens up new dimensions for the workplace

Issue 5 of IN Magazine opens up new dimensions for the workplace

The digital edition of IN5 is now available, exploring the very latest thinking on people, places and technology with print copies on their way soon. In the new issue: the different responses of nations to the pandemic; how some furniture makers are using new materials to do something real about the environment;  interviews with Marie Puybaraud and Neil Usher; masks and helmets at work; the new opportunities for the workplace professions; how a new office in Athens combines ancient wisdom and modern thinking; the potential for us to drift into a new form of feudalism; and all the latest, news and commentary you need; plus some other stuff you didn’t know you needed.  More →

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

make the most of each dayThe 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. Because the challenge to these traditional ideas is now so inextricably linked in our minds with new technology, we might often  forget that people have been asking questions about how we can get the most out of each day for thousands of years. Tempus fugit after all, and as a consequence we’ve always known that how we spend our days is how we spend our lives. More →

Getting the measure of better working cultures

Getting the measure of better working cultures

For now, just forget the cyborg monkeys and spinach sending emails, the real short term tech action is all about how to gauge what workers are thinking or doing, and what to do about it – especially if whatever they are thinking and doing is not what the org wants for them or, more importantly, itself. Things are getting crazy. More →

The scale of the problem for the workplace

The scale of the problem for the workplace

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 one go and promptly falls over. The mosquito doesn’t need a glass because that is for animals who have a problem with gravity. For insects, the major force in their lives isn’t gravity, but surface tension. More →

What we all get wrong about motivation and the hierarchy of needs

What we all get wrong about motivation and the hierarchy of needs

hierarchy of needsWhen it comes to understanding motivation, the stepping off point for most people is Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. The theory is now nearly 80 years old and its endurance is some kind of testimony to its insight. Yet a recent paper published in the Journal of Humanistic Psychology, authored by William Compton of Middle Tennessee State University argues that some of the ideas we most commonly associate with the theory seem to be myths. These include its most fundamental concept, the Pyramid of Needs.

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From the archive: Childhood’s end for work and the need for a grown-up conversation

From the archive: Childhood’s end for work and the need for a grown-up conversation

In my opinion Arthur C Clarke’s finest novel Childhood’s End is the story of an Earth that is invaded by a force of alien Overlords. This is not a destructive colonial invasion, which is why there’s no Hollywood blockbuster in the tale, but a seemingly benevolent intervention which ushers in a golden age for humanity. Although humankind initially does not get to meet the Overlords in person (for reasons I won’t give away here), the aliens unite the world’s governments, eradicate crime, conflict and the nation state and do away with the need for creativity and hard work. It is the literal end of history.

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Forget all the talk of Blue Monday; work is still (largely) good for us

Forget all the talk of Blue Monday; work is still (largely) good for us

blue mondaySo here it is. Blue Monday. Today. Officially the most depressing day of the year. We say ‘officially’, but like the idea of ‘Body Odour’ its common usage hides the fact that it was originally created as part of a PR campaign, in this case one for Sky’s travel channel in 2005. The whole idea of Blue Monday is couched in a pseudo-mathematical equation which includes factors like the weather, levels of debt, time since Christmas, low levels of motivation and, apparently, an unspecified variable known simply as ‘D’. More →

Whenever I hear the future of work, I reach for my pistol

Whenever I hear the future of work, I reach for my pistol

the future of workFor years it has been evident that there is no ‘future of work’. There is only a journey with no destination and no single way of not getting to it. That hasn’t stopped people talking about it all endlessly. And each time they have, I’ve reached for my pistol. More →

We shouldn’t become village idiots in our new ways of life

We shouldn’t become village idiots in our new ways of life

The idea of a Global Village comes loaded with a number of idyllic connotations. Most of them derive from the use of the word village itself, which triggers the idea of a community in our minds. Yet even the man who coined and popularised the term in the 1950s and 60s to describe a world contracted by new media understood that there are always complications whenever technology rubs up against human beings. More →

What happens to work when the machine stops?

What happens to work when the machine stops?

Newton at work

In 1909, E M Forster – not exactly known for a body of work including dystopian fiction – published a novella called The Machine Stops. You can read it here but the story describes a future in which people live below ground, in isolation but with all their needs met by an omnipresent Machine (you can see where this is going). More →

The way to create a successful workplace is simple, but never easy

The way to create a successful workplace is simple, but never easy

All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. As is now the way of these things, the famous opening words of Anna Karenina have been used to name a principle that is applied across a wide range of fields. It describes how success can only happen in one way, but failure comes in many forms. More →

The shape of things to come for the world and the workplace

The shape of things to come for the world and the workplace

Originally published in March, right at the start of all this. Makes me wonder how far we’ve come in nine months. In Dorian Lynskey’s The Ministry of Truth, a “biography” of Nineteen Eighty-Four, the author describes how Orwell’s  book was the end point of an obsession with utopian (and ultimately dystopian) fiction that characterised the first half of the Twentieth Century, and reflected the competing political, social and economic ideologies of the era. More →

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