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:

Exploring the best current thinking about work and the workplace

Exploring the best current thinking about work and the workplace

Issue 12 of IN Magazine is in production, but in the meantime Issue 11 explores the best and latest thinking from the world of work. In this issue: we talk to Joanna Frank about active design; visit the offices of Drees and Sommer in Stuttgart; consider the role of routines in creativity; argue that we need to understand the past before we can shape the future; discover Iceland’s new Science City; hear about the changing nature of workplace experiences; and much more. Includes our latest supplement, exploring the role of internal comms in hybrid work cultures, published in association with Magenta. Print copies will be mailed out in the next few days. More →

Getting back to the future of work

Getting back to the future of work

future of workQuoting George Orwell is the kind of thing that people who haven’t read George Orwell do. I have read Orwell, and even have a  drunken story about Paul Shane signing my copy of the Collected Essays, which was the only autograph-able material I had on me at the time I met him in a pub in about 1990. For another time. In Nineteen Eighty-Four, Orwell describes Winston Smith’s realisation that the best books are those that tell you what you already know. This is an ancient profundity, and one that is sort of useful during times of significant, rapid change, when we are obliged to confront old truths in a new context. History doesn’t repeat itself, it rhymes, as they say. More →

Office design goes to the movies

Office design goes to the movies

What can the movies tell us about office designFollowing our recent attempts to create a rudimentary playlist of songs that tell us something, or perhaps nothing, about office design, office life and office furniture, here’s another look at how the parochial world of the workplace can brush up against popular culture. It does this unnoticed for most people, I suppose, but not for those of us bound up in this world. We’re not the sort of people who can ignore the regular, brief glimpse of an Aeron chair’s ubiquitous mesh without a synapse of recognition sparking up. So, here is a brief rundown of nine movies that use office design to make a plot point or set up a character development.

More →

Personal space is not merely an issue of hygiene, but a biological imperative

Personal space is not merely an issue of hygiene, but a biological imperative

personal space and office designThe current debate about how much space we will need in the office from now on is not new. As with many of the debate’s facets, the point at which we find ourselves has long been our destination. We’re just here earlier than we might have expected. More →

KI furniture helps Crunch Digital reimagine Swansea HQ for hybrid working

KI furniture helps Crunch Digital reimagine Swansea HQ for hybrid working

KI furnitureAs part of their ‘return to the office’ following the COVID-19 pandemic, Crunch Digital, a digital media specialist that focuses on SEO, pay-per-click-social media, programmatic, technical, and creative services, wanted to create a new office space that promoted both safety and collaboration. The office design, carried out in partnership with Ministry of Furniture and KI furniture also needed to reflect the ethos and culture of the company and cater to a young and innovative workforce. More →

Have we arrived at a point of equilibrium in the great workplace conversation?

Have we arrived at a point of equilibrium in the great workplace conversation?

Perhaps the greatest irony of the tedious home v office debate is that the absolutists on both sides rely on many of the same fallacies. They tend to build their arguments around a simplistic view of the office and remote work that has little basis in reality. Unsurprisingly, when they do get their way, reality often bites them in the arse. More →

How routines and boredom can spark creativity

How routines and boredom can spark creativity

Every day, after a leisurely breakfast in bed and the opening of his post, Roald Dahl would wander down his garden to the grubby little hut crammed with personal paraphernalia he had created. There he would sharpen the six yellow pencils that were always by his side while he worked, settle into an armchair, put his feet up on an old suitcase filled with logs, place an American yellow legal pad of paper onto a makeshift board on his lap and work for two hours. More →

The perfect storm shouldn’t force us to jump aboard the wrong ship

The perfect storm shouldn’t force us to jump aboard the wrong ship

For all the millions of words written and gabbed about work and its future over the past couple of years, one of the few things we can say with any certainty is that we still don’t know which parts of it all are short-term responses to events, and which are permanent long-term shifts.

More →

Did you hear the one about offices and creativity?

Did you hear the one about offices and creativity?

the places we go for ideasThere is a famous episode of Seinfeld in which the character George is insulted in a business meeting and only thinks of a perfect retort while driving away from the office. This being George, he decides that he doesn’t want to waste his ‘killer line’ so engineers a second meeting so he can use it with the person who had insulted him, only for it to blow up in his face yet again. It’s an example of what the French refer to as l’esprit de l’escalier and the Germans as Treppenwitz, in both languages the wit you develop on a staircase.

More →

How I learned to stop worrying and embrace uncertainty

How I learned to stop worrying and embrace uncertainty

One of the ways I have found to inoculate myself against the hyperbolic certitude of the world’s futurologists is to watch YouTube clips of an old TV show called Rab C Nesbitt and observe the automated captioning as it struggles to cope with Glaswegians. And sometimes gives it up as a bad job. Works with Limmy’s Show too. Try it for yourself at the bottom. Includes bad language. A meringue? More →

A brief history of the future of work

A brief history of the future of work

The past year and a half should have served as a reminder of that tragic, unchangeable feature of the human condition, best expressed by Kierkegaard, that we are doomed to live our lives forwards but only understand them backwards. Retrospect is particularly important when we look back on sudden, large changes that knock us off our normal path. A taxonomy of change has emerged in recent years to describe such events. The best known is the ‘Black Swan’, coined and popularised by Nassim Taleb as things that “seem to us, on the basis of our limited experience, to be impossible” but which happen anyway, have a major impact and are often rationalised later. More →

Always connected in the age of disconnection

Always connected in the age of disconnection

All of humanity’s problems,” the French scientist and philosopher Blaise Pascal wrote in 1654, “stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.” He may have been right, but then again, sitting in a room alone isn’t necessarily a great state of permanent being either. There was a time we used to talk with dismay about the Japanese phenomenon of intense social distancing known as hikikomori. We would consider with horror the isolation, lack of engagement with society, poor mental health and loneliness of the people who had almost completely withdrawn to their rooms. Those poor bastards locked up in enclosed spaces linked to the outside world only by screens. More →

Translate >>