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:

We need to acknowledge our bias if we want to see the world for what it is

We need to acknowledge our bias if we want to see the world for what it is

We’re all biased. We all recognise the sharp bump of our critical thinking skills kicking into life when confronted with ideas and information that go against our beliefs. We know how they doze in the comforting embrace of affirming data. So, it’s been entertaining this week to observe the reaction to the large-scale academic study of 10,000 IT workers which found that they had worked 30 percent longer hours while working from home, a fifth of it outside their normal times of work, without actually doing any more work. In essence their productivity had fallen by 20 percent in spite of their increased hours. More →

There are thirty-eight ways to win an argument, but this ain’t one

There are thirty-eight ways to win an argument, but this ain’t one

A painting of Socrates to depict the ways we have discussions about the workplace There are 38 ways to win an argument. That is according to the 19th Century German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer who laid them out in an essay called The Art of Being Right. We’ve probably added a few more since it was published in 1896, but whatever we’ve come up with since probably works on the same basis. Despite the essay’s title, the stratagems are not actually about being right at all, but about winning an argument. More →

Flexible working and wellbeing? We already know how that all works

Flexible working and wellbeing? We already know how that all works

flexible working and wellbeingIf you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans. Woody Allen’s wise observation could have been made for this year. But it’s not just true for plans that go awry, but also those that go right in unexpected ways.  For example, what better time to publish a book about the links between flexible working and wellbeing than in April 2020 as large swathes of the population were adjusting to completely remote work, many of them for the first time? More →

Going with the flow in the way we work

Going with the flow in the way we work

Sedus Smart OfficeThroughout history we’ve been aware of the state we now refer to as flow. It describes the sensation of existing purely in the moment of some activity, effortlessly achieving what we have set out to achieve and unaware of distractions. Mystics have described it as ecstasy, artists as rapture and athletes as in the zone. This state was first described as flow by the Hungarian psychologist Mihály Csíkszentmihályi in 1975 and has been developed by him and a wide range of other researchers in a number of fields since that time. More →

Life at the coalface: How the agile workplace first appeared in the mid 20th Century

Life at the coalface: How the agile workplace first appeared in the mid 20th Century

agile working began in the coal fields of NottinghamshireThe idea of diffusion of innovation has become so embedded in our culture, and most recently so associated with the adoption of new technology, that we might assume it happens in predictable ways. The steps between innovators, early adopters, early majority, late majority, and laggards seem intuitive and certain even when their peaks might be unsure. And yet history teaches us that sometimes new ideas can take years or even decades to take hold, even when they are potentially world-changing and relevant for the era in which they were formulated. More →

IN Magazine issue 6 has been published

IN Magazine issue 6 has been published

IN Magazine cover artIt’s now a year since we launched IN Magazine and what a year it’s been. Issue 6 is now out. IN continues to explore the latest ideas from the world of work, speak to the most interesting people and feature the most pioneering ideas. In this issue: Kerstin Sailer casts a spell on the workplace; Microsoft’s Experience Centre in Amsterdam; what we can learn about the workplace experience from app design; the new emphasis on fresh air; the problem of managing people across borders; what happens to spaces when people abandon them; and why we must take the environmental impact of commercial property far more seriously. And, of course, much more. All back issues of IN Magazine can be found here. Illustration: Ian Pearsall

The binary choices and multiple outcomes of flexible working

The binary choices and multiple outcomes of flexible working

A year of unnecessarily binary conversation about work leads inevitably to this. A stupid question. Is Big Tech going off work from home? Betteridge’s Law takes care of that, just as it did another question from 12 months ago. Even though the article is slightly better than the headline, the insistence that the only two choices we have are home or office remains. More →

Stanley Green, protein wisdom and the perils of sitting down

Stanley Green, protein wisdom and the perils of sitting down 0

Each day for 25 years, between 1968 and 1993, a man called Stanley Green would rise early, enjoy a spartan breakfast of porridge and an egg, pack up a lunch of apples and vegetables, strap them along with a placard and some pamphlets to a bike and cycle the 12 miles to Oxford Street from his home in Northolt. There he would share his ideas for improving the physical and psychological wellbeing of the country, based primarily on the idea that the consumption of too much protein led to the moral turpitude he had first encountered in the Navy during the War and which had then infected the whole country. More →

From the archive: Escaping the gravity of the fixed times and places of work

From the archive: Escaping the gravity of the fixed times and places of work

In November 2019, just before that thing happened, there was this… The worst workplace related news story of 2019 is also one of the most widely reported. I’m not linking to it because I don’t want to give it any credibility, but it has been discharged into the ether by Fellowes along with a ‘behavioural futurist’ called William Higham. I will say only two things about it. Firstly, we flatly refused to publish a story about the damn thing and it’s a shame that the mainstream media couldn’t spot it for the utter drivel it is. The fact that they have picked up on it says something about the way such issues are covered in the press. That’s why you’re more likely to see a stress-related story about rats driving cars on the BBC than you are something meaningful. 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 →

Serfs up for the self-employed and gig economy workers (and the middle class)

Serfs up for the self-employed and gig economy workers (and the middle class)

One of the most significant consequences of the 2008 economic crash was a remarkable shift in the nature of employmentThe recession led to a surge in the number of people categorised as self-employed. The numbers have been increasing ever since, albeit at a lower rate. By the end of 2019, the number of self-employed people in the UK exceeded five million people for the first time. Fifteen percent of the workforce.  More →

Escaping the gravitational pull of workplace data

Escaping the gravitational pull of workplace data

On the doorstep of the British Library you will find Edouardo Paolozzi’s imposing statue of Sir Isaac Newton. At first glance, this positioning seems to make perfect sense. Where better for a monument to the Enlightenment’s poster boy than raised on a plinth at the entrance to the world’s second largest library? And yet, there’s more going on here than is evident at first glance.

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