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:

The colour of magic in office design

The colour of magic in office design

In the Discworld series of novels, the author Terry Pratchett introduces us to the colour of magic. He calls it octarine, a sort of greenish purple, described as ‘the undisputed pigment of the imagination’. It’s all fanciful but, in fact, such unseeable colours exist for the human eye. They are seemingly invisible to us most of the time because of the limitations of our vision and not just because they exist outside of the usual visible spectrum. More →

Working from home means getting your priorities right

Working from home means getting your priorities right

working from home with SedusIt should come as no great surprise to learn that data from Leesman, the world’s leading workplace analyst, found that the chair was seen by remote working employees as the second most important feature in creating a productive working from home environment. Cited by 90 percent of people, it was narrowly beaten into second place only by a desk or table (91 percent). A ‘mere’ 89 percent of people cited WiFi, which is what you may have assumed was the most important need of remote workers, especially given that Hierarchy of Needs meme we’ve all seen. That needs to be reworked because clearly broadband matters slightly less than comfort and safety. More →

Throwing open the window to a new world of work

Throwing open the window to a new world of work

An illustration of a frog, a key metaphor in Charles Handy's writing about the world of workWhile at work in a Viennese Obstetric Clinic in the mid 1840s, a Hungarian physician named Ignaz Semmelweis noticed that mothers were far less likely to succumb to a potentially fatal infection called puerperal fever when the medical staff treating them washed their hands. When he started collecting data to confirm his insight, he found that hand washing reduced mortality rates from around 10 percent to as little as 1 percent. Although, his findings predated the germ theory of disease, which left him without an explanation, in 1847 he published a book in which he proposed that the link was so evident that in future staff should always wash their hands in chlorinated lime before treating patients, to protect them from infection.

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The lumpy, bumpy uncertainty of the future of work

The lumpy, bumpy uncertainty of the future of work

future of workIt’s now two years since we experienced the first true, sharp jolt of the pandemic. And even if we had now fully escaped its grip, the intervening 24 months would have proved transformational. The clichés, groupthink and glib takes may still shape much of the discourse about the ‘future of work’ but many of the instant experts of the Spring and Summer of 2020 now appear to have moved their insight on to other matters. And that leaves the rest of us with the task of working out what is actually going on. 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 →

The human mind and body are not really machines for living in

The human mind and body are not really machines for living in

It is ironic that while we live in a world in which we are witnessing the automation of more and more human skills and capabilities, we are often best able to understand the way people function with symbols of mechanisation. That is the underlying conceit of what turned out to be one of the animated film events of recent years, Pixar’s Inside Out. The movie depicts the inner workings of the human brain as under the control of tiny people, literally inside our heads, making decisions on our behalf we only half understand. More →

A just in time lesson about office design

A just in time lesson about office design

The nascent years of new ways of working in the late 80s and early 90s coincided with a widely held but soon to be discarded belief that the Japanese had cracked management practices. So it was perhaps inevitable that the principles of a process called just in time manufacturing – most famously applied in the factories of Toyota – should migrate to new forms of office design the rapidly developing practice of flexible working.

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We are not blank slates and we don’t adapt to change in predictable ways

We are not blank slates and we don’t adapt to change in predictable ways

An idea that has never really gone away, but which seems to be enjoying a new lease of life is the tabula rasa. The conception of people as a blank slate is something that has crept back into mainstream political and social thought for a variety of reasons. Arguably, it is also behind many of the most misleading notions about work and workplace design, perhaps most importantly that a change to some single element or characteristic of a working environment will lead to a specific outcome in the behaviour of people. More →

Office furniture giant Flokk acquires Connection, doubling footprint in UK

Office furniture giant Flokk acquires Connection, doubling footprint in UK

office furniture giant Flokk acquires ConnectionFlokk, one of the leading European manufacturers of office seating and office furniture products, has acquired UK-based office furniture manufacturer Connection, expanding its footprint in the strategically important UK market and underpinning its international growth strategy. “Having Connection join the Flokk group moves us into the major league of Europe’s second-largest office seating market. We roughly double our size to about EUR 30 million in the key UK market. The transaction is another example of Flokk continuing to consolidate the fragmented European office seating market through targeted and value-creating acquisitions of attractive companies and brands,” says Lars I. Røiri, CEO of Flokk. More →

The future of work isn’t what it used to be

The future of work isn’t what it used to be

future of workAt the 1983 International Design Conference in Aspen, Steve Jobs delivered a speech addressing the theme of the conference; The Future Isn’t What It Used to Be. In it he set out his thoughts on new technology, intuitive design, personal computing as well as the need for a constantly evolving idea of what the future will look like, including the future of work. 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 →

Who watches the workplace watchmen?

Who watches the workplace watchmen?

an eye on the workplaceOne of the world’s best known and most enduring foundational psychological experiments does not appear to be as clear cut as we commonly think. It was back in 1961 that a team led by the American psychologist Stanley Milgram asked a number of ordinary people to administer what they believed to be increasingly high levels of electric shocks to a person in another room while listening to their responses. More →

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