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:

A just in time lesson about office design

A just in time lesson about office design

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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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Workplace design and the corrective force of rediscovery

Workplace design and the corrective force of rediscovery

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rediscovering workplace designIt has become something of a preoccupation of mine to consider why so many of the conversations we hold about workplace design are largely about the rediscovery of old ideas. It may be because there are constants about how people interact with their surroundings and each other and the truisms underlying those interactions. Although these are often reframed by the amount of data we now have to support them, some things never change. More →

Listening in on an enormous conversation about the workplace

Listening in on an enormous conversation about the workplace

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One of the best tricks Clive James ever pulled was finding acceptance as a public intellectual in the UK. It’s not easy in a country in which it is possible to be too clever by half or even too clever for your own good. Stephen Fry continues to pull it off as does Mary Beard, but it’s a hell of a thing to achieve. In the UK at least it seems to rely on straddling at least two worlds. More →

From the archive: The cargo cult of modern office design

From the archive: The cargo cult of modern office design

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The idea of the cargo cult derives from anthropological observations made about the behaviour of societies that encounter more technologically advanced societies. In particular it is rooted in those rituals and objects created by Pacific islanders in an attempt to attract modern goods and technology and generally earn favour with people who they thought could prevent terrible events. More →

Escaping the gravitational pull of workplace data

Escaping the gravitational pull of workplace data

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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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Picking through the workplace chatter

Picking through the workplace chatter

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The Universe is a noisy place. Countless bodies chatter to each other against the backdrop of distant echoes from the Big Bang. Because we are curious, we have developed the technology to listen in and record the din and convert it from the electromagnetic vibration it really is into something we can sense with our ears. NASA has even produced a playlist of the noises from our own solar system and some of the objects we have propelled into it, which you can listen to here.   More →

Is salutogenic design the next big issue for the workplace?

Is salutogenic design the next big issue for the workplace?

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Colleagues talk in a bright and lively office designA number of progressive workplace issues have crossed into mainstream thinking over the past few years, and perhaps none more so than biophilia. It is now a principle that has become an issue talked about in the mass media, as shown by a recent CNN interview with one of Europe’s leading proponents of biophilic office design, Oliver Heath. The interview explores how biophilia taps into our embedded love of nature to evoke certain behaviours and emotions.

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Who watches the workplace watchmen?

Who watches the workplace watchmen?

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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 →

The allure of workplace bullshit

The allure of workplace bullshit

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The sleep of reason and workplace bullshitAlthough the legend of Faust is one of the Germanic world’s foundational narratives, its archetypes and themes were already established by the time Goethe codified them in his 1808 play. They have since become universal. The idea that somebody would sell their soul to the Devil to gain something or rid themselves of unhappiness is as resonant now as it was in Renaissance Europe. It has inspired books films and artists to such an extent that its derivatives now have their own Wikipedia page.

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What happens to the workplace after the pandemic?

What happens to the workplace after the pandemic?

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Tomorrow morning I’ll be taking part in a live webinar considering some of the most important workplace issues that have been raised by the global corona-virus pandemic. As always, we’ll try to take on the least helpful ideas about the “future of work”, the impact on people’s lives, their reactions to the crisis as well as those of their employers. Crucially, we will also talk about what happens after this ends and what longer term effect it will have on work and workplaces. More →

Did you hear the one about offices and creativity?

Did you hear the one about offices and creativity?

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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.

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

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

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In Dorian Lynskey’s The Ministry of Truth, a “biography” of 1984, 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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