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 studied carelessness of agile workplaces

The studied carelessness of agile workplaces

A model of agile workplaces at Sedus in DogernIn recent years we have grown very fond of borrowing foreign words to describe some of the more difficult to express ideas about wellbeing and the new era of agile, experiential and engaging work. We’ve adopted Eudaimonia from the Ancient Greek of Aristotle to describe the nuances of wellbeing, happiness and purpose. We went nuts briefly for the Scandinavian idea of hygge to describe a copy and laid-back approach to life that we felt we’d been lacking. More →

Do organisations actually know what their people do?

Do organisations actually know what their people do?

Do organisations truly understand how their people work? A big question that needed some unpacking and was explored at a recent Workplace Evolutionaries event, led by Tim Allen and Mark Eltringham. This is raw audio from the event so includes a brief chat about dogs and some other stuff. More →

The effects of workplace change may not be the ones we expect

The effects of workplace change may not be the ones we expect

There’s a scene in the 1986 horror movie The Fly in which Seth Brundle (Jeff Goldblum) persuades the reporter Veronica Quaife (Geena Davis) to try two steaks, one of which Brundle has just sent between two teleportation pods in an effort to work out why the pods can’t process organic matter, including the organic matter that had recently belonged to a very unfortunate baboon. More →

Issue 10 of IN Magazine is now online

Issue 10 of IN Magazine is now online

IN Magazine issue 11IN10 is now available to view online here. Print issues will be sent out next week. In this issue of IN Magazine, amongst other things: we cast an eye over three of the most talked about issues in the post pandemic era of work – the four day week, universal basic income and the metaverse; we visit the new offices of BT in Birmingham and see how the design has evolved over the two years since they were first announced; we meet Simone Fenton-Jarvis to discuss her new book and views on where we are; we explore the power of weak ties at work; ask why colour psychology seems to work, but not in the ways most commonly touted; ponder the effects of prolonged periods of isolation; wonder what we’ve done to our dogs; and look at the changing face of workplace art. All back issues of IN Magazine are available here.

From the archive: The cargo cult of modern office design

From the archive: The cargo cult of modern office design

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 →

The lost art of office furniture peacocking

The lost art of office furniture peacocking

office furniture peacockingWhen Donald Trump was pictured at the tail-end of his tenure as President, sitting uncomfortably at a table that looked like it had been retrieved from a skip, it provoked the sort of sneering commentary about office furniture choices previously seen when Dominic Cummings popped in to the Downing Street garden to deliver some self-serving blather from behind a rickety trestle. More →

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 →

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