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:

Listening in on an enormous conversation about the workplace

Listening in on an enormous conversation about the workplace

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 it seems to rely on straddling at least two worlds. More →

Office taxonomy and an increasingly diverse workplace ecosystem

Office taxonomy and an increasingly diverse workplace ecosystem

From the archive. First published in October workplace ecosystem2015. It is perhaps the most common misconception of evolutionary theory that all animals are somehow evolving towards some end point – meaning us. This notion is perhaps best summed up when a sceptic asks: “If we have evolved from monkeys, why are there still monkeys?” The lesser of the two problems with this is its solipsistic assumption that humans are the pinnacles of life and that, if evolution were true, all species would eventually evolve into people. More →

The lost art of office furniture peacocking and the growing mental health crisis at work

The lost art of office furniture peacocking and the growing mental health crisis at work

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

Is there a future for the office?

Is there a future for the office?

Yes.

The unshocking truth about work and workplaces

The unshocking truth about work and workplaces

I’ve been reading an interesting little book called Office by Sheila Liming. It’s a small book, easy to read in a sitting and linked to a series of essays in The Atlantic. The author is a Professor of English so it’s no surprise to find that it’s beautifully written and draws on a range of sources to illustrate its points. More →

IN Magazine issue 4 continues to explore the changing world of work and workplaces

IN Magazine issue 4 continues to explore the changing world of work and workplaces

The new issue of IN Magazine is now online. This issue includes interviews with Chris Kane and Thomas Heatherwick; as well as pieces on: the new EDGE building in Berlin; the changing attitudes of CRE professionals to the office; the anthropology of workplace design; the interplay of networks and hierarchies; the need to create better cycling facilities; what the city and the office can learn from each other; a tribute to Enzo Mari and much more. Back issues can be found here.

Chris Kane discusses his new book on workplace transformation

Chris Kane discusses his new book on workplace transformation

The physician can bury his mistakes,—but the architect can only advise his client to plant vines. Frank Lloyd Wright’s eternal epigram is not just true for buildings. It also applies to the authors of books, especially those on the subjects most affected by this year’s pandemic. Speakers and blog writers can quietly inter the things they get wrong, while the book sits unchangeable on a shelf. Maybe behind a houseplant.
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What Carl Sagan could teach us about knowledge and information

What Carl Sagan could teach us about knowledge and information

Unbelievably for those of us who saw him as a personal hero, yesterday marked the 24th anniversary of the death of Carl Sagan. At the time of his death in 1996, the Internet was very much in its infancy but Sagan could see what was coming, including how we need to filter what is valuable from the deluge of information we now bob around in. Sagan put it like this: “all of the books in the world contain no more information than is broadcast as video in a single large American city in a single year. Not all bits have equal value.” More →

The brain-dead megaphone of work

The brain-dead megaphone of work

There is nothing new about any of this. And yet it’s all new. I’ve spent months talking to people who really know their stuff about work and workplaces and underlying nearly all of those conversations is the following paradox. They know about flexible working, the under-utilisation of space, the twenty minute neighbourhood, the work ecosystem, universal basic income, the digital workspace, the office as club, all the rest of it. Heard it all before, often many times, over many years. Some of them have been living it too, and yet… More →

The world may be going mad, but we don`t have to

The world may be going mad, but we don`t have to

If you want to determine the nature of anything, entrust it to time: when the sea is stormy, you can see nothing clearly. Seneca’s advice from nearly 2,000 years ago still rings true. 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 →

What do we need offices for anyway? The Greeks had a word for it

What do we need offices for anyway? The Greeks had a word for it

offices - what is going onThe Greek word anagnorisis describes the sense of having just caught up with a truth that was always waiting for you. It’s a common literary and artistic device found in the plots of everything from Oedipus Rex to Macbeth, Star Wars and Fight Club, but it’s also a word that conveys a useful, complex idea that does not have an adequate English version. The mot juste, if you like. And it’s a useful idea when it comes to framing the current conversation we are having about offices and work more generally. More →

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