About Mark Eltringham

Mark is the publisher of Workplace Insight, IN magazine, Works magazine and is the European Director of Work&Place journal. He has worked in the office design and management sector for over thirty years as a journalist, marketing professional, editor and consultant.

Posts by Mark Eltringham:

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 →

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 →

Sound and vision – Nigel Oseland makes himself heard for the IN magazine profile

Sound and vision – Nigel Oseland makes himself heard for the IN magazine profile

Nigel Oseland opens up about people and places for IN Magazine

Interviewing people involves trying to tease out a bit of personal colour. Sometimes I already know what that is or might be. That is certainly the case with Nigel Oseland who I have known for many years, know to be from Wolverhampton and who studied psychology and computer science at Keele University in my home town. He went on to focus on environmental psychology while working at the Building Research Establishment in Watford in the late 1980s and 1990s. More →

A break in the workspace-time continuum

A break in the workspace-time continuum

The fracturing of time and place underlies every one of the great workplace issues of our time. Everything that springs from this – the where, when, how, what and why of work – is defined by the shattering of any fixed idea we may once have had of a time and a place to work. Because the challenge to these traditional ideas is now so inextricably linked in our minds with new technology, we might often  forget that people have been asking questions about how we can get the most out of each day for thousands of years. Tempus fugit after all, and as a consequence we’ve always known that how we spend our days is how we spend our lives. More →

A bit of alien thinking on coffee and some other BS

A bit of alien thinking on coffee and some other BS

I’ve sometimes highlighted how our perceptions of the workplace are subject to an apex fallacy. The daily consumption of narratives about campuses, tech palaces and ‘cool’ design can obscure the fact that most people don’t experience this stuff in their daily lives. They work in adequate or possibly nice offices. Some in shabby offices or horrible offices. Many travel into work at the same time each day and sit with roughly the same people and do roughly the same things. They may work from home more frequently now, but they have a routine there too. Most will work in a mundane or nice home that mirrors the mundane office that awaits at the other end of the commute. More →

Ten years of Insight and a few things I think I know (one of our most read pieces this year)

Ten years of Insight and a few things I think I know (one of our most read pieces this year)

This website started in late 2012 as a way for me to explore both a new media format and a new way of thinking about work and workplaces. I’d already been active in various roles in the workplace, design and facilities sector for twenty odd years, but needed a new challenge. And this was it. I was going for a ride with an idea to see where it went. More →

Ding! Dong! IN Magazine Issue 18 is available now for you

Ding! Dong! IN Magazine Issue 18 is available now for you

the digital version of issue 18 of IN Magazine is right on time to deliver all your festive workplace thinking.Well Christmas may get earlier every year, but the digital version of issue 18 of IN Magazine is right on time to deliver all your festive workplace thinking. In this issue: why the world’s biggest tech firms may no longer offer the best blueprint for working culture; Nigel Oseland doesn’t like Half Man Half Biscuit for some reason but does have a lot of great things to say about evaluating offices; you can’t just copy the design of an office you like and expect it to work the same; nothing about working life attracts more moans than noisy colleagues, so we look at one or two things you can do about it; why sometimes you have to turn your back on rationality; Kay Sargent and Jennifer Bryan urge you to change your habits; how to make the most of each day; and the brakes the UK is applying to its own aim of becoming a science and tech superpower. And of course much more. More →

What ever happened to The Great Resignation?

What ever happened to The Great Resignation?

You may recall that a couple of years ago, The Great Resignation was one of a handful of things with which certain people had become obsessedYou may recall that a couple of years ago, The Great Resignation was one of a handful of things with which certain people had become obsessed. Over a period of about six months at the end of 2021 and beginning of 2022, we were told repeatedly that huge numbers of people were about to quit their jobs to move to something better, pursue their dream of self-employment or whatever. But, the proportion of people saying this was more or less the same as it had always been. Ask people at the end of any year about their plans for the next twelve months, and around 30-40 percent of them will tell you they want a new job or to pursue an old dream.   More →

Unpicking the retrofit enigma

Unpicking the retrofit enigma

We explore many of the issues around the crucial subject of retrofit in this supplement produced in partnership with BVNEarlier this year, a report from building consultancy Mace advocated for a retrofit first principle for buildings. The report highlighted how non-domestic buildings in the UK make up about an eighth of the country’s building stock but account for around a quarter of the country’s carbon emissions. The solution argued for in the report was to look at how best to retrofit around 3.5 million such buildings over the next ten years. We explore many of the issues around this crucial subject in this supplement produced in partnership with BVN. It represents both a snapshot of the current conversations about retrofit while pointing a way ahead. This one will run and run, but we need to get it right. More →

The final word on… workplace trends

The final word on… workplace trends

You would not believe the number of firms that ask us to publish a list of workplace trends each week. Or maybe you wouldYou would not believe the number of firms that ask us to publish a list of workplace trends each week. Or maybe you would, given the number that have appeared – and are appearing -elsewhere. Each firm perhaps convinced they are saying something original, unique or interesting, or maybe simply convinced they stand out in some way, while pushing the same timid, stale narratives about the workplace. They will proliferate over the next month or so at the turn of another year. More →

Oscillate wildly between the death of the office and the death of hybrid working

Oscillate wildly between the death of the office and the death of hybrid working

The media's twisting between the death of the office and the death of hybrid working shows we've reached a point of equilibriumIt’s March 2020, very early days of lockdowns and the first catastrophising headlines appear. Is this the death of the office? Is this the death of handshakes? Is this the death of the open plan? I dismissed them at the time in this piece from March the 19th, citing Betteridge’s Law which states: “any headline that ends in a question mark can be answered with the word no”. More →

Manchester is now a major draw for office design firms

Manchester is now a major draw for office design firms

Way before the lockdown rewired the whole events scene in cities around the world, I was given a task by an old, now departed, friend. He wanted to explore the possibility of creating something like Clerkenwell Design Week in Manchester. The obvious problem was that, for some of its historic parallels, Manchester isn’t Clerkenwell and it certainly isn’t London. What it particularly lacked for this type of event was a hothouse of office design showrooms sharing space with a youthful community of architects and designers. The ecosystem for such an event didn’t really exist in the same way. More →