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 facilities manager`s fear of the penalty kick

The facilities manager`s fear of the penalty kick

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facilities managersOn the whole, football is not a great source of inspiration for artists. It certainly doesn’t film well, although there is a small place for it in literature. The likes of Arnold Bennett, Orwell, Sartre and J B Priestley have all drawn from the game some metaphor, philosophical point, social observation or other. There are even some major literary figures who played the game to a decent level, and the curious thing about them is that they were all goalkeepers.

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The future of work has no destination, there is only the journey

The future of work has no destination, there is only the journey

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One of the truisms about depictions of the future is that they often have more to say about the world in which we live than the one to come. So, when George Orwell wrote 1984 the story goes that its title was derived by inverting the numbers of the year in which it was written – 1948. Whatever the truth of this, Orwell understood it was a book as much about the world in which he lived as the one it portrayed. Our images of the future are invariably refracted through the prism of the present. This is just as true for predictions about the future of work.

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Will coronavirus mean the death of the office?

Will coronavirus mean the death of the office?

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Betteridge’s law of headlines declares that “Any headline that ends in a question mark can be answered by the word no”. And so I simultaneously ask and answer the question of whether the coronavirus pandemic will really lead to the death of the office. So it goes. Of course, I’m not the first person to raise the question over the last few weeks as the world adapts to the threat of the pandemic. But it’s worth reminding ourselves that the demise of the office has been predicted for at least a quarter of a century, although never in such circumstances. More →

How to flourish in the workplace – Derek Clements-Croome in conversation

How to flourish in the workplace – Derek Clements-Croome in conversation

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In the third in our series of wellbeing podcasts published in partnership with Wellworking, I am in conversation with Derek Clements-Croome, one of the world’s leading experts on wellbeing and sustainability in the workplace. We look at the increasingly powerful links between personal wellbeing and green sustainable building design and consider some of the most important yet last talked about wellbeing and productivity issues such as temperature and air quality. More →

Workplace piffle, humane design and throwing away the blank slate

Workplace piffle, humane design and throwing away the blank slate

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workplace designThe piece I wrote on workplace bullshit came in for quite a bit of attention when it was published and also meant I was pointed to this excellent article on how to spot it when you see it. Lots is said about the skills we’ll need to cope with the challenges of the current Century, but this is perhaps one of the most important. Especially trying to spot it in ourselves. Paradoxically, we already seem reasonably able to spot it in our politicians. More →

The theme park of modern office design

The theme park of modern office design

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office design is moving into a new phaseHere’s an interesting exercise you may want to try. Off the top of your head and without thinking about it too much, write down the names of five iconic office furniture designs. The kind that your Aunt Sheila might recognise if she saw them but wouldn’t necessarily be able to name. When I did this recently while writing a piece about design trends, the products I came up with automatically were things like Frank Lloyd Wright’s desks for the Larkin building, Action Office, the 3107 chair (pictured), and Marcel Breuer’s Wassily Chair. More →

Exploring life at the new Siemens Campus in Zug

Exploring life at the new Siemens Campus in Zug

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Siemens SparkWhen it comes to creating an office to call home, all of the usual challenges are magnified by several degrees for a company like Siemens. It can’t afford to skimp on the building’s services, green credentials, integrated technology and all-round smartness then hold meaningful conversations on the same subjects with its clients. So, the new Siemens Campus in the Swiss town of Zug has to showcase the best the firm has to offer as well as delivering for the people who work there. More →

Ergonomics, movement and the evolutionary necessity of pain

Ergonomics, movement and the evolutionary necessity of pain

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ergonomicsIn his book The Greatest Show on Earth, the evolutionary biologist Professor Richard Dawkins devotes a section to the biological rationale for pain which has implications for the way we view ergonomics and the design of offices. Although the question of why we suffer is an ethical issue as far as humans are concerned, and most of us think it’s one thing we could easily do without thank you very much, Nature is indifferent to such moral concerns. More →

The studied carelessness of agile workplaces

The studied carelessness of agile workplaces

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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 →

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

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

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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 →

Blundering blindly towards the truth about work and workplaces

Blundering blindly towards the truth about work and workplaces

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If you don’t like some of the stories we publish on Insight, you should see the ones we reject.  It’s something I catch myself saying a lot and underlying it is an awareness that bullshit can be appealing. We should apply the smell test to stories and go in search of what might best be described as the facts, contradictions and nuances that are characteristic elements of some sort of truth. More →

Stress, sickie days and a beamish response to it all

Stress, sickie days and a beamish response to it all

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Stress, uncertainty and the medicalisation of dissatisfactionThis is a piece to mark National Sickie Day, which is today. We now have a policy of not offering ourselves as an outlet for any of the deluge of comment pieces and surveys that are published each year to mark days like this. This is largely because we cover the issue year round so don’t feel the need to add to the PR feeding frenzy that they generate. Whatever you make of the findings of the these reports and others like them, even cynics would have to acknowledge they tap into an unmistakable  feeling that work is not as enjoyable as it should be. More →

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