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:

Flexible models of work will shift focus from place to purpose

Flexible models of work will shift focus from place to purpose

A new report from Poly claims that there is a ‘granular shift’ in focus from place to purpose of work as businesses respond to the COVID-19 crisis, redesign their operations and reinvent the way they work. Out of city coworking spaces, ergonomic at-home work setups and virtual water cooler moments will define the new age of flexible working, the report claims. Drawing on experts in the future of work, workspace design and psychology, the Poly report, Hybrid Working: Creating the “next normal” in work practices, spaces and culture, sets out the path to what it refers to (tediously) as the “next normal,” where employees enjoy flexibility and choice, and businesses thrive through motivated, collaborative and productive teams. More →

BCO launches podcast to explore the future of offices

BCO launches podcast to explore the future of offices

The British Council for Offices (BCO) has launched its first podcast, a 12-episode series, hosted by chief executive Richard Kauntze, which explores how COVID-19 is impacting the office, both in the long and short term. The interviews are edited versions of a recently run video series by the BCO. More →

Workplace design in a new age of reason

Workplace design in a new age of reason

Workplace design needs to recapture the principles of the enlightenmentThe enduring but changing struggle to improve the working conditions and performance of people through workplace design and management has more than a whiff of the Enlightenment of the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries about it. The Enlightenment marked a new era in which the old superstitions and dogmas were to be overthrown by pure reason.

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Your working day is never finished, merely abandoned

Your working day is never finished, merely abandoned

It’s been talked about for a number of years now but we can expect to be hearing a lot more about the four day week or six hour day soon. The modern conversation has its roots partly in a Swedish experiment designed to limit the hours people work in an attempt to improve their work-life balance and possibly even increase their productivity. Now a growing number of firms are looking to introduce a nominal four day working week or restrict the use of technology – meaning email – outside of certain hours. More →

Some brutal realities about the future of work

Some brutal realities about the future of work

The future of workNo author uses the built environment like J G Ballard. In his 1975 novel High-Rise, the eponymous structure is both a way of isolating the group of people who live and compete inside it and a metaphor for their personal isolation and inner struggles. Over the course of three months, the building’s services begin to fail. The 2,000 people within, detached from external realities in the 40-storey building, confronted with their true selves and those of their neighbours, descend into selfishness and – ultimately – savagery. 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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For the love of procrastination

For the love of procrastination

Many of us start each day with a long to-do list, a new set of goals and a commitment not to repeat the same mistakes we have in the past. It’s likely that we will have promised ourselves to stop putting things off. On our hit list of the foibles we most want to dispose of, procrastination will be somewhere near the top. The problem is that because procrastination is linked to psychological factors such as an innate preference to do something we deem pleasurable to something we don’t, modern life encourages us to do it. More →

From the archive: the future of work and place in the 21st Century

From the archive: the future of work and place in the 21st Century 0

future of work and placeHowever much we know about the forces we expect to come into play in our time and however much we understand the various social, commercial, legislative, cultural and economic parameters we expect to direct them, most predictions of the future tend to come out as refractions or extrapolations of the present. This is a fact tacitly acknowledged by George Orwell’s title for 1984, written in 1948, and is always the pinch of salt we can apply to science fiction and most of the predictions we come across. More →

Cracking the issue of work after lockdown

Cracking the issue of work after lockdown

Take any issue in the modern era and you’ll find a noisy schism. The big-endians and little-endians yelling at each other about the right way to eat a boiled egg, right over the heads of the majority of people who wonder if they’d be better off just having some toast and a nice cup of tea. Not that the toast-eaters can say anything without being accused by both sides of the divide of belonging to the other. More →

Life at the coalface: How the agile workplace first appeared in the mid 20th Century

Life at the coalface: How the agile workplace first appeared in the mid 20th Century

agile working began in the coal fields of NottinghamshireThe idea of diffusion of innovation has become so embedded in our culture, and most recently so associated with the adoption of new technology, that we might assume it happens in predictable ways. The steps between innovators, early adopters, early majority, late majority, and laggards seem intuitive and certain even when their peaks might be unsure. And yet history teaches us that sometimes new ideas can take years or even decades to take hold, even when they are potentially world-changing and relevant for the era in which they were formulated. More →

Progress depends on heterodox thought and difficult questions

Progress depends on heterodox thought and difficult questions

Between the 9th and 13th Centuries, the world’s intellectual centre and the source of much of its progress, discovery and achievement was Baghdad. This was the Muslim Golden Age and at its core was the House of Wisdom, established by the Caliph Harun al-Rashid. At one point, this library housed the largest collection of books on Earth and drew the greatest minds in the world to share ideas, innovate and explore ancient sources of science and wisdom from Greek and Persian texts. Muslim, Jewish, Christian and atheist scholars worked together to advance human understanding until a slow decline culminated with a later Caliph declaring that its diversity of thought should bow to a literal interpretation of the Quran and Hadith.

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Acts of kindness create a virtuous circle in the workplace

Acts of kindness create a virtuous circle in the workplace

flat white economyThis is the very definition of a Friday story. The results of a research project, published in the American Psychological Association journal Emotion suggests that the small kindnesses we show to others at work tend to propagate across an organisation. For the study, a group of researchers from the University of California told workers at Coca Cola’s Madrid headquarters that they were taking part in a piece of research to measure their levels of happiness, job satisfaction, relationships with colleagues (good and bad) and their positive and negative experiences of other people’s behaviour as well as an assessment of their own behaviour over a period of four weeks.

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