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 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 →

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 →

What (nearly) everybody gets wrong about work and the coronavirus

What (nearly) everybody gets wrong about work and the coronavirus

You’ve probably read and heard dozens, or even hundreds, of different viewpoints about the effect of the pandemic on the world of work. Most of them (until recently perhaps) have dished up one of the two binary options as part of a zero-sum game. Many are based on hackneyed ideas and expressed as clichés. More →

The world of work explored in all its glory in Issue 3 of IN Magazine

The world of work explored in all its glory in Issue 3 of IN Magazine

Some things will never change. IN Magazine continues to offer the best content you can find on the changing world of work. The digital edition of Issue 3 is now available and print copies will be posted out later in the week. More →

The magical limits of workplace design

The magical limits of workplace design

workplace design like a rabbit in a hatDerren Brown is clearly on to something. And if you’ve read his books you’ll know that what he’s on to is finding ways to tap in to our fascination with how our thoughts and actions can be manipulated using some well-defined and researched techniques and principles. Add in some showmanship and what you have is something that is indistinguishable from magic. It also gas something to say about some of the ways we think about workplace design and management.

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The stage is set for the next phase of working life

The stage is set for the next phase of working life

The debate about the effects of the pandemic on working life appears to have entered its next phase. Don’t ask me to define it precisely because I’m still coming to terms with the others. But here it is. More →

No need to sideline form in our quest for function

No need to sideline form in our quest for function

The enduring struggle to improve the working conditions and performance of people through the design and management of workplaces carries more than a whiff of the Enlightenment, a period in which pure reason was seen by its proponents as more than enough to convince the world of the ways in which we could improve the human condition. It’s a battle that was won in some ways but which endures. More →

The next chapter for office life, remote work and the stories we tell about it all

The next chapter for office life, remote work and the stories we tell about it all

remote work and the allegory of the caveOne of the few interesting things about the deluge of tedious work-related stories over the last few months has been watching the narratives about remote work, office life and all the rest of it develop. Of course, you’ll still get the odd piece like this, a rambling, lazy string of unexamined clichés that could have been written by a bot. And soon will be. More →

Remote work and the coming race to the bottom

Remote work and the coming race to the bottom

One of the most significant consequences of the 2008 economic crash was a remarkable shift in the nature of employment. The recession led to a surge in the number of people categorised as self-employed. The numbers have been increasing ever since, albeit at a more stable rate. By the end of 2019, the number of self-employed people in the UK exceeded five million people for the first time. That’s fifteen percent of the workforce. More →

Working from home and the future of work. How quaint

Working from home and the future of work. How quaint

In 1962, a professor of communication studies called Everett Rogers came up with the principle we call diffusion of innovation. It’s a familiar enough notion, widely taught and works by plotting the adoption of new ideas and products over time as a bell curve, before categorising groups of people along its length as innovators, early adopters, early majority, late majority, and laggards. It’s a principle bound up with human capital theory and so its influence has endured for over 50 years, albeit in a form compressed by our accelerated proliferation of ideas. It may be useful, but it lacks a third dimension in the modern era. That is, a way of describing the numbers of people who are in one category but think they are in another.

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Survival, inquiry, sophistication – picking the right workplace battles

Survival, inquiry, sophistication – picking the right workplace battles

We know, and have for a long time, that the workplace is in a state of near constant flux. The meteor strike of lockdown is an accelerant, not a deviation. It has also laid bare -yet again – the faulty assumption that there is some sort of general evolution towards an idealised version of the office. That is why we see so many people routinely willing to suspend their critical facilities to make extravagant and even absurd predictions about the office of the future or even the death of the office. More →

Casting a spell on the future of work and workplaces

Casting a spell on the future of work and workplaces

There was a time we used to talk with dismay about the Japanese phenomenon of intense social distancing known as hikikomori. We would consider with horror the isolation, lack of engagement with society, poor mental health and loneliness of the people who had almost completely withdrawn to their rooms. Those poor bastards locked up in enclosed spaces linked to the outside world only by screens. More →

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