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:

We are in danger of reanimating some bad ideas about work

We are in danger of reanimating some bad ideas about work

Did you hear the one about a Swiss court ruling that firms should pay to rent space in the homes of remote workers? It’s a hell of a thing, especially when so much has been made of the cost savings of a reduction in office space. It’s a notion that is extremely likely to be tested in other countries, so brace yourself. It also illustrates why so many of the narratives about working life after lockdown aren’t as straightforward as they might appear. More →

Future Shock: a message from the past that defines the present

Future Shock: a message from the past that defines the present 0

We are all futurologists now. We all have our 2020 visions, at least for a little while. But there was a time, not so long ago, when the title was reserved for a few people who would be able to shake and shape the world with a single idea and a book. Yes, a book. Nowadays a book has to go hand in hand with a Ted Talk, blogs on the Huff Post and a speaking tour to get you anywhere at all. But within living memory it was possible to shift the thinking of the planet with a book. More →

Charles Handy was a true visionary about the modern workplace

Charles Handy was a true visionary about the modern workplace

It’s incredibly hard not to be impressed by Charles Handy and even harder not to find him likeable. The scope of his intellect and humanity is evident on the page, in his interviews and in his broadcasts. He reeks of credibility and warmth. Do a Google image search of him and the pictures you find epitomise English middle-class academic decency (despite the fact that he’s Irish); jumpers, churchyards, armchairs and a benign smile. More →

Childhood’s end for work and the need for a grown-up conversation about it

Childhood’s end for work and the need for a grown-up conversation about it

In my opinion Arthur C Clarke’s finest novel Childhood’s End is the story of an Earth that is invaded by a force of alien Overlords. This is not a destructive colonial invasion, which is why there’s no Hollywood blockbuster in the tale, but a seemingly benevolent intervention which ushers in a golden age for humanity. Although humankind initially does not get to meet the Overlords in person (for reasons I won’t give away here), the aliens unite the world’s governments, eradicate crime, conflict and the nation state and do away with the need for creativity and hard work. It is the literal end of history.

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Never mind the agile workplace, here is something you already know

Never mind the agile workplace, here is something you already know

The myth has it that John Lydon’s audition for the Sex Pistols consisted largely of wearing a Pink Floyd t-shirt with the words I HATE scrawled above the prog rock group’s name. It appealed to the new band’s managers and its existing members at a time when they needed a singer with the right attitude as much as the right chops. Before Lydon’s involvement, bass guitarist Glen Matlock had taken to approaching anybody he saw of his age group with short hair to ask them if they could sing. This was a time when everybody had long hair.

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Latest issue of IN Magazine heralds new era for working life

Latest issue of IN Magazine heralds new era for working life

IN Magazine coverThe partial return to the physical world of work means that the print edition of the June 2020 issue of IN Magazine is now being mailed out. It has been available for a couple of weeks as a digital edition and it’s full of great stuff on the work topics that matter more than ever. We would say that but you can judge for yourself. More →

The seven greatest depictions of the workplace in art. Possibly.

The seven greatest depictions of the workplace in art. Possibly.

Art supposedly holds up a mirror to life. Except when it comes to our working lives, it doesn’t. Or at least it doesn’t always show a true or full reflection, both in terms of the amount of time we dedicate to work and how important it is to us. More →

Right, said Fred. Here I am again

Right, said Fred. Here I am again

If there has been an underlying driver of workplace thinking over the past several decades, it has been a rejection of the principles of scientific management. These begat the idea of the office as a factory, subject to the same rigid times and places of work and the same culture of process, efficiency and productivity. This made a pantomime villain of its key figure Frederick Taylor. The worst adjective you could use to describe a working culture was Taylorist. More →

Zoom fatigue and the new era of online meetings

Zoom fatigue and the new era of online meetings

When it comes to that annual announcement the publishers of dictionaries like to make about their Word of the Year, 2020 will have only one candidate. But if there were a shortlist, you can bet that Zoom would be on it. The uptake of Zoom and other apps to help people connect during the lockdown has been remarkable. Numbers emerge each week of the scale of growth, but they’re instantly out of date and probably meaningless anyway. We could make up something like there having been a 2,300% increase since March 23rd, and it might as well be true. More →

The scale of the problem for the workplace

The scale of the problem for the workplace

There is a typically telling and intelligent Pixar moment in the film A Bug’s Life in which an already well-lubricated mosquito goes up to a bar and orders a ‘Bloody Mary, O Positive’. The barman plonks a droplet of blood down on the bar. The mosquito sinks his proboscis into it, sucks it down in one go and promptly falls over. The mosquito doesn’t need a glass because that is for animals who have a problem with gravity. For insects, the major force in their lives isn’t gravity, but surface tension. More →

What the humble avocado can teach us about why we will always work in offices

What the humble avocado can teach us about why we will always work in offices

From the archive. Originally published in 2013. People have been talking about the death of the office for at least a quarter of a century. Leaving aside the often misleading conflation of flexible working with homeworking that is often involved, the underlying premise of such talk has been the same for all of that time. The main argument is, and always was, that there is an alternative to the tedium, aggravation and expense of travelling to an office solely to work inside its hermetically sealed and fluorescent-lit, blue-carpeted interior alongside people who can drive you spare, before you schlep home again. More →

Peter Löffler explores the world of digital twin technology in the Workplace Insight podcast

Peter Löffler explores the world of digital twin technology in the Workplace Insight podcast

The expression “if these walls could talk” is taking on an entirely new meaning with the emerging opportunity to create digital twins for buildings, claims Peter Löffler, the head of innovation at Siemens Smart Infrastructure in a new episode of the Workplace Insight podcast. Across the entire lifecycle of structures such as office buildings, hospitals, airports and hotels, creating a digital twin can significantly reduce costs, improve efficiencies, speed construction delivery, as well as enhance performance and the user experience. More →

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