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 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 →

A dog`s life in the future of work

A dog`s life in the future of work

Once upon a time. Not so long ago. We used to get ideas for stories on lots of different topics. These included those I often dismissed at the time as quaint, such as somebody’s thoughts on why you should bring your dog to work. Now I often hanker for such whimsy, faced with day 127 of an inbox stuffed with nothing much more than ‘how to return to the office after lockdown’. More →

Isaac Asimov’s remarkable 1964 predictions about life and work in the 21st Century

Isaac Asimov’s remarkable 1964 predictions about life and work in the 21st Century

Making predictions about the future can leave people hostages to fortune. Just ask the Decca record executive Dick Rowe who in 1962 rejected a contract with The Beatles confidently asserting that “guitar groups are on their way out, Mr Epstein” or even multi-billionaire Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer who declared in 2007 that “there’s no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share.” Some people buck the trend however. More →

The golden age of procrastination and the tyranny of time keeping

The golden age of procrastination and the tyranny of time keeping 0

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 →

Workplace design and the corrective force of rediscovery

Workplace design and the corrective force of rediscovery

rediscovering workplace designIt has become something of a preoccupation of mine to consider why so many of the conversations we hold about workplace design are largely about the rediscovery of old ideas. It may be because there are constants about how people interact with their surroundings and each other and the truisms underlying those interactions. Although these are often reframed by the amount of data we now have to support them, some things never change. More →

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 →

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