About Mark Eltringham

Mark is the publisher of Workplace Insight, IN magazine, Works magazine and is the European Director of Work&Place journal. He has worked in the office design and management sector for over thirty years as a journalist, marketing professional, editor and consultant.

Posts by Mark Eltringham:

The words we borrow from other languages to talk about work and wellbeing

The words we borrow from other languages to talk about work and wellbeing

We are prone to borrow words from other languages to express ideas that otherwise need some explaining in English. This includes the way we talk about work, and specially the way we talk about wellbeing and happinessWe are prone to borrow nuanced words from other languages to express ideas that otherwise need some explaining in English. This includes the way we talk about work, and especially the way we talk about wellbeing and happiness. Perhaps most famously, there was a lot of talk about hygge a couple of years ago. A straight dictionary translation of hygge would be something like cosiness, but the word also embodies an emotion and an approach to life that embraces a certain degree of slowness and an enjoyment of the present moment. It’s no coincidence that it became modish in a distracted and hurried world. Although the concept is usually referred to as Danish, the word itself is shared with Norwegian, which also offers us the word koselig, which means cosiness but also hints at it being best enjoyed at a fireside. More →

Breaking eggs and a two thousand year quest to make the most of each day

Breaking eggs and a two thousand year quest to make the most of each day

make the most of each dayThe fracturing of time and place underlies every one of the great workplace issues of our time. Everything that springs from this – the where, when, how, what and why of work – is defined by the shattering of any fixed idea we may once have had of a time and a place to work. Because the challenge to these traditional ideas is now so inextricably linked in our minds with new technology, we might often  forget that people have been asking questions about how we can get the most out of each day for thousands of years. Tempus fugit after all, and as a consequence we’ve always known that how we spend our days is how we spend our lives. More →

What the office of the future will really look like is the office of today

What the office of the future will really look like is the office of today

If you set aside the Jetson-y outside views, the office of the future is very like the office of the presentIt’s a banality to point out that futurism is nowism plus either a robot butler or blasted landscape. So, I was taken with a press release we had last week from Studio Alliance which shows an AI’s depiction of the office of the future at various points over the next quarter of a century. What is most striking to me, if you set aside the Jetson-y outside views, is how much like the office of the present each is. More →

Wellbeing of HR professionals yet to return to pre-pandemic levels

Wellbeing of HR professionals yet to return to pre-pandemic levels

The wellbeing of HR professionals has yet to return to pre-pandemic levelsThe wellbeing of HR professionals has yet to return to pre-pandemic levels, with UK HRs in particular lagging at times behind their global counterparts when coping with today’s challenging economic and operating conditions.  This is according to a three-year comparative research project by Culture Amp and Thrive at Monash Business School, which found that in 2020, when the pandemic was first starting to bite, 45 percent of global HRs felt equipped to manage their own  personal and work life demands. More →

Rummaging through the workplace memory hole

Rummaging through the workplace memory hole

I recently whiled away an idle hour checking which of the more deranged pronouncements from the period of peak workplace hysteria in late 2020 have been memory holedtalking of Orwell, I recently whiled away an idle hour checking which of the more deranged pronouncements from the period of peak workplace hysteria in late 2020 have been memory holed. There was some weird, wild stuff, often coupled with a feverish response to anybody urging caution. At one point somebody (I know who but won’t say) suggested I should be banned from LinkedIn for pushing back on the idea that any firm that didn’t go fully remote would be out of business within five years. More →

Insight confirms partnership with Material Matters for sustainable design event

Insight confirms partnership with Material Matters for sustainable design event

Here's a new project that promises to mark a significant shift in the way we think about workplaces and sustainable designWe are part of the London Design Festival for the first time this year, developing an exciting new project that promises to mark a significant shift in the way we think about workplaces and sustainable design. We have partnered with Material Matters to create a space that will showcase the latest and most innovative thinking on sustainable office design, circularity, new materials and innovation. Known as The Works Place, products and ideas will be presented in a range of working settings so that visitors can see how they might be applied in their own offices and other spaces. More →

Issue 16 of IN magazine is now available for you

Issue 16 of IN magazine is now available for you

The new issue of IN Magazine is now available to read online. The print edition will be posted shortly.The new issue of IN Magazine is now available to read online. The print edition will be posted shortly. In this issue, we look at the ongoing shift in the way we think about work and workplaces but without falling back on the simple, cliched thinking that defines much of that conversation. We consider what happens now for the world’s fringe business districts as Canary Wharf sets out its plans for the future in the wake of HSBC’s announced departure. We report on how domestic design is changing in response to a rapidly evolving world. We look at how the changing work practices of architects are playing out in buildings and cities. And we announce details of our first major event. More →

How many fingers am I holding up?

How many fingers am I holding up?

Quoting George Orwell is the kind of thing that people who haven’t read Orwell do. The term Orwellian is used by people who have not only not read him, but have latched on to some laundered idea of the themes of his work. They are not only misrepresenting him, but misrepresenting a misrepresentation. If it were true that the dead could spin in their graves, Orwell would solve the world’s energy crisis. He could power the Northern Hemisphere by reacting to the liberties taken with Nineteen Eighty-Four alone. Anyway. I have read him so you and he will have to forgive me for what I’m about to say. More →

What Aldous Huxley can teach us about acoustics and distractions at work

What Aldous Huxley can teach us about acoustics and distractions at work

Aldous Huxley who had some thoughts on acoustics and unwanted noiseOver the last few years there has been something of a loud and widespread backlash to the idea that we need to have constant access to information and our colleagues to work effectively. The touchstone for this pushback is of course the open plan office which has become something of a scapegoat for the universal problem of interruption and distraction and a renewed interest in the complexities of acoustics in office design. It is also one of the main reasons people prefer to work anywhere other than offices some or all of the time. More →

The constant craving to put numbers on working relationships

The constant craving to put numbers on working relationships

The answer to the great question of life, the universe and everything is not 42, as you may have been led to believe. It’s 1/137 (or near enough). This is the greatest of the two dozen or so universal constants. According to current thinking, without the physical and quantum relationships it describes, the universe as we know it could not exist. 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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A Newtonian perspective on productivity, reason and creativity

A Newtonian perspective on productivity, reason and creativity 0

On the doorstep of the British Library, you will find Edouardo Paolozzi’s imposing statue of Sir Isaac Newton. At first glance, this position seems to make perfect sense. Where better for a monument to the Enlightenment’s poster boy than raised on a plinth at the entrance to the world’s second largest library? And yet, there’s more going on here than is evident at first glance.

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