We need to acknowledge our bias if we want to see the world for what it is

We need to acknowledge our bias if we want to see the world for what it is

We’re all biased. We all recognise the sharp bump of our critical thinking skills kicking into life when confronted with ideas and information that go against our beliefs. We know how they doze in the comforting embrace of affirming data. So, it’s been entertaining this week to observe the reaction to the large-scale academic study of 10,000 IT workers which found that they had worked 30 percent longer hours while working from home, a fifth of it outside their normal times of work, without actually doing any more work. In essence their productivity had fallen by 20 percent in spite of their increased hours. More →

The pivotal role of remote working in the journey to jab the nation

The pivotal role of remote working in the journey to jab the nation

At 6.31 a.m. on Tuesday, December 8, 2020, the UK became the first country in the world to administer the COVID-19 vaccine. Just over five months earlier, I had been deployed to the NHS England and NHS Improvement COVID-19 vaccination programme to help drive the highly complex design and planning needed to bring the nation to this point. My role involved leading the set up and embedding of the Estates, Equipment, Consumables and Logistics workstream. The purpose of this was to establish and combine the new and existing infrastructure required in England to manage the distribution, regulation and administration of multiple vaccines so that all systems would be ready to vaccinate on the ‘go-live’ date. More →

Organisations are finally getting their heads around what the office is really good at

Organisations are finally getting their heads around what the office is really good at

Modern office design by BDGAs 2020 came to a close, there was a palpable sense of hope that 2021 would bring with it a fresh slate with the horrors of COVID behind us. Alas, that has not happened and it seems we have more of the same, certainly for the next few months and with that the speculation about the ‘future of the office’ will no doubt continue. More →

The workplace industry needs to think outside its ever-shrinking boxes

The workplace industry needs to think outside its ever-shrinking boxes

People are outgrowing the boxes the workplace industry offersIs the workplace industry stuck in the past, in a 20th century model of how and where work is done? The separation of work and the rest of life during the Industrial Age has shaped the structures of modern life: the houses we live in, the offices, factories and shops we work in, and the transport networks that shuffle us from one location to another for different activities. It has also shaped the planning system, the institutional and financial structures of how places are designed and built, and perhaps most of all the mindsets of just about everyone involved in creating places to work and live. More →

There are thirty-eight ways to win an argument, but this ain’t one

There are thirty-eight ways to win an argument, but this ain’t one

A painting of Socrates to depict the ways we have discussions about the workplace There are 38 ways to win an argument. That is according to the 19th Century German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer who laid them out in an essay called The Art of Being Right. We’ve probably added a few more since it was published in 1896, but whatever we’ve come up with since probably works on the same basis. Despite the essay’s title, the stratagems are not actually about being right at all, but about winning an argument. More →

The future of work will see profound changes in the way firms engage with customers

The future of work will see profound changes in the way firms engage with customers

Businesses are managing a new work dynamic that’s made up of three parts, or three ‘types’ of employee. Some are keen to go back to the office, some want to stay working from home, and some want an entirely flexible arrangement so they can fit work around important personal commitments. More →

What’s a landlord to do when the office is a destination, not a routine?

What’s a landlord to do when the office is a destination, not a routine?

Office for Estee LauderEvery week a new survey is published or a statement from a CEO hits the press related to corporate occupier’s desire to adopt a form of hybrid working for the long-term post Covid 19. And as a result, the desire to occupy less space in their central office hub. Landlords are asking- What do we do now to attract and keep great occupiers, and fill our buildings? I have an idea that is of its time. A time when the world has started to cooperate, collaborate, and work towards a common purpose. When work, life, values, and priorities are shifting. Employers are seeking to look after their people in a holistic way in and out of the office. More →

The hybrid workplace sagas, part two. Valhalla

The hybrid workplace sagas, part two. Valhalla

“Wow, Dougie, they’ve remodelled our office while we were away!”

“Fantastic. Did you know about it?”

“No, they said the surprise was a key part of the change programme.”

“So what’s different?” More →

The hybrid workplace sagas, part one. Ginnungagap

The hybrid workplace sagas, part one. Ginnungagap

An image of Odin to illustrate the hybrid workplace saga“Hi Dougie – how’s the new hybrid workplace going?”

“Morning Clara. You mean the Team-Rostered Attendance Programme. It’s fantastic – we have control at last!”

“Wow, I’m jealous. I guess you all just fell into it?”

“Yeah. How did you know?”

“Just a hunch. So how does it work?” More →

What are the limits of an employer’s duty of care to employees?

What are the limits of an employer’s duty of care to employees?

Earlier this month the ONS (Office for National Statistics) released a rather dismal map of the UK charting our population’s soaring levels of loneliness. Perhaps surprisingly, it is young people and those living in urban areas reporting the highest levels of aloneness. It really does go to show that the ‘social’ in social media doesn’t mean very much, and that you can indeed be surrounded by others and still feel lonely. So what does this new study mean for employers, if anything? 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 →

Hybrid working risks becoming a meaningless term

Hybrid working risks becoming a meaningless term

Hybrid working - people working in an officeHybrid working runs the risk of becoming a blanket term, interpreted on a very surface level, when it has the potential to offer a much greater opportunity for businesses to open up and re-examine the culture and experience of their staff, alongside where they want to take their business in the future, as well as fast-tracking mental health and wellbeing to play a central role in workplace strategy. More →

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