The future of work isn’t what it used to be

The future of work isn’t what it used to be

future of workAt the 1983 International Design Conference in Aspen, Steve Jobs delivered a speech addressing the theme of the conference; The Future Isn’t What It Used to Be. In it he set out his thoughts on new technology, intuitive design, personal computing as well as the need for a constantly evolving idea of what the future will look like, including the future of work. More →

The link between wellbeing and green design is driving material innovation

The link between wellbeing and green design is driving material innovation

wellbeing and green building designOne of the most interesting developments in the way we talk about the design of buildings in recent years is how the issue of wellbeing has found an overlap with environmental concerns. We know instinctively that these are natural partners. What is good for the environment almost always has a direct beneficial effect on people’s physical and mental health, as well as their productivity. More →

False positives and the dangers of unrealistic positivity at work

False positives and the dangers of unrealistic positivity at work

positivity at workThe vaccine rollout is well on its way, the Government has set out its road map for easing lockdown and it seems there is light at the end of the tunnel. Organisations can hopefully now start to shift mindsets away from the negativity of the past months and create a positive outlook for the future. So, should leaders and managers now be pasting on the smiles, dishing out the motivational pep talks and inspirational emails? Should they aim to create a sense of positivity at work. No, most definitely not. More →

Engineered familiarity in the new era of work

Engineered familiarity in the new era of work

The new era of work and familiarityEvery day, after a leisurely breakfast in bed and the opening of his post, Roald Dahl would wander down his garden to the grubby little hut crammed with personal paraphernalia he had created there. There he would sharpen the six yellow pencils that were always by his side while he worked, settle into an armchair, put his feet up on an old suitcase filled with logs, place an American yellow legal pad of paper onto a makeshift board on his lap and work for two hours. More →

A new mindset on climate change is emerging from the pandemic

A new mindset on climate change is emerging from the pandemic

wellbeing and climate changeOf all the opportunities for positive change driven by the pandemic, the most important may be the least talked about. And that’s in spite of the fact that both workers and organisations as well as governments and other bodies around the world are aware and in favour of it and its consequences are most far reaching, affecting us all. It is, of course, the chance to do something significant about climate change and the environment. More →

We must seize the chance to go full circle on sustainable office design

We must seize the chance to go full circle on sustainable office design

The circular economy is the ‘holy grail’. Few people would deny the ambition of keeping resources in use for as long as possible, extracting the maximum value from them, then recovering and regenerating products and materials at the end of each service life. Is this achievable within the furniture and furnishings sector? Many manufacturers and suppliers can justifiably boast impressive ‘green’ credentials, such as manufacturing techniques, the use of innovative and sustainable materials as well as recyclability of products. The production and supply of new furnishings doesn’t address, however, the short and longer term issues relating to sustainability. ‘Cradle to cradle’ is a great concept – but who is responsible? 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 →

The future workplace will only thrive with social and customer experience at its heart

The future workplace will only thrive with social and customer experience at its heart

future workplace has a lot to learn from hospitalityOne important concept the pandemic has taught us is that irrespective of where we work and whatever form the future workplace takes, our brand must remain strong. With much of our workforce now working from home, how do we bridge the gap between corporate and home life? As head offices re-form into social hangout hubs, and dining tables become makeshift desks, one message is loud and clear – connection with and delight in a brand is everything. From our internal talent and culture, and supply partnerships, to external customer persona, we must strengthen our culture both inside and out. More →

Ten point green plan needs to be embraced by organisations

Ten point green plan needs to be embraced by organisations

The green plan and building designWe’ve been talking to our clients a lot over the last eighteen months, informing and educating them about when upcoming green legislation might come into force and what that will mean for the construction industry. So, it’s with interest that we saw the UK government unveil its ten point green plan in mid-November that reflected our predictions to date. The hope is that this route to a green industrial revolution will have a game-changing impact, similar to the positive effect on people and places the original industrial revolution had some 260 years earlier. More →

Getting the measure of better working cultures

Getting the measure of better working cultures

For now, just forget the cyborg monkeys and spinach sending emails, the real short term tech action is all about how to gauge what workers are thinking or doing, and what to do about it – especially if whatever they are thinking and doing is not what the org wants for them or, more importantly, itself. Things are getting crazy. 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 →

Workplace things we have missed, and those we hope to regain

Workplace things we have missed, and those we hope to regain

return to the workplaceLet’s be honest, work life pre 2020 had its flaws, whilst the longing for variety of scenery, change of pace and even a train journey (somewhere…ANYWHERE) would be welcomed by many of us right now, many of us had become a bit ‘hamster wheel’ in our approach. Commuting was stressful, expensive and time hungry; our natural and individual rhythms squeezed into a set 9-5 schedule and workplace design had become a bit ‘quantity over quality’ – desks have been reducing in size year upon year in order that capacity could be increased. We had reached a point at which everything was ripe for change but there was largely a resistance to both flexible working requests and embracing much of the technological advancements that were already at our fingertips. More →

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