Hybrid working presents us with a once in a generation opportunity

Hybrid working presents us with a once in a generation opportunity

hybrid workingIn the face of the revolutionary and long-lasting changes to workplaces across the world resulting from the pandemic, some commentators have suggested that the wide-spread necessity of adopting remote working practices may have made the office obsolete. However, such a dramatic upheaval to the very foundation of the workplace and working dynamic won’t come without a cost, and new data suggests that perhaps the office isn’t the dinosaur many assumed, but still a central pillar to effective businesses as part of a hybrid working strategy. More →

Creative firms have most to lose from a loss of serendipity

Creative firms have most to lose from a loss of serendipity

creative office designMost of the analysis about the effects of the 2020 pandemic on people’s working lives has tended to involve grand statements about new normals and the death of this or that, as if everybody wants the same things, has the same personal circumstances, works in the same ways, the same places and same sectors. More →

The great lesson of 2020 for small businesses is to be ready for anything

The great lesson of 2020 for small businesses is to be ready for anything

small businessesThe repercussions of Covid-19 for the small business community have been particularly ruinous. Recent figures paint a worrying picture, revealing that approximately 76,300 SMEs in London alone ceased operations completely as a direct result of the pandemic, with lockdowns costing from £30,000 to £75,000 for one in ten small businesses. As the most vulnerable business segment in the current crisis, SMEs needed the biggest support and, by the end of April, had already received over £4 billion via the government’s CBIL scheme. More →

We need to understand and channel workplace conflict in the right way

We need to understand and channel workplace conflict in the right way

workplace conflictEarlier this month, in a sudden and unexpected turn of events, the prime minister’s chief adviser, Dominic Cummings, walked out of 10 Downing Street for the last time, having resigned/been asked to leave, depending on whose account of the episode you believe. However, the affair unfolded in reality, it seems clear that the departure of Cummings and Director of Communications, Lee Cain, was precipitated by workplace conflict and a series of internal disagreements, which had pushed their relationships with certain colleagues to breaking point. More →

The unshocking truth about work and workplaces

The unshocking truth about work and workplaces

I’ve been reading an interesting little book called Office by Sheila Liming. It’s a small book, easy to read in a sitting and linked to a series of essays in The Atlantic. The author is a Professor of English so it’s no surprise to find that it’s beautifully written and draws on a range of sources to illustrate its points. More →

Change like everyone is watching 

Change like everyone is watching 

At a time when we aren’t generally supposed to get within two metres of each other, depending on what the rules happen to be today (or part day), there’s a lot of embracing going on. Almost in some quarters as though it’s a resigned acceptance. You know the curve, with the part at the end where having denied it, got angry then depressed and reluctantly bargained with it, we finally get on with it. Which of course isn’t how anything happens at all. But that’s what us dedicate followers of Covid-era fashion are supposedly doing: embracing change.  More →

The crisis is making us more authentically human at work

The crisis is making us more authentically human at work

A more human place of workLet the dogs bark, let the kid dance, admit that you are in the basement because your spouse is occupying the kitchen. It takes bravery to let the new reality shine. In previous circumstances, your dog starting to bark like crazy while you are on a work video call with the CEO of a company may have been mortifying. But now, instead, the shared reality of both participants working from home gives employees and employers the chance to gain a little more insight into each other’s lives. More →

HR professionals must seek a new connection with the IT team

HR professionals must seek a new connection with the IT team

HR and ITIt has now been more than eight months since the government first advised people to work from home if possible, due to COVID-19. The shift to remote working happened suddenly in March and quickly became part of everyday life; in April 2020 alone, 47 percent of people in employment did some work at home, compared to just 16 percent in the whole of 2019. IT teams were extremely successful in getting staff up-and-running with the right technology, but there was little time for organisations to fully train users before driving adoption, or personalise the approach based on individual need. This places a new onus on HR teams. More →

Covid-19 is levelling the playing field for disabled workers

Covid-19 is levelling the playing field for disabled workers

two people talking to illustrate the growing number of disabled people in self-employmentAs many of us cope with yet another lockdown, optimism is easy to misplace but, for disabled workers, this could result in monumental change for future employment. On the month commencing the 25th anniversary of the Disability Discrimination Act and the run-up to International Day of Disabled Persons, could this be the final push for change? As we swing in and out of remote-working, whether you love it or loathe it, one thing is abundantly clear – it can be done. Something that the 2 billion people currently living with disabilities have always known. Life can be accessible anywhere if you put your mind to it. More →

Stepping back into the workplace arena 

Stepping back into the workplace arena 

workplace arenaDr Brené Brown is one of those individuals whom I find myself channelling, particularly during challenging times. Her views on the power of vulnerability and her call to be brave and ‘step into the arena’ have shaped my career. In a crisis, we need to be courageous and ready for the fight. It’s not just about rolling with the punches. It’s about knowing that it’s ok to get knocked down, because there will be someone to help you get back up.   More →

Burnout, stress and disconnection are now our most urgent workplace mental health issues

Burnout, stress and disconnection are now our most urgent workplace mental health issues

burnoutThis has been a tough year all round, particularly with the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to cause seismic shifts in how we live and work. Surveys across various countries indicate that employees are experiencing more feelings of burnout, stress and disconnection as the pandemic is taking a toll on people’s mental health. What’s causing this and what can we do to combat it? More →

UK office design should look to Europe for inspiration

UK office design should look to Europe for inspiration

The word ‘office’, based on the Latin term officium, wasn’t originally used to describing a building, or a space: instead it was used primarily as a term for a position: a role that was occupied by a person. So it seems only right with this etymology to take inspiration from Europe. And when considering office design, use that inspiration to build workspaces that reflect the needs of the people working within them. More →

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