Why should anyone care about your change?

Why should anyone care about your change?

A butterfly emerging from a chrysalis to illustrate changeWhenever I first meet a potential client or am brought onto a new change project, there are three questions I ask:  why, why now and why should anyone care about your change? Now the first two have typically been thought through and there are answers for them – not necessarily crystal clear and concise answers, but answers, none the less.  However, the third question, in my experience, is rarely even considered, much less discussed or thought through. If it has been thought through, then this is many times expressed starting with the words, “effective…efficient…,” which is what I would call the management spiel. These are not answers that will motivate or galvanise employees and teams to support and adopt a change. More →

Will employees return to the office to save on energy bills this winter?

Will employees return to the office to save on energy bills this winter?

An isolated house in the night poses the question whether people want to heat a home officeThis winter will be tough for many UK households. Rising energy bills are driving a huge upswing in inflation, causing real incomes to fall as the cost of living goes up. And despite the UK Government’s announcement that energy prices will be ‘capped’ at an average of £2,500 per year, the Bank of England believes inflation will remain high for at least the next two years. According to government estimates, a £2,500 energy bill is almost double the average household’s energy bill in 2021. And as employees continue to work from their home office regularly, energy consumption is likely to rise. More →

Generations in the workplace: setting the record straight

Generations in the workplace: setting the record straight

A middle aged man and a younger male colleague sit in comfortable chairs having a conversation to illustrate a conversation between generations of workersIf there were an algorithm to create a word cloud in response to searches for ‘What millennials want in the workplace?’, you’d expect to see Google spew out terms such as ‘flexibility’, ‘meaning’, ‘fairness’, ‘equality’, ‘inclusivity’, ‘opportunity’, ‘connections’, ‘socialising’ and ‘experience’. Do the same with ‘Gen Z’ replacing ‘millennials’ and – guess what – you’ll see the exact same word cloud, although perhaps in a different colour and order so you don’t think it’s based on the same homogeneous assumptions about younger generations. More →

There is no F in work

There is no F in work

Neil Usher is an energetic, wiry critic of workplaces and offices. Long ago – in 2018, actually – his proposal that the good office is composed of 12 simple elements, beginning with daylight, was also energetic and wiry. Here he widens out from the delicious nitty-gritties of temperature control and lighting in The Elemental Workplace to the wider phenomenon of work. As the title already suggests, the style is laden with expletives: there are no fewer than 25 mentions of the word ‘crap’. He is withering, too, about the ‘easiest fat-arsed squatting duck of targets, the hapless office, with its rituals and theatrics’. On top of a fresh, Elemental-style bow to the nostrum of inclusion, there is a critique of management fads, but also reference made to (white male) privilege, plus, in a lofty manner, ‘our essentially Stone Age cognitive wiring’.

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The Great Workplace Debate continues to improve (mostly)

The Great Workplace Debate continues to improve (mostly)

The great bandwagon of bullshit that is the home v office debate looks set to trundle into a third year. What is increasingly obvious is that it is the mainstream media that is holding the reins and refusing to release them. Here’s a BBC story from this week that doesn’t exactly mischaracterise the Microsoft report on which it is based, but does place the emphasis where it doesn’t need to be. The binary headline doesn’t help, of course, except to launder the idea and drive a needless wave of social media chatter. More →

What effect will the Employment Bill have on hybrid working?

What effect will the Employment Bill have on hybrid working?

hybrid workingThe long-awaited Employment Bill may be published later this year. The draft Bill, first introduced in the Queen’s speech in 2019, was put on hold and repeatedly delayed due to the impact of COVID-19. There is some confusion around what the change to flexible working will entail should the Employment Bill come into force. In the Queen’s speech, as set out in the Conservative’s manifesto earlier that year, it was announced that the proposal was to make flexible working the default position unless an employer had a ‘good reason’ not to allow it. This proposal would have been a radical change in favour of employees as flexible working would become an automatic right – thereby weakening an employer’s ability to push back on hybrid working requests. More →

Getting working culture right is essential to hiring, supporting and retaining workers

Getting working culture right is essential to hiring, supporting and retaining workers

working cultureAs workers continue to adjust workstyles to fit with their new priorities, a PwC survey reveals nearly two-thirds of workers are on the hunt for a new job. Many employers are scrambling for strategies to attract top talent and retain their employees. But actively developing working culture and designing new ways to secure the best talent and look after it requires first listening and reacting to the impact the changing work landscape is having on employees’ mental and physical health, as well as understanding and prioritising new and sought-after benefits. More →

The wellbeing of parents should be a greater concern for employers

The wellbeing of parents should be a greater concern for employers

wellbeingA recent Oxford University study revealed that levels of stress, anxiety and depression unsurprisingly rose in parents and carers during the pandemic lockdowns. Although social restrictions have now lifted, the recovery from the significant mental impact will continue to take parents some time. Now, more than ever, organisations have a key role in remedying stress and burnout and supporting working parents’ wellbeing. More →

Calling time on the quiet quitting hysteria

Calling time on the quiet quitting hysteria

quiet quittingIn a 2002 speech, the author Michael Crichton coined the term Gell-Mann Amnesia effect, after the physicist Murray Gell-Mann. He used it to describe a particular phenomenon in which experts in a given field will believe news and opinions in the media, even though they know the same media can be spectacularly unreliable on matters related to their own area of expertise. More →

Remote work and the things we have learned about it

Remote work and the things we have learned about it

remote workTwo plus years after the onset of the pandemic and many employees are continuing to work remotely, either full or part-time. We know that the ability to work remotely increases employee happiness by as much as 20 percent, but employees will tend to work longer hours and are more likely to experience burnout. The debate over whether remote work is “better” than being in an office is reductive and misses critical nuances around hybrid work models. More →

Understanding employee wellbeing in the fight for talent

Understanding employee wellbeing in the fight for talent

wellbeingThe pivot to remote work over the past few years has undoubtedly had its benefits, with many of us finding new ways to be productive and collaborate with our peers. This includes taking advantage of new workplace trends such as ‘workcations’, where people can work from another country, flexible working, and four-day work weeks where possible. Yet, this preference to work flexibly blurs the distinction between life and work, which will ultimately take its toll on the mental health and wellbeing of employees. More →

Every workplace innovation contains the seeds of its opposite

Every workplace innovation contains the seeds of its opposite

workplace innovationThe announcement by Apple that it wanted its employees to work in an office for three days a week sparked the usual, tedious pile-on about how many days people should spend in a physical workplace each week. This included the columnist at Grazia who joins the tens of millions of people around the world who not only know where Apple is going wrong, but also how to run every other organisation in the world and what’s best for everybody who works for them. More →

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