Who watches the workplace watchmen?

Who watches the workplace watchmen?

an eye on the workplaceOne of the world’s best known and most enduring foundational psychological experiments does not appear to be as clear cut as we commonly think. It was back in 1961 that a team led by the American psychologist Stanley Milgram asked a number of ordinary people to administer what they believed to be increasingly high levels of electric shocks to a person in another room while listening to their responses. More →

Office design will respond to the events of this year as it always has – by getting better

Office design will respond to the events of this year as it always has – by getting better

office designYou may have heard that history repeats itself, but that’s not really true. It doesn’t repeat. It rhymes. And nowhere is this more true than when it comes to office design. It’s worth bearing this in mind when we consider the effects of the events of 2020. Not only the pandemic and lockdown, but also the longer term economic, social and individual consequences. The details of this may be unprecedented, as many people have suggested, but the dynamics of it are not. We have not been here before, but we’ve been somewhere very like it. More →

As a workplace professional, how many hats do you wear to work?

As a workplace professional, how many hats do you wear to work?

Throughout your time being with a company, have more responsibilities been added to your typical workday that were not expected originally? Did you offer to help with something outside of your job, then have it become part of your daily duties? If so, you’re not alone. Companies often look for ways to save money, and sometimes that means piling work on people who are already on the roster.  Wearing many hats at work happens often, but how does it impact the employees that carry the extra burden? In a new study, ZenBusiness – a company that helps people start, run, and grow their own business – asked more than 1,000 current employees about the various functions they serve, what they think is fair, and how workloads have changed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. More →

The workplace has reached an inflection point as it adjusts to new realities

The workplace has reached an inflection point as it adjusts to new realities

workplaceWe can confidently say this is a new era for the workplace. Covid-19 has forced a radical rethink about the purpose of the office and its role in reaffirming company culture. Enlightened property directors are resisting knee-jerk responses to predictions that Covid spells the demise of the office including the wholesale migration to home-working. Instead, they are challenging plans to dramatically downsize the workplace and corporate real estate. They are also acutely aware that distancing, transmission and sanitisation are here for the long-haul. This will continue to have a profound impact on occupancy levels and the interactions that are necessary for business success. More →

An unexpected partnership: How tech and business leaders can learn from each other

An unexpected partnership: How tech and business leaders can learn from each other

One of the biggest issues across technology industries over the last few years has been the failure of business teams, who design and manage processes, to partner effectively with their tech teams to deliver and understand the technology needed to support the business’ vision. More →

What do we need offices for anyway? The Greeks had a word for it

What do we need offices for anyway? The Greeks had a word for it

offices - what is going onThe Greek word anagnorisis describes the sense of having just caught up with a truth that was always waiting for you. It’s a common literary and artistic device found in the plots of everything from Oedipus Rex to Macbeth, Star Wars and Fight Club, but it’s also a word that conveys a useful, complex idea that does not have an adequate English version. The mot juste, if you like. And it’s a useful idea when it comes to framing the current conversation we are having about offices and work more generally. More →

Time for businesses to establish more meaningful wellbeing initiatives

Time for businesses to establish more meaningful wellbeing initiatives

wellbeing at workOver the years, mental health has become a prominent feature of wellbeing initiatives in many businesses, but especially in the wake of the pandemic. However, our research has found that more than half of the UK workforce (54 percent) do not feel that mental health benefits are a priority in their organisation. This is despite half of workers believing that mental health benefits are essential post-COVID-19. More →

What (nearly) everybody gets wrong about work and the coronavirus

What (nearly) everybody gets wrong about work and the coronavirus

You’ve probably read and heard dozens, or even hundreds, of different viewpoints about the effect of the pandemic on the world of work. Most of them (until recently perhaps) have dished up one of the two binary options as part of a zero-sum game. Many are based on hackneyed ideas and expressed as clichés. More →

The magical limits of workplace design

The magical limits of workplace design

workplace design like a rabbit in a hatDerren Brown is clearly on to something. And if you’ve read his books you’ll know that what he’s on to is finding ways to tap in to our fascination with how our thoughts and actions can be manipulated using some well-defined and researched techniques and principles. Add in some showmanship and what you have is something that is indistinguishable from magic. It also gas something to say about some of the ways we think about workplace design and management.

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The stage is set for the next phase of working life

The stage is set for the next phase of working life

The debate about the effects of the pandemic on working life appears to have entered its next phase. Don’t ask me to define it precisely because I’m still coming to terms with the others. But here it is. More →

No need to sideline form in our quest for function

No need to sideline form in our quest for function

The enduring struggle to improve the working conditions and performance of people through the design and management of workplaces carries more than a whiff of the Enlightenment, a period in which pure reason was seen by its proponents as more than enough to convince the world of the ways in which we could improve the human condition. It’s a battle that was won in some ways but which endures. More →

Time to get on board with the psychological effects of working from home

Time to get on board with the psychological effects of working from home

It almost goes without saying that this year has seen a rapid shift towards remote working, with many companies now moving to a flexible working model. From a business perspective, many employees are proving that they can still get their work done working from home. But what is the psychological impact of this? And are companies doing enough to research and prevent any negative psychological effects of remote working? More →

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