Neurodiversity measures do not hold up in the present culture

Neurodiversity measures do not hold up in the present culture

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Until recently, the phrase ‘What’s neurodiversity?’ was a question I was frequently asked, often accompanied by a bit of a nervous stare. Fortunately, this is now changing, and thanks to continued research, community activism and representation in the media, people leaders now understand that neurodiversity means a unique talent to be tapped – not something to be avoided. More →

What the humble avocado can teach us about why we will always work in offices

What the humble avocado can teach us about why we will always work in offices

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From the archive. Originally published in 2013. People have been talking about the death of the office for at least a quarter of a century. Leaving aside the often misleading conflation of flexible working with homeworking that is often involved, the underlying premise of such talk has been the same for all of that time. The main argument is, and always was, that there is an alternative to the tedium, aggravation and expense of travelling to an office solely to work inside its hermetically sealed and fluorescent-lit, blue-carpeted interior alongside people who can drive you spare, before you schlep home again. More →

From the archive: The future of work will be defined by a harmony of people and technology

From the archive: The future of work will be defined by a harmony of people and technology

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the future of workOriginally published November 26, 2019. As modern-day employees and consumers, technology has become so commonplace that it now impacts almost every aspect of our lives – both personally and professionally. We can now communicate with whomever we want, wherever we want with the simple click of a button or tap of a smartphone. We can also automate mundane workplace tasks, and even customise software to our hearts’ content. This is not the future of work but the present. More →

Reshaping ourselves to fit in a new era for work

Reshaping ourselves to fit in a new era for work

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Making a splash at workThe ethical, practical and philosophical implications of how we live alongside new forms of technology is something we will have to address very soon. It is a point well made in this conversation between Kate Darling of MIT and the neuroscientist Sam Harris. But we’ve had parts of this conversation before. For example, while most people will not have read the book from which it came, those with an interest in work, workplaces and their links with our happiness (or perceived lack of it) will know that the British philosopher Bertrand Russell once famously said that “one of the symptoms of approaching nervous breakdown is the belief that one’s work is terribly important”.

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From the archive: We shouldn’t rely on narrow ideas to define flexible working

From the archive: We shouldn’t rely on narrow ideas to define flexible working

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flexible workingThis piece was originally published five years ago. While we now read it with different eyes, what is interesting is how the ideas have stood up. Some better than others perhaps but a welcome reminder that the conversations we are now having about life after lockdown began some time ago. One of the particular and often unspoken issues that shadows in any debate about flexible working is what we mean by the term. We’ve been talking about new ways of working for a good quarter of a century now and what is generally understood about the practice has evolved considerably. The very idea was conceived at the birth of the new online era so is inextricably tied up with the Internet and new technology. More →

A just in time lesson about office design

A just in time lesson about office design

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The nascent years of new ways of working in the late 80s and early 90s coincided with a widely held but soon to be discarded belief that the Japanese had cracked management practices. So it was perhaps inevitable that the principles of a process called just in time manufacturing – most famously applied in the factories of Toyota – should migrate to new forms of office design the rapidly developing practice of flexible working.

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An opportunity to take business relationships with charities to a new level

An opportunity to take business relationships with charities to a new level

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COVID-19 can be a catalyst for transforming how businesses and charities collaborate, with significant benefits for both. Companies and charities working together is nothing new. For many years Corporate Social Responsibility has had a place on the business agenda, as a means of doing some good while boosting companies’ reputations in the process. More →

Organisations should seize this opportunity to look at their values

Organisations should seize this opportunity to look at their values

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Not since 911 has one event triggered such global impact and uncertainty across all businesses and industries. The unprecedented speed and scale of organisational change has challenged even the prepared leadership team. More →

We need to talk more about how we get to work in the first place

We need to talk more about how we get to work in the first place

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More and more politicians and business leaders are keen to see the UK ease lockdown and begin a move towards returning to work. Is it’s too early to plan the exit from lockdown? Maybe. But either way, the general chatter about what a post COVID19 will look has predictably fanned the debate about how workplace will cope. It is a good debate, with valid ideas shared by the likes of Antony Slumbers, Neil Usher and others. More →

The lockdown gives us a chance to reconsider business ethics

The lockdown gives us a chance to reconsider business ethics

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The past few weeks have been a time of extreme disruption and tension caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, but there has been a sliver of good news – people around the world have been quick to notice the environmental benefits of people remaining in their homes. More →

We should be addressing the why of the return to work as much as the how

We should be addressing the why of the return to work as much as the how

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As we anticipate a return to relative normality post lockdown (whenever that may be), workplace strategy is a hot topic. In considering how we respond to new challenges let’s make sure we keep sight of the big picture. We need to address immediate issues whilst exploiting new opportunities to reinforce and expedite our established strategic direction. Choice and flexibility are central to the wider business reform agenda and should remain our touchstones. More →

Workplace design and the corrective force of rediscovery

Workplace design and the corrective force of rediscovery

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rediscovering workplace designIt has become something of a preoccupation of mine to consider why so many of the conversations we hold about workplace design are largely about the rediscovery of old ideas. It may be because there are constants about how people interact with their surroundings and each other and the truisms underlying those interactions. Although these are often reframed by the amount of data we now have to support them, some things never change. More →

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