A rail network carrying people on blurred lines into the future of work

A rail network carrying people on blurred lines into the future of work

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The UK rail industry has a somewhat ambiguous relationship with the idea of remote working. While the business case for the controversial HS2 rail line was until recently predicated on the remarkable assumption that people don’t work on trains (now replaced by another set of assumptions to get to the numbers it needs for politicians […]

The Wall Street Journal (and others) are wrong about human resources

The Wall Street Journal (and others) are wrong about human resources

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Everybody ready? Great. Then it’s time for another round of HR bashing and a tipping point for more existential navel-gazing for everyone’s favourite corporate pantomime villain – the human resources department. Or is it? You can choose your own particular moment at which the crowd boos and hisses at the bad guys in HR, but […]

Can building design presage a fall from grace for the world’s tech giants?

Can building design presage a fall from grace for the world’s tech giants?

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At the movies, buildings are often used to denote hubris. The ambitions and egos of Charles Foster Kane and Scarface are embodied in the pleasure domes and gilded cages they erect to themselves. Of course, things then invariably go badly wrong. In the real world too, monstrous edifices have often presaged a crash. The UK’s […]

Remove flexible working stigma to improve women’s career chances says report

Remove flexible working stigma to improve women’s career chances says report

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Employers need to stop viewing female progression as a diversity issue and see the promotion of women in the workplace as a core business priority. This is according to a major new report by charity Opportunity Now, which surveyed 23,000 women between the ages of 28 and 40 as well as 2,000 men, to try […]

When worlds collide: a preview of the Salone Internationale del Mobile in Milan

When worlds collide: a preview of the Salone Internationale del Mobile in Milan

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Don’t even think about going to Milan for a break at this time of year – you probably won’t get a hotel room. Every year the Salone Internationale del Mobile (International Furniture Fair) and Milan Design Week ensure that hotels are full despite room rates soaring for the duration of this world class exhibition. Salone […]

Google’s new Amsterdam office exposes Tech’s youthful obsessions

Google’s new Amsterdam office exposes Tech’s youthful obsessions

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Back in the 1990s, when Frank Duffy was one of the august handful of people popularising notions of a changing approach to office design, he categorised four models of the workplace that he foresaw would come to reflect the work done in them, namely the den, cell, hive and club. Back then, the word ‘club’ […]

Design of the Year shortlist contrasts what is practical with what is possible

Design of the Year shortlist contrasts what is practical with what is possible

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A great many of us pay architecture and design very little attention until it’s too late and we’re confronted with the workings of a mind that doesn’t consider whether just because we could really means we should. The kind of mind that designs a building that melts cars on the street or one with wind […]

The enduring need to put a bit more of the M into facilities management

The enduring need to put a bit more of the M into facilities management

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It may well be a statement of the obvious, but it’s worth reminding ourselves sometimes that the term facilities management consists of two words. There is often a bit too much emphasis on the facilities and a bit too little on the management and sometimes we look for design and product solutions to problems that […]

The workplace should be designed for (and by) people, not robots

The workplace should be designed for (and by) people, not robots

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From existential and dystopian fears expressed through books and films, we have long had an uneasy relationship with the idea of automatons and artificial intelligence. The UKCES saw robotics and automation as significant enough to include in it’s recent report on the future of work and the risks to jobs are very real based even on […]

Why work should be a key focus in improving our happiness

Why work should be a key focus in improving our happiness

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The iOpener Institute for People & Performance is an official partner of the UN International Day of Happiness, which took place this week. Here, iOpener’s Joint CEOs Jessica Pryce-Jones & Julia Lindsay explain why work should be a key focus of improving happiness. The UN International Day of Happiness is designed to recognize that ‘progress’ is […]

European executives overconfident about their ability to manage change

European executives overconfident about their ability to manage change

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There are a number of casual truisms about the modern workplace that everybody accepts to the point they become clichéd. But knowing something and knowing what to do about it can be two completely different things. While we might all agree that ‘change is a constant’ and the ‘main driver of change is technology’, both […]

What the UK regional divide can teach us about the way we design offices

What the UK regional divide can teach us about the way we design offices

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In the BBC documentary Mind the Gap, Evan Davis asks why London has an economy that is larger than and different to those of other UK cities, but also getting bigger and more differentiated. One of the main reasons he finds for this is something called agglomeration; the more skilled people you can put within […]

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