Problems with noise at work? A lot of it is in our heads

Problems with noise at work? A lot of it is in our heads

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When it comes to working in an office, hell really can be other people. Many staff can have enormous difficulties coming to terms with the sounds that form the backdrop to their working day, especially if they work in open plan areas. The problem of noise at work is particularly acute right now because most […]

Sleeping on the job is now acceptable behaviour

Sleeping on the job is now acceptable behaviour

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Recently, Cornerstone OnDemand tested which learning and training courses are of most interest and truly matter to employees to help them navigate the world of work. Among the top five most popular courses, there was a resounding demand for those that centred around wellbeing. And the training that claimed the top spot was ‘The Science […]

Ergonomics regulations are no longer fit for purpose

Ergonomics regulations are no longer fit for purpose

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The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there. We can apply LP Hartley’s legendary opening lines from his novel The Go Between to many of the ways the world of work has changed over the last quarter of a century. And perhaps especially to The European Display Screen Equipment Regulations which were […]

How Charles Handy changed the way we speak about the workplace

How Charles Handy changed the way we speak about the workplace

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There are writers whose language pervades our discourse so extensively that even those who have never heard of them will echo not only their sentiments but also their means of expression. One of these people is Charles Handy, who has just published his latest book 21 Letters on Life and its Challenges at the age […]

The importance of self care for mental health

The importance of self care for mental health

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Nobody can fail to notice that mental health is high on the agenda for companies, employers have increasing expectations of their employers as well as increasing momentum from organisations such as the Health & Safety Executive to treat mental health risks in the same way as physical health risks. There are many excellent solutions available […]

Diversifying hiring practices to bridge the skills gap

Diversifying hiring practices to bridge the skills gap

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Talent scarcity and the skills gap have become very real concerns in the UK. We are currently in a period of high employment, and at the same time, uncertainty surrounding Brexit has caused a reduction in immigrant labour, reducing the talent pool further. For accountancy, the skills gap issue is even more acute because it […]

The scale of the problem for workplace design

The scale of the problem for workplace design

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There is a typically telling and intelligent Pixar moment in the film A Bug’s Life in which an already well-lubricated mosquito goes up to a bar and orders a ‘Bloody Mary, O Positive’. The barman plonks a droplet of blood down on the bar. The mosquito sinks his proboscis into it, sucks it down in […]

The growing problem of work separation anxiety

The growing problem of work separation anxiety

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While it’s stated full-time working hours in the UK should be around 38-40 hours per week, today’s hyperconnected world means it’s easier than ever to be ‘on the clock’ outside this timeframe. Constant access to emails and the corresponding ‘telepressure’ to respond quickly to customers and colleagues means the line between ‘work time’ and ‘me […]

The theme park of modern office design

The theme park of modern office design

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Here’s an interesting exercise you may want to try. Off the top of your head and without thinking about it too much, write down the names of five iconic office furniture designs. The kind that your Aunt Sheila might recognise if she saw them but wouldn’t necessarily be able to name. When I did this […]

Closing the gender pay gap needs more than final ideas of Theresa May

Closing the gender pay gap needs more than final ideas of Theresa May

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Theresa May has spent her final few weeks in office trying to salvage a meaningful prime ministerial legacy from the long shadow of her failed Brexit strategy. Part of this effort is her plan to introduce 12 weeks’ paternity leave for new fathers, as part of her drive to reduce the UK’s gender pay gap. […]

Progress depends on heterodox thought and difficult questions

Progress depends on heterodox thought and difficult questions

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Between the 9th and 13th Centuries, the world’s intellectual centre and the source of much of its progress, discovery and achievement was Baghdad. This was the Muslim Golden Age and at its core was the House of Wisdom, established by the Caliph Harun al-Rashid. At one point, this library housed the largest collection of books on Earth […]

Isaac Asimov’s remarkable 1964 predictions about life and work in the 21st Century

Isaac Asimov’s remarkable 1964 predictions about life and work in the 21st Century

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Making predictions about the future can leave people hostages to fortune. Just ask the Decca record executive Dick Rowe who in 1962 rejected a contract with The Beatles confidently asserting that “guitar groups are on their way out, Mr Epstein” or even multi-billionaire Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer who declared in 2007 that “there’s no chance […]

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