The unexpected benefits of not saying sorry

The unexpected benefits of not saying sorry

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sorry blackboardOn October 5th 2018, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda and Morrisons said sorry about something on social media 151 times between them. There were no product recalls. It was just a normal day on corporate social media. I picked that date because it just happened to be the same day that Topshop apologised for removing a feminist book display and it made for a handy comparison. The book display apology got the headlines, but in the shadows of Topshop’s high-profile faux pas, four of Britain’s largest retailers were busy asking forgiveness too. More →

People work better with robots when they see them as teammates

People work better with robots when they see them as teammates

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robotsWe might not be able to control our emotions towards robots metallic but fear not. We perform all the better as a team for it. No longer the realm of the privileged US military, robotic technology is edging into households and workplaces at a keen pace. At work, robots prop up teams across a diverse range of industries, often taking on the more dangerous or otherwise challenging tasks. More →

Workplace trust is hard earned but essential

Workplace trust is hard earned but essential

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Trust is essential in the workplaceTrust is a tough trait to control and manage. Often, people are reluctant to put their full trust in someone simply because they like to be in control of their actions. Other times, people spend months and years building up a rapport with someone only to find themselves exploited at the last minute, which completely breaks down whatever relationship they might have had.

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Organisations must meet needs of young parents or risk failure

Organisations must meet needs of young parents or risk failure

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Organisations face a problem that could impact their very survival. Parents want to be supported by their employers during the transition to becoming working parents, but organisations are currently ill-equipped to deal with parental leave, or to keep people engaged throughout it. In a world of relentless change, companies failing to react to and meet the expectations of this part of their workforce risk disaster. More →

Working hours and the truth about the demands we meet

Working hours and the truth about the demands we meet

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As reported recently, Labour’s John McDonnell says that his party would introduce a 32-hour working week. Very French. What’s more, he states that this should not impact on people’s wages because ‘People should work to live, not live to work’. Don’t disagree there. However, for a vast number of workers this isn’t viable; especially in the knowledge economy. Admittedly, there will be people in factories, call centres, etc who will be relieved at the prospect of fewer working hours and more hours with loved ones. More →

A new approach to office design is redefining property

A new approach to office design is redefining property 0

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office designAt the end of the 18th Century it was becoming apparent that overpopulation was something the human race would need to address for perhaps the first time. Advances in technology and the urbanisation that followed the Industrial Revolution had created a new set of challenges. These were most famously laid out in a 1798 book called An Essay on the Principle of Population, written by an English cleric called Thomas Malthus.

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The art of arranging the world so we do not have to experience it

The art of arranging the world so we do not have to experience it

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If you’re a man, each morning as you leave the house you probably perform the bleary-eyed pocket patting ritual that, after a shower, shave and a cup of tea is your sole reassurance that you are in any way prepared for the day ahead. The thinking is that if you’re clean, caffeinated, your flies are up and you’ve got your keys, wallet and phone, you can take pretty much anything the world can throw at you. More →

Breaking free of the linearity of modern work

Breaking free of the linearity of modern work

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We are working hard, but not smart. Research released by the TUC in April shows that UK workers are putting in the longest hours in the EU, but this isn’t translating into improved productivity. In fact, the research shows employees in Denmark put in over four hours less than UK workers – whilst productivity in Denmark is 23.5 percent higher than the UK. More →

Agile workplaces need to strike the right balance

Agile workplaces need to strike the right balance

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Meeting rooms in agile workspacesMeeting rooms are a lot like buses. You wait ages for one and then three become available all at once. Sometimes none turn up at all. Research by Kinnarps, which we do as part our Next Office consultancy, has found something that might not come as a great surprise. Employees are deeply frustrated with the lack of meeting room availability, often even in agile workplaces, especially locked-down project rooms. More →

Ergonomics regs are still relevant in the age of agile work

Ergonomics regs are still relevant in the age of agile work

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Ergonomics in play at Diageo Singapore with Flokk chairsRecently Mark Eltringham of Insight argued that ergonomics regulations have become something of an anachronism in recent years. When I first became involved in the workplace ergonomics industry in late 1992, the new Display Screen Equipment ’computer user’ guidance was about to be given the force of law through the introduction of the DSE Regulations. These regulations were updated again in 2002 but, since then, no changes have been made. More →

Who watches the workplace watchmen?

Who watches the workplace watchmen?

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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 →

The office of the future should be circular

The office of the future should be circular

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The WWF Living Planet Centre gives a taste of the office of the futureMinimising the impact of business on the wider environment is no longer a ‘nice to have’ but a business imperative. Pressure is coming from all stakeholders including employees, investors, customers and clients, government and the media. According to the Leadership in Corporate Sustainability – European Report 2018, three quarters of European business leaders believe that ignoring sustainability will affect their company’s ability to create long-term value. More →

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