Hybrid working: too few companies are making the workplace changes they need

Hybrid working: too few companies are making the workplace changes they need

hybrid working and office designAt a recent Women in Office Design event on the subject of hybrid working and workplace change, the founder of WOD Harsha Kotak posed a question which I thought was extremely important but often goes unasked. “Whilst I have a great understanding of how the workplace landscape will change”, she said, “are companies making these changes?” This is a brilliantly relevant question because in my opinion based on my research and experience of the past year and a half, not enough companies are. More →

A burst of technological innovation is reshaping the future of work

A burst of technological innovation is reshaping the future of work

future of workEven as we begin to glimpse the light at the end of the tunnel of the pandemic, evidence suggests that many workers want to carry over the working flexibility that the pandemic afforded into the post-pandemic world and a new future of work. Namely, employees are wanting to adopt a ‘mixed’ working style – spending time both working in the workplace, enjoying the office’s many benefits, as well as spending some time during the week working from home. A YouGov poll suggests that close to 40 percent of employees wish to continue to work from home some of the time post-pandemic – a fact that is supported by CIPD research. More →

Just two weeks to go until the inaugural Workspace Design Show

Just two weeks to go until the inaugural Workspace Design Show

In just two weeks, the much-anticipated Workspace Design Show will open its doors for the first time, welcoming the commercial interiors community to discover and discuss tomorrow’s places of work at London’s Business Design Centre from 4-5 November 2021. More →

Shift to hybrid working highlights the value of weak ties

Shift to hybrid working highlights the value of weak ties

hybrid workingSomething we can expect to hear a lot about in the near future is the power of weak ties. It’s a well-established idea in sociology, anthropology, and social network analysis theory. But it’s about to be invigorated as a way of thinking about workplaces in the wake of two major peer-reviewed studies into the effects of remote work and hybrid working on people and the way they work with each other. According to the most widely cited paper on the subject of relationships, Mark Granovetter’s The Power of Weak Ties, The relationships between people can be categorised as strong, weak or absent. The latter is self-explanatory. Strong ties exist between people who are related, friend or who interact on a day to day basis. More →

Office furniture makers are getting creative about the environment

Office furniture makers are getting creative about the environment

Office furniture gets greenerI was reminded the other day of the instructions on a bottle of shampoo I once used which said, simply: “Wash, rinse and repeat.” Why? I’ve just washed my hair. Why do I need to repeat? It’s a bit like that old adage about how to sell more toothpaste, by widening the hole it comes out of, because we all still instinctively try to cover the whole of the brush head, however thick the line of paste. More →

The way we talk about hybrid working can reflect a failure of imagination

The way we talk about hybrid working can reflect a failure of imagination

hybrid working is not the only option we haveThe events of the last 18 months have given us a once in a generation opportunity to reinvent work. Our generation can create a discontinuity between the assumptions of the past and the opportunities of the future. To capitalise on these opportunities though we have to dispense with the assumptions we hold about work and the places where work takes place, including many of the assumptions we hold about hybrid working. We have to re-examine the purpose of the office and what form it might conceivably take in the future before we can decide if it has any place in our plans. More →

Progress depends on heterodox thought and difficult questions

Progress depends on heterodox thought and difficult questions

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 and drew the greatest minds in the world to share ideas, innovate and explore ancient sources of science and wisdom from Greek and Persian texts. Muslim, Jewish, Christian and atheist scholars worked together to advance human understanding until a slow decline culminated with a later Caliph declaring that its diversity of thought should bow to a literal interpretation of the Quran and Hadith.

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The underlying problems with the way we think about work

The underlying problems with the way we think about work

people and workAn idea that has never really gone away, but which seems to be enjoying a new lease of life is the tabula rasa. The conception of people as a blank slate is something a that has crept back into mainstream political and social thought for a variety of reasons. Arguably, it is also behind many of the most misleading notions about work and workplace design, perhaps most importantly that a change to some single element or characteristic of a working environment will lead to a specific outcome in the behaviour of people. More →

A divine spark of inspiration for office occupiers and designers

A divine spark of inspiration for office occupiers and designers

Organisations are having to rethink the form and function of their offices in ways unprecedented in their relatively short history. And perhaps the biggest challenge is to create places to work that reflect the organisation’s culture and the needs of the people who work there (some of the time). One possible framework for aligning an office design model with the culture of the organisation is presented in a supplement published in the current issue of IN Magazine called Gods of Work. Published in partnership with Modus, it draws on management and organisational theory and established models of office design to suggest solutions to some of the challenges facing organisations as they rethink the way they work. The office of the future for most organisations will be smaller, but much better and we hope this becomes an invaluable guide for those setting out on that path.

The truth about the workplace comes out of the well

The truth about the workplace comes out of the well

The debate about the workplace and the future of work gets more interesting by the week. In the last few days alone, I’ve listened in on three great speakers talking about the opportunities, challenges, nuances and complexities of it all in a way that has been all but impossible in the past 18 months. In addition, Nigel Oseland has published his new book on people-centred work. Jo Owen’s new book on hybrid working is similarly a breath of fresh air on that particular subject. More →

Workspace Design Show 2021 opens in less than two months

Workspace Design Show 2021 opens in less than two months

In less than two months, Workspace Design Show will open its doors, welcoming the commercial interiors community to discover and discuss tomorrow’s places of work at London’s Business Design Centre from 4-5 November 2021. More →

Developing a future of work strategy depends on asking the right questions

Developing a future of work strategy depends on asking the right questions

future of work strategyThe rapid changes to our working lives caused by the global pandemic have prompted a great deal of debate about the future of work, the workplace and corporate real estate generally. At the highest levels of management within many organisations, leaders are now reflecting on their experiences and asking searching questions about their ways of working. More →

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