Workplaces still do not support collaborative work as well as they should

Workplaces still do not support collaborative work as well as they should

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collaborative workA near universal 91 percent of UK workers believe collaborative work with colleagues is essential for their productivity and creativity, yet nearly three-quarters of them work in traditional, enclosed spaces non-conducive to active participation and spontaneity according to new research from Steelcase. The report claims that team-based work is fundamental to modern businesses with 55 percent of the UK spending their time working with others but workspaces are actually unable to support collaborative work. More →

The agile workplace: try to catch the wind

The agile workplace: try to catch the wind

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Wheatfield with Crows depicts the pointlessness of trying to capture agile workIn the chilly hours and minutes, of uncertainty sang Donovan in ‘Catch the Wind’. That’s us, arriving at the agile workplace. We are all Donovan. The comment was recently made on Twitter that agile is “as natural as the wind”. Seemingly however, the anxiety and frustration generated by our experiences are proving as impossible as catching it. Change programmes issue us with a metaphorical bag to catch it in. Where the problem seems bigger we get given a proportionally bigger bag, forgetting the problem of mass.

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Drawing back the curtain on the new workplace

Drawing back the curtain on the new workplace

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It’s a shame that Rhymer Rigby’s piece in The Times on creativity at work is behind a paywall because it says something perfectly obvious and demonstrable about workplace creativity that more people should read. The gist is that a cult has grown up around creativity that should be subject to more scrutiny and we should stop thinking about all work as the potential outlet for the creative instincts of people who may not have any, may not work in a job that involves them or who may not want to express them during their shifts in the Amazon warehouse. More →

Workplace design in a new age of reason

Workplace design in a new age of reason

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Workplace design needs to recapture the principles of the enlightenmentThe enduring but changing struggle to improve the working conditions and performance of people through workplace design and management has more than a whiff of the Enlightenment of the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries about it. The Enlightenment marked a new era in which the old superstitions and dogmas were to be overthrown by pure reason.

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Life at the coalface: How the agile workplace first appeared in the mid 20th Century

Life at the coalface: How the agile workplace first appeared in the mid 20th Century

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agile working began in the coal fields of NottinghamshireThe idea of diffusion of innovation has become so embedded in our culture, and most recently so associated with the adoption of new technology, that we might assume it happens in predictable ways. The steps between innovators, early adopters, early majority, late majority, and laggards seem intuitive and certain even when their peaks might be unsure. And yet history teaches us that sometimes new ideas can take years or even decades to take hold, even when they are potentially world-changing and relevant for the era in which they were formulated. More →

BCO issues final call for 2020 Awards

BCO issues final call for 2020 Awards

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BCO AwardsSome things in life come around quickly, the changing of the clocks, birthdays, Christmas music in supermarkets – and the British Council for Offices (BCO) Awards deadline. Just four weeks remain for wannabe winners to submit their applications, with the call for entry closing at 5pm on Friday 29th November 2019. The BCO claims that its National Awards sets the standard for excellence across the office sector in the UK, attracting over 1,300 property professionals on the evening, as they hope to take home the National Award for their category. Entrants will be judged by a regional panel of judges in the Spring, with each local winner going on to compete for the National title in October. More →

Open plan offices might improve performance of high status workers

Open plan offices might improve performance of high status workers

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open plan working at the Epicenter Coworking Space in StockholmManagers may believe their star performers don’t need monitoring when working on a team and may reason that leaving the most high status workers alone in their efforts frees up more time to work closely with other team members. But research coauthored by Sebastien Brion of IESE Business School and published in Management Science Journal claims that this may be a mistake and so counterproductive and that the performance of high status workers might improve with greater visibility including that offered by open plan offices. More →

Bisley and Boss Design announce new partnership for France

Bisley and Boss Design announce new partnership for France

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Furniture manufacturers Bisley and Boss Design has announced a new partnership which will see Bisley having the distribution rights for all Boss products in France. Together, Bisley and Boss will be able to showcase British manufacturing excellence and provide a full and versatile range of office solutions and experiences for the French market. More →

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 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 studied carelessness of agile workplaces

The studied carelessness of agile workplaces

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A model of agile workplaces at Sedus in DogernIn recent years we have grown very fond of borrowing foreign words to describe some of the more difficult to express ideas about wellbeing and work. We’ve adopted Eudaimonia from the Ancient Greek of Aristotle to describe the nuances of wellbeing, happiness and purpose. We went nuts briefly for the Scandinavian idea of hygge to describe a copy and laid-back approach to life that we felt we’d been lacking. More →

UK and Irish law firms lead the way in adoption of agile working

UK and Irish law firms lead the way in adoption of agile working

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agile working at law firmsUK based law firms lead the way in the adoption of agile working, according to a new report from CBRE which looks at the workplace strategies of major legal practices across EMEA regions. CBRE’s Law in EMEA report offers what it claims is the first ever benchmark analysis of the legal sector internationally. Although the report suggests that agile design principles are shown to be strongly associated with lower rents per person in local markets, there is limited take up of this approach amongst legal firms outside the UK.

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The key to wellbeing at work is focusing on the individual

The key to wellbeing at work is focusing on the individual

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An abstract take on wellbeing at workIt gets more apparent as each day passes that the layout of an office can have a profound impact on wellbeing at work. While this knowledge is more widespread than it once was, it’s still common to see companies addressing the issue with simple box-ticking exercises rather than taking into consideration the actual wants and needs of employees.

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