Amazon drops plans for HQ, judging others in the open plan, why people would rather electrocute themselves than sit and think and some other stuff

Amazon drops plans for HQ, judging others in the open plan, why people would rather electrocute themselves than sit and think and some other stuff

Why is it so hard to design a decent office space? demands this article in Quartz. It’s a fair enough question but probably the wrong one. It’s perfectly possible to design a decent (or adequate) office with a pen, paper and bag of presuppositions and many people have done exactly that. The real question is […]

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A worthwhile workplace trends list, permanent beta, nudge nudge, think think and some other stuff

A worthwhile workplace trends list, permanent beta, nudge nudge, think think and some other stuff

If there’s just one thing that makes my heart sink more precipitously than the word ‘trends’, it’s when it’s preceded by the words Top and Ten. So it’s nice to have been surprised by this list of workplace trends that displays the wherewithal and insight to call on those people in the sector who might […]

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A robot can do amazing things, but could it hold down a desk job?

A robot can do amazing things, but could it hold down a desk job?

A colleague of mine, a roboticist, recently proclaimed that if one could teleoperate the robot he developed in his lab, it could hold down a desk job. It’s a common sentiment among roboticists that existing mechanical hardware is sufficient to replace humans in many of the tasks by which we earn a living. Rather than […]

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UK cities joining the global movement to net zero building

UK cities joining the global movement to net zero building

The UK is joining a global drive towards a ‘net zero carbon’ future, with its biggest cities setting ambitious decarbonisation targets in an effort to reduce their impact on the environment. Manchester plans to be a carbon-neutral city by 2038, while Bristol aims for full decarbonisation by 2030. In London, all new buildings will be net zero […]

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Millennial headlines, eternal workplace truths, the pathologisation of sitting and some other stuff

Millennial headlines, eternal workplace truths, the pathologisation of sitting and some other stuff

The New York Times asked an interesting question this week. “Why Are Young People Pretending to Love Work?” it demanded, begging the immediate response ‘for the same reason everybody else does’. If only that pat, facetious response were enough to satisfy the actual questions concealed by the typically misleading headline. What the article actually wants […]

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The bumpy road to automation, dancing elephants, free beer and some other stuff

The bumpy road to automation, dancing elephants, free beer and some other stuff

The World Economic Forum’s Annual Summit in Davos offers the world’s elite the chance to rub shoulders and address important themes of capitalism and society. Its output has largely consisted of making assured noises about Big Subjects, and especially globalisation and the effects of technology on the economy, now typically framed around the current / […]

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The state of the workplace right now? Everywhere and nowhere, baby

The state of the workplace right now? Everywhere and nowhere, baby

My trade is to ask questions about the workplace then make sense of the answers. That has been a particular challenge with the question, ‘what are offices today?’ What seems clear is that the various actors in the workplace ecosystem look at offices through very different eyes. Urban planning and development professionals still view offices […]

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Robot delivery dogs, digital pollution, why tech firms like ping pong and some other stuff

Robot delivery dogs, digital pollution, why tech firms like ping pong and some other stuff

Today is officially* Blue Monday and instead of offering up an endless series of clickbait pieces telling you how to cope and make the day better for your colleagues, we’re turning our attention to more interesting things. Such as this recent piece arguing that our obsession with ‘millennials’ can cloud our perspective on more important […]

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The problem with predictions, the cult of Facebook, WeWork woes and some other stuff

The problem with predictions, the cult of Facebook, WeWork woes and some other stuff

If it makes you feel better about Blue Monday (today – ‘officially’ the year’s glummest day), it also marks the closure of the Predictions Window in my view. If somebody still has an unpublished list of forecasts for the coming year on their specialist topic, they’ve missed their chance. At least with us they have. […]

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Podcast: embracing the punk spirit and the elemental workplace

Podcast: embracing the punk spirit and the elemental workplace

Neil Usher is an experienced senior property, workplace, facilities and change management leader who is currently an executive consultant for Unispace and workessence. He is also the author of “The Elemental Workplace” in which he describes “the 12 elements for creating a fantastic workplace for everyone”. In this new podcast, I ask Neil about the […]

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No more blank slate, lots more workplace choice and some other stuff

No more blank slate, lots more workplace choice and some other stuff

The Christmas and New Year break can prove a burial ground for content. This is a shame because there is as much great stuff around at this time of year as any other. And just as much casual dross. The workplace sector retains its tendency to consume and parrot comfortable, simplistic narratives, in lieu of […]

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The ten most read stories on Workplace Insight for 2018

The ten most read stories on Workplace Insight for 2018

We can’t help but feel that the world caught up with us a bit during 2018. We’ve been talking about the intersection of people, place and tech since we started up five years ago. Of course, we weren’t even the first to do this. As we’ve always acknowledged, we’re standing on the shoulders of the […]

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