The pursuit of happiness, lumpy tech, space science and some other stuff

The pursuit of happiness, lumpy tech, space science and some other stuff

Underlying most of the stuff you read about the workplace is the quest for happiness. Indeed happiness has become something of a preoccupation for those pondering the issue at the apex of social and economic thinking, as epitomised by Gallup with its latest World Happiness report. As always, the Gallup report stumbles over definitions of […]

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What a 90 year old study teaches us about flexible working and productivity

What a 90 year old study teaches us about flexible working and productivity

Flexible working has developed a reputation as something of a silver bullet for a range of workplace challenges. It is the perceived solution to almost any of the major workplace problems you care to mention, including the gender pay gap, work life balance, churn, property costs, staff engagement, personal autonomy, stress, physical wellbeing, productivity and […]

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Pressing self-destruct, a final solution to workplace noise, a broken psychological contract and some other stuff

Pressing self-destruct, a final solution to workplace noise, a broken psychological contract and some other stuff

I’ve never really wanted to go to MIPIM. I’m suspicious of it all for a number of reasons I won’t go into although you might reasonably guess what they are. So, I enjoyed this piece from Polly Plunket-Checkemian about her own misgivings. I understand that the testosterone level has been dialled down recently, but like […]

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How artificial intelligence changes occupant experience

How artificial intelligence changes occupant experience

If a robot received a signal that you had entered the building, it might bring you a fresh cup of coffee just as you reach your desk. If the front door recognised your face, it might unlock itself for you without requiring you to use a fob to gain access. If your desk knew you […]

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The role of workplace design in employee engagement

The role of workplace design in employee engagement

A great deal of current research and anecdotal evidence suggests that engaged employees are much less likely to leave their current organisation, are more productive and take less sick days that their disengaged colleagues. But according to a recent survey by Deloitte while 87 percent of organisations cite culture and engagement as one of their top challenges, […]

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Riffing on the issue of workplace design and creativity

Riffing on the issue of workplace design and creativity

We are often told that one of the main objectives of workplace design these days is to help people become more creative. Now, there are all sorts of complications bound up in this, not least the assumption that you can help or even will people to become more creative, especially in an environment that still […]

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Revisiting Maslow and the quest for self-actualisation

Revisiting Maslow and the quest for self-actualisation

Abraham Maslow was the 20th-century American psychologist best-known for explaining motivation through his hierarchy of needs, which he represented in a pyramid. At the base, our physiological needs include food, water, warmth and rest. Moving up the ladder, Maslow mentions safety, love, and self-esteem and accomplishment. But after all those have been satisfied, the motivating […]

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Filtering out the noise, the pathology of work, busy doin muffin and some other stuff

Filtering out the noise, the pathology of work, busy doin muffin and some other stuff

We might think that an inability to absorb the vast amount of information generated by our fellow humans and their machines is something of a modern phenomenon, but we’ve always known we can have too much of this particular good thing. Distringit librorum multitude, wrote Seneca in the First Century. An abundance of books is […]

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A four day week, people-watching at work, the art of AI and some other stuff

A four day week, people-watching at work, the art of AI and some other stuff

While the recent Finnish pilot of universal basic income had mixed results, a trial of the other most talked about solution to our problem with work – the four day week – has been reported as far more promising. A New Zealand financial services firm called Perpetual Guardian switched its 240 staff from a five-day […]

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When assessing workplace strategy: we should always test rather than guess

When assessing workplace strategy: we should always test rather than guess

Would an investor plow millions of dollars into a stock and never bother to track how the investment does? Of course not. Nor would they confuse the expected return on investment (ROI) with the actual results. We don’t guess about financial investments. We don’t base investment decisions on what some stranger does or how they […]

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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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