WeWork, false narratives and the superstate of office design

WeWork, false narratives and the superstate of office design

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WeWork New YorkSo, WeWork then. As the dust settles on whatever has happened, some lessons may be emerging. Many of them are presented in this comment in The Economist and this piece in The Intelligencer in which Scott Galloway of NYU Business School claims that the problems have been evident for a long time. He doesn’t hold back. More →

Workplace interruptions are not all bad

Workplace interruptions are not all bad

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An email pops up on your screen. It’s a client sharing a project update. A Slack message appears. It’s your boss asking a question. A text alert beeps. A colleague wants to know if you will be attending a meeting. Sound familiar? People are increasingly besieged at work by workplace interruptions through email, messaging apps, social media and in-person encounters. More →

The role of AI in creating a more human workplace

The role of AI in creating a more human workplace

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As artificial intelligence (AI) continues to infiltrate modern society, the benefits and pitfalls the technology receive almost peerless attention. The emergence of AI is of particular importance to how organisations might recruit, with clear signs that they are becoming more interested in the benefits it brings to their businesses.

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The four day week problem, WeWork delays IPO, harbingers of doom and some other stuff

The four day week problem, WeWork delays IPO, harbingers of doom and some other stuff

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It’s interesting to watch what happens when politicians – even more so than normal people – are faced with evidence they don’t like. And it’s especially interesting when they asked for the evidence in the first place. You can pick your own examples but it was interesting to note Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell’s immediate and decidedly lukewarm response to his own report into the wisdom of introducing a 4 day week, which concluded that the idea is ‘not realistic or even desirable’. More →

Life on the edge – a conversation with Sandra Gritti

Life on the edge – a conversation with Sandra Gritti

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Back in 2015 it was common to see one particular building described as the smartest, greenest and most intelligent in the world. This was the Edge in Amsterdam. There were some very good reasons why it was so well received. It achieved the highest BREEAM environmental rating ever recorded and generated all of its own energy. More →

Aping our robot overlords, Instagrammable buildings and some other stuff

Aping our robot overlords, Instagrammable buildings and some other stuff

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What happens to people when their skills become obsolete? If you’re not asking yourself this question already, you probably should. A new study from researchers at MIT and Wharton is the basis for this piece in Quartz at Work which considers the implications for what looks like a small technological change and its consequences for a large number of people who had to reset what they offered employers. More →

The role of gamification in workplace creativity

The role of gamification in workplace creativity

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<img src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/122852/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-advanced" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important; text-shadow: none !important" />Coming up with a good creative idea is hard. We do not fully understand how this process works, but there are certain techniques that have proved successful in fostering creativity, such as mind-mapping, brainstorming or creating conditions for free experimentation. Many big companies (such as design agencies) embrace these practices in the way they work. More →

Back to workplace basics, the joy and pain of work, squeezing people in and some other stuff

Back to workplace basics, the joy and pain of work, squeezing people in and some other stuff

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A coworking workplace in Chengdu by WeWorkLet’s get the inevitable WeWork story out of the way first. A supposed news item in Crain’s New York Business has claimed that WeWork is ‘squeezing’ people into half the space recommended in the BCO’s Specification Guide; “roughly the size of two standard doors laying side by side”. You can see the editorial cogs at work here, combining a story about WeWork with one about how people are crammed into the workplace like cattle these days.

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How a group of visionaries predicted the modern world

How a group of visionaries predicted the modern world

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<img src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/118134/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-advanced" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important; text-shadow: none !important" />From shamanic ritual to horoscopes, humans have always tried to predict the future. Today, trusting predictions and prophecies has become part of daily life. From the weather forecast to the time the sat-nav says we will reach our destination, our lives are built around futuristic fictions. More →

A grey tsunami, three goldfish, the red pill of coworking and some other colourful stuff

A grey tsunami, three goldfish, the red pill of coworking and some other colourful stuff

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A right leaning think tank’s suggestion that the UK should set a new retirement age of 75 and introduce a range of measures to extend people’s working lives to boost the economy and improve people’s wellbeing sparked an inevitable paroxysm of rage. Immediately followed by an equally inevitable and furious level of what passes for debate these days. A stramash the Scottish would call it. More →

Voices from the age of uncertain work

Voices from the age of uncertain work

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A woman crosses on a tightrope, illustrating the problem of uncertain workOn the surface, the wellbeing of the American worker seems rosy. Unemployment in the U.S. hovers near a 50-year low, and employers describe growing shortages of workers in a wide array of fields. But looking beyond the numbers tells a different story. My new book, “The Importance of Work in an Age of Uncertainty,” reveals that some Americans are experiencing an erosion in the world of increasingly uncertain work that is hurting their wellbeing, relationships and hopes for the future. More →

Insight weekly: Toxic colleagues + Sleeping on the job + New ways of measuring success

Insight weekly: Toxic colleagues + Sleeping on the job + New ways of measuring success

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The latest issue of Insight Weekly is available to read online. If you don’t already subscribe, you can find a simple subscription form at the bottom of the page. In this week’s issue we look at how the behaviour of just one person in an organisation can have knock on effects for everybody;  James Ransom looks at how smart cities are being pioneered in the unlikeliest of places; Anna King uncovers the psychological roots of workplace acoustics; James Geekie argues we’ve arrived at the tipping point for flexible working; and I consider the colour of magic and what it means for office design.

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