IN Magazine issue 6 has been published

IN Magazine issue 6 has been published

IN Magazine cover artIt’s now a year since we launched IN Magazine and what a year it’s been. Issue 6 is now out. IN continues to explore the latest ideas from the world of work, speak to the most interesting people and feature the most pioneering ideas. In this issue: Kerstin Sailer casts a spell on the workplace; Microsoft’s Experience Centre in Amsterdam; what we can learn about the workplace experience from app design; the new emphasis on fresh air; the problem of managing people across borders; what happens to spaces when people abandon them; and why we must take the environmental impact of commercial property far more seriously. And, of course, much more. All back issues of IN Magazine can be found here. Illustration: Ian Pearsall

Lockdown mental fatigue is rapidly reversed by social contact, study claims

Lockdown mental fatigue is rapidly reversed by social contact, study claims

Many of us are looking forward to a summer of relative freedom, with road-mapped milestones that will grant us more opportunities to see our friends and family. But we’ll be carrying the effects of months of isolation into those meetings, including a sense that our social skills will need dusting off, and our wits will need sharpening. The mental effects of lockdown have been profound. Social isolation has been shown to cause people’s mental health to deteriorate even if they have no history of previous psychological problems. Alongside this drop in mood, loneliness has been linked with a host of cognitive problems, including fatigue, stress and problems with concentration. More →

From the archive: Escaping the gravity of the fixed times and places of work

From the archive: Escaping the gravity of the fixed times and places of work

In November 2019, just before that thing happened, there was this… The worst workplace related news story of 2019 is also one of the most widely reported. I’m not linking to it because I don’t want to give it any credibility, but it has been discharged into the ether by Fellowes along with a ‘behavioural futurist’ called William Higham. I will say only two things about it. Firstly, we flatly refused to publish a story about the damn thing and it’s a shame that the mainstream media couldn’t spot it for the utter drivel it is. The fact that they have picked up on it says something about the way such issues are covered in the press. That’s why you’re more likely to see a stress-related story about rats driving cars on the BBC than you are something meaningful. More →

Serfs up for the self-employed and gig economy workers (and the middle class)

Serfs up for the self-employed and gig economy workers (and the middle class)

One of the most significant consequences of the 2008 economic crash was a remarkable shift in the nature of employmentThe recession led to a surge in the number of people categorised as self-employed. The numbers have been increasing ever since, albeit at a lower rate. By the end of 2019, the number of self-employed people in the UK exceeded five million people for the first time. Fifteen percent of the workforce.  More →

The new dimensions of workplace wellbeing

The new dimensions of workplace wellbeing

A healthy, engaged and productive work environment starts with conversations about people’s needs. So whether you have always been on a co-located team or are a veteran of remote work, there are new circumstances and the old rulebook doesn’t quite help. The change has been sudden, in a sustained moment of uncertainty, and has disrupted employee routines and support structures. More →

The return to buildings will now focus attention on ventilation

The return to buildings will now focus attention on ventilation

windows and ventilationThe UK COVID-19 vaccination programme is well underway. Once the over 50s, younger people with health conditions, NHS and care workers have received the vaccine, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been clear that current lockdown restrictions could be lifted in stages with schools and business a top priority. The situation is under review, but there is an expectation that business premises could reopen as early as Easter, when a large proportion of the working age population may not have been vaccinated. That means the focus in workplaces and other multi-occupant spaces, especially those open to the public, must remain on limiting transmission to prevent the spread of coronavirus to un-vaccinated people, and especially on factors such as ventilation. More →

Why does colour psychology make so much difference to us?

Why does colour psychology make so much difference to us?

In 2013, two Australian academics set out to discover the answer to a deceptively simple question. Why is there such a thing as colour psychology, but not shape, line or texture psychology? The answers they come up with are complex, arcane and wide-ranging but they manage to sum them up to some extent in the conclusion to the paper they published. “No other visual attribute shares such diverse representations”, they wrote. “Study into shape, line, and texture hardly competes. For this reason, there are no proportion-shape-line-texture prediction agencies, and chromotherapy is not challenged by proportion-shape-line-texture therapies. Colour remains special and, given its rich and complex heritage, is likely to remain so.” More →

Issue 5 of IN Magazine opens up new dimensions for the workplace

Issue 5 of IN Magazine opens up new dimensions for the workplace

The digital edition of IN5 is now available, exploring the very latest thinking on people, places and technology with print copies on their way soon. In the new issue: the different responses of nations to the pandemic; how some furniture makers are using new materials to do something real about the environment;  interviews with Marie Puybaraud and Neil Usher; masks and helmets at work; the new opportunities for the workplace professions; how a new office in Athens combines ancient wisdom and modern thinking; the potential for us to drift into a new form of feudalism; and all the latest, news and commentary you need; plus some other stuff you didn’t know you needed.  More →

The lessons learned under the pandemic that will apply after it all ends

The lessons learned under the pandemic that will apply after it all ends

the workplace after the pandemicRecently lighting control firm Prolojik assembled an expert panel to talk about learning and working during the time of the Covid-19 pandemic. The roundtable (online of course) involved participants from various fields related to the built environment including those involved in developing, designing and tech reflected on their own experiences over the last several months. While industry issues raised during the session included what productivity really means and how to measure it, what infrastructure needs to be in place to enable people to return to their place of work or education and why a joined-up approach to wellness is an indisputably necessary strand of building management. More →

Creating great workplace cultures

Creating great workplace cultures

Workplace design is – or should be – inextricably linked to both an organisation’s identity and its culture. The issue of workplace culture, and why it might succeed or fail, has become a matter of a great deal of study as the basis for work has moved on from the scientific management theories of the early to mid-20th Century. This aped the hierarchies, structures and forms of factories. It once prevailed but even now its vestiges remain, often in spite of the decades of research and a changing world of work that show us better ways of getting things done.   More →

From the archive: Childhood’s end for work and the need for a grown-up conversation

From the archive: Childhood’s end for work and the need for a grown-up conversation

Arthur C Clarke’s finest novel Childhood’s End is the story of an Earth that is invaded by a force of alien Overlords. This is not a destructive colonial invasion, which is why there’s no Hollywood blockbuster in the tale, but a seemingly benevolent intervention which ushers in a golden age for humanity. Although humankind initially does not get to meet the Overlords in person (for reasons I won’t give away here), the aliens unite the world’s governments, eradicate crime, conflict and the nation state and do away with the need for creativity and hard work. It is the literal end of history.

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The city and the office have much to teach each other

The city and the office have much to teach each other

Whatever you might hear, these times are far from unprecedented. History has lessons for us both in terms of how we view the events of 2020 and how we might respond to them, including how we progress as a species and make our lives and the world a better place. In 1832, there was an epidemic of cholera in the UK’s towns and cities. In those with a population of 100,000 or more life expectancy was just 26 years. The reasons for this were picked up on by a government official called Edwin Chadwick as a member of the Poor Law Commission.   More →

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