Meatspace, cyberspace, the uncertainty of expertise and some other stuff

Meatspace, cyberspace, the uncertainty of expertise and some other stuff

The sign that somebody knows their stuff about a subject is often that whatever they say about it is full of questions, equivocations and caveats. They’ll often start out by saying things are complicated in mitigation of their opinion on a particular topic. They’ll say there are no silver bullets. It’s almost always neophytes, chancers […]

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The truth about all those workplace trends lists

The truth about all those workplace trends lists

You would not believe the number of firms that have asked us to publish a list of workplace trends over the last few weeks. Or maybe you would, given the number that have appeared elsewhere. It happens every year at this time and still has a few weeks to go. Each firm perhaps convinced they […]

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People are great: a conversation with James Woudhuysen on the future of work

People are great: a conversation with James Woudhuysen on the future of work

At a conference at the WWF’s Living Planet Centre in Woking staged by the office furniture firm Kinnarps, I had an off the cuff chat with James Woudhuysen who had just delivered one of his typically entertaining, erudite and challenging talks on the future of work alongside equally renowned speakers such as Philip Tidd and […]

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The seven greatest depictions of the workplace in art. Possibly.

The seven greatest depictions of the workplace in art. Possibly.

Art supposedly holds up a mirror to life. Except when it comes to our working lives, it doesn’t. Or at least it doesn’t always show a true or full reflection, both in terms of the amount of time we dedicate to work and how important it is to us. Most of us spend at least […]

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The best office designs of 2018, the future of work in 2019, and some other clickbait

The best office designs of 2018, the future of work in 2019, and some other clickbait

This week’s beachcomb of the best workplace stories is brought to you in the wake of the first flood of retrospectives and predictions that wash up in the media at this time of year. The first piece of flotsam [sound of a metaphor snapping] is Dezeen’s listing of the world’s best office designs of 2018, […]

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A brief history of workplace disruption

A brief history of workplace disruption

Office work has existed in some form ever since people started writing on tablets and papyrus. Depictions of clerical staff are common in the Bible and on the walls of pyramids. In the mid 14th Century the Church of San Nicolò, commissioned the artist Tomaso da Modena to create the fresco in the chapter room […]

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Sociopathic corporations, the office as home, self-promotion anxiety and some other stuff

Sociopathic corporations, the office as home, self-promotion anxiety and some other stuff

There is a theory that when companies talk about issues such as corporate social responsibility they are doing so because it helps them to achieve their business goals. This is the coldly rational thing to do according to people like free market guru Milton Friedman who argues that companies should not actively pursue altruistic ends […]

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The meaning of life, the Black Mirror of Beijing, standing desks not a silver bullet and some other stuff

The meaning of life, the Black Mirror of Beijing, standing desks not a silver bullet and some other stuff

So, what is the meaning of life? According to a study by Pew, the gold standard US based researchers, it’s spending time with family and friends, reading, listening to music and going for a walk in the open air. Work comes somewhere down the list. Just one-third of the survey’s respondents mentioned their career or […]

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Office design goes to the movies

Office design goes to the movies

Following our recent attempts to create a rudimentary playlist of songs that tell us something or perhaps nothing about office design, office life and office furniture, here’s another look at how the parochial world of the workplace can brush up against popular culture. It does this unnoticed for most people, I suppose, but not for […]

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Facebook is the new smoking, orgasms at work, a ghost airport and some other stuff

Facebook is the new smoking, orgasms at work, a ghost airport and some other stuff

A slow news week here in the UK so the opportunity presents itself for quiet consideration of some important issues about the workplace. The big story has been the change of identity for the British Institute of Facilities Management, unveiled after weeks of debate and speculation. We’ll be running some commentary on what this all […]

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Amazon dupes the world, the mystery of AI, a workplace zoo and some other things you may like

Amazon dupes the world, the mystery of AI, a workplace zoo and some other things you may like

Sometime over the past few years, the search for possible locations for the latest tech giant palace has become something of a media preoccupation. Typical of the stories this quest generates is this piece in the New York Times about Google’s search for new property in the city. But the apotheosis of all this has […]

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A little local difficulty, treating people as pets, designing for serendipity and some other stuff you might like

A little local difficulty, treating people as pets, designing for serendipity and some other stuff you might like

The big news to be on the lookout for this month is the BIFM’s impending name change to the Institute of Workplace and Facilities Management. Now the interesting thing about this development is what it might tell us about the changing world of work and the distinction between the physical office and the places we […]

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