Neuroscience: the next great source of competitive advantage

Neuroscience: the next great source of competitive advantage 0

The average worker is interrupted or distracted every three minutes and it takes them fully twenty-three minutes to return to a task after being interrupted. Office workers are overwhelmed by distractions, due mainly to a lack of understanding of how to manage attention. Distractions and the inability to focus negatively affects productivity, engagement, wellbeing and overall performance in organisations. We long to be more effective, but the harder we try, the more tired our brains become. Attention meltdowns are epidemic because workers do not understand what attention is, how to manage it or have access to the best places to support their tasks. In workplaces throughout the world scenarios of near constant distraction have become the norm, to such an extent that often people do not even feel compelled to comment on them and their consequences.

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Workplace Matters Podcast on productivity, professionalism and activity based working with Chris Moriarty

Workplace Matters Podcast on productivity, professionalism and activity based working with Chris Moriarty 0

This week sees the return of the Workplace Matters podcast from 3edges, and season 2 kicks off with a cracker. I am in conversation with the inimitable raconteur Chris Moriarty, Managing Director UK & Ireland at Leesman, and formerly of the British Institute of Facilities Management. Expect soap box moments galore as Chris and Ian discuss Leesman, the Workplace Conversation as a precursor to The Stoddart Review, and the role of professional bodies. Chris also offers myth-busting perspectives on activity-based working, millennials, and of course the infamous workplace P word – productivity – based on Leesman dataset insights. It’s essential listening. Expect season 2 to broaden the perspective beyond the physical aspects of workplaces as we continue to join the dots. Conversations coming soon include Bee Heller from The Pioneers, Perry Timms from PTHR, Dr Kerstin Sailer from Brainybirdz, Jacqui Martin from Design_North and Dr Rob Harris from Ramidus. Subscribe and listen to this and all episodes on Acast or iTunes, on any mobile device.

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Designing space for virtual collaboration in an untethered world

Designing space for virtual collaboration in an untethered world 0

collaboration and technologyWorking with colleagues across different geographies and time zones has become the norm since an increasing number of organisations now integrate and seek collaboration at a global level. Interestingly, according to Cisco, 62 percent of workers now regularly collaborate with people in other countries. These globally integrated enterprises (GIE) aim to draw in the best talent from across the world, delivering maximum innovation and efficiency. The rise of global and distributed teams has been further encouraged by the popularity of remote working, with 71 percent of office workers now choosing greater flexibility to work from various locations instead of travelling to the office everyday . And the trend only looks set to gain pace, with 56 percent of senior leaders in large global companies expecting global teams to increase in the next one to three years.

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RSA report sets out nationwide strategy for inclusive growth

RSA report sets out nationwide strategy for inclusive growth 0

The Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) has published the final report from its Inclusive Growth Commission. The report sets out a series of recommendations which it claims will address the lack of an inclusive approach to the economy. In the context of Brexit, this is one of the underlying drivers of dissatisfaction with the way the UK is run by central and local government, the report claims, and hence a factor in the Brexit vote. Its forward looking proposals include a greater commitment to lifelong learning, a greater focus on place to ensure the UK’s cities and regions get a greater stake in the national economy. As well as the main report, its conclusions and proposals are discussed in a podcast.

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White paper: a new world of learning environments

White paper: a new world of learning environments 0

The traditional structures of work and education were forged in the fires of the Industrial Revolution. They shared many characteristics. They were rigid, hierarchical and based on a patriarchal approach to achieving their aims. In education, this manifested itself in the traditional didactic form that was, until recently, seen as the ideal model, based on teachers, tutors and lecturers imparting knowledge and learning to their pupils and students as part of an agreed curriculum and to an approved timetable. How well this process turned out was checked with periodic testing. For some time now, people have been questioning this structure and, with it, the design of learning environments. Over the past few decades, we have not only developed the technologies to allow us to learn in new ways, we have also developed a far better understanding of the processes involved.

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Thirteen ways the physical environment shapes knowledge management

Thirteen ways the physical environment shapes knowledge management

Knowledge management (including its creation, transference and storage) within an organisation is now widely considered to be one of the primary drivers of a business’s sustainability. Driven by changing demographics, businesses are recognising the ways in which valuable knowledge is lost when employees leave the organisation, including when they retire or are made redundant in response to changing economic conditions. Geyer, an Australian design practice, is just one organisation that has undertaken important research to understand the role of the physical environment in knowledge management.The aim of the research was to explore the kinds of environments and their attributes (if any) that could support the management of knowledge in an organisation. The research also aimed to expand the focus of existing knowledge management literature; from information technology to workplace design.

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The Winter 2016 issue of Work&Place is available now

The Winter 2016 issue of Work&Place is available now 0

wp8-cover-artThe Winter 2016 issue of Work&Place is now available to view online. In this edition… Neil Usher, Workplace Director at Sky offers a first hand account of the story behind the firm’s remarkable new offices at the Osterley campus in London; Kate Langan explores some of the implications of the growing digitisation of the workplace; Jim Ware looks at how the challenge of creating effective meeting spaces is now a strategic concern; John Blackwell tries to make sense of falling productivity levels when we have all the tools and know how to increase it; David Woolf makes the case for designing better collaborative spaces; Mark Eltringham looks forward to an almost entirely unpredictable future for workplaces in the 21st Century; and Karen Plum and Andrew Mawson set out the factors that drive knowledge worker productivity. The PDF edition is available to view and download here. Or view online here.

Magic wands, muggles and the quiet nobility of workplace professionals

Magic wands, muggles and the quiet nobility of workplace professionals 0

Insight publisher Mark Eltringham recently took part in a conversation with Ian Ellison of 3edges. The podcast was recorded before the recent publication of The Workplace Advantage from the Stoddart Review but looks at its potential opportunities and challenges. The range of topics also include the growing role of workplace professionals in shaping workplace thinking, the differences between the FM and workplace disciplines, the trouble at the BIFM, the self image of various professions and why it’s unwise to believe that the most interesting examples of workplace design are indicative of how most people work. You can listen to the podcast online on Acast or iTunes. Other editions of the podcast are available here. Image: Sky Central designed by Hassell. Photographer Mark Cocksedge.

Podcast: bonuses, motivation and why business leaders might do well to steer clear of politics

Podcast: bonuses, motivation and why business leaders might do well to steer clear of politics 0

carrotI recently took part in a podcast hosted by business transformation consultant Rita Trehan. My fellow guest for the CEO Outlook podcast was Hari Kalymnios, author, trainer and Leadership Speaker at The Thought Gym. The episode featured a lively discussion focused primarily on two topical issues. First asking whether bonuses are really needed to motivate staff and what business might do to take a more sophisticated, informed and nuanced approach to motivation. Then secondly, and against my better judgement, in the light of Jeremy Corbyn’s recent spat with Richard Branson, whether CEOs and business leaders should steer well clear of politics and politicians and how they might make judgements about what is appropriate in terms of the topics with which they should engage and how they might disentangle themselves from the wider issues that often result. You can listen to the podcast here.

Beyond Monoculture: how design eats strategy for breakfast

Beyond Monoculture: how design eats strategy for breakfast 0

_72A2715The idea that ‘culture eats strategy for breakfast’ holds a grip on our imagination and tends to be misunderstood in equal measure because at first glance it seems to suggest that strategy is less important or can be trumped by culture. In fact what Peter Drucker, who is the man commonly held to be responsible for saying it, identifies is that the two must go hand in glove. A strategy that does not heed culture is more likely to fail. A culture without strategy quickly becomes unanchored. The same need for balance is evident in the way we develop workplace strategies. Without understanding culture and knowing how a workplace can both reflect an existing culture and prompt a shift, the strategy runs the risk of becoming undone, or failing to fully meet its objectives. This link between culture and workplace strategy and design has never been more important than it is right now as the old bonds of time and place that once tethered people to an employer have loosened and dissolved. These issues are explored in our new Briefing, produced in partnership with Boss Design.

The new issue of Work&Place is now available to read online

The new issue of Work&Place is now available to read online 0

W&P7 coverThe new issue of Work&Place is available to view online. As ever it presents a truly global perspective on the forces that are redefining our relationship with work and how designers and managers are creating workplaces and working cultures to help firms and people thrive in the new era. This issue includes: Francisco Vazquez Medem looking at the current state of flexible working in Latin America; Ian Ellison finding the unlikely candidate for the missing piece of the workplace puzzle; Andrea Hak assessing what we can all learn from Yahoo’s recent trials and tribulations; Serena Borghero engaging in the ongoing quest for the truly engaged workplace; and Baptiste Broughton gauging France’s unique revolutionary spirit and how it applies to the worrkplace. Each issue of Work&Place, sponsored by Steelcase and Condeco, is read by well over 60,000 workplace professionals worldwide and invites all those associated with the industry to share their own thoughts and experiences during this tumultuous era. Illustration by Simon Heath.

When you can choose to work anywhere, where will you choose to work?

When you can choose to work anywhere, where will you choose to work? 0

Briefing coverOne of the great questions that hangs over workers in the new era of boundless work is this: When you can choose to work from anywhere, where will you choose to work? It’s not just a question for the growing army of workers who find themselves unfettered from the traditional times and places of work. They will naturally choose to work in the places they feel make them most productive and happy, which nurture their wellbeing and chime with their values. The challenge for the owners and the occupiers of offices is to create the working environments that will draw people to them. This is particularly important for those organisations with strong cultures who understand the role that physical presence plays in nurturing creativity and the way people exchange information, such as tech and creative firms. The terms of this conundrum and its possible solutions are the themes of our new briefing, produced in partnership with Connection. You can see it here.

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