A unity of opposites at Sky Central

A unity of opposites at Sky Central 0

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It’s drummed into us from an early age that we can’t have it all, as a result we consider choices as being a binary either/or situation. The workplace design brief (where it’s actually undertaken, an entirely separate discussion) positions choices similarly – open or closed, focussed or collaborative, modern or traditional – the decision point existing along a sliding scale from one natural extreme to the other. Yet there is a way to consider workplace design as an attempt to achieve the “unity of opposites”, an idea proposed by the pre-Socratic aphoristic philosopher, Heraclitus, the original thinker on change. This holds that the existence of an idea is entirely dependent on the existence of its opposite, that one cannot exist without the other. The framework is considered here in its application to the recently completed Sky Central in Osterley (West London), a newly constructed 38,000m2 NIA activity-based workplace over three floors that is home to 3,500 of the total 7,500 people on the Campus. It may be considered as tool for aiding workplace brief development, or for understanding how a workplace has been conceived and functions.

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Thirteen ways the physical environment shapes knowledge management

Thirteen ways the physical environment shapes knowledge management

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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

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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.

The strange future of work + New edition of Work&Place + Workplace irritations 0

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Sky's new HQ featured in current issue of Work&Place

In this week’s Newsletter; Mark Eltringham dissects the current obsession with engagement and motivation; and from the Winter 2016 issue of Work&Place which is now available to view online; discusses the future of work and place in the 21st century. We discover why creativity in the workplace is a prime engagement tool; that 85 percent of employers believe workplace automation will create more jobs than it will replace; however, in the now, technology issues cause the most lost time for SMEs. One in three lawyers would not feel comfortable even beginning the conversation about flexible working with their employer; a fifth of employees are distressed by political discussions in the workplace and employers urged to develop strategies to help retain older workers.  Download our new Briefing, produced in partnership with Boss Design on the link between culture and workplace strategy and design; visit our new events page, follow us on Twitter and join our LinkedIn Group to discuss these and other stories.

The workplace puzzle + Feeling blue about work + Commuting more than ever 0

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Figuring out the workplace puzzleIn this week’s Newsletter; Ian Ellison says there are no silver bullets for workspace design, but it’s worth the effort; Justin Miller explores the workplace implications of seasonal affective disorder (SAD); and Jeff Flanagan explains why workplace design and management teams should look towards consumer-facing industries for inspiration. Asia set to lead the world in the uptake of artificial intelligence in the workplace; Staples announces tomorrow’s workplace design winners; and UK Government to invest properly in the next generation of technological infrastructure. One in seven UK employees now commute over two hours each day; Millennials reject the gig economy; Autumn statement could adversely affect London’s tech firms; and global report finds that flexible working is a necessity for younger workers. Download our new Briefing, produced in partnership with Boss Design on the link between culture and workplace strategy and design; visit our new events page, follow us on Twitter and join our LinkedIn Group to discuss these and other stories.

How to save a sinking ship: lessons from Marissa Mayer’s experience at Yahoo

How to save a sinking ship: lessons from Marissa Mayer’s experience at Yahoo 0

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marissa_new4_400x400When former Google employee Marissa Mayer joined Yahoo as its CEO in 2012, she inherited the company’s vast problems. Though it was once seen as one of the first tech behemoths, Yahoo’s inability to come up with ground breaking products like Google and others, put it in a slow, steady decline. Mayer was immediately tasked with trying to reinvigorate the stagnating company. Her focus was to find a way to identify and retain talent, while phasing out ineffective employees. However, Yahoo’s new management policies have brought about much debate and criticism from HR experts. A controversial book by journalist Nicholas Carlson titled “Marissa Mayer and the Fight to Save Yahoo!” paints a highly critical view of Mayer’s first years as CEO. In response others have defended her, arguing that she has done the best she can with the resources available, but has become a scapegoat for poor management, like so many other women in powerful positions.

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An out of hours email ban and why we all need the ‘right to disconnect’

An out of hours email ban and why we all need the ‘right to disconnect’ 0

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Working late at homeThe recent announcement from President Francois Hollande’s Socialist Party that they plan to give French employees the “right to disconnect” by pushing through measures for an email ban out of hours has been the subject of great debate. Although many commentators have argued the need for employers to encourage people to ‘switch off’ when they aren’t in work, to date there have been no legal guidelines on this specific issue, despite several negative reports about modern technology blurring the boundaries between home and work, which some claim is creating a stress epidemic. In the UK, the Working Time Regulations specify that no worker should work more than 48 hours per week. However, there has been no case law as to whether or not checking work emails outside working hours would fall within this limit – and many UK staff check and respond to work emails outside work hours, even on holidays.

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Flexible working babble + Tall buildings + Engaging workplace design 0

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Insight_twitter_logo_2In this week’s Newsletter; Matias Rodsevich suggests three performance management must haves; Neil Barnfather flags up a lack of disabled representation at board level; and Dr Daniel Wheatley says work-life balance and flexible working continue to be viewed as a ‘women’s issue’. From the latest issue of Work&Place, Serena Borghero looks at the role of workplace design in employee engagement; Mark Eltringham argues there’s no evolution towards a universally accepted model of workplace design and management culture; and that when it comes to skyscrapers, big and clever are two different things. There’s evidence that London’s Central office market has hit its peak; the British public remains ‘clueless or indifferent’ about the nature of smart cities; and we reveal that graduates prefer digitised workplaces. You can download our Insight Briefing, produced in partnership with Connection, on the boundless office; visit our new events page, follow us on Twitter and join our LinkedIn Group to discuss these and other stories.

UK’s best workplaces + Great workplace puzzle + Digital future 0

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Insight_twitter_logo_2In this week’s Newsletter see the latest issue of Work&Place, which features Ian Ellison’s look at the workplace puzzle and what an esoteric Marxist French philosopher can teach us about workspace. Mark Eltringham says that despite debates about technology, culture, buildings and design – it all comes down to the human element; and Sara Bean finds that unlike men, when women start having children, they’re promotion and pay prospects suffers. In news, driverless vehicles will have a significant impact on the real estate sector; evidence that organisations which support mobile technology see a rise in productivity; and a new partnership aims to drive sustainable property development in Europe. The UK’s best workplaces are announced and a new study confirms that the digital future will mean a reliance on physical office space will recede. Download our Insight Briefing, produced in partnership with Connection, on the boundless office; visit our new events page, follow us on Twitter and join our LinkedIn Group to discuss these and other stories.

Latest Work&Place + Performance management + Design and people 0

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Insight_twitter_logo_2This week’s Newsletter features the latest issue of Work&Place, which presents a truly global perspective on the forces redefining our relationship with work. In news, the Government extends the One Public Sector Estate scheme and London’s commercial property sector is unaffected by the Brexit jitters. The three day working week is the ideal scenario for the over 40s; current performance management practices discount the digital workplace; and employees spend too much time checking work emails at home. Mark Eltringham says design what you like but don’t discount the impact of adding human beings to the mix; how people have been writing guides to good ergonomics at least since the early seventeenth Century; and that Charles Eames came to have mixed feelings towards his most famous chair. Download our Insight Briefing, produced in partnership with Connection, on the boundless office; visit our new events page, follow us on Twitter and join our LinkedIn Group to discuss these and other stories.

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

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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.

Report claims we will probably all be using at least three devices by 2018

Report claims we will probably all be using at least three devices by 2018 0

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dilbert-stuff cropIf you ever feel completely overwhelmed by the sheer amount of technology demanding your time and attention, rest assured that things are only going to get worse. A new report from tech analysts Gartner claims that as each new type of device enters the market, we don’t choose between it and what we already have, we simply add the latest addition to our technological armoury. This challenges the commonly held assumption that people choose between different devices as new ones emerge. The report suggests that by 2018, a typical user in a mature technological market will own and use at least three devices including phones, tablets, PCs and wearable tech. Worryingly, the study also suggests we will use more than two devices per person at any given time. The report suggests that during 2016, the installed base of devices will total 7.8 billion units worldwide and is on track to reach 8.3 billion units in 2018.

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