October 15, 2019
The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has today launched the ‘Value the Planet’ campaign, promoting the preservation of the planet through the adoption of the UN’s sustainable development goals (SDGs). The campaign pushes for increased action within the industry, highlighting the essential need to Value the Planet and will provide support and resources from RICS and the industry to help the profession take both climate action and adopt the UN SDGs. RICS is also today publishing the RICS Responsible Business report which provides recommendations for businesses on ensuring the long-term sustainability of the built environment. more…
October 4, 2019
At the end of the 18th Century it was becoming apparent that overpopulation was something the human race would need to address for perhaps the first time. Advances in technology and the urbanisation that followed the Industrial Revolution had created a new set of challenges. These were most famously laid out in a 1798 book called An Essay on the Principle of Population, written by an English cleric called Thomas Malthus.
September 30, 2019
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.
September 19, 2019
Flexible working, sharing information about local clean air routes and incentivising active travel are just some of the ideas being put to businesses today as new research suggests employers need to do more to address the issue of air quality and pollution for staff both in the workplace and on their commute. more…
September 4, 2019
The enduring but changing struggle to improve the working conditions and performance of people through workplace design and management has more than a whiff of the Enlightenment of the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries about it. The Enlightenment marked a new era in which the old superstitions and dogmas were to be overthrown by pure reason.
August 13, 2019
You would not believe the number of firms that ask us to publish a list of workplace trends each week. Or maybe you would, given the number that have appeared elsewhere. Each firm perhaps convinced they are saying something original, unique or interesting, or maybe simply convinced they stand out in some way, while pushing the same timid, stale narratives about the workplace. It goes without saying that the commercialised messages often do little to shine a light on complex realities. In the words of the Scottish poet and anthropologist Andrew Lang, they use information ‘like a drunk uses lamp-posts—for support rather than illumination’.
August 8, 2019
The latest Workplace Innovator podcast features Chris Moriarty, Director of Insight and Engagement at the Institute of Workplace and Facilities Management. He is responsible for the research, policy, marketing, sales and engagement functions at IWFM where he focuses on creating thought leadership and tools to support workplace and facilities management professions as well as putting in place the strategies to better engage with the wider community. more…
July 26, 2019
Human beings are hardwired to be creatures of habit. From birth, we learn behaviours and develop routines that are reinforced over time through repetition. Researchers at MIT claim the neurons in our brains are responsible for this process. When someone begins a new activity a certain part of the brain kicks into gear, helping them to learn the exercise quickly. But once the action is repeated successfully, the scientists found, those same neurons only really come to life at the beginning and end of the activity. This is the reason that mundane tasks, like getting dressed or driving a car often feel like they’re performed on ‘autopilot’ and why breaking bad habits is so difficult, including those we develop in the workplace. more…
July 24, 2019
James Joyce had a word for moments of insight when we see right through convention and suddenly appreciate how things really are. He called such moments epiphanies. Such a flash of insight happened to me three or four years ago in Texas. I had been explaining to the partners of a very large international client how they could use their office space more effectively. Since these partners were rightly concerned with driving down occupancy costs, including rent, property taxes, service charges and energy costs throughout all their operations everywhere, my proposals were very acceptable. more…
July 17, 2019
There are writers whose language pervades our discourse so extensively that even those who have never heard of them will echo not only their sentiments but also their means of expression. One of these people is Charles Handy, who has just published his latest book 21 Letters on Life and its Challenges at the age of 87. His work resonates to this day and not least because he was so far ahead of the curve in detailing many of the characteristics of modern organisations and the challenges created for everybody by the changing nature of work and business. more…
July 15, 2019
However much we know about the forces we expect to come into play in our time and however much we understand the various social, commercial, legislative, cultural and economic parameters we expect to direct them, most predictions of the future tend to come out as refractions or extrapolations of the present. This is a fact tacitly acknowledged by George Orwell’s title for 1984, written in 1948, and is always the pinch of salt we can apply to science fiction and most of the predictions we come across. more…
July 4, 2019
Between the 9th and 13th Centuries, the world’s intellectual centre and the source of much of its progress, discovery and achievement was Baghdad. This was the Muslim Golden Age and at its core was the House of Wisdom, established by the Caliph Harun al-Rashid. At one point, this library housed the largest collection of books on Earth and drew the greatest minds in the world to share ideas, innovate and explore ancient sources of science and wisdom from Greek and Persian texts. Muslim, Jewish, Christian and atheist scholars worked together to advance human understanding until a slow decline culminated with a later Caliph declaring that its diversity of thought should bow to a literal interpretation of the Quran and Hadith.