May 23, 2019
Insight into the way things work can often come from the strangest and most difficult places. For Jill Bolte Tayor, a neuroscientist well versed in the theory of how the brain works, her particular insight into the practical functioning of the brain came as a result of a stroke she suffered in 1996. What she learned during and after her experience became the subject of a famous Ted Talk in 2008. more…
May 22, 2019
To mark the launch of its new guide, Meetings Matter, Business Disability Forum is offering advice to all businesses on how to make meetings and events more accessible for disabled employees and clients. The 10-point meeting checklist is adapted from the not-for-profit membership organisation’s new 24-page guide. The practical and up-to-date resource provides advice on arranging meetings which meet the needs of all colleague and attendees. more…
May 21, 2019
British businesses could be hindering their own innovation and creativity due to poor office design, according to a study carried out by YouGov and commissioned by Oktra. The survey of over 2,000 British employees claims that fewer than half (43 percent) believe the design of their workplace encourages innovation and creativity. Over a third (36 percent) of respondents would be less likely to take sick days if they worked in an inspiring workplace. more…
May 20, 2019
We may live in a knowledge economy in a world, where the most highly-prized people as far as employers are concerned are knowledge workers, but the thing that sets us apart from the machines is not knowledge at all, but creativity. Acquiring managing and sharing knowledge is essential, but it’s what we do with it that really matters. So it’s no surprise that creativity has become the de facto Holy Grail for many modern businesses.
May 20, 2019
A new report claims to reveal fresh insights into how firms assess workplace productivity. The report, published by Jabra, argues that many businesses cannot decide how to tackle the problem of measuring productivity – or who is ultimately responsible for doing so. The report is based on interviews with 688 CEOs and board level executives in the US, UK, France, Germany, Sweden and Denmark.
May 15, 2019
The piece I wrote on workplace bullshit last week came in for quite a bit of attention and also meant I was pointed to this excellent article on how to spot it when you see it. Lots is said about the skills we’ll need to cope with the challenges of the current Century, but this is perhaps one of the most important. Especially trying to spot it in ourselves. Paradoxically, we already seem reasonably able to spot it in our politicians. There are some more high profile examples obviously, but here’s Amber Rudd peddling the nonsense that people will simply swap out their current drudgery for creative work, taking up painting and learning the ukulele when their jobs are eroded by automation. This is complete piffle and we need to have a far more grown up and sophisticated conversation about what it all means and leave behind the apex fallacy of the ‘21st Century Worker’.
May 14, 2019
The idea of a cocktail party might be a bit dated, but it is the perfect metaphor for describing one aspect of the most common complaints about modern office design. An idea called the cocktail party effect has been known to neuroscientists for decades. It describes how we are able to filter out a large amount of noise and focus almost completely on just one source of sound. So, while we clutch our Manhattan, we can listen intently to just one person and ignore the babble of voices that might otherwise drown them out. We can tune in to the source we think is important and tune out everything else.
May 13, 2019
There was a time, not so long ago, that one of the most important factors to consider when designing an office was the corporate hierarchy. The office was once the embodiment of the corporate structure. In Joanna Eley and Alexi Marmot’s 1995 book Understanding Offices, quite a lot of space is dedicated to the idea of the ‘space pyramid’, which means simply that the higher up the organisation you were, the more space you were allocated. Even then, the idea of office design as a signifier of dominance was starting to wear thin, as the authors acknowledge. Ostentatious displays of status were already seen as somewhat gauche, but they were to be fatally undermined by the technological advances to come.
May 9, 2019
Although the legend of Faust is one of the Germanic world’s foundational narratives, its archetypes and themes were already established by the time Goethe codified them in his 1808 play. They have since become universal. The idea that somebody would sell their soul to the Devil to gain something or rid themselves of unhappiness is as resonant now as it was in Renaissance Europe. It has inspired books films and artists to such an extent that its derivatives now have their own Wikipedia page.
May 8, 2019
Productivity in the office is a big thing, as the more productive employees are, the more successful the business will be as a result. While most people go through peaks and troughs of productivity during their working life, it’s important for employers to give it their all when it comes to trying to keep the workforce as productive as possible. Therefore, many have come up with ways to make this happen.
May 8, 2019
While the use of wearables, Internet of Things (IoT) devices that are worn or inserted as implants, in smart building applications will give people completely new ways of interacting with their surroundings, their potential could be tempered by an increased risk to privacy due to the type and quantity of data being collected. The good news is that, combined with automated building controls, occupants will be able to control and automate their own ‘personal’ environment as well as improve their wellbeing. more…
May 7, 2019
The UK Green Building Council (UKGBC) has launched a framework for the UK construction and property industry which it claims will shape the transition new and existing buildings to become net zero carbon by 2050, in line with the ambitions of the Paris Climate Agreement and a new government ambition.
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