Search Results for: charles handy

A quarter of a century ago, the newborn Internet set office design on a different path

A quarter of a century ago, the newborn Internet set office design on a different path

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Vitra Ad Hoc systemBecause we are now so immersed in technology, we can sometimes forget just how young the Internet is. It was only in 1995 that the final barriers to its full commercial development were removed. In 1994, the number of people using it worldwide was estimated at around 20 million, there were under 15,000 company websites and the UK had one ‘cybercafe’. Even so, there was something in the air. A sense that everything was about to change – and change spectacularly.

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Latest Insight newsletter is now available to view

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Insight_twitter_logo_2In this week’s issue; Maciej Markowski says most companies are not like Google, so don’t require a Google-cloned office; and Mark Eltringham explains why Charles Handy was largely correct in his pronouncements on the changing nature of work. Take up of leased office space in London hits its highest level since 2000; the UK workforce sees an increasing pay divide; and with new flexi-rights just weeks away, Acas publishes a new free guide on Shared Parental Leave. The Government publishes the latest edition of its ‘Greening Government ICT Strategy report; and the House of Lords’ report, Make or Break: The UK’s Digital Future, predicts that 35 percent of jobs over the next two decades will be automated. Sign up to the newsletter via the subscription form in the right hand sidebar and follow us on Twitter and join our LinkedIn Group to discuss these and other stories.

Portfolio working could become the norm in ten years time says KPMG

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Portfolio working could become the norm in ten years time says KPMGAt last year’s Worktech London, Charles Handy discussed the ascent of the portfolio worker. In a new survey by KPMG, 63 per cent of business leaders agree that portfolio workers will gain mainstream commercial acceptance within the next ten years. But some confusion remains as to just what constitutes a ‘portfolio worker’ as distinct from employees on flexible work schedules or freelancers. Just over a third (35%) of Generation Y respondents understood the term “portfolio workers” but they felt that they were simply freelancers by another name (78%), as did three quarters of the senior executives (76%) and the older respondents (74%). According to the survey portfolio workers differ from freelancers by having contracts in place with a number of different companies simultaneously, with a guaranteed number of hours of work from all during any given period of time. This approach, as Hardy has predicted, looks set to become the new way of work. More →

Yet another report into the Future of Work that is really about the present

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Future of WorkJust a few days ago, a survey from Morgan Lovell and the British Council for Offices highlighted the value British workers placed on having somewhere to work, regardless of its drawbacks, privations and distractions. Now a new report from consultants PwC seems to draw the opposite conclusion. Heralded by predictably tedious headlines declaring the office to be dead or dying, The Future of Work: A Journey to 2022 claims that a quarter of the 10,000 people surveyed believe the traditional job will disappear and around a fifth claim to have already had enough of the 9 to 5 in a fixed physical space and would prefer to work in a ‘virtual place’ – which seems to mean anywhere with WiFi.  As ever, any report addressing ‘The Future of Work’ is primarily and perhaps unwittingly about the present.

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The workplace of the future is one founded on uncertainty

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workplace of the futureWe now know for a fact that the good people at the UK Commission for Employment and Skills take heed of what they read on Workplace Insight. After Simon Heath recently eviscerated the idea of the year 2020 as a useful marker for the ‘future’, a new report from the UKCES draws its line in the sand a bit further on in 2030. It means they can’t have a ‘2020 Vision’ and for that we should be very thankful.  Yet the report still falls into the same traps that are always liable to ensnare any prognosis about the workplace of the future, notably that some of the things of which they talk have happened or are happening already. Then there’s the whole messy business of deciding what will emerge from the chaos; a bit like predicting the flavour of the soup you are making when a hundred other cooks are secretly adding their own ingredients.

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The meaningful aspects of what we do give us the greatest rewards

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It is the meaningful aspects of what we do

Charles Handy recently explained to attendees at Worktech 13 London why money is not the main motivating factor for employees; while at the same event, Claudia Hamm-Barstow of Jones Lang LaSalle added that the dream workplace is “a place where the company adds value to the employee experience, people feel valued and welcomed, the organisation feels meaningful, the work is rewarding and importantly there are no stupid rules”. According to The Human Givens Institute neither of these statements should be at all surprising. But The Human Givens theory adds that we also need to be respected, to feel in control, to have self-esteem, privacy and community.  And, most crucially of all, we need to have purpose and meaning in our lives. More →

Latest Insight newsletter is now available to view online

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Apple 9In the weekly Insight newsletter, available to view online; an inspirational morning spent in the company of Charles Handy at the recent Worktech 13 London conference; a gallery of images [pictured] from Apple’s new $5 billion campus in California and in our exclusive interview, Dave Coplin, Microsoft’s Chief Envisioning Officer, shares his views on the full potential that technology offers a modern, digital society. Mark Eltringham wonders if our growing preference for mobiles over the office landline indicates a willingness to blur the boundaries between our private and working lives; Simon Heath says the answer to the question “How Will We Work In 2020?” is probably “exactly as we do today” and legal expert Adam Hartley explains why Zero hours contracts are not a new phenomenon.

Quality of the place and the pace of work is more important than money

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Aol’s new West Coast HQ 395 Page Mill

O+A designed Aol’s new West Coast HQ

In a remarkable session on the future of work at Worktech 13 London this week – Charles Handy declared that organisations need passion, people and profit, in that order. Money isn’t the main motivating factor for individuals either, which is why Handy’s thoughts on the emergence of the portfolio worker should inspire anyone who dreams of quitting their corporate job to do something more interesting instead. Those who don’t have that option would have been cheered to hear the prevailing message at Worktech was that employers are waking up to the fact that the quality of the place and the pace of work (i.e. flexible working) is of equal importance to remuneration in attracting and retaining staff. More →

What do we need offices for anyway? The Greeks had a word for it

What do we need offices for anyway? The Greeks had a word for it

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offices - what is going onThe Greek word anagnorisis describes the sense of having just caught up with a truth that was always waiting for you. It’s a common literary and artistic device found in the plots of everything from Oedipus Rex to Macbeth, Star Wars and Fight Club, but it’s also a word that conveys a useful, complex idea that does not have an adequate English version. The mot juste, if you like. And it’s a useful idea when it comes to framing the current conversation we are having about offices and work more generally. More →

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