Search Results for: consequences

How Gulliver’s Travels predicted AI and our attempts to make sense of it all

How Gulliver’s Travels predicted AI and our attempts to make sense of it all

Gullivers Travels includes a description of a machine that woks very like modern AI systems, and with the same drawbacksGulliver’s Travels is one of those books we assume we know. But what we tend to recall is some stuff about Lilliput, giants, talking horses and possibly something about scientists trying to extract sunbeams from cucumbers. It’s really about one man’s descent into disillusion with the human race. It is acerbic, occasionally tediously detailed, and offers insight into some aspects of the human condition, which makes it timeless. More →

Rigid return to office mandates and fixed places of work are backfiring

Rigid return to office mandates and fixed places of work are backfiring

A new study by Great Place To Work claims that forcing employees back to the office with so-called return-to-office mandates can have negative consequencesA new study by Great Place To Work claims that obliging employees back to the office with so-called return-to-office mandates and restricting their choice of work location can have negative consequences for the business. The report based on a survey of 4,400 US workers, claims to reveal a strong correlation between work location flexibility and positive employee experiences. Compared to those without a choice, employees with control over their work environment are three times more likely to want to stay with their company, and significantly less likely to become disengaged – a trend that has been referred to as “quiet quitting.” They’re also more likely to put in extra effort, foster good relationships with their managers, and feel their workplace fosters a healthy psychological and emotional environment. More →

Some questions about AI, a world drowning in content and the human centipede of creativity

Some questions about AI, a world drowning in content and the human centipede of creativity

 

We still don't even know what questions to ask about AI, so the idea we can provide answers is a bit premature

One unintended but welcome result of the new fixation with AI is that many of the people who became experts on the workplace in 2020 are now experts on AI. You’ll find them on social media and they’ll have written a book about it by May to sit on the shelf alongside the one about hybrid working and The Great Resignation. So, if you want some certainty about where generative AI taking us, go talk to one of them because people who know about the subject seem to have little or no idea or raise even more questions. More →

International report calls for collaboration on AI, highlighting both benefits and risks

International report calls for collaboration on AI, highlighting both benefits and risks

A landmark report claims to shed light on the double-edged sword of advanced artificial intelligence (AI)A landmark report claims to shed light on the double-edged sword of advanced artificial intelligence. Backed by over 30 nations, the International Scientific Report on the Safety of Advanced AI paints a picture of a technology brimming with potential benefits, but also fraught with potential risks if safety isn’t prioritized. This first iteration of the report, launched at the AI Safety Summit, fulfils a key commitment set forth during the historic Bletchley Park discussions and the subsequent Bletchley Declaration. More →

Peace and quiet at work? Here are ten of the best and most far out solutions

Peace and quiet at work? Here are ten of the best and most far out solutions

 

Any survey that sets out to establish what people believe cuts their productivity and annoys them most about their workplace invariably throws up the same result; the noise and distractions generated by other people. So it will come as no surprise to learn that the same surveys usually find that employees believe that peace and quiet and freedom from distractions is the most important factor when it comes to getting some decent work done. More →

Oxford rents poised to surge as office and lab space dwindles

Oxford rents poised to surge as office and lab space dwindles

Oxford’s thriving science and technology sector is facing a potential hurdle: a critical shortage of office and laboratory space. According to a new report by property consultancy Vail Williams, this scarcity could send rents spiralling upwards in the coming year. The report paints a concerning picture. The city, it suggests, has just about enough Grade A office and lab space to meet demand from life sciences and biotech companies for the next year. This limited supply is a stark contrast to the high demand, particularly considering the strong take-up figures from last year, which saw around 420,000 square feet of lab space leased. More →

Beware the workplace mouse trap

Beware the workplace mouse trap

Life imitates art part 94. Scientists have discovered that lab mice may be conducting their own experiments on us. A paper published in the journal Current Biology and summarised here, speculates that mice seem to be testing their testers. They do this by deviating from simple expected behaviours such as responding to rewards to work out what might happen. More →

US employee engagement plummets to lowest level in over a decade

US employee engagement plummets to lowest level in over a decade

A report by Gallup claims that employee engagement in the U.S. has sunk to its lowest point in more than a decadeAmerican workplaces are facing a crisis of disengagement. A report by Gallup claims that employee engagement in the U.S. has sunk to its lowest point in more than a decade, marking a concerning trend with significant implications for businesses across the country. The study, which began tracking employee sentiment in 2023, identified a growing disconnect between workers and their employers. Employees reported feeling a lack of clarity in their roles, lower overall satisfaction with their organizations, and a weaker connection to their companies’ missions. They were also less likely to feel valued and supported by their colleagues and superiors. More →

Stress, anxiety and a beamish response to it all

Stress, anxiety and a beamish response to it all

Stress, uncertainty and the medicalisation of dissatisfactionWe now have a policy of not offering ourselves as an outlet for any of the deluge of comment pieces and surveys that are published each year to accompany the various days – and increasingly weeks and months – dedicated to certain conditions like stress and anxiety. They are a gift both to and from the PR industry. This is largely because we cover such issues year round so don’t feel the need to add to the PR feeding frenzy they generate. Whatever you make of the findings of the reports and others like them, even cynics would have to acknowledge they tap into an unmistakable feeling that work is not as enjoyable as it should be. More →

A philosophical take on meaningful work

A philosophical take on meaningful work

But what exactly makes a particular job an instance of “meaningful work”? Is it just any sort of work people happen to believe is meaningful? Or is it a job with certain objective features?Work is an inescapable feature of the modern world. Most of us, except for a lucky few, spend a significant portion of our lives working. If this is the case, we may as well try and make it meaningful. In a 2019 report, 82 percent of employees reported that it is important to have a purpose in their work and that creating meaningful work was one of their top priorities. But what exactly makes a particular job an instance of “meaningful work”? Is it just any sort of work people happen to believe is meaningful? Or is it a job with certain objective features? More →

From pixels to patterns: the unprecedented surge in screen time

From pixels to patterns: the unprecedented surge in screen time

With the rise of remote work and online learning, our screen time has skyrocketed to unprecedented levels.Technology has transformed our personal relationships by making communication more accessible than ever before. But, are we implementing best practices to ensure a positive and sustainable relationship with our technological devices? In today’s digital age, screens have become an integral part of our daily lives. From smartphones and tablets to laptops and televisions, we are surrounded by screens at every turn. With the rise of remote work and online learning, our screen time has skyrocketed to unprecedented levels. More →

A just in time lesson about office design

A just in time lesson about office design

The nascent years of new ways of working in the late 80s and early 90s coincided with a widely held but soon to be discarded belief that the Japanese had cracked management practices. So it was perhaps inevitable that the principles of a process called just in time manufacturing – most famously applied in the factories of Toyota – should migrate to new forms of office design and the rapidly developing practice of flexible working.

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