July 5, 2018
In 2017, a content creator called Oobah Butler decided that he wanted to do something with the experience he’d gained writing fake positive restaurant reviews on TripAdvisor. What if, he wondered, he set up an entirely fictitious restaurant based in the shed in his garden and then started to manipulate TripAdvisor ratings? What happened surpassed his wildest expectations. In just six months, The Shed at Dulwich became the top-rated restaurant in London, even though nobody had ever actually eaten there, based solely on fake reviews, fake pictures and the word of mouth created by a complete inability for anybody to book a table.
July 4, 2018
In this podcast I talk to Mark Eltringham about British music, which leads to a discussion about bands from the early days of new wave in Liverpool, including Echo & The Bunnymen. The evolution of music serves as a metaphor which leads to a conversation about the history of the workplace where Mark shares his perspective on some of the founding thought leaders in our modern sector. I ask him about today’s places of work and Mark references a recent report from Chris Hood of AWA, Kate Lister of Global Workplace Analytics and Haworth while also sharing some research provided by Leesman Index. We talk about the blurring of the lines and need for collaboration across departments inside organizations, the relationship between facilities management and workplace as a whole, while also discussing the controversy in the UK about the future of the FM sector.
May 31, 2018
Podcast: a manifesto for change in workplace and facilities management and the question of what is in a name
The latest Workplace Matters podcast features two brand new episodes. Usual host Ian Ellison of 3edges hands over the reins to Simon Iatrou to explore the intentions of the British Institute of Facilities Management to change its name to embrace workplace, and seek chartered status. Simon is joined by members of the BIFM leadership team: Chairman Steve Roots, CEO Linda Hausmanis, and Director of Insight Chris Moriarty. Ian also joins the discussion in his professional capacity as 3edges Director and workplace specialist, to talk about the research work 3edges have been doing over the past year about the future of FM and its relationship to workplace. BIFM’s manifesto for change announcement triggered a lot of industry interest, and inevitable discussion. It seemed clear from the comments that there were topics and issues worth digging deeper into, to give Workplace Matters listeners and BIFM members an opportunity for more context, so 3edges invited the BIFM leadership team to take open questions directly, and come round the table to discuss them.
March 13, 2018
Workplace author, blogger and consultant Neil Usher joins 3edges director Ian Ellison again on the day of his ‘The Elemental Workplace’ book launch; also the day the British Institute of Facilities Management (BIFM) announce their proposal to become the Institute of Workplace and Facilities Management (IWFM). Both of these very different, but exciting developments for the workplace discipline are discussed at length, and Neil offers insightful critique as always. The conversation ends up at one of the new frontiers for the way we work and the places we do it – and global society in general – the ethical challenges we face from emerging digital technologies. Further links from the discussion can be found in the show-notes on the podcast page of www.3edges.co.uk, where you can also find a free download of the Workplace Leadership Manifesto which 3edges co-wrote and published with Neil this January.
December 23, 2017
We have published the new issue of Work & Place Journal and it’s our biggest and best yet. Sponsored by Steelcase, Liquidspace and The United Workplace, the new issue will shortly be published in its Spanish language version. Its overall readership is now nearly 100,000 so it’s not just bigger and better, it is even more influential. I would sum up its core theme as convergence. The essential idea behind this is the lack of any sort of meaningful distinction in a traditional sense between the physical, digital and cultural workplaces. These were once pretty clearly demarcated spheres of personal and organisational influence. Their overlap and integration define the greatest puzzles we face in the workplace in the early 21st Century. Some of these are addressed in the features included in this edition of Work & Place. They include Despina Katsikakis looking at what the idea of flexibility means, Neil Usher gets back to basics with his take on the elemental workplace, Beatriz Arantes tears down the barriers to creativity, Christine Kohlert and Scott Cooper offer their take on creative work, Rob Leslie-Carter offers a considered perspective on the current status of artificial intelligence and automation and Aki Stamatis considers the right to disconnect that is now becoming a global problem with local solutions More →
December 4, 2017
In episode 14 of Workplace Matters, I am joined by Antony Slumbers, history of art graduate-cum-proptech entrepreneur, futurist and digital advocate. In a wide-ranging discussion which includes the inevitable advance of computer processing capability and artificial intelligence, Antony explains why the only option for future business success is to embrace our digital future. Making links to how this will impact upon our workplaces, Antony and I explore many of the points he made in this Work&Place article from earlier this year leading to a bold assertion: the office is dead, so it’s time to think differently.
November 24, 2017
In his famous 1988 book The Design of Everyday Things, the cognitive scientist Donald Norman suggests that the way we interact with objects and our surroundings is determined almost entirely by their design. People cannot be the primary reason things succeed or fail, because they are constant, while the design of the object itself is the variable. People can expect to learn how to use things better, but without an underlying people-centric and intuitive approach to design, the design will fail to some degree or other. He concludes that the designer should focus their attention on the interaction between people and the design of objects and surroundings. This principle becomes more relevant with each passing day, as the number of interactions we have with designed objects increases. This is most obvious with regard to our interactions with technology, but it is also apparent across our entire lives.
September 28, 2017
The best way of getting what you want is invariably to follow the simplest route. Research, experience and common sense tell us that in most cases, simple systems achieve better, faster and less expensive results and that the success of any project will often be in inverse proportion to the number of people involved in the system used to implement it, the number of decisions these people have to make between them, and the number of times they have to communicate with each other. Complexity is the enemy of success. Simplicity is all. And it is this that is the underlying principle behind ‘Design and Build’; often the best, fastest and least expensive method of developing and implementing an office design project, yet also one of the least understood, especially with regard to its ability to deliver exceptional design. This White Paper is aimed both at those who want to find out more about this uniquely effective method of completing a project, but also at those who may have mistaken preconceptions about Design and Build. This is an idea whose time has come and it is all based on the most fundamental of all fundamental principles: by keeping things as uncomplicated as possible, it can often deliver the best value, best design and the best response to a brief in the quickest time and at the lowest cost.
Charles Marks is the Managing Director of office design and fit-out company Fresh Workspace. www.freshworkspace.com
September 28, 2017
The workplace can and should be used as a strategic tool to support work and cooperation, to shape the experience of the brand and to produce competitive advantage for the organization. Even when not used as a strategic tool the workplace still affects all these parts and there is always a risk that the workplace has instead a negative impact if we are not aware of the relationship and really use workplace as a strategic tool to affect attractiveness, productivity, efficiency and sustainability. The workplace makes a great difference and it is becoming an important differentiator between successful and less successful organizations. I also strongly believe that the workplace management area is a key for us in the FM industry to bring FM to a higher level, to shift from cost focus to more value focus, and this is something we need to do together within the FM industry and we really should take the driver’s seat. But, let’s start from the beginning.
June 26, 2017
This year’s Think FM conference at the Science Museum may prove to be a watershed moment for the global facilities management and workplace sectors, as its focus was on connectivity, data and the Internet of Things. The event’s keynote speaker was Ben Waber, one of the world’s leading thinkers on the ways in which this unprecedentedly connected era relates to people and the workplace. Ben is the president and CEO of people analytics firm Humanyze, an alumnus of MIT and a visiting scientist at MIT Media Lab.
I was fortunate to be able to sit down with him recently to discuss the characteristics of this new age of connectivity and the changing nature of digital ethics and ask him whether the future of HR, IT and FM is at the mercy of people data analytics, amongst other things. This is becoming a common theme for the Workplace Matters podcast as we see a more widespread realisation that the workplace is no longer a merely physical entity and our attention shifts to people and how they interact with each other and the places they work. Subscribe and listen to this and all episodes on Acast or iTunes, on any mobile device.
Ian Ellison is one of the UK’s foremost commentators on workplace and facilities management issues. He is a Partner of consultancy 3edges (@_3edges) and the host and creator of the Workplace Matters podcast (@wpmpodcast). Prior to that he was a lecturer at Sheffield Hallam the University and had a ten-year career in operational FM in both in-house and outsourced roles. If you have any feedback or suggestions for future episodes – contact him @ianellison or at www.3edges.co.uk.
June 23, 2017
The average worker is interrupted or distracted every three minutes and it takes them fully twenty-three minutes to return to a task after being interrupted. Office workers are overwhelmed by distractions, due mainly to a lack of understanding of how to manage attention. Distractions and the inability to focus negatively affects productivity, engagement, wellbeing and overall performance in organisations. We long to be more effective, but the harder we try, the more tired our brains become. Attention meltdowns are epidemic because workers do not understand what attention is, how to manage it or have access to the best places to support their tasks. In workplaces throughout the world scenarios of near constant distraction have become the norm, to such an extent that often people do not even feel compelled to comment on them and their consequences.
May 26, 2017
Workplace Matters Podcast on productivity, professionalism and activity based working with Chris Moriarty 0
This week sees the return of the Workplace Matters podcast from 3edges, and season 2 kicks off with a cracker. I am in conversation with the inimitable raconteur Chris Moriarty, Managing Director UK & Ireland at Leesman, and formerly of the British Institute of Facilities Management. Expect soap box moments galore as Chris and Ian discuss Leesman, the Workplace Conversation as a precursor to The Stoddart Review, and the role of professional bodies. Chris also offers myth-busting perspectives on activity-based working, millennials, and of course the infamous workplace P word – productivity – based on Leesman dataset insights. It’s essential listening. Expect season 2 to broaden the perspective beyond the physical aspects of workplaces as we continue to join the dots. Conversations coming soon include Bee Heller from The Pioneers, Perry Timms from PTHR, Dr Kerstin Sailer from Brainybirdz, Jacqui Martin from Design_North and Dr Rob Harris from Ramidus. Subscribe and listen to this and all episodes on Acast or iTunes, on any mobile device.