How do open offices affect social structuring at work?

The UK has more than twice as many open plan workers than the global average. Almost half of UK workers (49%) are based in open plan offices compared to 23% globally. In research on territoriality, open plan offices are referred to as “non-territorial offices”. This implies that there is no territorial behaviour in open plan […]

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How has design changed since you graduated?

One of my colleagues recently asked me this question, and it certainly threw up some interesting answers. Design is defined by a changing society, but I think the reverse is also true: throughout the years, design has challenged society and proposed new solutions and concepts. Since I graduated in 2014, these key trends have continued to influence […]

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Technology – saviour or gaoler?

Image courtesy of here Technology is one of the key triumvirate for a great workplace, the other two pillars being culture/HR policy and design. Technology can improve efficiency, mobility, flexibility, communication and collaboration – it can be an enabler for work in the 21st century when you get it right. But is our technology at […]

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Serious play in the city

Why would Deloitte’s Silicon Valley think-tank be studying online gamers and kite surfers? John Hagel and John Seely Brown’s hypothesis is that engaged employees will not be enough to sustain performance in uncertain times and where the half-life of a business model is constantly contracting. They argue that to thrive in the twenty-first-century world, a […]

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What I learned from being a strategic consultant

Photo by Robert Frank When I graduated in 2010, I didn’t have a clue about my future except for one thing: Don’t spend the next four years drawing bathroom details. I landed a job with AECOM’s Strategy Plus practice (then DEGW) shortly after graduating, and a whole new world of workplace research, change management and executive summaries […]

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How is technology affecting your work/life balance?

Technology is impacting us all, whether we choose to embrace it or not! It’s something I’ve thought about (and written about) a lot, and a recent debate we arranged within the Strategy Plus team threw up some interesting questions about how technology is impacting work/life balance and how it will go on to do so […]

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Flow: doing what you love, loving what you do

I recently went ice skating and happened to watch some children taking classes (above image courtesy of purealpine.com). Before the training, they all stood at the edge of the rink, struggling with their feet, waiting desperately until finally, the sheet of ice had been prepared. Then, all at once, about 30 children stormed onto the […]

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The point of a pilot

Taking risks and testing performance – that’s the point of a pilot. These two key themes emerged in a recent AECOM conference presentation in Sydney. The conference explored Next Generation Activity Based Workplaces (ABW). I shared an extended case study of SBS’ Agile pilot space in its Artarmon headquarters. With a background as Australia’s multicultural broadcaster, […]

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Making health and wellbeing work in the workplace

Striving to provide services that meet our clients’ needs might be standard practice, but for me, once I have done that, I want to find out what else we can do for them to make their workplace environment even better. The great thing about my job as a workplace consultant is that I can do […]

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Ideas from the IFMA workplace strategy summit

Photo: Copyright AECOM / Robb Williamson I was invited to speak at the International Facilities Management Association workplace strategy summit held near Reading, UK in June. This was hosted by Professor Alexi Marmot from University College London and was a followup to a previous summit held at Cornell University in 2012. The attendees were an […]

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