Blog

Peter Thomson blogs regularly about the changing world of work and how WiseWork is helping organisations to benefit from new working practices. This site also hosts blog contributions from Wisework Partners and other guest bloggers..

Work flexibly for the right reasons

Every week for the past six months we’ve had a reason adopt WiseWork. W’ere now almost through the alphabet and up to the most difficult letter – “X”. You’ve probably heard of Xenophobia, which doesn’t sound like a good reason to work in a flexible way, but we’ve chosen the opposite “Xenophilia”. According to Wikipedia it means an affection for unknown/foreign objects, manners, cultures or people. That seemed an appropriate description of a way of working that’s inclusive, allowing variations depending…

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Why do we need meetings?

Many managers complain to me that their schedules are full of meetings and they never get time to think. By the time that have caught up on their daily deluge of emails, they certainly don’t have time for reflection or thinking up new ideas. It’s one long day of back to back meetings and some long evenings and weekends catching up on email. Add to that the time wasted on travelling to meetings and it’s clear we need to look…

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Universal principles for effective working

This week we are up to “U for Universal” in the WiseWork alphabet. Almost at the end of six months of weekly blogs covering a variety of reasons for adopting our version of flexible working. There are many different definitions of flexible working and there are several different names for the variations of working patterns that are being adopted. We have ‘agile’, ‘smart’, ‘mobile’, ‘location independent’ and many others. There’s flexitime and compressed hours, home working and hot desking. We…

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How do you trust your people to get on with their work?

This Blog is written Jeremy Lewis, WiseWork Partner, to coincide with “T is for Trust” week in the WiseWork “A to Z”. “Culture is what people do when no one is looking,” said Herb Kelleher, CEO Southwest Airlines. The issue “I can’t trust my team are getting on with their work when I can’t see them in the office.” You may have some sympathy with this position: our attention spans are falling and we have access to distractions on portable…

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Tackle stress at source

There are many organisations worried about stress amongst their employees, but what are they doing about it? They have realised that mental health is as important as physical health and recognise that they have some responsibility for this. So they introduce a “wellness” programme with counselling services, yoga classes, healthy food in the cafeteria and subsidised gym membership. All these provisions are aimed at addressing the symptoms of stress. None of them are addressing the cause. One of the main…

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Are you getting the best talent?

I’m amazed to find that there are many organisations that only allow people to work flexibly once they have been employed for 6 months or more. They argue that people need to have settled into the job before they can be trusted to work from home or at times of their choice. Yet one of the key benefits of offering flexible working is that you widen the pool of applicants when you are recruiting. So it makes sense to offer…

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Why take on permanent office space?

In a fast-moving world, no organisation wants to be saddled with a 25 year commitment to occupy a building, particularly if they just need standard office space. Now it’s possible to find a variety of space from drop-in centres, co-working spaces and hub through to permanent, long term, leased buildings. An interesting new report about occupancy in London pointed out that many occupiers are now taking on a variety of arrangements, depending on their mix of needs. They are using…

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Are you insane?

There’s a popular definition of Insanity – It’s “doing the same thing again and again and expecting different results”. It’s one of those sayings that’s attributed to Albert Einstein without a lot of evidence to show he ever said it. But it rings true because we often catch ourselves trying to do something repeatedly in the vain hope that “this time it’s bound to work”. “Just one more try and I’ll be in luck this time” is the compulsive gambler’s…

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What’s stopping us working from anywhere?

A recent article in Havard Business Review pointed out the trend towards WFA (Working From Anywhere). It pointed to a Gallup survey showing that 43% of employed Americans had spent at least some time working remotely, not always from home. In fact they give one example (the US Patent Office) where moving from Working From Home (WFH) to WFA produced a measurable increase in productivity. We still manage organisations as if people have to be static to work. Yes, there…

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Is loyalty an outdated virtue?

In the days when people had jobs for life and stayed with the same employer, loyalty was a valuable asset. Organisations benefitted from the experience of their long-term staff who knew how everything worked. Low employee turnover was seen as a virtue. But now we are in the age of the gig economy where people collaborate only when necessary, the idea of ‘loyalty’ to an employer has to be revisited. As technologies, markets and jobs rapidly change we need people…

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