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..

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Is loyalty an outdated virtue?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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Why don’t we value knowledge more?

We are supposed to be living in the age of the knowledge economy, but it still surprises me how we hold on to outdated views of  what  is valuable. Politicians amongst others place great value on trading in manufactured goods. They talk about bringing back jobs to industrial areas that have become wastelands as factories have closed. But many of these jobs have been taken over by robots anyway so even if the factories returned, the jobs assembling products wouldn’t.…

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Life’s too short for boring jobs

50 years ago we managed to land a man on the moon. Since then we have seen incredible advances in technology which allow us to live our lives very differently. But there is one aspect of life that has hardly changed. It’s the drudgery of boring work. Work should be a joy. But for most people it’s a necessary evil in order to gain enough money to live. I’ve asked hundreds of people (mainly conference audiences) if they would still…

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What’s your image like?

Do you know what people say about your organisation? Does it have positive image amongst the public? Do you need to have the right image to attract the best talent? Many organisations spend millions on creating a nice logo, running big marketing campaigns and creating an image for their products. Not many put the same effort in creating the right image in the labour market. It’s not much use having a great product in the eyes of consumers but a…

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Do we still need Hierarchy?

This is a blog submitted by Wisework Partner Chris Ridgewell to mark the “H for Hierarchy” week in the WiseWork A to Z series. H is for Hierarchy When you mention the word hierarchy to many people, their eyes glaze over and they immediately envisage an organisation with a rigid pyramidal managerial and organisational structure with departments neatly named and placed on a chart, each one reporting to a higher power or authority. Indeed there are many organisations where this…

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Work to save the planet

The subject of the environment is constantly in the news. Whether it’s climate change protests, international agreements or extreme weather patterns we are all hearing about global warming on a daily basis. Yet also on a daily basis people are continuing to work as if nothing has happened. They get in their polluting vehicles and generate carbon dioxide sitting in traffic jams in order to get to work. They get on aircraft and fly half way round the world to…

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Ban “Flexible Working”

The way we think about work is still conditioned by Industrial Age assumptions. Despite technology freeing us up from fixed time and place, we still think of work as being organised into jobs that have a specified “workplace” and a defined set  of “working hours”. By law every employee in the UK has to have a contract stating these facts. Then some employers are prepared to offer “Flexible Working” as an employee benefit, granting some variation to the fixed hours…

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